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- Nikki Bartol


Currently in Bali

... I have fielded the following questions in the last few years: 1. Don’t you want to get married? 2. Don’t you want to have children? 3. You know you don’t have much longer before you can’t have children, so when do you think you’ll stop travelling? 4. What are you running away from? 5. Are you sure so much instability is good for you, you know with your condition? (more on this later) 6. Is what you’re doing legal? (My brother asked me this — it was said in jest but in every stitch of humour is an ounce of truth) 7. Don’t you want to have a proper home? 8. Don’t you think you’re too old to be doing this? 9. Aren’t you lonely? 10. When will you get a real job? 11. Do you have a job? 12. How do you make money? 13. How do you ever expect to get a boyfriend when you move all over the place all the time? The list goes on but all with similar themes, marriage, children, family, stability and job. The answer to almost all of those questions is I’m really not sure, barring my job and whether it’s legal. I run a location independent branding and advertising agency called On The Run and yes it is legal. When I started this journey I put a roof over my head and food in my tummy by writing, more specifically, doing copywriting for various clients. One of whom is a tech agency that I still write for regularly on all things AI, Chatbot and RPA related - I even published a book on it this year called Working Machines: An Executive’s Guide to AI and Intelligent Automation I am South African, born and bred. I grew up all over South Africa. Went to a total of 12 schools and I have a degree in journalism (which I’ve never really used) and politics (which I have rarely used except for getting into heated debates about, well, politics). I love South Africa. I think it is the most beautiful country in the world and yes I am biased, but I have heard the same from many of the people I have met while travelling. The city that I consider home is, Cape Town, which incidentally has been named the best city in the world for 7 years in a row. I am in no way running away from my home or anything that matter, not anymore anyway. I am simply on a mission to find a place on Earth that is more beautiful than my home. I am a redhead and I believe that my hair is a very big part of my identity. I was the new kid in school 12 times and each time I was the new kid in school with freckles and red hair. Kids are merciless but I think the teasing made me more resilient… so there 😉 I was born with a congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta, I was the first female girl in SA to have the disease without having the accompanying Turners Syndrome. My brother and I were the first two different sex siblings to have the same heart defect in South Africa. At least this is what our doctors said, and doctors know best. I have had two heart operations and due to a rough start in life, healthwise at least, I tend to get sick a little easier than other people and then stay sick for longer. This has affected my school, varsity and work life. When I was 30 years old, I had a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with bipolar (which is possibly a whole book in itself). I take medication every day and I have been mostly episode free since 2016. All of these things I’ve shared have shaped my life experience. Since 2018 On The Run has been a profitable 5 figure business (in dollars) and a 6 figure business in rands (SA local currency). I work with an incredible team of creative people who do exceptional work. Take a look for yourself. I am the Remote Work Mentor’s brand mentor and I have worked in advertising and marketing for more than 18 years. I started my career working for multi-national agencies like Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Mirum. I have expertise in brand and marketing strategy and I specialise in brand messaging and connecting with your audience. So that’s my story and I am really looking forward to mentoring you in the future!

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