Out of Office Diaries

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It didn’t take much for Interior Designer Casey Keasler to catch the travel bug.

The first time I flew on a plane I was five. I remember being both excited and terrified. My parents took my brother and me to Disney World. Our first, in a total of two family trips on a plane together.  At the time of the trip, I had an ear infection and my ears popped so hard at both take off and landing I cried. I was one of those kids, I couldn’t help it. I cried hard and I couldn’t stop. I remember people looking at me like I was evil. I didn’t care they thought I was too old to be crying like a maniac. The only thing that calmed me down was looking out the window at the landscape below. That, and bubble gum from the flight attendant.

Aside from the annual Keasler Summer Road Trip and a couple of Spring Break road trips, I didn’t travel as a kid. My first trip out of the country, I was 18. The trip was with my mom and a group of 50-year-olds touring Ireland by bus. My first trip to the West Coast, I was 24, in love and never wanted to stop exploring.

Traveling was sporadic but I had the bug. By my mid-20s I had been to most major US cities and internationally traveled to London, Paris, Seville, Brussels, Dublin and Ecuador. The list was short by traveler standards, but my personal list was growing. It was only a matter of saving money, getting time off work and putting together a plan. Not an easy feat for a broke 20-something, but I was determined.

 

The concept of combining work and travel didn’t form fully until two years ago. I was in Los Angeles with Tanner Goods for three weeks installing and setting up their second retail location. During that time, I realized, this was how I wanted to work. I didn’t want to spend my days sitting behind a desk (although that is a chunk of what I do). I wanted to work hands-on and being in a new location made it that much more intriguing. When I returned to Portland in the winter of 2014, I spent the rest of the year making a plan. By the end of the year, I launched Casework and in early 2015, I landed my first official project out of state, a motel located near Joshua Tree, California. That motel is still in process but since then, I helped Tanner Goods open their third retail location in San Francisco, worked with Nest and Good Magazine to remodel a non profit in south central LA and now have a residence in the early design stages in Echo Park. 

 

Travel has been a huge part of my personal and professional growth. Working long distance means communication has to be the highest and every detail needs to be worked through. Planning, planning and more planning. My motto is to plan as much as you can because something will come up that’s going to shift the plan. On the flip side, planning the travel and the commute should be the easy part. I pack exactly what I need and never check a bag. My Samsonite Hardside spinner makes running through an airport easier than ever and my belongings are always protected. I love the Spruce color because it stands out in a sea of black bags. Hands down the nicest suitcase set I’ve ever owned. 

 

Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a trip to another country, I almost always say yes. As an adult, new experiences are few and far between. Traveling opens the possibility of having that new experience. One that could lead me to that “aha” moment. Because I’ve traveled, I feel fortunate to live in a place where I have the freedom and opportunity to go just about anywhere I want. I appreciate quality food and water that is readily accessible. I don’t take for granted time with old friends or meeting friendly faces while on the road. These days, I’ll take experience over just about anything.

To learn more about Casey’s life as an interior designer, visit her blog, CASEWORK. You can also find her on Twitter, PinterestInstagram, and TumblrWhat’s your take on today’s new business world? Show us on Instagram with #TheNewBusiness.

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