Meet Nicholas Zaverdinos

Nicholas is a Freelance Full Stack Developer who traveled the world with Remote Year Saudade.

About Nicholas

Age and Nationality: 26, South Africa
Type of Professional:
Job Title and Company
: Full Stack Developer
Program: Remote Year Saudade

Note from a Program Consultant

Before deciding to join Remote Year, Nick had only left his home country of South Africa once. He knew he wanted to travel with a program from the first call, and signed up the next day for Saudade, which would take him around Europe for the next three months. Nick was looking for a community to travel with, which was a selling point of Remote Year. While he decided to opt out of Cape Town, South Africa, his hometown, in the time he spent with the group he quickly became a pillar of their travel family. Getting out of his comfort zone and experiencing new things were two big reasons for joining Remote Year, and in his time on program he visited five new countries, went skydiving, and made countless new friends and memories. It was clear in his final farewell that Remote Year was the right decision for him, as the group shared heartfelt memories and plans to meet up in the future.

Krista Betka
Remote Year Program Consultant
How did you hear about Remote Year?

Through an old work colleague of mine. Who also ended up giving me enough remote work in order to take on this new lifestyle!

What made you initially want to go on a Remote Year program?

The whole idea of traveling with a group of individuals who you've never met before, to different countries, over several months sounded so cool! (and still does!) I wanted to meet a community of individuals who shared similar goals as myself and find some awesome people to keep travelling with in the future.

What made you finally take the leap to join a program?

I enquired about the program through the website and was very quickly contacted by a program consultant. They didn't have to say much to sell me on the idea haha. It took about 2 days of thought and I decided to go for it!

Were there any additional steps to make joining Remote Year possible?

Somehow my life was ready for Remote Year even before signing up. I had sold everything prior, purchased flights to Europe and had enough contract work for the next few months. Telling my family that I was doing this was pretty hard. I had never travelled before and this would definitely have me away for longer than I've ever been.

What was your favorite part about traveling with Remote Year (as opposed to traveling by yourself or with another company)?

All the moments where you realise where you are and the people you are with..Even the small things can be so impactful. We would be hiking down a path to a secluded beach somewhere on the south-east coast of Spain. I never would have imagined being there, surrounded by such incredible people.

Can you describe a typical (work) day in the life for you on Remote Year?

A typical work day can be hard to find. Each day could present a unique opportunity for new memories. I would head to the co-working space in the early hours of the morning, work till lunch and go explore a new spot in the city for the next 1-2 hours. I would typically finish around 5pm and join my fellow remotes for dinner, a sunset, Netflix or exploring the city.

What is your favorite Remote Year memory? 

This is sooo difficult to answer! My first wow-moment was when a group of us were road-tripping through Bosnia and Montenegro. This was early on in our program and I had the thought of how crazy it was being in that situation. I never imagined being in a car with such amazing people from 4 different countries, traveling along the road in a truly foreign world. 

If you could relive one Remote Year month where would it be and why?

Definitely our 2nd month. 5 weeks long in Lisbon, Portugal during the celebration month of Saint Anthony. What a crazy amount of memories! This is where our group grew so much closer together - making each moment that much more special. 

How do you feel your Remote Year experience has benefited you personally?

On many levels! I have lived several years of amazing experiences in such a short time. I'm quite a shy and introverted guy, yet by the second month I was somehow convinced to host an improv grow event. I have made such close connections with my travel family here so many amazing people I intend on seeing again in the future!

How do you feel your Remote Year experience has benefited you professionally?

This has easily been the best way to figure out how to be a digital nomad. Working remotely - especially for the first time can be quite challenging. This program can test you in many different ways and really allows you to figure the whole system out.

Has RY benefitted you in ways you didn't expect? If so, how?

I honestly didn't expect to build such close connections. I'm very sad that it's coming to an end. I really want to keep this group all together for a perpetual Remote Year. I was hoping to find maybe one person that I'd be able to travel with post this program. I have so many now!

What is one piece of advice you would give to people considering joining a Remote Year program?

Don't go in with any expectations. You're going to be doing something new, something you've never experienced before and it's most likely going to put in some uncomfortable situations. These are the moments you're going to love and it's these moments which you'll always remember and grow from.

What’s next for you?

Prior to Remote Year I had an office job. I watched movies and I barely went outside. There is no way I could ever go back to that lifestyle after having my eyes opened to what it's like on the other side. I'm going to be travelling for as long as I can! I learned that the world has so many beautiful places and amazing people just waiting for you to meet.

"Now that I know what it's like. If I could go back in time, to tell myself about Remote Year, I would do it again every time."

More About Nicholas

I'm a Full Stack Developer from South Africa. Full-time nerd. Loving the outdoors and living the digital nomad life.

Instagram: @nic.zav

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