After the long nervous wait I’m finally here in Prague taking part in the first intake of the Remote Year. There were 25,000 applicants, and now we are down to 75. I’ll layout my initial impressions for the two weeks of the programme.
Being in Europe for the first time has been a bit full on for me. You really get a sense of history of all the surrounding buildings, castle and churches. Its one thing to look at it in a movie but to be here in person. In NZ we don’t really have a long history with many of the buildings pretty modern or around 100 years old. Here in Europe these buildings have stood for hundreds of years. It really shows how small we are as individuals. I’ve only been on this place for 25 years and this building has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.
The public transport has been awesome. The trams run 24/7, efficient subway system and buses readily available. Its been super easy and convenient to get around town. Its been a easy transition for me to live here and work.
Couple of things I have to adjust to personally is the language. Being around so many English speakers I can get away with not speaking a lot of Czech but the locals appreciate it when you try and make an effort to give the language a go. With there being so many tourists here the level of English is pretty sufficient and you should be able to get by if you came for a quick visit.
What will make this year memorable will be the people taking part in this programme. Its a pretty big commitment for such a big group to come together spend a year travelling and working together. I’ve been impressed by the team at Remote Year for picking people who think alike but all come from different backgrounds and different places from all over the world. People from USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Turkey, Australia to name a few as well as people from different ages. The average age being 30, the youngest at 22 and the oldest at 48.
Each and everyone of the people I’ve met so far has been really opened minded and chilled. Everyone super excited for the journey ahead. We realise we have a responsibility to show that working remotely is possible for employees. We are no longer limited to the confines of a office as we can work from anywhere in the world with a stable internet connection. Times are changing and these old barriers are slowly coming down. The world is watching. I’m particularly excited to be taking part myself and have the pleasure of representing both New Zealand and Hong Kong. This token Kiwi Asian guy is in this for the long haul.
I couldn’t ask for anything better at the moment staying in my lovely apartment in Andel. It has a kitchen, washing machine, cleaning service, balcony and is very close to the mall and gym. Having the freedom to cook your own food and work from home has definitely exceeded my expectations.
While living in a hotel room is also nice, it doesn’t offer as much flexibility as an apartment offers. I do have a room mate although I don’t mind. Living with someone and seeing them each day is a perfect way to get to know someone better. On the plus side we are doing weekly Pot luck Dinner Parties of all the people living at the apartments. 12 of us in total gather for a night of laughs and bringing a dish of food to share with each other. Adding to the mayhem we had our own little talent show.
I really think I lucked out with the apartment and will make the most of it. You never know what kind of living situation I’ll be in next.
Is this programme right for you?
Do you want to travel the world while working at the same time? Take part in this journey with 75 other like minded people? If you are in job where you can work from your computer it might worth having a chat to your employer for the next cycle. The advances of technology has really opened up a world of possibilities for us to redefine the way we work.
Working and travelling in a group of this size is something truly unique. I anticipate there will be highs and lows on this trip but we’ll be sticking it out together and supporting one another every step of the way. Each of us took a chance. Each of us had no idea what we were getting ourselves into until we actually got here.
If you like the idea of being finding comfort in uncomfortable situations it may fit the bill for you. Unfortunately you’ll have another year to ponder about it. Its early days here now with more adventure to come. Watch this space for more updates as you come along this journey with me.