10 Essential Tips for Working Remotely from Colombia
Since I was able to go remote in my Agile Project Manager role at Proversity, I decided to visit our external dev team and have a bit of an adventure for a month in Latin America. Little did I know.
Truth be told, I knew Colombia is probably not the easiest destinations to trial remote life, but I was intrigued by the history and natural beauty of the country so much that I couldn’t hold myself back from exploring the place.
So here I am, writing these lines from the incredibly gorgeous Boyaca state while prepping for meeting the European time zone 6 am tomorrow morning as the week starts.
Painful as it sounds, but hey, mission accomplished!
So, what to look out for when you are there
Forget the druglords and Pablo Escobar. Colombian people are the nicest nation I’ve ever met. Their limitless vigour and attentiveness is coming from their heart and made my day every time I had the honour to speak with them.
You think the images about the lush & green hills you saw are incredible but when you see them live it’s so beautiful you wanna cry and just don’t want to leave. Ever.
Como estás won’t take you too far. Get advanced in spanish before you blast off. Colombians love to chat and even though google translate can do magic, the daily 30 min uber drive will be a boring one if you don’t speak the same language.
Look out for time zone differences before you leave and prepare yourself for the disadvantages: you’ll have limited energy to explore places around you if you are working from 5 am — 7 pm every day. Colombian coffee helps tho.
Colombia has a generally unstable 1–2 mbps wifi. I saw it on Nomadlist but I didn’t believe it. Now I do.
Limit your days in Bogota if you came to see the flora and fauna of the country. It’s dangerous, freezing and polluted. Head to the coast instead.
Find a local friend (or hostel receptionist) and tell them wherever you are about to go and when you are going to be back. You’ll never know..
Try Juan Valdez Cafes if you wanna add a bit of comfort to your days: table service, excellent wifi plus quiet and cleanliness everywhere. No more Starbucks.
Leave your 55l backpack at home and just bring a carry on suitcase with a normal daypack. You’ll thank me for that when you realise you don’t need to climb up 4 floors with 23 kgs on your back anytime you change location.
Go for that bit more expensive insurance and leave your iPhone and passport at the hotel at ALL TIMES. You might wander off to streets which seems perfectly fine but the reality is that you can never be sure.
In fact, leave your laptop at home completely and enjoy this amazing country as much as you can without the constant stress about your job and the need to look after your expensive belongings.
Believe me, this is an experience where you would want to have your full attention to all the incredible things which are awaiting you to see.