Two weeks ago, I started a new chapter in my life: a Remote Year – one full year traveling and working around the world with a diverse group of about 50 other crazy travel minded pioneers. Every month a different city, with countless side trips, professional connections, local experiences and social impact activities. It took months of preparation – convincing my company, selling my furniture, trying to find ways to make others happy with the things that I didn’t want to carry nor keep, and making plans of how to get most out of this year – professionally and personally. And let’s not forget all the goodbye events after living two years in Singapore, and realizing how many amazing people I’ve met, countries I’ve explored and deeper connections I have found.
Imagine that time, full of excitement and energy for the new adventure. My head often overflows of amazing ideas, especially when something new and exciting is coming up. I see great connections, ambitious opportunities, I make lists, and most and for all I think – that’s something I will do next week, weekend, month or year, when I’m more relaxed, more focused and when I have more time.
Probably not a new insight for many, but I did realise something else when starting this new way of living – by not having a home, a rhythm, a clear future. Explorational travel is high on my priority list, and I never procrastinate on travel planning. So, I basically plan my life around travel. Which gives me the perfect reason to procrastinate! During a trip I will finally have time for this book, do an exercise for any course I’m doing at that moment, that long phone call with a friend at home or writing my first blog. On the trip I get so busy with new experiences, walking around, talking with locals or just simply rest, that I tell myself that I will have more time throughout the week after work. And when that doesn’t happen I will have more time next trip, because a) it’s three hours on the plane (three hours without connection, SO much time!) b) I’m going somewhere I have been already so less to explore or c) I’m more rested, so more energy to pick up the things that I want to do.
Well, picture that you are planning to travel for a full year. I thought that, since I’m on my own again in this journey, I will start building different habits for this new lifestyle right away. When in Split (my first month), I will not know so many people yet, so I will have much time to finally do the things that I couldn’t do in the last months Singapore due to all arrangements and good-bye events. I’m two weeks in and there has almost never been a silent moment. Ok, so when in Prague (next month), I will stop working the 50/60 hours that I do now, I will work 8 a day so I will have more time for reading in the evening. And when in Japan next year, I will really stop eating meat. I will pick up the regular morning exercise again after my Christmas stop in Amsterdam. Oh, and in Argentina? That’s where I will dive deeper into my long time wish of get a coaching certificate.
Guess what? I’m still me. Where ever I am, with who I am, whether I have a closet full of clothes or just one suitcase, if it’s sunny or very cold, if I’m surrounded by Asian friends or my new American friends, nothing makes a difference. I’m not better in work/life balance because I work in a beautiful hipster work space along the beach in Split. I’m not going to eat less meat because I’m in Japan. I’m not having more time and inspiration for blogs, learning Spanish and making calls with home because I’m spending more time on airports. But what I do have, is barely any form of rhythm anymore, or at least I have to build this up in every city again. I once read that especially these moments are perfect for new habits, so doing this a year long will perhaps help in developing the flexible growth mindset, and letting go of wanting to control time, activities and personal progress.
So. The first blog is out. For months, or let’s be honest, for years, I have ‘start blogging’ on my to do list. I do write every now and then, but never in blog format. I love exploring why people do what they do, diving deeper in people’s mind and why the world works the way it does. During many hours of deeper conversations (and wine!) I get so much inspiration to write. So, since this year is my test ground of stop using travel as a procrastination excuse, I will start using blogging for sharing those tiny little wisdom moments with the rest of the world, just because I’m a Life Long Learner, and my goal is to help others learn too, and making learning a fun journey!