Where in the World is Danika?: Thoughts from Split, Croatia

Danika Stelton | November 7, 2017

Someone asked me a question a few months ago that would change the course of my life. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I’ll hold while you think of your own answer to that question…

I pondered that (for what seemed like forever) and it was apparent that it was much longer than it should have been. I’ve always prided myself on having a wanderlust outlook on life and an eagerness to explore, but here I was creating a daily routine that was putting me in a rut, an adventure rut, that I needed to get out of.

So, I applied, interviewed and was accepted to join Remote Year, a group that brings together inspiring professionals to travel, live, and work in a different city around the world every month for (you guessed it) a year! This was exactly the push I needed to dust off those hiking boots and open my mind to a world full of inspiration both personally and professionally. mg recognizes the value in this, as well, and is very supportive. With the increase in virtual offices (all throughout the globe) they could see that my quality of work and level of accessibility would not be compromised.  

The transition to fully remote: COMMUNICATION IS KEY
The group of remotes I am traveling with come from a wide range of careers and different parts of the world. Our co-working space is alive with the passion everyone has for their unique profession and it is inspiring to witness the pure magic happening around me every day. Communication between myself and the team at mg has worked exceptionally well (knock on wood) as I transition from a full-time office employee to a full-time off-site employee. The 7-hour time difference means that the end of my day lines up with the beginning of their day. But, the advancement of video chatting, messaging and email, is making this as seamless as possible.

My main take away from being in Split, Croatia
The first month has flown by (as I presumed it would). It is the priority of Remote Year to make sure we get the most out of our time in each area. In Split, Croatia, we were immersed in the culture through trips to Old Town where the oldest church in the world stands, bike rides to the top of Marjan Hill, compelling speeches from locals, and tours of the 1,000+ islands just off the coast of Split. THE LIST GOES ON. Most importantly, I can’t even count how many times I’ve said “This is the first time I  ____.”

The European culture is so unique and timeless. Being from the Midwest with very little travel experience prior to embarking on this journey, I am learning so much about the differences in lifestyle. One very important take away I received in Split was to slow down and smell the roses. My midwestern work ethic, day to day deadlines and GO GO GO mentality can really take away from the moments that matter. It was nice to witness (and be a part of) a community that was relaxed in nature and refreshing to sit back and reflect on just how great this journey called life really is.  

A new location FULL of more FIRSTS
For the month of November our group has moved on to Prague, Czech Republic! Already I see so much to inspire me in my new surroundings, both professionally and personally. It is a city rich in its architecture and cultural history and I can’t wait for a whole new list of firsts to be tackled and interesting elements to spark my creativity!

So again, I ask you “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”