Dan Gold is a freelance frontend developer and photographer from the USA traveling the world with Remote Year Darien
Why did you decide to come on Remote Year?
I was getting bored of coming home from work and plopping down on the couch. I wanted to come home from work and plop on the couch in a different country.
Before Remote Year, I was living in New York. If you rewind three years, you could find me in the suburbs of Philadelphia. As you can see from my couch experience, I was feeling a little too comfortable in my previous situation. I wanted to take a risk and try something that I’ve never done before. Traveling was a way to exercise that level of uncertainty and adventure.
What are you working on for the year?
I have been spending a lot of time working on my photography. It’s been a passion of mine since I was young. Traveling is a great way to see a spectrum of different people, places and things.
For work, well, I work all the time. I joined Remote Year working for a NYC-based clean water nonprofit. I made the tough decision to move on and focus more on contracting frontend web development, side projects and focusing on my photography.
How did you find yourself a remote role?
At my previous role, we already had remote employees, so my decision to work remotely was an easy move. Our office was well-equipped to handle people working remotely. They have TVs with a Google Hangout integration, and we use Slack for our day-to-day communication.
When my contractor transition happened, I was able to acquire clients that appreciated remote work. Most of my meetings start with “Wait, where are you?”
Who do you hope to be by the end of Remote Year?
I hope to be the same. Remote Year has given me the chance to focus more on personal growth. I am still ‘me,’ all the way through. And I hope that never changes.
What does your typical day look like?
Wake up, run, eat breakfast, work and repeat.
Where does your passion for travel come from?
I actually don’t know, and no one in my family is a big traveler. If I were to guess, I think my passion for travel boils down to my perspective on changing environments. I like variability and I start to feel unmotivated when I am too comfortable. My creative motivation comes from seeing and hearing new things around me.
If you had to be stuck on an island with another Remote who would it be and why?
A universal remote would be my choice. You can turn up the volume, change the channel and add closed captions...the possibilities are endless!
Your favorite digital nomad hack?
Credit card incentive-driven airline miles. Since I left for Remote Year in June 2016, I’ve accumulated more than 200,000 airlines miles. Also, the Chase Sapphire Reserve with Priority Pass.
Describe your Remote Year experience in 3 words?
Best. Year. Ever.
Describe your perfect day.
The perfect day would be a day that is spontaneously unique- a day that is unexpected and new. It would be a day that could change your perspective and get you out of your comfort zone, and a day that has a memory that will last a lifetime.
What is the most challenging part of being a digital nomad?
Video calls and internet speed. It's usually like, "Heh- hey. Hi? Hi can you hear me ok? Hi - ok hey, I think we're good."
What is the best part about being a digital nomad?
The best part about being a digital nomad and being able to travel is the fact that it is even remotely possible. I am grateful that I am able to work with amazing people and experience different cultures on a day-to-day basis.
What would you say to others looking to bring travel into their lives?