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When the Dust Settles: Reflecting on Remote Year Month One

By Vanesa Cotlar, 12. Nov. 2021

Remote year participants

I am about to hit the one month mark of my Remote Year experience and, dare I say it, the dust is starting to settle. I spent some time reading the blog posts I have written since arriving in Kuala Lumpur and I am still amazed by how much we have managed to fit into just a few weeks. Culture, nature, friendship, food, work. I can't help but smile as I write because I honestly never expected Remote Year to be as incredible as it has been thus far. Before arriving in Kuala Lumpur, nerves and a touch of fear would creep in whenever I thought about the year ahead. Now, I have this new sense of calm and wonder about it all.

I never thought I would spend a year travelling the world, working remotely and creating a new community while doing so. The unpredictability of this lifestyle excites me. Every day is memorable here. Some mornings we wake up and hike a waterfall or a mountain, some mornings we wake up and experience a local cultural breakfast, some mornings we wake up and take client calls. Some nights we search for hidden Speakeasies, some nights we barter at street markets, some nights we cook and watch movies together. No day has been the same or even remotely similar to the previous during my 26 days in Kuala Lumpur.

group sitting round table

group sitting round table

I joined Remote Year to be pushed out of my comfort zone. To completely throw my life out of whack in as many ways as possible and to make myself find ways to not only cope but succeed in entirely new environments. The feeling of being uncomfortable is one I hadn’t felt in a while and one I am welcoming with open arms. Not everything has been perfect. Sometimes my feet hurt, I can't understand what people say and I miss friends and family. That said, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now. I feel lucky knowing that there are 11 more months ahead. 11 opportunities to experience completely different parts of the world with this wonderful group of people that we call Kanyini.

To anyone considering taking the leap, do it. The support of Remote Year is invaluable and I am impressed daily by the types of events they put on for us, the quick resolution to any logistical challenge and their general interest in getting to know us and helping us in curating our best year. I wish I could go back to Vanesa 6 months ago and give her a pat on the back for applying. This truly is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can't wait to see how I grow through the opportunities and challenges ahead in 2018.

Vanesa Cotlar