Hi, we’re Jacques + Dahcia; entrepreneurs in love, running companies and building remote teams, worldwide. If you’ve been following our journey over the last few years, you may know that we met on November 16, 2009 at the University at Albany and got married on May 22, 2014. Our wedding proposal video went viral and it led to our wedding being sponsored by Fox News NY, Galia Lahav, and many more amazing brands. You also may know that we started a marketing company in college that eventually grew to a team of 10 with three office locations across the United States.
A little over a year ago, we conducted a short experiment with our team, in hopes of getting an answer to a simple question— is our team more productive at home or in the office? After 6 full weeks, we discovered that our team was, in fact, much more productive at home. As a result, we closed all three of our offices and took our teams and companies 100% remote.
Since then, we’ve gone on to do great work for amazing companies like McDonald’s, Marriott, Square Inc., and CVS Pharmacy, to name a few. We also sold our company Breadcrumbs, grew our company SHADE, and launched Snappy Booth, Nappy, and CreatorBio.co— all while working in our pajamas from our living room. Today, we have team members working around the world, from New York and Maryland to Argentina and the Philippines.
Our decision to go remote also allowed us to move to New York City (from Albany, NY) to be closer to our family and business connections. Now, after 12 months of living in New Rochelle, NY and working remote, we decided it was time to take things to another level.
It all started in 2014…
May 22, 2014 was one of the best days of our lives. It was the day we both said “I do” and decided to share the rest of our lives together. One of the best parts? God blessed us with an opportunity to have our wedding (at the Central Park Boathouse), our wedding gown (worth $25k), our wedding bands, and a ton of other things… all for free (thanks to some amazing friends and sponsors). But our wedding day was also a humbling one because we knew at the time we were barely able to afford a cab ride, let alone a honeymoon. So, after our wedding, we booked a hotel room for one night and did what we knew how to do best… WORKED.
That night, we made a promise to ourselves. We told ourselves in one year, if we were in a better financial position, we would start taking honeymoons once a month. And just like that, on May 22, 2015, we took our first trip together to Florida, spending 4 days in Tampa and 4 days in Miami.
It was amazing to travel and explore together! We were still building our companies so we couldn’t really go days (or hours) without working. We created a schedule for ourselves and worked in the mornings and explored in the evenings and on weekends. Since then, our honeymoons have brought us to LA, Vegas, DC, and Florida, as well as internationally to Canada, Costa Rica, and Indonesia. Some of our trips were with friends and family, others, we stayed at hotels in our hometown and found activities to do there. For the following two years, we followed the same pattern— find a place we’ve never been before, rent a hotel or an Airbnb, work during the daytime and chill during the evening.
Our last “honeymoon” trip was in April 2017 when we went to Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali, Indonesia for two weeks with our family. It was about 30 hours of flight time, through various timezones— we left New York on Thursday morning and got to Jakarta on Saturday. The flight and food were amazing so we weren’t complaining 😉.
Our Indonesia trip was great— it was filled with visits to temples, a monkey forest, waterfalls, rice terraces, amazing brunches, and more; however, the trip didn’t go as smoothly as it could have. This was the first time we were in a drastically different time zone (12 hr time difference) and instead of spending all of our time with family during the trip, we spent most of our time in client meetings, team meetings, and taking care of other time-sensitive business activities. There were many activities we either both didn’t participate in or took turns staying behind and working.
The trip to Indonesia showed us a lot of weaknesses in our companies and in our lives. For starters, all of our companies depended entirely too much on us. It was difficult for us to be off-grid for more than 10 hours without something going wrong. Second, it also showed us that although the monthly-retainer business (where clients pay us one monthly price to manage their marketing initiatives) is a great way to know exactly how much money you’re going to make each month, it also means that we work 24/7 for our clients and have to be available to react when anything goes wrong (no matter the time of day… or night).
We spent so much money on that trip and didn’t get to fully enjoy it.
So, similar to our wedding night on May 2014, we promised ourselves that we’d work to change our business processes and structure over the next year, and then we’d go back to Indonesia and do it all over. And that’s why that was our last honeymoon trip. We needed to pause and restructure our lives. We needed to change the way we made our money. We needed to make sure our companies were less dependent on us.
Restructuring our companies.
To do this, we started by turning our full-service marketing agency, boogie, into a marketing consultancy focused on short-term consulting and team training projects to help companies capture the attention of today’s generation. We also launched Snappy Booth, a photo booth company (a low maintenance and high-profit business). For example, most of our event bookings fall around $800 and we profit about $650 from that. Maybe that’s a lot of money to you, maybe that’s not, but to make that $650, it takes us 1-2 hours of actual work (thanks to technology and our amazing Snappy team). These changes meant we were able to move our core team to focus more of their time on growing SHADE, our influencer talent management agency where we help black and brown creators get paid. Lastly, we sold Breadcrumbs to an amazing company from the UK.
Needless to say, 2017 was a transformative year for us that led to a lot of changes; personal and professional. It wasn’t an easy year, but it was one where we learned from our past mistakes and started planting new seeds. By the end of the year, we had a lot more ‘free’ time to live our lives and do the things that we’ve always wanted to do. Dahcia transitioned to a pescatarian lifestyle and started focusing more on her photography. Jacques is now teaching his University courses remotely, has started consulting, and got back to his love for writing. Best of all, all of these things are able to be done from practically anywhere in the world.
We took a few months to plan and pack for our do-over trip to Indonesia. But, instead of a one-week trip, we thought, why not stay for a month? Since we work from home, we can work from any… home, right?
And that’s when we decided, we’re moving out of the U.S. We’re going to travel the world together while working on growing our businesses. We’re going to visit some of our favorite destinations while living and working there for 2 weeks – 3 months.
So we gave up our apartment, got rid of our car, sold all of our furniture, and donated 85% of our clothes to charity. By the end of it all, we were able to fit our entire lives into two suitcases, and two carry-ons.
On April 26, 2018, we hopped on a #OneWayFlight to Jakarta, Indonesia to kick off our travels and to redo the 2017 trip. Lucky for us, Dahcia’s sister lives in Jakarta so we had a personal tour guide and a free stay in a luxury apartment in Jakarta’s Central Business District (Thanks Donise!).
After Indonesia, we’re going to spend a few months in various countries across Southeast Asia before we move to our next region.
We don’t have the full itinerary planned just yet, but here’s where we’ve booked so far:
- May | Indonesia, Singapore
- June | Malaysia, Thailand
- July | Indonesia, New York
- August | Jamaica, Haiti
Then, we’re planning to visit Central and South America to live in places like Colombia, Ecuador, Belize, Costa Rica, and more. And in 2019, we’re hoping to travel to countries in Africa then Europe.
At each location, we’ll make it a point to immerse ourselves in the culture, see the sights, and meet people, while continuing to build our businesses. We’ll be returning to the States every 3 -4 months for work, speaking engagements, important meetings, and family time.
To our family and friends, thank you for your continued support and for always being our biggest cheerleaders. We’ll miss you all! Whenever you’re in need of a vacation, hit us up and find out where in the world we are at the moment… as long as you can get there, you’ll definitely have a place to stay 🤗.
To our clients and partners, you won’t even notice we’re away. We’ve been sending 2 AM emails and having 6 AM meetings since the very beginning 🙃.
If you have any questions, go ahead and ask in a comment below or DM us on the gram @onewayfortwo.