Remote Year

From February 2016 – January 2017, I was a member of Remote Year's second group, Battuta. We met in Montevideo, Uruguay, and traveled for 12 months across South America, Europe, and SE Asia, living in a different city and country every month.

Scroll down to see our itinerary…

 

What is Remote Year?

Remote Year is a company that is essentially like a year of study abroad for people with remote jobs: digital nomads pay them a fee and RY organizes housing, travel between countries, a workspace with reliable internet, and facilitates events.

Remote Year launched the first group in 2015, a second group (called Battuta) began in 2016, and the company received $12M in Series A funding in October 2016. They have launched over 30 groups as of the end of 2018. 

Read about my experience, the places we visited, and responses to FAQs on my Remote Year publication on Medium.

 

Joining Remote Year

I've been a digital nomad since June 2014, working remotely (as a freelancer) while traveling full-time. In May 2015, a friend emailed me a link about this crazy new program that was taking people around the world: "...made me think of you!" 
 
As soon as I read the article, I emailed the founder and told him that I had been working remotely and traveling on my own for a year and was envious of the RY group & setup. To my surprise and delight, Greg wrote back and asked if I would be interested in joining the next group, set to start their year in early 2016. I said yes. 

Interested in applying? Learn more here.

 

The Remote year experience

At $27,000 USD for a year, it was not an insignificant investment, but it does include a lot:

  • covered expenses I'd have regardless (rent, travel, coworking, events)

  • saved me considerable time on planning

  • provided me with a community of people with the shared lifestyle but otherwise was a very diverse group in terms of age, career, industry, and life experience

During that year, I learned a lot about the broader world and myself. Of course, that required an intentional approach — personal growth and learning require attention and often discomfort. You’re not going to grow as a person or learn about the world just by tromping around the globe, in spite of what inspirational quotes might say. But if you consciously observe what’s around you and are open to information, travel provides an abundance of insights.

In 2015, I didn’t know anyone else doing what I did — traveling while working remotely. Now I have hundreds of people at my fingertips to discuss the experience & challenges with, to get travel advice from who understand my work & lifestyle needs, and fellow working travel buddies. The friendships and connections I made on Remote Year didn’t end in January 2017, thankfully.

So, yes, you can live + travel cheaper. And I would not say that Remote Year does everything right or is the best fit for everyone. But based on my experience, the investment was reasonable and well worth my time and money. If your values and priorities align with their offering and community, then I do recommend it.

Read more in my reflection on the Remote Year Investment (both in terms of time and money), written 18 months after my program ended.


Remote Year II Battuta Itinerary

12 CITIES. 12 MONTHS. 75 DIGITAL NOMADS.

 

South America

Montevideo, Uruguay
Feb 2016

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mar 2016

La Paz, Bolivia
Apr 2016

Cusco, Peru
May 2016

Europe

London, England
Jun 2016

Prague, Czechia
Jul 2016

Belgrade, Serbia
Aug 2016

Split, Croatia
Sept 2016

Southeast Asia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Oct 2016

Koh Phangan, Thailand
Nov 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Dec 2016

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Jan 2017

 

 
NomadSurvivalGuide_Kindle_Final-web.jpeg

At the end of Remote Year, I cowrote a book, The Digital Nomad Survival Guidewith a fellow RY Battuta (available on Amazon Kindle and in print). 

The book features practical advice from personal experience, conversations with successful digital nomads, packing lists, sample budgets, app recommendations, website suggestions, and more.

This is the book we wish we had read a few years ago. While there is a lot of information available for people about how to travel or work remotely, it’s hard to know where to start and what will work best for you.