From Events to Tech: How Avivi Huynh Used the Power of Community to Change Her Career
Written by Jamie Imperial, Edited by Catalina Todd
Discover how future scrum master Avivi Huynh was inspired to pivot from her career in events coordination into something that was more fulfilling for her. After finishing nearly five programs – yes, five! – she’s become a pillar of the Remote Year community. Read on to learn more about her journey.
At the beginning of 2021, Avivi Huynh was ready to shake up her routine. After a challenging year, she wanted to start fresh, focus on having new experiences, and do things that brought her joy. So when her friend invited her to join a Remote Year Retreat in Costa Rica, she embraced the opportunity with an open mind and a desire to reconnect with herself. Avivi went to Costa Rica with no research or background on Remote Year and returned home inspired by the new friendships and deep connections she’d made on the Retreat. Afterwards, she realized she was hooked!
Since then, Avivi’s completed Remote Year programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico City, and Lima, and is currently finishing up her fifth one in Cape Town. Surrounded by the support of the Remote Year community, she decided to leave her career in events coordination to become a scrum master in the tech industry. Avivi recently took some time to sit with us to discuss her journey and how her experience with Remote Year affected her.
We’re so happy you’ve joined us so many times! What made you decide to join more Remote Year programs after your first one?
Community was a major part of my decision to travel with Remote Year again. I was intrigued by the type of people I met from my first Retreat because they were unique individuals I wouldn't have met in my normal life. They really encouraged me to embrace uncertainty and chase my dreams. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling with a group and I wanted to continue to explore while meeting new people.
How were your subsequent Remote Year experiences different from your first trip? Well, for my first trip, I went in completely blind and didn’t do any research on what Remote Year was. In my Remote Year experiences that followed, I found myself wanting to meet and connect with the community more than I do in my normal environment. Because of these programs, I’m more open to learning from others and experiencing new cultures. You’re moving from the events industry into the tech industry – how did the Remote Year community contribute to you making that decision? I’d been thinking about going into the tech industry for a while, and I actually had an internship at a startup, so I naturally knew I wanted to go in that direction. I realized I wanted to do project management instead of events. With Remote Year, I had the chance to connect with people that worked in the tech industry. I was able to pick their brain, learn about my options, and really figure out where I could best use my talents in the tech industry. Now I’m working towards becoming a scrum master! During your programs, how do you connect with the local community? I immerse myself in local culture to feel connected to the community. That means learning how to make local dishes, trying to speak the language as much as possible, and supporting local businesses whenever I can.
Are there any locations, international experiences, or ways of life that you encountered while on Remote Year that inspired you personally or professionally? Traveling throughout Latin America and South Africa has taught me to really hone in on living more minimally, especially by traveling out of carry-ons only. I’m focusing more on collecting moments and experiences instead of stuff. I've also noticed how other countries have implemented sustainability measures to reduce plastic and it keeps me accountable for wanting to do better for our planet. What are some tips you have on maintaining your mental health while you’re on the road? I actually find that when I’m traveling, I’m in my least anxious and depressed state because I’m constantly engaged in the culture and people I’m meeting. That being said, it’s really important for me to find the balance between being social and finding time to recharge. Recharging to me is ordering takeout, binging Netflix, reading a book, taking a day to myself, grabbing coffee and walking around town. Basically, being alone with no set plan. Sometimes you just have to spend time with yourself in order to have good mental health. What would you tell someone considering joining a second Remote Year program? Do it! You never know who you will meet and connect with on the next program. You might even run into someone else from a previous program! It's amazing to be able to not only connect with new friends, but to also grow, stretch, and be challenged in new ways.