At the start of this year, I felt the overwhelming need to switch things up. Not only was I turning 35 (which somehow hit me harder than turning 30), but I was going on eight years at my current company, had been working through some personal issues, and was just far too comfortable in my own routine. The result? I was feeling uninspired and generally apathetic.
As if reading my mind (or at least my search history), Instagram served me an ad for a remote work program which led me to a group called Hacker Paradise. I was intrigued. The group of professionals, in similar industries to my own, worked and travelled together – and you had the option to join for as little as two weeks, to as long as… well, I guess forever?
I pitched it to my company that spring – what if, instead of a conference, I went on a four-week remote work program where I could connect with other people (dubbed digital nomads)… in Bali… during the winter. I felt like I threw a Hail Mary, not really expecting them to agree to send me, but they did. I was shocked. And as the seven-month countdown ticked on, I started to feel a strange mix of excitement and nervousness. Actually, I’ll be honest, it was definitely mostly nervousness. Keep in mind though, I had never really “travelled” outside of North America before, other than my annual vacation down south to an all-inclusive. And here I was heading to Bali for four-weeks, and then embarking on two weeks of solo travel after that to Vietnam and Thailand.
So, a few days ago, I packed up a carry-on, hopped on a number of planes, and arrived here 30 hours later. It could have been (probably was) the anti-anxiety pills I took for the flights, but I felt oddly calm as I found my driver and travelled to my hotel halfway across the world. However, the calmness has only turned into appreciation, and at only three days in, I feel like I have already been here a lifetime. In a good way.
I’m going to blog about my experience working here, among other business-related things, but I felt like I should start off on a more personal note to explain the purpose of this trip – to get inspired and to change the way I think and view things. By trying something new, I hope to see things in a new way for my career, and to leave here as a more insightful and motivated person. And a more relaxed person. And a more tanned person. And a person who is slightly less afraid of bugs. Maybe.