I’ve always been a girl full of dreams and projects in mind. And, for this reason, I’ve always felt quite in conflict when, years ago, people started asking me what I wanted to do with my life. My answer would have been all the time: ‘I just want to travel!’ – followed by a big laugh.
I’ve always been a traveler, an explorer, a free spirit. Since I was very young I started to find every excuse possible to escape from my own country and experience something new on my skin.
During college, studying languages allowed me to live in France, Spain, UK, Russia, and to spend some time volunteering in Germany, Greece and many more places. I can say that I was already living as a nomad without really knowing it. The only thing that I was conscious about is that I had no intention to be stuck in one single place.
Society pushes us all the time to follow a certain limited path. We constantly hear that all we need is: a bachelor’s degree, a master, a doctorate, a stable job in a office, a family and then – bye bye life. I understood that this was actually my nightmare – so I prepared my backpack and left Italy, off to the Canary Islands – the only place in Europe where winter does not exist.
In Tenerife, I understood how important my freedom is. Here I can have the ocean, the mountains, the desert and loads of wilderness whenever I wish. It’s also where I met my other half and where I discovered my passion for the famous van life. All our plans and travels wouldn’t have been possible if one day I didn’t put myself in front of my laptop and decide that I had to start this long-awaited online business. At that point, it was mandatory.
I was able to offer services in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Russian. But that was not enough, I needed to do something that I was more passionate about, something more challenging and also more steady. I’ve found that fire inside me when I realized I could help other entrepreneurs in their day-to-day life.
I just woke up one day and said: “Ok, from now on I will call myself a virtual assistant” and that’s how I started working for other companies, no matter where I was. I remember the feeling of making money for the first time while on the road. We were road-tripping the coast of Portugal and when I’ve received my first paycheck I was SO HAPPY I CRIED.
At that moment, I realized that it was all real. That it is possible to be location-independent and that I wanted to be my own boss forever. Since then, the challenges have been SO MANY. It’s not an easy path, but it is so worth it. I started investing more in myself, in my skills, in my time. With the willingness to find real long-term clients, have a good income and make my biggest dreams come true.
To keep growing professionally and to become the trusty VA that many people need during their business growth. Then, I can say that the next step for me is to start a new van conversion. To build a big van that is going to be my house & office that will allow me to live to the fullest every day. My dream, also, is to meet like-minded people all over the world and share with them adventures, moments, coworking spaces and much more. So, if you’re here with me – hit me up! Union is strength!
By Ilaria Grilli
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