Emily McGee: An Adaptable Career

May 4, 2016 | ,

Emily set herself up as a location-independent freelance writer so she’d be ready to go anywhere her husband’s job might take them, and they’re currently living in Maputo, Mozambique, with their two-year-old daughter (and another baby on the way!). Although she considers herself a digital nomad by circumstance, not by choice, Emily loves living overseas and working remotely.

Most Memorable Location-Independent Experiences
We live a few hours away from Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Needless to say, we’ve been on safari drives a few times there with our daughter. We’ve seen elephants, water buffalo, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, giraffes, lions, and even a cheetah. My father is coming to visit us soon, and he asked my daughter, “What’s the best animal you’ve seen in Africa?” And she told him, “A cow!” And we have seen plenty of cows, so she’s probably being honest. We’re so lucky that we can give our daughter such a rich and unique experience. She doesn’t even realize that seeing a cheetah is special; to her it’s on the same level as seeing a cow. It makes me want to keep sharing the wonders of the world with her.

Biggest Surprise along the Way
I’m always surprised at how time-consuming and challenging daily life can be. As Americans living overseas, our family is extremely privileged and we have so much support and so many resources. But, life is still hard. There are lots of supply chain issues here, so grocery shopping can be an all-day affair that involves stops at four different stores or markets. We will line up around the perimeter of the store just to get fresh bread. All the gas stations ran out of gas one weekend. What can you do? We parked the car and stayed home. Growing up in a Western culture has made it hard for me to appreciate the slower pace of life. I just want to get things done.

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In this episode

  • How she became location independent
  • Life in Mozambique
  • Experiencing a different standard of living abroad
  • Deciding where to have her second baby
  • Creating routine for her daughter
  • Work-life balance: does it exist?
  • The difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur
  • And much more
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Resources we talked about

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