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Gaby & Kristen’s Remote Journey

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Kristen, and my partner (in both life and business!) is Gaby. 

For work, we run an online business that teaches people how to build apps and software without coding. Entrepreneurs, startups, and business owners who don’t have tech backgrounds come to us when they want to build an app themselves, but have no idea how. Typically, people are looking to build software they can turn into a business (like a SaaS company), apps they can white-label, or apps that’ll help run the existing business they already have (like a back-end dashboard for their company, for example). 

Gaby is the technical one, so she teaches the actual app-building part of things. I handle the sales, marketing, content creation, and things like site design. 

In terms of what we do outside of work — we travel full time and have been doing so for the past couple years. We typically stay in different cities for about 1-3 months at a time.

When did you first commence working remotely and why?

We first started working remotely when we moved away from New York City back in 2015. We both had “office jobs” in New York, but when we moved, we started working remotely because we both found a way to transfer our skills to the online world. 

One of the reasons we left New York was because our lives were consumed by our jobs, and we thought the best way to truly free ourselves up was by working online instead of having to go into an office everyday. We wanted to make a massive shift in order to get a better “work/life” balance, and working remotely was how we wanted to achieve that.

We didn’t initially plan to travel full time, but once we found the remote work thing was working for us, we realized we could be anywhere, and set a goal to start traveling non-stop within that same year.

Which countries has your remote work taken you to, and what has been your favourite destination and why?

We started out in Mexico and spent about 6 months in different cities throughout the country. We really loved our time in places like San Miguel De Allende and Playa Del Carmen. After that, we headed down to Central America and spent about 5 weeks in Guatemala. We then kept heading further south and spent about half a year traveling through Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. After that, we made a big jump over to Southeast Asia and spent about 7 months in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan. We’re currently in Croatia and will be heading to Hungary in a couple months.

Out of all those places, our favorite destinations have been Mexico and Thailand — specifically San Miguel De Allende and Chiang Mai. We loved the laid back vibe in each of those places and felt we could stay longer-term in each of them at some point. 

Both of those places are the perfect sized city for us — not too big, but not too small, either. They both have excellent food and coffee scenes, which we love. San Miguel doesn’t have the internet infrastructure of Chiang Mai, but it’s doable for working remotely if you have a plan ahead of time.

Where do you see yourselves five years from now?

The beauty of working remotely like this is we don’t have to stick to any plan. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve already changed our minds about where we want to go next, much less where we’ll be 5 years from now. We love this lifestyle and are completely open to changes in our opinions about where we’re headed. 

When we first started traveling, for example, we didn’t have any set time frame, but I think we both subconsciously figured we’d travel around for a year or so. A couple years later, we’re now sure we’ll be traveling throughout all of 2019, and likely will continue after. 

The big thing we expect might change over that time is the length of our stays in each city — I imagine we’ll probably start staying a bit longer in each place.

What advice would you give to individuals thinking about working remotely?

I would say go for it! It can feel like you don’t have the right skills to work online, but there are tons and tons of different job options. Just make sure you have a plan to keep yourself accountable. When you don’t go into an office everyday where your boss or manager is always around, it can be tempting to start sleeping in a little more or turning on the TV during the day, so you still need to follow a routine to stay productive. 

It’s also easy to find yourself working from your bed or the couch, or realizing you haven’t taken more than a few dozen steps by the end of the work day. Be conscious of keeping yourself healthy because it’s easy to let that slip without knowing it.

Otherwise, just go for it. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection and computer, and try out working remotely to see if you like it.

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