A globe-trotting woman who has “worked from home” in nearly 30 countries says she won’t stop until she’s travelled the world.
Anna Pelova, 33, has her own marketing business, which she runs from her laptop, allowing her to work from all corners of the globe.
So far, she’s journeyed through dozens of countries in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, and hopes to hit 100 by the middle of next year.
Although Pelova’s job had always allowed her to travel, the COVID-19 pandemic saw demand for her business rise.
And this increase in revenue meant she could afford to start working abroad–thousands of miles from her home in East Finchley, north London.
Pelova said: “My business allows me to work from anywhere in the world, as long as I have my laptop.
“For me, when the pandemic hit, demand for my services really skyrocketed, so I decided to use the money to travel the world, one country at a time.”
Pelova moved to the UK from Bulgaria in 2009 and studied advertising at the London College of Communication.
During her course, she completed a work and travel module in San Francisco before coming back to England to finish her studies.
She then started travelling consistently in 2015, taking remote marketing jobs to finance each trip.
It wasn’t long before she went out on her own and started a remote marketing agency, and over the years Pelova has slowly grown her business.
The nature of her work means she can work from anywhere, and in November 2020 she took a spontaneous trip to Mexico.
While abroad, COVID-19 forced the UK to shut its borders, leaving Pelova stranded on the other side of the world.
But, unlike many, her business thrived during the pandemic, and she decided to use the cash to finance a personal goal of visiting every country in the world.
Pelova said: “I’ve always been well-travelled, and Mexico was the 49th country I’d been to.
“But it wasn’t until I got stuck there that I officially decided I wanted to visit every country in the world.
“The UK borders shut, so I thought my business is doing really well, why don’t I just go wherever’s open and work while on my travels?
“It felt right at the time, so instead of going home, I headed to South America, which is where I started my journey.”
Pelova caught a short-haul flight from Mexico to Columbia and then travelled to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru.
After a few months in South America, she then flew to Africa, visiting Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt.
Next on the agenda was the Balkans, including north Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia, and after that, Anna ticked off central Europe.
She visited, Italy, Vatican City, San Marino, France, Spain and Portugal, before flying to Pakistan for a friend’s wedding a month later.
Pelova says exploring the world is endless fun, but it’s important she gets her work done each day before she has her downtime.
She said: “I treat each place I stay in as a new home, that’s the mindset you have to have.
“Sometimes I get a sim card for the country I’m in and work on my phone.
“I have to make an effort to reply straight away to clients so I don’t lose business because people think I’m off travelling and not taking work seriously.
“If I’m not on my laptop, I’m on my phone, giving instructions to freelancers and a part-time assistant.
“Even if I’m walking around sightseeing, I have to make time to be clear with them.
“When I arrived in Brazil, I didn’t go out exploring for a week as I had a really busy work schedule. It was hard to do, but I had to stay inside.”
“In a beach town in Kenya I had to buy a lot of 4G data as the Wi-Fi was rubbish in the country, it is more expensive but it has to be done.”
After a short spell back in London, she was off again, this time to South East Asia, visiting the likes of the Maldives, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
Pelova then rounded off her last adventure with a trip to a military base in Azerbaijan, where she went on a guided tour around its war-torn regions.
Now she’s home again but is already planning her next trip to Central America, where she hopes to tour Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Honduras.
If everything goes to plan, Pelova says she is aiming to have visited 100 countries by the middle of next year.
So far, she has visited 79.
“I have met so many people travelling, especially in Africa,” Anna said.
“You just meet people and then travel with them, and I can say I’ve made friends for life on my adventures.
“I even flew to Pakistan for two weeks for the wedding of a friend I met travelling.
“Having the discipline to work can be tricky sometimes, but I know that my work is what funds my lifestyle, and I wouldn’t be able to travel without it.
“In my early 20s I used to go to hostels and stuff.
“Now I usually work from hotel rooms, rather than an Airbnb, as I need the privacy of having my own place.
“The temptation is very strong to explore new places, but I have to do the work first, then after that I can go exploring in my free time.
“I am also writing a book on millionaire entrepreneurs from all over the world based on the past six or seven years, which is almost finished.
“I’m still really young, and I can’t wait to travel more places, meet more people, and experience more culture on my journey around the globe,” she said.