Why a Virtual Assistant, and what is next for me?

I love to travel and during my 20’s, I was very lucky to have travelled around the world, being able to spend a few months or longer traveling overland in about 30 different countries with my partner in crime of over 25 years, Rowan. Here we are sitting on the pyramid in Egypt, shortly before Rowan got spat on by a camel.. Another story.

For work in the UK at the time, I was working in my family’s oil distribution business, Fuel Oils, directly with my Dad and Uncle as the two directors. I worked my way through the various ‘Accounts clerk roles as they became available. I then went on to learn Bookkeeping gaining Certified Accounting Technician exams before I moved more into management. I completed my diploma in Management and Leadership, before becoming General manager of the business for 7 years, the business grew by nearly 300% whilst I was GM, so I like to think I did a good job! Regardless though, I only really had experience within the different offices of Fuel Oils.

That is until I visited Australia. I had a working visa during the year 2000, we bought a camper van and worked our way around Australia earning the fuel money to move along the coast and into the interior. Rowan worked on building sites, and I became an office temp, visiting many different offices and businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In every town and city we visited, I took my CV to all the agencies, went through their enrolments, and waited in our van for calls with work.

Calls invariably came in at 8.50 in the morning, with a request for me to get there ASAP! Not being completely comfortable with the routes into all these different offices with no smartphone to fall back on, I usually ended up walking and looking for the right block, with my head in a map. Very often I arrived in a sweaty mess and spent the first few minutes looking for a toilet to freshen up in before I met my new boss and team!

One week I was a telephone operator in a skyscraper full of different businesses learning their telephone system on the job, the next I had a day stationed by the photocopier with a thousand bits of paper needing to be fed through, while exasperated workers realising there was a long queue of paper, arrived with one sheet to copy. That was a great place to meet people and chat though! The next I was the receptionist at a small architect, typing all their letters and organising the meeting rooms, and making tea for their guests. (This one lasted a few months, they all loved how posh my English accent sounded on the phone to their clients!) Haha.

I had so many jobs and was moving from place to place constantly… I learned so much from the architects on precision and keeping everything matching branding, including fonts, line break sizes, colours, and layouts.

Sooo many stories from my time there, I must have worked in 10 or 11 different offices spread down the East Coast. I was even on the news in the background in the office of a news piece whilst they interviewed my boss about the first safe injection rooms. I was helping to set these up organising meetings and doing the background admin.

I realised whilst doing this, that I absolutely loved learning new systems, meeting new people, and learning how different businesses tick and make a profit.

Everywhere is very different, but also, they have the same threads running through them. Customer service needs to be great; the customer journey needs to look smooth and seamless from the outset and the quality of the end product, whatever that may be, either a service or a physical thing needs to be exactly what the client needs, and you must feel proud to be delivering it. So, these are the things my team and I can help every business do. This can sometimes just be taking a load of admin away so that the business owner has room in their brain to think about the next steps for the business or concentrate on customer service to get this back on track.

Shortly, at least within the next few months – depending on when you are reading this, we may already have taken the leap into life as a digital nomad!

My two girls, Jess 12, Georgie 9, Rowan and I are off again for a minimum of six months, traveling to Southeast Asia. We are mainly visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines and hoping to catch the Chinese New Year celebrations of the year of the Dragon in Singapore.

Strangely, the last time we were in Singapore it was the Chinese New Year celebrating the year of the dragon, as well! We were so impressed by the Lion dances there, we would love to take the kids to see it, and so excited to see it again ourselves!

I would love any tips for family fun that you might have on the Philippines or Vietnam, as we haven’t been there before!

The amazing UK-based Tandem VR team and I will continue to keep our clients happy! We are still taking on more admin for businesses that need our help. The beauty of online working is that I can be anywhere. At least, where there is a phone signal and/or Wi-Fi! If I didn’t tell anyone, I’m sure they wouldn’t even know, but I’m terrible at keeping secrets!

I will be sharing our journey with all the ups and downs as we go, so follow me and my traveling laptop if you are interested in life as a digital nomad… also, any tips?! I’ve worked in France traveling around, but not far-flung places. Fingers crossed it all goes well!

Traveling isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time; my mum describes herself as an armchair traveller! But, if you feel like you should be living life how you want to, instead of being stuck at your desk, send me a message, and let us see how we can make your life more fun, or at least a little easier!