Work-From-Anywhere Journeys: Yaren, Writer
The world of remote work is constantly changing and there are more opportunities than ever. Writing is one of the most common remote jobs yet, Yaren Fadiloglulari didn’t know about this until fairly recently. She used to think that writers worked for newspapers or wrote novels. The truth is, there’s so much more to it and there are many different types of writing. When Yaren found out about freelance writing, she decided to give it a go. She has worked remotely from many different places in Latin America and Europe so far.
Learn what Yaren does, how she started her journey as a remote writer, and her travel and packing tips.
Q: Where are you from and how did you become a remote worker?
I’m from Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus. I lived there until I was 18 and I still visit very often. For university, I chose to study languages with a program that allowed me to study both in the UK and France. It was actually during this period that I got my first writing gig! My university in the UK was looking for student bloggers who could write about their experiences of studying abroad and learning languages. I took part and contributed to Swansea University Student Blogs, writing about all things French culture. I really enjoyed it but I had no idea that I could do this long-term for other projects.
After my graduation, I did two internships, one at an NGO in Cyprus and the other at the European Commission in Belgium. When my last internship was over, I decided to travel long-term and started my eight-month backpacking trip in Latin America. As I was looking for ways to earn money online, I found out about freelance writing. I got excited as I explored this option—I loved writing and there was a way I could earn money from it.
I started by applying to some gigs and by reading a lot of articles and newsletters.
Q: What do you do and where are you now?
I’m a Swiss-army-knife kind of person. Right now, I write articles for online publications and magazines, provide SEO-friendly blog posts for start-ups and businesses, and do creative writing. I also provide language services.
It all works out for me because I love learning new things, improving my skills, and broadening my horizons.
I’m in France right now and am actually in the process of planning my next move.
Q: Where do you like to work from – home, cafes, coworking spaces, or somewhere else?
Where I work really depends on my mood. If I feel like going out and don’t mind the noise around me, I tend to go to a cafe. It’s one of my favorite activities to discover cute coffee shops in the city I’m in. If I have meetings or I want privacy, I stay at home.
Q: What are some lessons you’ve learned as a remote writer?
Nothing happens overnight. As a remote writer, I had to work on my patience a lot. Remember when I said I found out about freelance writing while I was traveling? It took me a few months to land a good-paying one-time gig and even longer to get regular gigs. It’s important to be patient, not to take rejection personally, and be open to constructive feedback. It’s harder in the beginning but patience is key.
Q: What are your favorite places you’ve traveled to?
I feel like every place is unique and has its own charm. I’ve been to some amazing places but I know that there are hundreds more waiting for me. So in the immortal words of Nazim Hikmet, “the most beautiful sea hasn’t been crossed yet.”
Q: Do you have any packing tips?
Making a checklist is the most efficient way to make sure that you won’t forget something vital. I also cannot stress enough the importance of putting the essentials in your carry-on. Checked items can get lost or can be forgotten in the airport. Sometimes they take days or even weeks to arrive. This has happened to me recently and I was thankful that I had my laptop with me. I would always put these items in my carry-on backpack: my phone, my laptop, my chargers, my glasses, my Kindle, my passport, and some extra clothes.
Q: What are the challenges and benefits of working remotely while traveling?
One of the challenges is being dependent on a good internet connection. Reading the reviews before booking accommodation is key. The same thing goes if you are planning to work at a cafe as well.
I like working remotely because it gives me flexibility and freedom. I can work from anywhere, be involved in many different projects, and make connections from all over the world as if there are no borders. Also, freelance and full-time remote are different things that have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Q: What are your future travel plans?
While I had a great time traveling full-time as a backpacker last year, I want to be more settled for a while. I plan to stay in Europe for the foreseeable future. This way, I won’t be far away from my family in Cyprus and I can still travel in Europe. I would really like to visit Japan and South East Asia one day.
Q: Do you have any tips for someone who is interested in working remotely while traveling?
Make sure that you have all the necessary skills to work remotely. Familiarize yourself with the most common tools in remote work such as Zoom or Google Docs. There are many other digital tools that will help you work more efficiently—take a look at Notion, Toggl, Slack, Trello, and Asana.
I also believe that improving your research and outreach skills are important for remote jobs. For writers, I recommend learning the basics of SEO.
Where to next? Find monthly rentals designed for remote work professionals on Anyplace.
Yaren, a freelance writer from Cyprus, writes about travel, food, culture, and more. She is also a serial expat who has lived in five different countries and speaks four languages.