It appears that my life of leisure has an official name, courtesy of Microsoft.

I am a moofer. I moof, apparently.

I’ve been moofing for years now. And you should see me moof; it’s quite a sight. I’ve moofed in a hotel room overlooking the Bay of Biscay in San Sebastian, Spain; on a sunny hillside on Capri, Italy; in an Irish pub in the South of France; one time, I even moofed in my friend’s rooftop pool in Rome after a long, lazy day at the beach.

Moof stands for “Mobile Out of Office,” and it’s changing the way people do business.

In 2000, while working at a New York ad agency, I went on vacation to Rome and fell in love - with the entire city. I decided I would move there; it never occurred to me that I couldn’t. I would simply do my job from Rome. Somehow.

I don’t know how I got the idea to be a moofer. Our group was in print production, which is a very hands-on, old-school industry. There also was the question of what I did at the agency, which no one, including myself, knew how to explain. Suffice it to say that it had nothing to do with marketing, advertising or print production, and everything to do with keeping track of a lot of information and an ability to use Microsoft Excel in ways never seen before or since.

The thing I had going for me, though, was that while no one could describe what I did, they knew that if I stopped doing it they would be in a lot of trouble. I used this to my advantage as I took each element of my job and figured out how I could make it work without actually being in the office. I went to our HR Director, who was intrigued by my idea and helped me get my crazy idea approved by the higher-ups.

I made a PowerPoint presentation to my bosses. They had no idea what I wanted to do, but they let me do it. They “fired” me and then re-hired me as a freelancer; I sold all my stuff, bought a plane ticket and, armed with a laptop and one year of self-taught Italian, moved to Rome.

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