A woman has taken remote working to the extreme by traveling across the world — all while still working her New York City office job. If the travel itself doesn’t sound glorious enough, she’s also saving up to $2,000 a month.
Madi Mucha, 24, an accounts manager, was offered a full-time, fully remote role in July 2021. So, instead of working from her cramped and expensive apartment in the Big Apple, she decided she wanted a taste of adventure. She then made the leap into the world of traveling and working, and has since worked from Guatemala, Mexico and Italy.
Using the earnings from her $80,000 salary, after tax she brings home $4,000 per month and spends from $1500 – $1,800 on her housing, food, and activities. This leaves her with around $2,000 per month to save.
When Madi was based in New York, she was spending $1,000 per month on rent alone. Now, she gets to see the world and save more money at the same time. Posting about her travels on Instagram under the handle @madidadytravels, she spends some time planning her next trips, and has provided some of her tips for other remote workers who want to see some more of the world.
“I’ve been remote since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and in July last year I got a new job which was much more flexible with talking about going to back to the office,” she writes. “I told them I wanted to try traveling and working remotely – in the first and second month at the job I did a remote working program with a company called RemoteYear who organize trips for people who can work remotely.
“You get to rent an apartment with people doing the same thing so I did the whole month of August – it was kind of expensive, but I was a woman traveling alone and I wanted to try it in a safe way at first that felt comfortable,” she adds. “I did a month in Guatemala, realized how easy it was and a lot of people I met told me you can stay in co-working hostels and find co-working spaces nearby if your hotel or hostel doesn’t have wifi – I got the motivation from that first trip in August and went from there.”
Madi first began working remotely at the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020 before getting her new job in July 2021 with a flexible attitude when it came to returning to the office. After being offered the role, she trialled her first attempt at remote working and traveling with a month-long trip to Guatemala in August, 2021.
She then spent some time in Mexico in October 2021 and then returned to Guatemala in December for three weeks, before jetting over to Kenya from late December to January. Following her time in Kenya, Madi spent February in Costa Rica before flying over to Europe in April and touring around Italy, France and Belgium through April.
She still works according to the time in New York regardless of where she is in the world and tries to choose locations where she can start earlier in the day and finish earlier in the afternoon. Working in the advertising industry, she had worked remotely during the pandemic from 2020 to 2021 and when she started interviewing for a new role, she prioritized the remote working aspect.
Alongside her experiences traveling, she has also been able to save some money thanks to cutting out expenses like rent and bills. So while she still spends approximately $2,000 per month, she gets much more bang for her buck. She also saves on items like clothes and meals out as she quite literally doesn’t have room in her bag for new outfits or shoes.
Since beginning her remote working adventures, Madi has racked up some top tips for other remote workers with a taste for the unknown.
“Since my job is on the East coast of America and I have to work Eastern hours, Latin American countries have been the best for remote working for me as I can start a bit early and have more of my afternoon to do things,” she says. “I didn’t really connect with any digital nomads in Europe or Kenya but in South America and Central America it’s more prominent and I’ve heard similar things about Ecuador. I went back to Guatemala a couple of times as I had close friends there and it has a special place in my heart and then I went to a couple of cities in Mexico in late October 2021.
“I headed back to Guatemala in late December for three weeks and then went to Kenya in late December 2021 to January 2022 as one of my best friends is from there,” she continues. “I went to Costa Rica in February, then Europe for a month as my brother is studying there and visited Italy, France and Belgium through April and then on to Ecuador – currently I’m in Columbia. In between trips I’ll come home – ideally, I would like to do a long-term trip.”
So how can someone who wants to live her nomadic lifestyle give it a shot?
“People keep DMing me and asking me how I do it – the first thing is actually prioritiing jobs that are labelled as remote and using LinkedIn or Glassdoor. If they don’t say if they’re remote, be confident in an interview and ask, say it’s important to you,” she writes. “This might be obvious but eliminate your monthly expenses – I was still paying rent in New York until October when I decided not to renew my lease and took my things back to my parents. I eliminated my car payments and rent and now all that money is used for traveling.”
Madi says following financially sound strategies, like being able to budget and having the right credit card, are key to her success.
“If you’re good with money and finances, get a travel credit card – you can get travel points where you almost don’t have to pay for flights, they’re points you’ve earned from using the card and paying it off,” she writes. “By stay at co-working hostels you stay for cheaper and have a co-worker space where you can connect with other people doing the same thing and it allows you to get recommendations from other people. You get so many recommendations on how to work, travel, save money and maintain the lifestyle for longer.”
Report by Josie Adnitt, South West News Service