It’s not my first time to live in another country but this time was different. I had to live and work from Bali, Indonesia where I didn’t know anyone. I used 70% of my savings and I was clueless about the country. (Prior to Bali I was traveling, so reading in-depth about Bali’s was culture was a bit hard)
My anxiety was at its peak, but little me had to battle through it.
For a month’s worth of co-living and co-working with strangers, here are a few things I learned.
The best way to conquer your fear is to…well, face it. When Michelle and Derar of #theremoteexperience (the travel group I went with) introduced me to my villamates, I panicked because A. no one was Asian and B. I’m not good at making the first move. We all said our his and hellos but after that, I hid inside my room for 3 days. I only went out to eat and made sure no one else was around.
It all changed when one of my housemates (Hi Hali!) offered me Pizza. We both had calls that night and after that moment I became more comfortable with her and my other two housemates.
I love people who travel
Not knowing anyone in a travel group gave me anxiety but as I got to know everyone after the first two weeks, I was able to find my tribe. Naturally, it was a group of cool of girls who can talk about anything under the sun from sushi to coffee, to makeup, to LGBT issues in our respective countries. It was both weird and amazing how I easily opened up to them but I guess that’s how travelers are.
I’m actually a fun person
I love staying at home and spending time with my boyfriend but meeting this tribe of women made me brave. Back in the Philippines, my typical night out would be… non-existent. Bali’s different. Bali made me rekindle my love for dance and I went out every weekend to drink a few beers and get crack-a-lacking on the dance floor. It was awesome!
Walking is therapeutic
I was one of the few people in our group who didn’t rent a scooter. Aside from the fact that I have no driving experience whatsoever (only a bike), I was scared to the bone to drive in a foreign country. I’m also really bad at directions! LOL So I took the opportunity to walk instead. It was pretty therapeutic and not to mention, a good way to spend my breaks.
I still prefer cafes
The awesome thing about #theremoteexperience’s program is that they give you access to the best coworking space on the island. For Canggu, it was The Dojo. The space was big, it had a pool inside, awesome food, and the people there were THE Digital workers you’d want to be introduced to. However, the #cofficehunter in me just couldn’t pass on the lovely cafes on the island. Plus, I just couldn’t commit to going to one place every day to work. To each his own, I guess.
All the cheesy things about travel are true
The quotes that you read about travel are true. For one, it’s a priceless experience that teaches valuable things about yourself, things you never thought of, or things you already buried in your consciousness. It gives a view of another culture while giving you a view of how beautiful your culture is. It lets you meet amazing people you would’ve never met if you hadn’t stepped out of your comfort zone. I can go on and on, but you just have to try it and see yourself.
I’m stronger than I think
It’s crazy how I’ve spent every inch of my being uplifting others while looking down at myself. Everyone’s continuously building confidence, I know, but I was never one to accept or own a compliment. This trip taught me to own it–because there’s nothing wrong in claiming my strengths. Living in another country made me my own support system and I’m honestly so much more confident with my work, my capabilities, and my identity as a Filipino.
All in all, it was an experience I’ll proudly tell my family friends. Aside from it being a “workation” and a self-discovery trip, it was also a career advancement for me as a remote worker. I highly recommend you join a program like #theremoteexperience or travel and live somewhere outside the Philippines to get a taste of the Digital Nomad life.
Thank you so much, Michelle, Derar, and the rest of #theremoteexperience group for this opportunity! You’re all awesome! Special shoutout to Hali, Ash, Dana, and Camilla for being amazing women and I hope to see you again soon!<3