When I decided to quit my day job and sail away, I had no idea that there were forward-thinking companies, like Croud, which allowed and encouraged digital nomads to travel whilst working. Now I enjoy the benefits of getting work through my inbox and working on big campaigns, whilst sitting on my sailboat by a beautiful island.
Life before Croud
I’ve never been good at staying put. After graduating with a degree in Journalism in Italy, I moved to London. Since then, I’ve spent my time between Bournemouth, London, and Manchester, moving houses often. Whilst searching for the perfect place to call home, I completed a master’s degree in Public Relations and worked my way up – from intern to content marketing manager. Small clients became big, and I ended up working on big brands such as Currys, Merlin Entertainments, Millennium Hotels, Rekorderlig, and Nespresso.
No matter how great each place I lived was, I was always looking to escape at the weekend, and go on holiday. My boyfriend Ryan and I spent our free time rock climbing, diving, and hiking. Each spell of annual leave was carefully planned to fit the maximum amount of outdoor activities and far-flung locations into our busy schedules.
We have a wanderlust problem.
The more hours I spent at the office, the more I wished I was a digital nomad. While I loved my work, I wished I could work whilst travelling. So in June 2016 I convinced Ryan we should become location-independent. We investigated cheap ways to travel and see the world, and discovered that travelling by sailboat would be cheap, fun, and eco-friendly.
We spent a year planning and preparing for a new life on the water. In May 2017, we moved onto our 26ft sailing catamaran and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Since then, we’ve sailed through The Isles of Scilly, The English Channel, Brittany and its stunning tropical-looking islands, the cute towns of the Basque country, Portugal, Gibraltar, and the famous Costa del Sol.
We’re currently sat in our saloon, typing away on our laptops in front of a stunning sandbar by the island of Formentera, south of Ibiza. When I finish work, I will go for a swim and a stroll on the beach. Tomorrow we’ll move the boat in search of more clear waters.
How I work from a sailboat
Initially, I found work the traditional way – cold calling, LinkedIn groups, pitching to new clients, and being recommended for work by old workmates and friends. I still do this occasionally, however it can be hard to find new clients over and over again.
We also make some income by writing for sailing magazines and by documenting our travels on our YouTube channel, Sailing Kittiwake.
Our work lives are dependent on internet access, which we achieve through our EU Roaming mobile phone data contracts. Everywhere we’ve been we’ve had access to the 3G and 4G networks, except when we’re sailing far from shore.
How I ended up on the Croudie Network
Just as I finished working on a big freelance project, the people at Croud contacted me and invited me to join the Croudie Network. Since then, I feel like I’m living the freelancer’s dream.
I receive work through my inbox, and I can accept and decline each task based on my availability. All the work is fun and suitable to my experience. I get to work on big clients and campaigns, even though I can’t make a meeting in London.
The Best bit?
I set my own hourly rate, based on my experience and location (living in Spain or Italy is cheaper than London!) I think the concept of the network is amazing. This is the future.