Remote Year for Couples: What You Need to Know
By Becca Siegel , 12. Nov. 2021
Becca of @halfhalftravel is currently traveling with her boyfriend Dan (the other half of @halfhalftravel) on Remote Year Kahlo, a 4-month program that travels through Peru, Colombia and Mexico. You can follow their story on Instagram and www.halfhalftravel.com.
I think I might be the first person to have both been on a Remote Year program with a partner and also to have experienced a long-distance relationship with a partner on a Remote Year program. I’m no expert, but because I’ve experienced both, I’m going to answer a few frequently-asked questions from couples interested in Remote Year, whether together or long-distance.
As a bit of a back story, I found out about Remote Year when my boyfriend Dan applied, got accepted, and left for a 12-month program in June 2016. We had only been dating for four-and-a-half months at that point! We dated long-distance for that year and got to see each other five times during my visits to Remote Year cities, and Dan’s one visit home to the U.S. during the holidays. Now, Dan and I are both on a 4-month program together, working and traveling in Latin America on the Remote Year Kahlo program
Who makes up Remote Year groups?
Is Remote Year mostly young singles?
No. I’d say Remote Year is an equally-attractive experience to have regardless of whether you are single or in a relationship. In our 26-person group, there are three Remote couples traveling together (*of these, two couples are both Remotes and one is a Remote Year staff person whose girlfriend is not a Remote), and four Remotes in long-distance relationships with significant others at home. The rest are not in relationships, so it makes for a good mix! In terms of ‘young,’ I believe that being young is a mindset (ha!), but in terms of age, we range from 22 to 51, with the bulk of Remotes in the late twenties to early thirties range. Age is ‘just a number.’
What types of couples are on Remote Year?
And the answer you’ve all been waiting for… all types! Dan and I are each 30. The other couple who are both Remotes in our group are 22 and 25. I also know of a couple around our age on another program right now who are married and around 30, and there was a married couple in their 50s-60s on the program last year. It’s a bit of everything.
Members of our group at our Lima apartment for a home-cooked dinner. Dan and I shared this apartment with two roommates.
Coming together as a Remote Year couple
Can I bring my partner on Remote Year?
If you and your partner both want to be Remote Year participants and qualify for the program, you can apply as a couple, like my boyfriend and I did. Did you know that Remote Year discounts the monthly program fee by 20% for couples who wish to live together in the same room of an apartment? It’s true!
Does my partner need to work or can they just come along?
If your partner wants to come with you on Remote Year as a participant, he or she is required to have a remote job or a particular type of long-term professional project. The program is set up for working remotely and traveling while having the experience of living in the cities that Remote Year has curated for the itineraries.
Do couples have to live with other people in the same apartment?
It depends on which city that you’re in! Some cities have the option of a private apartment for couples, while others will require you to have roommates. For us, this has been fun! After living together just the two of us in an apartment in NYC, it’s like having a full house. We have our own bedroom and private bathroom, which is actually standard for most bedrooms in most apartments in South America. In Lima, we had two other roommates, and in Medellín we have two as well. Everyone gives each other space, and we conveniently split household items for the apartment and can take cabs home from events all together. I think having roommates is a great thing, especially in new places.
My boyfriend Dan and I, sandboarding in Huacachina, Peru with Remote Year.
Partners who visit during Remote Year
How do people in long-distance relationships make it work?
You’re asking the right girl! Dan and I dated long-distance for 12 months (nearly 13, if you count that Dan traveled on his own before Remote Year started and after it ended!). This was when we started our shared Instagram, @halfhalftravel, to showcase our photography in a unique way. From there, we started our blog and all our other media experience, so in fact, you never know what will come from a long-distance relationship! In my opinion, it’s a big challenge and it’s a big leap to take, but if both people are committed, it’s worth it. To make it ‘work,’ Dan and I frequently FaceTimed (when internet speeds permitted), sent WhatsApps, emailed each other, sent postcards and surprised each other in creative ways. Lastly, I got to visit him in Portugal, Spain, Colombia, and Argentina!
Can my long-distance partner visit me while I’m on Remote Year?
Of course! I visited Dan four times during his 12-month Remote Year experience. In addition to taking trips outside of the Remote Year cities (from Lisbon we went to the south of Portugal, and from Medellín we went hiking in the Zona Cafetera), Remote Year has a guest policy of 10 days per month. This means that your partner (or any visitor) can stay in your Remote Year apartment for no additional fee for 10 days. After the tenth day, there is a small fee per night...and by the tenth night, you might want to go exploring outside the city anyway! As an added benefit, your partner can join official Remote Year events like Tracks™, as long as there is space.
Becca Siegel is a blogger, content creator and lifestyle writer who created the website Halfhalftravel.com with her husband Dan. Previous to Remote Year, during which she went to Peru, Colombia and Mexico, she lived and worked abroad in Shanghai, China.