Introducing Remote Year's latest 4-month itinerary: Mandala.
No two Remote Year programs are the same. Even when itineraries travel to the same cities, each program has its own flavor, its own seasonal allure, and its own guiding principles that define it.
On Remote Year Mandala, you’ll experience this unique connection to your program. Those who choose to embark on this 4-month Asia-focused program are searching for something more, a piece of themselves that can only be found outside of their comfort zone.
Named for the spiritual symbol used in Hinduism and Buddhism, Remote Year Mandala was created to help you find an inner balance and connect you to the greater universe that we inhabit. The world we live in can be hectic, confusing, and fraught with the unknown, but through this journey you will find that you’re more likely to find peace if you focus on what is happening within you, than what is outside of your control.
This is a program for those who crave growth and change. Every city that you travel to will hold a lesson, a key takeaway that will influence the person that you will be moving forward. Perhaps the part of your soul that is fulfilled by service will inspire you to change the world for the better, leading your program through monthly Positive Impact initiatives to assist the communities that you visit. Maybe you’ll find that this life-altering choice to work and travel was enough to wake you up after a years of complacency. Perhaps you’ll feel an invisible force pushing you to branch out into a new professional industry or even take a step as small (but powerful!) as trying a new form of fitness.
Like pieces of a puzzle falling into place, your spot in the world will begin to make sense again, if only until you take that next risk.
On Remote Year Mandala, you’ll spend four months exploring some of Asia’s most sought-after cities, searching for inner stability while finding community, your place in this wide, wide world, and many bowls of ramen along the way.
Your journey will begin in Hanoi, a city known best among Remote Year participants as a place with fast-paced streets and a slow coffee culture. It is complex, vibrant, and polarizing in the best of ways. You’ll find that you can be simultaneously drawn to its boisterous creative spirit and its stubborn hold on tradition. One walk to the workspace could entail a marathon of traffic-dodging, the mouthwatering smell of phở wafting from a local restaurant, and a cacophony of car and scooter horns, creating a melody that will become almost musical to you by the end of your month in this city. And what a month to be in Hanoi - March is particularly beautiful, as spring begins to cast its magical light over the city “inside the river”.
Then, on to Chiang Mai, named the #1 City in Asia by Travel & Leisure in 2018. It’s easy to see why: this jewel of Thailand is home to breathtaking temples whose walls whisper the secrets of centuries past. Though they are enticing enough to captivate your attention for your entire trip, don’t get too distracted by man made marvels. Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and April is the perfect time to do a bit of island-hopping. While you’re visiting the “Land of Smiles”, you’ll have the opportunity to visit an ethical elephant sanctuary, trek through hidden trails to an ethnic mountain village, and learn Akha tribal cooking straight from the source.
Next, you’ll hop on a flight to Kyoto, one of the most beloved cities on Remote Year’s itineraries. This month, you’ll notice yourself looking inward, reflecting on your own long held beliefs and preferences as Kyoto attempts to flip your world upside down. A single bike ride through this flower-filled city will demonstrate the intricate ways in which modernity meets the traditional values of respect and honor. Micha Rains, a Remote Year Mangata participant, said it best when she said, “Japan changed my life. It taught me peace and harmony - a deeper mindfulness of others.”
Finally, you’ll head to Kuala Lumpur, where you’ll be greeted by life-giving sunshine and warmth. You’re in for a month of celebratory cultural immersion, with the King’s birthday celebration, parades, and Hari Raya festivities on your must-experience list. If the food from those events doesn’t fill you up, you’ll have plenty of other options to choose from. This city isn’t called the “gateway between the East and West” for nothing - while you’re here you’ll get a chance to try cuisine from nearly every corner of the world, particularly Indian, Chinese, and Malay food.
This is the final city on your Remote Year adventure, the place where you will say your teary farewells and make plans to meet up again somewhere in the world in the future. You’ll take this opportunity to explore Kuala Lumpur’s diverse offerings, make dinner plans with each member of your program, and commit yourself to creating memories that will last long beyond these four months. Your journey to finding an inner sense of serenity will never be over, but this experience has helped you make giant strides toward that ever-elusive self-unity. For that, you have no one to thank but yourself, for you took the leap into the unknown without looking back and emerged from the fog into a world where anything was possible.
Are you ready to find your own version of balance on Remote Year Mandala? Take the first step toward a season of growth and opportunity.
Remote Year Mandala kicks off on March 3, 2019 and runs through June 29, 2019.