100 days of Remote Year
100 days is a milestone. We see it in politics (the first 100 days in office) and in personal projects (choose one thing – gratitude, yoga, walking – and do it for 100 days).
I recently celebrated 100 days of leaving behind my job, family and friends to travel the world, spending one month in 12 cities with Remote Year. My fellow remotes gathered around a campfire in Sofia, Bulgaria to reflect on how we’re feeling and to set our intentions for the remaining eight months.
The feelings were mixed.
Some people said it’s been the happiest time in their entire lives; others said they felt alone.
Some said they had achieved nearly all the goals they set for the year; others said they felt they hadn’t even started pursuing any goals.
Some never set goals at all and simply wanted to see where the year took them.
Some people started relationships; others ended them.
Some had friends and family come to visit; others returned home for quick visits with loved ones.
Some left the program and others wonder if they’ll be able to stay.
And how do I feel?
I started the program with lofty expectations, with big goals and plans for all the things I thought I could accomplish if I wasn’t working a 9-to-5 job and wasn’t concerned with the daily tasks of owning a home and a car and being a responsible adult, good friend and helpful daughter.
I thought I’d have hours every day to master meditation, practice yoga, eat healthy, write in my journal, build a communications business and explore each city.
But things take much longer in a new country with a foreign language and no transportation. Sometimes you can spend half a day just trying to mail postcards! And often it takes hours to get groceries.
Everything is new – new apartment, new roommates, new workspace, new currency – and my brain is in overdrive. I know it’s important to vary your routine so you don’t go through life on autopilot. When I was home, I often drove a different route to work or brushed my teeth with my left hand to keep my mind sharp.
But Remote Year takes my brain to a whole new level.
Each month we throw ourselves into a new city and try to figure it out in 30 days. Our brains don’t have time to adapt, there is no routine, there is no habit – the nervous system is constantly firing, trying to figure out what we’re up to!
Yes, it can be exhausting (hence afternoon naps and regular massages) but it is also exhilarating. My mind and body feels alive!
I’ve experienced a range of emotions over 100 days – some things have been harder than I expected, other things have been easier but I’ve never once doubted my decision to make this journey.
I know deep in my soul that this was the path I had to take, lessons that must be learned now and growth I was ready to embrace.
I’m a third of the way through my adventure and I’ve tossed out my original goal list. It was written by an ambitious but naïve woman.
Instead, I’m focusing on how I want to feel every moment, every day.
I want to feel joy,
I want to feel alive,
I want to soak up these moments and store them away to savour when I’m 90 years old and remember the woman who was brave enough to leave everything behind and wander the world, guided only by a whisper telling her…