I am a consultant working on a number of internal strategy projects at Microsoft. The majority of my work involves tracking developments in the technology industry and specifically with Microsoft competitors and determining potential impacts to Microsoft's business.
I always desired to work abroad and Remote Year eases that transition and provides many other added benefits. The program allows me to live on 3 continents and become a part of a diverse, innovative and warm community of fellow RY travelers, whilst continuing my career and the work that I love.
My team understands the personal and professional development opportunities available to me as a Remote Year participant. Plus, Microsoft is very focused on developing technologies to enable remote work and collaboration. These tools, like Skype, Office, and our cloud services, have enabled me to be productive from anywhere on the globe.
A perfect day for me is experiencing something new, surrounded by family or friends (preferably outdoors!).
My go-to easy, yummy dish is a combination of tomatoes, feta, onions, chickpeas, and corn with lemon, olive oil, and salt. In general, I make a lot of fish, lots of veggie & chicken stir-fries, and then of course pasta with some variation of spicy sauce. I also make a bomb Apple-berry crumble.
There is always going to be a reason or excuse not to go, but life is short and there are too many fascinating and magical places to experience, so stop delaying and instead indulge!
My advice is to first allow yourself to daydream about visiting an exotic destination you read an interesting story about or saw an epic Instagram photo of. Maybe somewhere with family history, or just some place you've heard has great food, sports, or art. Closing your eyes and placing a finger on a world map works too! Get lost in the imagination phase of trip planning.
Next, all it takes is a bit of research and a commitment to one aspect - a flight, a plan to meet up with someone, a place to stay - the rest will follow. I've found that many of the best travel experiences are when you aren't sure exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Ultimately you will never regret incorporating travel into your life. It makes you more tolerant and accepting, it expands your palate (for food among other things), it invigorates and gets your creative juices flowing, and, when the trip is over, it makes you appreciate returning home.
I'm really psyched about the innovative thinking being done in cities, applying technology to solve urban problems. Public organizations and private companies are collaborating to innovate on socioeconomic, public health and environmental problems - working to make growing city communities function more efficiently.
Crazy genius ideas such as freeways that convert energy generated by moving cars into electricity, public parks with free workout equipment, or old phone booths converted into WiFi hot spots -- those are innovations that excite me and make me hopeful for the future.
Playing in the rain is worth catching a cold.