Ariela Kader is an artist, curator, creative consultant and graphic designer from Costa Rica traveling the world with Remote Year Earhart.
Why did you decide to go on Remote Year now?
Because Facebook told me to… That’s true, but also because while I was living in New York for 6 years, I spent a Summer in Berlin participating in two artist residencies. Living in a new country/city for three months made me realize how great it feels to get to know a different culture, hear a different language, meet different people, etc.
When I went back to New York, part of me was still craving more of this fresh and adventurous feeling and when my Artist visa was about to expire and Facebook kept playing this video of someone throwing their carry-on on the bed and diving into a rooftop pool… call it serendipity, call it great marketing, call it destiny, I am here and loving every second of this decision!
How did you find yourself a remote role?
I created it. I came up with a project where I would generate content for different Costa Rican and Latin American brands while sharing Costa Rica with the world and the world to Costa Rica. I sent the proposal to a few brands who followed this traveling lifestyle and living philosophy and some of them decided to join me in this @vuelticaa!
What advice would you give to others considering Remote Year?
Everyone thinks that coming to Remote Year and traveling the world for a year is “living the life”, but one piece of advice I will give you is to make sure that this nomadic-out-of-your-comfort-zone-constantly-adapting-lost-in-translation-being-far-away-from-family kind of life is really “the life” that you want and are ready to live for 365 days!
I wish I could tell you, “Don’t worry! It’s easy, you will be fine” but it is not, at least not for everyone. In my analogical mind, this can be a personal Master’s degree for yourself, but only if you are ready for it to happen. #livingmylife #newnormal #growthzone
Where does your passion for travel come from?
I like to see things for myself.
Do you plan to sustain this remote lifestyle after Remote Year?
I would love to but first I need to go back home (Costa Rica) for a few months to touch base and hopefully be able to “give back” to my country by starting with improving the art education by implementing courses and workshops in schools and other spaces. It is hard to support something that you don’t know much or enough of, so I want to start with that with the hopes that this will bring more support to the arts and those pursuing their career as artists. #fortheloveofart
What is the most challenging part of Remote work?
As an artist, curator, teaching artist and graphic designer, I actually miss having co-workers, colleagues and students. I interact a lot with the people from the program and I meet a lot of locals, but I do miss sharing responsibilities and commitments with someone, getting together to talk about it and getting stuff done, meeting students in the first lesson and accompanying them in this magical journey where they make their ideas come to life!
What is your secret talent?
I can speak like Sofia Vergara in Modern Family.
Your favorite traveling hack?
Paaaacking cubes!!! Workout clothes and running shoes: comfortable, practical, easy to wash and dry quickly. Oh! And the black (doesn’t get dirty) pleather (makes it waterproof) drawstring bag (super safe) that my best friend gave me. I think I have left my home without it probably seven days in total.
What is the weirdest thing we would find in your luggage?
A big collection of plastic bags waiting to be included in one of my collages, a plastic bag full of folded collages made out of plastic bags from each city/country I have visited this year, 2 rolls of clear box tape, a few graffiti markers, some permanent markers and a good bunch of iron-on patches.
Describe your Remote Year experience in 3 words.
Your favorite quote / words to live by?
“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere” - Van Wilder
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi
Who is the most interesting person you've met while traveling?
I have been lucky to meet a lot of very interesting people along the way, starting with each and every one of the members of my Earhart tramily. I have also met at least two local artists in every city that I have been to. But, if I have to choose one person who has been the most interesting, I think I would have to give it to Note Udom. While exploring Chiang Mai during the first days, I fell in love with some sculptures and public artworks in a plaza. Long story short, I looked him up online, went to his art website, sent him an email congratulating him on his beautiful artworks, asking him for a studio visit and inviting him to participate in my traveling art project. I got a response that same day and it was the nicest response that I have ever received. He was so thankful for my kind words about his art and explained that he was based in Bangkok and that I should visit and he would show me around. Impressed by the quick (and nicest) response, I shared this story with Ton (Chiang Mai’s experience manager, also another amazing person I have met in this journey, I basically want to be Ton when I grow up! Love you Ton(s)!) and as soon as I said the artist’s name his face changed and he peeked at my phone to make sure we were talking about the same person. Apparently I was exchanging emails with one of Thailand’s biggest celebrities …in the Thai Stand-Up Comedy world. While I was interviewing him at his studio, I learned that Thai people actually don’t know Note Udom is also an artist, in fact, one time he tried to exhibit his work and people didn’t like it, but he confessed that his true passion is art. I promised him that I was going to help him bring his art to other parts of the world so people can enjoy it and support his career as a fine artist.
That face that Ton made was the same face the Uber driver made when he picked me up at Note Udom’s studio. He immediately got out of the car and asked him for a selfie, which became a photoshoot. The entire ride from the studio to the airport, the driver wouldn’t stop looking at the pictures and telling me that Note Udom was the kindest celebrity in Thailand. Follow your dreams, fill the world with color and laughter, make others’ dreams come true and always, always stay humble and true to yourself. You can watch my full interview with Note Udom here.