Embarking on a remote year used to be a luxury reserved only for the lucky few. Not anymore.
For most of us, participating in a remote year program, which often combines working remotely with travelling, used to be beyond our reach.
This kind of adventure used to be exclusively for the very young or the very privileged.
There have been those lucky enough to have taken a gap year and backpacked through incredible places in their late teens or early 20s.
Or for adults, who’ve had a flexible job that didn’t require them to show up in-person.
Or for the very wealthy.
Naturally, most of us categorized this lifestyle under “not for me,” or hoped for, “one day.”
Well, that opportunity can be for you and that one day is here.
Now that the world of work has changed so much, we can grasp this dream because now people can be working remotely while travelling the world.
You already know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we work, with millions of people pivoting from their office cubicle and classrooms to their kitchen counters and living room couches.
This sudden shift changed the reality for many people and has made them realize: Home can be anywhere.
If you still have to work and don’t have to be tied to one place, wouldn’t it be great to be able to work while travelling?
You deserve to see the beauty and magnificence of the world. You deserve more than what you can cram into your once a year, two-week vacation.
You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, right, only in my wildest dreams. How can I leave my job? Gain the skills I need to work while travelling? What about all my responsibilities!? I have no idea how to work remotely and travel.”
We have good news.
- You don’t necessarily need to quit your job, unless you want to. A lot of employers are aware that many employees prefer working from home. A recent study found that 74% of employees are more likely to stay with their current company if offered the option of remote work. This has led many businesses to adapt to this new mode of working in an effort to retain their employees. And if your job can’t or isn’t trying to keep you happy, there are many more jobs offering remote positions than ever before.
- You probably already have the skills you need to work remotely while travelling the world. Do you work on a computer? Then you have at least some basic skills you need. There are also many quick, free or cheap online courses you can take to update or sharpen your digital skills for extra insurance.
- And your personal responsibilities? You don’t have to be away forever. In most cases, you can press pause to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
How to work remotely and travel
Over the past few years, remote year programs have gained in popularity.
Organizations, such as this one, geared towards the general public, and this program, available to women only, specialize in designing work-travel experiences for people like you who want to work to live and not live to work.
All you have to do is sign up for the program of your choice, pack your laptop and your bags, and start your adventure.
Why Choose a Remote Year Program? Here are 9 reasons:
1. Working remotely while travelling the world has never been easier.
There are many different work-travel programs for you to pick from ranging in duration and location. You can select 1-month, 4-month, or 12-month packages. You can also select from a variety of countries.
2. Your itinerary is planned for you.
Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the must-see places your distant cousin has told you about and the must-do list that gets out of control, you can relax and let the experts plan and organize your schedule for you.
You’ll be able to see all the famous places as well as the surprisingly wonderful, out-of-the-way spots that have been carefully curated for you. All social events are optional, but you probably won’t want to miss any of them.
Imagine taking a gondola ride in Venice, Italy, witnessing the breathtaking orange sky at sunset in Santorini, Greece, and learning how the cha, cha, salsa, and tango, while you travel through South America. Can you hear yourself saying, “Cha, cha, cha,” yet?
3. Travelling in small groups is safer than travelling alone – especially for women. It also avoids loneliness – a travelling side effect.
4. You can decide your work schedule. You choose if you want to work while travelling or simply enjoy meeting people, seeing new sights, and experiencing new cultures. No one at the organization is monitoring you, so you have the freedom and flexibility to structure your day as you please. You can even take time off if you want to, and simply be a tourist.
5. These programs have made sure that you will have functional workspaces with reliable Wi-Fi in each of the cities you will stay in. Finding good Wi-Fi is the number one complaint of travellers, but with a remote year program organizing this important detail, finding good Wi-Fi will not be your problem. You can feel at ease in getting your work done. After all, you still need to work while travelling.
6. With a remote year program, you will know exactly how much money you will be spending for flights and accommodation before you board your first flight, and everything will be booked for you.
Some programs’ prices include all your accommodations, social events, as well as transportation, including flights.
The best part is that after you pay your initial deposit, you can pay monthly, so you don’t have to wait until you save all that you’ll need for the duration of your trip. You simply pay as you go.
The only thing you are responsible for are your meals, plus any mementos you might want. You might fall in love with an artisan blanket or a spectacular piece of art.
7. Thankfully, you will not stay in rundown hostels. Your accommodations are always at 4- or 5-star hotels, which are clean, safe, and in great locations.
You have to pay rent, or a mortgage somewhere, so why not pay it to stay in incredible places?
8. You will meet like-minded people who have chosen their own happiness over the mundane.
Perhaps you’ll congregate with your co-travellers on the rooftop patio of your workstation and raise a toast. It’s safe to say that you will meet and make friends, perhaps to last a lifetime.
Once you’re there, you will be so grateful that you figured out how to work remotely and travel.
9. If you’ve ever said, “I want to change my life,” then these programs are for you.
You will benefit from these enriching experiences and be reminded that you are meant for more than what you’ve settled for (hyperlink this to previous blog post on Living as a Digital Nomad).
Picture yourself on Safari in South Africa, exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, and learning how to cook “Khao Soi,” a national favourite dish, in Thailand. That’s a pretty incredible change from your current day-to-day, isn’t it?
Imagine all the unique parts of the world you will see, all the amazing things you will learn, and the wonderful people you will meet on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Imagine, also, how good you’ll feel once you take a chance on yourself and find something meaningful that will change you and your life for the better.
How many more times can you wake up and hit the snooze button, dreading another unremarkable day?
Aren’t you tired of rolling out of bed and throwing on some clothes on, eating a bagel while juggling coffee from a thermos as you commute to work?
Don’t you want to take a break from sitting at a desk from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, forcing yourself to go to the gym when it’s already dark outside, return home for a meh dinner, and fall asleep on the couch?
You already know what happens if you repeat this routine. Nothing.
Nothing happens. Nothing changes.
You can stop saying, “I want to change my life,” and actually start to change it. You owe it to yourself to try something new. After all, you only live once, and this remote year, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is one you will love.
This is your chance to step off the hamster wheel and experience working remotely while travelling the world.
Isn’t it time for you to escape the ordinary and live the extraordinary?
-Isabel & Marilyn