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Me at Iguazu Falls, Argentina!
Me at Iguazu Falls, Argentina!

Last year, I went on a mission to do more qualitative work. I went to RIVA training, pitched myself as a moderator, and connected with tons of other “quallies” at the QRCA conference. One thing I heard a lot at the conference was, “I used to do a lot of in-person qual, but I switched to online because I didn’t want to travel as much.” At the time, I thought, “That’s not my problem at all! I LOVE to travel!”

But then I decided to amp up my international travel and live more of a digital nomad life. This is pretty easy to do when I’m working on surveys; as long as I can get online, I can do the work and be in touch with my clients. It’s not so easy when I’m living in Buenos Aires for the winter and a client wants me to be in Atlanta to moderate groups.

Last week, two things happened:

  1. First, I had to turn down a job moderating for four days in Chicago, because 1) there was no way the client was going to pay to fly me there and 2) there was no way I was going to spend 4 days in Chicago in February!
  2. Then (just hours later!) I won TWO online qualitative projects. One is an online bulletin board, where I post questions every day and respondents log in and answer them privately (only I see their answers). The other is an online community, where respondents can interact with each other– by “liking” or commenting on each other’s answers, for example.

These are a lot of work– a few hours every day making sure everyone has answered the questions, posting follow-ups, and taking notes on the patterns of responses I’m seeing. But they have been a great way to keep doing qualitative work while living my dream of traveling the world. Win-win!

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