JAMUY team met Feef, an inspiring young professional taking a year to travel and work around the world, changing country every month or so. This, solely, already makes him a busy man, but he manages to find time to volunteer for good causes on the way. JAMUY interviewed him to know more about his experience, a good read for anybody thinking of traveling the world and do good on the way.
JAMUY: Hi Feef, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. So you decided to travel for a year, what was your motivation to do so?
Feef: All told, it’ll actually be (at least) 18 months! I spent 6 months in Sydney, Australia before embarking on a year of travel with Remote Year in March. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what got me going, but I suppose I was inspired to travel by my mother. She’s always encouraged my sense of exploration, and after moving from coast to coast and establishing my career in the US, I felt ready to take it further and explore the rest of the world.
JAMUY: You are traveling for a year with Remote Year. How does that work?
Feef: Remote Year (RY) is this fantastic company that brings together a large group (50-80) of remote workers and helps them move about the world by organizing travel, accommodation, workspaces, and cultural events in cities around the world for 1 year. As a traveling worker, I pay $2k (American) every month, manage what and when I work, and get to enjoy exploring the world with a fantastic group of people!
JAMUY: Which countries will you travel to?
Feef: We’ve already been in Croatia, Czechia, Portugal, and are just finishing Bulgaria. We have Serbia, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico still to come!
JAMUY: Any funny or unusual experience you would like to share with us? Any country you’ve preferred so far?
Feef: We’ve had a bit of a bonding moment while here in Bulgaria. The city was supposed to shut down hot water for a couple weeks for only part of the city, in a section that wouldn’t have affected any of us, but in a very last minute change, they shut down hot water to all of our apartments! Fortunately, some of the apartments had hot water heaters, prompting those still with hot water to offer showers to the rest of the community and bringing us all closer together.
It’s so hard to say which country I’ve preferred because each country has also carried different levels of bonding with the RY community. That said, Lisbon has a very special place in my heart because of the way I felt welcomed and accepted by everybody there. I had a tremendous time and am looking forward to going back very soon (next week, in fact).
JAMUY: And with all this busy agenda, you still find some time to help out social projects on the way. What drives you to participate?
Feef: Fortunately, I’ve only had sporadic work for the past few months which has made it easier for me to invest time in volunteering while traveling. After volunteering a couple times in Croatia, the first country we visited this year, I rediscovered a fulfillment borne out of helping communities that I have missed for many years. Now, having taken in so much from everywhere we’ve visited, volunteering is my way to say thanks, give something to those who do not have such an easy life, and encourage the communities to stay open to outsiders like me.
JAMUY: What sorts of social projects do you get involved in while traveling?
Feef: I recently joined JAMUY as an ambassador, a role that encourages me to spread the word about JAMUY, seek out and promote Do-Good activities, and inspire others to participate or volunteer when possible. I also provide my programming skills to good causes when possible and participate in volunteering opportunities that the RY community seeks out in each city we visit.
JAMUY: Is there anything in particular you like about these projects?
Feef: I love working with my hands. I grew up doing some small, very physical projects with my mother and grandfather – gardening, building little structures – and getting the chance to do those kinds of projects again has really resonated with me.
JAMUY: Any special social project that have gained your heart more particularly and why?
Feef: Doing work with Comparte really touched me. Having a parent of arab descent, I have a special place in my heart for families and communities that have been displaced by the conflicts in the Middle East. Working with Comparte, I was able to help refugees in Portugal by providing a meal in a potluck, raising money for the charity, and getting to know, on a very personal level, many of the individuals affected by conflict. I came away from my time volunteering there deeply humbled and thankful that I haven’t had to endure struggles that so many others do.
JAMUY: What’s it like to travel with a responsible aim? Any advice to someone who would like to take a year traveling like you do?
Feef: Traveling consciously and responsibly helps me make deeper connections with the community I’m visiting, gain a better understanding of the culture, and enjoy a more authentic, interesting experience. I feel at home when I have people that I care for deeply and who feel the same about me; traveling responsibly, taking part in Do-Good activities and volunteering whenever possible is a fantastic way to find that everywhere I go.
If you’re traveling long-term, I would strongly suggest volunteering in whatever community you’re visiting. Doing so helps you become more than just a visitor; it helps you become part of the fabric that makes up the wonderful culture that you’re enjoying. It adds an immense layer of satisfaction and understanding around your experiences in that culture.
JAMUY: Any other anecdote or advice you would like to share?
Feef: When you’re traveling, things are inevitably going to go sideways at some point. You can panic and try to get back on track, but I’d strongly suggest that you take a step back instead. Look at what’s going on, realize what good can come of your new situation, and figure out how to make the best of your current state. If you do, and you keep a truly open mind about what you might experience, I bet you’ll enjoy even the most unusual of twists and turns on your journey.
JAMUY: Well thanks Feef, looking forward to following you on your travels!
Feef: Cheers 🙂 thanks for letting me tell a bit of my story!