#InVinoFab episode no. 12: France Baril On Being a Digital Nomad & Documentation Architect

France Baril joins us for this episode of  the #InVinoFab podcast where she shares a bit about how she became a digital nomad and what her first year as an entrepreneur was like. France is a DITA/XML documentation architect who helps organizations analyze their content and processes, select tools, learn about DITA and/or XML, manage the change process. She is owner of Architextus where she helps to develop supporting material (from DTDs or schemas to XSL transformations). She has a unique background with a BA in Communication from University of Ottawa and a BSc in Computer Science from Université de Sherbrooke. Over the years she has worn many hats from writer/translator to programmer analyst and product manager.

We had a brilliant conversation about how tinkering with computers and codes sparked France’s interest to get into a technical field from an interdisciplinary background in social science and computer science. She managed to push forward on her career journey by ignoring advisors who doubted the future of computers and combined her talents to enter into technical writing. Although this collaboration is more common now, it was cool to learn about her path to becoming a documentation architect. Much of her work is very transferable to the things we do for teaching, learning, research, and design in higher education. Additionally, we learn about how she left the cold Canadian winters to be a digital nomad living/working in Panama, Mexico, and France. So of course, we talk about virtual work, relocation, and what to consider if you are considering being remote from work for some or part of the year.

“If you have a computer in the house, put it somewhere where every kid can play with it.” ~ France Baril

Here are a few links and resources of things we talked about in this semi-technical, wine-infused conversation:

Tips from France on being a digital nomad:

  • Research Potential Locations: where do YOU want to go? Is it for warmer weather? Do you want to explore another country or part of the world?
  • Know the Work Laws: This will be of your home country AND the new country you plan to travel and work in. This might impact your passport, visa, residency, or requirements that you have to prepare before you go.
  • Get Advice from a Professional: Find an accountant and/or a lawyer. Let the professionals manage your local and foreign tax laws so you understand where and how you will keep things legal as you travel for taxes, visa requirements, limitations for length of stay, etc.
  • Learn About Residency Restrictions: This could be a restriction on the length of stay, if you can get an apartment, or if you  or even a required work visa if you are working locally.
  • Live Local, Be Local — this might start online with research, but be sure to get OFFLINE to connect and make professional contacts and colleagues to support your work
  • Culture of Work: Figure out of the work/life balance and lifestyle fits well with your professional life.
  • Nourish Your Own Professional Learning: Attend conferences, meet up with colleagues, and network with the people you want to learn from who are sharing what is on the horizon for your discipline or industry.

We are grateful that France took a break from her holidays in Portugal to share about her experience at a vineyard during her travels. Apparently we need to book a trip to the Douro Valley wine land in Porto ASAP! There’s a number of women making wine and taking the lead in this vines region.

#InVinoFab Homework:

I tried to research both the Algerian wine and the story of the soup lady in the Douro Valley, and here is what I learned:

If you have any sleuthing information about this homework from the pod — we welcome it and want to hear from you: invinofabulum@gmail.com Thanks!

InVinoFabulum_ICONStay connected for the next In Vino Fabulum episode by following:

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