It all started around the time I was approaching 30. My life felt predictably laid out ahead of me. I knew I was in search of something to break up the monotony and give me that “alive” feeling—but what?
Travel had always been a passion of mine, and although my last trip to Costa Rica had satiated my wanderlust for a while, the feeling had begun to return. Then, after scanning tour sites, I found a Facebook ad for Remote Year.
“Travel the world as a digital nomad for a year! Visit 12 countries and meet 75 new friends!” This opportunity seemed too good to be true, but I clicked to read more.
What is Remote Year?
Remote Year is a start-up organization that coordinates a year-long remote working experience for professionals with a passion for travel. Each group visits 12 countries throughout the year, living in a different city for a month at a time. You must be a professional able to work remotely, and you are vetted through an application process.
What do you get with Remote Year?
The Remote Year experience doesn’t come cheap, especially for a Canadian. The year will cost you a down payment of $5,000 USD and monthly payments of $2,000 USD for 11 of the 12 months. These payments cover your accommodations, access to co-working spaces with Wi-Fi, and all of your city-to-city travel across four continents.
You also receive an instant community of 74 highly accomplished professionals from an array of industries around the globe, and a unique itinerary with colourful and vibrant cities “off the beaten path.”
Wanderlust: The buzzword of my generation
As I went further down the rabbit hole of learning about Remote Year, I became painfully aware of how common the feeling of “wanderlust” is for my generation. Remote Year alone has received between 25,000 and 50,000 applications for each of its trip departures.
Within the millennial generation, we freely discuss our FOMO (fear of missing out). While social media has had a hand in driving our wanderlust, what I feel truly fuels our passion for travel and exploration is the belief that we can “curate our own lives.” There is no longer a standard roadmap for our future, nor a singular method for carving out our success.
Stories of quitting a corporate job to travel the world have been circling the Internet for years. However, Remote Year was the first concept that seemed primed to give me everything I was looking for. I didn’t have to throw away the years of hard work that I’ve put into my career in exchange for this travel experience. I could have both. I could work remotely.
Is remote work really feasible?
According to a recent survey, 50 per cent of the workforce will be working remotely in some capacity by 2020.
From job boards like Flex Jobs to companies that only hire remote workers, like Power to Fly and Skill Crush, there are many resources for remote roles. In fact, the beauty of Remote Year is that many of the participants were able to pioneer a remote program within their organizations.
Is this perfect balance of travel and work too good to be true?
While Remote Year serves up the best of both worlds, it’s not without its challenges. I may end up struggling to make deadlines while others are exploring the city, or feverishly searching for my next freelance gig to fund another month on the program.
However, for me, the compassion and perspective that I will gain by exploring other cultures and pushing myself into the “growth zone” are well worth a little extra hustle.
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