Global Brand Strategy Consultant and Founder, A Gilded Globe
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?
I was already planning on doing a solo trip around the world to start my business and source products from the countries we are visiting when a co-worker at Twitter suggested I look into Remote Year. It didn't take long for me to realize this was the perfect program to join. Not only was the Kublai itinerary nearly identical to the one I was already planning, but I was thrilled to join a community of like-minded individuals who were working as digital nomads.
DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS.
Community, Learning, Growth
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?
I am working on building my company, A Gilded Globe. I have always loved interior design and the idea of decorating your home, no matter where in the world that might be. In February, I kicked off the Gilded Globe blog which highlights my experience of 'home while on the road' through three lenses - Be, Adorn, and Gather which represent the spiritual home within, the physical home you are living in, and the home you find amongst friends while on the road. My goal by the end of the year is to launch an online store that sells goods that come from underserved female-led communities. I come from a background of strong Swedish women and want to support women and their needs. Women are the backbone of the world and are oftentimes the ones hustling to make ends meet while caring for their families and upholding the local traditions. I'd like to elevate women from around the world while sharing and preserving their crafts. I'm very much in the early stages of building out my business, so please reach out if you have any ideas or suggestions!
HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?
There's a saying that I love - Don't wait for opportunity. Create it. I've always loved traveling and have had the privilege of getting to travel to some incredible places for work - South Africa, Bali, India, France, and Russia. But it was never enough, and it wasn't on my terms. Thus, I created this remote role for myself. Initially, I considered keeping my role at Twitter, which was head of global brand activation. However, I've been wanting to start my own business since I graduated from my Haas MBA program at UC Berkeley but never had enough time or resources to do it. After weighing the pros and cons of leaving a successful career in tech, I decided to take a leap of faith and go out on my own. I see this as an investment in myself. If, by the end of the year, I don't see my company going where it needs to go I can always return to corporate marketing while having had the most incredible sabbatical ever.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?
Chase adventure - of all the books in the world, the best stories are found in between the pages of your passport. Traveling opens your eyes to people, places, and things you never knew existed. It helps shape you into the person you are meant to be and humbles you in a way that no other experience can.
WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?
I want to find my wild. I want to find that thing that lights my fire and inspires me to be the very best version of me. I love the Remote Year lifestyle and hope to figure out the best way to get paid for doing something I love while maintaining this ability to travel, be inspired by the amazing world we live in, and help give back to the incredible communities we are visiting.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
I typically wake up between 6:30-7:30am and meditate for 5-15 minutes to clear my mind. I then write 3 pages in my journal - stream of thought thinking, which is a practice I picked up after reading The Artist's Way. I then typically do a few exercises in my room for 30 minutes, based on exercise routines I've pinned in my Pinterest account. I try to write a blog post or work on my business idea in the mornings, and leave the afternoons free for exploration, product sourcing or connecting with people in Remote Year.
WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?
Both of my parents are from Sweden (though I essentially grew up in Los Angeles, CA). My mother was a flight attendant for Pan Am, and one of her work perks was being able to take the family on vacations for free. Every summer, my mother would take my brother, sister, and I to Stockholm, Sweden to live with her parents at their summer home in the outskirts of the city. To me, traveling has always equated to 'going home' in a way because we always traveled to see family. I love to spend time with other cultures and learning their traditions since I've never felt totally at home anywhere. When I'm in Sweden, I feel American. When I'm in America, I feel Swedish. It comes down to feeling like a global citizen of the world and realizing that across the world, we are more similar than different.
HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELING WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT WORK?
I'm hoping it will further inspire my business idea and allow me to make the connections I'm seeking to launch a successful company in the long run.
YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?
Set small goals for yourself - whether it be for the day, week, or month - and write them down. It helps give you structure and stay on task.
IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
This feels like a trick question! I am truly in awe of all of my fellow Remotes. At this point, however, I'd have to say Kathrin Peters. She is a true inspiration to me. We come from similar corporate backgrounds, have similar goals for the year, and her strength and independence inspire me to persevere and keep believing in myself. Plus, she's fun to be around, and we would figure out how to make the most of our time on a desolate island.
WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?
I envision living a similar lifestyle as I am today. I see myself running my own business, living across 2 continents - likely the U.S. and Europe, sitting in a vineyard at a long table having an incredible conversation with family and friends, laughing, and being surrounded by loved ones.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?
Not being able to hug my family and friends when I'm having a rough day or being able to do the same for them.
WHERE HAVE YOU PREVIOUSLY LIVED/TRAVELED TO?
In the U.S., I've lived in L.A., San Francisco, and Cincinnati. Outside of the U.S., I've lived in Sweden, Denmark, and Russia. Travels outside of these countries have included: Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Belize, India, Turkey, Maldives, Norway, France, Switzerland, Finland, UK, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa, Italy, Greece, UAE, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.
WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?
Love, Freedom, and Aloneness by Osho. It was the first book I read that perfectly encapsulates my philosophy on life, love, and finding happiness.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?
Having the freedom to set my daily agenda and make the world my home.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?
Painting and tarot card reading.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Empowering women. Don't ever let anybody tell you you're not strong, not good enough, not smart enough. You do you. Be the best version of yourself possible.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
It's exactly what I'm doing now on Remote Year. Waking up, meditating and journaling, working in the morning, and making connections, meeting with people in the afternoon over a shared coffee, meal, or drink.
WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU HAVE MET WHILE BEING ON THE ROAD?
Mahendra Shah - the owner of Zen Resort in Bali. He is not only a visionary leader but a gifted healer who changed my life.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?
Stockholm, Sweden - it's the most beautiful place on earth where my extended family lives (I'm a bit biased!).
3 THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?
My Kindle, MacBook Air, and Nikon 1 J4 Camera.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/ WORDS TO LIVE BY?
Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Don't live the same year 75 times and call it life. You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding.