What to Expect on Remote Year? My First Month in Cape Town

Reflections from my first month on Remote Year in Cape Town, South Africa

Hey hiya, ya’ll.

Dayyyy-um. I believe like I haven’t had a second to forestall and catch my breath in recent times — a lot much less meet up with all of you! What’s new to your global?

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It’s been difficult to put in writing or proportion a lot of the rest during the last few weeks as a result of there may be simply so. a lot. taking place. At all occasions!

Not a foul factor, after all.

Yesterday, I used to be joking with our program chief, Jen, that publishing a weblog put up whilst on Remote Year is so much like seeking to pass the road in Marrakech (the place we’re dwelling at the present time) — as you’ll be able to see above — uncommon does there appear to be a very easy alternative to take action.


But these days’s put up is a protracted one, because of this — and I’ve so, so a lot to let you know about Remote Year, my travels total and the whole lot in between.

It’s been about 8 weeks since I left Chicago to embark on a fourth-month adventure with Remote Year. I be mindful feeling excited however fearful — in a position, however now not.

If that is smart.

I’m nonetheless operating via a put up on my “Remote Year tipping level,” however in brief: Last summer season, it had change into transparent that one thing wasn’t proper and I wished a transformation — I didn’t just like the trajectory my existence used to be on.

Today’s put up is devoted to my first month on Remote Year — in Cape Town — and the way the enjoy has impacted me from the very second that I stepped off the aircraft.

I will have to observe two issues, briefly: (1) If you’ve by no means pay attention of Remote Year, I offered it on this put up — you’ll be able to learn extra about it right here. And (2), that is meant to be extra of a reflective put up moderately than FAQ-centric, which I’ll do in a follow-up put up. Feel loose to ship me your Remote Year questions right here.

Here we move…


My program, Remote Year “Kuungana,” is a gaggle of 58 people of every age and walks of existence — Canadian, American, Australian and Korean, to call a couple of. None folks knew one different previous to embarking in this four-month enjoy in a foreign country in combination; however proper from the get-go, we clicked.

I met lots of the team over New Year’s Eve — and what I be mindful maximum is how bonded and attached I’d felt to each and every of them sooner than even pronouncing a easy “Hello.”

Not as soon as — now not a as soon as — did somebody ask each and every different “What do you do?” that weekend. It used to be all about who you might be, what you’re operating via, and why you’re on Remote Year.

How refreshing, I be mindful pondering — particularly since I discovered myself going via a job-related id disaster now not too way back.

I’ll dive into this somewhat deeper after my One Mone RY reflections; however that during and of itself is a great clarification of the kind of folks you meet on Remote Year, I believe.

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I do know that is imprecise, however I’m satisfied. Really, actually, satisfied — maximum days. Not on a daily basis is peachy fuckin’ prepared, proper? (And I’ve heard from a lot of you that it sounds as if as such in my footage — thanks!)

I’ve discussed this to you in earlier weblog posts, however I felt caught lots of the ultimate 12 months — like I’d been aimlessly floundering ever since SoulCycle, admittedly. But on Remote Year (or in existence generally now, in point of fact); I’m extra at ease, grounded and self-aware than I’ve been in an excessively, very very long time.


Part of this is me forcing myself out of a definite surroundings and clear of some unproductive behavior I’d evolved — some other a part of it’s the go back and forth.

Travel energizes me like no different — and Remote Year has simplest amplified that. Reason being:

I’m surrounded by means of a gaggle of people that all care for a identical mindset: To see the arena, develop as a neighborhood, enjoy new issues and get some shit completed whilst doing it.


Surprisingly (to me), one of the crucial issues I’ve loved doing this is creating a regimen.

Bo-ring, I do know. But that is how a lot I felt like I used to be floundering again house, in all honesty. But it’s been a versatile regimen that makes really feel motivated, impressed, disciplined, inventive and, neatly, loose.

I suppose I by no means learned simply how will have to I pass over having co-workers. And going to an place of business.

I stand up early (even supposing I do nonetheless snooze like no person’s trade — ha). I am going to our co-working house to get shit completed nearly day by day. I grocery store, workout and consume healthily. I’m social, outgoing, open to new stories but in addition extra acutely aware of my very own wishes. I’m courting, even!

(… The Cape Town males — we’ll get to that.)

It’s laborious to position into phrases what the enjoy itself has been like, however I’ll take a look at — and I simplest discovered it becoming to take action via a love letter to town that helped me to find my footing from the get-go this 12 months…


Dear Cape Town,

I landed at your airport simply sooner than nighttime on Dec. 30, 2018, and and by means of dawn the following morning we had been head-over-heels in love.

I knew that will be the case… My first house in a foreign country.

My favourite factor about you, I believe, is that you just’re a choose-your-own-adventure roughly gal.

You invited me to dawn hikes, seaside volleyball, networking soirees and street journeys alongside your winding coast. (I’m nonetheless now not over how stunning Chapman’s Peak is!) But you additionally gave me various dive bars, karaoke lounges, overdue nights and — infrequently — a couple of awkward mornings…

And neatly, hiya — the ones make for a hell of a nice tale.

You gave me expanded cultural consciousness, a renewed sense of gratitude, a hollow in my pockets and a rattling nice time. You larger my independence, dissolved some unhealthy behavior, examined my values and matured my morals.

You thrust me into your global so unapologetically that I in reality forgot to name my oldsters on a variety of events. (Sorry, Mom and Dad. I like you!)

Real communicate, even though: You’ve pressured me right into a perpetual cycle of trade and adaptation and enlargement and acceptance. It used to be laborious, to be fair, however I discovered how you can care for it. It used to be nearly such as you informed me “to hell together with your jet-lag!” proper from the get-go.

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You driven me to hike up Lion’s Head mountain once I hadn’t labored out in months. You introduced me to Stellenbosch and confirmed me your many, many wineries. You gave me bronzed pores and skin that may simplest be bought via that southern hemisphere sunshine.

Oh, and with out fail, you cured my hangovers with the coldest ocean water I’ve ever set foot in. I’ve goosebumps serious about it.

You allowed me to problem a story that I couldn’t appear to get unstuck from…

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And even on my worst days, you — and the folks you offered me to — pressured me again up onto my ft.


In this type of quick period of time (4 weeks!), your rooftops, bars, shops, and boulevard corners had change into paint-splattered with such a lot of recollections.

That native bar, Village Idiot, won’t ever simply be that native bar — it’s the place you offered me to a couple superb new pals.

The notorious Table Mountain, which was freakin’ point of interest of my yard (beneath). SoCal, the membership the place I used to be assured sufficient to hop at the back of the DJ sales space. And Bootlegger, the espresso store we’d widespread after (1) finding almond milk at the menu and (2) befriending Teagan, one of the crucial servers—considered one of yours, a Capetonian.

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And oh, God. Your Capetonians! WTF.

How is it that they exude such an unpretentious coolness? It’s simply so easy — nonchalant, even. And the boys — from my enjoy, they’re in fact so type, open-minded and good-hearted. (Handsome, as neatly — holy shit.)

Keen to make this an enduring factor, eh?

(I mastered your native dialect from the beginning, too. Aren’t you proud?)


In only some quick weeks, it was transparent to peer why they name you the Mother City — you made me really feel protected. Loved.

You took me below your wing once I wanted it probably the most. You taught me limitations — frequently occasions, the laborious approach — in addition to possession and duty.

You nudged me into remember the fact that therapeutic isn’t linear. That vulnerability is the place the liberty lies — and leaning into it isn’t at ease, nevertheless it’s brave. And value it — albeit a large number of paintings.

You re-ignited the inventive spark that I apprehensive may well be misplaced for nice.

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Most importantly, you gave me 58 new lekkar pals that I now regard as a lot more than that. These folks — they’ve change into my circle of relatives; my anchor in a sea of chaos.

And for that — Among Other Things, Cape Town — I fucking love you.

Thank you for bringing me again to existence, for appearing me how you can to find my edge — even with the place I’m at now — and for instructing me to let the remainder move.

Because existence is simply too quick to be indignant at your self for being human.

Until subsequent time,
Hallie x


To be endured…

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