Editor’s note: This article is part of Hipmunk’s Unsettled series, which catalogs individual remote work experiences through Unsettled, which facilitates 30-day retreats meant to spur a positive impulse for change, innovation, and exploration. This is Krystel’s story.
If you don’t want to do one thing that scares you every day, do it at least once a year. Because that’s exactly where the magic happens.
A few months ago, I heard about Unsettled from a friend in Lebanon. It was described to me as a 30-day experience in an incredible destination with a group of inspiring people from around the world that would allow me to work while exploring a new country. Nothing could beat that.
Because my feet had been itching for a new adventure that would open my eyes to new landscapes and my mind to new horizons, Unsettled was the answer for this longing through the mantra it lives by: “Embrace the unknown.”
Packing my bags and wrapping up my work was far from being a hassle, as I’ve been a freelance copywriter for more than four years and was well versed in the “remote work lifestyle” already. Based in my home country, Lebanon, for most of my life traveling was the only way to nurture my curious nature outside the borders of a small country whose landscape, people, and culture had already become too familiar.
Unsettled Bali came as the perfect formula to escape the routine without the need to interrupt my work. My ticket was booked with no second thought and there I was, off for a one-month unsettling adventure, some 6,000 miles away from home.
Here’s what magic happened for me.
I met a beautiful family
Unsettled is the ideal platform for meeting and exchanging with inspiring minds that share your sense of adventure, your free spirit, and your passion for living. I mean, what were the odds for me to spend my first weekend in the South of Bali with an Indian, a Singaporean, an American, and a German, surfing, eating, drinking, and sharing beautiful ideas with this incredible group of people? Or to exchange life concerns, fears, and excitement with Egyptians, Americans, Iranians, and Europeans? Within the Unsettled community, geographical frontiers are crossed and differences are cherished; hearts and minds are open, waiting to be fascinated. This is how I made new friendships, this is how I learnt from 23-year old Ukrainian Natasha that determination and vision have no age; from 40-year old Egyptian Amr that innovation, motivation, and leadership can take you wherever you want to go in life; from American Piper that meditation and focus are ingredients of success. Each, with his own experience and knowledge, contributed to make my stay in Bali the kind of exhilarating “adult school” experience I was desperately looking for.
I lived one month in an incredible destination
I mean, Bali?! It’s surely on many’s bucket list, and for good reason. Bali is where I watched the most mesmerizing sunsets of my life, while sipping a fresh coconut in an infinity pool or walking barefoot on endless stretches of stunning beaches. Bali is where I drove my scooter in the morning to enjoy the most beautiful sight of green in Tegalalang Rice Terraces or a sense-awakening yoga class at Yoga Barn or Ubud Yoga Centre. Bali is where simplicity made sense; where I ate the best street food for $2, where I worked barefoot, sipping my coconut, enjoying tropical views, and taking a lunch break dip in the coworking space’s pool. Bali is where my scooter could drive me on an ordinary day to the most breathtaking scenery, only a few minutes away from the center of Ubud; where I was treated to the best Spas in the world; and where good life came at no cost.
I did things for the first time
The feeling of being in a new place for a limited period of time made me want to make the best out of it, and with that came the eagerness to push myself beyond familiar boundaries. I found myself jumping on every opportunity to try something new, to get out of my comfort zone, and experience adventure in every way possible. Bali will always be the place where I got euphoric trying aerial yoga and completely terrified during my first Bikram yoga class, where I unleashed myself in a class of ecstatic dance, where I was introduced to meditation, where I learned to drive a scooter, where I hiked a volcano at sunrise, and where I lived my first official working retreat, and my first Unsettled experience of many more to come.
I had the opportunity to pause and reflect on my life
Because Unsettled knows that the unstructured nature of work today often comes with a lack of guidance or the right kind of self-management, they organize peer-to-peer workshops and goal-setting sessions that become a space for self-reflection. It’s a space where creatives and entrepreneurs can reexamine their career goals and reassess their values, whether professional or personal. Through these self-reflection exercises and the brain games I was exposed to, I was forced to ask myself questions I’ve never really thought of: What brought me here? What am I looking to learn? What are the challenges that I’m facing in my life at the moment? What do I want to improve in my performance, my behavior, my way of living? Taking a break from the robotic and hectic pace of life allowed me to return to the core and get in touch with myself again. Through beautifully-led workshops, I was reminded of my true values on which I should base my goals and my lifestyle. I was able to discuss and assess my business canvas with peers, which allowed me to gain a clearer vision of my professional goals. I was offered the serenity and inspiring setting of Bali where I could, for once, empty my mind of meaningless noise and gain some peace to rethink the next steps of my life. Most importantly, I was given the space and motivation to commit to do more of what makes me a better and happier version of myself, living more Unsettled being one of these commitments.
So if you’re looking for a structured sabbatical where you travel the world; pursue your dreams; collaborate with inspiring minds; redesign your lifestyle the way you want; and where you can live, work and adventure at the same time, you should know that you are in the heat of living the Unsettled experience. As much as this verbalizes the commitment I’ve made to myself after living my first Unsettled experience, it is the best piece of advice I can give to you.
Embrace the unknown. Be Unsettled.
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- From a One-Time Remote Work Experience to a Lifetime Commitment - January 31, 2017