Meet Our Sustainable Nomad // Interview with #peopleofcocohub Caitlin Flannery

Caitlin is no new guest to CoCoHub, and has already stayed with us for almost two months. In her lively and cheerful manner she always has a smile for everyone at CoCoHub. This is why we want to present Caitlin as number one of our new series #peopleofcocohub. It is about our members, their background, experiences and tips they have for aspiring nomads.

Caitlin is passionsate about sustainability and the ocean. Although she has traveled a lot in the past couple of years she just recently became a Digital Nomad — by accident, as she says.

CoCoHub: What is your business / remote job about?

I work for a “Network of Networks” for ocean lovers and leaders. We provide original content on ocean innovation, health benefits of the ocean and action to take as a sustainable tourist at home and on the road. We also run a series of online summits as a B2B company. These focus is on moving the needle of sustainability in the marine tourism industry. My part in their team is digital media, content strategy, and summit strategy. So, we are building up our plan for the summit this year focusing on which stakeholders we need to have involved, marketing, and sponsorship. Check out our website:

CoCoHub: What inspired you to live a remote life?

I have been living a pretty nomadic life since I left university at the age of 22. My bachelors degree is in International Relations, so I was always inspired to work in the global development sector. I really wanted to form my own firsthand experiences of the world before I entered any kind of large company. That’s what first started my travel experiences. Honestly, I learned and found so many strengths of adaptability and group dynamics, networking and the reality of different cultures while living nomadically that it was very hard for me to look back and change my lifestyle to one that didn’t trigger these experiences. So, I decided to structure my worklife around something that would support that lifestyle.

CoCoHub: What has been the most challeging so far?

I’ve faced a lot of challenges leading up to this current job, but overall I would say communication and self-motivation are the biggest challenges. You have to have a really good relationship with your employer or colleague if you are going to have a functional working relationship while also being in separate locations. It’s also really important to set realistic goals for your time and boundaries in your work life. That’s the case in any job but while working remotely (and on flexible hours like my job) it’s important to be aware that if you don’t self-structure thenthings can get away from you. When it comes to my personal life, the biggest challenge has been facing a lot of confusion about what I’m doing and some pressure for going against the typical grain. I think the confusion is absolutely natural and I’m happy to explain about it. The pressure is something you deal with internally and it’s kind of fun to be on the edge of something that is emerging like remote work and travel.

CoCoHub: What are the benefits Coliving at CocoHub has to you?

There’s a lot of positive to it, so stick with me ! The people are really a bit part. I came here to find support and feel inspired in my work with likeminded focused and challenging individuals. That has for sure been the case at CocoHub. I get to connect with people who share a lot of job duties like I do and they give me advice, tips, etc. It’s also good to have people to talk things through with that is in your industry but not part of your company. It’s super useful that way. And, on top of the professional side, personally, there is a real bond here at CoCoHub and a lot of love between the Colivers. And then of course there are benefits to it just from a working standpoint: when you come to a new country, having someone else take care of all of the logistics for you, like internet, bedding, towels etc. it is so useful. Life gets a lot more stressful if you have to sort those out in a foreign country for yourself. Plus, it is beautiful here! It looks like you’re in a movie set whenever you set foot outdoors.

CoCoHub: Name one goal you want to achieve within the next 10 years

I want to be involved in the evaluation of programs offered around marine tourism adventures. For example: if you want to go scuba diving, I want to be part of designing and executing an experience that connects you to yourself and the ecology you’re experiencing. There’s a lot of room for programs that link mental and internal health to experiences in the water. Emerging science proves there are measurable physiological effects to the human being just from being around water. So, I want to become a professional scuba diver and I’d like to go back to school. I am also launching a website of my own to promote and curate travel experiences with sustainable tourism operators. And, I’d like to get to the east coast of Africa!

CoCoHub: What advice would you give to someone looking to change their life?

I would tell this person that it’s easy to change your life, what’s hard is dealing with all the unintended ways that change influences who you are or what you didn’t anticipate to change. I’ll explain this a bit. I think that when we want or crave change for some reason, people can get caught up in the positive reasons why. I remember sitting in my cubicle, googling pictures of white sandy beaches and beautiful boats skimming over the water. I had taken this job after returning from Australia where my life had been filled with real-life experiences like those, not the false images I was dreaming of at the time on my computer screen. So, when I schemed of ways to get back to those opportunities, I wasn’t being realistic. I was dreaming of “getting back,” not moving forward. So, I changed my life to do it. I found a decent paying job, and with the internet that is a lot easier to do, and went off to the superyacht industry. It was easy to do the research, quit, and buy the plane ticket. But, the reality was that the work was not for me. I needed some bigger cause to work for and it wasn’t there. That’s the blind spot I had when I changed my life. The unintended consequence I didn’t see because I was caught in the idea. So, be aware that these things will happen. But, THEY ALWAYS WORK OUT. As long as you’re willing to accept that once you start changing things, you will likely need to keep exercising that muscle, and you’ll be ok. Change is the only constant in life so there is some power in choosing to change things for yourself. The hardest thing was admitting that the change wasn’t the right one even if it led me in the direction I was supposed to go. I had dreamed of the positive, but the negative part of that experience was actually the biggest impact and most valuable. So, be prepared to roll with the punches.

If you want to find out more about Caitlin, check out her talk at our last Digital Nomad Meetup!

Do you want to start your own adventure at CoCoHub? Learn more about our house, the community and the beautiful island of Malta!

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