The Journey To Becoming A Digital Nomad: My Story

 John Lennon wall, Prague, Czech Republic. I wrote the words in pink on the wall. this includes, "Thanks, Mom" behind my head and the words "Imagine" and "dreamer" because those words sum up my life and I truly believe in the lyrics of that song.

John Lennon wall, Prague, Czech Republic. I wrote the words in pink on the wall. this includes, "Thanks, Mom" behind my head and the words "Imagine" and "dreamer" because those words sum up my life and I truly believe in the lyrics of that song.

I've never tried so hard or wanted something so bad in my life: to get paid to travel the world...

The Opportunity: Remote Year

Getting paid to travel was my wildest dream that seemed more than out of reach. That was until Remote Year came along. They would take a group of 75 professionals and work remotely while travelling the world. This "digital nomad" concept was something I had never heard about but was eager to sign up. 

Remote Year was a long application process. Back in December 2014, I believe it was, I stumbled across an article about Remote Year and submitted my e-mail to be notified when they were going to start the application process. The process finally began and I did everything in my power to try and get accepted. I poured every ounce of my heart and soul into my application. I would spend hours each day writing my application, only for my mom to come home in the evenings to edit it and provide feedback. This process went on for a week. Finally, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel when I was accepted to Remote Year. However, I still needed to find a remote job which appeared harder to achieve than snagging a spot on Remote Year against 25,000 applicants.

Remote Year website

The Struggle to Find a Remote Job

After months of being unemployed, draining the bank account and spending hours upon hours applying to jobs and interviewing I still had no luck. Sure I could get a location based job but I was determined to follow my dream. With that, I booked a one-way ticket to Prague, Czech Republic to join the Remote Year team in June. This gave me no choice but to make it work. In reality, I could only sustain myself for 1 month on the program or I would have to return home. This meant that I had 4 weeks to find a job. Money was getting tight by week 2 and I still had no job. If I didn't sort things out over the last 2 weeks in Prague, I would have no choice but to leave Remote Year and head back home to Canada.

How it Almost Ended Before it Even Started

Of course, among the process of trying to sort everything out and with no money... my laptop died. I would have to spend around $2,000 for a new laptop. Disclaimer: a laptop is the lifeline of a digital nomad. The tears poured down my face, while standing in the middle of a local grocery store. This would literally cause my early departure of Remote Year. Everything in life had always come so easy for me when I put in the effort, from winning awards at University to landing a dream job right out of University. This was the first time I poured my heart and soul into something and the world just kept working against me. 

 the remote year crew at our launch event in prague, czech republic.

the remote year crew at our launch event in prague, czech republic.

Changing My Mindset Changed Everything

I then decided to change my mindset. I decided that nothing would hold me back. The Remote Year crew was too inspiring and supportive for me to just give up. Every stressful day I faced, I was greeted with warm smiles and positive energy among the Remotes. Knowing of my situation, participants provided me with resources or contacts that could help me out. The offers even went as far to lend me money to pay my Remote Year fee from someone I had only known for 2 weeks, which I would in no way be able to accept. All of this expressed the enormity of just how amazing the group is.

Queue My Wildest Dreams Coming True

As though a flick of the switch, things started to come together and they came together fast. Within 6 weeks I was employed full-time REMOTELY (yay!), my blog was up, my personal website was just about done and with two other Remote Year participants, Kimmoy Matthews and Fernanda Prats, we started a business called Trio Travel Marketing. Our business landed us a dream deal that would literally be the start to my wildest dreams coming true. The deal came at a time when I was a hairline away from having to pack my bags to head home because I had a $2,000 laptop to pay for. The deal we landed meant my journey with Remote Year would continue. Literally in a matter of 6 weeks of being on Remote Year, all of my wildest dreams, I mean wildest dreams came true. I can confidently say, and with 100% certainty, that if it wasn't for this group on Remote Year, I wouldn't be here. It was through this process that I realized Remote Year isn't just a group of 75 professional traveling together, it's a community. Everyone is there for each other and truly has everyone's best interests at heart.

 Myself, Fernanda Prats and Kimmoy Matthews announcing our exciting new venture with the remote year group.

Myself, Fernanda Prats and Kimmoy Matthews announcing our exciting new venture with the remote year group.

I write this post the night before my big deal takes off. This weekend in particular is going to be a very special weekend for me, that is dear to my heart. It will be a weekend I will never forget in my life because it is the start of my wildest dreams coming true. It's also the reason I was able to stay on Remote Year. Every single day of this Remote Year experience I stop and think how amazing and incredibly lucky I am to be living my dreams. With that, I've never been happier in my entire life.

Your Journey to Becoming a Digital Nomad

I've talked to and met a lot of people along this journey and everyone says, "Wow. I would love to do that. It's my dream." With that, I say, "make it happen". There is a huge digital nomad community spread across the world. It is possible to work remotely or whatever your dream may be. Anything is possible. Take a leap of faith because it won't kill you, which means you have nothing to lose. It might come easy for you, it might not. In my opinion, it all comes down to how bad do you really want it. If you want it enough you will do anything in your power to make it happen. It's probably going to be scary but I can say first hand that living your wildest dreams every single day of your life is the most gratifying, fulfilling and happiest thing you can experience in your lifetime. Follow your heart and forget the standards of society. The most amazing people of our time didn't follow the crowd. 

The Thank You Speech

Now, with that - a HUGE HUGE thank you to my mom. She's always supported my wild and crazy dreams. Without her, I wouldn't be living my dream with Remote Year today. She spent hours upon hours reviewing my Remote Year application and job cover letters and resumes. She spent hours upon hours helping me prepare for my departure and making sure I had everything I needed to live out of a suitcase for a year. Above all, she believed in me and supported me, even if that meant making sacrifices on her end. I also must thank my dad, brother, sister-in-law, nephews and all my lovely friends and family for their amazing support and for believing in me. I left the most amazing group of people behind when I boarded that plane out of Canada. And finally, Kudos to my mom and dad for figuring out how to use FaceTime and Skype! They're now official digital nomad parents.

 My Family! My Mom, Dad, Brother KEvin and Myself!

My Family! My Mom, Dad, Brother KEvin and Myself!

 My nephews, who I miss with my whole heart! They will be so big when I see them again!

My nephews, who I miss with my whole heart! They will be so big when I see them again!

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