First Impressions | Split

Random thoughts after spending a week in Split

*Pauses to collect self and catch breath*

Wow.

Week 1 in Split, which simultaneously felt like the longest and shortest week of my life, is in the books. After (very) impatiently waiting for Remote Year to start since I got accepted back in September, I had read enough blogs to have a general idea of what to expect. However, no matter how much research (ok, let’s be honest — borderline cyber stalking of blogs/IG/etc) you do, it’s just not something you can fully prepare for. Sure, you can take some measures to help with the transition from “normal life” to “Remote Year life”, but the reality is so different than anything you (well, I) have ever been a part of, that there was going to be a huge learning and adapting curve no matter what. That being said, each day seems to get easier and feels more “normal”.

This group is pretty inkredible

I am honestly really impressed with the caliber of people in this group. Our group is named “Kaizen” and we are Remote Year’s 11th program. Kaizen has a total of 50 people in it — all with various backgrounds, nationalities, and jobs. I’ve met just about everyone by now, and although I don’t know each of them on a personal level yet, everyone seems like they bring something unique to the table. It’s been really fun to hear about their backgrounds and what lead them to join RY.

About half of the krew

No time to Slack off

I currently have a love/hate relationship with Slack. There is so much being planned, both officially by RY and unofficially by remotes, that keeping up with all of the Slack channels is pretty overwhelming. You have to be paying attention to your phone constantly or else you might miss out on a spot on the bus to the Krka Waterfalls this weekend or the kayaking excursion being planned for the side trip to Dubrovnik. No matter how badly you want to mute every. single. channel, the opportunity cost is too high right now.

On the bright side, introducing people who are new to Slack to /giphy has been a lot of fun. Someone has already referred to me as “the king of gifs” and it may or may not have been the proudest moment in my life.

About that $2K/month…

A lot of people’s initial reaction when you tell them about the Remote Year monthly price tag ($2,000) is that it’s A LOT of money — and they’re not wrong. $2K is not trival. Lots of people will say that you could do it cheaper by yourself, which I’m sure is true. While I personally would never want to put in the effort to plan something like this by myself, I can say that so far, $2K feels like a bargain and I’m glad that I got in while the price is this low.

The value that RY is providing right now is kind of blowing my mind. From the niceness of the workspace and accommodations to the official/unofficial events that are on our calendars throughout the week, everything has been really high quality. I think everyone understands that Split is one of the easiest cities on the itinerary to start this journey from (which is why more and more programs are starting here), but damn it we’re going to enjoy it regardless.

Being a #digimad

I’ve really enjoyed working remotely so far. I was a little nervous to start working because my remote working experience has been limited to a few WFH days sprinkled in throughout the years. After my first couple of days as a “digital nomad” (I prefer #digimad), I’ve really started to enjoy it.

While I ❤ the social interactions that come with the open workspace and coffee bar back in the RetailMeNot office, it can be distracting at times. On RY, I have the opportunity to figure out where (and most importantly when) I’m most productive and work from there. I’m currently overlapping at least 4 hours per day with CST (often times closer to 6) so that I’m still in touch with my team back in Austin, but the rest of my work hours have been really flexible and that flexibility has been extremely liberating and productive.

What I’m most pleased about, however, is that all of my video calls have gone really well so far in terms of picture quality and connectivity! I’m sure there will be a couple dropped ones throughout the year, but the first week couldn’t have gone much better from that perspective #blessed.

Packing Pro

Ok, I know it’s way too early to be patting myself on the back, but I kind of feel like I killed it in terms of packing. I don’t expect to end the trip with everything I packed, but I don’t think that I brought anything that was obscenely frivolous. Most things that I thought were frivolous have already turned out to be really useful (eye mask and clothesline come to mind).

I ended up bringing one checked roller duffle and a good sized backpack that were both under our weight restrictions. If I collect stuff along the way, I think it will be pretty easy to toss a couple things (p sure that 30% of the weight in my checked bag is chargers/cables that I can ditch).

Me and all of my belongings for the next year (PC: my uber driver)

*turns that new Selena Gomez/Kygo banger back on and gets back to work*