Remote Year: Month 1

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Hello from Lisboa! Not sure what Remote Year is or why you’re reading about Portugal right now? Start with my introductory blog post here. For everyone else, welcome back! I am 20 days into my year of working remotely and have plenty of thoughts, experiences and food recommendations to share.

I  arrived in Lisbon on a Saturday, which not only gave me a weekend to explore and adjust to my new home but meant I arrived just in time for our program orientation. I learned all the important details I’ll need to know for the year and met most of my fellow Remotes (other professionals who I’ll travel, live and work with for the rest of the year.) The first weekend was definitely a whirlwind– filled with walking tours, bifana (steak sandwiches) and pasteis de nata (a custard-filled pastry). I highly recommend all three on any trip to Lisbon.

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When my first Monday rolled around, I will admit I was a little bit nervous. I worried the internet wouldn’t be good or I would feel out of the loop at work or I would find it hard to concentrate. So on day one, as I trekked to the coworking space through unseasonably cold and rainy weather, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Fortunately, my amazing Imagine Media team and pre-trip prep made the transition virtually seamless. I found it easy to be productive when my day started before most people on the East Coast were even awake and was inspired by the others around me working diligently on their own work and projects. Slack, video calling and online conference calls made staying in touch with both the Imagine Media team and partners easy.

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As I’ve settled in, I’ve been able to focus on not only working on my usual work tasks but learning from the other Remotes. From a week 1 lunch with other digital marketers, to learning more about Simon Sinek’s Start With Why program and exploring ways to make a positive impact during this year, educational opportunities have been numerous and exciting.

Beyond the office, I’ve explored new opportunities as well. I tried surfing for the first time (on a Thursday morning before starting my work day no less), went off-roading down the coast in the back of a Jeep and watched Portugal play Spain in the World Cup. I learned about the impact of mass tourism on Lisbon’s locals and economy and have tried new Portuguese foods (in between eating all of the avocado toast Lisbon has to offer, of course.)

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Overall, month one is off to a strong start and Lisbon has certainly set the bar high for future destinations. Next time you hear from me I’ll be a couple of weeks into month two in Belgrade, Serbia. Check back here for more updates about both Remote Year and social media!

Story by: Kelsey Thompson