As I leave San Francisco behind, the city which I have called home for the past 7+ years, to make my world my new home I have been thinking a lot about what ‘home’ means to me. The idea of home has always held different meanings for me. Yes, home is where the heart is. But where is the heart? In a world which is becoming increasingly mobile, sterile, uniform, tech driven, and driven by fast fashion there is a general longing for a sense of belonging – of tribe, of hygge, of returning to the roots.
Where is my heart, specifically? I can generally bucket my home into three areas, in no particular order. One is with family and friends, the second is being surrounded by things, or physical objects, that bring me joy, and the third is within me, in my soul. As I embark on my journey of living in twelve countries, over the course of twelve months, I will be dedicating this blog to exploring the idea of home. I will do so through the lens of my three homes, which I have affectionately dubbed ‘Gather’, ‘Adorn’, and ‘Be.’ I invite you to join me on my journey as I seek to understand what home means to the people and places I encounter along the way, and how my personal definition of home evolves along the way. After all, there is no place like home!
When I first signed onto Remote Year, the typical reaction I received from people was one of excitement, adoration, and curiosity. What things will you bring with you to remind you of home? How will you stay connected with people back home? How do you stay grounded when you’ll be on the move constantly? Throughout this week, I will add new posts about how I prepared to gather, adorn, and be in my new Remote Year home!
5 Tips for Preparing for a Year Traveling Abroad
1. Save up enough money to spend a year traveling
In my case, it was a combination of savings and funds from selling my home.
2. Research ways to travel – both independently and with a group – to decide which option suits you best
People have backpacked solo for years, and I was seriously considering this option at one point. However, I know myself well enough to know that experiences are better when shared. There are a number of programs available now for people considering living and working abroad beyond the typical language teaching opportunities. You can read more here.
3. Figure out how to pack up your current home (renting out your place, giving up your lease, selling, or AirBnBing)
I gave up my lease, put my furniture in storage, and made my new permanent home address (and my cat, Saffie’s!) my mom’s address.
4. Take a few months to prepare for your move and say your goodbyes
I held a bon voyage party and made sure I had all the right shots/travel meds, signed up for the Charles Schwab no fee credit card, etc.
5. Pack a large suitcase and backpack with enough clothes for a three-week vacation