Two Points For Honesty

Let’s start this post off with a throwback to my favorite band Guster, and one of their best songs.

 

Warning: There are no fun pictures, this is real-talk.

The Situation

So sometimes Remote Year can be hard. It’s not all amazing landscapes and crazy parties. From reading my fellow Remote Year’s blogs I am seeing that everyone is having a tough time of their own. Yes, we have chosen this life, but we left behind all that was familiar, a steady paycheck, and a place to call home. People are finding the adjustment period difficult. As soon as we get used to a city, we are asked to pick up and move again. There really isn’t any stability. Sometimes all if the WIFI in Bolivia goes down, and sometimes we just really want to take a nap and forget about it all.

People are starting question, is this program the right fit for me? Is this really what I thought it was going to be like? Is the money I’m spending to be here paying off? I’m not going to answer for everyone else, but I’m happy to give my view.

My Situation

From the moment I arrived to Montevideo, I knew I had made the right decision. As the program truly got going I felt that I had landed exactly where I was supposed to be. To this day, I still feel the exact same way. I too, have had my ups and downs and there have been stressful situations in which I thought I may have to leave. However more than anything I believe in Remote Year as a program and a product. I know I am the right fit for the program and that leaving would only come because of financial reasons. I see myself finishing out RY in Ho Chi Minh City, saying goodbye to the people who are now and will forever be my family.

Yes, sometimes I question the value, yes sometimes the WIFI sucks, and yes sometimes I skip a party just to catch up on my tv shows. But this is life, this is my actual life. I live this life everyday, although unconventional to some. It would be abnormal for me to go out every night at home so it is something that I chose not to do here. I have found it helps to maintain a sense of normalcy. At home, I would come home from work and make dinner and catch up on tv. Here, since I don’t have the luxury of a kitchen, I’ll grab some dinner with friends and then head back to my hotel and stream a TV show from the night before.

I feel comfortable in this life. I am thankful for this opportunity. When the going gets tough I just have to remember how lucky I really am.

Honeymoon Phase Over

As we head into our fourth month and our fourth home we are realizing that we are in this for the long run. We are almost one third of the way through our year together, and about finished with our first continent. These are big milestones! We know each other now, probably as well as our friends back home know us. Being together day in and day out amplifies the relationship and bonds that you create here on Remote Year. (This is why it IS possible to find love on the Bachelor!)

The conversations have gone past the “What do you do for work?” “Where do you live back home?” Now we ask, “How did that big conference call you had go today?” “Ugh, where should we go for dinner?” We are comfortable both in our small groups and together as one large community, and for that I am so thankful. These people make my world go round each day. Without them this program wouldn’t be possible.

Who, What, Where, When, Why

A friend and fellow remote shared a really thoughtful blog post that I encourage you to read. In this post he posed a few questions that resonated with me, that I want to answer for myself.

  • I am participating in Remote Year because… (this is your why)
    • I yearn to see the world, other cultures, and to interact with people different than myself. To become a successful digital nomad, so much so to maintain a remote lifestyle long after the program is over.
  • When I successfully finish Remote Year, I will… (these are the personal benefits you’ll acquire upon reaching month 12)
    • Have a full time remote job with a remote company. I will be cultured, diversified, and globally aware. I will have a community of people that I can call upon in any given moment to share sadness, joy, laughter, and successes.
  • If I give up on Remote Year, I will… (these are the negative perceptions you’ll develop of yourself, the program or your fellow remotes if you quit – harsh but effective)
    • Only be leaving because I cannot financially support myself here anymore. I will miss these people more than I probably miss my friends and family back home. I will have the biggest FOMO ever. I will feel like I didn’t try hard enough to stay, that there was more I could do, an extra step to have taken.

These questions helped me realize why I am here, and what I want to accomplish. This program is a gift and to squander your time by staying in your comfortable zone is unacceptable to me. I want to get outside your comfort zone, do something I would never do at home. Learn a new language, eat a new food, but I don’t ever loose sight of myself. Of the person I am at my core.

FAQ

People have reached out to ask me what the biggest challenges and surprises are. What are some of the things I wish I’d known before I left.

For those considering applying to Remote Year or for those who have already been accepted, my answer is as follows:

For me the biggest challenge has been the job. I didn’t have a remote job when I got accepted so I worked super hard to find one before leaving. Everyday it is a challenge. You absolutely need to have a salaried job to sustain the program fees as well as saying yes to the fun things that travel brings.
Yes, this program is about travel, but it is more so about the community that is brought together by remote work, working together to foster a successful, meaningful environment. The people here have been the biggest and best surprise. I knew coming into this that I would meet cool people, but these people, damn. They have truly become family just in these three months.
Things to realize — Since the program is still so new, they are still working out the kinks on an everyday basis. The accommodations have been pretty shitty, the wifi sometimes doesn’t work, but at the end of the day Remote Year works so hard to fix this issues. This isn’t luxury travel, and sometimes I question the value. Does the 2k a month really add up to what I am receiving from RY?
However, with that being said, Remote Year is by far the best choice I have ever made, as mentioned above. Travel isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and we definitely experience highs and lows. At the end of the day the people on the program make this experience so unbelievably worth it.

So, Two Points For Honesty?

This program isn’t for everyone. It’s stressful, different, and uncomfortable. Is this program for me? HELL YES. I am the happiest, fulfilled I have ever been in my life. I wake up rejuvenated, ready to take on whatever the day has in store for me. I feel productive, I check things off my to-do list. I’m seeing things I never thought I’d see. My own photos boggle my mind. How did I get so lucky? How is this only the beginning?

Saying goodbye to Bolivia on Saturday will be bittersweet, but I am so excited to go to Cusco. Bring on Machu Picchu, bring on the lower elevation (just by a smidge), and bring on all the new experiences and life lessons. ♥♥♥

 

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One thought on “Two Points For Honesty

  1. Hannah, you are full of courage and wisdom. I admire the way you live each day to the fullest, resting when needed. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us and for your honesty. It’s wonderful to know you have made so many deep connections with your companions, and are learning about different cultures, drinking it all in sharing your positive energy and love for life.

    Like

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