I will let you know that I am in no way affiliated nor do I sell for Remote Year. I looked into this program and it wasn’t for me but I have a friend who did get accepted into their 4 month program and I thought it would be cool to interview her monthly and follow along with her journey with Remote Year. This will allow everyone to get an in-depth view on what she is doing with the program and to see if it right for you. There are several companies such as this that exist and you can click on this link to look into others:
Remote Year “brings together communities of interesting professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers from across the globe to spend a year working, traveling, and exploring 12 cities around the world.” (This was taken off of the Remote Year website.)
You do not have to be with them the entire year but can opt to do segments with them. Currently Amanda is doing 4 months with Remote Year and is traveling with them on their Southeast Asia adventure.
I asked Amanda a series of questions and if there is a question that you would like me to ask her in our next interview round please let me know.
Let’s begin…please welcome Amanda, and Human Resource professional from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
TRL: Amanda, give us a bit of background on yourself; your life before starting the Remote Year program.
Amanda: I am Canadian and work as a Human Resource Professional in Ontario. Other things about me: I have a new love for travel, I have a love for yoga, I am a pet parent to a standard poodle, and I have a hobby knitting business during Canadian winters.
I would say that I had the typical Canadian lifestyle that is ingrained in us to achieve from a young age. Go to University, get a profession, buy a home, car, etc. I worked the typical 9-5 office environment, lived alone with my dog in a 1425 sqft. townhouse. I would go to yoga, or hangout with friends after work and on weekends.
TRL: How did you hear about Remote Year (RY)?
Amanda: I saw an ad on a social feed, clicked the link, and then started to read about RY and follow them on other channels.
TRL: What was the process like to apply to RY?
Amanda: It was professional, organized, and relatively simple process. Simply fill out the form on their website and if you qualify for the next step they will reach out to you for more information about the process.
TRL: Was the company you’re working for happy about your decision to do RY?
Amanda: Yes – I felt that they were excited for me and secretly envious 😉 I was actually quite nervous to approach my company about my desire to work remotely, but when my proposal was received with openess and excitement I remembered why my company is so great! We came to an agreement that the 4-month option was the best route for the company and for me. Plus, if all goes well, I suppose there is always room to extend it down the road! RY has some flexibility for us to join in on another 4-month option down the road.
TRL: Was your role already a remote role at your company?
Amanda: No – I typically worked from the headquarters and would work remotely on occasion either from home, a coffee shop, or one of our other office locations.
TRL: Tell us a day in the life of you while at RY.
Amanda: Where do I start!! Each day is different, but a few things remain the same…I know there is always someone to have breakfast with, walk to work with, have lunch wth, or hangout in the evening. The RY team has an official calendar of events that they organize for the remotes, and then there is an unofficial calendar of events where the remotes organize our own outings and share it with the group.
For me a day in the life includes spending time at the work space to get some core work done in an office setting, grabbing a bite to eat with some fellow remotes, touring the city or discovering a new place to eat (Malaysia is all about the food!). Some days will also include time at the pool, gym, or an offsite adventure.
No matter what the day entails I know it will be full of good company, lots of laughter, and discovering new things about the country I am in.
TRL: What support do they (RY) offer you while traveling with them?
Amanda: So much support!! The on-boarding is on point; from the portal where all of our information is stored, to packing tips, to an international help line. I know that the RY team is here to support me like a family member. RY also does a great job at building up the remotes to be a strong community where we know we are here to support each other. Already, in just 2 weeks, I have seen so much support between the remotes themselves.
TRL: How many people are with you at any given time during RY?
Amanda: My group consists of 65 remotes, program leaders, and city guides. Some events are for the entire group and other events are for smaller groups that are capped at 20. It is easy to find at least 4 people to hangout with at any given time. If someone’s preference is to hangout in a small intimate group or a large group both options are there.
TRL: What other jobs are people working in while doing RY?
Amanda: Oh let’s see…Web development, Graphic Design, Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Social Media (vlogs/blogs), Matchmakers, Recruiters, Architecture, Building Construction Business Owners, Photography, Fitness, Health & Wellness, and Human Resources.
TRL: Tell us the set up the RY provides to you. (How do you live? Internet? Travel Arrangements, etc.?)
Amanda: The set up may vary from place to place, but my current (Malaysia) set up includes living in the downtown core – a short 15 minute walk to the office. Currently, all remotes are living in the same serviced apartment building in two bedroom units with a roommate. We have internet at the our apartment as well as the office. RY does there best to meet everyone’s needs based on the information we fill out in the on-boarding surveys regarding our living and working preferences.
We may not all live together in other countries as the set up can change. RY takes care of all travel between the countries and remotes are responsible for obtaining their own travel visas where required. We walk a lot in Malaysia as everything is close, but if we need a ride somewhere Uber is very reliable and easy to use here. We can also take public transit.
TRL: What part of the world are you traveling with Remote Year?
Amanda: My four month itinerary is based in South East Asia and I will spend a month living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Bangkok, Thailand.
The remotes on the 12 month option will also spend 4 months in Europe, and 4 months in South America. RY has itineraries launching at various times throughout the year – all which are slightly different. So there should be something for everyone.
Amanda is starting month 2 and will be back to let us know how she is doing. She has done a trip to Bali so I am excited to hear all about that. If you have any questions about this program, about what she is doing or anything else please leave me a comment and look for it in March.
You can also follow Amanda’s blog at http://amandalittle.ca/
And of course please follow me as I continue my adventure of my own Remote Life journey.