Speaker Spotlight: Maria Scarpello

At this year’s WordCamp Maria Scarpello is going to be speaking on Working and Traveling Fulltime with WordPress – we caught up with her to find more about who she is and what qualifies her to speak about this. Needless to say, she’s easily over-qualified and her story is a fascinating one – this is what she had to tell us…

IMG_3165Just over 3 years ago I made a decision that would change my life forever. I was not happy with my last job. There were few projects that excited me but overall I did not want to move forward with the industry I was working. I hadn’t thought much about making a change until one fateful night in Lawrence, Kansas, where we were watching our favorite team lose in the March Madness tournament, which by most accounts, we should have won. We invited a friend over that night to watch the game with us who had shared his plans for the summer, he wanted to buy a RV and travel around to all the National Parks throughout the US. All of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head, I had always dreamed of buying an old school bus and converting it to a motorhome, but thought I had to be 65 and retired to do so. Little did I realize that I didn’t have to wait to retire, thanks to lessons learned from Tim Ferriss, I realized I could take a mini-retirement at the young age of 27, which is exactly what I did. One month later I purchased my new home on wheels, a 29′ Class C RV, named Stanley, and 3 months later I hit the road.

IMG_0668I started off as most people my age with a burning wanderlust thinking I would get into travel blogging about my journey. I had been a basic user of WordPress for about 5 years by then, using it to gather design research in college, but had not got into much customization at the time. A year later we decided to focus our travel blogging a bit more to help chronicle our journey which ended up taking us to over 100 craft breweries across the nation. I needed a site that would allow me to tag the locations on a map and write a little about the places and people we were visiting, which is when I found Listings. I decided to purchase this premium theme from WooThemes because I liked the fact that they backed their products with documentation, tutorials and most importantly Ninja support. This was a perfect opportunity in my life to take time to learn WordPress in greater detail and if I had questions I had someone I could turn to. A few months later TheRoamingPint.com was launched and our beer travels continued.

IMG_3141Fast forward to June 2012, I opened my email to find a message from WooThemes saying they were hiring. I wasn’t looking for a job at the time but immediately jumped on the opportunity to apply. I had been working more and more with WordPress and have always enjoyed helping others. It turns out WooThemes has been a perfect fit for me as over half of the company works remotely with flexible hours. This allows me to continue my travels in the RV while delivering happiness to all of our customers. WordPress lends itself very nicely to working and traveling fulltime as you only need an internet connection to be online. I am not alone in the WordPress world as one who travels and makes a fulltime living. My talk will share some tips and advice that I have learned along the way. If you’ve ever thought you might want to embark on a journey of a lifetime and currently work from home, my question to you would be: What are you waiting for? Let’s go!

We will be posting more speaker spotlights as we get closer to the event, but for now you can see the full list of speakers right here.

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