I Traveled 126 Days in 2022
How working remotely helped me live a year of adventure!
At the beginning of 2022, in perhaps an overreaction to two years of lockdown, I set a goal to travel 100 days. I needed some adventure in my life again! I'm in the lucky position of working remotely, and my company entirely supported my plan.
In the end, I traveled for 126 days and visited 10 different countries. I took 19 planes, 7 ferries, 1 train, and drove over 5,000 kilometers. I slept in hotels, Airbnbs, friends homes, campgrounds, and airports. I traveled with my husband, friends, family, and alone.
It was an incredibly rewarding experience! Traveling this past year helped me clarify my values. It taught me some new life skills. Most importantly, it gave me a sense of excitement that spills over into all the other areas of my life.
Some of the places I went
(all pictures are my own 😊)
I spent 2 weeks in Paris exploring the city, eating dinner at midnight, and drinking all the wine.
I spent a week hiking the West Coast Trail on remote Vancouver island. 12-hour days of mud, ladders, and the most beautiful nature.
I took a California road trip along the Big Sur coastline and camped on a mountain.
I wandered Vancouver alone for 2 weeks, dog-sitting for my friend's parents.
I flew literally around the world with my dad. We went to Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Where I ate lots of meat on a stick
And made lots of new friends
Finally, I spent two blissful weeks visiting friends in Western Australia.
Of course, this amount of travel is not without its struggles. I worked hard and sacrificed a lot to make so many trips happen.
I was frequently sick, sleep deprived, or stressed. I got homesick a lot. I was at times overwhelmed by people, and at times very lonely. I worked weird hours and often with less-than-ideal setups.
Despite (or more likely because of) these challenges, it was a real year of personal growth. Here are some of the key insights I took away:
I embraced saying “yes”
I set an explicit, intentional goal to travel for at least 100 days. That meant not only saying yes to every possible travel opportunity but also actively seeking out new trip ideas. I embraced an open mindset, and I had some entirely new experiences visiting places I may never have considered.
I became a more efficient worker
Out of necessity, I was incredibly efficient with my time. When I worked, I worked hard so I could make the most of my days. I found ways to get work done in every spare pocket of time, wherever I was.
I worked in planes, airports, ferries, and cars. If there was idle time, I was working. And with the time zone changes, I learned one truly can adapt to working just about any hour of the day (although I’m glad to have the 1 am meetings behind me).
I connected with people
Like many, between the pandemic and working from home, I’ve felt progressively more isolated. Traveling this year helped me reconnect with loved ones and build new relationships!
I met dozens of strangers on the West Coast Trail, teaming up to help each other out; I spent three weeks bonding with my dad; We celebrated our nephew's 18th birthday with a trip to California; I saw my good friends in Australia for the first time in years.
I’ve missed being with people! I feel like I got that back this year.
I found my definition of work-life balance
I want to travel. But I’m also really focused on growing my career. One of the biggest challenges was finding that balance.
One thing I did was focus on making the most of my time at home. When I wasn’t traveling, I worked hard on personal growth, taking courses, and pushing on my career goals. Travel then became an opportunity to take a step back and see things more clearly - which in turn, helped further improve my focus and direction at home!
And even while traveling, I tried to constantly push the ball forward in small ways. I focused on simple tasks and did a lot of reflection and planning. Big progress really does come from the sum of many small things!
In the end, I had all the adventure and a year of big career growth as well!
I feel more excited about life
Nothing makes me feel more alive than taking off in an airplane! I love an adventure. I love being with people. I want to fill every moment of my life with these kinds of big, transformative experiences.
Travel gives me energy, and that energy spills over into other areas of my life as well. I feel all around more excited and driven than ever.
I will always treasure this year of travel. I learned more than I imagined, and I'm going into 2023 in a great headspace.
I'm aware that not everyone has the opportunity to travel as extensively as I did. However, I hope this story can inspire others to seek more adventure in their lives, whether through travel or any other means.
Above all, I'm eternally grateful to my company and colleagues for their help. They were nothing but excited for and supportive of me. I couldn't ask for better people to work for and with. Thank you for helping me live the year of my dreams!