Frances Miller – Offsite Immersive 2016 Attendee

Frances Miller

Maryland, USASouthwest Collective Frances Miller

@bonjourfrances

What is your potted history?

The hometown question has always been simple for me: I lived in one house my whole life. The only moving I’ve done was 2 hours away for college. My travels have been short, scheduled family vacations, so I’ve got a bit of an itch to explore more of the world.

My parents are intelligent: my dad was an engineer, my mom is now a librarian. I’m not sure where I got my creative side, and I still don’t feel entirely comfortable calling myself an artist. I’m artsy. You can see some of my artsy stuff at www.bonjourfrances.com. I’m a middle child, so I tend to take middle ground in arguments, which helps me keep everyone as friends and not make enemies. 🙂

Professionally, I work remotely for a startup brand, managing social media, writing, and designing in the marketing field. I’ve been with the brand since June 2015, and I’m starting to get the hang of the remote work lifestyle.

Why did you decide to join Offsite Immersive 2016?

As soon as I heard about Offsite Immersive, I was interested.

The week will be wonderful in itself, and I think it will also be full of strategies that I can take back to my daily work life at home. After talking with Ana and Cláudia, I could tell that they are genuine and dedicated to making this experience truly unique and special.

What is your intention for the week?

Of course, I intend to get work done. Unlike the typical work week, it will be equally important to share space and time with new, interesting people from all over the world!

I’ll be able to eat well and move my body every day for personal health and wellness, be energised, bond over music and laughter. I intend to be open to the unexpected.

How will you create and share with the community?

It might depend on what the community wants to learn! I’ll be looking out for what the rest of the group is interested in, and go from there in thinking about what skills I can develop and share. 🙂

What do you want to learn and understand during this time?

I’d love to learn from others who have been working digitally and remotely, to glean from their experience and share tips and advice. I’d also be interested to see if and how our lifestyles differ in different countries and cultures.

How do you hope to grow during this experience?

It sounds like I am going to grow in identifying my own skills and how I can use and share them with others. I hope people will bring ideas to the table that I haven’t considered, and challenge my American mindset.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?

I rode an ostrich in Curaçao.

Tell us about a book that made you feel happy…

I recently read Into The Wild, and although it isn’t necessarily a happy book, it inspired me to live just a little more adventurously, and trust people.

What food reminds you of your childhood and why?

Steamed crabs, but no one ever eats crabs alone. Crab feasts are a pretty big Maryland tradition in the summertime. You get together with friends and family, cover the table in newspaper, and laugh and talk while picking crabs and drinking lemonade and beer.

The crabs are smothered in Old Bay seasoning, which gets all over your hands and under your fingernails. It’s a fun, messy event.

What do you love most about your work?

I love that there is always more to learn.

What is something that really inspires you in life?

Live music always seems to leave me feeling inspired and energised. It doesn’t matter whether I know the band– just showing up and listening and blending into the crowd is a good feeling.

When you travel what things do you like to explore from the local culture?

I love to meet or talk to people when possible. They can share so much about their homes that you can’t find in a travel book. Food, of course. And nature is something we tend to forget to appreciate in the daily life, so traveling is a great time to go exploring outside.

When was the last time you over 24h without your phone or digital devices and how did that make you feel?

Last August, I dropped my phone outside in the rain, the day before my best friend’s wedding. I was the Maid of Honor. Normally, I take some comfort and pleasure in disconnecting, even if it’s forced, but this was stressful. I felt like I lost an important lifeline and everyone was probably trying to reach me at that moment.

It was all alright, mostly because I was never alone for those few days around the wedding, and someone else always had a phone. It’s a good reminder that it’s never a bad idea to memorise your mom’s phone number.

Check out Offsite Immersive 2016 coworking retreat, and join Frances and other creative professionals during 11–18 September, for a week of focus, collaboration, learning, playfulness and unplugging, in a truly inspiring place in the south of Portugal.

 

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