Sila Nur Isik is an entrepreneur from Turkey traveling the world with the inaugural Remote Year program.
Why did you decide to come on Remote Year?
Traveling and enlightenment through exploration have always been a passion for me as I believe they open your eyes to alternative means of living and bring fresh perspectives. So I’ve decided to come on Remote Year to be inspired by the different approaches to life, to pursue the next big thing and alternative business/agency models with a remote DNA; as well as for the love of journey and becoming a better me. I wanted to learn, to interact, to establish friendships, a global workforce, and a business network across borders. I also wanted my decision to inspire the people around me to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.
What are you working on for the year?
Having a digital advertising background, my own business experience, and my newly acquired global perspective on Remote Year, I have been meeting and working with the local accelerators, startups and entrepreneurs in every city we go to.
How did you find yourself a remote role?
Running my own digital advertising agency for the past 5 years, just before Remote Year I have partnered up with 2 digital startups as a consultant for their product marketing and global business development. So on Remote Year, I have met with local agencies and businesses to promote these projects, and collected unique local feedback to improve their product development and global brand recognition. While doing that, my goal was to meet with different people to establish a business network, to find out about different markets and viewpoints, to rethink my approach to creative and talent, and to connect different worlds to deliver faster and innovative solutions.
How do you think traveling will affect your current work?
While traveling, I have met with different companies and projects from all around the world. Not only I had an amazing global network, I also had the chance to challenge myself with the startups’ local limitations, brainstorm how we can improve them, and apply my know-how and experience for the their digital journeys. I have observed the different working cultures, business structures and startup ecosystems in Europe, Asia and South America, and collaborated with Startup Malaysia, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce, Google Launchpad, Wayra, Startup Chile and UTEC Ventures Peru to mentor startups for their digital marketing and business development. As a result of this, now I have a good understanding of the different markets, visions and challenges around the world, and I can’t wait to apply these learnings to my future ventures.
What would you say to others who want to bring travel into their lives?
Just the day before I came across Remote Year, I had seen this quote on a tube station notice board in London: “Sometimes we have to travel to the edge of the world to find our center.“ This year, travel has helped me to take this journey of self-discovery, and to learn and appreciate life as a gift. There are amazing things to explore out there, and it is the best decision you can ever make to take that small step and enjoy the ride.
Where have you traveled to/lived previously?
I was born and raised in Istanbul, until I moved to London 9 years ago for my postgraduate studies. After that I have settled in London to work, and later on I've set up my own business there. Previously I have also traveled to the USA, most of Europe, North Africa and South America.
Where is your favorite place on the globe?
My favorite place is wherever I can call home. And I believe I have managed to create new homes for myself on this journey, by being there with all my heart. This way, everywhere we went was a new “favorite” place for me, and I was feeling like I was returning to a place I have never been.
What does your typical day look like?
I spend half of my day finding and reaching to local contacts and preparing presentations, the other half attending to meetings and mentoring sessions, getting to know the startups and entrepreneurs in the local community. Other times I love to explore the city that we are in, to understand the unique lifestyle and culture of each place. I also enjoy taking side trips from time to time, and so far I’ve had the chance to visit Milan for the Expo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long Bay, Tokyo, Atacama Desert, Machu Picchu, and Rio de Janeiro for the famous Carnival!