The world is so much more accessible than I ever imagined

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I started to say we rather than I when I wrote the title to this post. Yet it’s so clear to me now there’s a subset of our population that already knows this world is not only (easily) accessible, but that exploring it doesn’t have to be expensive, lonely, or scary.

I’ve always been a bit envious of the people who get to travel and go on regular vacations, or cruises, or other fun things. Until the last few years, vacations were not common for me. I’d never been on a cruise, and 95% of my fun was about my kids and my family (which I wouldn’t trade for the world). But now it’s about me, and I’m pretty much going all in — six countries in six months!

The most common questions I’ve had from my friends, family, and colleagues are:

  1. How much does it cost?
  2. Are the locations all laid out, or are you making it up as you go?
  3. Are you traveling alone?

So today I’m going to lay out the details of this adventure!

I’m traveling with a company called Remote Year. To simplify, I have to get to my first destination and home from the last, but they plan all of the travel and accommodations in between. This includes a workspace with high speed internet within walking distance of each apartment, a must have in order to work. Considering I’ve never traveled internationally, this was a big selling point for me, but there’s so much more! They’ve also provided a tramily (travel family), which I’ll go into more detail about later.

Shameless plug: If you look into Remote Year and love it enough to join, please mention my name — we’ll both receive $200 towards our costs. ✈️

How did I find this, you ask?  Well, I’d been considering traveling some, and of course Facebook or the Google God read my mind and decided to tell me about Remote Year.  Still not sure how I feel about this, but it worked in my favor this time…!

A few things you may or may not know about me:

  • I have a Facebook account, but until last month I only looked at it once every few weeks (and sometimes took a break for a few months at a time).
  • I work from home and have done so for nearly 30 years. In fact, I started my business in 1990 — that puts A&B at 30 years old this year!  Yes, I think I just dated myself.
  • My kids are grown and I am officially divorced as of October.  (Freedom~)
  • I have traveled quite a bit around the U.S. for work and a bit for fun, but I have never traveled internationally.

I initially passed by the first Remote Year ad I saw. I think that was sometime around May of 2019, but about a month later I saw another ad and decided to take a look. 

I was stunned by what I was reading; I’d been wanting to do some traveling, but was not comfortable doing it by myself. Hard to believe, right?

Now I’ll just cut to the chase —

How much does it cost? Below is the original estimate for a four month program, as provided by the salesperson I was working with:

Down Payment$4,000.00
Monthly Payment ($2,250.00 x4)$9,000.00
Total Payment $13,000.00
Initial Deposit$1,000.00
Due At Program Commitment$2,000.00
First Milestone Discount (ending June 30th)($1,000.00)

The $1,000 discount was only available if I paid a deposit by June 30th. I went that route and paid my deposit on June 24th! It was a little scary, but what better way to make myself follow through? And even better, I had a year to choose a specific program.

I paid another $1,000 on August 30th, and then the final deposit of $1,000 on September 30th.

I was having trouble deciding on a program, though. I was worried about being gone for an entire year — that’s a serious commitment! But then, four months felt way too short. Luckily for me, Remote Year introduced a new six month program shortly after I started talking with them. This program would start in January and visit countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. What’s more, I’d be missing winter in North Carolina. So sad, right? NOT!

Remote Year Alba | Latin America, Europe & Africa

  • February – Medellin, Colombia, 77°
  • March – Mexico City, Mexico 78°
  • April – Santiago, Chile 75°
  • May – Lisbon, Portugal 71°
  • June – Valencia, Spain 75°
  • July – Cape Town, South Africa 68°

At some point in December or January, they also emailed to say the monthly cost had been reduced to $2,030, (saving me $220 per month). The world was definitely calling my name. 🌎

In addition to these costs, I had to pay for the airfare/transportation to my first destination (approximately $650), and will also have to pay for my return flight to the U.S.

Considering I was paying more than $2,030 for my mortgage, utilities, internet, etc, how could I not do it? I’d already been debating selling my house, and this really helped me to make that decision.

Next time I’ll detail how it all works — it’s still so exciting to me!

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