Age and Nationality: 32, USA
Type of Professional: Freelance
Job Title: Fashion Illustrator and Designer
Program: Remote Year Atlas
I wanted to change my lifestyle and to travel and explore what the world has to offer.
I read the only articles that were out there at the time, talked to an RY citizen from the very first RY program, and finally a non-RY friend who told me the value of the experience was bound to be more than what I would be paying. I realized it was the opportunity of a lifetime and that turned out to be true.
It was tough realizing that my company would never allow me to work for them remotely and deciding to quit my job. Then it was just as tough convincing my family that it was a good idea to quit my job to go travel the world and be gone for a whole year. Equally as tough was preparing what to pack. I thought I was living pretty minimally before RY but when it came to packing I realized just how much stuff I had and didn't even need!
The community and the track events. The RY Nation is and will continue to be one of the single greatest benefits of going on RY.
Can you describe a typical (work) day in the life for you on Remote Year?
I would wake up, work out, go to the workspace/work from home, have lunch with different friends from my group each day, explore in the afternoon/early evening, dinner with friends, possibly go to a bar. Some days I would explore in the morning and work after lunch-- it just depended on the day.
It's so difficult to pick just one because there are so many! One that stands out now is the weekend we went to Sa Pa in Vietnam. I loved the overnight train ride, the crazy muddy trek through rice paddies and fields, and the beautiful homestay we stayed at the second night. It was such a great bonding experience with breathtaking views all around us and friendly locals.
Mexico City — I felt I was in a strange mind space knowing it was the last month and trying so hard to make the most of it. I would have explored more but I was overly preoccupied to have enough time to see everything. There were a lot of group activities that month which was great but I would have set aside more one-on-one time for people in my group.
It has widened my perspective on life and taught me to accept other people's ways of lives and ways of thinking. It has transformed my way of thinking about my life. I used to feel that I was stuck in the 9-5 lifestyle and that travel had to wait till later. I am comfortable going after what I want and not worrying if it doesn't fit societal expectations. It's made me more resilient.
I have access to an incredible international network of professionals from all different industries which makes the possibility for cross-industry collaborations exciting and much more attainable than before. I couldn't have gotten this anywhere else in just one year. For my specific industry it's a little harder to find relevant opportunities but there is still a lot of potential. People are so willing to help each other find jobs just by having RY as a shared experience.
Make sure you have a job or clients line up beforehand.
I'm back home for now but would love to continue traveling. Now that I've had a taste of this lifestyle, nothing else comes close. There's too much world left to explore before I find a place to settle down!
It's really amazing that RY organizes and offers Positive Impact opportunities. I love the idea of giving back to each country I visit and the positive impact a group of travelers can do is really fantastic. I want to continue doing that in my own way in my future travels.
Barbra is a freelance fashion illustrator and designer with a passion for sustainability, different cultures, and the macabre. I want to draw every captivating face I see, I find inspiration everywhere I go, and I try to bend everywhere too.
Personal/travel : @therealheadhuntr
Bending/travel : @bendeverywhere