Local Experiences From Across the Globe to Enhance Your Wellbeing as You Travel
Written by Jamie Imperial, Edited by Catalina Todd
If you travel and work remotely at the same time, you probably know how important it is to get out of your workspace, connect with people, and shake up your routine. Making new friends, trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone will help you lead a happier and more productive life. Check out this list for our favorite Local Experiences that will let you do just that.
Nowadays it’s way too easy to focus on work instead of your own wellbeing, which can lead to you becoming burnt out, lethargic, and isolated. That’s why taking care of yourself is so important – you’re more energetic, creative, and productive when you feel good and have a healthy support system!
Traveling is a great way to accomplish all of those things, because meeting new people and experiencing new things go hand in hand with wellness. Luckily, remote jobs give us the ability to travel for longer periods of time, but you still need to have a good work-life balance. After all, why travel anywhere if you only see the inside of a workspace by yourself?
We believe that experiencing new things with a like-valued community of people around you is one of the best ways to improve your wellbeing. And while we love helping people take their jobs out on the road, our programs extend far beyond just providing you with spaces to live and work around the world:
“One of the biggest things we facilitate is community and the power of people, which is one of the biggest factors in wellness. People learn to trust, open up & share, which is great for mental health.” –Daniel Smith, VP of Experience
That’s why our team works hard to bring our community unique and authentic local experiences. From drinking hot chocolate made from sacred cacao beans in Mexico to galloping on horseback through open fields in the hinterlands of Croatia, these experiences will not only immerse you in a new culture, they’ll also help you connect with yourself and others in a meaningful way.
We’ve curated a special list of some of our best local experiences that promote wellness and community here:
“In Antigua, I love being able to walk everywhere! You can enjoy every view of the city. It's like living in a postcard everyday!” –Joshua de la Bastide, Antigua City Manager
Lake Atitlan: The Caldera Honor your mind, body, and spirit during this trip to Lake Atitlan. Swim in a nature reserve and participate in a Mayan blessing ceremony and visit a local healer who will help you spiritually connect with yourself in holistic ways. You’ll have no problem getting your 10,000 steps a day in as you explore this peaceful and beautiful destination.
Explore The Local Market Discovering the dizzying array of healthy fruits and vegetables Antigua has to offer is the cherry on top of this fascinating tour. You’ll be guided through this maze-like market that was built by a Guatemalan dictator to give back to the community. This place is teeming with locals and not many tourists, so you’ll have a truly authentic experience along with the chance to make some new friends. Eating healthy on the road is easy with fresh ingredients from amazing local markets like this!
Image credits: Brehanna Skaletski (left)
“Lima is so diverse and culturally stimulating. It is the meeting of old and new, history and modern amenities, diverse populations and lifetime city dwellers. This is where all of the different cultures of Peru (the jungle, Andes, coast, etc) and foreign influences come together. The result is incredible art, food, music, and interesting people.” –Francisco Arevalo, Lima City Manager
Miraflores By Bike Add a little bit of exercise to your daily routine with this fun bike tour, where you’ll explore Miraflores and discover breathtaking cliffside views. Biking is an excellent way to increase your cardiovascular health and build muscle, and this low-impact form of exercise is great for your joints as well. A bike ride can burn between 200 and 1,000 calories per hour depending how fast you go, so even a leisurely scenic bike ride will result in a
Surf's Up Surf Lessons Riding the waves off the coast of Peru is the experience of a lifetime. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, these lessons will give you the chance to work on your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your body, and improve balance.
Image credits: Victoria Garcia (left) & @lukelopez (right)
“In Lisbon, it’s so easy to find an amazing spot to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy scenic views, sample some great food, and people watch.” –Bernardo, Lisbon City Manager
Private Fado Recital One of the best ways to support your emotional wellbeing is by taking time to relax or connect with friends. Take some time for yourself and attend a private Fado recital, where you’ll listen to emotional and traditional Portuguese music. You’ll be able to deepen your connection with the local community as you decompress from your busy day.
Azores Eco-Wonderland Studies show that even just looking at nature has mood-boosting effects. Take a break from the city and immerse yourself in nature during this weekend side trip to the Azores islands. Discover waterfalls, hop on a scenic hiking trail, relax in the island’s therapeutic hot springs. This weekend is the perfect way to support your physical and mental wellbeing while on the road.
Image credits: Jamie Alden (left)
“All foreigners fall in love with Medellin. It’s a resilient city that overcame the violence of the past and has become an innovation hub for Latin America, full of culture and friendly people.” –Sebastian Giraldo, Medellin City Manager
El Escobero Mountain Hike Surround yourself with natural beauty during this 30-minute bike ride to the border between the cities of Envigado and El Retiro, followed by a 5 mile (8 kilometer) hike. You’ll get a great workout while exploring an enchanting cloudy pine forest filled with a wide variety of orchids, moss, butterflies, and birds.
Santa Marta: Tayrona Park Soak up some vitamin D on this side trip to Colombia’s incredible Tayrona Park. In need of contemplation and rest? Take some time to relax on the beach and simply enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you and the peaceful sound of the Caribbean waves. Ready for a bit more adventure? Try hiking, kayaking, or snorkeling. Exposure to the sun and the ocean can help reduce stress and anxiety, and studies show that the sound of the waves and even the smell of the ocean can help promote relaxation and act as a mood booster.
Image credits: Kay Olan-George (left) & @rubendpar (right)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
“One of the things I love most about Mexico City is its diversity. A city full of contrasts, this megalopolis has a million different things to offer.” –Omar Hernández, Mexico City Manager
Traditional Sweat Lodge Ceremony Sweat it out during a temazcal, an ancient Mayan ritual that promotes traditional healing and a connection with oneself. Led by a shaman or shamaness, this Mexican ceremony takes place in a sweat lodge and mixes ancient traditions with a focus on mindfulness. The heat of the sweat lodge is believed to help flush out toxins, purify the body, and promote blood flow. During this temazcal ceremony, you’ll be able to release any stress or anxiety you have and focus on the present.
Cacao Ceremony & Sound Healing Practicing meditation, breathing exercises, sound healing, and other holistic exercises can help lower stress and anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. In this ancient Mexican tradition, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a guided ritual that includes all of the above. You’ll drink hot chocolate made from sacred cacao beans in the high planes of Chiapas and engage in deep relaxation as you let the sounds wash over you.
“Split has an attitude and a chilled vibe at the same time. It’s safe and clean, and people here are like coconuts - hard on the outside, but they are charming and friendly once they open up.” –Helena, Split City Manager
Plitvice Lakes With Mario Bask in Croatia’s beautiful natural terrain as you explore the Plitvice lakes during a relaxing 3 hour walk through this spellbinding UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you meander through the trails, you can enjoy fresh water from the lakes and sink into deep contemplation as you gaze at some of the most famous bodies of water in the world. Walking is a great way to support your cardiovascular health and joints, and scenery like this will leave you wanting to walk even more.
Horse Riding In The Hinterland Give yourself some well-deserved “me-time” and explore untouched nature on the back of a horse. You can gallop through the open field, ride through the old Dalmatian villages, and do it all while experiencing the natural beauty of the hinterland. Interacting with animals can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness, and riding horses improves core strength and balance.
Image credits: Shelby Brown (right)
“My favorite part of Valencia? The sun! There’s over 300 days of sunshine here and the weather is mild and beautiful.” –Julen, Valencia City Manager
Silver Jewelry Casting Workshop Creating something tangible with your hands is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in life. Research even shows that crafting can help boost your mood and increase self confidence. During this workshop, you will learn ancient techniques to work with silver and create a unique piece of jewelry with Santi and Azahara, who are both seasoned Valencian jewelry makers.
Eco Surf Escape to Bilbao Spend a long weekend in Bilbao, the beating heart of the Basque Country, in an Eco Surf House with amenities like a spa, garden, and large indoor and outdoor terraces. Keep your body moving and your mind sharp by joining yoga sessions and learning how to surf with experienced local instructors.
Image credits: @juls.ortega
Whether you’re tearing up the dance floor with your Remote Year besties, sweating it out in a sweat lodge ceremony, or sampling delicious, healthy food from the local market, we’re here to provide you with meaningful experiences that will enrich your life. Your best life awaits!