Thousands of Miles, and Many Smiles

“Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”

-George Herbert.

Though I feel a bit corny starting my first ever blog post with a quote, I feel that it’s also fitting. So much of my life has been spent WAITING. Waiting to be older, stronger, smarter, etc. I had this idea that if I were to do anything great in this life, it would take the perfect circumstances. Little did I know that playing the victim gets you nowhere. In our lives there will always be things that come up- things that are out of our control. We have the choice when faced with difficulties to either shut down or persevere.

So here I am now, NOT waiting until I have better story telling skills or writing techniques, creating the first entry into my blog.

That isn’t the only new thing that I am diving into. I am also learning to shoot and edit videos! You may have already seen my first attempt already, but in case you haven’t here it is below!

Now let me tell you about how this whole trip through Southeast Asia came to be:

It all started back in July, when Lauren decided to visit her friend, Alison, in Spain. Alison is spending a year abroad, working remotely and traveling with other remote workers. Lauren was intrigued by this idea, but an entire year seemed a bit too adventurous for her. That is when she found the company that we are now traveling with-- The Remote Experience. 4 Months in 4 countries, starting October 2016.

When she first presented the idea to me I wasn’t too optimistic about it. I didn’t want to leave our dog for that long and I certainly did not want to miss the holidays with our families. But I told her that I would think about it and be open minded, and that is exactly what I did. I thought about it long and hard. I decided that if it was meant to happen, it would happen. We would get everything arranged that we had to, if it was meant to be. I told her yes, expecting that October would come and go and we just wouldn’t be prepared.

The next thing I know, we are having a Skype interview with the one of the company’s founders, Michelle. No biggie, it was only August, there was still plenty of time to back out. Besides, there is no way that we are going to be able to find someone to watch our dog for that long, right?

Wrong.

By the end of August we had house/dog sitters lined up, and this trip was starting to look more and more like it was going to happen.

And then September came.

And then, before I knew it, the day was here. My bags had somehow found themselves all packed up. Shit. No going back now. Besides, traveling through Asia had always been a bucket list item for me, and now it was actually going to happen. But for some reason I didn’t feel ready. I was scared. My nerves started to kick in and I started telling myself all sorts of stories about what could possibly go wrong.

But what about what could go RIGHT!? What about all of the people I would meet and different cultures I would have the privilege of experiencing!? I couldn’t even fathom that half of the equation because there I was, doing what I was used to- making excuses and wanting to WAIT for the timing to work out better.

That’s when I remembered the quote at the start of this post. I realized that the timing would never be perfect. Nothing would ever be perfect, I just needed to take action and go for it! Fears be damned! I’ve heard that you should do whatever it is that scares you the most, because that is what presents the greatest possibility for growth.

So we set out on our journey, September 27th, to head to Ohio for a conference first (which deserves its own blog post because it was so amazing). The conference (Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness) was the perfect springboard into our current adventure as it helped us to redefine our visions and renew our inspiration.

After over 24 hours of traveling, we made it from Ohio, to New York, where we flew up over the North Pole and Russia, down to Guangzhou in South China, and then finally landing in Denpasar on the island of Bali in Indonesia. And now here we are.

We were greeted by at least one hundred taxi drivers, all competing for our attention, only for us to tell them all ‘no thanks’ as we searched for our driver (which was set up by the remote experience).

I don’t think that I had ever been so excited to get some place and take a shower. We arrived at our villa around 1 AM, and I had one of the most peaceful sleeps I’d had in a long time.

The next day we met the rest of our group, 11 of us total, and got right to work in the office. It sure feels nice to be around like-minded people. While we aren’t working together, just being in the same space as people who are on their grind is contagious. One of the perks of traveling with The Remote Experience is that they set us up with a co-working space with a stable Wi-Fi connection. Rather than looking for random coffee shops with internet, we have a professional space filled with other working professionals. There are all sorts of people here- from software engineers, to video editors- any work that can be done remotely, really. The co-working space for this month is called the Dojo. It is a quick 3 minute scooter ride from our villa. We take our shoes off outside, just like a dojo, and everyone is focused on their work. The perfect environment for productivity.

We spent the week getting acclimated to our new surroundings, working, getting to know our fellow remote experiencers, and searching for the best pizza on the island. Well, maybe that was just me. I’m a pizza FIEND if you didn’t already know.

Photo by Megan Kathleen Photography

https://www.facebook.com/photographyofmegankathleen/

After a nice and productive little work-week we rewarded ourselves with some white water rafting. Posted below is our first re-cap video of the week. I can tell that this trip is going to foster some lifelong friendships because of all that we are experiencing/ going to experience together.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Or if you just want to chat about life, your goals, your fears, really anything-- I am here for you. Friend or stranger, don’t hesitate to connect.

Much love to you. Yes, YOU. <3


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Photos by Megan Kathleen Photography

© 2016 Zachary Cuaresma