A woman who felt like her life was passing her by while living alone throughout lockdown has revealed how she now travels the world while working thanks to a fully remote job.
Kendra Okereke, 29, who lives in Los Angeles, works 43 hours a week as a full-time talent producer in addition to hosting a podcast and creating travel content for social media.
However she does it all from locations like Mexico, Ireland and Denmark after deciding to quit her partially office based job in favor of one that offers complete flexibility, allowing her to log in from anywhere in the world for as long as she likes.
Kendra spends around five to 14 days at each destination, but there is no time limit if she feels that she’s getting her money’s worth.
In 2021, she had a stint in Mexico in May, an eight-day stay in London in November and 12 days traveling around Denmark, Finland and Estonia for Christmas. She has just returned home from nine days in Ireland.
Kendra Okereke, 29, who lives in Los Angeles, revealed how she is able to travel the world while working full-time. Pictured: Kendra in Tulum, Mexico
Kendra said she decided to get a fully remote job after lockdown influenced her decision to priorities travel. Pictured: Kendra in Copenhagen, Denmark
Kendra said Americans don’t get many vacation days and there’s a fear of missing something important at work when you take time off. Pictured: Kendra in Estonia
She said anyone hoping to live a similar lifestyle needs plenty of commitment and careful planning as you will be out of your comfort zone and unexpected issues such as problems with internet connectivity can arise.
Kendra said: ‘Traveling is a priority for me at this juncture in my life. I recently left my job of over three years for a new opportunity because I’d like the life I’m living to reflect my current priorities.
‘My previous employer had us doing a hybrid work model where we do three days in the office and two days at home. Because traveling is such a big part of my heart, I wasn’t super keen on the idea of going back into the office. I wanted a job that was fully remote so that I can work from anywhere.
‘I like the freedom it grants me and I love the idea of carrying my creativity out of the place I know and into the world. It was hard leaving a job that shaped me so much, but I’m excited for this new venture and I’m positive it will be worth it.
‘I felt like I was watching my life pass me by while we were in lockdown. It was so hard for me because I live alone.
‘I’m an incredibly extroverted person and I love to be around people, so going through a global pandemic completely alone was not ideal in any sense.’
Kendra revealed that she wakes up early to work on her podcast and spends her lunch break working on TikTok. Pictured: Kendra in Tulum, Mexico
Kendra said travelling has helped to diversify her mind and therefore improved her job performance. Pictured: Kendra in Helsinki, Finland
Once lockdown lifted, Kendra set about going on trips she had already planned in her head. She said this way of living also allows her to travel within the 10 days of annual leave usually given to US employees.
She continued: ‘So when the opportunity presented itself for remote work, I jumped on it. You’re telling me I can work from anywhere as long as I keep company hours and can attend the occasional Zoom call? Sign me up.’
Kendra saves money while traveling by living in hostels and always brings a portable charging bank with her.
‘The best investment I ever made was in a good portable charger. It saved my life while I was camping in the desert for five days in Mongolia,’ Kendra said.
‘I was able to not only charge all my devices (cell phone, iPod, computer), but the devices of two other people as well. An outlet converter is also a must, as well as an outlet splitter and multi-USB port. This allows me to have multiple devices plugged in at once.
Kendra said a good portable charger has been the best investment that she’s made since travelling. Pictured: Kendra in London
‘I always make sure my phone is updated with the most recent OS and that my personal hotspot is set up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. I also like the idea of having multiples of the same charger in case one gives out or you happen to be working next to a cute guy at a café and he’s forgotten his charger.’
Kendra always does her research to make sure hostels have co-working spaces or other places for her to work. Otherwise she plumps for a quiet private room.
Just like in a regular work day, Kendra makes sure her ‘work from anywhere’ days are tightly schedules.
She said: ‘A typical day for me usually starts with emails and meetings in the first half of the morning. The second half is spent doing outreach to find people to feature in the videos we’re producing.
‘Once lunch hits, I usually take 30 min to eat and then 30 min to make a TikTok video. After lunch, I continue doing outreach and check in with the team I’m working with to see what else we need to solidify before a shoot.
Kendra said she researches hostels ahead of her trip to ensure they have the facilities she needs for working. Pictured: Kendra in Copenhagen, Denmark
Kendra admitted that it’s difficult to save while travelling because she often buys memorabilia. Pictured: Kendra in Ireland
‘I also host a podcast called The Rom-Com Room so I’ll wake up early to record for an episode of that for an hour one day a week. In the evenings, I’ll either make another TikTok video or go explore the city I’m in.
‘I actually think traveling has improved my working ability. I love people. I love being around people and learning all the intricacies of a person. Working in casting and with talent, you have to be a people person.
‘By travelling, I am able to engage, learn and hear stories from a variety of people who have vastly different beliefs, opinions and identities.
‘The more diverse the people are that you get to know, the more diverse your mind becomes and the better you are at engaging with others who are different to you. So I really think traveling has made me better equipped to perform my job well.’
Kendra is also currently working with Hostelworld, which has found an overwhelming demand among employees for businesses to adopt ‘Work From Anywhere’ (WFA) policies, while calling the standard practice of ‘Work From Home’ (WFH) outdated.
A survey conducted by Hostelworld found 57 per cent of people would like to work from another country as much as they want each year, while worker happiness would double with WFA policies.
Jody Jordan, Chief People Officer at Hostelworld, says: ‘Younger people feel particularly disconnected and lonely after spending two years working from home.
‘They want to explore, connect, meet new people, and still do the work they love and advance in their career. 57 per cent of our customers say they have worked whilst travelling, so it’s important that as employers we adapt to changing times to attract young talent.
‘We’re proposing a definition for ‘WFA’ as we want to highlight that flexible working can be done in a mix of locations, not just at home. Remote workers say they’re three times more creative when not WFH, so the impact WFA could have on our future workforce’s productivity could be significant.’
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