My experiment with We Roam Orion has been interesting. I like the people I'm traveling with, they're funny, they're smart, and they're interesting. I like having the logistics aspects handled for me when I'm super busy. For example, in May, June and July, I worked about 200 to 225 hours each month. Combined with personal and work travel, I also had an 8-week period where I was in the US (work) - Panama City (work meeting) - US (work) - Morocco (personal) - Helsinki (work) - Estonia (personal) - Prague (personal) - Chicago (work) - Prague (personal). I barely had time to sleep let alone take care of other items, like looking for apartments, travel arrangements, and coworking space arrangements.
On the other hand, there's the loner streak in me. The do it different. Do your own thing. Buck convention type of attitude. I am, after all, probably the only visibly tattooed person in my peer network in the industry I work in. And it has not been a detriment because I believe it makes me work harder to constantly prove myself. I'm also a bit of a weirdly sociable introvert. I love my alone time. I have no problems with wandering the world by myself. Yet, admittedly, I may get bored with myself or like the possibility of more social contact, hence my current situation.
But so far, my preliminary assessment is that this is the kind of program that is better for :
- People who are going remote for the first time whereas I've worked in a remote capacity since 2011 and have been completely location independent for 20 months
- It's also good for people who haven't traveled extensively before. Prior to meeting up with the group, I had spent a solid year outside of the US, traveling through 19 countries over 12 months. Followed up by an additional 9 countries by myself
- Extroverts (or lazy introverts as noted by another WR member) whereas I'm a proactive introvert who will go out and explore and be comfortable doing so alone
- People who don't necessarily like talking to or getting to know locals. I have no problem talking to strangers. And I have no problems with randomly walking into new boxes or scenarios. I mean, I do some of that for my job anyway when I'm asked to do work on something I have no clue about. I have no shame when it comes to giving people my business card. You never know when you might see someone again or have an interesting conversation or whatever!
- People who enjoy imbibing and going out late to enjoy the local night life. I have low tolerance for alcohol and my schedule is pretty much the opposite because I want to work out in the morning. I'm also older, so the partying is not so fun
- People who enjoy larger groups. I do much better in 1-3 person groups, personally
With that said, I may or may not rejoin the group in Latin America as I was initially planning (one month on, one off, one on, one off, and two on). I've traveled extensively through the region and speak enough bad Spanish that it is easy to navigate. I can also do it way cheaper. I also have a network of people and places that I've established. For Europe, I think it made partial sense between my crazy work schedule and the possibility of comparable (maybe a bit more expensive) pricing between housing, transport, activities, and coworking space. However, next time I swing back through the EU, sometime in 2018, I'll manage all the stuff on my own so I can wander through some other areas and revisit other places. Plus it's so easy to meet people in the EU that you don't even need a built-in network. Just say hi, chat with people, give out your business cards, go work out at a local gym (best place to meet new people, I've found).
Regardless, I can say that I'm never unhappy to try something. It never hurts to ask. It never hurts to try something new (within reason). We'll see what I decide and where I go in the next few months.
My plans are to go Berlin and Split with the group, then I go back to the US for office time for a few weeks and then Boston for scientific congress meeting for work, then La Paz, Bolivia for pre-acclimatization, then Mendoza for my 20-day expedition on Aconcagua, then New Orleans. I would definitely still like to go to Santiago. Colombia too as I've only been to Cartegena and Bogota for work and didn't get to really enjoy it, plus I have a medical director client from the pharma side who grew up there and can provide some recommendations. Maybe El Salvador, as there are coworking spaces there. 2018 will see more time in Africa - Namibia, South Africa (a cardiologist I have worked with has family there, so I can certainly email him for recommendations and maybe have tea with his mother), maybe Rwanda, and definitely Kenya (booked a night at Giraffe Manor!). Maybe Madagascar, depending on time and coworking space. And then India or Bhutan, depending on finances - Bhutan for a 30-day Great Snowman Trek if I can swing the $10k. Maybe Australia. Then back through the EU? TBD. As long as I have the work, I can go where I want to go.