About

What Is The Wherever Writer?

The Wherever Writer is a travel and entrepreneurship blog, blending stories from my travels with practical advice from my remote business to help others live a location independent life. You can find posts in three categories: Travel, Business, and Stories.

Who Is the Wherever Writer?

The Short Story

Amy is a San Francisco-based writer and marketing consultant exploring the world while working from her laptop. At the age of 22, she quit her first–and last–desk job, started a location-independent business, and flew to South America for a three-week visit that turned into a nearly five-month stay. Since then, she has visited Machu Picchu twice, run across the world’s widest avenue in Buenos Aires, and eaten her fill of gourmet cheeses in Paris. Amy is passionate about empowering creatives to work remotely and inspiring everyone to dream again.

OpenBook2

The Novel

Let’s ditch the third-person perspective, shall we?

Where I grew up, people spoke “American.” I attended high school across from a cotton field in a town that celebrated an annual redneck parade (complete with John Deere tractors). From the day I was born until the day I drove off to college, I lived in the same house and had never even left the country (unless you count stopping for a few hours in Mexico on a cruise for my 18th birthday).

College was a turning point for me. Studying broadcast journalism and working for TV and radio stations brought me out of my shell. I got to do things like report live from a NASA shuttle launch and interview strangers on camera about rising gas prices (which got me kicked out of a gas station once!). I also went abroad for the first time, to Italy, Greece, Spain, and the Philippines. I was hooked on travel from there.

After college, while my peers were starting their first desk jobs, I was starting a cross-country road trip with my dad and sister, hauling a 21-foot travel trailer from Florida to Washington state. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life — so traveling seemed like a good idea. Out of that trip, this blog was born.

Amy on the road

As you can see, I was pretty excited to travel freely for weeks on end

Long road to the mountains in Nevada

When I got back from that trip, I got a job offer…in California. Another road trip. I packed up my car once more and drove for six days to move to a state where I knew no one for a job I thought would be a dream.

Six months later, I quit that job. I had read The 4-Hour Work Week and kept hearing about a growing group of “digital nomads” who worked from their laptops all over the world–I wanted in. Convinced that sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day was not for me and sensing there was more to life than work, I decided to start my own remote business and see the world.

Three months after making that decision, I was still in California. I was so broke I pawned my grandmother’s diamond ring just to make rent the next day.*

By 2014, I decided it was time to go all in and try this digital nomad thing out. I packed everything I needed into a 45-liter backpack and flew to Peru for a 10-day visit that turned into a nearly five-month stay.

Machu picchu

My second visit to Machu Picchu, with my friend Julieta! One of the many perks of living in Cusco is its close proximity to Machu Picchu

Living in Peru, where the cost of living was way lower than anywhere in the U.S., it was easy for me to coast by in my business. But I was tired of not being able to afford to live in my own country. It was either get my business act together…or get a desk job. That really kicked me into high gear. Within three months, I went from barely getting by on $1.5K of monthly income to reaching the $6.6K/month mark and being able to move to San Francisco.

Having learned from my own failures and successes, I now help others grow their remote freelance businesses and work from the road.

Traveling has opened my eyes. From living out of a suitcase, I learned I don’t need much to be happy. From meeting people with different viewpoints, I learned to love without judgment. From facing my fears, I learned that being brave doesn’t necessarily mean being unafraid.

It’s been one heck of a ride. I’ve gotten utterly lost in Rome; I’ve witnessed a mourning city come together in solidarity after the Paris terror attacks; I’ve been robbed; I’ve been kissed by strangers; and I’ve met some of my closest friends.

I’m not asking you to quit your job.

I’m not saying everyone should drop everything and travel.

But I am daring you to think beyond what you’ve always been told, to dive beneath the surface, to dream a little! 

You don’t have to be what the world expects. 

*A couple months later, I was able to buy my grandma’s ring back from the pawn shop. :) #happyending


Mission

Through quality storytelling and practical advice, The Wherever Writer inspires and empowers others to dream big, face their fears, and explore this crazy wonderful world.

Core Values

Authenticity

Keep it real.

I’m not here to make it sound like my life is perfect (spoiler alert: It’s not). I promise to always share with you my honest take on being a digital nomad, the good and the bad.

Freedom

It’s more than just being able to hop on a plane to anywhere or not having to wake up to an alarm clock (although, both are nice).

Freedom doesn’t mean doing whatever you want (that would mean you’re a slave to your passions) — it’s having the ability to make choices that are best for you. For me, that’s a life of location independence and travel.  For you, it might be something else–and that’s fine!

Adventure

Life is a gift–live it.

You don’t do anyone any favors by hiding away and living a life of mediocrity. Adventure can be found even in the little things. Look for it.

Courage

Courage isn’t being free from fear; it’s facing your fears.

When people hear or read about my solo travels to foreign countries, the first thing they often ask me is, “Weren’t you afraid??” Let me let you in on a little secret: I am always afraid — I just do it anyway. So even if you’re a big scaredy cat like me, the good news is you can still go on to do great things!

Meaningful connections

My travel philosophy is “people are more important than places.”

While Machu Picchu is cool and the Eiffel Tower was nice, I have always been more moved to travel to make meaningful connections with locals and expats and see the world through their eyes. My greatest travel “souvenirs” are the friends I still keep in touch with today. (BTW, I don’t buy souvenirs, unless it’s something I can eat.)

Storytelling

The world needs your story.

I’m a writer at heart, and I believe stories are powerful agents for change. That’s why I care more about personal, in-depth narratives on this blog rather than listicles and how-to posts. Have a story you’d like to share? Let’s talk.

Quality over quantity

If it’s not well written, useful, and/or inspiring, I will not publish it.

Bloggers are under a lot of pressure to constantly churn out content to keep their traffic up. But I decided long ago that I will not publish anything I’m not proud of, even if that means I go a few weeks without any new posts.

Humility

I ain’t all that.

I’m not better than you because I travel. I don’t look down upon those who hold desk jobs. I try not to take myself too seriously, and I reserve the right to exercise self-deprecating humor at every opportunity. :)


Places I’ve been

In North America

  • Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New York, Idaho, California, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Mexico

In South America

  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay

In Europe

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • England

In Asia

  • Philippines

Random facts about me (in case you haven’t had enough of me by now…)

I do not make a living travel blogging.

The first thing I ever wanted to be was an astronomer. (Hey, it was kindergarten, and they made me pick something.)

Hachette published one of my blog posts in a textbook for French students learning English (I consider it poetic justice for all those times I struggled with learning the French language!).

I am a HUGE animal lover. Invite me over to your house, and if you have a dog, I’m sorry, but I’m going to spend much more time with it than with you.

I wrote a book once.

I produced an album of my own songs once too.

I am a minimalist; I travel carry-on only and everything I own can fit in the trunk of a car.

Despite having hair past my hips, I haven’t owned or used a brush or comb since 2014 (funny, the things you can live without!).

I am Catholic, and I love it.

I wrote the original version of this page while riding in the backseat of my dad’s truck as he drove through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in 2012.

Wow! You read all the way to the bottom? I’m impressed.

One last thing: Every Sunday I send an email with travel tips, my latest posts, and a personal message. I’d love to have you on my list. Sign up here.

  • Raúl E. Fernández
    July 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    You’re wonderful Amy.

    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      YOU are wonderful. First comment on my blog. Too wonderful.

  • Larry Truong
    July 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Amy,
    We don’t talk much, but I saw the link to your new blog and had to check it out. I wanted to leave you a comment to let you know how great the website looks. I know you must’ve worked hard to get it launched. So I just wanted to say, keep up the awesome work, and I look forward to reading more about “The Wherever Writer.”

    P.S. I am currently working with our “President” Mara at Walt Disney World. :)

    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you, Larry! I’m honored you took the time to check it out. :)

  • Misa
    July 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    You’re too cool Amy!

    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Nonsense! Creative and attention-seeking, maybe, but not “cool.” :P Thanks, girl!

  • Kayla
    July 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I love you, this is awesome.

  • Abner
    November 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    hola. found you through lynne’s site. i love the look of it :) is there no where to hit follow though like traditional wordpresses – i can’t seem to locate the typical button for it.

    keep up the writing!

  • Ted
    March 10, 2013 at 3:35 am

    What is the song that you woke up to this morning?
    I like your “why you don’t buy souvenir” post. I was trying to find a caption for my picture that says something along the line of “souvenirs don’t last” and I stumble to ur post.
    I’m a grammar convict so I wouldn’t be suprise to be arrested by you. :)
    Anyways I enjoy reading your post and the about page and that’s why I need to comment to show my appreciation :)

    • Amy
      April 2, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Hm…the song I woke up to this morning was “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink (that song’s been stuck in my head for a few days). Thanks for telling me how you found my blog–I’m always curious how people stumble across this! I appreciate that you took the time to leave a comment. :)

    • Margaret Davidson
      April 3, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      That is funny. I was wondering the same thing just now.

  • Raf Kiss
    June 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Great to meet you.(on twitter today :) )
    A blog, playing guitar and eating too much chocolate are a few things we have in common…

    Let me know when you get to Rio de Janeiro.

    Cheers
    Raf

  • Cathy
    January 4, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Hi Amy! Found you via OLW BRAVE Pinterest
    board—love it that you’ve been to Arkansas! We’ve got
    a beautiful state here! And I love it that you’re a grammar
    nerd. Look forward to inspiration from you in 2014
    on how to be BRAVE!
    Kindly,
    Cathy in Little Rock

    • Amy
      February 27, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Cathy! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Here’s to more inspiration and bravery this year!

      Best,
      Amy

  • Dafra
    July 20, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Just stumbled upon your website while looking for Flight Fox reviews.
    We are planning a Spain trip, and your detailed explanation of your experience was hilarious but so helpful!

    Thank you.

  • Sebastian Tello
    December 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I really enjoy your style and the way you start this page by saying that people do not need to travel. I used to be in loved with travel and travelers (and maybe I still am, but a maybe I am a little more disenchanted), but as I grew older I met several so called “world-travelers” and realize that traveling might not change everyone, it may not teach people what I thought it was suppose to teach them, etc. In addition, I noticed that the people that were the most interesting in my travels where the ones who have never left the place I’ve visited, not necessarily by choice. Anyways, I could ramble more but agreed with that point.
    Also I would recommend counting “states” and departamentos, from each country instead of just the country, as you do in the U.S! I think it is a better way to count (you get more per country lol) but it is also an acknowledgement that within a country the regions are really different.
    Final comment: “Winter” and “Stay” Rock!! I kind of want to know more about what are the songs about, specially “Stay”, so maybe a future post you can talk about your songs. Nevertheless, I get it if they are too personal to share!

    Peace be with ya

  • Rob
    August 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hiya Amy – Thank you for your description of altitude issues in Cusco. (I came across your blog while searching for this subject) I suppose I would describe myself as a ‘seasoned traveler’ having been around the world a number of times now! I am going to Cusco as part of a six week trek, which includes the Inca Trail, the Amazon and ten days around Galapagos in November this year, but the bit that worries me a little is the altitude at Cusco and on the trail. Are you still out and about traveling? I am from Liverpool, England and I note that you have not been to the UK yet; any plans?! Keep up the good writing! Rob

  • Jay
    April 27, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Hi Amy,
    First and foremost thank you for your blog on Cusco – it helped me and friends that traveled there recently. Beautiful country and the friendliest people! I’m looking forward to reading your blogs every week. Hope you have some info on Japan because that’s where I plan to travel to this September. Stay as sweet as you are and thanks for sharing your world :-)

    • Amy
      July 13, 2016 at 12:02 am

      Hey Jay, thank you for your kind words! Cusco will always hold a very special place in my heart; I’m so glad you got to experience that place. :)

  • john
    July 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Hey Amy. I’m laughing with you and praying for you as I read your history above. I recently read about you in our Catholic Compass magazine here in Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese a few months ago. It featured your adventures. So cool. It was a great article. I’ve traveled a bit myself around this world and know well the thrill and anxiety (mostly thrill) of meeting new faces. I’m in Tallahassee now and blooming where I’m planted. Just got back from Myanmar and Laos last January. That thrill will last me a year until the next adventure. God speed to you and your business. That’s so awesome.

    • Amy
      July 13, 2016 at 12:00 am

      Hey John! Wow, thanks so much for commenting here. So cool that you saw that article. I really enjoyed being interviewed and reading the article that came out of it because it reminded me of who I am and what I want to do in life. It was really refreshing. Thank you for your prayers, and rest assured you are in mine now too. Feel free to keep in touch, and God bless!