Productivity

How to make the world your workplace

Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

How a new wave of young professionals are finding a way to live and work from every continent of the world.

“Gypsy and jet set just seemed to fit so perfectly with what I was doing. It’s not just about travel, it’s about the kind of lifestyle you choose: a little bit bohemian, very entrepreneurial, very creative,” she says.

Woman on beach with laptop

Vienda, 33, is a life coach, blogger and creative consultant, and has been tactical enough to spend the last decade working out of her suitcase as she explores the world.

“I have quite an organic way of travelling and living my life. It’s not so much about flashy hotels, it’s about experiencing the culture and travelling slowly,” she says.

“I usually spend a good few months in each place, but I don’t live like a pauper, I live in apartments wherever I go.”

Vienda studied psychology at The University of Sydney, and then travelled extensively working for music festivals as an artist manager. She loved the travelling lifestyle but after five years sought a new challenge, and created a job for herself as a life coach that she could do from anywhere.

Her business is an important part of her feeling settled wherever she sets her feet.

“I have to show up every day and work, and that’s consistent. It’s familiar to me and I still have a morning routine. I still have to do things.”

My clients … want more freedom, they want to travel and have some kind of work that supports them.

- Vienda Pihan, viendamarie.com

Vienda holds her appointments by phone or Skype, with around half of her clients based in Australia, and the others a mix from the US, United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. Most of her marketing is via social media and guest blogging.

“My clients are usually women, many have come from corporate environments and they’ve had enough. They want more freedom, they want to travel and have some kind of work that supports them. They are looking to me to guide them because they know I do it,” says Vienda.

And wherever she travels, she finds other creative and professional people who are enjoying their work life from the road.

“There are musicians, fashion designers, photographers, writers, and quite a few web designers. Recently I met an accountant who worked entirely online as he travelled,” she says.

Vienda's tips for setting up the gypsetter lifestyle:
  1. Build relationships with people with similar work interests in places you want to visit and work. It means that you can hit the ground running and have a network of awesome people no matter where you go.
  2. Instead of booking hotels, try renting for extended periods through Airbnb. It gives you a much more personal experience, as well as giving you the space to work and explore on your own terms.
  3. Be flexible. One of the most important things about living the gypset life is to be flexible. Realise you may need to change plans and jump on opportunities as they arise. Feel comfortable that the near future could be open-ended. I usually buy one-way tickets because you never really know what's going to happen next!
  4. Take an unlocked smartphone and/or iPad with you. Most countries have excellent and inexpensive 4G SIM cards, so when necessary, you can use them as your internet hotspot, no matter where you are.
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