What is your current role?
Editorial director for AOL/Huffington Post, Executive Digital Brand Editor for DanaHolmesMedia.com, and a daily contributor to Yahoo Beauty and Yahoo Style
What motivated you to join The Remote Experience?
I've been very fortunate to have a fruitful career in digital media for many major, national publications based in New York City. After many years in cubicles and offices, I decided to make a go of freelancing in February. I knew I would eventually travel while I worked, so when I discovered I could travel with The Remote Experience for 4 months, it seemed like the obvious route. My primary motivation was the opportunity to travel with a built-in group of friends — well, soon-to-be friends. I also love the idea of staying in each country for a full month, in apartments in less touristy areas, so I can immerse myself in the culture and feel at home rather than feel like a visitor.
Did you work remotely prior to joining The Remote Experience?
Yes, but from coffee shops in Manhattan. A far cry from what I'm doing now!
What do you expect to be the biggest hurdle during your trip?
There are a few hurdles. Missing my family and friends, for one. The comfort of sleeping in my own bed and among my own furniture and belongings. I'm big on decorating and nesting, curating a place that feels like home. So I do miss my "nest," but my wanderlust overrides all of that. Finally, striking a balance between my heavy workload and enjoying my experience abroad has been a challenge. I've already been reprimanded by an expat friend who warned me that I'd regret working too much while I'm traveling. Though I'm a worker bee, I've taken his words to heart. I don't want to miss the "experience" part of The Remote Experience!
Where were you based out of prior to starting this trip?
I lived in New York City.
Biggest thing you hope to learn during the four months?
Non-attachment. Giving up the comforts of home all of the things I'm attached to — objects, people, routines, long-held concepts. Many religions and philosophies regard this as a path toward emotional and mental freedom and enlightenment. So far it hasn't been as hard as I've anticipated. I'm a long way from enlightenment, but I'm definitely learning new ways to think about my life and the world around me.
I also hope to learn if this is just a temporary jaunt — a learning experience — or if I'm truly a nomad at heart.
Most of all, I want to learn to be a happier, lighter, freer person.
Country you are most excited to visit?
Italy, for sure — I'm half Italian. Although I'm very excited to return to Spain. I haven't been to Barcelona, but I've been to Madrid, and I loved it so much I wanted to live there for several years after.
Food you’ll miss the most from back home?
Oh, please. I expect the food in Europe to far surpass American food. Although I'll admit, embarrassingly, that I miss Starbucks coffee!
Top three travel essentials?
iPhone/laptop, comfortable yet stylish shoes, an open mind.