There are 18 days left in Remote Year. Umm, what?! How did that happen? How did the last year FLY by? How was last year simultaneously the shortest and longest year of my life?
I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself and the world, but what IS it? What did I really learn and how will it affect my future? Note that this is my “Remote Year isn’t actually over yet and I’m sure everything will change in 3 months” draft.
My New Family
I cannot say enough about the incredibly smart, adventurous, freakin’ hilarious, and open-minded people I’ve grown so close to. The stories are never ending and the things I’ve learned from them have had a life-long impact. I’ll try and not be annoying with “One time, on Remote Year…” but I can’t make any promises.
More than that, I met the love of my life and we spent the last year traveling the world and setting an incredible foundation for years to come. Want to talk about seeing someone at their best and worst? Try missing flights, not speaking the language, ambiguous job statuses, weird beds, constantly being lost, packing and moving far away every 30 days, and lots and lots of poops. If we can handle the poops, we can handle anything 💪. Plus, how many relationships start out with 75 mutual friends for life?
Takeaway: The people I surround myself with shape so much about myself so I need to go find a group of passionate smarty-pants’
Connection with Austin and the meaning of Home
The first new months I was terribly homesick for the place I’ve called home for 28 years. I wasn’t sure how I would adjust to life outside of my familiar routine of tacos and dive bars. Turns out the whole world likes tacos, so that’s cool.
I learned that home isn’t necessarily a place but a comfortable state of mind. I learned that I miss gardening, my pup Bingo, dinner parties, house projects, knowing where things are, more than 7 options in my closet, and Target. God, I miss Target.
Takeaway: The things that I miss can be found anywhere in the world and Austin is not the only option anymore, as long as I have this girl. *cues ominous music about future life plans*
Success as a Digital Nomad
I’m well-aware that what I’m about to say is taboo in the digital nomad community so please don’t fire me, RY. This year taught me that I’m a terrible remote employee and even worse at being self-employed. Who wants to work on a stinky website when you can go SEE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?!
What I did learn is that I thrive working on a physical team. I like seeing work friends every day. I enjoy small talk at the water cooler (said no one ever). I’m happy to wake up early, dress nice, show up and perform well. So what if I have a commute? I can crush audiobooks and enjoy the time to think about the meaning of life or beer or something.
Takeaway: I’m ready to settle down back into a work routine with people I connect with every day. Travel will always be a huge priority but probably in smaller doses going forward. It took this year to learn that about myself.
Overall, this year has been the most transformative time of my entire life. It’s taken a while, but I’ve grown to love myself more and come to accept who I am and what I can offer this world. I can proudly say I’m a real adult now – just look at the hair!
So what’s next? TBD for the most part. Keep an eye out here for updates when I figure it out myself… Cheers!