Life Remotely is a resource for professionals who wish to break free from the perpetual rut of working for tomorrow. We have never felt entirely at peace with a stationary existence or daily routines. We’ve spent the last fifteen years in school, building careers, attempting to achieve financial stability and professional success. We saved, lived cheap and resorted to extreme measures to assure we could travel as much as possible.
We slowly realized that the freedom to discover what the world has to offer is more important than furthering our professional or financial “success”. After a decade of working endlessly for the next plane ticket, we decided to break the cycle. No longer would we leave our jobs at home, only to return home after a few weeks or months of travel to dream about the next trip.
We became digital nomads, combining our love for travel and the need to continue working. We are here to chronicle our journey and provide information and resources for others who wish to do the same.
Life Remotely was created by Jessica and Kobus Mans, and Jared McCaffree. We share the common passion of travel, and a lifestyle that allows us to spend our time where we choose. Our professional careers have allowed us to spend most of our time working remotely. Over the past ten years we have worked hard to establish the skills, clients and credibility necessary to perform these jobs while traveling.
Jared is a software developer specializing in web and mobile application development. He has filled the role of a technical team lead and has successfully managed small groups of software professionals from a remote workplace.
Jared spent his final year of high school studying abroad in the Netherlands. A year later, while pursuing a degree in computer science, he returned to Holland for eight months to study Dutch at the University of Amsterdam. During his time in Europe he traveled extensively while completing several software projects for U.S.-based clients.
For the past seven years he worked as a software developer in the health care field, telecommuting most of the week. Based in Seattle, he continued to travel through Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the U.S. as work allowed.
Jessica is a freelance graphic designer specializing in presentation and event design. During college she spent three summers living and working as a photographer on an archaeological dig in Croatia. She extended her time overseas whenever possible, traveling to many other locations throughout Europe.
In 2004 she joined Norwegian Cruise Lines as a photographer and met her husband, Kobus. They traveled together while working on ships for nearly two years. Jessica spent the next three years working as a short-term contract graphic designer for many companies in the Seattle area, quitting to travel whenever cash flow permitted.
In early 2009 she became a glorified grad-school dropout and immediately fell into a full time freelance career. She has spent the last few years working as a presentation expert and building relationships with clients while working both in Seattle and remotely from other parts of the world.
Kobus is a web designer and developer, and a college instructor at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. He was born and raised in South Africa and left home in 2002 to join Norwegian Cruise Lines. Kobus worked every major cruise ship destination from Asia, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico and Central America.
He left ships in 2006 to marry Jessica and continue his college education in the States. Together Jessica and Kobus spent every college break possible traveling around Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. They worked remotely on trips where possible, but only recently with the explosion of online teaching, have they been able to be completely location independent.
In 2008 Kobus earned his associates degree from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. He completed his bachelors degree at DeVry University’s online campus in 2010. Kobus started teaching Web Design as well as various other web centric courses for the Multimedia Design and Production department at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.
On October 6th of 2011 we turned in the keys to our Seattle home and started a long drive South. With any luck, in December of 2012 we’ll be spending the night in Antarctica. We’ll have traveled and worked in every continent. Follow our travel stories on the Shenanigans page.