Half way through Remote Year – what’s next?
When I first joined Remote Year, the idea of spending one month in 12 cities around the world with 50 other professionals seemed daunting and exciting. Stepping out of your life – leaving friends and family, your home, and for me, my job – seemed like a huge leap of faith. And I love taking leaps of faith, especially ones that involve travel!
Month one flew by as we got to know each other and adjusted to our new lifestyle of working and living remotely. Months two and three were a blur, as we explored new countries and booked side trips. Month four was a reality check for many of us, and a chance to rest and recharge. Month five was a busy work month for me and then month six was here and it suddenly hit us that it was our last month in Europe!
I feel like I just started this journey but in fact, we’ve wrapped up month six with means I’m closer to the end than the beginning.
I’m feeling a sense of urgency. I had so many goals for this year away and I’m not on track to complete most of them – some I haven’t even started!
Perhaps it was too ambitious to launch a communications consulting company,
develop a brand,
build a website,
write a weekly blog,
research road safety issues around the world,
be open to new cultures and new ways of thinking about life and work,
be curious and adventurous,
do regular yoga,
learn a new language, …..
Okay, writing out this long list makes me realize how unrealistic it was!
The only goal that really matters to me now is being present for every moment of this adventure.
There have been high, happy moments (exploring the city walls of Dubrovnik, seeing the sunrise from a mountain in Bulgaria);
there have been lows (wondering where the next client or pay cheque would come from);
there’s uncertainty and doubt (Do I belong here? Can I really do this?);
and kindness from unexpected places (invites to dinner, an arm offered walking down stairs, a hug on a tough day).
My emotions have ranged from one extreme to another. And I think that’s how we know we are alive. We are experiencing life – every single moment of it.
It’s not all happy and fun and games, (although I’m sure it looks that way to people back home!) but it’s real and it’s raw. We are learning things about ourselves and others that might be surprising.
People think I’m always happy, (which is mostly true) but those closest to me know when I haven’t had a good night’s sleep, when I need a snack, or when I simply need to sit down for a break.
It’s these insights we develop as we spend time with people we care about that makes life richer, fuller.
I’ve always been independent and have been single for awhile now so I’m not used to anyone taking care of me. It still feels strange but I’m learning to let go, to allow others into my private life, to ask for help or a hug or some chocolate.
The great thing about traveling with 50 new friends is that there’s always someone up when you’re down, caring when you’re homesick, listening when you need to talk, ready for an adventure or happy to stay in pjs to watch a movie.
And now the big question that’s started to creep into conversations is – what’s next? What do we do after Remote Year ends?
Will people return to their former lives/homes/jobs and carry on, remembering RY as that year they went traveling?
Will people continue the digital nomad lifestyle, and keep traveling?
Will people go back to the cities they fell in love with and start a new life?
For me, I don’t know.
Of course, I miss my family and friends and I can’t wait to go home and see everyone.
And yes, I miss my home and King-size bed with one solid mattress where I don’t fall in between, with sheets that fit, lots of pillows and a fluffy duvet.
But I’ve also come to love the freedom of waking up without an alarm clock, of choosing how to spend my days, of exploring new places filled with history.
I don’t know what life will look like in March 2018 but I do know this:
~ There is more than one way to live a happy, successful, passionate life
~ Dreams, all dreams, are worth pursuing
~ Say “yes” to fun – whatever that means to YOU
We have six months left on this adventure and I intend to:
experience every moment,
continue to develop new friendships,
be open and curious about ways to live a happy life,
soak up nature and see the beauty all around me,
wake up each morning grateful for a new day,
and spread kindness and compassion everywhere I go.
I’m in South America for the next six months and would love to hear your tips, suggestions or questions!