How to work remotely while traveling across the world — with Sean and Nathan
We Roam is a program that brings a diverse group of talented professionals on a trip around the world, working and living in a new city each for one month at a time. We provide travel, accommodation and shared workspace logistics so that our Roamers can focus on their jobs while also soaking up the local cultures of our 12 destinations. Because professional development and career advancement is a major focus of our trips, we provide workshops, speaker series, think-tanks and networking opportunities along the way. This focus has led to a number of companies expressing interest in partnering with us, leading to the launch of our Corporate Partnership Program. We will be partnering directly with forward-thinking companies to help them leverage our platform as a recruiting, retention and development tool for top talent.
Why and how did you and Nathan get into providing a travel service for those working remotely?
The conversation about We Roam came at just the right moment for both of us — we had both seen talented colleagues leave their jobs to go travel and experience the world (some of which later found employers that allowed remote work) and our employers were struggling to fill the gaps with qualified young workers. We had a mutual goal of being able to travel and live abroad for extended periods of time, but we are also both very professionally ambitious and didn’t want put our careers on hold. We came to the realization that we couldn’t be the only ones faced with this dilemma.
After more research on the overall remote work trend and finding that millennials became the most represented generation of the US workforce in 2015, we realized that society was nearing a tipping point. Being millennials ourselves, we knew that the number one thing that distinguishes our generation from previous generations is our emphasis on experiences over material things. We founded We Roam to not only fill rapidly growing demand for remote work travel/programs, but also to be a leader in the movement towards a more mobile workforce — helping re-engineer modern workplace norms and values in a way that makes sense for today’s (and future) workers and employers.
-How long have you and Nathan been working on We Roam and what did you guys do prior to this?
The initial idea for We Roam was born towards the end of 2015 and our company was officially started early February 2016. We began accepting applications at the beginning of March and our inaugural trip is scheduled to launch January 2017.
Nathan and I are the only founders and we are currently based in New York City. I worked in enterprise sales at Yelp, first in SF and later in NYC. Nathan completed a JD/MBA before working as an associate in the corporate group of a top domestic law firm in NYC. While we both have corporate professional backgrounds and extensive travel experience, we believe having team members with logistics and travel industry experience is necessary to ensure the quality of the trip. In light of this, we recently brought Blaine Anderson onto our team — a veteran in the luxury travel industry with extensive experience in group travel.
Passion is everything. When coming up with an idea or choosing between alternatives, start with what you are truly passionate about.
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced so far with We Roam?
The toughest recurring challenge has been to stay focused and not getting overwhelmed by the sheer number and variability of obstacles that we face every day. When working at a company, there are already tasks, decisions and a framework in place for how things are supposed to work. For the most part, a role exists, you learn the different tasks, duties and processes of this role, and that becomes your job. When you create a company, suddenly all of these processes and policies don’t exist and need to be created from scratch. To complicate matters more, since this is such a young space, there are no “best practices” or “proven formulas”. In summary, I’d say the most challenging aspect of our job is having to make important big and small decisions that could dictate the future of our company in a space with very little precedent.
Is there anyone that you or Nathan look up to that provided inspiration to your company?
We think our family members and friends were our biggest sources of inspiration for actually getting We Roam off the ground. We are lucky to have had the most important people in our lives supporting us since day one, giving us confidence and encouragement to succeed and of course helping us in any way possible. After the idea phase and planning phase happened, the hardest part was going all in on actually launching the company, and our family and friends were crucial at that point.
Are you working on any personal projects you’d like share?
As of now, our full focus is with We Roam! No personal projects to report.
Advice for a novice entrepreneur?
Passion is everything.
When coming up with an idea or choosing between alternatives, start with what you are truly passionate about. Anyone can start a company, but if you can build something around a concept, a cause or a space that you truly care about, then you will be much more likely to succeed.
Best way to connect:
You can best connect with Sean and Nathan on We Roam and follow their story on Instagram