Vanessa Kennedy

Vanessa Kennedy 

Director, Hera Beauty Ltd.

IRELAND
 

Vanessa 01 Sierras, Cordoba.jpg

Why did you decide to come on Remote Year?

I was craving a change. I had got into such a comfortable routine at home and found I was no longer taking on new challenges or forming new relationships. Remote Year sounded like just what I needed to shake things up and it has done exactly that (in a good way).
 

What are you working on for the year?

I am working on developing our business, Hera Beauty, which manufactures private label natural skincare products. We actually bought the business while I was on Remote Year. This may seem an odd move for a remote worker to take on a manufacturing business but the circumstances and opportunity felt right and I made the leap of faith. It has been an exciting and challenging venture and travelling with my Remote Year cohort of entrepreneurs, developers, and marketing experts has certainly come in handy.

How did you find yourself a remote role?

I created one. I quit my job in the corporate world just before leaving to go on Remote Year and I have since bought the Hera Beauty business with my brother. It took a bit of effort to convince my sibling that our set-up would work, with him managing the manufacturing on site in England while I gallivant around the world – but it has worked out remarkably well, if I do say so myself. We definitely seem to be much more civil to each other on the phone than we would be in person, so I think the distance really helps.
 

What would you say to others looking to bring travel into their lives?

Do it! Take the opportunity to travel whenever you can. And don’t plan too much - having an open schedule can lead to the best experiences that you would never have imagined. Experiencing new people, new landscapes, new cultures and new lifestyles really broadens your perspective and makes you less likely to sweat the small stuff. And it means that when you do finally return home and climb into your own Goldilocks bed with your own perfect puffy pillow, you will appreciate it all the more.

Who do you hope to be by the end of Remote Year?

A successful, inspiring entrepreneur.

I’ve only 4 weeks left, I better get a move on….
 

What book should everyone read?

Franny and Zooey, by JD Salinger
 

Your favorite digital nomad hack?

This hack has no digital connection, but my advice is to have lots of pants when travelling (and for the sake of my US readers, I mean knickers). Washing can be a bit of a pain and running out of pants dictates when I have to do my next round of washing. They really aren’t that hard to find in other countries though, so you can always pick some up if you find you’re short.

Also, I love my USB headset. This greatly improves the quality of my VoIP calls.

Describe your Remote Year experience in 3 words.

Refreshing, Energising, Inspiring
 

Describe your perfect day.

Waking up to no alarm, having breakfast on a sunny balcony, working on a new idea for my business, getting out into the countryside for some adrenaline-fuelled activity and then rounding off the day with a laid back dinner with friends (and wine). And if this day ended up slipping into the next while I am dancing to some foreign beat on a tiny dancefloor in a quirky bodega, then that would be no bad thing.

What is the most challenging part of being a digital nomad?

Arriving in a new place always has its challenges. Working out where the rubbish goes, getting signed up to a gym, understanding what neighbourhoods to avoid, discovering if anywhere in the city sells peanut butter. These things take a bit of time to work out so it can take a day or two to settle in.
 

What is the best part about being a digital nomad?

I love the fact that I do not fall into a routine. Each day has an unfamiliarity about it which keeps me energised and this has a positive impact on my work. I tend to be more creative and motivated when I’m on the road which means I get a lot more out of my day.

I still chuckle when I’m referred to as a ‘digital nomad’. It sounds like a title that should be reserved for someone a lot more technical than I am.  Plus, I’m quite an unusual one as I don’t have an Instagram account, I don’t have a blog and I never really post on Facebook. So if you’d like to follow along on my travels, ask me nicely and I might send you the occasional postcard.
 

Your favorite quote / words to live by?

“Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes”  Benjamin Franklin