Interview: Thibaud Lucas

Thibaud Lucas is one of the Co-founders of Wanderboss, a long-term retreat (you can check the Wanderboss event). You can read more about him on his own site, or in twitter.

He is an entrepreneur really motivated by freedom, and this is because he created a company specialised in tailor made trips to learn English in private schools around the world some years ago, and now, he just launched the project that makes possible his dream come true.

1.Which are the main advantages that you find that remote work has?

I first started working remotely when I realised it was harder to find a job in places where I wanted to live for a couple of months/years. I created Experilang back in 2014, a company specialised in tailor made trips to learn English in private schools around the world. The main advantage of working remotely is the flexibility you gain. You can work from anywhere at anytime. It opens a whole new world of opportunities. With the flexibility, comes the freedom of course. Freedom is the main motivation for me, and it was what pushed me to create my own activity.

Working Thibaud Lucas, Wanderbossremotely allow you to travel the world without having an estimated date of return…Or no return at all.

In France, companies are generous on vacation: they give 5 weeks paid per year. Once you start working for yourself while being location independent, you have 52 weeks per year that you can organise the way you want. You can shape your life in a way that allows you to see more, to learn more, to live more than any other years you had in your past life.

One big advantage is the awesome community of people living the same life that you do. During my trips, I always connected with other digital nomads and remote workers. I have more friends abroad that I have in my hometown or any other town where I lived in the past. Living remotely is a way of life, and people living it are open to sharing moments with you because they know it’s temporary, so I guess it makes it more intense.

2. Do you think you have disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?

One of the big disadvantages I see is that you can be lonely very fast if you feel comfortable in your home. When I started, I was working at home and making a lot of phone calls so I was not comfortable going to coworking spaces to make my calls. And by mid-day, I didn’t see the point of going into commute to join the coworking space.

On top of that, I was the only one living this kind of life amongst all my friends. Some were supportive, and some were not. Your freedom can create some jealousy amongst your close circle.

I know my parents had a hard time understanding how I can make a living while travelling. They are both teachers and for them, a job is in an office, not at home or on the go. They realised how hard I was working when they came visit me in Australia, only then they understood the meaning of “working” for a self-employed. They had no idea I was working until 1 is most days of the week and the weekend to work on all aspects of my business. I shook the way they think and now they acknowledge that it’s possible to do things differently.

Another disadvantage is of course relationship. If your partner is not location independent, it will, of course, be a problem to build or maintain a relationship. That said, it is possible to make it work.

3. From which cities or countries have you worked from since you have become remote? Which has been your favourite one?

I worked and travelled in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, USA… My favourite country has to be Australia. I loved the lifestyle and the vibrant community of entrepreneurs I met in Brisbane. It’s a city with an emerging scene. It was really fun to live there. There are plenty of activities to do since it’s packed with natural parks and beautiful beaches. The cost of life is pretty high compared to places such as Mexico or Argentina, but the experience is amazing.

4. From which type of place do you prefer to work from? Coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?

I like working from home and do a mix of coworking spaces and coffee shops. I’ve addicted the changes and new environment so I like to explore different places when I’m living somewhere. It allows me to compare and go back to my favourite ones.

5. Which places would you like to travel to while working remotely or working from?

I would love to go to Japan. I want to live there for a couple of months. Wanderboss will make this dream come true. When I’ll go back to America, I’d like to spend some time in Panama and Colombia, where a lot of Digital Nomads live.

6. What would you say to the companies that don’t believe in hiring employees who work remotely?

So many studies have been done on how working remotely is beneficial for both employers and employees. The world is changing and innovative companies understood it early enough. They offer the perks to working remote and they understand how to keep their best assets. I don’t think someone is working better by staying 8 or 9 hours per day at a desk. Productivity is key so they should try to adapt quickly because their employees will find a competitor who will offer the opportunity to work remote.

7. Which tools do you use to work remotely?

I use a couple of apps to make phone calls such as wephone, Rebtel and Skype. I have my computer and my phone. On a daily basis, I use Gmail suite, Trello, Slack and Dropbox.

8. How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?

I’m a permanent US resident, so my taxes are taken care of in the US. I have a bookkeeper and a CPA helping me when tax season comes. Quickbooks makes things easy for everyone.

9. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies doing the remote switch?

The first thing I would do is build skills and try. You can take some weeks off and go in a place like Chiang Mai to visit and work in a coworking space. You’ll meet awesome people. It might give you an idea. The main point is to act. If you want to do it, then do it. Of course, you have to think how is it possible to not be financially in trouble in case your company refuses to let you work remote, but you’ll see it is way cheaper than you think to live on the go.


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