What Remote Year is all about and why I'm going
Flashback to October 2017. I had been struggling for the last several months at a dead-end job working for someone I didn't get along with. I knew I wanted out, but I didn't think doing the same work at a different desk for a different company would make me any happier. But, I also didn't know what would make me happier.
Am I miserable because of my current situation or, deep down, do I really just not like what I do? Hello, peak quarter-life crisis.
What is Remote Year?
One night after a particularly trying day at work, I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram when I came across an ad that caught my eye.
What if you could work and travel?
Keep your job and travel the world working remotely with other young professionals.
Umm, hi yes hello what's this?
I clicked through and my eyes absolutely lit up--this is exactly what I was looking for. As someone who's traveled a bit, I've been dying to get back out there. Sadly, anyone with career knows how difficult that can be.
Remote Year is a travel program designed for digital nomads. A group of 50 people and 2 program leaders live in 12 cities across the world in 12 months. That's right--every 30 days you move somewhere new. You live together, travel together, share a workspace, and adventure together. For a whole year.
In each city, Remote Year provides 2 Program Leaders who travel with your group for the year, accommodation in apartment-style housing, 24/7 access to a coworking space, professional and adventure experiences called Tracks. (Check out this great video summary by Balboa Citizen Justin Poore!)
I applied right then and there.
Why I decided to go
Suddenly, all the dots started to connect in my head. This is what I have been searching for--I can meet new people, experience new cultures, see new places, and not at the expense of my career or costing an absolute fortune. It's the perfect exit from my current job; I'll start freelancing and be free to go and do whatever I want. I don't have to be chained to a desk anymore! I don't have to work for shitty bosses anymore! I can dictate my hours and work on my terms! Hell to the yes.
However, I'd like to be clear:
Remote Year isn't an escape from life.
This seems to be an easy conclusion to jump to, particularly for my older family members. I'm not going to avoid anything. I'm not going for a year-long vacation. Remote Year is forcing me to take charge of my career. It's forcing me out of my comfort zone. It's forcing me to reevaluate my life and what I want out of it.
Subsequently, a lot of people ask what I plan to do when I get back. Truth is, I don't know if I even will come back. That's kind of the whole point of this experience. I'm trying something new and hoping in the process I'll come out the other side with a fresh perspective on where to go from there.
Maybe I'll keep freelancing, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll go back to San Francisco, maybe I won't.
In the end, Remote Year is an opportunity to explore who I am and what the hell I'm doing on this Earth. I don't expect to have it all figured out 365 days from now. But, if I can get just a little closer to an answer, a little more comfortable with myself, a little happier with my future...
... it will be totally worth it.