by Betsy Natter
Embracing the life of a digital nomad is a growing trend in business as more and more remote workers accomplish their work in an altogether more adventurous environment. Rather than sitting in a home office and working in yoga pants, increasing numbers of freelancers, designers, consultants, entrepreneurs and business owners are travelling the world and working from exotic destinations while supporting themselves.
Wanting to make the logics of travel easy and enjoyable for fellow remote workers, Bucks County entrepreneur Michelle DiLisio founded PACK. just last year and has already achieved great success. And it is no wonder, given the many benefits of joining a PACK. co-working retreat. Participants in the month-long retreats work on their projects while visiting a foreign destination that has been specifically selected to accommodate their needs. Members of a PACK retreat receive private accommodation in a villa or apartment and full-time access to a local co-working space, both with fast Wi-Fi. Workshops, pool parties, networking events, and master classes are a key component of the experience, allowing participants to connect with other professionals, gain new perspectives, set goals and find inspiration.
Most PACK. participants are with the 24-45 year age range and are location-independent professionals looking to explore the world. Everyone works, plays and forms a tight community while together. Participants are free to work as they please or venture out and enjoy the local sights. Some outings are organized and others are left to the imaginations and passions of the group participants. Hiking a volcano, bathing, feeding, and snuggling elephants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary or enjoying a traditional Thai massage are a few of the many activities already enjoyed.
The entire experience is meant to be an adventure. As DiLisio says, “PACK. is a sort of call-to-action. It means to take the leap and start your adventure, pack your bags, if you will.” While PACK. is not an acronym in the traditional sense, the letters do represent the goal of combining people, adventure, collaboration and knowledge into one experience. DiLisio says, “Our motto is ‘Find your PACK’ because our main goal is to create an inclusive, inspiring global community through our retreats.”
DiLisio, who resides in Levittown when not travelling the world, formed PACK. out of desire for something more than the traditional grind of a 9 to 5 work-day-centered life. Although working remotely from her home managing travel details for corporate speakers, she says of her job prior to founding PACK., “I wasn’t learning, I felt trapped, and I knew I had to do something to shake things up. This seemed like a natural marriage of my professional skills and my passion for travel and people, so I took the leap, gave up the security of my 9-5 and started PACK. It may never make me rich, but I truly believe in the value of the experience and community we are building.”
Destinations planned for 2018 so far include Bali in Indonesia, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Palermo, Italy with other spots in the planning stages. Costs for the experience averages around $2,000 in addition to air fare, food and drink, and local travel and sightseeing expenses. Interested participants can apply through the website at findyourpack.org.