In February 2019 I was working as a senior content strategist at a small digital marketing company. I was doing a lot of SEO work and managing all of our client accounts. I was grateful that I was working with friends, but to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy the work. Plus, it was super challenging to travel, even though I was fully remote.
I felt like I needed a change. So I quit.
At that time I had $1,500 in the bank and no idea what I was going to do.
All I knew is that I had two goals for the rest of the year:
- TraveI to at least 5 new countries
- Find work that I actually enjoy doing
I had been a member of the WiFi Tribe for about a year but had never actually signed up for a chapter. My friend Leah had been doing chapters for quite some time and only had amazing things to say about the community. So I figured I’d give it a shot.
I decided to join the Playa del Carmen chapter in April of 2019. Honestly, I chose this one because it was the cheapest flight I could find and as I mentioned, I was pretty broke. So I figured I would invest $900 in the Tribe and see what happens.
As April approached I was getting anxious. I had been feeling inner turbulence for several months. I was anxious and frustrated constantly. My fuse had been growing shorter and shorter. I wasn’t happy with the person I was becoming. Plus I had started doing freelance copywriting and it wasn’t going very well. I had very little money coming in.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I just knew that I couldn’t find it working 60 hour weeks in New York.
At the time I thought that at the very least I’d have fun in Mexico, meet some cool people, and I could use the time to find a job teaching English overseas. That way, I could scratch my travel itch and get some serious revenue rolling in.
As soon as I arrived to my first chapter, I knew that I was on the right track. We were all getting to know each other, living together, and everyone was working hard. Watching everyone focus on building their careers, or growing their companies every day, I realized I needed to get much more serious about my career.
I was picking up freelance writing gigs here and there, and sending out some applications to TEFL schools aroud the world, but I still had very little direction. It felt like I was shooting in the dark…
*CUE DRAMATIC SCENE CHANGE MUSIC*
But on one weekend trip, everything changed…
2 weeks into the chapter, I was floating in a lagoon in Bacalar.
The crystal clear cerulean waters blended harmoniously into the azure horizon.
My bff Ruthie was floating next to me, while our friends Timur and Felipe (#bacalarchillcrew!) lounged in hammocks.
I felt a stillness in me that I hadn’t felt in as long as I could remember.
It was the first time I experienced inner peace since moving to NYC. Maybe even since I started working in marketing. I felt truly liberated.
I knew right then, I would do whatever it took to cultivate a life that allowed me to continue experiencing this freedom.
When I got back from the weekend trip, I started making the most of my time with the Tribe. I started asking pointed questions and networking with business owners. I sent around copies of my writing samples and asking if anyone had any content strategy or copywriting needs.
The responses I got were incredible.
Other freelancers started showing me their bidding strategies, time tracking and invoicing tools, and even reached out to their clients and asked if they had any work for me.
I immediately found Tribers who owned their own marketing companies and needed a trustworthy content creator.
I started posting in the #jobs_and_gigs channel in the main WiFi Tribe slack workspace and was rewarded with more leads.
This group of people is the most motivated, business savvy, and welcoming community I’ve found in my years of travel. And they inspired me to take control of my own career and life path.
- In 2019 I made nearly $10,000 from businesses whose CEOs are members of the WiFi Tribe.
- Plus, I made it all from writing (goal #1).
- And, I made it all while traveling (goal #2).
In addition, because WiFi Tribe does such an incredible job of vetting and selecting members with the same virtues, every person I’ve worked with is also a trusted friend.
I’ve seen their business plans, talked about our business and personal goals, and laughed while sipping Aperol spritzes on rooftops with each person that I invoice.
For me, that’s priceless.
To go from taking work from literally any email address that would offer me money, to finding mutually beneficial and strategic exchanges with dependable friends made my work that much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
If it weren’t for the people I met on my chapters, I would have had to pack my bags and move back to Buffalo. Instead, I’ve been wandering all around Latin and South America with awesome people for the last 11 months.
And I’ve got no intention of stopping.
Ok, this is starting to sound like a bit braggadocious.
Sorry, I’m just incredibly proud of the life that I’ve built for myself.
The main reason I’m writing this is to inspire other people who have been staring at their Instagram stories and tingling with wanderlust.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself “I wish I had a job where I could travel the world,” I’ve got some pleasant news for you.
YOU CAN DO IT. IT’S ACTUALLY NOT THAT HARD.
Ok, well it’s hard, but not as hard as you might think. I put the same amount of time and effort into building my lifestyle that the average office worker gives to their company.
I believe that anyone with a skill, education (of any sort), and yes, a bit of privilege, can achieve a fully remote career. Here’s why:
Thousands of companies are joining the ranks of other FROGS (Fully Remote Organizations) and allowing their employees to be location independent.
Marketers, writers, programmers, photographers, videographers, developers, designers, artists, admins, PR specialists, customer service officers, social media coordinators, translators, teachers, recruiters, and hundreds of other positions are being contracted out to freelancers, or being filled by remote employees.
Freelancing is one of, if not the best way to start shifting your career towards location independence. You’ll work on all sorts of different projects, get a behind the scenes look at a variety of different marketing departments, and expand your network rapidly.
All you need is a starting point. For me, it was the WiFi Tribe. This community is serious af about work/life balance. I learned more in the past year about freelancing, marketing, business operations, travel hacking, financial planning, and how to have the most fun possible in a self-created 3 day weekend than any university could teach me.
The average graduate degree costs $30,000 to $120,000 in the United States.
I spent $3,500 dollars (that I would have already spent on rent, utilities, and transportation) on WiFi Tribe chapters and saw a 182.20% ROI in 11 months.
In that time I’ve also been to the desert for the first time, played with alpacas at Macchu Picchu, sipped top-shelf Mezcal in Mexico City, stayed in 12 bedroom villas, traveled to an island of dead dolls, fallen in love, climbed Rainbow Mountain, and learned how to identify banana and coconut trees while floating down a river in the jungles of Colombia.
And that’s while I’ve been writing 6,000+ words/week.
I’ve never been more fulfilled, productive, inspired, and happy in my life.
Becoming location independent takes a bit of hard work and a big leap of faith.
The WiFi tribe is waiting for you with open arms.