Where are you now Jess? And when are you coming back to Baltimore? These are two common questions that this post will dive into and answer. Hello, my name is Jessica. I am a wanderlust spirit who owns a design studio and is also deeply rooted into the community of Baltimore city.
I’ve been looking for ways to blend both worlds, because when I travel I simply cannot breeze through on some jam packed itinerary that only scratches the surface. I have to dive in. And it only by diving in that I make connections, that I am fueled by creativity, and that I am inspired by what I see and that carries on to the caliber of design that we deliver to our clients. So I present to you below my next goal, and what I’m doing to make it happen.
In Baltimore I’ve had my hand in many endeavors (including serving on the board of AIGA Professional Association of Design, co-organizing A Day in the Life Baltimore Design Conference, and co-managing the professional networking group B’More Creatives). Presently I co-manage Baltimore Women in Tech, and organize our community give back initiative Have A Nice Day Project (which also spearheaded Shine Your Light Baltimore). With both of these, we have some great things in the works for this summer and autumn. Stay tuned. But as I’m sure you already know from other road trips and adventures, I’m not quite built to stay in one place. So I’m working on a life of the inbetween.
Operating Remotely Sometimes
So Baltimore get this season called winter that I’m not particularly fond of. First, I’m a bike commuter and largely a pedestrian around the city. If I cannot bike to the office and the conditions are too dreadful to just walk around, then I’m stifled in so many ways, especially around creativity and joy. And so begs the question, why accept this scenario as my one reality? Can I change it? Only one way to find out.
This is Not a Vacation
Although perhaps you might challenge that statement after seeing a stream of instagram photos of scenic views. Simply put, pictures of me working from home, from a coworking office, or from a cafe, aren’t exactly exciting. But if you want to see the slower things like my computer, a coworking space on another continent, or my lament of hanging laundry, sometimes I share those things on Twitter.
This is an attempt to find a couple locations where I can work remotely for the winter months, continue to grow through fostering connections, networking and professional events, and also dive into and support a community through volunteering and diving back. Yes I will check out the sites and hit up the museums, but I am not a tourist.
The Rules of My Game
Must be less than one month rent in Baltimore. Must have wifi and table for working. Must have natural light and be walking distance from necessities (grocery store, coffee) and amenities (public transportation, easy access to some basic activities). Things like balconies and washing machines are luxuries.
Coworking & Socializing
Must have either coworking spaces or cafes where I can set up and get work done. Must have easy access to other professionals and locals (meetup.com, networking events, etc). This helps with connecting and fostering new experiences and relationships.
It has always been important to me, to give back to the community. So I need easy access to causes, groups and organizations where I can get involved.
I love mountains, I love the sea. One or both should be present. I love culture and I love art and history. Access to all of these are desired.
Business as usual. I return to Baltimore, tentatively late June. I will reflect on what I’ve seen, learned and experienced on this journey. I’ll be diving back into the local community. We keep it moving. I do plan on operating from a second location, winter 2020. But until then…. Baltimore, are you ready for me?