Travel While Working As A Virtual Assistant Pt 1
Travel While Working… Being a virtual assistant doesn’t necessarily mean you are a stay-at-home mom. What it does mean is that you work from wherever you are, not where your clients are. This creates a lot of opportunities for those who wish to take advantage of such a lifestyle.
Association of Virtual Assistants founding member, Jamie Feinberg, is part of a growing trend in remote working – being a full-time RVer. In this two part series Jamie will share how her career evolved and the steps she took to head out on the road, as well as her best tips for how to maintain this lifestyle and run your virtual assistant business. Travel while working indeed!
One of the best things about being a virtual assistant is the ability to travel and work from wherever you are. The flexibility of setting your own hours, choosing your own clients and working wherever you’d like to be is about as good as it gets.
I’ve always lived sort of an alternative, creative life. After graduating from Smith College in three years, I spent a year touring the country with a children’s theater, eager to have someone else pay me to travel across the country. As my professional theater career continued, I found myself embracing the role of a jill-of-all-trades.
For instance, during my first season of summer stock, where I was hired to be the Musical Director, I quickly was asked to also be the choreographer for a few shows, and then I found myself volunteering to help in the box office and write press releases too. When I made the transition from professional theater to amateur and educational theater, I also became a teacher, sharing music and theater with pre-K and K classes, teaching voice and piano lessons, running summer camps and soon starting my own theater company too.
When I decided I was ready for more financial security, I pursued a master’s degree in Community Economic Development, and I spent the next few years working in non-profit and arts administration. But when the “dream job” turned out to be less of a fit than I’d hoped for, I felt a little stuck.
New Hampshire had never been the place I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and yet here I was. My husband, Ross, and I considered our options and realized that even if we wanted to move, we had no idea where we’d want to go! Meanwhile, my husband had admitted to me that his dream, since high school, had been to pursue a career as a touring musician sharing his original music…but on our meager salaries, we couldn’t afford to keep an apartment while he traveled the country.
And then, one day, I literally had a dream. In the dream, I had the idea to purchase a used RV and travel the country so Ross could pursue his music career and we could both do more of the travel while working that we loved but could barely afford with our arts careers. With a few gigs lined up, a few music students we’d be working with via Skype, some savings and a dream, we hit the road in a 25’ Winnebago in the fall of 2016.
Although it took me more than six months to discover the term “Virtual Assistant”, and the fact that we do travel while working, we’ve been doing as much work in the virtual realm as possible since we hit the road. In addition to teaching music lessons online, I’ve called upon my arts administration skills, doing everything from email management to social media to website maintenance to grant-writing and editing, and my husband uses his audio engineering degree to edit podcasts and record and edit his own music and videos.
Once I discovered Melissa Smith and her work, I had a clearer focus, and I began making a more explicit effort to recruit new clients and let people know that they can hire me as a virtual assistant. Over time, I’ve learned who my ideal clients are (typically smart, educated women with a creative streak and a passion for running their own business, though they’re generally less tech-savvy than I am) and I’ve learned a lot of skills (including in running my own businesses) to share with my clients.
I’ve also enjoyed blogging as a way to embrace the writer I aspired to be since I was a kid! I write for several publications and also maintain my own blogs, RossAndJamieAdventure.com and InSearchOfAScoop.com, and have even started my own Facebook group, Disney World for RVers, as another place to share my interests and love of writing, problem-solving and travel.
About the Author
Jamie Feinberg is a virtual assistant, writer and blogger, online music educator and performing artist who’s been traveling the U.S. in her RV full-time since the fall of 2016. She documents her travels at RossAndJamieAdventure.com, her search for the best homemade ice cream at InSearchOfAScoop.com and shares her musical theater prowess on her and her husband Ross’ musical theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season.