Get to know the inspiring, magic humans behind local experience on Remote Year. Introducing Remote Year City Teams.
Do you ever wish that your travel experiences could be more personal?
You spend time flipping through tourist guides just to see the same 10 recommendations for things to eat, see, and do. Can you trust these recommendations? Are these dishes, activities, and sights going to truly impact your journey? Sometimes, you come back from a trip feeling like you didn’t learn anything new at all. You simply experienced the same things that thousands of other people experienced, with no personal takeaway to speak of. Your Instagram feed is filled with the same colorful murals and photos of you pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. #original
That’s not how travel is supposed to be.
You want to feel like you’re eating at a hidden gem, hole in the wall restaurant that nobody back home has ever heard of. You want to feel like you’re a part of the local community, without generalizing, appropriating, or fetishizing their culture. You want to have a life-changing, earth-shattering experience that leaves you either full of curiosity and empathy or ready to take an action.
That’s where the Remote Year City Team comes in.
Remote Year City Teams are the go-to resource for Remote Year participants in each destination on their itinerary. From curating local Tracks™, selecting your neighborhood, accommodations, and workspace, to providing recommendations for places to eat, work, play, and relax.
Each Remote Year destination has a City Team made up of one to three people that are responsible for setting up the foundation for your experience in their city. . City Team members are not tour guides. They are local experts, many having even grown up in these stunningly beautiful places. With a lifetime worth of knowledge about their local culture and community, they know the hotspots and hidden gems like the back of their hand, and they’re happy to share that knowledge with you.
That’s great, but what does it really mean for my work and travel experience?
We’re glad you asked. Not every work and travel program has a City Team in place to ensure that you leave each city feeling like it left an impact on you. Remote Year is unique in that you’ll have access to these local experts, their recommendations, their connections within the local community, and the events that they curate. These events, called Tracks™, make it very clear why having a City Team at your disposal is a huge benefit when working and traveling.
Tracks™ are unique, culturally-significant experiences, carefully curated for you by the Remote Year City Teams. In Kyoto, this could mean that a City Team member will set up time for you to learn how to create your own Hanko stamp from a local craftsman. In Cape Town, you may be introduced to the man who was Nelson Mandela’s prison warden, and have the opportunity to listen to his stories about this legendary figure. In Lima, you could spend the day riding dune buggies through the sands of Huacachina before settling in for a breathtaking sunset with a pisco sour and traditional Peruvian food. In Valencia, you could set out into the graffiti-filled streets of El Carmen with a local artist as your guide, learning about the impact that this style of art has had on the city.
City Team members aren’t just equipped with the knowledge to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the best restaurants in the city, they’re focused on giving you an authentic look into the history of their city, its hardships and its triumphs, and what its like to truly live there.
It takes a special person to be a part of a Remote Year City Team. You have to have an instinct for designing unique, immersive experiences and curating unforgettable opportunities for Remotes. You have to know the best way to get around the city and tips on the best local gems. You have to be the face of your city and country to Remotes and the face of Remote Year to your city and country. You have to believe that home is not a place, but a feeling, and you have to aim to bring that feeling to life in every Remote Year city around the globe. It’s not easy, but they do it everyday. You’ll find yourself asking what your experience or perspective in each Remote Year city would have been without their passion for unlocking their city to you. You may or may not fall in love with the city, but if past Remotes are any indication, the chances are, you'll fall in love with these magical humans.
Meet Surachart aka ‘Ton’, Experience Manager for Chiang Mai, and Orawan aka ‘Miao’, Operations Manager for Chiang Mai. These two are known for their insider knowledge on the overwhelming Chiang Mai food scene, as well as their bright, positive personalities.
“Ton and Miao were EPIC. So sweet, super friendly, VERY helpful and knowledgeable and when I had questions I didn’t feel like a burden. They went above and beyond to make sure we experience local treasures - food and events,” Kelly Barnard, a member of Remote Year Earhart said.
Get to know Ton: “I love good food as much as dancing, and gain energy from being surrounded by cool people and loved ones. Ultimate frisbee and fantasy movies attract me as well as bubble tea. I was born in Sukhothai but raised in Chiang Mai and have a career background in hospitality.”
Get to know Miao: “I was born and raised in Chiang Mai. I love eating spicy noodle soup and Thai-style BBQ buffet. I am into anime, manga, and computer games; all the nerdy stuff! My favorite thing is anything that is cute. I am very friendly but sometimes shy.”
Next up is our lovely Lisbon City Team, made up of Lígia, General Manager, and Gonçalo, Experience Manager. In a city that, as of late, has become a major attraction for tourists, Lígia and Gonçalo keep the experience personal and impactful.
“The Lisbon city team members were all great. Super warm and inviting and knowledgeable. They were also extremely willing to drop everything to help us if needed. The first month feels quite chaotic so it was nice to feed off their calm demeanors which made me feel right at home,” Marissa Langman, a member of Remote Year Excelsior said.
Get to know Lígia: Lígia is 32-years-old, but doesn’t feel a day over 25. She has a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences but don’t ask her for pills as it was a major casting error. Lígia is in fact passionate about food, which is why she started her own blog, “A Crush On”.
Get to know Gonçalo: Gonçalo studied Fine Arts with a focus on photography, videos and installation at the Fine Arts School of Lisbon. After 3 years dedicated to a bachelor in economics, he figured he was in the wrong place and decided to explore the creative field. Talk to him if you want to find out what is going on in the Lisbon Art World.
Last but not least is our Medellín City Team, Ana, Experience Manager, and Juan, Operations Manager. Every month, Ana and Juan introduce Remote Year participants to their city, one known for its past violence and even brighter future. Through their impactful Track™ events, this City Team imparts understanding and empathy onto participants.
“Medellin ripped me apart emotionally in the best way as I learned about the country’s history/current status and the hardships people my age experienced growing up. I feel the most emotionally tied to Colombia,” Lily Cooper, a member of Remote Year Meraki said.
Get to know Ana: Born and raised in Medellín, Ana considers herself a proud Paisa. She is a curious traveler -- not only globally -- but also loves to explore her city and her country to learn more of it every day. She studied architecture and specialized in interior design projects, has lived in Paris, NYC, Buenos Aires, and Miami. Ana speaks English, French, and Spanish. She truly believes that everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to experience a different culture. Learning from others’ minds is an investment that turns 1,000 times greater! She’s curious, friendly, chill, and your hostess in the city.
Get to know Juan: Originally from Medellín, Juan is a happy Paisa, in love with his city and the paisa culture. He's extremely eager to show it to Remotes and to the world. He studied Hospitality Management and worked in different hotel chains in South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Far East. He then moved into the entertainment industry, working for a cinema exhibition company in Colombia. Juan loves speaking different languages and learning from different cultures.
Imagine it like this: You’re traveling to a new city where you know no one and have been introduced to someone living there by a mutual friend. You arrive and the stranger warmly greets you at the airport, whisks you away to an apartment they’ve set up for you, point out the coworking space you will work from, tell you their favorite stories about their city, and introduce you to amazing, interesting, and perspective-changing experiences that can be as “small” as eating lunch with them or their friends or as “big” as marking something off your bucket list. Either way, that city now holds a piece of your heart and your perspective has been expanded. This is the Remote Year Platform and Local Experience curated by our incredible City Teams in every city, every month, for every Remote.