The Thing: I was accepted into Remote Year for 2017. Remote Year is a program for Digital Nomads, who spend one year traveling the world and working in a large group. It is not a job – that is one of the things you must supply, so a key factor in RY is getting your employer to agree to let you work from wherever you happen to be at the time. You pay a (not insignificant) fee up front, then $2K a month for your travel and accommodations. You are responsible for your own food. People have done the calculations, and it costs each participant an average of $42K USD/$55K CDN for the year. This is a major factor in my decision.
- Epic. Fucking. Adventure.
- It’s what I wanted – to live abroad for a year
- Forced to deal with my social demons
- I could be in a group full of amazing, fun people and make some lifelong friends
- Seeing several parts of world! Hello, world!
- It’s an extremely long commitment
- Yes, I can always quit – but they want people to stick it out for the entire year, so there’s a financial penalty to quit
- It’s not exactly what I wanted – it’s my dream, on someone else’s terms
- It’s expensive. I’d use up all my savings and break even for the year if I’m lucky – I still have a mortgage and other financial commitments, so it’s not like I’m escaping rent by doing this (as I imagine most other participants are)
- I’d have to cancel plans for 2017, including a trip to Tokyo, a trip to somewhere else not yet determined, and a UK visit
- For the amount of money I’d be spending, I could easily afford to it on a smaller scale – in chunks – and be in total control of where, when, why, and how. This would also be a thousandfold easier to get approved through work.
- I am figuratively too old for this shit. I love me some comforts.
- I could end up in a group full of gorgeous 20-somethings who party and drink all the time and I’d be the sole fat shy weirdo with unkempt hair and no pants
- No stability. Sometimes, stability is nice. (only sometimes tho)
- Living out of one suitcase for an entire year. I can barely do that for a week.
- I kind of like my husband and cats and don’t really want to be continents away from them for a year
- Ed doesn’t want me to go (but won’t stop me if decide to go). He’s not actively trying to sway me one way or another (I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha) and has been very positive about it, but I asked him to be completely honest with me and he doesn’t want to be apart for that long. I can’t blame him for that; I’d likely feel the same if the situation was reversed.
- Who am I signing up to spend a year with?
- Will my employer even consider letting me work extremely remotely for an entire year?
- What will the accommodations be like? Will they be filled with spiders? Is the internet stable? How’s the weather? What’s nearby? Where’s the nearest source of Diet Coke and ice cubes? A thousand questions, repeated each month.
- The month I spent in London away from home was hard. How would I handle that times 12?
- How on earth do I handle the mountain of medication I’m on?
Every person who has responded is encouraging me to go, but it’s just making me feel guilty for considering turning the invite down and/or deferring it. So there.
What to do.