Welcome to the New Normal

Remote Year: Week Two

After the whirlwind that was Week One, I spent Week Two trying to establish some sort of normalcy and routine into this new Remote Year life. I navigated the grocery store and Green Market so that I could satisfy all my veggie and fruit cravings, started cooking meals at home to keep my bank account and tummy at their best, and finally kicked the jet lag so I could establish a normal sleep schedule and work routine

<<check out this hilarious blog post by my roommate Allie Untracht, that all too perfectly captures the experience of grocery shopping in Croatia. 

Even though life is becoming a bit more "normal" as the days go by, I'm still rather behind on catching up with friends and family from back home. As I mentioned in my Week One post, I feel so loved by all the outreach but also extremely overwhelmed/guilty for not being able to respond as quickly and as detailed as I'd like. So, I've decided to dedicate this week's post to answering everyone's FAQs. This way, selfishly, I don't feel like a broken record telling the same story over and over again, and I can spend more time hearing all about y'all and talking about the fun stuff! 

Keep on reading to find out my witty and insightful answers to the following questions:

  1. What is Remote Year?
  2. What's included in Remote Year? Give me all the deets!
  3. What is this "Yugen" you keep speaking of?
  4. What is Remote Year like so far?
  5. How are the people?

What is Remote Year?

As I mentioned when I first announced my biggest adventure yet

Remote Year is pretty much the most awesome freakin' opportunity ever created. 

But if that answer just isn't enough for ya, I'll answer it directly from the horse's mouth:

"Remote Year brings together communities of interesting professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers from across the globe to spend a year working, traveling, and exploring 12 cities around the world. Spending one month in each location, communities connect with local cultures and business ecosystems, forming lifelong, borderless personal and professional relationships along the way. Together we are shaping the future of work."

Remote Year launched in 2015 in an effort to create a lifestyle of working and traveling in community — a fairly new concept at the time, though growing more and more popular each year.  Since its debut, Remote Year has had over 500,000 applicants, accommodated over 1,000 people from 40 different countries, expanded its locations to 23 cities throughout the world, and launched 14 RY Programs with more rolling out each month. 

Perhaps you can think of it like a year-long study abroad program for adults — in addition to lots of awesome travel and adventuring, there's plenty of working, learning, and growing happening behind the scenes. Each month we travel to a new city, learn about the history, immerse ourselves in the culture, discuss the current struggles within the community, and attempt to live like locals. And we do all this while still working and maintaining our current jobs. We just do it all digitally. 


What's included in Remote Year? 

Even though you can find all this on their website, I'll go ahead and bullet point the main deets for ya because I'm a gem like that! ;) 

  • 12 Cities, 12 months. My Remote Year itinerary is as follows:
    • AUGUST: Split, Croatia (August 1 - August 26)
    • SEPTEMBER: Prague, Czech Republic (August 26 - September 30)
    • OCTOBER: Lisbon, Portugal (September 30 - November 4)
    • NOVEMBER: Kyoto, Japan (November 4 - December 2)
    • DECEMBER: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (December 2 – December 30)
    • JANUARY: Chiang Mai, Thailand (December 30 – January 27)
    • FEBRUARY: Buenos Aires, Argentina (January 27 – March 3)
    • MARCH: Córdoba, Argentina (March 3 – March 31)
    • APRIL: Lima, Peru (March 31 – April 28)
    • MAY: Medellín, Colombia (April 28 – May 26)
    • JUNE: Bogotá, Colombia (May 26 – June 30)
    • JULY: Mexico City, Mexico (June 30 – July 28)
  • Cost: $27,000
    • Downpayment: $5,000
    • Monthly: $2,000 for your first 11 months (12th month is free)
  • This includes:
    • Co-Working Space with high-speed Wifi, conference rooms, and call rooms. 
    • Travel between cities. We are responsible for paying for our flight at the beginning and end of the program, as well as any side trips we decide to take. Remote Year takes care of all travel between cities on the itinerary. 
    • Tracks & Events. In each city, Remote Year coordinates what they call "Tracks" to get us acclimated to the city, learn about the history and culture, and get a taste of living like a local. There are also plenty of networking and personal development events, and lots of ways to contribute to making an impact in the local community. 
    • Community. Each Remote Year program group is made up of 50-75 digital nomads (we're called "Remotes") and includes 2 Program Leaders, plus local Remote Year staff in each city. 
    • Housing with your own private bedroom. That's the only guarantee. Everything else varies in each city, including type of housing (apartment, hotel, etc.), size of bed, number of roommates, features/amenities, and proximity to the city center and workspace.
      • On the day I arrived my program leader literally said "You have the nicest apartment in the history of RY. Don't get used to it." Basically, I'm currently #spoiledAF with my current living situation, which includes:
        • Penthouse apartment (aka The Babe Cave)
        • Located directly upstairs from our workspace
        • 3 awesome female roommates
        • 4 terraces (including one off my bedroom)
        • An extra bedroom (though it's not in use because it has no AC)
        • AC units in every room (Thank God! Croatia is currently suffering from a heatwave called Lucifer with 100+ degrees and 600% humidity)
        • 2 full-size bathrooms
        • Giant kitchen and living room with the comfiest sectional couch ever
        • Incredible views of the Adriatic Sea 


What is this "Yugen" you keep speaking of?

Remote Year is constantly launching new programs (we're currently the 14th group) and gives each new community a fun, often travel-related, name. Our group is aptly name Yugen, a Japanese word meaning "a profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep emotional response."

And I may be biased, but I'm pretty sure it's the best Remote Year name (and group) yet! 



What is Remote Year like so far?

Though it may appear quite magical on social media, Remote Year is a deeper experience than just a "vacation."

We're not just here to relax, go on adventures, eat at amazing restaurants, and enjoy the local bar scenes — though we're definitely trying to squeeze in as much of that as possible. 

We're here to experience life outside of our comfort zones. 
We're here to learn from one another.  
We're here to contribute. 
We're here to grow.
We're here because we know the Remote Year experience will make us better humans. 

Most of the time though, our days are spent just living our normal lives — albeit from a different city each month. And that kind of stuff that just isn't as exciting to capture and share on social media. (Like last night, when I was huddled in a corner of the workspace until the wee hours of the morning, trying to finish writing the content for an upcoming training course. Not really Instagram-worthy!) 


How are the people?

During Orientation last week, our program leaders told us that our Remote Year group would quickly become our family. After all, we were going to be living, working, traveling, and basically breathing with each other for the next year. They reminded us that just like in a real family, there were inevitably going to be some ups and downs.

There would be times when we would drive each other crazy and times when we would gush with love.
Times when we would cry together and times when we would yell at one another.
Times when we would totally misunderstand each other and times when they would be the only people to understand. 

At the end of the day, it was important to remember that we were a family.
The Yugen family.

I'm glad these people are my family for this next year and, more than likely, well beyond that. 

Although I'm still kind of in shock by this new Remote Year life, I'm settling into the fact that this is the new normal

Sending lots of love to everyone back home! Thanks for being patient with me and checking in.
Be on the lookout for more frequent updates and FaceTime calls now that I've settled in a bit more. <3 


Check out these pictures for some Week 2 Highlights: 

Like what you read? Subscribe to receive updates!