Sara Jones

Sara Jones 

Aggregation Partner OnBoarding Manager, Sony DADC

USA

 

Why did you decide to go on Remote Year?

On paper I had everything going for me - a great job, active social life, supportive family and friends - but still felt like something was missing, that I was going through the motions and wanted more out of life and from myself but didn’t quite know what that was. The concept of Remote Year, going outside of your comfort zone and traveling with 75 strangers, gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate things and figure out what was really important to me.
 

How did you find yourself a remote role?

I work in a digital industry and previously has traveled internationally for Sony working on various projects so the idea of working abroad was not a foreign concept to my company - in truth I was surprised how immediately on board for it my boss was.

 

What advice would you give to others considering Remote Year?

Make sure you are ready to have an open mind and are willing to put 110% into your Remote Year experience. Remote Year is an amazing program but what helps define your experience will be the interactions you have with your group. You have every opportunity to shape how your year goes but if you aren’t on board for the highs and lows you might not get everything out of it as you had hoped.

 

What are you working on for the year?

Myself and my relationships with others. This entire year has been about figuring out what makes me happy and where I go next in life. Opening myself up to new experiences, ways of thinking and learning to not sweat the small shit. Life is worth living and enjoying every second - to not do that would be a waste.

 

What do you hope to achieve/gain by the end of Remote Year? 

Well it’s my last month of Remote Year so looking back I would absolutely say that I am accomplishing what I set out to do - definitely still a “work in progress” but I’m pleased with where I am at. A running joke before I left was that maybe I would find 1 person out of 75 that would like me and I could be friends with...sitting here with 3 weeks left I have an entire family of Remotes that would be there if I ever needed them.


What does your typical work day look like?

There is nothing concrete or typical about my work day. Lately I have been very busy with a few different projects and launches we are doing so that consumes most of my time. The only thing that is guaranteed in my day is that there will be a lunch beer.

 

Where does your passion for travel come from?

My dad traveled the world for business so growing up he was always off somewhere - so I guess it started from that. But once I was asked to travel internationally for work a few years back I definitely caught the travel bug. I now enjoy the unknown in traveling - how nothing is ever predictable and no two experiences are the same. The growth that traveling provides me is unparallel to anything else.

Do you plan to sustain this remote lifestyle after Remote Year?

Absolutely, that’s the hope at least. A lot obviously depends on work and my company allowing me to do so, but again, travelling and this experience is life changing and I really don’t see how 9-5 in an office is even a thing for me at this point. The idea is for me to keep growing and challenging myself, and traveling is a huge part of what makes that possible.
 

What is the most challenging part of being a digital nomad?

Where do I begin? I don’t think there is anything “easy” about being a digital nomad but again, that’s what you are signing up for. Remote Year does an amazing job of handling a bunch of the shit that we take for granted - flights, accommodations, workspaces etc. - so that is extremely valuable. But at the end of the day, things can go wrong and you start to question if this was the right decision for you. Something that I have struggled with was staying on top of my relationships back home but I think once I do make it back “home” these will pick up where they left off, like anything that was meant to be does.

 

What is the best part about being a digital nomad?

Everything. You have the absolute freedom to do whatever the hell you want, and that is extremely liberating. You can go on a side trip and sleep under a waterfall in Morocco, hostel it with close friends and party on a beach in Portugal or take off for a week and meet up with friends in Thailand. Hands down though, the best part is the relationships you form. I have met so many people and made countless friendships all over the world, some that I know will last a lifetime.  It’s through these relationships with the locals that I feel you really get to embrace the culture and everything these countries have to offer - it’s truly a humbling experience that I think everyone should know.

Where have you lived / traveled to previously?

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I had never travelled outside of the U.S. until 4 years ago for work. A few months later I moved to London for work and lived there for 3 and a half months. Only other places I had been prior to Remote Year were Paris and then I took a solo vacation and backpacked up and down the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
 

What book should everyone read?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - quick, easy read and I carry it with me everywhere I go in case I just need to get back on track.

 

3 things you can't live without on the road?

Only 1 thing - my Apple TV. Sometimes it is just really nice to stay in and have some of the comforts of your “home."

 

What has been your favorite Remote Year city? Why?

Lisbon, hands down! The food, the weather, the culture and the people of Lisbon immediately welcomed us and it felt like home. The first weekend a few of us took a side trip to Lagos and those 48 hours changed my life forever - the 7 of us were literally sleeping on top of each other in this tiny AirBnB but that didn’t matter. We watched the sunrise and sunset on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, kayaked along the Algarve Coast and cliff-jumped into the Atlantic. It was in these moments where I first realized it’s about the experiences and the people you get to share them with and that nothing else really matters.


Describe your Remote Year experience in 3 words.

challenging / reflective / life-changing.
 

Describe your perfect day.

Beach. lunch beer. tacos. close friends. good music...anywhere in the world.

 

Where are you in 30 years?

Happy and listening to great music. I know that a lot of people think that is a cop-out answer, but if you are out there in the world experiencing all these amazing things what is the point if you aren’t happy? Before Remote Year, I was in this place where I had everything but nothing to show for it and was pretty miserable, going thru the motions will only take you so far. I could be bartending, living on a beach in Lagos surrounded by good people and good music and as long as I was happy and living each day to the fullest that would be enough for me.
 

What are you most passionate about?

My friends, sometimes to a fault. I would absolutely do anything for those that I love. I enjoy making other people happy and helping bring out the best in them. One day I will learn to put myself first, but until then I will focus on those that I care about.
 

Your favorite quote / words to live by?

“Listen. Smile. Agree. And then do whatever the fuck you were going to do anyways.” - Robert Downey Jr.

 

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