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The genesis of WorkTravelTech

by Lisa GhisolfJanuary 12, 2015

Welcome! I’m Lisa, and I hope this blog, this website, this tiny passion project that I’ve decided is too pressing to ignore, helps you too as you share my journey.

Is this another travel blog?

My dream, something left over from my paternal grandmother, is to tour Italy. I’ve wanted at least a month, time to explore, to dream, to live.

This has, at times, been at odds with my career, freelance graphic design. I love what I do, and though it affords me certain freedoms that a full time job doesn’t, it also ties me down. I’ve found that on the two occasions I’ve made it to Europe, large projects hit and either had to be worked on during my vacation, or abandoned altogether because the technology didn’t yet exist to work remotely. This sometimes annoyed my fellow travelers, but also afforded me amazing opportunities like working at the British Library. As many times as I’ve co-worked or sat in a Starbucks, I was never so close to the Magna Carta. There’s something surreal and incredibly cool about tapping away at my computer while a world away from everything I know, and I love it.

The other aspect is that I’m finally free of a mortgage (I’ve owned 3 places), and through the recession, I’ve finally understood that nothing is permanent. That you can be happy with what is, but lose the passion for your own city and work, and just crave something else. This freedom is strange, but probably a huge sign by the universe to STFU and do it.

I’ve a few clients who are trying the travel blogging route, and after a TBEX trip, I not only found it incredibly possible, I was overwhelmed with the amazing opportunities that others had had, just by sharing their experiences. By taking a chance. By not doing what everyone else was doing. And as I close in on my next decade, I’m not satisfied with little trips timed to others’ schedules or a precarious work schedule. I want the reality, the good, bad and ugly. The new experiences.

The reality.

Of course, this is going to take discipline and forethought. By nature I work 40+ hours (some might say 60+ hours) per week. This isn’t necessarily possible, nor advised, because I’d rather see more than the closest cafe. It’s also about maintaining clients from afar, growing new clients and embracing more of the global work concept vs. the mostly-Chicagoan client base I have.

Is it possible? It seems every other day I’m reading about the “new workforce” who’s not happy working 9-5 in an office (duh), that freelancers are the new economy, and I’m insanely excited to see this change, this opportunity to build something different for myself. I’ve begun getting interviews from those who’ve “been there” or are “still there,” and it’s like a crash course in a new business model that makes you incredibly self-reliant, but also a better member of a much bigger community.

And, technology. I’m a complete techie nerd and love new gadgets, and know that I’ll be beholden to electricity and wifi. I couldn’t do this blog without sharing my technology experiences, plus that of others who’ve road-tested their gear across the globe.

Is it affordable? Even when I was 20, a hostel didn’t seem like my style. We’ll see. And we’ll see what else is out there.

How will I be safe, as a mostly-solo female? I’ve met many women who’ve done it, and know that years of living near Cabrini Green won’t do anything but help.

But all of these things are excuses.

The journey.

I hope you’ll stick with me on this journey and share your own. Some of this I’m making up as I go along, and some is already part of my road-weary story.

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Lisa Ghisolf
Lisa Ghisolf
Founder of WorkTravelTech. Obsessed with exploring neighborhoods, cafes, and delicious experiences. Day (& night) job: Freelance designer & WordPress wrangler (Gizmo-Design.com) & blogger on Thriftista.com.
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