March 1, 2017
best of both worlds
It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to visit 12 countries in 12 months, let alone while being paid! But thanks to the benefits of modern technology and forward thinking employers, Naomi Fenn is doing just that. We chat with the local designer from What The Fox Creative, Maroochydore about how she turned her dream into reality.
Imagine travelling to a different country each month, experiencing new cultures, sights, tastes smells and sounds, all while continuing to work your nine-to-five day job?
Sounds like a dream right, but that’s exactly what graphic designer Naomi Fenn will be doing as she jets off at the beginning of this month on a year-long working trip-of-a-lifetime, thanks to Remote Year and her employer What the Fox Creative.
“As a graphic designer I had heard of other designers who were travelling and working from their laptops. It has always been my dream to combine my love of travel and design but I didn’t know the first step to take,” she says.
“It was literally a Facebook ad that came up in my feed for Remote Year that started the ball rolling. I sat on it for a couple of days before emailing them one morning before work and they invited me for an interview. I remember driving to work that day smiling the whole way because the possibility was just so awesome.
“I’ll admit it was a little daunting asking my employer Nita Childs to consider such a proposal but fortunately What the Fox is a very innovative company who really think outside the square, I feel very lucky.”
So what exactly is Remote Year?
“Remote Year brings together different professionals to spend a year working in 12 different international cities. One month in each location. They take care of all the logistics; coordinating all of my travel, accommodation, workspace, internet access and activities. Allowing me the freedom to just focus on work.
“I pay just one inclusive fee at the start of the month and that covers everything apart from my food and any extra travel I do.”
Having put together a detailed proposal for her employer, Naomi is quick to recall all of the benefits a remote worker can bring to a business, including being 13 per cent more healthy, productive and happy!
“As a creative, travelling overseas will also provide a fresh stream of inspiration for my design work and lots of stimulation. Remote workers also bring back new techniques they learn from meeting colleagues who work in the same industry.”
While visiting 12 European and South American countries throughout the year, Naomi will continue to work to Australian eastern standard time, allowing her to keep in touch with her colleagues through email and Skype throughout the day.
“I will be doing the same work as I do right here in Maroochydore. There is an eight-hour time difference so I will have to work around that, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.”
With only a couple of weeks before she departs for her first stop in Croatia, Naomi says she still can’t believe her dream has become reality.
As a creative, travelling overseas will also provide a fresh stream of inspiration for my design work and lots of stimulation. Remote workers also bring back new techniques they learn from meeting colleagues who work in the same industry.”
“I was at the GP recently getting all my vaccines and it hit me that I was actually going. It just seems so surreal, I’m waiting for someone to pinch me,” she says.
“When I told my parents they just couldn’t fathom it, and trying to explain it to my grandparents was pretty funny. It’s amazing how far we have come since their generation.”
So what advice does Naomi have for those considering working remotely?
“Do it. There is nothing stopping you. We all drive to an office and work from the internet, why not in a different country?
“I could have thought myself out of proposing it but I am so glad I did and so glad I have such supportive, forward-thinking employers.”
Bon voyage Naomi, we look forward to hearing all about your adventures!
Where the fox is Naomi
Look out for our special “Where the Fox is Naomi?” travel feature over the next 12 months where we go behind the scenes and discover Naomi’s real, raw and honest report on living and working overseas.