Interview with Rachel Heller

Rachel Heller is a Content creator Freelance who has created a site for tourism information on UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world. You can find more about her project on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.

1. How did you start working remotely? How did you make the switch?:

I kept a travel blog for years as a hobby, next to my career in teaching. Eventually, I gave up teaching to focus solely on travel and the blog. World Heritage Sites is a new venture; I’m creating a site that I hope will become the go-to site for tourism information on UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world. I work remotely in that I can work anywhere; I spend the most hours on both sites when I’m home, but also work when I’m traveling, whether for leisure or as sponsored travel. I do some copywriting and leading workshops on the side to make a bit of extra cash to support my travel habit.

2. What do you think are the main advantages of remote work?:

For me it’s practical, allowing me to combine my work and my passion, which is travel. I love being able to decide what I’m going to work on and when.

3. Do you think there are disadvantages or you’re missing something by working remotely?:

It’s often distracting to work somewhere other than home – I want to go out and see everything, so it can be hard to focus first. Once I get going, though, I can get so involved with what I’m doing that time flies. In the end, I think it’s safe to say I’m more efficient at home.

4. From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favorite ones?:

I live in Groningen, in the Netherlands. I haven’t tried long-term remote working much – mostly, it’s been shorter term, i.e. a week or so at a time. I’ve done that in lots of places: San Francisco, CA, for example, and Guadeloupe, or just in hotels when I travel from place to place. I like any hotel with a pleasant but quiet view, a proper desk with outlets, decent lighting, and a hot-water kettle for a constant supply of tea.

5. From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, coworking spaces, coffee shops or others? Do you have any specific place?:

Besides, at home, I prefer to be in an apartment or hotel rather than a coworking space or cafe. The problems with coworking spaces and cafes are that they mostly have too many distractions for me – people talking, and they often play music. I have trouble focusing when music is playing, especially if it is loud and/or has words I understand.

6. What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?:

Am I allowed to say everywhere? My husband and I will start working remotely far more in the next couple of years and we have a long lists of places to spend time in. My husband and I could split our time between working and seeing the sights. We’ll circle back home each summer because that’s when the weather is best in the Netherlands.

7. What advice would you give to overcome the main challenges of working remotely? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!:

Focus! It takes me a while to settle in and focus on whatever task I’ve set myself. I waste a lot of time before I get to work. I can’t share any productivity tips … I need productivity tips!

8. What tools do you use, and are your favorites to work remotely?:

WordPress, Microsoft Office suite, and lots and lots of googling information! And Google maps is essential.

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

I remain a resident of the Netherlands, even though I travel a lot. I pay taxes like any Dutch resident. I haven’t looked at the implications of longer travel yet.

10. What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely and companies making the remote switch?:

Make sure it’s what you really want because it’s not as glamorous as Instagram makes it seem!

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