The Remote Life

Food and travel tips from our partners in Pune, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo

Crossover has been remote from the get-go. We started with fewer than a hundred partners, and now our global talent network is more than 2,000 strong. One of the major perks Crossover offers is the ability to work anywhere as long as you’re productive. Some of us work from our own home offices or coffee shops, while others move from city to country as digital nomads.

Crossover is a cultural melting pot, so we spoke to our partners from India, Romania, Argentina, and Brazil to soak up the best tips on food, travel, and the digital nomad lifestyle.

Get to know our partners Pankaj Dhoot, Calin Balea, Sergio Barbieri, and Viviane Gon.

Pankaj Dhoot

Platinum Experience Manager from Pune, India

What are your favorite local dishes?

I love traditional dishes and prefer to eat at small joints rather than fancy hotels to get the most out of the experience. I’m vegan, and some of my favorites are puran poli (sweet flatbread), Maharashtrian thali (a beautiful and delicious mix of vegetables, pulses, sweets, and salads) and misal pav.

Misal pav is a popular street food in Pune.

Non-vegan folks can try daalcha (mutton stew). Popular restaurants like Baghban and Blue Nile serve amazing daalcha.

What do you do to stay healthy and happy?

I keep myself happy by listening to a lot of instrumental music. I prefer to work in the open, be it near a waterfall or someplace with lush greenery. When I work, I’m often surrounded by a lot of birds (peahens are my favorite), snakes (crazy, I know!), my pet cats, and a friendly Langur monkey.

Each day at work is a unique experience, so I make sure to always have my camera with me. Nothing makes me more relaxed than being close to nature.

What are some of the challenges of working on the road?

Noise and unreliable internet connections are big distractions. But with the right planning, you can get over this hurdle.

In India, people stare at you if you like carrying your work everywhere. I’ve become quite used to it, though. However, if you’re planning to travel and work here, that might take some getting used to.

What advice do you have for people who want more flexibility in their work schedules?

Do not try to do so much at the same time. Sometimes, it becomes too hectic to manage everything all at once. I figured that the best way to succeed in this kind of setup is to keep a routine and follow it as much as you can. Though I work at home, I pretend that I am in an office. That helps me sort my day out easily. Also, I recommend preparing a to-do list for the day. Organizing your thoughts and tasks helps a lot.

Calin Balea

Digital Product Designer from Bucharest, Romania

What are your favorite local dishes?

Some of my favorites are Romanian sarmale (cabbage rolls), polenta (cornmeal dough) with fried egg, and fresh mamaliga cu oz si branza (slightly salty cheese).

What do you do to stay healthy and happy?

I eat clean and have a balanced diet, in addition to working out in the morning on an empty stomach. Remote work makes this much easier since I can make my own schedule.

What are some of the challenges of working on the road?

Since we’re working in a global environment, sometimes response rates are a bit slower, but that’s to be expected. With a bit of planning, I can stay busy and productive. This is the only very small drawback I could think of. Other than that, it’s awesome.

What advice do you have for people who want more flexibility in their work schedules?

Make a schedule and stick to it. During work, eliminate distractions. I’d also advise having short breaks every two hours of work.

At the end of the day, you’ll be amazed how much you can get done if you focus on one thing at a time.

Another tip: listening to good instrumental music can help you stay in the zone, if you’re that kind of person who doesn’t need total silence to concentrate.

Sergio Barbieri

Recruitment Analyst from Buenos Aires, Argentina

What are some of your favorite local dishes?

My favorite local dishes are milanesas (breaded meat fillet) with mashed potatoes and beef empanadas. There are a lot of great restaurants in my city, especially in Palermo and San Telmo (also known for its historic buildings and parks).

I’d recommend La Cantina Ristorante in Palermo and Cafe San Juan in San Telmo. We have many parrilla (barbecue) restaurants, which are steakhouses that serve the best meat cuts. Parrillas are often jampacked!

What do you do to stay healthy and happy while you work as a digital nomad?

I walk a lot — I love walking around the city. I take some time off after working to go for a walk. Sometimes, I take a bus or the train, get off at any random stop, and walk around or walk home from that place. This is one way I really got to know my city — all its corners and secret spots—and get a real feeling of what it’s like to live in Buenos Aires.

I also like going to local restaurants and pubs to eat a well-prepared dish. Sometimes, I go to the supermarket and prepare my own meal. This way, I can ensure it’s healthy, and it saves money as well.

What advice do you have for people who want more flexibility in their work schedules?

Flexibility is a benefit that has to be embraced and cherished. If you are lucky enough though, it is twice the responsibility — I believe it’s something you both earn and generate. It is very important that you keep yourself organized and make schedules and to-do lists. You need to prioritize your deadlines and make sure to get things done. That way, you can ensure that you are always ahead of your deliverable and meet or surpass your manager’s expectations.

I use Google Calendar and Sheets to stay organized. I create reminders and list priorities according to date and importance. This way, when I travel, no meeting or due date catches me off guard — I feel confident and relaxed while being efficient and productive. Communication is a must in this kind of work, too. You should always update anyone who relies or depends on your output.

Viviane Gon

UX/UI Designer and Crossover Brand Ambassador from São Paulo, Brazil

What are some of your favorite local dishes? Can you recommend any must-visit restaurants?

São Paulo is very famous because of its pizza. We have tons of pizzerias, and our pizza looks and tastes really different from the rest of the world. You should try it — especially if you’re from Europe, you’ll notice the difference. It’s delicious!

Another favorite is pastel, a thin-crust pie with assorted fillings. The most common fillings are ground meat, mozzarella, heart of palm, and chicken.

There’s also feijoada. It’s a dish usually made with black beans with beef and pork. It’s often served with rice and assorted sausages.

And then there’s brigadeiro — This is definitely a must-try! Brigadeiro is a common Brazilian delicacy made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. If you’re from the U.S., you can find it there, too!

Lastly, there’s churrasco, or Brazilian barbecue. If you travel to Brazil, be sure to visit an authentic Brazilian steakhouse.

What are some of the challenges of working on the road?

It’s not easy to find healthy food, so there are times I end up eating fast food. I also work from cafés sometimes and ask myself: How can I resist their menus? Here’s a tip: if you’re travelling to a country during the spring or summer, find time to walk or jog in a local park.

What advice do you have for people who want more flexibility in their work schedules?

What I love most about remote work is that you set your own schedule and even travel while you work. Here at Crossover, we always say it’s the future of work — and it is.

Want to learn more about the remote lifestyle? Check out these articles:

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