From project management and content creation to folk dance and theater, Arletta has worked on various spectrums of the creative industry. She developed her dance, theater, and business management skills at Loyola University Chicago (2014) and also graduated with a diploma in Polish Folk Dance Choreography from the University of Rzeszow, Poland (2018).
Her career began in the tech/commerce industry in a collaboration between Google Krakow and the Polish American Chamber of Commerce. Since then, Arletta has worked with a number of non-profits spanning across theater, dance, education, and human-services.
Currently, Arletta works remotely from the beaches of Bali with small business owners and creatives to bring their vision into a digital reality. From web and print design to social media management and virtual branding, she is there to make sure the world sees your passion, and falls in love with it too.
What was your last regular job?
I had a variety of jobs that I was working before I moved to Bali. My main position was as a Creative Advancement Coordinator for a non-profit called the Polish American Association. In that position, I had a lot of creative responsibilities, ranging from event coordination to designing website graphics. At the same time, I was also an Artistic Director and Choreographer for two dance companies.
Where all have you traveled since you began working remotely?
I have traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
What made you want to pursue a nomadic lifestyle?
It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I love to travel and I had previously travelled around Europe and throughout the USA.
I finally put my plan into action after I met a man in an Uber (last December 2018) who had lived in 17 different countries. After that Uber ride, I kept listening to podcasts about the digital nomad lifestyle and how people end up working remotely. I would walk home from work while listening to the podcasts and I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head. In 2019, I made it my resolution to leave the USA. In March, I bought my ticket to Bali and flew out 2 weeks later.
Are you still in contact with the man you met in the Uber?
We aren’t in contact anymore, but he was a really big inspiration for my move to Bali. Once I moved, he actually called me every couple of weeks to check in on me. It was such a big help. I never thought that I would have been homesick, but it was hard moving to a new country and realizing that people’s lives go on without you back home. It was cool to be able to talk with someone who has been through that.
How do you currently support yourself?
I have my own branding business called Arletta Gromek Creative. I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs who are typically in their early stages of their business. I help them develop everything from their voice to their brand identity. It can include so many different facets depending on what the client needs. A lot of my day-to-day responsibility includes strategizing on how to use brand identity to reach my client’s target audience. I’m absolutely in love with the work that I do.
Do you have any online training courses that you recommend?
There’s one that I used when I first started out called Horkey Handbook. The course does a really good job at giving you a step by step process on how to become a virtual assistant. I ended up not finishing the course because I decided not to become a virtual assistant. However, it is very good at giving directions for any person who is just starting out.
How did you learn your graphic design skills?
Graphic design isn’t something that I studied, however I’ve always been more creatively inclined. When we had an event at the non-profit I worked for, I would design the graphics. It’s really something that I learned on my own. At the same time, Im still developing my skills in so many ways. I think a lot of what I do with branding is strategy based. Obviously, visuals play a huge role in it and I’m very good at piecing together what looks good. If I ever need help, then I’m not afraid to reach out to someone else for advice.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
There’s so many little things that pop up over time that you didn’t even realize would come up. For example, when I first started sending out branding questionnaires, I created a beautiful PDF. However, because it was a PDF, clients weren’t able to fill it out online. Another little thing is setting up payment processing and figuring out what works best for you and what works best for your clients. This is especially important for me because I work with so many clients who aren’t based in the United States.
What are the hardest things you find about working remotely?
Time difference plays a big role because it is a 14 hour time difference between Bali and Chicago. I’m not a morning person but so many times I’ve had to wake up at 6 or 7am just to contact a client. I’m happy to do that but at the same time I have to realize that there’s a limit. If I get up too early, then I know that I will be essentially useless. I want to be able to give 100% for my clients. If they’re only availability is at 4am (my time) then it won’t work out for me.
How do you envision your life in 5 years?
In 5 years I want to be living in Portugal. I think by that time I will still be doing what I do now or at least a variation of it. I plan to expand my company and bring on a copywriter because copywriting is not my strong suit. I would also love to hire a social media guru who is skilled at figuring out all the algorithms of the newer platforms like TikTok. TikTok is such a huge marketing tool but I just don’t know enough about it. I want to expand my company and still have the ability to travel. Eventually I would like to get into more event branding and to do more experience based branding.
What are your estimated monthly expenses?
Cost of living here is so much lower than back home in the US. My rent right now is 3.3 million ($237.43 USD). I have a nice room in a guest house with a balcony and my own bathroom with a shower. I have 2 roommates and its located in a good location in Berawa, Canggu.
Food and drinks
I don’t drink that much. I try to budget about 100K ($7.19 USD) a day on food and drinks. I don’t go too many western restaurants. I try to go to local warungs because you can get a full meal for around 14K ($1.01 USD) and get dessert and drinks for another $1 USD. It’s absolutely insane. If you go to a western place, you can easily spend 150K ($10.79 USD) on a meal.
Theres a lot of talks that I go to that are usually held at co-working spaces, as well as free workshops. I love ecstatic dancing and I go to the free class at Udara every Sunday. When you’re in Bali, there are so many unique events to try like full moon parties, women’s circles and cacao ceremonies.
My motorbike costs $475K ($34.18 USD) a month. Including gas, I would estimate that I spend around $50/month on transportation.
I try to budget around $1000 USD a month, but you could easily spend a lot more or a lot less.