Christopher moved to San Francisco in 2005, in part because that was where he was going to college, but also because he wanted to be a part of the counter culture movement. Fast-forward 12 years, and he found himself watching the breathtaking and spectacular solar eclipse from the skyrise office of a tech company, where he was on the phone with a client after hours. It was right then and there that Christopher decided to take back control of his life, a first and deliberate step towards living life on his own terms for the first time in his adult life. He wanted to set his own schedule, work with people he believed in, and have the freedom to pursue his interests on his own terms.
Once he had come to this realization, he began to seek advice from trusted advisors, friends, and colleagues. He also decided to use some long overdue vacation time to visit Maui. A place full of natural beauty and an abundance of healing energy, Christopher found himself daydreaming about starting over there, perhaps becoming a tour guide or waiter on the island. But after crunching the numbers and taking student loans into consideration, it quickly became apparent that he would have to rethink. The solution? Remote work.
He immediately made a profile on upwork.com, both as a business and freelancer, and started the process of building his reputation on the site. He was also using his free time to gain a deeper understanding of web development, marketing, and AWS services, as he noticed that those areas of expertise commanded a premium rate on UpWork.
Looking back on it now, he admits that taking the leap was difficult and daunting, as giving up the self-proclaimed mediocre life that he had unintentionally built for himself proved to be easier said than done. There is comfort in status quo, after all, and chasing a dream life that only exists in your own mind can be nerve wrecking.
These days, Christopher is an established digital nomad and works in SaaS Software Sales. He has created a life for himself with complete freedom, centered around the ideas that he dreamt about years ago, from setting his own schedule to traveling. In taking ownership of the life he wanted to live, he has seen unprecedented personal growth and an increased ability to hold himself accountable and remain productive for longer periods of time. He works harder, but follows his own compass and schedule, and still has more time over for exciting experiences outside of work, like pursing his true passion; saving the environment.
Outside of his traditional remote work, Christopher is working to eliminate single use plastics and waste. The added freedom that came with his nomadic lifestyle gave him the time to start mauibeachcleanup.com, which hosts beach cleanup parties. This is in addition to the Executive Board member role that he has with his local Surfrider Foundation chapter, mind you. There, in addition to beach cleanups, they also test ocean water, and aid legislative battles like the plastic bag ban and the styrofoam ban.
Despite now being a seasoned digital nomad, Christopher still gets excited every time he gets to a new city. From the disorientation that comes with exploring something unknown to the friends that you make along the way, he has learned to embrace it all and recommends the lifestyle wholeheartedly. If you can overcome that initial fear, he says, you could really build the perfect and most fulfilling life for yourself.
Ps: want to read more? Christopher recommends “What the Future” by Tim Riley, a book on why a remote, distributed workforce is the future, and why you should be one of the first ones to get to that future.