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Interview With ‘Location Independent’ Travel Writer Victoria Brewood

Welcome to the 21st of the weekly interview series where I will speak a wide range of people who have embraced the working remotely opportunity. We will speak to entrepreneurs, business owners, large organisation workers and freelancers about their trials and tribulations when delving into remote working.

This week I am delighted to have been given the chance to interview location independent travel writer Victoria Brewood. If you are not familiar with Victoria then she is known within the travel industry for her superb travel blog Pommie Travels. The blog follows her travels around the world, educating the masses on the great things she see’s and experiences while travelling.

Pommie Travels success has now led to Victoria’s great work featured on the BBC, Lonely Planets and Forbes Travel to name a few. Not bad accolades hey? Due to her success and qualities within the travel writing sector Victoria now classifies herself as ‘location independent’, travelling the planet writing for a living.  Victoria’s words are simple ‘Don’t do a job because you have to, do a job because you want to’

It’s fair to say that Victoria has taken this on board and well and truly practices what she preaches. Enjoy the interview. I did.

Q: Hi Victoria  tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where do you live now?

I’m originally from Manchester but I now travel around the world as a full-time travel blogger. After graduating from the University of Leeds in 2008, I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I decided to go backpacking in the hope that I would figure out my next move. I haven’t stopped traveling since. I set up a travel blog, and it actually became my business. For a while I lived in Bali and then Portugal, but I now spend about 80% of my year on the road exploring new countries, and the other 20% in Manchester.

Q: What company do you work for and what is your role within the organisation?

I have my main travel blog Pommie Travels, and a few other travel websites. I do all the roles; I’m the writer, the photographer, the marketing person, the PR person, the social media person…everything rolled into one.

Q: How do you deal with stereotypes from friends in regards to productivity when working from home?  i.e.: Sleep until midday, 2 hour lunch breaks etc.

I don’t do mornings and I fit those stereotypes, but it doesn’t mean I don’t work hard! The reason I became a digital nomad was so that I could have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. It doesn’t mean I’m not productive; I just manage my time differently. There are no set hours for me, so I might wake up late but work very late at night. My friends always say they wish they could travel like I do, but I actually put a lot of hours into it.

Q: What is the most challenging part about working remotely and how do you overcome this?

The most challenging part is balancing travel and work. It’s really frustrating when I arrive in a beautiful place and all I want to do is just hit the beach or go sightseeing, but I know I have urgent emails to respond to. I overcome this simply with self-discipline. I do work for a few hours each day, then spend the rest of the day exploring. Internet access is also another big challenge- if I can’t access Wi-Fi I have to run around until I find a place that does have it!

Q: What are the main positives around your wandering Nomad style working environment?

Without a doubt the main positive is the freedom it gives me. I mean this year alone I’ve been to 12 different countries and I’m about to head off to Southeast Asia visiting Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar/Burma. I’ve met some fantastic people, made some great memories, and I’m seeing the world!

Q: Are you an advocate of work/life balance and how do you try and balance both?

Of course. It’s so important to have a good balance. While everyone has to make money somehow, life isn’t all about work! I did not want to become one of those people that plans to do all their travel when they retire. I read a really good quote recently “The most dangerous risk of all-the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

Life is my priority.  I make enough money so that I can see the world while I’m young, tick off all the things on my bucket list and live life to the fullest. I also chose a job that I love doing, so it doesn’t feel like work anyway. I’m my own boss and I enjoy coming up with new ideas!

Q: What’s a typical day for Victoria? Realistically….start to finish.

Each day is very different from the next for me, so there is no typical day.  I mean some days are travel days so I might spend my time getting on and off buses, taking night trains or sleeping in airports…not very glamorous! All that is so worth it though when you get to do some of the activities I’ve done- from watching sunrise from a hot air balloon over Florida, to skydiving out of a plane in Belgium, swimming with sea lions in Australia and riding a camel through the Sahara Desert at sunset.

When I’m taking a break from travel I come back to Manchester and become a bit of a hermit working on my computer. That’s when I really get down to business and start new creative projects, so I will often spend all day in front of my laptop.

Q: What has been your favourite office space on your travels & why?

My favourite office space was when I lived in Bali, Indonesia. I shared a villa with a Canadian girl in Changgu for a while and my room overlooked a rice field so I would wake up to the sound of farm animals and geckos.

Q: Any pictures of your office space?

Victoria Brewood Office Space

View from Victoria’s office space in Bali…..Nice.

Q: Do you have any productivity tools you use to keep yourself efficient which may help our readers?

To be quite honest, I don’t use any productivity tools. I do try to pre-schedule posts on my Facebook page and the odd Tweet. I also schedule a week’s worth of blog posts in advance so that if I’m busy travelling, the blog doesn’t suffer.

Q: If you could give any advice to our readers before deciding whether remote working is for them then what would it be?

Firstly ask yourself whether you would have enough self-discipline to work remotely, or would you get distracted easily? Secondly, would you miss the social interaction of working in an office? If so, it might not be for you.

Q: Do you believe more organisations should allow those with web based roles to work remotely? If so..how come?

Yes I do. As long as the work is being done and you trust the person to do a good job, then why shouldn’t you let them work remotely? Often it’s simply not necessary to be present in an office for 8 hours per day when the work can all be done online.  Having one less body in the office can save on things like utility costs and insurance too. If you need to chat face-to-face, there’s always Skype! The way I look at it, a person is likely to be more productive if they aren’t wasting time commuting to work. It’s simply not necessary to drag a task out so that it fits into the hours between 9 and 5.

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.

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