Biz/Tech 

‘Remote Year’ program mixes work, travel

Irina Kouchnir
Biz/Tech Reporter

A report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research says Canada is “less generous” than the rest of the world when it comes to paid annual leave.

Canada ranked 19 out of 21 countries named in the report when it came to guaranteed paid vacation, granting workers only 10 days. The United States ranked last among the economically advanced countries, granting its workers no paid vacation days.

However, workers no longer have to be at the mercy of employers when it comes to vacation leave. How we do our work and from where is beginning to change in a big way as more people are deciding to combine work and travel.

This is exactly what Greg Caplan had in mind when he started Remote Year, a program that works by gathering 50-80 professionals to travel together for a year while working and exploring a different international city each month.

Costing $27,000 for the entire year and includes “full accommodation, all travel between destinations, a common workspace available 24/7 in each city, tours, events, speaker days, and other activities.”

Programs like Remote Year are growing in popularity because there is a demand. Many people, especially millennials are happy to leave their belongings in storage and become digital nomads.

Why? A nationwide survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Eventbrite found millenials considered experiences to be an important aspect of leading a fulfilling life.

“This generation not only highly values experiences,” concluded the survey, “but they are increasingly spending time and money on them: from concerts and social events to athletic pursuits, to cultural experiences and events of all kinds. For this group, happiness isn’t as focused on possessions or career status.”

Business Management student Dimytro Krachun says he loves the idea of working and travelling.

“I have worked remotely before and am currently looking for another job that will allow me to travel while I work after graduation.”

Mevish Aslam, founder of Terminal 3 says in an interview with Forbes says a “lack of human interaction” and “finding a work-life balance” can hurt productivity.”

However, Aslam says that most participants agree that the benefits of working and travelling out weight the downs.

“The life lessons you learn along the way, which in turn facilitate your growth on a personal and professional level. Ordering food using sign language, getting the wrong bus to the other side of town, getting lost and being invited to have dinner with locals — it is through such challenges that our growth lies.

“This is priceless. An investment in material things cannot buy this. The best investment in life is in yourself,” he said.

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