Age and Nationality: 24, USA
Type of Professional: Full-Time Employee
Job Title and Company: Creative Manager for Delaware North
Program: Remote Year Sonder
Like most people at the time, a Facebook ad!
I had lived in my hometown for my entire life. I always loved traveling but had never lived anywhere else. I had a good job, great friends, a solid routine. But I was so bored with my everyday. Nothing was wrong, just everything was the same and I needed a change. Unsure where I needed the change (new job, new city, etc), I just decided to take the biggest leap and shake things up to the extreme.
Once I got accepted and my boss/company approved for me to go (which I NEVER actually thought they would), I HAD to! I was a little nervous but everything lined up and there was no reason for me not to. It was time for me to take a chance on myself and just say YES!
The most difficult part was approval at work. Remote Year helped me put together a presentation and walked me through steps of pitching it to my boss. My boss then had to get approval from our regional boss who needed corporate approval. It took a long time to go through all the steps and to convince them that they could trust me to work internationally. However, I had been with the company for several years so I had established trust, proven my work ethic and we had an agreement that if it wasn't working midway through we would discuss me coming back. However, there was no way I would let that happen so I worked my *ss off in order to keep my job and stay on RY!
Telling my family was a little nerve racking but ultimately they were extremely supportive and encouraging.
There's no fully preparing to ""pack and prepare"" for this type of thing. However, all the RY premote video calls were SUPER helpful in easing your mind as to what to expect. :)"
What was your favorite part about traveling with Remote Year (as opposed to traveling by yourself or with another company)?
The community and being with such amazing people. It also is insanely convenient to have everything booked, planned and scheduled for you so you can truly just focus on work and having the best experiences!
It depended on the time zone we were in (Europe vs. SA), but typically I'd wake up, do some type of workout whether I joined a gym that month or went for a run, go to the coworking space to start my morning of work. Make coffee there, work, have calls, etc. Take a lunch break with friends and try a new local restaurant or walk around the area/explore a little. In Split, I'd take my lunch breaks at the beach! In the afternoon sometimes I'd work from my apartment or a coffee shop depending how I was feeling. Or in many cases, at a bar while watching the World Cup! Then the evenings were usually spent with my RY fam either doing a local activity, cooking dinner, exploring the food scene of the country we were in, going out, etc.
It's literally impossible to pick just one. Or even just 5. One thing that comes to mind is laying in the Sahara dessert sand dunes with about 5 other friends in my group staring at the brightest stars I've ever seen in my life. Or riding in jeeps along the coast of Portugal. Literally, my year was constantly a stream of "is this real life moments."
Cape Town, South Africa. I feel like I did SO MUCH that month and it wasn't even close to enough. I want to climb every mountain, visit every beach, pet more cheetahs, drink more wine at vineyards, learn more about the history and see more of Africa. Cape Town has it all.
I am much more open as a person to any new experience. I have so much more confidence in myself. I've learned to be selfish with my own wants and needs yet appreciate every connection I make with someone. I've learned what type of balance I need in my life and what makes me happy.
I work in the travel and hospitality industry and I definitely saw a learned a lot just by traveling as much as I did. I also made a lot of new connections, learned how to improve communication while working remotely and how to prioritize a healthy work/life balance.
The world is a small place. You never know when a connection with someone from somewhere in the world might find you again and it's the most wonderful surprise when it does.
Take a chance on yourself, you deserve it.
I'm back home more confident than ever, more open minded and constantly continuing travel. Just now from a little more solid of a homebase. :)
Kinsey White was born and raised in beautiful Bozeman, MT and work as the Creative Manager for a travel and hospitality company. When I'm not trying to constantly plan my next trip, I love to be outdoors and active to offset my never ending need for tacos and wine. And sushi.