When dreaming of winning the Lottery Jackpot the first thing I have always planned to do is travel around the world.
My sister Tracy forwarded me a media blurb about Remote Year in a two word email that read: "Do. This." I refer to it as an "uh-oh" moment which meant that the opportunity, exploration and growth afforded by Remote Year was necessary in my life but it was also daunting to accommodate it. I own a home in Denver along with a dog and two cars and work at a job that I really love. "Uh-oh" meant something had to give.
But it didn't -- I rented out my furnished home and left Rodeo with my Dad and kept working for my company.
I got to live my Lottery Jackpot dream without winning the Lottery Jackpot.
I'm a Voodoo Sorcerer at Cap Logistics, an international freight and expedited shipping company that services industrial service companies. Programmagic prestidigitation, digital alchemy and conjures; that's my Hoodoo. Remote Year has been a tremendous catalyst within our own company as other employees have successfully modeled the remote-work lifestyle as well.
Unprofessionally I've been focused on hobbies - fitness training, photography and writing as I balance exploration and learning Spanish for the first time; recently in Lima I'm focused on doing my best to not suck at surfing.
"Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune." -Francis Quarles
I had already picked an employer that valued me as much as others say they do so I was all set. The non-obvious part is that to get to this point I spent 15 years of my live building the career, experience and trust to make that happen. That part was really hard and not much fun.
The hardest part is to jettison material, social and monetary obligations that try their hardest to hold you right where you are. Once you cut the spider webs you feel free -- and you never want to land in another spider's web again.
My mother's father was drafted into the First World War dropped out of Harvard to work in the Pacific Northwest as a forester. At age 22 he took a freight boat along with a sack of literature to Tahiti where he lived for a year. He served in the Second World War and practiced his French while shaving. By the time I knew him he was a grumpy (I thought) nonagenarian and passed away when I was twelve years old. I often imagine that the two of us would be good friends if we had lived more contemporaneously.
Before Remote Year I had traveled to 23 countries - by the time I return home that number will have been exactly doubled while using a total 9 days of time off. People wonder if Remote Year is worth it for them; if they have to wonder -- it isn't.
A gym with a real squat rack
My Fujifilm X-100T camera - can see my shots at here (http://reidperyam.com/quickshots/) and here (http://reidperyam.com).
My travel journal - I have three volumes over the past 12 years. Looking forward to filling a library in my lifetime.
Carbon County, Wyoming. My family has owned a cattle ranch outside Riverside, Wyoming (population 85) for 150 years and after living in multiple cities and now countries, no place comes close -- it's the best. That doesn't mean I'll stop searching though. After Remote Year ends I'll continue working internationally, remotely starting with Bogota, Colombia, Quito, Ecuador and Munich, Germany.
I don't recommend anything to everyone but here are books I love:
Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (nonfiction)
The Shelfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (nonfiction)
Tooth and Claw by T.C. Boyle
Rediscovery of everything I thought I had already discovered - every country is like a parallel universe and when I set foot into a new one without the baggage of expectations I feel like I am doing everything for the first time.
For me it's food -- I am often frustrated with the inability to eat when, how or where I want: why is it so hard for everyone in the world to accommodate my individual needs and preferences?
The other ""challenges"" are just first world problems that I enjoy laughing at myself about.
"Joyful people view the world in a lens that calibrates their perception with a view towards possibility versus constraints." - Shervin Pishevar
"Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt"
[They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.]
- Horace, Epistle XI
"Focus requires sacrifice" - Greg Underwood
Piece. Of. Cake.
Remote Year is already ending for us Original Gangsters. I have mastered the art of being comfortable while uncomfortable. I used to hate deviating from my routine, now I relish recreating one in each new city I live in. I live better with fewer things. I can steer myself through the social chaos of a group of 70 and laugh along the way. I prefer living in places that are interesting, challenging and stimulating instead of easy and comfortable. I make diarrhea sick. Hey world -- what else you got?
In April in the early morning while I was living in Santiago, Chile I dropped into a coffee shop on the way to the gym. There was a well-dressed older man, standing at the counter drinking espresso, sport coat, scarf, long white hair combed back. His name was Fernando he was magnanimously, exuberantly asking me who I was. Fernando told me how he was a travelling actor performing in Santiago -- though originally he was Uruguayan and had lived in London and Italy. He was born of travel and had enjoyed it throughout his life. He has five children (the oldest 42, the youngest 12) and ex-wives scattered across the globe. He was the happiest man I ever recall meeting and just as happy to entertain me with questions on my own travels. Did I also find the Western Europeans rather frigid? Was I enjoying myself? Taking heed of the tremendous opportunities I was encountering? He took hearty pleasure in my assured "yes" -- and I watched him see himself as me and as he was. Fernando stared through the open doorway I had entered though and for a moment saw it as a windowed vortex to his former youth. He smiled at me. When I reached the work space later that morning I wrote that the universe had deemed it necessary for me to continue my current live path.
The most interesting people I have met this year are my fellow Original Gangsters of Remote Year 1 who lasted all twelve months. Like the survivors of some Darwinian gladiator combat arena you tattered, rag-tag misfits beat the odds to kick ass on three continents. Varied in age, industry, color and nationality these men and women have impressed me with their mastery of a lifestyle at ages I envy and are vastly ahead of what I had figured out in my early 20s. I have learned more from you and your creative, hilarious, crying, joyous and tortured selves and as a result myself than any cute grand mother from a third world nation someone else will answer this question with.
I will pick you guys up from the airport
I will bail you out of jail
I will give you the shirt off of my back
I will listen to the friend of a girl you want to date for hours
I will travel around the world with you again.