Katherine Conaway in Context

A native Texan, Katherine has lived and traveled all over the United States and the world. 

She's been a digital nomad since June 2014, working remotely while traveling the world. 
In 2016, she was a member of Remote Year II – living 12 months in 12 cities around the world. 

So far, she's traveled to 45 countries and counting, across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Katherine is a freelance writer, consultant & producer.
See her portfolio for more information or get in touch.

Read the full backstory:

 
 

The Beginning

Katherine was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas.

Katherine was lucky to have a fairly idyllic '80s-kid childhood followed by the standard American high school experience -- she was a huge nerd, her school's football team was terrible, and she took many awkward photos.

She's very grateful facebook was invented just as she started college and not a moment before, though she unfortunately wasted many hours on AIM and writing embarrassing journal entries about life as an angsty teenager.

She and her younger sister have been significantly outnumbered by their four parents for 15 years.


College Days

Katherine moved across the country to go to school at Williams College, where she later switched majors from Mathematics to Art History (because job security) and rowed on the women's crew team (they won a lot of medals & three NCAA championships).

She interned in New York City for two summers, first working on education and public programs at the Museum of Arts and Design and then doing qualitative research at MTV Networks / Viacom.

But it was her semester abroad in Siena, Italy that caught her attention, so she decided to teach abroad after graduation (plus, the job market was terrible in 2009).


The International Years

Katherine taught abroad for two years, providing her with the opportunity to have immersive experiences living in foreign cultures as well as traveling around Europe.
 
In Morocco at the Casablanca American School, she worked in the 6th, 8th, 9th, IB 11th, and IB 12th grade math classes and guest taught art history lectures for art and history classes.
 
The summer in between, she was a camp counselor at TASIS American School in Lugano, Switzerland, which included teaching jazzercise and learning to windsurf.
 
In Bulgaria at the American College of Sofia, she taught two sections of 8th grade English as well as created and taught two electives: Introduction to Art History and Kurt Vonnegut.


Back to America: (f)unemployment

Though she loved teaching and living abroad, Katherine suspected that if she continued, she would end up a permanent expat. So she decided to give adulthood in America a chance and moved "home" to Texas in 2011, choosing Austin for its proximity to her family and the chance to explore living in a popular, young city. Also, she's very hip and trendy in every regard (and *always* before it's cool). 
 
Katherine moved into a studio apartment in Hyde Park, taught GRE courses for Kaplan, worked as a waitress at a cafe, and did market research for a wind energy development company. She got involved with a social volleyball team and took acting + improv classes at the Paramount state theatre. 
 
After a year of job hunting, ultimately applying to around 100 full-time positions without luck, she decided it was time to move back to the east coast and try to pursue a career working in production. 


Bright Lights, Big City

Katherine found a posting for an entry level production position at a HUSH, a design agency in DUMBO. She got the job and, in a whirlwind three weeks, moved from Austin to NYC and started her new career. She arrived the day hurricane Sandy hit the city, which made for an interesting first week of work. She lived on a friend's couch on the upper west side for the first three months (thank you, again) before moving to Brooklyn. 
 
Katherine worked her way up from a production coordinator to an associate producer, leading internal projects, helping with sales and new project development, and working on client jobs - including Under Armour, Nike, Google, IBM, The New York Times, Estee Lauder, and AERIN.
 
Outside of work, Katherine took improv at The Upright Citizen's Brigade, acting classes at The Barrow Group and Sedgewick-Russell, playwriting, various art classes, joined a yoga studio in SoHo, saw many broadway and off-broadway shows via the Theatre Development Fund, and was a member at MoMA, the Guggenheim, and the Brooklyn Museum. 


Leaving Town

She lived in New York City for almost two years (her longest post-grad stint yet) before her wanderlust got its way. Katherine's original plan was to leave the city for 4-6 months to visit friends and family -- going to weddings, her dad's 65th birthday, and joining her mom and stepdad on part of their Great Loop boating adventure.
 
She moved her things into a storage unit and planned to live off her small savings while she traveled. Then she expected to move back to New York in the fall with the intention of freelancing as a producer while pursuing personal projects around art + museums and performing.

However...


Life on the Road

As Katherine was preparing to begin her travels, a creative director friend (who had recently started Public Persona, a design + styling studio) reached out to ask for Katherine's help to manage her projects, strategize her offerings, and structure her operations. It began only as a handful of hours per week freelancing but continued to grow in scope and responsibility.
 
Every few months, as Katherine assessed her budget, income, and travel plans, she was able to prolong her travels and book additional trips. The longer she traveled, the more people offered to have her visit and the more she learned about how to live and work as a digital nomad. 
 
As a result, Katherine has been living and working on the road as a digital nomad since June 2014. She has visited more than 21 cities in the United States and 12 countries around the world since leaving New York. 
 
In January of 2015, Katherine traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with her parents - her first trip to South America. In February, she visited her former roommate (from Morocco) in Dubai, UAE, traveled through Oslo, Norway to visit another friend, and finished the month in Reykjavik, Iceland for her first solo trip ever (4 days). 
 
On March 29, Katherine and her mom headed to Dubai for a brief stopover trip to see the Burj Khalifa (tallest building on earth) before heading to New Delhi, India. They did a month-long, 200-hour yoga teacher training together in Dharamkot, India - a small hill station town in the northeast foothills of the Himalayas.

Afterwards, they traveled around India for a week before heading to Thailand together. From there, her mom returned home, and Katherine went on to Hong Kong for a few weeks of downtime with family friends. She finished her summer in Asia with a 6 week solo trip through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.


A Remote Year

In May, while visiting family friends in Hong Kong, Katherine received an email from a friend with an article about Remote Year. She'd never head of it before - it was a new company that had launched a few months earlier with their first group of digital nomads. Remote Year was like a year of study abroad for people with remote jobs: you paid them a fee and they organized your housing, travel between countries, a workspace with reliable internet, and networking and social events.
 
Katherine was instantly jealous of everyone involved and a little irritated she didn't get around to making something similar first. So she emailed the founder and told him that she'd been working remotely and traveling on her own for a year and was envious of the RY group getting to have a community, less individual planning responsibilities, and more of a real-life routine while also getting to travel and explore the world. To her surprise and delight, he wrote back and asked if she would be interested in joining the next group, set to start their year in early 2016. She said yes.


Woman on the Go

With the end of Remote Year, Katherine embarked back on her solo travels, spending February 2017 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, attending a Digital Nomad Summit, publishing The Digital Nomad Survival Guide to Amazon (and writing a case study of the remote collaboration of writing it), and catching up on client work.
 
After 6 months in Asia, Katherine flew to Europe on March 31 and arrived in Zurich on April 1 (not a joke, fool). She spent 3 months in Europe before a whirlwind 30 day trip to the USA in the heat of the summer. The Ireland and spent the fall in the UK (with a brief rendezvous with her sister and RY friends in Germany), and then departed for Cape Town to start a 10 week trip around Africa.
 
The 2017 itinerary:
- January - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (last month of Remote Year)
- February - Chiang Mai, Thailand
- March - Bali, Indonesia
- April - Road Trip Switzerland & Berlin, Germany
- May - Paris, France
- June - Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux
- June 21 - back to the USA for first time in 500+ days
- June & July - NC, DC, NYC, and LA
- July 22 - back abroad, starting in Dublin, Ireland
- August - Ireland & Wales (& a writing retreat for her 31st birthday)
- September - Scotland, England & Germany
- October 3-5 - TBEX Conference in Ireland
- October - December - Africa trip (South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya)
- December - Family Christmas in USA