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A Day in the Life of a World Traveler Who’s Turned Her Sights Homebound: Meet Angela from Shield GEO

Every month, we share new stories of our Shield team to help you get to know the people that bring our company to life. Without their unique perspectives, life experiences and talents Shield wouldn’t be what it is today. We love learning how working remotely, and flexibility allows them to live full and balanced lives.

This month, we’re profiling Angela Moon, our Content Marketing Manager. Angela takes care of our website, newsletter, social media, and overall web presence. She’s spent most of the past year living and working from Long Beach, California. 

Meet Angela

Angela started working with Shield early last year, just as the reality of what 2020 was to become was settling in. At the time, she was based out of Bali, but to avoid becoming a tax resident, she traveled to Australia until visa complications and the growing severity of the COVID 19 pandemic ultimately sent her back home to California. 

“Initially I was thinking, ‘I’ll go to Australia for a few months, and then go back to Bali for the retreat,'” Angela says. “I had it all down to the number of days and everything.”

The plan was to fly to California after the retreat, spend the summer at home, and re-enter Bali in August. 

“Obviously, that didn’t pan out at all.”

What was supposed to be a year spent traveling overseas, quickly became the longest stint Angela had spent on home soil in years. 

“I’ve come to terms with being back here,” she says. “I think it’s what I needed, without me realizing it. I had spent so much time hopping around, being back here has helped me settle a little bit and have more focus on things like work and family.” 

But that’s not to say travel isn’t in her future. For now, it’s just a little closer to home. 

When the lease on her current apartment was up, Angela had decided to look for another place but couldn’t find anything suitable. 

“Initially, I was bummed, you know, I want to move out of here, but there’s not really any other open apartments that feel exciting to me.” 

Bingo is his name-o

“But as I thought about it more, I realized the best scenario I can make into reality with COVID and my remote job is to try and live in places that I’ve always wanted to explore but couldn’t.”

So, she looked for long term stays within driving distance and is planning on Air BnB hopping for the foreseeable future. 

“I found a few random rentals that have lower monthly rates big enough for me to stay in for a month and allows my dog,” she says. 

“They’re all relatively safe, and if anything, safer than where I live now because there are way less people around,” she says. 

Her first stop is a cabin in Snow Creek, CA.

“It’s kind of a small town in the desert between mountains, so it’s pretty deserted. But there are trails right outside the backyard, and it still has grocery stores and stuff within 20 minutes.”

Discovering remote work

“There was a time not that long ago, where I wasn’t even aware of [remote work] being a thing,” Angela says. 

She was backpacking through Europe when she first heard about the “alternative lifestyle of digital nomads.”

“And then I knew the option was available, but I always thought it was for people with very specific roles,” she says. 

View from working in Bali

After her trip, a former manager told her about some fully distributed companies. Still, the roles they were hiring for didn’t match her skills.  

“I think it wasn’t until I went to Bali that it began to set in,” she says. “It was so much more real and tangible, because nearly 90% of the expats that live there are either striving to do the same thing or are already working remotely.”

But just because she had moved to Bali, didn’t necessarily make the move to remote as easy as she hoped. 

“I was so adamant about getting a remote job. I moved out there specifically to have that remote work expat life. But it was hard because I only really had about 10 months worth of professional full-time experience,” she says. 

“And so I really struggled.”

She took an account management role for an online travel agency, but because it was US-based, she had to work strange hours — often taking calls in the very early mornings. 

“When I was doing that job, I realized that this was the type of lifestyle I wanted, I just wanted a better-suited role,” she says.

That’s when she came across Shield. 

“I still remember the cafe I was sitting at when I applied for Shield, it was on a Saturday, and it took me a few hours,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘I hope I get it!'”

Now, while landing the role with Shield means she’s working in marketing (with better work hours too!), the pandemic meant she couldn’t fully realize her Bali expat dreams at the same time. 

But when I asked if being home this year has changed her long-term plans to live and work overseas, Angela shrugged — “yes and no.”

“I feel better being back here and waiting out COVID, but I think I’m hoping that next year I can travel again and do a longer-term, maybe six months somewhere else,” she says. 

“But I think I’ll do it differently now that I have this role with Shield. I don’t feel the need to pick a country and stay there for a year or two years. My ideal situation now is shorter periods versus saying, ‘I’m moving my whole life there.'”

Joshua Tree, Ca — Where she used her Shield workation allowance

Travel will always be a part of her life, but with the flexibility of her role with Shield, comes a new way of thinking about how travel can integrate into her overall life. 

“It doesn’t feel as enticing to do a whole year anymore. I think being back here has made me realize I do love where I’m from. And I do think there is value in being physically close to your social and family network,” she says. 

“From that perspective, I’m super grateful.”

A day in the life of Angela

6 am Try to get up at 6, which sometimes ends up being 6:30/6:45. Once I do get out of bed, I walk my dog, journal, and meditate before sitting at my desk.
7 or 7:30 am Start work, outline my tasks and schedule for the day. I usually work for 4-5 hours in the first half of my day with a short breakfast break around 10 am.
12 pm Take a longer break for a walk outside or a yoga class. Sometimes I use this time to run errands or grocery shop. 
1:30 pm Log back online to work for another 3-4 hours. On days I don’t have my 4pm meetings, I’ll sometimes skip my mid day break and work straight from 7am – 3pm. It just depends… perks of flexible work 🙂
3:30 pm If I didn’t take a midday break, I’ll stop working for the day and do some form of exercise: yoga, walk, hike, or a youtube workout class. But if I did, then I’ll continue working until about 5pm.
5-8 pm I’ll work on some personal projects (currently practicing teaching yoga classes to friends and writing a personal blog), or on days I’m feeling lazy, I’ll watch Netflix or call a friend. Dinner is usually some time between 6-8 pm. 
8 pm Clean up, walk my dog, shower and get ready for bed. On a good night, I’ll read a book or journal and be asleep by 10. Other nights, I get distracted scrolling on social media or on youtube and will sleep around 11 pm.

Flexibility is not only about location

Teaching yoga with friends at a park

Through this year, Angela has been able to achieve other goals outside of travel too. In July she began training for her yoga teaching certification, which meant switching up her work hours to take classes in the afternoons. 

“I would start work at 7 and finish around 3, take a 30-minute break and then go into my training from 4 to 7,” she says. “So that was my schedule every day for those months.”

Sticking to this intense routine every day did eventually become a bit much. 

“There were some days where I would be falling asleep during my lectures, and it was also really physically draining,” she says. 

So she switched up her schedule to be more manageable. 

“Once I moved into my apartment, I slowed down on it. I think I would do that Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then Tuesday, Thursday, I wouldn’t work on my training at all,” she says. “It was more balanced, and I liked it a lot more.” 

She’s also switched up her schedule to cater to the season, specifically the changing daylight hours from summer to winter. 

“I’m definitely a person that lives off of the sun. In the summer, it was nice because if I finished work at 5 or 6, I could still go take a walk by the beach during sunset and have that be my closing ritual of the day,” Angela says. “But now, I always feel like I’m like competing with the sun.”

Recently, she’s been breaking in the middle of the day to take long walks instead. 

“I’ll go to the beach and walk for 40 minutes and listen to a podcast,” she says. “So that’s kind of how I shifted my schedule in the winter.”

From working a job that dictated her sleeping and waking times, to taking full control of her schedule and filling her days with the things that make her feel happy and fulfilled — it’s certainly been a year of change for Angela. 

— Bree Caggiati, January 2021

Want to know more about Angela? Visit her profile on Our Team page!

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