Women Of The World
Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back.
This sentiment rang true when the women of We Roam finally had a chance to meet in person. They round-tabled in the conference room at the Opero workspace in Prague to catch up, get to know each other, listen to one another’s stories and talk about what it’s like to be women of the world. The energy of the room was electric. Exactly what happens when you put a bunch of power people in one space.
Cue, Beyonce Who Run The World? playing in the background.
For everyone in the room, working for We Roam is the dream.
We get to see the world, meet interesting people, and connect with businesses in all different cities. The reality of our day-to-day can feel rather surreal. — Michaela Murray, Lyra Program Lead & PR
But with the dream also comes a pinch of reality. As the conversation began, they covered the various factors that made them hit pause before taking the plunge to join on.
I think there’s a certain aspect of modern day society that evokes a level of hesitation in making big decisions like this. Before joining We Roam, I considered the fact that I’m in my late 20s, taking this job meant breaking from convention — the things in life we think we need to do. But I came to grips with the fact that travel is in my blood, it’s in my bones. I don’t look at this opportunity as closing any doors. I see it as an opportunity to open every possible door. I’m not missing out on a single thing. I’ve got everything in the world to gain from this. — Alex Martin, Brand & Creative
“In life there is fear that you need and fear that you don’t need. Bravery means doing something that feels scary. Fearlessness means not understanding what the word scary even means.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love
As women, we are taught to approach the world with caution. We are warned against walking alone at night, be it in Bali or in our own home neighborhoods. In instances of assault or violence, victim blaming is an all-too-real occurrence. What was she wearing? … Why was she out so late by herself? …Did she provoke the situation? …
I hate that I have to even consider these things. But it’s so normal to me at this point, I hardly recognize that this isn’t the same lens across genders. When I watch movies like Taken, or read the news it makes me take a step back and consider whether to live BIG or to stay small and stay home. — Heather Stephens, Marketing
So, there’s the fear you need and the fear you don’t need. But what does that really mean? For this group, it comes down to choosing a life that is driven by chasing curiosity and passion. Being smart, savvy, and staying safe, while still forging ahead anyway. Because there is so much to see, so much to do, and so much to learn, share, and give back in this life.
There is a certain allure to going out into the world like Elizabeth Gilbert or Cheryl Strayed. Adventure, adrenaline, a path to self-discovery.
I had traveled alone quite a bit before joining We Roam. It’s always a thrill, but solo travel isn’t as glamorous as people might think. There are a lot of logistics involved. With We Roam, our mission has been to take the guess work out of the scoping and planning process. We thoroughly research each destination. We set up workspaces, housing, events, and excursions. Safety is of utmost importance, so we make sure to learn everything about each place before the trips start. We provide many different events for our Roamers, but nothing is mandatory. We strike a balance between providing a well-rounded group experience and also allowing for solo exploration. — Blaine Anderson, Polaris Program Lead & Director of Travel Operations
Blaine, known by some as “Blaiyoncé”, was the first trailblazer of the group. A pioneering travel guru. Poised and well versed in the ways of the world. She was bold enough to jump in when We Roam was just getting started.
I was living in New York and working for a luxury travel company, I traveled a lot for my job and got to see many amazing destinations. I wanted to make travel more of a lifestyle and take on a greater leadership role in my career. I loved what I did and the people I worked with, but ultimately, I wanted to get out from behind the desk. We Roam was the full package for me. Career advancement and travel. It was something I wanted for myself, so providing that opportunity to other people seemed like a no brainer. — Blaine
It’s no surprise that Blaine’s nickname is Blaiyoncé. She’s the leader of the pack. The operations ninja of We Roam. She empowers others, gets shit done, and she does it all with grace. A total force.
Blaine was the one who first introduced me to We Roam. We had worked together previously. I was amazed that she took a chance on this opportunity. I reached out to see if there was anything I could do to join the team. Eventually, I video chatted with Nathan. I remember hearing his vision. I knew that being a part of this had to be in my future. A few people told me it was a risk, but I knew that joining on was the right thing for me. The prospect that it wouldn’t work out wasn’t even a consideration in my mind. — Katie Lotz, Orion Program Lead & Operations
For others, the question of moving forward with We Roam was about understanding the culture of the company.
The bar was set VERY high for me in terms of taking the next step with my career. In the interview process with We Roam, I made sure to ask the right questions to uncover the dynamics. Early on in my conversations with Nathan, he acknowledged the fact that workplace inequalities do in fact exist in many organizations, and he recognized the part he had to play in leading We Roam. It was important for me to know I’d be a part of a forward thinking company. After talking with Nathan and others on staff, I felt really good about joining on. — Heather
We Roam has a staff of eight employees. Five of them are women.
We worked really hard to hire the best team in the industry. It’s that simple. We didn’t sit down when we started this whole thing and decide to break the startup mold by hiring a majority female staff. It wasn’t about checking boxes. Every single person on our staff is the best in their respective positions. Period. The women of We Roam didn’t need We Roam. We Roam needed them. Each of them would have quickly risen to the top of whatever industry or company they chose to pursue. — Nathan Yates, Founder & CEO
If we did, and I hope that we did, play a part in advancing the case for gender neutrality in the workforce, I believe it was mainly the result of our early approach towards hiring. Not being afraid of dynamic, independent, women (and men), who had big personalities and even bigger ideas. In fact, these are the only types of people we have any interest in hiring. — Nathan
We’re in a new space. It’s exciting. We’re digital nomads. We’re women leading a badass, cutting edge business. We recognize that gender bias in the workplace exists and so we have conversations about it. We aim to bring others along with us. We have the opportunity to empower other women and girls in every destination that we travel to. And that is a really good feeling. — Alex
From the start, We Roam has always been more than simply building a remote-work-travel program. It’s been about leading a movement.
We travel around the world to help people open their eyes and their minds. We push firmly against convention, we lean into tough conversations, we fight for equality and empowerment. And we pride ourselves on taking a different approach and making a positive impact on the world. — Nathan
I‘ve always been a big believer that your vibe attracts your tribe. These people, the We Roam staff and the Roamers, they get it. When I describe this notion to my friends back home, they ask me what it is. And it’s nothing tangible. It’s hard to fully describe. But simply put, it’s a good feeling. Doing what you love and finding great people to do it with. — Michaela
The night closed out with a quote from Virginia Wolf —
“What a lark! What a plunge! … She had burst open the windows and plunged out into the open air.”
A celebratory toast was in order…
To breaking from convention. To standing in a posture of openness, boldness, and bravery. To taking a chance on We Roam, an organization that has fully considered all factors of going out into the world. And to a badass group of women blazing a different path forward.
What a road ahead. What an adventure. And the best part is that it’s just getting started. This Women Of the World (WOW) series is meant to be a space for stories from women all around the world — roamers, solo travelers, game changers, and shapeshifters.
Have a story to tell about your own experience? Share it on social using the hashtag #WomenOfTheWorld and tag @weroam.
OR send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re interested in becoming a Roamer, submit an application here.
One of our team members will be in touch!