Antti Virolainen is a charismatic COO at Sharetribe, living a location independent lifestyle for 1 year.
Antti’s 2012 journey
In just a year, Antti managed to travel on waves to Brazil, visit Iguassu in Paraguay, spend 6 months in the start-up Chile program, give a presentation on entrepreneurship in Vietnam, and crown the journey with Project Gateway in Bali.
I started to dream about travelling back in 2007. My exchange year in Lyon showed me that living a "location independent lifestyle" could be pretty interesting and in fact, very possible to maintain. Since that I started to move towards my dream when it finally came true at the end of 2011.
It was truly one of the greatest experiences in my life. What have I learned from it?
- I learned how to organize my time. For example, I knew I would be travelling to some wild places with no Internet connection. I then had to work hard for a couple of days in advance in order to get myself that one day of freedom.
- I was able to find a balance at work. Because of my commitments I had to skip many fun activities, but in the end it never felt wrong. I knew that it was worth it and that there would be more exciting times in the future.
- I also figured out how to tackle unexpected technical problems, especially when they find you on the rock in South Africa.There is nothing romantic in skipping the penguins walk to fix technical server issues on the mobile phone, but at least I know it is possible to tackle them even with limited connectivity.
- I realized how important it is to enjoy the moment. While travelling from one place to another I discovered what was good about living in that particular place. This attitude still helps me to survive the Finnish winter.
- I met a lot of awesome people. New connections brought up new ideas and visions. In addition, friendship with locals has opened many useful opportunities in both travelling and business.
Finally, my trip played an important role in our business idea. Different business cultures, markets and customers helped us adjust the business model to make it more flexible and adaptable for our partners from all over the world.
Currently we have a team of 9 people at Sharetribe. I am not considering any long-term travel at the moment, but I do plan to visit Australia and New Zealand. We will rent a car and tour around New Zealand, so most of the work planned for this period should be done while I am still in Oz. After that I can proudly say that I have visited all 6 continents in the world. Well, Antarctica is not in my plans yet, but who knows (smiles). Any trip can be fun if you start it with the right attitude.
Attitude is everything when it comes to work. My work excites me, sometimes even too much. I can easily forget about dinner, which is obviously not good. When I am hungry my brain does not function properly, overall body energy and motivation go down.
Ambronite first appeared in my life when I searched for nice places to eat on Restaurant day. In Finland we have this awesome food festival, where anyone can set up a restaurant, café or bar for a day. The Ambronite team was offering special smoothies that promised complete meals. The first thing that crossed my mind was the Matrix episode of ‘everything your body needs single celled proteins combined with synthetic amino acids, vitamins and minerals’. This made me both curious and suspicious, so I went to the Ambronite booth to check out the menu.
After hearing about the ingredients and philosophy, and having a first taste, my doubts regarding Ambronite faded away. I liked that it wasn't a synthetic chemical cocktail, but rather a mix of great natural ingredients. They feel nicer, taste better and resemble what I normally eat.
Furthermore Ambronite is really easy to make. Today I had a meeting scheduled at 6 pm but work took a bit longer than I expected. I did not have time to grab any food in advance so I made myself an Ambronite smoothie and made it just in time!