GK Member Spotlight: Katherine’s Cinque Terra

CaptureToday’s post comes one of GK’s members based out of Austin, Texas.

Katherine Mayer: world traveler, private investigator, business owner, badass.


It was my idea: We’d rent a car in Florence and drive the few hours north to the famous Cinque Terre. “But this is Italy, all the cars will be manual transmission”.

My brother proudly assured me that it would be no problem. He could do it. I made the reservation, and we got a ride from the farm about an hour outside the city where we had both been staying.

Card swiped, papers signed, I handed the keys over to my brother who, as we were pulling away from the rental agency with a jolt and a laugh, confessed that he would basically be learning how to drive stick on the way to the mountains.

“I mean, I know how it works, I just need a little practice!” Typical. We both still laugh at that. 

We finally made it up to the northwestern coast, with only a few close calls from my brother trying not to roll into parked cars on the steep mountain roads that wind their way to the Italian Riviera. It’s a touristy place to visit, and when you make it out to one of the five villages (no cars allowed), it’s easy to understand why. They’re centuries-old villages hugging the edges of these huge cliffs that overlook the sea.

city

 Each building a different hue of pink, blue, red, yellow, all subtly muted by the sun.

After a cappuccino and pastry on the plaza, we strolled around with no destination in mind… just taking in the elegance of this old fishing village. We ended up spotting a hill, on top of which was an ancient fort with a tower that looked over the town.

My brother and I climbed up, somehow we were the only ones, and rose up above the hustle and bustle. When we got to the top we were speechless. It was completely silent, except for the unexpected sound of a tenor singing Italian opera accompanied by a piano. We looked at each other and turned toward the sound of the music.church

From that vantage point, high above the village, we could see through a fourth-floor window with its shutters wide open, perfectly framing an older man standing with his hand on the edge of a grand piano belting out what I guessed was Verdi. Surely we were the only ones that could see him.

It wasn’t a performance. It wasn’t for the tourists- he was just rehearsing with his accompanist, though it felt as though he could have been singing purely for the joy of singing. And how special did we feel? An audience of two, unbeknownst to our special performer in our silence above it all, receiving what felt like a gift. I remember in that moment of repose, the wind in my hair and the sun on my cheek and the sound of this man singing in my ears, feeling just astounded, in disbelief, at how beautiful life can be.

 

 

Should You Become A Digital Nomad?

Living the life of a digital nomad is not easy. You may think these people hop around from one exotic local to the next making loads of cash, without a care in the world. To this I say you are seriously mistaken. Nomading takes a lot of work. Everything from getting a new paid gig, determining what city or country to travel to, health insurance, lodging and more are items you need to get in order. There’s no time to be lazy, you need to be proactive!

If you are really thinking about shaking things up or just finding a way to escape President Trump, here are few things to ponder before making the move to become a digital nomad.

INSTAGRAM @THELONELYTRAVELLERMATT


Do You Have a Job?

Have you figured out what you will do to make money once you travel? If the answer isn’t rich parents, you need to seriously sit down and have an honest chat with yourself about how you can profit while on the road. Crystal Veness spent 6 months prepping for her first leg of her trip to Bali. She needed to build up her client roster to get things moving in the right direction. Cory Varga of You Could Travel also spent about 6 months developing her digital agency with her husband before she felt they had enough income to start traveling.

If you’re thinking “Wait, I don’t work in communications. How do I get paid?” There are other options. Chris Backe of One Weird Globe started his nomading life as an expat teaching english for cash and developed a side business through his travel blogging hobby.

Whatever is your way making of money, make sure you follow through and do what you need for the cash (if you’re freelancing, I recommend using AndCo to simplify the invoice process because nomading is hard enough).

INSTAGRAM @DREAMSINHEELS


Where Are You Going To Travel?

Have you thought about where you want to travel and the laws for those places. If you are staying in Europe on a tourist visa from the US, you are likely to have only 90 days within the country and then there’s also the funny clause about the Schengen Zone(worth clicking this).

If you know you’re only going to start with a low cash flow, it may be beneficial to start in a place where the conversion rate is in your favor or where you have lodging connections. Bianca Rappaport of HousesitHustle, said she made sure to stay in places where her dollar or euro could go a long way. She also let her housesitting gigs somewhat dictate where she would head next. Housesitting let her keep costs low and gave her more than enough to explore and thrive while traveling with her husband.

If you want to be surprised and have your locations choose you, you can sign up for GlobeKick, a platform that organizes where you go, accommodations, workspace, networking trips and more for a small fee. There, you have a taste of the nomad life and none of the initial nomad worries.

INSTAGRAM @ROGUE.FOXX


Thought About Your Community?

There will be times when you feel alone. How do you combat this? Social media of course. Lola Mendez of Miss Filatelista says community is important. You can often find people to relate to or who can support if you are going through a rough patch while traveling. Amanda Walkins also says that these people know what to say and can keep you motivated when you may find yourself questioning what the heck you’re doing (because it happens).

Olga Maria of Dreams in Heels started Latinas Who Travel as one way women of color can find a community that supports their passion for travel. It also provides great access to people to meetup with on your journey.

INSTAGRAM @YOUCOULDTRAVEL


Has Anyone Told You You’re Great At Organization?

Matt Prior of TheLonelyTravellerMatt says that you need to be able to plan things yourself and look into the future without being prompted. When you are a nomad, you control your schedule, breaks, holidays, naps, workflow, EVREYTHING! Ashley Nelson of TenthonHudson also says you need to fight for what you want and push yourself. No one will tell you to turn in a report to a client, it’s up to you to figure out when and how to do it. If you don’t, the consequences will fall on you.

INSTAGRAM @THELONELYTRAVELLERMATT


Are You Flexible?

I spoke with at least a dozen nomads and all of them unanimously agreed, you need to be flexible to make this life transition. Can anyone try to be a nomad? Yes. But if you aren’t open to going with the flow or things not following “your plan” to the letter, you may spiral into a panic. Part of being a digital nomad means instability. And as Nick Romano of GetMeToEurope puts it, “you have to remember that your lifestyle at home might be different from when you’re traveling.” So just embrace it!

Can You Handle Unusual Workplaces?

Now I’m not talking the beach because all nomads I spoke with thought bringing your laptop to the beach was a horrible idea (just think, sand in your keyboard, horrible glare, and no one wants to actually work on a beach). Kristy Elena of Rogue Foxx says that working in an office is not standard when nomading. She often worked in various spaces including a bar (as a bartender) and from coffee shops pursuing her freelance work.

Working from anywhere is a perk of this lifestyle so if you can’t handle it or make do with a co-working space, I rethink the nomad way of life.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/should-you-become-a-digital-nomad_us_59710b16e4b0f1feb89b420d

GlobeKick pivots to make international excursions more accessible to travel lovers

An entrepreneur, an attorney and a techie travel the world together.

No, this isn’t the setup of a joke. Rather, it’s what inspired three local friends to launch a startup of their own.

Meet Jamie DeBole, Rad Wood and Russ Briscoe, who founded Austin-based GlobeKick in 2015 to help others share in their love of travel, adventure and cultural exploration.

“Travel has changed me in all of the best of ways, and I would love to help more people do the same,” said DeBole.

At its inception, the company set out to organize three-month trips for entrepreneurs, remote workers and those living the digital nomad lifestyle. GlobeKick coordinated housing, excursions, networking and more. In 18 months, they completed three 90-day international trips with 80 participants.

While each trip went swimmingly, DeBole said the team realized three months was a tad too long for their trippers.

“Taking people away for three months was appealing in theory, but not practical for most,” said DeBole. “It’s too inaccessible for people, even for those interested in travel who work remotely 100 percent of the time.”

So they went offline and into stealth mode to revisit how to make meaningful global group travel more accessible and more fulfilling.

Now, they’re ready to relaunch.

GlobeKick went live today with a new website and membership offering called GlobeKick Connect. For $1,200 a year, members of the GlobeKick network will have access to three, five-day immersive trips scheduled throughout the year. Members can attend one or all three trips based upon their own availability and are only responsible for covering airfare.

“The idea is to connect people around a shared experience that is going to bind them together for life, similar to the way our travel did,” said DeBole. “Let’s give them access to one another through a closed social network that allows them to have adventures together, learn from another and leverage one another’s network.”

The three trips for 2018 include a camping trip to Morocco with a camel trip in the Sahara Desert, a mission visit to Cambodia to volunteer on an elephant sanctuary and a trip to the San Blas Islands of Panama.

The memberships will initially only be open to members within GlobeKick’s current networks. In February, an application process will be made available to the general public.

Questions on the application will prompt applicants to define what travel means to them, describe their interest in establishing cross-cultural connections and share how they take care of themselves mentally, physically and emotionally.

“We’re looking for people interested in sharing in real experiences; not people who are just about how many likes they can get on a photo on Instagram,” said DeBole. “The beauty of travel is meeting people of different cultures, races, religions and seeing how similar we are at our core. The more diverse — the better.”

https://www.builtinaustin.com/2017/12/18/globekick-relaunches-new-membership

 

The Future of Work: Desk Independence Meet Up

SPEAKERS

JAMIE DEBOLE GlobeKick

Over the past two decades, the internet has forever changed the way that we work. Our session will explore new trends in the workplace that have been created through the digital revolution. The session will discuss how workplace innovation by progressive business leaders is giving forward-thinking organizations an edge in the recruitment and retainment of top Millennial and Generation Z talent entering the workforce.
Discussion topics of this meet up will include: 1.) How the digital revolution has changed the Millennial and Gen Z workplace value structures. 2.) How innovative business are adapting their recruitment and retainment strategies to meet the needs of this new workforce. 3.) The future of workplace innovation and opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

https://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP96536

 

 

Dissolving Ignorance: Tolerance Through Travel Meet Up

MAR 13, 2017 | 4:00PM – 5:00PM

SPEAKERS

RADNEY WOOD  GlobeKick

The United States is seeing a dramatic rise in cultural intolerance. The root of this intolerance is that of ignorance. Ignorance which is leading to violence and terrorism against people of different race, religion, and ethnicity. The result being a country that’s wrestling with inequality and fear-based Xenophobia. The solution to the cultural intolerance and violence is global travel. Exploring new countries and experiencing new cultures will lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of all people, which will collectively lead to a more peaceful, harmonious existence as Americans of the United States of America.

 

https://schedule.sxsw.com/2017/events/PP68502

 

Off the Map, Off the Mat: How Yoga Is Kinda-Sorta Like Travel

Every time I step off a plane and into a GK program, I challenge myself and the Globekickers alike to see if they can use the opportunity of travel to witness the “yoga in all things.”

How is this entire journey just another form of yoga? I ask. When can you bring awareness to your (and ultimately other’s) patterns and tendencies? Can you examine those things with love instead of judgement? Can you find your breath, center, and connection to yourself and the people around you in every interaction?

On a yoga mat, during the asana (the physical postures of yoga), we intentionally put ourselves into difficult postures, challenging positions, uncomfortable situations. Then we ask ourselves to breath through it all, to find peace in moments when we want to bail, to observe our mental patterning during the whole fiesta.

It’s not much different than being off your mat in the big (and often challenging) world. In fact, many interesting observations have come from this practice:

While on the very first trip, Russ (one of our cofounders) reflected to me that, during his first yoga practice in Portugal, he felt a strong connection to his home in Austin, Texas. A physical sensation that brought him to a place.

It reminded me of what my beloved teacher, friend, and mentor, Shelby, always says to me: “Yoga is the only thing that never abandons you. You can leave it, but it never leaves you. You can always return home to your mat.”

Spending the past year and half on the road, this has never been more evident to me. No matter what the external environment shifted to, no matter how far from “home” I travel: I would step onto my mat (or a towel) and immediately find safety, security, familiarity, a sense of home.

Of course when I offer a challenge to others, I become endlessly dedicated to exploring it myself. So, since yoga and my own personal practice are not longer acts that require a whole lot of courage or are necessarily outside my comfort zone any longer, I pushed myself to try yoga in… well of course, Portuguese.

That experience brought the opportunity to revert back to the years where I felt uncomfortable and new and it reminded me of the two most life-changing yogic experiences, experiences that helped me understand the universality of yoga.

NUMBER ONE: NEW YEAR’S DAY, 2016, INSIDE OF A PEACE HUT IN MERU, KEYNA.

A group of four powerful women from all different corners of the globe and 108 sun salutations to welcome in a brand new year.

Our intention was to invite in 2016 with power, grace, and a willingness to let the year bring with it anything and everything it felt we were capable of… (ahem: fast-forward to the middle of 2016 when I landed a dream job with GlobeKick)

It was beautiful. No music, just the sound of our collective breath and the fluidity of us all moving independently but at the same time in graceful community.

The most beautiful part of this for me, however, was my sweet new Kenyan friend Joy who is a resident of the village and member of International Peace Initiatives, a local Kenyan organization intended to promote cultures of peace by supporting sustainable initiatives that improve livelihoods and enhance quality of life.

The opportunity that morning was Joy’s first time doing yoga ever in her life. Now, if you have ever done a Sun Salutation you know that 108 of them ain’t an easy thing to do (if not, Click here: Sun Salutation and take yourself through a couple). I continued to tell her to take it slowly, to be patient with herself, and to love herself even if she couldn’t do all 108.  She kept laughing at my worry and inhaled reaching for the sky. Joy embodied yoga that day. Willingness, patience, love, breath, strength, freedom. She was (and is) a true warrior of peace in so many ways and her attitude, perseverance, and willingness to breath through uncertainty, change, challenge, and the feeling of being out of place and uncomfortable fully solidified that for me.

NUMBER TWO: TEACHING YOGA FULLY IN SPANISH, COSTA RICA, 2015.

For several months during 2015 I taught yoga in Spanish to a group of amazing women at CEPIA, a local Costa Rican NGO that offers free programs for youth at high social risk, among others. Now, at the time I didn’t actually speak Spanish (well, no totally… not yet, anyways) but I was using these opportunity to learn and the women seemed delighted by my elementary attempt to make Spanish versions of English poses.

One day, a young woman came into class with a walker. At the time I was a baby yoga teacher and not only was I now completely intimidated by my ability to be a safe and supportive guide for this young woman but to do this in SPANISH… whoo. I mean I wanted a challenge, but this was another level. I approached her to get some further insight. Turns out she didn’t speak English at all and oh, even better, didn’t speak Spanish either.

She spoke French.

Thanks, Universe.

Through hand gestures, and the help of the other women in the room, I was able to discover that the young woman was 27 years old (the same age as me at the time) and had a massive spinal injury caused by a man who had attacked her in an alley when she was 23. She was from Quebec and came to Costa Rica because the warm weather allowed her to move without being in spine and leg braces. She left Quebec without telling her family first because they wouldn’t have let her go without a fight.  She did it because she sought freedom physically, emotionally, and of course spiritually. Another women who had been taking my class for some time had recommended yoga to her as a tool to help her get there.

Her story brought tears to my eyes, and being the same age, made it hit closer to home than I would’ve expected. I asked her (through using a translation app) if she would trust me for the next hour and she nodded yes. For the next 60 minutes, she let me hold her and move her along while the other women were guided by voice. Again, I saw it both on the mat and off. The purest examples of trusting a stranger, compassion for those who are different than you, and a willingness to breath through the discomfort of doing something new and scary and making an attempt at finding freedom through all of that discomfort. For all you travelers out there… sound familiar?

Stepping onto my mat in a Portuguese class invited these elements back into my practice. It allowed me to truly be a student again, to get out of my head and into my body. To LET GO of the micro alignments I have become so obsessed with and to really approach my practice again with the curiosity of a child.

In addition to asana each week, I promised the GKers that I will challenge them with personal inquiry and questions to ponder. For that first week we all contemplate:

·       What is our intention for the next 3 months?

·       What does transformation look like for you?

·       What are you wanting to grow in yourself through this experience?

·       What are you willing to commit to and/or let go of in order to get there?

 

I revisit my answers from 15 months ago and for me, I was attempting to dedicate myself to the mystery of the unknown: to be okay with uncertainty and to welcome it with excitement and anticipation. I intended to step into my teaching, and facilitating, with a commitment to letting go of the agenda I had of how things should look in order to really be available to how things actually are- attempting to release the talons of control I try to have over my experience and life.

A year and a half later, I can fully express the benefits of that pursuit. What an adventure and a lesson in stretching and breathing both physically and mentally, both on and off the mat.

Rusty Traveler: The Belfast Story

By Russ Briscoe, Co-founder and CRO of GlobeKick

If you tell people you plan on going to Belfast, Northern Ireland, you’re going to hear a lot of questions:

“Wait. Why Belfast again?”

“Don’t you know it’s gray there?”

“Don’t you know about The Troubles?”

“It’s pretty poor — rundown, even — you know?”

“Don’t you know that Guinness comes from Dublin?”

The main reason I was bussing up the M1 in the first place was that I didn’t have any clear way of countering all the bloody loaded questions. I decided to go to “Old Smoke” (and go hard, I did) as nothing more than an act of sheer defiance. Esprit du corps.

And yes, yes, I know The Hotel Europa’s been bombed 36 times.

“And what, in fact, are the actual odds I’m to catch the 37th viewing, might I ask you?!”

All-up, I survived Belfast for ten days. To be specific that’s a three-day planned trip, plus an extra week (or six hangovers, depending on how you’re counting) just for good measure. It was lovely. And a great success by Irish or any other standards. And best yet, I can (and will) now tell you confidently (and without reproach) the answer to some of the above questions for your future travel-reference.

“WAIT. WHY BELFAST AGAIN?”

Because they built the Titanic. And it sank. And it sank in a devastating and spectacular fashion due to, arguably, woeful under-planning against safety standards and willful overestimation of structural integrity by its shipbuilders (in, ahem, Belfast) . And yet, the Belfasters without a glimpse of self-consciousness (at best) or macabre delight (at worst) absolutely celebrate its construction (I kid you not) and charge 18 quid/head for you to “help perpetuate the story of how Belfast came to build the largest and most luxurious liners the world has ever seen.” I admire it. Fair play, Belfast. If your city is going to be forever attached to the most notable and culturally resounding maritime disaster, OWN IT. Throw sparkle on it and SHINE. I see you, Belfast. You inspire me in the everyday, “No. NO. I didn’t spill this coffee on my shirt, you see. This is a celebration of the Colombian culture on my cotton canvas.”

“DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S GRAY THERE?”

Yeah, gray like a fox. It’s sneaky gray. The absolute best barroom weather is to be had in Belfast. It’s just cold enough to keep you on the stool, but not terribly impassable should a prompt shift of location inspire through the session. Truth be told, you’ll not much notice the weather (or its color) while in The Old Smoke. I can tell you far more about the ceiling at The Crown Liquor Saloon than the clouds or whatever makes weather grey anyway.

“DON’T YOU KNOW ABOUT THE TROUBLES?”

No, I don’t. Not in nearly the way anyone who would speak to me about those violent and sad former times in Belfast’s sectarian conflict know. Pro tip: it’s best not to ask about the conflict with people you don’t know well — and even with those you do, be careful. Never, ever in a pub. No politics, for real. That’s a main and memorable tip that I got directly from tour-guide Danny while riding with him on Paddy Campbell’s Black Cab Tour. We all (me and two lovely South African university students) got that advice while crammed in the back of a taxi weaving by and through eerie political murals, barbed-wire division walls, and once-ago urban battlegrounds. All of which was expressly delivered in the patented Danny nearly-non-understandable, but-entirely-amazing Belfastian English.

“IT’S PRETTY POOR — RUNDOWN, EVEN — YOU KNOW?”

Well, yeah, me too. I’d been traveling for months on end after-all; hiking, climbing, definitely not working, all the while with a varying degree of sleep/passing out. So, yeah. Me too.

“DON’T YOU KNOW THAT GUINNESS COMES FROM DUBLIN?”

Yes. Whatever. I know Van “The Man” Morrison hales from Belfast and I am 100% certain of that fact. I proved it to myself over pints at Filthy McNasty’son Dublin Road in Belfast (FM’s had a performance or two by Van over the years). So does listening to Van on a jukebox in a pub on Dublin Road while drinking a pint of “The Black Stuff” properly localize that Guinness experience? If not, I’ll leave you with this spectacular Belfast-grown “shot-down” moment at that pub, which will please any posh lass North of the Liffey. My charming approach to a black-hair, blue-eyed Belfaster maiden is as follows, “Cool! You’re a dentist? That must be a great business for you in this country. I mean, my God. Am I right?” *Pause* *Pause* *Pause* Her reply, ‘Aww. I know you’re a Yank, so you must be really sensitive… But I just don’t understand why anyone would go all the way over to your side of the pond and not stay well put in Canada. America is a daft mess.”

-Rusty Traveler

SUMMATION:

10 days

3 hostels

2 South African friends

1 taxi tour

50ish pints of beer

Million laughs

And another million reasons to go back

Thanks for the great craic Belfast!

The Tourist vs. The Local: What’s The Best Way to Travel?

By Radney Wood, Co-founder of GlobeKick

Who in the world wants to be a “Tourist”, these days?

The term itself suggests a sort of buffoonery: A Tourist is a visor-wearing, fanny-packed, tone-deaf simpleton. A Tourist wants to travel not to better themselves or to understand the world. A Tourist travels to take an Instagram pic and waste their whole trip watching the likes tick up. A Tourist is a line-padding, street-clogging zombie. You make your way through the throngs of tourists to a meaningful trip. A Tourist is the antithesis of travel, right? Of course!

Any traveler can tell you that when a place gets “too touristy,” it’s just a nice way of saying the whole spot has lost its charm, that it’s gotten far too popular with these kinds of people.

So, the natural reaction of any self-respecting traveler is to seek to be the opposite. To eschew the fanny pack and become The Local.
The Local walks down the plaza and shakes hands with every smiling face he meets. She plays soccer in the street with the children, and scores the winning goal at sunset, only to be invited in by the neighborhood matriarch for a full five-course meal. He eats at a local dive that nobody else knows about for breakfast and stumbles into a daylong excursion that unearths secret underground chambers. Clearly, to be The Local is a far more rewarding existence than to be A Zombie Tourist. Right?

Well. Maybe.

The truth is, no such obvious bifurcation of travelers exists. Nobody is a true tourist (not even my Great Aunt Virginia who does love her American Flag visor) and nobody can ever achieve the Shangri La that The Local status offers (at least, by only staying a few weeks in an area). And that’s fine. It can be counterproductive to a truly beneficial experience to seek “Localness” and completely denounce the fact that, well, you’re new around here.

Why?

Because the very premise of being a traveler undermines the idea of being a local.

Instead, aim to travel in harmony with locals.

No matter what country you visit I welcome you to follow these four very important steps to feeling at-one with a place, whether you’ve got a penchant for chanting U-S-A, U-S-A, or not.

Holy wow, there’s a lot to take in here…!

STEP 1: LEARN SIMPLE, EVERY-DAY PHRASES
Ok. Seems obvious, but putting it to practice can be difficult. Those who take the time to learn simple pleasantries, ask directions, and order food begin the much important process of bonding with people you meet. You can’t get much out of a place unless you learn the lingo. There is an obvious element of fear of messing up that often keeps us from practicing, but most people love the effort and it’s worth it. Just think, if somebody came up to YOU and spoke genuinely and kindly in broken English, you’re probably gonna try to help that person out, right? It’s all about human connection!
Speaking of human connection:

STEP 2: YOU GOTTA SPEND TIME WITH THE LOCALS
Whether it’s taking a language or culture class, connecting with people on CoachSurfer, staying at an airbnb where the host lives with you, or visiting a local watering hole or restaurant it is IMPERATIVE to spend time with people who actually are from where you’re traveling. It will open up the city or town in ways you cannot imagine. I still have memories of an art party I went to one night in Copenhagen that was hosted by a famous Danish artist. The only reason I was able to attend was due to the local I was living with. Talk about an inside track, right?

STEP 3: EMBRACE LOCAL CUSTOMS WITH OPEN ARMS
This doesn’t mean walking around Paris with a black and white striped shirt and beret. You really shouldn’t do that. Embracing local customs means understanding when it’s appropriate to embrace someone versus shake their hand, what times of day or night to order certain foods, and whether there are cultural/religious traditions that may influence how you dress or act. One gesture in your home culture can be QUITE DIFFERENT in other cultures.

STEP 4: JUST BE A GOOD HUMAN!
Above all else, if you fail at learning the language, finding local friends, or bungle your way through a hello or goodbye, if you travel with humility and love and openness you will be able to experience a new city or country in a way that is in harmony with the locals and you will learn invaluable lessons.
In the end, travel is about learning; learning as much about yourself as much as the world we all live in. That’s the true difference between traveling well and not. The more genuinely you travel, the more different and diverse your experiences become, the better off you are.

If you go through each day exactly the same, you will never be the change you want to be. It takes doing different things in different places with different people to truly improve. Open your eyes to the rest of the world and do it with open hearts and harmony.

Oh, and sorry fanny-pack wearers out there. We love you too.

How to Build Your Remote Work Safety Net

Years ago, when I was working in a traditional office setting, a British national joined our team in the office in Houston. About half a year later, he went to our boss and asked if he could start working remotely from Los Angeles. His reason was twofold: 1) He could live in a house there rent-free that belonged to his family and 2) He didn’t really like Houston. As surprising as it might sound, his “well thought out” plan was denied by the boss and he left the company shortly thereafter.

With working remotely so prevalent in the current environment, the allure of leaving the office to work remotely in another city, or perhaps another part of the world—while still retaining your current position—is a powerful one. But doing so takes much more than simply making sure your laptop charger is packed or your passport is up to date.

Remote work isn’t a vacation, despite the positives it promotes, such as no longer commuting to work nor spending a fortune updating your wardrobe every time you get a promotion.

There are tax ramifications that can trip you up, layers upon layer of competition that you never thought about, and international tripwires to consider if you are moving yourself and your business to another country.

Here’s a look at five pivotal issues you should make yourself aware of before you begin your remote trek.

Start saving … now

You know that $1,000 emergency fund that we’re all supposed to have in case the air conditioning breaks or the car needs an overhaul? That amount barely scratches the surface if you consider the risk you take if you quit your job and move to a new city as a digital nomad.

How much you save will depend on where you’re living and what your intended lifestyle will be.

I recommend stashing enough money to subsist for at least a few months in case the project pipeline dries up or you incur an unforeseen expense while abroad or on the road. Do your homework before moving to understand what your equivalised cost of living will be in your new home. A good place to start is Numbeo, which will show you the relative cost of items in various cities and countries.

Sell your plan, sell yourself

You’re going to have to convince a lot of people that the idea of working remotely is a good one. For some, it will be the obvious choice of getting your partner or family on board, for others, it will be selling the boss on the positives. You not having to commute anymore and spending more time with your kids isn’t exactly going to wow the superior who is doing those exact same things, so you have to frame the request in a way that will benefit the company. Volunteer to be the one on call on weekends and holidays when everyone else is at the beach or be willing to do some recruiting at job fairs. If you know you’re being sought after by other companies, use the remote work possibility as leverage to stay at your current position.

Be diligent about your taxes

With money transferral services like Paypal becoming so prevalent as ways to move funds, sometimes things get a bit hazy about who owes what percentage of their wages to whom. For Americans, there’s the foreign income exclusion with the IRS, which says you can exclude up to $97,600 of your gross income from your U.S. tax return. This applies to American citizens who have lived in another country for a whole tax year, those who are resident aliens of the U.S. while being citizens of a country with which the US has an income tax treaty, or US citizens who have lived in another country for at least 330 days during 12 consecutive months.

If this is your first rodeo, you might want to look into enlisting an accountant to help you sort everything out so there are no surprises down the line. It’s worthwhile cost, and one that you can write off your taxes come April 15.

Make your presence known

You don’t just move to a new town, plug in your Internet cable and start being awarded contract after contract. You have to know how to get work, how to market yourself, how to drive clients toward your business as the solution they need. Finding clients and work might become more difficult while you’re abroad, as you lack the face to face advantage of in-person meetings.

As such, you’ll want to build your pipeline up as much as possible before hitting the road or hopping on that flight. You don’t have to have your entire trip planned out, but you should have some solid work running with some warm leads in the hopper before you take the leap.

Streamline what you can

Packing up your life to become a digital nomad or opting to work remote in a new locale can be a stressful and time-consuming undertaking. Even when you touch down in your new hometown, you’ll undoubtedly need to spend time acclimating and perhaps even practicing a new language!

Using a utility app can help you keep your freelance life in order as you work and explore your new host city. AND CO, for example, allows you to invoice in various currencies (doing the math for you), sync expenses with your bank accounts and track your hours, all right within the app.

 

-Article written by our good friends at: AND CO  “A proactive app to give you more time to do what you love – your work”
 

Places To See In Bordeaux

Wanna change your office view?

Let’s take a quick, digital trip to Bordeaux. We handpicked our favorite spots

in this city to sit on a bench, lay in the grass or post up at a cafe.

Love what you see? Good news: GlobeKick heads to France this Spring!

Become a modern-day explorer in these culture-packed sites while enhancing your career.

All while sipping French wine.

Soak in the streets of Bordeaux where you can find Le Bac A Sable –

a cafe that’s dedicated to co-working.

Get work done while enjoying blue skies and a historical view.

Miroir d’Eau at Place de la Bourse –

“The Water Mirror” is less than 10 years old but located right next to the city’s very symbol –

The Place De La Bourse (built from 1730 to 1775).

Twilight at Pont de Pierre – connecting the left and right banks of the city.

Good night, Bordeaux!

Eager for more? That’s where we come in.

Apply here, buy that ticket, get on the road and feel your passions ignite.

 

Stay Adventurous,

The GlobeKick Fam

 

For those interested – check out Le Bac A Sable, to see the remote work lifestyle in Bordeaux.