Anu Vijayamohan

ANU VIJAYAMOHAN 

ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT, APPIAN

USA
 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I'm always looking for the next adventure, and Remote Year offered the chance to do this with fellow like-minded adventurers - how could I pass up such an opportunity?

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

My tan, among a few other personal development goals.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

As I moved up the ranks in my role, my duties took on more and more remote characteristics - to the point where I could be fully remote without too much of a change.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Just book the ticket! Stop making excuses and do it right now. What's really stopping you?

 

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

A better version of myself, one who is more open and adventurous, and maybe a little less stressed about the small stuff.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

I joined Remote Year in effort to never have a typical day again, but each day probably still includes petting a dog and eating some street food.

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

Much to his chagrin, since now he can barely keep track of me, it definetely comes from my father. Before I could even talk, I had a passport and was on the road as often as possible - I guess I grew up with it.

 

HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELING WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT WORK?

My work in consulting has always been synonymous with travel - I learned long ago how to get work done anywhere, from military bases to dodgy temporary offices with no coffee to trains and planes. Now I get to work while travelling on my own terms, which is a welcome change.

WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?

Napping anywhere and planning awesome side trips (if I do say so myself)!

 

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

I moved to London from East Coast USA in 2008 - I was searching for the European life, and found myself along the way. Overall, I have travelled to over 50 countries on 5 continents, but there's still a lot left to go!

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

My passport, my wits and my strong stomach - the rest you can pick up along the way.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

London will forever be home in my heart, but the frenetic cities of NYC, Bangkok and CDMX rank pretty high; India always welcomes me as if I belong there.

 

WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?

I try not to think too far in advance, it gives me worry lines.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Timezone maths.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

The freedom of no one noticing that you're laying on the beach while you're in that conference call.

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

Life is short - stop overthinking, get on the airplane and eat all the things!

 

FOLLOW ANU ON HER TWITTER, PET PROJECT and INSTAGRAM!

Krista Elvey

KRISTA ELVEY

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, LIVING FUTURE INSTITUTE

USA
 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I found RY through a design blog I follow, and doing something like this was something I thought I’d be able to pull off, years in the future, maybe after I fell into a lot of money. Full disclosure: When I learned they were opening applications, I cried. And then I applied. It’s been my dream to do something like this since I was a teenager.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

I work full time for a Seattle-based nonprofit, and my biggest task for this past year was project managing the redesign of our organization's website.

On a personal level, I’ve put a lot of work into learning how to improve myself and manage my time better. When you work a 9 to 5 job, you tend to do the same thing and get into a routine that makes the idea of taking on a new project impossible. This year, I focused a lot of energy on trying to understand what I actually want and demystify that thing people refer to as discipline. I worked the same number of hours remotely as I would have sitting in the Seattle office, and traveled to 23 countries. Time management matters. 

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

My job has remained exactly as it would have been if I stayed in Seattle. If anything,  my responsibilities actually increased because of a promotion I received right before I started Remote Year. So I am doing the same job I would back home, just from around the world.
 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

If you’re looking to take a short-term trip to a country or two, my advice would be to stop reading this and book your ticket right now. Take your vacation. Go. Have a blast.

For people contemplating long-term travel, be sure you really know why you want to. Travel is one of those things where you’ll get out of it exactly what you put into it. A lot of people travel to run away from something, but I find that when you travel, all of your problems and securities travel alongside you. It won’t always be fun, it won’t always look like Instagram photos; it’s real life, but with a nicer backdrop.

Traveling with a group is amazing, but it’s also important to go somewhere alone, even if it’s for a long weekend. Go live out your version of Eat, Pray, Love. You’ll be glad that you did.

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

I’m a part of Cousteau and this is our last month. Sigh. Now, at the end, I’m finally learning how to take time for myself and understand the value of my energy and be more aware of how I spend that energy. In your 20s, you want to make a mark on your career and say “Yes” to everything. Spoiler: You can't do everything. This year I've learned how to dedicate time to self-reflection and then spend my energy on projects and events that matter to me.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

We’ve travelled across seven or eight different time zones this year, but I’ve worked the same amount of hours (if not more) that I would back home in my office. Part of the reason my job let me go on RY was because I would keep some of my hours aligned with the Pacific time zone. I’ve gone from working 10am to 6pm one week, and then 5am to 1pm the next week when we changed continents.

Remote Year makes it very hard to keep any semblance of a routine, but I always work roughly the same amount of hours daily, just with shifting brackets. The chaos of my routine (balancing work, life, and everything else) made me better at discipline and making my days balanced, no matter when they start and end.

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

I come from the Midwest in the U.S., and I was always curious about what else there is in the world, even though I wasn’t exposed to much outside of the region. Maybe watching Carmen Sandiego had something to do with it. Because of how my childhood went, I was never in one place for too long, so I like to believe that prepared me for how to be the adult I eventually became. I guess I’ve always felt more comfortable in places I’ve never been before rather than places I’m familiar with.
 

When I was 24, I won a design contest and moved to Italy alone as a result. Ever since I came back, all of my time has been spent daydreaming about heading out again. 

 

HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELING WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT WORK?

I’m absolutely hands-down more productive than I was back at home. And that’s for a couple of reasons. When you travel, you’re more inspired; traveling with a big group of people has allowed me to be exposed to different organizations and situations that challenge me to be more effective in different environments. Working from a variety of cafes and workspaces around the world allows me to always keep my surroundings fresh, and filled with new perspectives.

 

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT  BE AND WHY?

This kind of question reminds me of the fact that I kind of “won” Remote Year. I convinced my best friend, who I’ve known since we were 6 years old, to apply with me, and we both got into Cousteau together. Emotional manipulation may have been involved.
Also, in the first couple weeks of RY, I met the love of my life. I got to travel with someone I’ve known for my whole life, and someone I feel like I’ve known my whole life.

So to answer your question: I choose Travis, Cousteau's Community Manager. Third option!

Or, all three. I am not giving you a straight answer, here.

WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?

I know more about cars and fixing things than probably 95% of people my age. Also, I’m a pretty good handyman. Handyperson?

 

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

Italy, Seattle, Chicago. I’ve lived in those places, and I travelled to seven countries before Remote Year.

 

WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

Right now? 1984. Also, here's a great recommended reading list.

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

When you first pack your bag to leave home, pack everything you think you need. Then remove half of it.

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

  • Compression bags (not the Eagle Creek ones), basically giant ziploc bags that will change your packing life.
  • A french press. It's a travel version with a matching mug that nests inside.
  • A mouse for my laptop; it helps stave off the carpal tunnel syndrome.

     

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

Italy. More specifically, a cafe, in the morning, in Italy.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS.

“Level 3 fun.”

 

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Making a multi-course meal for people that I love.

WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?

I don’t know what I’m doing next month. Right now, I’m working on my 5-year plan. So: TBD.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Figuring out life beyond travel. Social Media in general makes it seem like travel is the end point of a life well-lived. If my dream is to travel the world,  where do I go from here?

I’ve always wanted to travel more but to me, it isn't the most important indicator of success; you always feel most fulfilled when you’re helping other people or in the company of people you care about.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Being able to spend time in one place and really get to know it. When you go on vacation, you’re fully booked with activities, and you’re stressed out about trying to fit an entire country’s experience into a week or two.

Being in a city for a month lets you enjoy it at your own pace; you never feel like you have enough time, but you have a chance to breathe. I really appreciate that.

 

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET WHILE TRAVELING?

My partner Mike, the love of my life who I met and travelled with on Remote Year. We connected during the second week in Argentina over beers and watching locals tango in the square. Our lives are a Rom-Com.

 

FOLLOW KRISTA ON HER INSTAGRAM!

Amanda McMicken

AMANDA MCMICKEN 

PRODUCT DESIGNER, IBM

USA

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I began to be exhausted by life's many redundancies and I wanted to be inspired again by the basic elements of life.
 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

Designing user experiences for the Analytics Platform at IBM.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE PROFILE?

I didn't so much as "find" myself in one, I sought it out and forced it more or less, ha. Before remote year I worked in a design studio, so this year is my introduction to remote work.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Just do it! Don't think about all of the reasons why you shouldn't do it or why now isn't the right time to pick up and leave. It will never be the perfect time so no time like the present.

 

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

A more empathetic person

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

Every day is different for the most part, which I overall enjoy. I do wish I had a little bit more of a consistency with my schedule. The main thread throughout my typical day is spending the majority of it working in a cute cafe drinking way to much coffee. The rest of my day is all over the place, open for chance encounters.

 

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

When I was younger I remember hanging out with my older cousin who traveled and lived all over the world starting at a young age. She had a certain openness about herself that I always admired and connected to her traveling the world. Also, as long as I can remember I have been a curious kid that always wants to explore and experiment, so no surprise that I apply this mental concept to how I life my life.

 

HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELING WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT WORK?

So far it has pushed me to be more organized + efficient with my time. Often times I am working a different time zone than the rest of my design team, so I have to document the work I am doing and make the most out of the few hours we do overlap schedules.

 

IF YOUR HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Cedric because he can always fashion something out of anything :P

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

Before Remote Year, I have lived in multiple cities around the U.S. and traveled to most of Western Europe as well as Mexico.


WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

Harry Potter series. I am a millennial, so that's a given.

 

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

Always purchase a local sim card. Such a lifesaver.

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

My iphone, birkenstocks, and and Nikon N2000 film camera (and film of course)



WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

Anywhere with my closest friends! It's all about the company really.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

90% exploration 10% routine paired with bubble milk tea

 

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS.

Growth. Empathy. Divergent.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Maintaining a constant workout and health regiment! The struggle is real yall.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

I can work wherever! Being location independent is a great feeling.

 

HOW HAVE YOU GROWN ON A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL? 

I have learned how to work more efficiently. Working in a different time zone than the rest of my team, I have had to learn how to break up my time and get the most out of every interaction with my teammates. Sometimes we only overlap by 2 hours, so I have gotten good at knowing how to get the most out of the time we have together.

 

HOW HAVE YOU GROWN ON A PERSONAL LEVEL? 

I have learned how to be a stronger, more empathetic person and no longer feel like I need to rush through life. I am just (trying) to enjoy the waves of change as they come :)

 

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET WHILE TRAVELING?

My lovingly inquisitive friend Dipika! I met her in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is currently investigating the concept of "making space" (Learn more at www.designkompany.com). We instantly hit it off and I look forward to how our relationship grows in the future!

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Moving my life in a positive direction each day.

 

YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

"This too shall pass" Is a quote I like to live my life by. It reminds me that in life you will have highs and lows, but the moment will pass. It helps me to remain centered.

 

 

FOLLOW AMANDA ON HER INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK! 

Cedric Al Kazzi

CEDRIC AL KAZZI 

ARCHITECT AT HORD COPLAN MACHT, BALTIMORE

LEBANON

 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

Even though Im a professional procrastinator, I didn't want to push traveling and exploring until later in my life. Remote Year came at a perfect time personally and professionally.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

With Hord Coplan Macht I am lucky enough to be working on redeveloping a prominent 1970 18- story office building in downtown Baltimore into 350 apartments. It is under construction at the moment and my main task is construction administration.  That includes issuing drawings for construction, answering questions from the consultant and contractors, and reviewing sub contractors' work and drawings. 

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

When you say remote work, you don't think architecture, I personally never thought about it. I took it as a challenge, had to shape my job position into a remote one, tested it for a couple weeks and pitched it with the results to my office. The office has been very supportive to the idea and they were on board for the challenge. 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Yea, yes, yassss, cool, coolio, sure, awesome, great!, You do you! You go girl! It might look overwhelming, but baby steps. There's always home you can go back to.  You set your own limits and timing. 

 

HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELLING HAS AFFECTED YOUR CURRENT WORK?

I wanted to bring traveling to the forefront but not at the expenses of my professional development. It doesn't have to be either or.  Being on Remote Year added lots of value to my career. Most improved skills were in communication; how to briefly and concisely convey ideas via whatever technology I have on hand. The clearer is it the, less clarification is needed and it facilitates on the long run our communications with contractors and clients. 

Technical tips aside, my work has improved from meeting interesting people here and there, and physically exploring architecture and seeing it up close; spatial, visual, material variations of the vernacular and modern interpretation of architecture in every city we visit. 

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

I am from Beirut, Lebanon, moved to the US for school and work four years ago. I traveled around for school projects to Syria, Spain, Colombia, Estonia, Finland, and China. Plus multiple visits between Lebanon and the US to visit Family members. 

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

Birkenstocks, external battery, Google Maps ( I spend so much time on Google Maps - Terrain View, there's something about its virtuality that gives me so much freedom and control)

 

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU OVERCAME WHILE ON REMOTE YEAR?

Traveling on a Lebanese Passport, you only have access to 1% of the Earth's surface without being questioned for papers. Malaysia was the only country on the itinerary that did not require a visa. I had to collect so many visas along the way and the process was challenging and tiring. 

DID ANY OF YOUR WORLD VIEWS CHANGE WHILE ON REMOTE YEAR?

Traveling around so many countries, I often get to reflect about my identity as an Arab and what it is like to be Arab in South America, Europe and South East Asia. The many faces and stereotypes that I care for or not care for overwriting. One question 'Where are you from?" was hard to answer most times. What identity prevails at the moment of the question? The audience, my willingness to open up and how much time I have,m where factors to consider for what identity to pick. 

 

WHO AND WHAT TAUGHT YOU AN IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON THIS YEAR?

Attachment to places, people and materiality. Every month starts with a reset button. 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Figuring out what's next, where, why, and when; Making independent decisions on the spot. Remote Year's role here was crucial for the journey; it facilitated the process pretty well. Oh and FOMO. 

 

FOLLOW CEDRIC ON HIS INSTAGRAM!

Alison Ward

ALISON WARD

PR SPECIALIST, TOPTAL

USA
 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

To shake up my routine and be challenged. I'd been in the same city for 6+ years and was craving adventure, something different. I wanted to go somewhere and become more independent -- something that traveling will certainly teach you.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

I work for Toptal, an amazing, 100% distributed tech company and an advocate of working from anywhere. When I'm not thinking of ways to tell our story through public relations, I'm dodging tuk tuks, writing my personal blog over at www.nomadalison.com, and attempting to learn Spanish.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

I found out about Toptal through my own research, but was ultimately connected through the Remote Nation network (a testament to the strength of the community). I accepted the position about one week before I left for Malaysia. My team at Toptal was incredibly understanding during my first couple of weeks with the 23 hours (or something ridiculous) time difference. I got really lucky to be able to work for a company that recognizes and appreciates the digital nomad lifestyle and embraces the future of work while living it myself.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

It's better to feel like you really know a country, city, then to travel to a bunch of places in an attempt to check them off your list. The months I've really enjoyed so far on Remote Year are the ones where I actually stayed put and got to know the city and surrounding areas like a local. Sidetrips are fun and a new country every weekend is cool, but can be a bit draining (financially and mentally).

 

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

Better at navigating public transportation. I still get on the wrong lines, in the wrong direction, all the time. But it's a learning process, I tell myself, as I'm doubling back on the tram for the eighth time. I also hope to become a better listener, friend, and independent traveler.

 

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

Carmen Sandiego (I mean, where in the world, is she, anyway?) And my parents. They both lived overseas in their 20s and didn't really stop. They took us on International trips with them when we were kids and made it a fun, family affair.

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Gonna go with a mix of Britt, because she's resourceful; Michelle, because she'd somehow find the only other two people on the island and we'd become friends; and Alexandra, because I'd finally learn how to Salsa.

 

WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?

I can open a banana from the opposite end and then eat out of it like it's a boat.

 

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED AND TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

Born in England; have lived in Washington, D.C., Guam, and Tokyo. In college, I studied abroad in Ireland so guess we can count that, and the 358 Guinnesses I drank while there, too. Before Remote Year, I had traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Hawaii, and Germany. Through Remote Year, I've added Malaysia, Croatia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Maldives to my list. Does the 4 hours I spent sleeping on a purple velour chair in the Singapore airport count?

WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

 

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

Cook breakfast and lunch for yourself at your apartment. It saves you money and helps keep your weight under control. Plus, trying to find coffee at 8AM, blearyeyed and hangry, is always tragic and probably scares the locals.

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

Kindle, Mophie battery pack, Dramamine.

 

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

Tokyo is still my favorite city that I've both lived in and traveled to. Good food, chaotic yet organized, a reverence for Hello Kitty.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS?

Crazy. Weird. Necessary.

WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?

Probably on some Thai island, eatin' coconuts, still living that digital nomad life.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

How you can author your day in the most fantastic way. In Thailand, you could take a boat to another island to explore a beautiful beach, and still be back in time for your 6PM conference call. Each day is different, and it's totally rad.

 

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET WHILE TRAVELING?

The lady who gave me 300 Baht (like $8) massages on Koh Phangan. I once saw her successfully balance her 3-year-old toddler, dinner, and a small ladder on her scooter.

 

YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

Hello, do you have wifi?

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Seeing the world and doing good.

 

FOLLOW ALISON ON HER BLOG AND INSTAGRAM!

Remote Profile: Dan Gold

DAN GOLD

FREELANCER, FRONT-END DEVELOPER & PHOTOGRAPHER

USA

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I was getting bored of coming home from work and plopping down on the couch. I wanted to come home from work and plop on the couch in a different country.

Before Remote Year, I was living in New York. If you rewind three years, you could find me in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  As you can see from my couch experience, I was feeling a little too comfortable in my previous situation. I wanted to take a risk and try something that I’ve never done before. Traveling was a way to exercise that level of uncertainty and adventure.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

I have been spending a lot of time working on my photography. It’s been a passion of mine since I was young. Traveling is a great way to see a spectrum of different people, places and things.

For work, well, I work all the time. I joined Remote Year working for a NYC-based clean water nonprofit. I made the tough decision to move on and focus more on contracting frontend web development, side projects and focusing on my photography.

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

At my previous role, we already had remote employees, so my decision to work remotely was an easy move. Our office was well-equipped to handle people working remotely. They have TVs with a Google Hangout integration, and we use Slack for our day-to-day communication.

When my contractor transition happened, I was able to acquire clients that appreciated remote work. Most of my meetings start with “Wait, where are you?”

 

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

I hope to be the same. Remote Year has given me the chance to focus more on personal growth. I am still ‘me,’ all the way through. And I hope that never changes.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

Wake up, run, eat breakfast, work and repeat.

 

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

I actually don’t know, and no one in my family is a big traveler. If I were to guess, I think my passion for travel boils down to my perspective on changing environments. I like variability and I start to feel unmotivated when I am too comfortable. My creative motivation comes from seeing and hearing new things around me.

 

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

A universal remote would be my choice. You can turn up the volume, change the channel and add closed captions...the possibilities are endless!

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

Credit card incentive-driven airline miles. Since I left for Remote Year in June 2016, I’ve accumulated more than 200,000 airlines miles. Also, the Chase Sapphire Reserve with Priority Pass.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS?

Best. Year. Ever.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

The perfect day would be a day that is spontaneously unique- a day that is unexpected and new. It would be a day that could change your perspective and get you out of your comfort zone, and a day that has a memory that will last a lifetime.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

Video calls and internet speed. It's usually like, "Heh- hey. Hi? Hi can you hear me ok? Hi - ok hey, I think we're good."

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

The best part about being a digital nomad and being able to travel is the fact that it is even remotely possible. I am grateful that I am able to work with amazing people and experience different cultures on a day-to-day basis.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHER LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Do it. Don’t look back.

 

CONNECT WITH DAN THROUGH HIS WEBSITE OR FOLLOW HIM ON EXPOSURE!

Remote Profile: João Pedro Coutinho

JOAO PEDRO COUTINHO

LAWYER, LEGAL TRANSLATOR, FREELANCER

PORTUGAL

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

It was super spontaneous: I occasionally read an article about Remote Year on Business Insider and got instantaneously excited about it. My girlfriend was not living in Lisbon at the time, I've always been passionate about traveling (did a lot of it on my own before the program) and was also needing a bit of a change to figure things out after a 5-year period working for a tier-1 law firm in Iberia. Well, one thing led so naturally to another that the day after I was filling in an application to be part of this journey.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

Beyond some side creative projects (on video producing, acting and writing), I'm doing legal counseling and legal translation to both Portuguese and international clients.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

Basically I reached out to all of my legal and corporate network back in Portugal to find myself some clients willing to work with me, did some light branding on the new services I was offering and, out of a sudden and much work, I was freelancing.

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

What I always wanted for myself was to be fitting, adaptable, socially responsible and openminded and that's definitely what I'm getting closer and closer to. I've also always wanted to give myself some time to explore alternatives in terms of jobs and roles I can perform and I'm on my way on that path as well.

 

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

I first started traveling with my family and my family's friends when I was younger, then I did it on my own, or together with friends, all around Europe and afterwards I made it to some other continents. Eventually it got stuck to me...

 

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

It'd be Patrick Almaguer. My brain gets excited when he's around... and if we had some wine with us we'd come up with and shoot the craziest ideas, like the "Coconut Dance" or "Patrick and João's Island Dinner Party" (monkeys would be invited).

WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?

People say I'm a pretty decent hugger.

 

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

Previously I've lived in Portugal and Poland and have travelled to about 40 countries, most of them in Europe. But I've also been to a couple of countries both in America and in Asia and, of course, to 5 or 6 in my favorite continent: Africa.

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

My passport (so many stories about it...), reliable underwear and stylish sunglasses.

 

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

Sao Tome and Principe in Africa.

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS?

In 3 letters instead: BAM!

 

WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?

Traveling all around with my wife, children and grandchildren (a tribe as big as my current one!)

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

I'm passionate about politics, world history, football, performing arts, creativity and creative people.

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

The sense of commitment with yourself whether job-wise or just regarding personal growth.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Just do it! Is it to "Nike"ish...? Well then, I'd say that there are no excuses if you really mean to have a 1-year super enlightening experience of actually living in (and not only visiting) so many places and absorbing so many cultures around the world. Well, you could always buy a car instead... really up to you. ;)

 

FOLLOW JOAO ON HIS FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND LINKEDIN!
 

Remote Profile: Liz Van Dijk

LIZ VAN DIJK

FOUNDER, ONCA

BELGIUM

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I came to a point in my life and career where things just all came together in a way that made me ask "why not?". TJ (my husband and business partner at Onca) and I are both in the luxurious position of being 100% remote and we are traveling together. What appealed to us the most is the prospect of being connected with a greater network of remote professionals from around the world, though doing so while exploring some awesome places around the world is obviously  great side benefit.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING FOR THE YEAR?

Through Onca, we offer operational and web development (specialized in eCommerce, e.g. Magento) consulting services to a couple of large customers. My main focus is the senior leadership role I fulfill at Percona, an Open Source service delivery company.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

I was first confronted with Percona about 6 years ago, which is also the first time I opened my eyes to jobs like these. I'd been working as a consultant at a research group in a local University when I first connected with them at a conference. I felt like a whole new world of possibilities had just opened, and I couldn't get it out of my head. Less than a year later, I was working with them on my own terms and I've never looked back.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

I might go against the grain here by saying first and foremost that it is not the holy grail it seems like. I feel like it's misleading to portray "travel" as this monolithic concept that is always fulfilling and always feels sort of like vacation. It most certainly does not. There are some very definite downsides to this lifestyle, and starting off with the right expectations is key to making it sustainable for yourself. Like most big life decisions, traveling will not fix anything by itself, but it's great at shaking things up and allowing you to see things in a different light. If you maintain balance and peace within yourself, it's one of the most enriching and inspiring life styles you could imagine. If you struggle with those, it can also be the exact opposite.

 

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END REMOTE YEAR?

A calmer, quieter, more thoughtful version of myself. I definitely jumped on this opportunity to satisfy an overwhelming urge that had been pulling at me all my life, and I feel like I've scratched that itch somewhat. Furthermore, I hope to have built a reliable network of fellow professionals to provide my business with remote work opportunities for years to come.

 

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Let's face it, that would probably be TJ, my husband. ;)

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

I've lived in Belgium all my life, but over the past couple of years have had the privilege to travel all over North America and Europe in the context of my job.

 

WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

Throughout this trip, I've been gradually working my way through "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. It's the gift that keeps on giving and has taught me more about my own head than any inspirational self-help book ever has. It's applicable to literally everything in my life and packed full with eye-opening examples that demonstrate how we still jump to the wrong conclusions, even when we know we're being tricked. Despite its practical and scientific approach, it's helped me work at my daily mindfulness and attention to detail as much as any meditation practice.

 

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

That moment you realize all you really need is your laptop (sometimes just a phone, to be honest), a mobile hotspot (this is key), and maybe a pair of earbuds to be productive anywhere. Everything else is gravy and probably best gotten rid of until you can survive without. I've worked from the back of a camel in the Sahara, the bottom of a waterfall on Hawaii, a poolside palau on the Mexican Riviera, and everywhere in between. Scale back what you need to be productive and the whole world becomes your playground.

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD?

To be perfectly practical: Credit Card, Passport, Laptop/Phone. Everything else is just stuff. We have a bit of a running joke whenever I pack up to go on a work trip; I'll ask TJ "what am I forgetting?", and he'll list those three things. If I have all of them, I'll probably be fine either way.

 

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

So far, the one city that has consistently filled my heart to the brim on any of the three visits/stays I've had there is Lisbon, Portugal. A few places come close, but there's a magic there that hasn't been topped by anything else.

YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

"The task is to live your life in such a way that you have to want to live again – you will in any case! If striving gives you the highest feeling, then strive; if rest gives you the highest feeling, then rest; if fitting in, following, obedience give you the highest feeling, then obey. Only make sure you become aware of what gives you the highest feeling and then stop at nothing! Eternity is at stake!" -- Nietzsche
 

FOLLOW LIZ ON HER INSTAGRAM, TWITTERLINKEDIN AND BLOG!

Remote Profile: Tyler Duzan

TYLER DUZAN

SENIOR TECHNICAL OPERATIONS ENGINEER, ELIGIBLE INC. 

USA

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR?

I wanted to explore the world and meet new people, weave their characters into the tapestry of my life.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

My primary focus is to build relationships and get out of my shell.

 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

I've been wanting to travel for some time and was actively seeking a remote role specifically.  It's difficult to find as an Operations person, but I was lucky enough to find a company focused on remote work.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

Plans will go awry.  Just go with the flow anyway.  By accepting the unexpected, you'll find yourself immersed in amazing experiences.  Also, homesickness is real, but then you'll also feel the wanderer's call when you're at home.  Once you really commit to travel, it becomes part of who you are.

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY END OF REMOTE YEAR?

I want to be someone who is comfortable wherever I happen to be at and who is accepting of others as they are.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

Up at 7AM local, morning routine, work from 9AM to 6PMish local, city exploration + food, beers, in bed by Midnight.

 

WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR TRAVEL COME FROM?

I love learning, photography, food, and beer.  Travel provides me the unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of other cultures and places by exploring, capturing moments, and of course eating and drinking my way towards cultural connections.

 

HOW DO YOU THINK TRAVELING WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT WORK?

I'm a bit of a workaholic who tends to get sidetracked easily.  Travel provides me an opportunity and a challenge in forming routines around my work that drive focus.  Exposure to new things has also given me a lot of ideas for projects I'd love to start.

 

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Not actually a remote, but an RY staffer.  Jenna Winn because of her infectious optimism and ardent belief that we can make it through anything.

 

WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?

Finding myself in really strange situations and making it out alive with a story to tell.

WHERE HAVE YOU LIVED/TRAVELED TO PREVIOUSLY?

I've been all over the US and Canada before I left on this journey, but hadn't really traveled much outside of that.  I lived for a brief while in Colorado and loved it, but I call Texas my home.

 

WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

"Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson

 

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK.

Travel vests! You might look dorky, but the extra 3-5kg of stuff you get on your flight without needing to check a bag is pretty awesome.

 

3 THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD.

A good camera, my Kindle, and laptop

 

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE ON THE GLOBE?

So far, I'd say Valencia, Spain.  Great food, friendly people, amazing street art, and very walkable.  I spent 52 days there and didn't want to leave.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR REMOTE YEAR EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS.

Level Three Fun.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

Wake up at 10AM, meditate, get brunch, wander around with my camera. Sit down to work on something at 2PM and go till around 8PM.  Get dinner and a few beers, then head to bed around midnight.

 

WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?

No idea, honestly.  I'd like to be an angel investor that travels and provides mentorship to startups on how to use technology effectively and securely.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

I think my answer to this vacillates regularly.  Either the language barrier in new places or changing time zones and how that's reflected in the expectations of friends, family, and colleagues.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A DIGITAL NOMAD?

I'm constantly surrounding myself with beauty and new experiences.  This breaks the normal monotony of commuting to an office every day, so rather than work becoming boring, I feel constantly inspired and excited.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

I have many passions, but at the forefront is my love of all things beer.  A close second is my absolute obsession with the nitty-gritty details of technology and information security.

 

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET WHILE TRAVELING?

Definitely Gonçalo, the owner of LX Brewery in Lisbon, Portugal.  He and I clicked so well and immediately because we have a similar vision.  He started the first craft brewery in Portugal and since then has helped other craft breweries start, has taught people how to home brew, and has organized the first craft beer festival in Portugal, Lisbon Beer Week, which I was fortunate enough to attend and meet him at.  

Beer is something that deserves respect enough to care about its quality, because it's something that brings people together and forms communities and relationships.  Gonçalo helped to show Portugal the importance of beer, and both Lisbon and Porto now host burgeoning but good craft beer scenes.  Such an all-around great guy, and an inspiration to me as I think about my own journey with craft beer.

 

YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." - Ansel Adams

 

FOLLOW TYLER ON HIS WEBSITE, INSTAGRAM AND FLICKR

Remote Profile: John Elston

JOHN ELSTON

FOUNDER/CEO YO!DOG MARKETING

USA

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME ON REMOTE YEAR? 

I wanted to be a part of a REVOLUTION. I believed from day one of my application process that this MODEL is the future. I wanted out of the RAT RACE of everyday life. The stars were aligned personally and professionally. I was not willing to accept anything else.
 


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?

Most importantly, I am working on not oversteering this journey. I came in without a month to month plan and an open mind. I go where opportunities have taken me. I live remotely now with the most amazing people and I am now working with more then a half a dozen fellow remotes on passion projects and professional ventures.  I am meeting the most amazing people in every country. I have made a point to go off the beaten path and connect with locals. Artists, business owners, entrepreneurs, street performers and diplomats. These encounters have turned into business opportunities and most importantly new lifetime friendships. So I guess the answer is
“I AM WORKING ON A LOT OF THINGS :)”

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF A REMOTE ROLE?

I founded a Digital Agency 6.5  years ago. I decided It was time to get out of the direct path of my TEAM. I de-centralized the office 6 months prior to learning about RY. I believed that the remote worker was the future. My team proved it so I jumped in with both feet and never looked back.

 

YOUR FAVORITE DIGITAL NOMAD HACK?

Setup Schedule
What can happen to you is that you don’t know what to do, and you spend a huge amount of time figuring that out. So make sure that all the time you have clean tasks list the day before you need to execute it. I usually make one right before I go to sleep so I know what to do next morning and I can start executing tasks right away with my morning espresso.

WHO DO YOU HOPE TO BE BY THE END OF REMOTE YEAR?

I will be a creative proponent for the current and future EXPLORERS around the world. I will stand on the highest mountain and shout “You can have it all. Professional success and personal experience while living and working ANYWHERE in the WORLD.   

 

WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?

REMOTE by Jason Fried

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING TRAVEL INTO THEIR LIVES?

I would say if you are looking to bring travel into your life take a VACATION. If you are looking to have travel BE YOUR LIFE, there has NEVER been a better time. Don’t wait another day. The WORLD as never been so ready to accept and promote talented people who can deliver results and exceed expectations.  RY has eliminated the excuses and provided the support we need to be successful.

3 THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT ON THE ROAD? 

  • iPhone
  • Quality Day Pack
  • Extra Battery Power
     


IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER REMOTE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Well if the goal was to get off the Island I would pick my recent flatmate Tylor. Because he is the MOST knowledgeable person I know and would get me off the island. If I had to stay on the island it would be Alisha & Ee Yeen because they are smart, funny and and both LOVE coconut milk.

WHO IS THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET WHILE TRAVELLING?


Lucien Zell, I met Lucien in Prague, Czech Republic where I lived for more then a month. He is a Poet, Novelist, Singer/ Song Writer, Photographer and now FRIEND. His work will BLOW you away and he backs that up by being the most passionate, humble person I have met on this year long journey. He has lived in Prague for more than 18 years. If you get to that GREAT City look him up. He won't be hard to find.
 


YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE/WORDS TO LIVE BY?

"Work For Reward"




FOLLOW JOHN ON HIS INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK, TWITTER AND WEBSITE