Hola Amigos! I’m absolutely loving life down here in Medellin and finally feeling like I’m getting into the flow of the city and managing my schedule. This trip came up last minute, so I didn’t have a lot of expectations, but I never imagined how busy it was going to be!
The days have been flying by the past week and a half! We’ve been taking part in activities ranging from party buses to yoga classes. We have gone paint-balling in Pablo Escobar’s mansion, climbed Piedra del Penol in Gautape and hiked in Paramos de Belmira. We take Spanish lessons and go for amazing group dinners . . . and I haven't even gotten to the workshops! Workshops on Colombian culture, guided museum trips, living a meaningful life, listening to self, wish and gift, solving the Rubix cube and many more . . . the list literally goes on and on. It's been a little bit of randomness, a little bit of chaos, but also a whole lot of fun. But, oh yah, I still need to keep up with work - as the unique thing about this trip is it is geared towards nomads who want to work and travel.
So if you are reading this and considering working remotely for a short/long period of time, here’s some helpful pointers for how to work remotely, be productive and still go home with new friends.
1) Be Selfish
Take care of yourself. Only feel responsible for your needs and wants for 30 days. See how it feels and dial it back if necessary. You might be impressed with how you respond to listening to what you want and putting yourself first (thanks to Paulina Schwietzer for sharing her wisdom in her workshop on Cultivating Presence and Listening to Self)
2) Bring Half of What You Expect
This could be as simple as how you pack. Fill your suitcase with everything you think you need while you’re away. Then grab a smaller suitcase and put half the items in it. My closet down here is full of stuff I haven’t touched and will not touch until its time to pack them up to go home.
3) Decide what you want to accomplish in advance
Obviously travelling is about spontaneity, but when it comes to working abroad decide on the work or projects you want to accomplish while you’re traveling, and cut it in half. If you exceed expectations, even better but at least you’ve set yourself up for success.
4) Bring your better half
And I don't mean your partner, best friend (although maybe your dog ...). I mean bring half of yourself. Leave the part of yourself you believe is holding you back at home, leave the negative self talk, leave the sickness, leave the confusion, leave the person you are ready to set yourself free from. Be the person you want to be. Be the person you’re meant to be. Be that person for 30 days and decide if it’s someone you would welcome to travel home with you. And you won’t even have to pay extra baggage fees if you decide to bring them home!
5) Be Open to New Experiences
Be willing to say yes to things you wouldn’t normally say yes to. You will discover a new side of yourself that either you weren’t aware even existed or haven’t had a chance to get well acquainted with. Whether it’s pushing your personal boundaries by staying in shared accommodations or taking a dance class that proves you have two left feet. It’s not necessarily the actual task that’s important but the way it makes you feel you should pay attention to. Does it ignite a fire within you? Maybe…maybe not. Does it make you more curious about exploring more about an aspect of that experience? Maybe…maybe not. But I’ll bet if you put yourself in new experiences, the chances of finding something that makes you curious and ignites a fire inside will win more times than not.
So does it matter how much I accomplish while I’m working remotely? Absolutely. But I hope it’s bigger ticket items that I can check off my To Do list like “What makes me happy?” rather than items like getting my email inbox down to zero. Because once I starting going down the path of finding the answer to the first one, it’s my hope the rest of the items on the list will fall into place. If not, I’ll just delete all my emails and start from scratch!