Remote work offers freedom and autonomy to decide

Remote Work Stories
28 May, 2022

Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is Kristie Sullivan and I'm originally from the US. Last year, I launched the Executive Remote Worker community and continue to build and grow it while traveling the world on a full-time basis.

What’s your profession, what do you do?

Through the Executive Remote Worker community, I help corporate executives fulfill their dreams of travel without sacrificing their careers or waiting until retirement.

What company do you work for? Are you a freelancer or Digital Nomad?

I created and run my own business: the Executive Remote Worker.

How did you start with a remote work journey?

In mid-2020, I put my belongings in a storage unit and left my 20+ year career in corporate accounting/finance to chase my dreams of travel and to check out the options for other corporate executives who want to fulfill their travel dreams without sacrificing their careers or waiting for retirement. I didn't have much of a plan except to take a "career sabbatical" of at least 1 year.

During the year or so leading up to my departure from corporate America, I made some significant and very intentional lifestyle changes. I focused my energy on growing my savings account so I didn't *have* to work while traveling.

What do you think are the main benefits of working remotely?

I believe remote working yields so many benefits. When you can work from anywhere, you have freedom and autonomy to decide where and when you work best. This is the recipe for happy, healthy, and productive employees. It also enables a lifestyle for people to fulfill their dreams of travel while also maintaining their successful corporate careers.

Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?

The beauty of remote work is that it's not a one-size-fits-all proposition. When we have freedom of when and where we work, we have the ability to design the lifestyle we want. As such, we get to include the things we value most and exclude the things we don't want in our lives.

From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favourite countries or cities to work from?

Over the past couple years, I've been blessed to travel and work remotely from Belgrade, Serbia, Kotor, Montenegro, Budapest, Hungary and several different places in Croatia, Italy, Mexico, and of course the US.

I've had a lot of great remote working experiences but my favorite was last summer when I spent a week aboard a 55' sailing yacht with 5 other members of the Executive Remote Worker community. Nick and Mahina Hathaway from 45 Degrees Sailing took the 6 of us island-hopping along the coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea and ensured we were able to seamlessly work remotely from the sailboat!

From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, co-working spaces, coffee shops, or others?

I typically work from the vacation rental in whatever city I happen to be in. However, depending on the type of work I need to do, you might also find me working from a coffee shop or other energizing space.

I try to work outside in the sun whenever possible but only if I can manage the glare and such on my laptop! :)

What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?

There are SO many places I want to check out for remote working but place I'm particularly interested in checking out are (in no particular order): Krakow, Poland, Prague, Czechia, Ksamil, Albania, Medellin, Colombia, and Lima, Peru.  

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!

One of the biggest challenges my partner and I have is staying accountable and productive while we're working remotely in a new city. We figured out this daily routine works really well for us (vices notwithstanding):

Each morning, we spend 10-15 minutes with a cup of coffee discussing the top 3 things we want to accomplish for the day. At the end of each day, we spend 10-15 minutes with a glass of wine (or shot of tequila when we're in Mexico) recapping what we accomplished that day.

What tools do you use to improve productivity and manage work efficiently?

For me right now, I pretty much just leverage Zoom, Microsoft Office, and various apps on my phone like WhatsApp, Uber, Dropbox, NordVPN, etc.

How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?

I manage my own banking, financing, and bookkeeping for my business but outsource legaI and taxes (even though I'm a former CPA).

What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely?

Life is SO short so chase after your dreams like your pants are on fire!

Would you like to share any interesting stories while you worked remotely? Please share if you can.

The COVID pandemic has proved to everyone that remote working WORKS! It's time we all recognize that and take full advantage of this change!

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