Remote Profile: Stephanie Walden

STEPHANIE WALDEN

CONTENT STRATEGiST, MASHABLE

USA


WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR? 

I've always wanted to travel but I never felt that my lifestyle -- complete with work, financial responsibilities, and family obligations, etc. -- was conducive to it. This program allows me to travel with a steady paycheck in a community of like-minded professionals, and gives me peace of mind when it comes to planning out most of the logistics. I’m able to focus my brainpower on work and side travel, instead of worrying about the hundreds of details involved in living abroad. 

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

I'm keeping my full-time role with the company for which I’ve been working for the past two years, Mashable. During my time abroad, in addition to my normal duties as a Content Strategist on the Mashable Studios (Branded Content) team, I will also be writing editorially about my experiences abroad. The course of my typical day is spent writing, interviewing sources, on calls with my team and with clients, and planning logistics for whatever content/series/articles I’m managing at the time. 

Time zones, at times, make the hands-on nature of my job a bit challenging, but I’ve been fortunate that my team and my boss have supported me in working out ways to make it work. 

In my spare time, I’m dedicating this year to trying new things, and also trying to focus on more creative, personal writing pursuits. 

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

I was able to convince my employer to let me turn my role into a fully remote position, though it’s not intended to be one. I’ve been lucky to have the support of my friends and colleagues along the way.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORK INSPIRES YOU?

The pride and reward that comes along with completing something challenging.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS SO FAR?

Being able to pick up and start a completely new life three times: The first, when I left for college; the second, when I left my comfort zone in Miami after seven years to accept an internship in NYC; the third, when I embarked upon my current adventure with Remote Year. I’ve gained so much life experience and wisdom from every one of these major shifts. 
 


WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

In college, I spent a summer traveling around the Mediterranean on a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. I went to eight countries in three months, saw the pyramids at sunrise, went cliff diving in Croatia, experienced my first nude beach in Bulgaria, and danced the night away in Barcelona. Needless to say, I was immediately hooked for life. 

 

WHAT'S THE MOST FORTUITOUS OR LUCKY EXPERIENCE YOU'VE HAD WHILE TRAVELING?

I’m not sure if luck has had much to do with it, but I have definitely been fortunate to find amazing people with whom to share my travel experiences. I’m beyond grateful for the diverse community I've been part of this year.

 

WHERE'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

I think both Istanbul, Turkey and Buenos Aires, Argentina are incredibly diverse and stimulating. Japan is also completely wild, though quite a bit of a culture shock for Westerners. In the U.S., I’m completely enamored with Lake Tahoe, CA.

 

WHO'S THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET WHILE TRAVELING? 

I had a professor on Semester at Sea who changed my worldview (in a class called 'Theatre for Social Change'). She made us all call her Sybil. Though I haven't kept in touch with her over the years, I still feel very much connected to the lessons she instilled in us over the course of the class. She's the closest thing I've ever met to a truly free spirit.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Stop making excuses and just go.

 

YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

"Go out into the world and fuck it up beautifully." John Waters said this to the RISD graduating class of 2015 and it's now my life mantra.


WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ? 

It’s not a book, but I recommend EVERYONE read the ‘Wait But Why’ article by Tim Urban on artificial intelligence. It’s a lengthy read for what is tantamount to a glorified blog post, but it’s extremely well written and poses some intriguing — and terrifying — questions about the future of modern technology. Allow two hours for the read and then 24 for the existential meltdown that will inevitably ensue.

 

WHAT FILM SHOULD EVERYONE SEE? 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 

IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE? 

I’d like to meet my grandfather on my mother’s side. He died when I was quite young, and I’ve only ever heard very inspiring things about his life and career.

 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE A KNACK FOR?

Words. 

 

WHAT dish do you cook most often?

Eggs. In any form.

 

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE THAT NOBODY ELSE BELIEVES?

There is no spoon.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Trying something new, or seeing something amazing in a part of the world I’ve never before explored. Maybe something adventurous or active during the day, followed by dinner in an exotic or unique setting, surrounded by close friends and quality vino. Variety is the spice of life, and balance is key for me to feel truly at peace. 

 

KEEP UP WITH STEPHANIE ON INSTAGRAM, AND TWITTER