Winter is officially here and seasonal blues are a very real thing that will impact many Canadians. While the romance of the holiday season keeps many of us going through December, as soon as January hits we face the cold, dark reality that we’re in it for the long haul.
For those that dread the cold winter months as much as I do – take this as your sign to head to the beach.
That’s what I did last year. I packed my bags and ditched the cold to catch waves and sunsets in Central America—something made possible with Media Profile’s Work Away Benefit, which encourages employees to embrace a change of scenery with a $3,000 bonus to spend towards travel expenses.
I spent six weeks down south: two in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua and two in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, followed by two weeks of vacation in Mexico. This was the perfect amount of time to feel the thrill of “leaving life behind” while still knowing it would be right there waiting for me when I got back—right in time for spring.
There’s something about working abroad that hits different. You’re not on vacation, yet still experiencing the euphoria that often comes with being away. You’re doing your everyday job in a better-than-usual setting and there’s a sense of romance and adventure in every moment.
Take it from me—there is nothing like working from the beach and Media Profile’s flexible approach to remote work made it that much easier to enjoy. If a sun-filled, white sand, palm tree, tropical wonderland getaway sounds exactly like what you need this winter, here are some words of advice to help you make the most of it:
Always chase the sunset: Pacific coast sunsets are far superior to anything I’ve ever seen, and watching them became a part of my everyday ritual during my Workaway. I’m not the only one that embraced this ritual; like clockwork, everyone would head to the beach to catch the 6:00pm sunset—with friends or alone—to sit, breathe and reflect. These sunsets allowed me to take a moment, leave behind whatever the day brought and look to the days ahead. Every sunset was different and the swirls of oranges, pinks and purples would bring me a daily sense of peace and serenity. If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it’s this: Always. Chase. The. Sunset.
Romanticize every moment: Whether I was walking down a dirt road in the pouring rain on my way to dinner or riding on the back of an ATV to head to a remote beach—every moment felt magical. That’s the beauty of displacing yourself for a period of time—every experience is new and exciting. Although I was working, as soon as I shut my computer at 3 PM I was in an immediate state of awe and constantly reminded that I was in paradise.
Embrace your fellow travellers: When you meet people while travelling, there is a sense of like-mindedness that instantly connects you. No matter where you’re from, there is something similar that has brought you both here. Everyone has incredible stories from past adventures or amazing prospects on where they are going next. Many people that I met while away have become what I hope to be lifelong friends—I’ve visited them in New York and even travelled with them to Spain. To me, the people you meet are what truly MAKE the experience.
Pacific coast hours are a vibe: When embarking on a digital nomadic adventure, the hours you work to align with your company’s time zone are a major consideration. Nicaragua and Costa Rica are close to the equator, which means the sun always sets at 6 PM, so I lived the 7 AM to 3PM workday. You wake up with the sun and finish work with plenty of time to enjoy the remainder of your day. Having 3 hours of daylight, one hour of magical sunset and a full evening to wine, dine and meet people made for an ideal situation.
Siempre Si: There was a Spanish term that my friends in Santa Teresa would use: “Siempre Si,” which in English translates to “Always Yes”. Adopting this saying as a way of life offered me the most extraordinary adventures and experiences. Even while you’re working, there is still so much to do, see and explore. Seize life by the horns and embrace every moment—the things you say “yes” to will be memorialized as the best experiences of your life.
In that month and a half last winter, I experienced so many incredible things that reminded me that life is truly about living to its fullest. It re-ignited my sense of wonderment and joie de vivre and it left me with incredible memories I’ll hold onto forever.
Trust me, this is your sign to head to the beach.
Curious to learn more about MP’s adventures abroad? Stay tuned for future Our Take #PassportToMP blog posts where employees will share their work away experiences..