During a layover on our first flight to Portugal last year, we met a friend who was a embarking on a similar journey around the world. The only difference was that instead of flying solo like us, she was heading out as a part of a community with a handful of other like-minded seekers, entrepreneurs, and wellness professionals. Her accommodations were booked (each ensuring 24/7 wifi access), there would be a guided tour set up for her upon arrival, and even a crash course in the local language in each city. It sounded so dreamy.
So many times since that day, friends, family, and strangers have asked us, “How can I do what you do?” I always do my best to give advice, but often leave out much of the part of the hours and hours I spend looking for flights, figuring out where to go in each place, and how to find a proper place to work on our computers as to not scare them off.
But now, I have an answer, and one that will excite and inspire potential travelers! Over the past month, I’ve come to know an organization called GlobeKick based out of Austin, Texas that facilitates 3-month long international experiences for those looking for a remote work lifestyle. It allows you to live like a local, immerse yourself in a cultural experience, and grow personally and professionally from all around the world.
I recently had a chat with Aliya Rosenbloom, Director of International Operations, to gain a deeper insight into what GlobeKick is, and why they’re dedicated to a mission of community travel with a twist of wellness. Aliya is a girl after my own heart, and a gem of a human. She received her Masters degree in Social Work and Community Development, and also works as a yoga teacher in Austin and abroad on GlobeKick’s trips.
Tell us about yourself in five sentences.
I love being around little kids, riding my scooter, teaching yoga, dancing in the daytime, and my pun is always intended. I spend most of my time trying to help other people find out what lights up their souls. Sometimes I do this on a mat, sometimes in a circle, and, most recently, while collecting passport stamps. I am deeply fascinated by what it means to be a human and how we can all work individually and collectively to make the world a little bit sweeter to live in.
Where are you from? What do you ‘do’? Where do you live?
I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona, although I have lived in happy Austin, Texas for the past five years. Currently, I am the Director of International Operations for GlobeKick, which means, while ATX is home base, I get the privilege of spending most of the year out there in the big beautiful world, exploring places like Spain, Portugal, France, Croatia and Morocco (to name a few).
Okay, so: What IS GlobeKick?
In a nutshell, GlobeKick is an international travel company that provides intentional experiences for remote working professionals. We bring groups of professionals out into the world’s classroom and offer them tools to help them improve professionally and personally so they can live a life they love.
Where did GlobeKick come from, as a concept?
GlobeKick was inspired through our co-founder Rad and Jamie’s international travels. They had quit their jobs to travel the world for a year. They shared thoughtful conversations in tents on the African plain, crammed train rides through the Indian countryside, nights out on the town in Singapore, bike rides across Bali and in cities on the east coast of Australia. The events of those eight weeks together on the road formed a bond that they carry to this day. A bond born out of life on the road. Life back in their hometown of Austin, Texas had seemingly flown by, while on the road their lives moved at a slower cadence—the moments packed with more meaning, more adventure. Removed from the repetition of daily life, their minds were opened to new experiences and ideas.
Eventually, they returned home, but they often talked about travel and the pull they constantly felt to return to foreign lands. They also knew that what they felt was not unique. It was a common feeling shared by people around the world. And so they shared our stories and experiences with all who would listen—family, friends, acquaintances, and many a stranger. These conversations only confirmed what they already knew; they needed to help motivate people to set a course to travel. To kick around the globe for even a short period of time so that they too could feel the satisfaction and soul-inspiring effects of the road. They knew that not everyone could up and leave their jobs, thus, GlobeKick was born. GlobeKick was built for the remote workforce to experience the world while learning the necessary tools to be a highly effective professional and an even better person.
How do you choose the excursions?
We are super intentional about how we choose excursions. We design our experiences based on several pillars: professional development, personal development and wellness, and cultural immersion and exploration. Whatever we do in these cities fits into one of those pillars. We love to have fun and find it to be the most necessary element of long-term happiness and at the same time we make sure that while we’re having fun were aware of the places we’re in and the people we’re meeting and how every ounce of the opportunities we have are in some way aiding our growth.
One of our largest goals is to blur the lines between work and play. Everything you do, fun and otherwise, can be an asset to professional and personal evolution.
Let’s talk day-in-the-life: How many people participate in each session? Do they live together? Does everyone work together? What does a typical day look like?
On average we have between 15-25 participants on an experience at a time. They share apartments throughout the city and work in local coworking spaces so they can connect with digital nomads in the cities we are in. Our days are full and diverse. Before and after we click away at our keyboards, we begin some days with movement and/or meditation, we’ll host and attend networking events and workshops in the evenings, some days we connect with local schools and donate our time, and some days we drink mojitos on the Mediterranean.
What are the five (surprising, interesting, weird, inspiring, etc.) things you learned from running GlobeKick? Either in the planning of it, or during the adventures, maybe from your team or attendees?
- Food brings humans together. Especially paella and sangria.
- Slow down, you will live longer. You are never too busy to take the rest of the world’s lead and have a mid-day coffee and watch the world go by.
- People are the same everywhere. They all want to feel loved and important, they all want to feel challenged but supported, and they all thrive in communities that foster those things.
- The most important thing you can do is be willing to trade in certainty for curiosity, to become eager to learn about what you don’t know and what and who are different than you. What you find out will always surprise you.
- The most blissful experiences live on the other side of your fears.
Most surreal moment?
Watching our first group practice an hour of yoga blindfolded on the rooftop of a Moroccan Riad as the Call to Prayer was singing through the Mosques. Many of whom hadn’t ever stepped on a yoga mat three months prior. The trust they had in themselves and with one another was a moment of beauty I will never forget.
Who should join GlobeKick? Why?
GlobeKick is for anyone who has a thirst for life and a desire to fully experience what it means to be living and working in the evolving world today.
How do you personally practice wellness every day?
Wellness is a tricky word and one that I don’t typically like to use; it makes it feel like a place that you arrive at. It also implies that the opposite of wellness is being unwell. The actual definition of “wellness” is the freedom from disease. If I have learned anything about my own personal wellness, it’s that just because I am not sick does not mean I am well. Instead, I like to think of it more as the personal happiness recipe. A little dash of that, not too much of this.
For me, it is about finding the perfect amount of all the necessary elements that make me me: Practicing yoga and other forms of exercise, for instance, makes me feel challenged, empowered, invigorated and centered. Eating foods that make me feel nourished, sharp, full, and fueled and eating the right amount of macaroons in France. Being around my loved ones and other people to feel socially supported, communally inspired, and externally motivated and also not be around others to feel the quiet of my mind and the power of recharging alone.
Wellness to me is figuring out what makes my spirit feel most alive, be it dancing to live music, being outside, playing my ukulele, riding my scooter, breathing while upside down, drinking whiskey when the sun’s still out, etc. and then making the very difficult attempt to do those things in balance all the time. Lastly, loving myself and exercising grace when I inevitably fall short of doing those things successfully.
Any other anecdotes or fun facts or inspiring moments or words of wisdom to share?
I would say that for us, traveling isn’t the end goal necessarily but rather a tool. I encourage anyone reading this to try and mimic what being in a new environment asks of you but in your own homes. Ask more questions, listen more, get curious about people that are different then you, slow down and witness the world, ask for what you need, get curious about what is that you need, blend the lines between work and play so that everything you do becomes who you are instead of who you are being what you do.
If any of this speaks to you or has you thinking, “yes!” I encourage you to explore it. You can fill out a questionnaire at www.globekick.com and see if it is the perfect fit for you before you commit to anything.
Like us on Facebook!