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Traveling as a Remote Designer (for Flying Saucer)

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Written by Flying Saucer Studio

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I’ve been part of the Flying Saucer team since the day one, but once we started getting bigger projects, the obvious decision for me was to quit my 9–7 job in Mexico City and travel the world.

Since we’re a remote agency, I could keep working and travelling, so it wasn’t a difficult decision. I packed my backpack, my laptop, Wacom and started planning my trip — I was going to travel alone for 3 months. It was a first for me. I needed to be sure to have reliable Wifi and an easy transportation system, so Europe was the safest bet.

I ended up traveling for almost 6 months in more than 10 countries over 2 continents…my trip was awesome. I met great people, saw the Northern lights, swam in amazing beaches in Australia and walked the Scottish Highlands. But it was also tougher than people may think. Working and travelling also means having to be responsible every single day, deliver on time, provide great quality, catch planes and trains, work in very uncomfortable spaces (a.k.a hostel bars in Berlin with loud Techno music), stay in touch with your peers and still manage to have fun and see the sights.

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This trip taught me a lot, but these were my most important lessons:

About productivity

  • Wifi follows Murphy’s law strictly, so I always got a good data plan in my phone.
  • Self motivation is key. You have to get up every day, even if you’re tired, jet-lagged or sick, and make great work happen. Inspiration may not always come, but you need to work through it.
  • Planes and trains are the best offices; no one bothers you and since you have nowhere else to go, you get things done!
  • Life has funny ways of inspiring you; when I was at an office looking at a computer for more than 8 hours per day, I felt frustrated by my lack of creativity. But when I was travelling, I was staring at a sunset and caught myself thinking of ways to use that color palette for a website.

About life abroad

  • Stay healthy. I needed to take care of myself; if you are traveling with the pressure of work, it’s easy to end up eating junk food and stress a lot. But I learned to relax and eat my greens. Plus I have the best team ever who supported me during the trip.
  • It’s not a vacation and some days you can’t do anything. For example, I spent five days in Glasgow buried in a library with free Wifi, working all day, but it was worth it. After that I hiked for a whole week in the beautiful Isle of Skye.

About myself

  • I don’t need stuff. My laptop and iPhone were my most valuable things, needed for work and planning my trip. But living with the basics feels good, makes you feel like a capable human being with no need to have 15 pairs of shoes and fancy dresses.
  • People will think you are weird. Sometimes I ended up working at 2 a.m. in the hostel lounge where people where getting drunk, so I was often asked things like:
“Why are you travelling if you just work and can’t have fun?”
The answer was easy: “I love my job”.

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Overall, traveling made me a better designer. I found myself in the most creative mindset I’ve ever been. I realized I got things done quicker and better. Since I wanted to go outside, to sightsee, walk, hike or go to the beach, I knew I needed to work efficiently. Whilst working I got really focused, there was no room for distractions, so once I delivered, I could go out and enjoy life without pressure.

All of this was possible because of Flying Saucer’s dynamic nature. We’re a team connected by shared values; responsible, hard working, and very passionate about the work we do. So, at some point, this doesn’t feel like a job…it feels like we are trying to build something meaningful while truly embracing life.


Article written by Mariana — Lead Designer Flying Saucer Studio

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