Two months after Remote Year

How the hell do I keep living two lives?!

It’s been 60 days since Remote Year ended, and 56 since I’ve been back in my life in Amsterdam. How do I even call that now, my ‘old’ life? My ‘normal’ one? It doesn’t even feel fair to think about these terms.

Yes, it’s delightful to be back, to have time to visit old friends, to work directly with clients, to have the rhythm I want to have. To be where I want to be at every moment. It swallowed me whole, without hesitation. And it’s fine; I had a great life before Remote Year, and I never wanted to flee that like some others who joined the program.

Yet, at the same time, I am in whatsapp conversations with my fellow remotes all the time. We talk about long-distance dating, love, meeting up here or there, and of course we just send a lot of stupid inside jokes. Inside jokes, to me, are a sign that you are in a comfortable group of people….friends.

I want to see them, be there for them. This wasn’t just a year of travel where I met a ton of people for a few days each— adding them to Facebook and sort of forgetting about them in a real way. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy seeing these travel buddies succeed and bond over certain things, but it is at such a different level with my Darien family. These are actual friends now, and taking care of them takes time and effort.

Time and effort I don’t have when I have this normal/old/default/… life to attend to.

How to handle this? Sure, both from my Darien family and my life before Remote Year there will be people I don’t invest in as much anymore. But this is not enough to compensate, as there is definitely a struggle. I feel guilty for not being able to be a friend to so many people the way I’d like to. Both for them and for me. (Maybe even more for me, since I often don’t know how they feel.)

So yeah.. I feel I’ve gotten both the best and the worst of both worlds now. The best, because I’ve been able to spend this incredible year, with all its challenges, learning experiences and friends, while at the same time staying in touch with my old/normal/… life and slipping right back into it. But I got the worst in the sense that I only have so much time to enjoy them. It’s a #firstworldproblem if ever I saw one, but it’s one that I didn’t see coming and I will have to deal with it. Maybe it will end up feeling like what I wrote here.

It’s like being at a restaurant and getting 100 courses of the best food you’ve ever seen — you can’t possibly finish them all, but how do you do this? Are you going to sample each, not really enjoying any of them? Are you going to pick randomly, or with care, but discard some? Are you going to put some in the freezer for later..?

Fuck if I know. Bon a petit…

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Want more? Read this:

Why I think you shouldn’t think twice about joining Remote Year.

What you should realize about Remote Year, because I didn’t.

My Remote Year at one second per day.