Expat Interviews Will Work for Travel

Interview with Founder of The Institute of Code, Tina May

February 19, 2017

We got to meet Tina May of The Institute of Code last year in Bali and we couldn’t wait to share her journey with you. Tina May knows a thing or two about being a #girlboss — and we’re not just talking about traveling the world. While her drive and love for entrepreneurship has led her to create the genius concept of learning to code in paradise, her eagerness to break the mold is most inspiring. Find out more about her journey below.

Where are you based and what’s the best thing about where you live?

Home for me is Melbourne, but at the moment I spend most of my time living in Canggu, Bali. I don’t think you could pick two better places to live — they are both vibrant places with a thriving entrepreneurial culture, amazing food scene and friendly people.

Where is one place you feel most like yourself?
I work in technology but when I’m travelling I often like to escape and just get back to basics. For me it’s not so much a place but a feeling — when I’m surrounded by nature, spending time with the people who mean the most to me and just being totally present in the moment.

Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by everyone who takes the leap of faith to believe in themselves and chase a future they are passionate about knowing that they might fail. One of my favourite quotes is “I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me” – by Tracee Ellis Ross.

How has travel changed you? What growth experiences have you learned from it?
I learn something new about myself every time I travel and feel like I become the best version of myself through travel, but there are a few moments that have stuck with me for a long time.

I still remember in one of my first trips abroad being in rural Laos and being awestruck by the genuine happiness and sense of fulfillment everyone had despite having so little material wealth or freedom. It was a reminder that happiness is a state of mind, not a product of the things you have or the accomplishments you have made.

Where has travel taken you so far? Where to next?
I’ve been to 30 countries, hiked volcanos, swam under waterfalls, learned another language and met some really inspiring individuals.

Up next on my list? Hiking in Nepal, exploring Cambodia and snowboarding in Japan.

What makes you come alive?
I have always loved helping people. I get to teach people from all over the world how to code as well as how to believe in themselves and seeing those ‘aha moments’, watching them present a beautiful new website that they couldn’t have imagined building only 10 days prior is what inspires me. Knowing that I can contribute, even just a little bit, to them creating a future they are passionate about is the best feeling in the world.

Your most rewarding accomplishments to date? Go on #girlboss, Tell us!
I started a creative agency when I was 20, and it enabled me to work with small businesses around Australia and ultimately travel the world bartering for web-development with boutique hotels.

It was only a little over 12 months of running my company Institute of Code that we celebrated our 100th student!

What big projects are you working on now?
Our big vision with IOC is to create a set of modular, immersive courses that empower people with the tangible digital skills they need to accelerate their careers or build their own business… after an amazing first year we’re ready to take it to the next level — we’ll be launching our Digital Marketing and Blogging courses, we’ll be welcoming almost twice as many students through the door as we did last year and we’ll be running some really cool little side projects along the way.

What’s your best advice for aspiring travelers and/or girls in tech?
Just try! So many girls are intimidated by tech, they feel like they aren’t ‘tech savvy enough’ but the truth is that coding is accessible to everyone — get the basics on code academy, download our free video tutorials or just try building something for yourself 🙂

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