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Eddie Contento belongs on the road.
The 24-year-old graphic designer realized it while traveling around the US with his then-girlfriend, bouncing from state to state every month. She eventually wanted to settle down and stay in one place for a while, but he had already fallen in love with his nomadic lifestyle.
He set his sights on working and traveling internationally, and now, he runs his own business on the road as he visits everywhere from Serbia to Prague. Here’s how he does it:
Originally from New Jersey, Contento has been traveling since he graduated from high school, working out of cafés and coworking spaces across the country.
“Working remotely is the only way I know how to work,” he said. “I don’t think I would ever want to work out of an office.”
However, his business partner is in Philadelphia, and managing the time difference abroad can be tricky. “I’m bouncing between time zones and developing some kind of insomnia,” he said.
The main reason he’s been able to work remotely for so long is that he’s tech savvy.
“I’m the one people ask questions to. I always try to have the most up-to-date devices and software if I can afford it,” Contento said. “I spend more on electronics than I should.”
Contento is the vice president of Chop Dawg, a design development agency that creates logos and websites for startups. The nature of his job allows him to create a flexible schedule. He schedules meetings with clients early in the week, and then for the rest of the week he either explores during the day and works at night, or vice versa.
He’s currently on the road for an entire year.
“I thrive in this environment,” he said. “I’m surrounded by brilliant people that push me. We have similar goals and ambitions — whether it’s to see the world or grow our businesses — and it’s nice to do them together.”
He’s the youngest in the program. One friend in his group is 30 years older than him. “There is no age in Remote Year,” he said. “Just personalities.”
There have been a few rough patches.
Contento was bedridden for more than a week in Prague after a bout of salmonella poisoning.
“I was suffering from FOMO” — fear of missing out — “to the max,” he said. “People were doing things and going out while I was locked in my room in the dark. For a moment I wanted to go home, but then I snapped out of it.”
His current trip has taken him to Prague, Belgrade, London, and Lisbon.
Next, he’ll visit Argentina.
Contento says travel has changed his perspective on the world.
“I’m from a little bubble in South Jersey,” he said. “There are so many things to learn, experience, and do in the world. Now that I’ve experienced some of it, I want to do all of it.”
He won’t stop traveling when the program ends.
“I can’t be in one place for more than a month,” he said. “I don’t want to be stagnant.”
He hopes to go to Italy, where his grandmother is from, as well as Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and a dozen other places. “I want to go to the moon.”