A REMOTE YEAR REFLECTION – SOLO vs. COMMUNITY TRAVEL
I feel it would be irresponsible of me not to have one of my first posts be about some of my experiences and thoughts on Remote Year. As I write this, I am 9 days away from this program officially ending. With that comes many emotions, everything from sadness, to being scared, to being excited for what is to come next, and it is pulling at me in every direction. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to have built up a solid amount of travel experience, but I had been doing it solo and not part of a community like Remote Year. I loved it. Traveling solo is an amazing experience that allows you a freedom that is hard to explain. Sure you meet people along the way, I have met some great people that I still keep in touch with to this day. Traveling and working as a solo digital nomad is not a new concept by any means, and many have been doing it for a number of years now. But now, with the emergence of work and travel communities like Remote Year and others, it brings a whole new element to work and travel that solo travel just can’t provide.
For example, I had two main goals I wanted to accomplish from Remote Year. First, to build strong and lasting relationships with as many of the group as possible. Second, to partner up with a few of the group to start a business together which would allow for location independence while hopefully giving back to a community or charity at the same time. So although at the time I am writing this I have still not “officially” started up a company with anyone, I have discussed a few different ventures, and we are currently in the works on a couple projects that have some great potential, which I am very proud of. But when it comes to the relationships I have built over the past year, I can’t stress enough just how important that has meant to me. I realize that some people feel, and still do, that the amount of money we paid for this experience was just too expensive for what we got. But to me, it had always been so much deeper than that. It’s no secret that you can find much cheaper accommodations and transportation on your own than what we were paying each month to Remote Year. But the true value, at least to me, lies in the relationships I will be taking with me for the rest of my life. You just can’t put a price tag on that. I will now have friends located all over the world that I will be able to visit whenever I happen to cross their path, and vice versa. Friends to continue and travel with, bounce ideas off of, ask for advice and even rent a place with.
This new concept that allows people from the workforce to now travel in a like minded community together has so much potential that I feel it is going to become the new way businesses hire and are built. The idea that a team of creatives all from the same company can now go travel and collaborate together all while not taking up expensive office space is very important to now realize when making your hiring decisions. It’s a major shift from the old way of doing things where you would go on your own with no backing or support from your company. That is why this community concept can open so many more doors that are just not available to the solo traveler. When you are part of a community like Remote Year, it forces you to engage with everyone since you are with each other for an entire year. Again, you just don’t get that out of solo travel, and if you want to be successful at making this lifestyle work for you, embracing this concept will help you get there faster. Also, let’s not forget that if you do in fact need to get away, you can always go on a solo mission for however long you need, but you will now have the benefit of knowing you have all of your friends and colleagues waiting for you when you get back. It’s very powerful.
The goal of this post was to make a strong case for traveling with a community as opposed to just doing it solo. You now have many choices of work and travel groups popping up all over the place to choose from, and it’s only going to get bigger and become the “norm”. I can’t stress enough for someone to consider joining one of these communities if travel and location independence is important to you. The sooner that employees and business can understand and transition to this new way of working, the better off they will be in preparing for the future when people will be working from where they want.