#WeSurvived the First Two Weeks of Remote Year

This is the true story of seventy-five strangers, picked to live together, work remotely, travel the world, and have their lives heavily documented via Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Slack, blog, vlog, and podcast.

So what happens when you quit the status quo and join Remote Year?

Everything. All at once. As if someone turned your life upside down, shook it, and you fell face first into a whole new world.

The first two weeks were a mad dash to meet everyone, explore our new home, and find a way to make remote work “work”.

It’s basically Freshman year of college meets a backpacking trip meets The Real World. Except this is the real world, and we all have jobs to do.

The pressure is on to make friends and take advantage of our amazing surroundings all while working hard and proving our worth to companies back home.

FOMO is the name of the game.

Glance at Slack at any given moment and someone will be asking you to get sushi, go sightseeing, take Spanish lessons, rent a boat, play soccer, volunteer, practice yoga, go to the beach, find a rooftop somewhere, or plan a trip to Oktoberfest.

And someone always wants to go out. But in Lisbon, that can mean clubbing until 6, 7, 8 o’clock in the morning until you long for your bed and you genuinely wonder if you’ve been dancing inside a giant pack of cigarettes (people still smoke inside here!).

You have to prioritize. Work comes first, but you end up stretching yourself to fit as much else in as possible.

You might open your laptop at midnight to get some extra work done because you want to go on a walking tour before work tomorrow, a networking event after, and open mic night after that.

It might be Sunday, but when 30+ of you live in the same building and you can get bottles of wine for 2 euros, you will probably end up drinking in the backyard until sunrise. You might even end up at a music festival.

Amidst the chaos, basic things like eating and sleeping can fall by the wayside, and it can be hard to find a routine. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had like 8 meals, I’m operating on a constant sleep deficit, and my only alone time has been in the shower.

My goal is to find more balance in the coming weeks. Before I sign-off though, here are a few things I’ve learned so far:

— The Google translate app is magical. It translates any text you hold your camera up to (menus, etc.) But it’s not always correct. Sometimes “organs” really means oregano.

— It’s not a good idea to “get back into running” at the Lisbon Run Club racing what looks like the national soccer team up slippery stone streets while being shouted at in Portuguese and not knowing if they’re saying “car!” or “cross!”

— There is no brunch at “Brunch Electronik” music festival

— There is no downhill in Lisbon. Somehow, you are always walking uphill

— You’re free to do any drug of your choice on the street in Portugal but don’t even think about trying to put 4 people in the back of an Uber

— If you’re confident enough, you can walk into any hotel and use the rooftop pool

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