Empowered women, empower women.
Meet Anne Roderique-Jones, a badass babe who ditched the office life to become a freelancer. She travels the world (almost) year-round and writes for some of the most fabulous publications in the world like Vogue & Marie Claire. #LivingTheDream
Tell us a bit more about yourself,
I’m a just-three-year New Orleanian, having moved here from New York City where I worked in magazines. I went to school in San Francisco, so I’m fully living out the whole Tennessee Williams quote. Today, I’m a freelance journalist residing in the Irish Channel and cover everything from fitness to travel to features on important topics for women. I travel for both work and fun, often with my husband. A few favorites: Southeast Asia, Saba, Tunisia, and Cuba. While in New Orleans, which I do consider the most interesting city in the world, I love trying new restaurants and bars, but fully appreciate the classics, which is done so well in this city. There’s nothing greater than sitting on the porch at The Columns or having a drink at The French 75 Bar. And I love a Friday lunch more than just about anything. A close second is a total dive. I like that, too.
How did you make the jump from working full time to becoming a freelancer?
I was on staff for 5 years at The Knot magazine in NYC, and shortly after leaving, I made the jump to freelance. I took a full-time job working for Dr. Oz’s beauty website and, in the evening, I dove into specialized writing classes and worked on freelance projects. Once I felt confident enough to support myself on a freelance-only income, I left the office life.
You seem to be living any millennial’s dream life, are there any downsides to not having an office job? Do you have any advice for young professionals looking into freelancing full time?
What I miss most about the office job is being surrounded by smart, encouraging women. I made some of my best friends at a magazine, and it’s fantastic to have that kind of daily support system. I also miss the office snacks.
But working for yourself is worth it. My advice for those looking to transition into freelancing is to work your tail off post-day job, make contacts, and always, always be genuinely nice. You never know if your intern will one day be an editor that you pitch.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned working as a freelancer?
To set boundaries. Because I work for myself, I could easily write or edit until midnight or fill the weekends with freelance projects. I’ve learned to set realistic hours (for me that’s starting super early) and enjoy the flexibility. Also, don’t turn the television on during the day—Ellen is a hilarious time suck.
What’s your favorite article you’ve ever written?
I love the Saints and football, so I wrote this story during the Ray Rice debacle. Also, this feature was so interesting to write because I had the chance to interview a lot of really intelligent and honest women about what it’s like to be bullied by other moms.
How do you decide on where you’re taking your next trip?
My husband and I have a list of places we want to visit and use it as a loose guide to where we book our next trip; it’s always flexible and there are few places I’d not want to go. Also, my work sends me on assignments; sometimes I might be the weird solo traveler with a bunch of honeymooning couples or I may be interviewing potters in Mississippi (that’s this weekend).
What’s your favorite city in the whole world?
Luang Prabang in Laos. It’s like a marriage of Southeast Asia and super-chic France.
What’s your favorite hotel in the whole world?
For the U.S., it would be Twin Farms, a luxury property set upon 300 acres in Vermont with just 20 totally unique rooms. For international it would be The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India. The property is set on a lake, accessible only by a small boat, and boasts private pools, terrific dining, and a great spa. It’s a hotel geek’s dream.
What’s your favorite restaurant in New Orleans?
If I had to choose one that encompasses everything I love about this city, it’s Commander’s Palace. Not only is chef Tory McPhail’s food out-of-this-world good, but the party-like atmosphere and gorgeous garden room make you feel like you’re nowhere else in the world—or certainly don’t want to be anywhere else. I live in the Irish Channel, so I can walk there, take a long lunch or boozy brunch, and then stroll the cemetery or Garden District post-meal. There’s nothing more New Orleans than that kind of day. If I get to choose runner-ups, I’d pick dinner at Clancy’s, a Friday lunch at Galatoires, and a burger at The Avenue Pub.
One thing you can’t live without?
My husband—he’s my favorite person to travel with in the world. For something less personal/cheesy, it’s a pair of sneakers. I like to run, and it’s one of the best (and free!) ways to see a city that I’m visiting.
One last piece of advice for anyone who’s New Year’s resolution is to travel more?
I’d say to get a credit card that gives you loads of sign-up miles, allows you to accumulate multiple points for purchases, and then pay it off each month. I use mine for everything and rarely pay for plane tickets.
Check out more of Anne’s adventures on her Instagram!
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