Why I quit Remote Year

by Jul 18, 2017

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I hate Lisbon and I’m leaving Remote Year.

I’m shocked too. Everyone and their mother loves Lisbon.

Half my merry band of digital nomads want to move here and it’s one of the prettiest cities ever. And quitting Remote Year?

“You look so happy in your photos,” you say. “How can you possibly quit?

True — I’m happier than I’ve ever been because happiness resides within & isn’t contingent on circumstance.

I still don’t love Lisbon, and I’m still quitting Remote Year. Before you get all judgy on me, let’s step back.

I spent more time looking for Q-tips last week than I did on my business, and “sourcing” my meals has become a daily source of frustration.

Will the cafe down the street be serving lunch or did they go surfing for the day? Is the Mercado open to sell me veggies or is the shop owner hungover and sleeping in this morning?

I’m far too impatient to live in a city that sets hours based on whether they feel like working. I mean, I respect the hell out the mentality — it’s why I run my own business and teach others to do the same — but when my livelihood depends on it? Not so much.

Why I quit Remote Year 1

Lisbon is a lovely place to vacation, but I’d go insane if I had to live here permanently.

Also, I’m tired. Tired of having to hold my shower head, of nearly falling to my death on the flooded bathroom floor, of having to climb over my bed to use my desk, of not being able to find a place to work because our co-working space is often too crowded or too hot… of so many other things. Which leads me into why I’m leaving Remote Year.

This decision was far more complicated, but the bottom line is that I’ve learned to let go of things that no longer serve me and Remote Year has become one of those things.

When I applied, I saw value in having someone handle the logistics & coordination of a year of travel, and thought it would be nice to have a community to see the world with. I’m beyond grateful for the incredible friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had, but I didn’t spend enough time thinking about the group dynamics & how it would effect me energetically.

Not to mention the overhead of living life out of a suitcase, moving every month and learning a new city’s quirks. I mean, did you know that you can’t buy garbage bags in Lisbon? Why would you, unless you lived here?

And since I’m not taking advantage of most of the community or educational resources RY provides (because this isn’t what I need as a professional digital nomad) or the group social events (because I’m sober & an introvert), I’m also no longer seeing the value in the service — I simply can’t justify spending $2k/mo for the luxury of occasionally having dinner with friends, even if I love them dearly.

Why I quit Remote Year 2

This & Lisbon images above courtesy of Jay Harrison, one of the many talented people I was lucky enough to travel with this year.

I mean, if I’m going to spend a month working from cafes and sharing a mediocre Airbnb where I can’t open my bedroom & bathroom doors at the same time, I can do that for a lot less, and fly somewhere to meet friends for dinner.

The stories I’ve gathered over the last six-months are priceless and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe the time I got a parasite after being splashed in the face with street water. Or the time I went on a Tinder date with a psychopath. Or maybe the time I found out I got the wrong treatment for Rabies and might be dying a horrifying death any second. That was a bad f*cking day.

Okay, I guess I would change a few things… but these stories will be my favorite to share in years to come, and I’m thankful to have shared them with a great group of people.

I’m also looking forward to new friends and memories to come — because leaving Remote Year doesn’t mean my ‘remote year’ ends. In fact, I’m having a hard time imagining going back to the US permanently. I’ve always felt I was born on the wrong continent and the more time I spend traveling, the more I wonder if it’s true. More on that later…

I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, but then again, I suppose we never really know where life will take us. I certainly didn’t see myself here a year ago.

I’m looking at a month in sexy Barcelona, then regrouping in the UK, which feels like a second home. Beyond that? Your guess is as good as mine.

Any suggestions?


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Hi, I’m Kate

Hey, I’m Kate! I’m a designer, digital nomad and founder of Six Figure Freelancers – I love to help talented tech pros start businesses.

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