The Remote Experience kind of fell into my lap. Back in January, I was served an Instagram ad for the Remote Year, a similar program but (obviously) for a year rather than four months. The name intrigued me so I immediately looked it up.
Remote job? Check. Opportunity to travel all over the world? Check. For a year? That’s a long time, but to visit 12 countries over 3 continents, that doesn’t seem all that long.
I looked at the application and all it required was providing your name, salary, if you currently had a remote job, and a link to your LinkedIn profile. I quickly filled out an application and started day-dreaming of working from a beach in Thailand.
Over the next couple of weeks, the reality of what the Remote Year actually is started to set in. Yes, it opened up the world of traveling and living abroad like I never imagined, but would my company really be on board for letting me do this for a year? I just moved to Chicago and love it here; am I ready to pack up and leave already? And how does one actually make working from Asia feasible? That’s a 12-hour time difference, meaning literally no overlap with the US’s work day.
As I continued to research Remote Year, I stumbled upon The Remote Experience; an almost identical program, but only four months and only in Europe. Looking into this, it seemed a lot more doable.
In February, I visited my friend Katelyn in South Carolina. She knew all about both of these programs and kept encouraging me to apply (at this point, I had made it to the second round of applications for the Remote Year). Every week, I’d tell her “by Tuesday, I will have applied.” And on Wednesday, I’d tell her, “by the end of the weekend, I will have applied”
While sitting in her apartment that weekend, she finally called me out on what I hadn’t admitted to myself; I was scared.
She pointed out that I just needed to apply. If I didn’t get accepted, ok. If I did get accepted, I could then decide if I wanted to go or not. But at least I knew I had tried. And thank goodness she convinced me of this, because I can’t imagine 40 years from now looking back at this opportunity and regretting not applying.
A view of our walk along Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina after convincing me that I just needed to apply.
I left South Carolina on Monday night and promised Katelyn that I would actually apply that week. On Thursday, I was finally able to send her a text that I had officially applied for The Remote Experience and my second round of applications had been sent off to the Remote Year. Sometimes you just need a little bit of a push.