Karissa “Kari” Javier, or known in the freelancing world as the 3rd World Nomad, is not your typical work from home mom who simply strives to earn as a freelancer for her family.
She evolves to be an inspiration to those who want to become a digital nomad like her.
Being a freelancer of more than 10 years and as someone who loves to travel a lot, Kari has proven that being in a third world country like the Philippines should not keep you from living the lifestyle that you love. Her travels have allowed her to learn and adapt new perspectives from people of different cultures, allowing her to apply it in her personal life and career.
Know more about Kari in this interview.
TDC: Tell us more about yourself. What made you decide to become a digital commuter/freelancer?
Kari: I’ve always wanted to experience more out of life. As a child, I’m eager to explore, travel and try out new things. I wanted to be free and empowered. When I finished my Computer Engineering degree, I thought that I would finally have the time and financial freedom but I was wrong. I was stuck working as an employee at my 8 to 5 job. I just knew I didn’t belong there and that’s when I decided to quit my job and start my virtual career.
TDC: What kind of work do you usually do for clients? Please tell us more about it.
Kari: My agency provides virtual assistance, customer service, social media marketing, crowdfunding, and translations services.
TDC: How has being a digital commuter changed your life? Tell us your story.
Kari: Since becoming a digital commuter, my life took a 360 degree turn. I came from a poor family and growing up, we didn’t have much. Now, I’m able to afford and provide a better future for my family. Last year, we finally bought our mom her own house and this year I was able to take the whole family for an out of the country vacation. The things I used to dream of are now a reality, but more than the financial blessings, I have the freedom to work anywhere as a digital nomad. I finally have the time for things that matters most. I’m able to share my story and inspire people who come from the same background.
TDC: Being a digital nomad allows you to become location-independent when it comes to work. In your travels, what do you think is the most important lesson that you learned in your digital nomad journey?
Kari: I learned that it really doesn’t matter where you come from. You’re responsible for writing your own story. I used to have a lot of insecurities because of where I come from but I realized that there will always be challenges no matter which path you take. You just have to choose your own path and fight your way through it.
TDC: Let’s face it, freelancing has its setbacks. How do you deal with it?
Kari: As a freelancer, I feel isolated at times especially when I’m traveling that’s why I created the communities Digital Nomads in Asia and Virtual Assistant Network Asia. I want to surround myself with positive people who uplift and inspire me and hopefully I can do the same for others.
TDC: What advice would you give to freelancers who are just starting out?
Kari: The first thing you got to do is change your mindset. Before you can get out of the rat race, you have to be aware that you are in one. Invest in learning new skills and connect with the right people. Never stop learning and growing.
TDC: If you were to describe yourself as a freelancer in just 3 words, what would those words be?
Kari: 3rd World Nomad – because I want to be the living proof that anyone can get out of poverty and have the freedom to live the life of their dreams. I share my real life experiences as a non-native English speaker coming from a developing country, how I was able to transform my mindset, overcome challenges and build a business and lifestyle that I love.