If I could describe a picture perfect example of a digital nomad, Anca would be that person. Running a successful business, traveling the world, taking lots of beach pictures – she meets all of the criteria. She just gets it and, fortunately, she was happy to share her advice with all of us.
“I believe in living a happy life, whatever the thing is that makes you happy. And I also believe that if each of us can help one single person to pursue happiness, this world would be a better place.”
Q1. What are you working on right now that you love and makes you happy?
This question is becoming a bit harder to answer than it used to be a few years ago when I could’ve described myself as a Social Media Manager in love with travel and advertising.
These days I am dedicating my time to growth. I am still doing social media strategy and I continue to blog about the digital nomad lifestyle on OFFice To Travel. But the project that I most proud of right now is The Smmile (The Social Media Mile), a marketing agency that I founded, entirely made up of digital nomads.
Q2. So, just a few things on your plate. Were you always an entrepreneur, or did you have a ‘normal’ job at some point?
I’ve been a full-time employee, as many others who’ve decided to go on their own and escape the 9-5 (or even 10 – 10). I honestly didn’t hate my jobs nor my bosses. In fact, I loved working first as a Journalist and later as Copywriter and Social Media Manager, but I needed more freedom and I felt like something was missing.
I remember when I was about 20 or 21 and was writing in my “success notebook,” trying to find my sweet spot – a good mix between what I love doing and what people would actually pay me for. I made mistakes, but when I found it, it felt amazing; like I finally realized how to combine my love for traveling with my love of social media.
When I quit my job, I took it step-by-step. First, as a freelancer, then, a consultant. Now, I am in between the last one and entrepreneur. As the time goes by, I am sure I will have to commit to building a great team and to let them take the lead.
I am open to change, welcoming new opportunities and ideas that will take me to the next chapter. When I was 20 – like most young people – I wanted to know “now” what I’d do for the rest of my life. We can always change that and do other things that make us happy. Don’t rush, take your time, explore and enjoy life.
Q7: For me, it was traveling to Paris that changed the way I think about everything – where was your place?
The true experience that changed my life and made me acknowledge my love for travel, was back in 2007 when I went to the US for a few months. It was there that I decided I would love to work from different places. At that point, I was mostly thinking about getting seasonal jobs during summer, little did I know that a few years later I would find an even better way to travel and work.
Q3. How are you using OFFice To Travel to empower others to find their bliss and live the life of their dreams?
It really started as a way of replying to the questions I was receiving from friends and friends of friends who were trying to figure out if they could do it too – or maybe they were just curious, I don’t know. But I realized that there were probably others interested in the subject, too.
My goal there is to help people who want to adopt this life, but don’t know how or where to start. I share what I wish I would’ve known when I was just beginning. I am not a guru, I have so many things to learn still. So, I am just trying to be genuine every time and share only what I think I would read or find useful.
Q4. And The Smmile – your remote agency – that is such a great idea! What was your inspiration behind that (and where do I sign up)?
I recently turned 30, and one of the things I promised myself I would do is give something back to the world. I believe that once you give, life will repay you in a way or another. And, I wanted to make this a win-win-win for everyone:
The clients will be able to have their pick from top professionals all over the world who specialize in exactly what they need. Pluse, they get great prices due to location-independent work, which doesn’t require office costs.
The members and freelancers can work from anywhere – and not have to hide the fact that they are traveling from clients. They can be proud of it, and focus on doing what they do best – without having to look for gigs. I hope that we’ll have a great online community where they’ll feel like a team, too.
For me, I could lead one of the companies who are pioneering this belief in working from wherever makes you happy, focusing on getting results not clocking hours. I believe happy people work better and faster.
I’m actually recruiting righ now, so you can fill in the form.
Q5. Share the most valuable piece of advice you have for people who are dreaming about more travel in their life? How can they take the first step?
First of all, I don’t believe in the saying: “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
You will still have days when you don’t want to work or you will have to struggle to succeed, but you’ll also have days when you will love your life (and job) more than anything.
Another saying in which I don’t believe is: “book a ticket and just leave.”
Maybe I am just the planning type, or maybe I’ve made enough mistakes to understand why you shouldn’t do that.
Ok, so those were two things NOT to do – haha. To sum it up, I would do some research, read about other nomads’ experiences, save enough money to cover a few months (just in case the plan won’t work out as expected) and start freelancing while having a full-time job. It’s a great way to experience how to get new clients, work like crazy (it will happen when you are a nomad, too) and save money. This way, you will have some savings and understand what kind of work you want, what you don’t want to do, and how much to ask for your time.
I would also recommend joining a workation, nomad cruise or a hub. You will learn faster and won’t feel lonely in your adventure as a digital nomad.
Otherwise, you could follow Tim Ferriss‘ advice, convince your boss to let you work remotely, find flight deals and set out.
Be sure to connect with Anca online and ask her any of your burning questions about being a nomad, and – if you happen to find yourself in Romania – join her Digital Nomads in Romania Facebook group.