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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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.)
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.
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.
In South America
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.