Life Update + First Visit To the Sizzlin' Southwest ?

First, I feel like I owe the world an update on my whereabouts. This should efficiently clear the air regarding questions such as “do you work” and/or “how do you travel so much?!” and/or “what is ur life”. And then that’ll bring us up to speed with the cool pictures I have to share from Arizona.


I zoomed through some crazy months since moving back from Sydney, diving into a full-on Chicago summer full of weddings, lake festivities, and much needed catch-ups with family and close friends. I haven’t even caught up with half the people I’ve meant to by now. ?

Between all the summer fun I’ve been freelancing on a few contracts, doing digital marketing (CRO, SEO, social and email marketing for those concerned) and web design. The whole time I was trying to figure out my next “move.” And then I realized my next move might already happening ?


A few weeks into freelancing after returning home from Sydney, I became determined to find a full-time, permanent, remote marketing job. On top of those requirements, I was being SUPER picky to find the right fit.

So applying to “the grind” became the ultimate grind. They should certify me as a professional job applicant. The marketing industry is so saturated, and I jumped through tons of hoops with multiple companies to advance through rounds. I got denied from a few, and made it really far with a couple only to be beat out by applicants with 8+ more years experience. I even dropped out of the running for quite a few opportunities because the gigs didn’t seem right for one reason or another.

I got REALLY close with an awesome company that seemingly met all my work-related desires, and they even wanted to hire me but their needs changed. I almost tasted the ultimate victory and I didn’t want to settle for less.


Then, a couple weeks ago, I was evaluating a full-time opportunity, and a bell kind of hit me on the head. I’d been freelancing about 25- 30 hours/week and I was already making more than I did when I left Chicago, plus I did it when and from wherever I wanted. If I actually worked the 40-50 hours to week, I’d be making more than I did in Sydney!!!

I have the opportunity to bill as many hours as I can handle because I’m in an exclusive freelancing marketplace (ask me about it!). So I decided to go for it and see what I can make of myself. I spoke with a freelancing advisor and an accountant (so adult), and set myself up as a sole proprietor. I have this very-Emily dream of working from a coworking space and surfing in Central America this winter, and now I think that could be feasible…

But it’s not all glam and of course there are doubts. This could be something I look back on as hilariously silly or amazingly smart. I’m figuring out a lot as I go. It’s of course a little riskier than a full-time permanent role, but lots of exciting opportunities.

I freelance for a range of clients, from high end businesses and agencies, to really (REALLY) random small businesses (I have some stories…). My clients are all over the world. I am dealing with a way wider range of humans and types of workers than I ever did at an agency in Chicago or Sydney, and I’ve had to adapt to align with different client expectations. Already, eyes have been opened and lessons have been learned.

I may be over this digital nomad thing in six months and return to my professional job applicant status, but I have a lot of cool projects and collaborations in the pipeline, so I’m going to ride it out, learn a ton and enjoy the journey ☺️

Oh also, Chris has the Southwest Companion Pass because he travels so much for work, so that’s how I get to fly a lot of places in the USA for free ?


Chris just had a conference at the BEAUTIFUL JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, so I tagged along and enjoyed the luxe resort life, and also finally got to visit my awesome cousin holly in Tucson. Obsessed.

Seven things I loved about Tucson:

1. The iconic saguaro cactuses everywhere

2. They are surrounded by four mountain ranges so there’s tons of camping/ hiking opportunities, and an incredible ecosystem.

3. Incredible Mexican food (and margaritas. whoa.)

4. Retro signs and cool design

5. A chilled out yet Wild West feel

6. Thrift stores everywhere. I bought a very impractical pair of antlers to carry on my two week journey

7. Hot ?

More U.S.A. travels