Solo Travel OR Group Travel?

World travel. A concept that many dream about, but few actually pursue.

What prevents dreamers from taking the leap? Travel logistics. Schengen laws. The debilitating fear of stepping outside of a conventional life. The list goes on. But for a cohort of WY_CO remote working professionals, life as a citizen of the world has become a reality.

We pinged three of our members to hear their thoughts on choosing the group travel experience. If you’re considering your options of going with a group vs. going solo, give this a read!

Colleen Boucher-Robinson

Colleen Boucher-Robinson — College Counselor, Collegewise

How did you decide to travel with a group (WY_CO) vs. going solo?
I had been wanting to travel more, but I also had a career I loved. Until I found WY_CO, I had never met anyone who was doing extensive traveling and had not gone completely all in to do it — selling their furniture, quitting their job, putting all their things in storage. And that’s just not me. I was happy with my life. When you have a job that you love and a company that you enjoy working for, the allure of traveling isn’t enough to upend everything. I didn’t want to put my whole life on hold and hope that it was there when I got back.

Best part of group travel?
Initially, I thought the benefit would be having someone deal with all of the travel details so I wouldn’t have to. Seven months in with WY_CO, I feel confident that I’d be able to handle the logistics if I pursued this lifestyle on my own after the year is over. The part that has become the most meaningful to me is getting to travel with other fun and interesting people. I get to do my own research to find the things that are important to me, but I can also be a part of group events and tag along with what other people are doing. I feel like I have a much richer life than I would if it were solely up to me to figure out what I wanted to do with my days and my weekends.

Do you feel like there is time to explore on your own?
Spending time with big groups is really not my speed, but it’s easy to branch off into smaller groups. Because there are so many of us, you can easily find three or four people who want to try that restaurant or go to that museum or go on that day trip. I like getting to see everyone at the welcome party or in the workspace, but everything is very much optional and you can say yes to as much or as little as you want.

Ryan Lewkowski (left) | Blaine Anderson (right) —Polaris Program Lead

Ryan Lewkowski — Entrepreneur

How did you decide to travel with WY_CO?
I did a lot of travel for my job with Microsoft. I was pretty much living out of hotels in the US, and I wanted to see more of the world. I was subscribed to different travel blogs and I saw ads popping up for remote work and travel programs, which sparked my curiosity. That’s when I stumbled upon WY_CO. It seemed like a high end program with great reviews. I really didn’t want dorm life and to travel with 75–80 people. So I reached out to the founders of WY_CO and found out that they intentionally kept the group sizes smaller and exclusively brought on remote working professionals. I was stoked about their mission. I signed up shortly after our conversation.

Did you ever consider scrapping the group idea and going the solo route?
For a brief time. Not very long. Even if I found apartments and coworking spaces for myself, I’m not the type to go out of my way to meet people in random places, especially in a foreign country where I don’t know the language. In certain countries, it’s hard to know all the little things. Like taxis vs. Ubers vs. Careem (Morocco’s version of Uber). Knowing the dos and don’ts of these sorts of things makes life a lot easier. I get to a place, my program lead, Blaine, tells me to download an app and I’m good to go. It’s a seamless experience, which is exactly what I wanted as a professional on the road.

Best part of group travel?
A bunch of people from our group takes lots of one-off side trips. In April, we went to Rabat with WY_CO. But everyone wanted to check out Marrakech, the main tourist attraction. When a group of Roamers took a side trip there, everyone had really crappy internet. It clicked for me, that is was probably why WY_CO picked Rabat instead. They had researched and knew we’d have better internet and better accommodations. It’s stuff like that that makes it worth it to travel with the knowledgeable people of WY_CO. So, for me, it’s one of the reasons traveling with a group made a lot more sense.

Also, the professionals in our group have career backgrounds and skill sets that complement one another. For example, I don’t have a programming background, so a lot of my time is spent trying to learn more about it. The great thing about WY_CO is that a lot of the Roamers have programming backgrounds, so I can ask questions and collaborate with them.

Deb Liao

Deb Liao — Medical Scientific Director

Did you travel at all before joining WY_CO?
Yes, I traveled with my partner at the time for over a year and then went completely on my own for six months. I had worked for two years to save up to travel for a year. The goal was to basically pick up and take a sabbatical from my career. I lined up a bunch of countries I wanted to go to and just bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica and then booked the rest as I went. I traveled to 19 countries.

So you went from solo travel to group travel with WY_CO… What made you decide to try out the group experience?
When you travel by yourself, you get bored hanging out with yourself. I consider myself to be an introvert, but I’m also social. I have no problem talking to strangers, but I did end up spending a lot of down time by myself. I wanted more options for social activities and to have a built in social network, so I checked out WY_CO and figured I’d see what the group experience was all about.

WY_CO allows for flexibility so I wouldn’t have to commit beyond three months on an itinerary. I could pop in and out if I wanted to. So it just made the most sense in terms of all the offers out there.

I liked that I still had the chance to continue with the solo exploration that I was doing, but join in with the group when I wanted to. I’ll still go places to hike or do mountain climbing trips on my own, which is really nice. You can mix and match depending on your mood.

WY_CO is a program that curates trips around the world for remote working professionals. We provide travel logisitcs, housing accommodations, coworking spaces, professional development, and a wide variety of other opportunities in destinations across Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, South America, and North America. You can check out our itineraries here, and see what’s included with our trips here.

If you’re interested in becoming a Roamer, submit an application to join!

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