Participant spotlight with view

Twelve Months on Remote Year - Zoë Björnson

Remote Year is releasing a series of perspectives from a different Remote on month 1, month 6 and month 12 showcasing the evolution of their time on Remote Year.

Remote Year is releasing a series of perspectives from a different Remote on month 1, month 6 and month 12 showcasing the evolution of their time on Remote Year. Meet Zoë Björnson, now alumni traveled with Remote Year — Cousteau.

One word to describe how you are feeling right now?


What’s one thing that you miss?

I found myself missing the first few weeks of Remote Year, when everything was new and foreign. I didn’t know everyone’s name. I couldn’t speak the language. I didn’t know where I fit into the group.

But now, I don’t miss that at all.

The love you feel for these people after one year is so much more rewarding that that feeling of newness and unknown. I am more than content in this moment — even if it does mean this whole crazy thing ends soon — and I don’t really “miss” all that much.

Group learning

What are you looking forward to?

Giving my mom a hug.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

My journal and a good pen.

One thing you are nervous about?

Not having that “hell yes!” feeling about making my next big life decision (like Remote Year) in the near future.

What’s one thing you would say to someone thinking about joining Remote Year?

Don’t think about it, do it.

What is some advice you would give someone currently on Remote Year?

Don’t go on too many side trips. Your time in each home city and with the group will be more impactful on your experience than anything else.

Do you have any tips on managing a remote role?

Have a routine. Not one so constraining that it drives you crazy and you can’t do anything spontaneous, but one that helps you get your work done at your most productive times. That way, you can fully enjoy your “off hours” and everything Remote Year and the world has to offer.

Group with city view

How have the people you met on Remote Year impacted your life both personally and professionally?

Personally, I’ve benefitted from the most loving and diverse friendships this year. As someone who was just two years out of college when starting Remote Year, most of my friends back home are around the same age. On Remote Year, age is just a number. My closest friends are anywhere from five to twelve years older than me and it’s been so rewarding to learn from them and be accepted by them. I don’t know how I would have found these types of relationships in “real life.”

Professionally, I’ve learned so much from my Cousteau family.

Everyone is so freaking smart and so willing to share and teach their craft. This year, I’ve found what some might call mentors, but I just like to call smart ass friends. I feel so lucky to have been able to learn about everything from product management to DJing to life planning. The beautiful part of Remote Year is that your community is passionate about so much more than travel. Take advantage of that.

If you could go back and do one thing differently what would it be?

Do less planning, more research.

(And nope, those two are not the same thing.)

Anything else you would like to say about your Remote Year experience?

It feels like a lifetime in one year, but the end comes a lot faster than you think so live in the moment as much as you can!