Meraki is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be. With that being said, I am beyond excited to head out in 2017 with Remote Year Meraki spending each month traveling to and living in 12 different cities, within 10 countries, spanning 3 continents. An enormous thank you to my boss and coworkers for their support of me telecommuting for the next year!
Remote Year is a start-up that organizes groups of 75 professionals to travel and work in 12 cities for 12 months. Founded two years ago, Remote Year adds community and infrastructure to “digital nomadism,” a growing trend among millennials who work from their laptops in foreign locations.
I’ll be living in Mexico City; Bogota, Colombia; Medellin, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Cordoba, Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Prague, Czech Republic; Belgrade, Serbia; Valencia, Spain; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and will round out 2017 in Kyoto, Japan. Also, per my contract with USC, I will have to fly back to Los Angeles for three check-ins throughout the year which means over 30,000 travel miles.
Many people I’ve told have asked all about the logistics and then there’s the one thing everyone always asks: Why? Why leave a city that you love, a successful in-house design career, graduate school, and a loving relationship of five years to jet set across the globe and live out of a suitcase alongside people you don’t know FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. In which I always respond: why not! Life is precious and altogether too short to not go after your dreams and these once in a lifetime opportunities.
It definitely wasn’t an easy decision to temporarily leave behind a life that I built and love in LA, but I am looking forward to challenges that await. To me, life is about going outside of your comfort zone and having new experiences in order to make meaningful changes. The number one reason why I want to travel, work, and live abroad with Remote Year is because it will inevitably force me into uncomfortable and challenging situations that will in return allow me to grow and learn more about myself and others. The beauty of traveling around the world is that it allows you to get a big-picture perspective on things. In my travels, I always felt that by detaching myself from the familiar environment, I was able to gain new perspectives. In spending a month in each city and taking the time to immerse myself in a culture, I will have a greater understanding of the people and their environment. This rewarding year is a way to connect with my fellow human beings in a deeper and more meaningful way. It will teach me about what community is, and why it’s important for us humans. I am looking at this experience as an opportunity to adapt to further situations, as well as give me psychological strength.
When something is meant to be, it flows effortlessly.
“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, and the people you meet. You are what you take from these. You are a collective of every experience you have ever had in your life. You are every second of every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of experience and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind until they overflow and you have no choice but to create and show the world who you have become” –Author Unknown