What are you currently working on this year?
During Remote Year, I built and launched a travel start-up VAWAA | Vacation With An Artist. I’ve continued to grow it this year while balancing my job at R/GA.
What did you learn while on Remote Year?
As I mentioned above, the biggest thing I learnt while on Remote Year was how to work on the move — from anywhere/ anytime. I learnt how to break the routine to stay inspired and be more productive without getting stressed. And on a personal level, I learnt more about myself and bourbons!
How are the people you met on Remote Year still impacting your life?
Aah! They keep reminding me that I’ll never meet a ‘sexier’ group of well traveled, smart and love-filled individuals. I spend too much time thinking about how amazing each one is and getting inspired by how they are continuing to create a life for themselves that inspires others.
What is some advice you would give someone currently on Remote Year?
Keep swimming. Don’t overthink. Feel lucky for giving yourself one of the best gifts you’ll ever give yourself. Regardless of whether you’ve been enjoying or struggling, you’ll go back with new perspectives and always look back at the year as a year of transformation — some small and some big.
Are the travel blues real? How long did it last?
Post Remote Year, I didn’t want to get on another plane, pack suitcases or make the effort to understand another language. I didn’t want to train new reflexes for finding where my everyday things were in the house or try new yogurt brands. My mind and body needed rest and consistency. It took about 3 months before travel blues started. The routine started making things boring and everyday conversations revealed the bubble we fall into. It has been a meditative experience to maintain perspective and discover all the transformations I went through during RY (not without jetting on a plane again to Spain and India ;)
How was it adjusting to your old life?
It was a bit of a reverse culture shock. Suddenly, everything I was used to felt expensive. I texted fellow remotes with ‘in-shock’ emojis when I paid $32 for an Uber or overheard New Yorkers talking about “lunch here is cheap — only $12!” or “it only cost $60 to fix the hemline!” Only they could understand because we’d gotten used to $3 Uber rides with extra friendly drivers, $3 lunches that were fresh and delicious. I was getting tired easily without getting much done. I realized that my value for time and money had changed drastically!
After a year of travel, how did you feel about the digital nomad lifestyle?
It’s not for everyone. People fall on a spectrum. I love and have embraced aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle but I cannot be one full time. I love the ease with which I can integrate work into my travels when I want to — the ability to work from anywhere/ anytime, not miss the comfort of a well equipped office desk, adapt to technology in a way so I never feel disconnected from my colleagues, being a pro at travel hacks — all these are new skills that have only made my life better!