[Remote Year] Your First Four Questions

I sent my first newsletter this week — answers to the top 4 questions (based on my loose empirical evidence and assumptions) that everyone has about Remote Year and my personal experience thus far.

  1. What is Remote Year?
  2. Why did you say Battuta earlier?
  3. How do I follow along?
  4. How has your Remote Year been going?

You can (and definitely should) check out my actual Hola from Montevideo newsletter OR read below for the questions and answers.

Either way, you can totally sign up for my list. [Yes, I had caffeine this morning and ice cream after lunch. *insert dancing lady emoji here*]

City info session for our group before the move from Montevideo to Buenos Aires.

Hola from Montevideo, Uruguay!

I’m 3 weeks into my Remote Year — I can’t tell if it feels longer or shorter than 3 weeks. On one hand, I’m starting to settle into life here and get closer to some of my fellow Battutas. On the other, there are still so many people that I have yet to have a real conversation with, and I have done so little actual sightseeing here in Montevideo.

We leave on March 5 for Buenos Aires for RY Month 2, so I’m spending the rest of my time here in Uruguay staying in Montevideo: exploring the city, getting to know more of my fellow Battutas, catching up on writing, and working on getting more clients + projects.

As this is my first newsletter, I thought it would be helpful to answer four common questions.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone and encourage them to subscribe and follow me on social media (see #3).

#1: What is Remote Year?

Remote Year launched their first group in June 2015 and is essentially like a year of study abroad for people with remote jobs: digital nomads pay them a fee and they organize housing, travel between countries, a workspace with reliable internet, and networking and social events.

I was in Hong Kong last May when a friend sent me an article about Remote Year — mentioning it sounded like what I had been doing (working while traveling since June 2014). Well, it sounded way better to me, so I emailed the founder and told him that I’d been working remotely and traveling on my own for a year and was envious of the RY group getting to have a community, less individual planning responsibilities, and more of a real-life routine while also getting to travel and explore the world. To my surprise and delight, he wrote back and asked if I would be interested in joining the next group, set to start their year in early 2016. I said yes.

Remote Year II began February 1, 2016.

Our group of 75 will spend 12 months in 12 cities, four cities each, in three regions of the world.

  • Montevideo, Uruguay [February]
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina [March]
  • La Paz, Bolivia [April]
  • Cusco, Peru [May]
  • Istanbul, Turkey [June] (changed to London, England)
  • Prague, Czech Republic [July]
  • Belgrade, Serbia [August]
  • Cavtat, Croatia [September] (changed to Split)
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia [October]
  • Koh Phangan, Thailand [November]
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia [December]
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam [January]

#2: Why did you say “Battuta” earlier?

I just wrote a post about this! Battuta is our unique Remote Year community name. We’re the second ever group of Remote Year (there are five planned, now, I believe), and it’s just going to keep growing.

The name Battuta comes from Ibn Battuta, an explorer from the 14th century, who traveled throughout the Islamic world and wrote about his travels.

#3: How do I follow along?

I’m thrilled you asked! I am:

Why these?

I love Instagram because photos are such a great way to tell stories. Lots of thoughts on this as an Art History major, perhaps I’ll get around to writing about that later. In the meantime, my travel instagram account dates back to June 2015, when I started my first solo trip in SE Asia, so there are pictures there from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, as well as California, New Mexico, Florida, Boston, New York, Washington DC, North Carolina, and Texas. Also, obviously, Uruguay.

I made my first Steller photo story on our Cabo Polonio trip. I’m still figuring out how I want to use Stellar for storytelling, but it definitely has some potential. What do you think?

I chose to write on Medium because I love the interface — very clean, typographic, straightforward. That means one less thing for me to set up and maintain, so I can focus on writing and pressing publish without having a panic attack. Yay!

For Facebook, I decided to make an official page so I could share publicly while keeping my personal account more private. For pages, you have to pick a category, so I went with writing because storyteller / traveler / digital nomad / jack of all trades weren’t options. I share my essays there first and occasionally post photos and other announcements on Facebook, so please follow me there for the day-to-day updates.

#4: How has your Remote Year been going?

Well, it’s 3 weeks in, so hard to make any definitive statements, but I’ve been making a concerted effort to write about it. It takes me a few hours to do each one, so there are more on my list to write than have been published. C’est la vie!

Below are all my Remote Year related essays thus far, in reverse chronological order:

[Remote Year] We Are Battuta
We Are Battuta: the second group of digital nomads working while traveling the world with Remote Year.

[Remote Year] We’re Famous! In Uruguay.
Sam (RY cofounder), me + two other RYers interview with a Uruguayan newspaper, El Observador, about the program.

Remote Year: Adult Summer Camp or Village?
As the second group ever of Remote Year, we Battutas are in a unique position to help define what this experience means and how it works.

[Remote Year] Week 1 Review
Remote Year Week 1 of 52 is complete! A reflection on Montevideo’s Carnaval and my first week of this wonderful, crazy experience.

[Remote Year] Montevideo: Initial Impressions
My first 60 hours in Montevideo, Uruguay, kicking off Remote Year 2.

Freewriting: Goodbyes
I am leaving the country in 16 days for 12 months, maybe more. I am doing a program called Remote Year, in which I will travel to 12 cities…

Getting Things Done + Remote Year
Making my own website and joining Remote Year 2016: another lesson on procrastination + deadlines.

Phew! You made it ;)

Let me know if you have other questions, and I’ll happily answer them (a) personally, (b) in my next newsletter, or (c) in an essay on Medium.

Lots of love from Uruguay,

Katherine is a digital nomad, working remotely while she travels the world — on the road since June 2014. She’s a member of Remote Year 2 Battuta, living around the world with 75 other digital nomads from February 2016 to January 2017.

Please click the ❤ below to recommend this essay :) Thank you! 
Questions + feedback welcome in the comments.

Want more? Follow along here on Medium, or on Facebook or Instagram.