Age and Nationality: 29, USA
Type of Professional: Full-Time Employee
Job Title and Company: Senior Research Analyst, Skift
Program: Remote Year Atlas
I was fortunate enough to travel with Becca for several months of her year-long adventure. She acutally joined Remote Year with her best friend from college which I think is awesome! Having studied abroad twice in the past, she was already well-traveled before meeting up with her group in Cape Town but was excited to be a part of the Remote Year community. She was an integral part of the Atlas community - providing constant comic relief for the group and planning some epic side trips and dinners for everyone. She also used Remote Year as a platform to advance her career in the travel industry by meeting with local stakeholders in each city and publishing articles on tourism and destination development after each month. She has since landed her dream job as a full time consultant focusing on the travel and tourism industries and recently completed the Tour de Mont Blanc trek in Europe. #badass
I'm not the type to quit my job and go backpacking. Remote Year provided me a way to focus on my career, travel the world, and pursue my passions, and the company took care of all of the nitty-gritty logistics of traveling. Plus, I wanted to travel with a community of people who were from all over the world and from all different backgrounds, but who also wanted to pursue their dreams while traveling.
I was working really long hours at an investment bank and realized I didn't want to look back on my life and feel like all I did was work in an office all day every day.
I had to find a new job that would let me work remotely for them, as the investment bank wouldn't have let me do that. I interviewed at several companies, finally landing a position as a travel researcher for a media company, which worked out great. I had to sell all of my stuff and end my lease, but, in all honesty, it was really liberating to go through that process and prepare for a life I knew I would love.
My favorite part of Remote Year was building incredibly strong relationships with my travel community, Atlas. We were all from very different backgrounds, but were all dedicated to learning, seeing, and doing as much as we could, all while building our careers at the same time. They became mentors, best friends, a professional network, and family to me. Traveling is more fun when you get to experience it with people who see the value in travel as much as you do, and I couldn't be more grateful to have done Remote Year with Atlas.
I'd start the day with a yoga practice, walking tour, or quick stroll through a museum, eventually making my way to a coffee shop to check out some local spots. After doing coffee, breakfast, and taking care of some upfront work, I'd head into the co-working space to get some more hardcore work done. Some afternoons, I would interview people in the travel industry in the city that I was in - hoteliers, tour operators, destination management organizations, tourism bureaus, etc. - to better understand trends in travel and tourism in their city. I'd head back to the office to crank out some more work for a bit before heading out to meet up with friends for a Thai cooking class, salsa class, or pizza and a movie night.
Fourteen us spent five days trekking to Machu Picchu. It was the most tiring and strenuous thing most of us had ever done, but the final destination made it so worth it. We laughed, we cried, we supported each other, and learned a lot from each other. I will never forget that experience with them.
There was something so magical about living in Kyoto, Japan. We biked around town, passing gorgeous shrines on our way to sushi for dinner, and hiked up Mount Daimonji for sunset. The workspace was great, and I learned a ton about Japanese culture. It was an incredible month.
When you travel, you can't help but learn to not sweat the small stuff. Things don't go always according to plan, and you have to be flexible and adaptable. I found this helpful in my job as well. When you're living in Hanoi, Vietnam, little things that may have bothered you when you were at home seem really insignificant. I also built some incredibly meaningful relationships that I intend to keep in my life forever.
As a travel researcher, the Remote Year platform was perfect way for me to connect with people in the travel industry all over the world and build my professional network. It also carved out a way for me to reflect and figure out what I wanted to do next career-wise.
I think I'm significantly more grateful. Each new adventure makes you appreciate the world just a little bit more, and I'm honored to have gotten to see and do as much as I have at this point in life.
Don't worry about the little things standing in your way from doing Remote Year. If you really want to do this, you will make it happen, and none of those things will matter in the end. Come with an open mind and open heart and be prepared for big change in your life. You will not regret it.
I've taken a job as a consultant focusing on the travel industry. I will be based in New York, but will continue to travel, just not in an as structured way as a Remote Year program. However, I hope to use Remote Year citizen services in the future and will continue to be actively engaged in the Remote Year community and network.
Rebecca Stone is now an associate at McKinsey & Company. She previously worked at Skift, a media company focused on the travel industry, as a Senior Research Analyst, and at Goldman Sachs as an Associate in Global Investment Research. Rebecca is passionate about the travel and tourism industry and believes individuals, companies, and governments focused on and dedicated to the improvement of travel can help create a better world. Side interests include hiking, yoga, finding new music, and drinking coffee in cafes.
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