Six months ago I put a down payment on an experience to travel Southeast Asia with 65 people whom I have never met before all while continuing to work. Now I know this sounds like a dream come true (it is) but it doesn’t go without a lot of nerves.
Working in sales and knowing that I am 100% responsible for the outcome of my year is scary. When my boss agreed to let me do this I knew I wouldn’t be receiving many leads from half way around the world and that I would need to bring in the business. Having aggressive sales goes, but an extremely confident outlook on my abilities, I was nervous but knew I would be ok in the end.
The month before Remote Year we received everyone in our groups (Kublai) Facebook information and we quickly become online friends giving tips, planning side trips and getting to know each other. While I am sure there was a lot of stalking, it is pretty natural. You are spending every day with these people for four months or a year so it is pretty exciting seeing who may be your future BFF.
Getting off the airplane 25 hours later in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was the first time I thought, well this is actually kind of crazy. I met Yam H Chan on the flight who was in my group and also from Chicago and we became fast friends. That evening Remote Year had everyone up to their suite to mingle and while necessary and great, it felt like a terrible networking event. As an introvert in sales, I have been in this situation 100 times before so I know what feeling awkward or unconformable in front of a room full of strangers feels like. I force myself to stay and make small talk.
In the days and weeks that passed we went on food tours, went site seeing, dinners, breakfasts, speakeasys, worked and had very little amounts of sleep. We even had side trips after the 2nd week. 35 people in Bali, now that is when we all got to know who people really were.
I feel truly blessed to have met the people I have. The Remote Year community I have been paired with is truly full of special people. Here are some of the characteristics of the people I have spent time with.
- We are ballsy, literally. We will try new things even if it scares the shit out of us. (That time we ate bulls penis soup)
- We are completely obsessed with animals with several people being bit by strays.
- We are compassionate. We truly want to make an impact in the communities we are a part of.
- We’re obsessed with sunrises and sunsets and all of nature’s cool shit.
- We crush any infinity pool or body of water we can find.
- We love playing sports and being active.
- We’re hella smart, creative, passionate and kick ass at our jobs.
- We love history and culture and meeting local people. We are open minded and kind.
- We have passion for life and are over communicators. We are bloggers, vloggers, social media stars and talkers.
- We’re obsessed with food…and drinks.
- We’re not afraid to get dirty.
- but… we clean up well!
We are Kublai!
If you want to know whether I had an amazing time or not, just look at the state of pure happiness in the top picture.
Awesome! As a fellow traveler and digital nomad, I have yet to try one of the remote work programs, but I may do this in the near future. Good stuff!
You should check them out! I have nothing bad to say about the programs. You can obviously travel by yourself cheaper but the people you meet are pretty amazing and the events they plan are great too.
I have always seen them as a way to transition into the location independent lifestyle for someone just starting out. As someone who’s been living it for a bit, I don’t want to do it for a whole year. I wouldn’t mind going for maybe 3 or 4 months before breaking off again, but I think everyone should do something like this at least once.