Laura McIlvain + Alana Banks: Explorers at Roam

Laura and Alana are the type of women that you cannot help but smile real big when you’re speaking with. Their energy is infectious and passion for life palpable. They met three years ago, fittingly, in an airport for the first time and they have shared their adventures ever since.

We sat together at Roam Miami and chatted outside from under the breezy palms.

Please tell me a little bit about what each of you are working on.

AlanaMy company is Archetype Business Services Inc and we specialize in bookkeeping and new business setup for fellow entrepreneurs + small business ventures. I’ve been in business for over 5 years but recently rebranded to Roam Bookkeeping and evolved to being completely remote. I’m grateful that I can work from anywhere in the world and help focus on Laura’s business as we travel together.

LauraMy company Verve Movement, is changing the concept of ‘vacation’ and creating a global community through the combination of adventure (kitesurfing, scuba diving, travel), yoga, meditation and transformational work (ie: working through the illusions that hold us back from expressing our most powerful selves).  

How long have you both been location independent and did you ever imagine that your professions would support/integrate into the lifestyle?

AlanaI have been wanting to be global for a long time. And since we met 3 years ago, the opportunity has always existed for the both of us, but I had never thought about the how. I have kept my apt in Vancouver, but since being here at Roam, I now find the thought of detaching from that much easier and I can see myself/us doing this for many years. When the option of living at Roam popped up, we were like– this is great, we can work and move around the world together.

LauraI have itchy feet by nature and am happiest when I am traveling, but after building multiple successful startups in the Bay Area, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would leave the SF bubble. Luckily, my itchy feet spoke louder, I was able to manifest this nomadic lifestyle and then Roam popped up and provided an easy platform to launch my next business and grow my global community.


A photo of Laura McIlvain and Alana Banks exploring the world


Does being untethered enhance your work in any ways that you didn’t expect? 

AlanaEveryone at Roam is at different stages in their work (either just starting or transitioning etc), the convos that happen around where we are all at in our careers, excite me and actually makes me more passionate about what I’m doing.  

LauraJust being here, I have found that whenever I come up against the fear of “what am I doing and how can I make this work”, I’ll end up having a convo with someone here. They all have interesting solutions because everyone’s so different, with varied skill-sets and I find myself being introduced and conversing with people that I didn’t realize would be helpful to me.

Laura McIlvain and Alana Banks in their travel

They say that couples who travel together, stay together, what is it about wandering the world together that most excites you?

Laura: What I love about traveling with Alana is that she is truly an organized explorer. When we get to a new place she’s already read all the blogs and figured out the best places to eat, drink and dance!

Alana: We compliment each other very well bc Laura is an adventure person that likes to do things that scare me, she pushes me to do things I wouldn’t do on my own.

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to travel and work remotely?

Laura: JUST DO IT.

Alana: Get an idea, start a biz, talk to people, let go of all the reservations. With a community like this, it’s a lot easier than people think.

Why did you choose Roam, and please tell me something that you like about it/has surprised you?

AlanaWe decided on Roam over some of the other co-living/travel options, because we really wanted to immerse ourselves in a community and build connections, and also the amenities at Roam are pretty great! Having everything provided for you here is very convenient, and the ability to stay for longer periods of time makes it feel like home. Your other potential locations, and the idea of joining the community and moving with the company as you as grow is also very exciting.

LauraI was impressed about the fridge! It’s so refreshing to live in a community, completely unlike college, as an adult. As an extroverted introvert, I’ve been surprised at how much i’ve really enjoyed the community aspect. There is plenty of opportunity to have your own space or be social really whenever you want.

Where are you off to next?  (Both) We don’t know yet! We have some plans to be with family for the holidays and then we’d like to meet in London or maybe Madrid. We are going to continue with Roam and want to keep moving as the new locations open and to scout out new adventures for Laura’s business.

If in your life you could have personally witnessed anything, what would want to have seen?

AlanaI just read a book called The Wave, about giant rogue waves and big wave surfing- this is something I would love to witness.

LauraDinosaurs! Birds that were so big and flocks of so many that they darkened the sky as they flew by…..and turtles as big as cars.

Next week Laura will be holding a yoga fundraiser here at Roam, with local beers and a wonderfully mindful yoga session, with all proceeds going to Haiti relief efforts.

Laura, Alana, we’re honored that you chose us to share your new endeavors + adventures with, and we can’t wait to follow your progress–everywhere it takes you!

Make this life a wonderful adventure.

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