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Hola from Mexico City!

Seven months ago I packed my life into two suitcases and left for an adventure called "Remote Year." Since that time I've traveled to twelve countries (
Czech Repulbic, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, England, Germany, Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Ireland and Mexico) and seen over thirty cities. Contrary to appearances it hasn't been a vacation - I've been working this whole time and have actually increased my revenue numbers for Pagely 44% since being abroad. As I sit now in the Mexico City airport waiting for my flight back home to Phoenix to visit friends and family for Christmas, I figured now is an opportune time to recap some of the travels and lessons for those who want to keep up with my unfolding life path. 

In every city I've made it a habit to do a brief narrated walking video to share observations and a look at the local experience. I've linked to the respective videos for each city below if you want to drill in and get more resolution on any of these places:

Prague in June was our launch point. If Disneyland were a city in Eastern Europe Prague would be it: tall pointy buildings, immaculate cobblestone streets, beautiful parks, a workspace that was a gorgeous remodeled embassy... Prague was a fairy tale our first month. While Phoenix was sweltering in 115deg temperatures Prague was a temperate 70deg. Highly recommend as a summer vacation destination.

Belgrade in July retaliated for the mild temps we saw in Prague. I had no idea what to expect going into Serbia (honestly I pictured this scene from Eurotrip).  Belgrade surprised me with it's bustle and energy. It had rough edges with admittedly odd remnants of post-communist country but it was a fascinating place with wonderful people. Learning about the NATO bombings from their perspective reminded me that every coin has two sides and that it's incumbent upon us to constantly seek and evaluate that 2nd side of the coin for perspective. 

London in August was a cultural rest stop from the slavic language barrier we experienced the first two months. Our original destination this month was to have been Istanbul, Turkey but RY called an audible and rerouted us to London given the unrest there. Weeks prior to us being in London the airport in Turkey was bombed. While we were all looking forward to Istanbul we respected RY's decision and were thankful for the eye to personal safety. I fell into in a bit of a funk in London but came straight out of it at our next destination...

Lisbon in September was my favorite city thus far. It's basically San Francisco in Europe right down to the bridge, the hills, the trolley cars and the food. I foolishly thought my spanish would translate roughly to Portuguese but the languages proved very different. I had the best ceviche of my life at a place called A Cevicheria, organized an ad hoc Startup Weekend with a bunch of the folks from our group and an open mic jam session one of our last nights there that was a blast. Lisbon was the revitalization stop after London and I wasn't ready to leave. 

Rabat in October was... challenging. I'm conflicted on this one because in one sense it's unlike any culture I've ever seen and it's a place I would have never lived nor experienced without this program so for that I'm thankful. The people were some of the nicest we've encountered and we got to ride camels in the Sahara, trek to isolated beaches, explore medinas like the movie Slumdog Millionaire. We were here during the final weeks of the election and it was surreal to think Trump intends to exclude from the US all the Muslim friends we made... And yet for all the uniqueness and challenge that was Rabat I have no intention of going back. There are hundreds of other places I want to see and I feel like I've absorbed the Arabic town flavor adequately for now.

Valencia in November was like the London rest stop equivalent after Belgrade only for Rabat.  It was a quiet, clean and tranquil city with beautiful parks, pretty architecture and the first of seven cities where I get to utilize my Spanish. It rained for about half the month but I took advantage of the sunny days to wander this quaint city and get lost in its alleyways. I did a visit to Ireland mid-month to clear up Schengen visa issues and that side trip was a highlight. I did a side trip to Barcelona and would like to spend more time exploring the rest of Spain at some point. 

Mexico City in December is where I am now. I had traveled all over Mexico prior to this but had never spent any time in Mexico City. It's a city of 8+ million people (20MM if you count the larger metro area). It makes LA look like a village. We're in a quiet neighborhood where you wouldn't know how big the town really is but if you travel across town you realize just how massive this place is.  I love it so far. It's got the vibrance of a city on the way up- construction is everywhere, it has the same bustle and rawness of Belgrade, wonderful people and the feeling of promise. Trump is a fool for writing off the Mexican people the way he has. 

People have asked me, "What's your plan after Remote Year?" I have some ideas but no firm plan at this point. Some people in our group our kicking around the notion of getting some RV's and caravaning around the US on a working road trip. That's one option. We end up in Buenos Aires Argentina in May and I might stay a bit longer in South America to see Chile and Brazil before coming back. We nearly hit our goal this year to double revenue for Pagely and I intend to continue help growing new customer revenue until we're acquired, at which point I'll likely take some time off to formulate my next career move. I was fortunate to have been featured in Inc Magazine earlier this year for the remote work angle and I believe there's an ecourse I could put together on that to help folks who are interested in taking that plunge. I also have an itch to try another startup and have been training my "marketing automation muscles" and exploring a concept similar to Shortsaleopedia around placing foreign investment in domestic real estate. 

If you're in Phoenix and happen to be free the evening after Christmas, a handful of us are doing happy hour while I'm home.  Hit me up and I'll send you the details. 
If you're outside of Phoenix and within the US and are potentially open to hosting me one night if/when this US road trip idea comes to fruition, reply and let me know so I can start plotting a potential route for that. I'd like to do a circuit around the entire US and my goal of that trip would be to reconnect with as many old friends and acquaintances as possible while seeing parts of the US I've never seen and getting the view from locals' perspectives. 

I hope life is treating you well, that you have a restful holiday season with your friends and family and that your 2016 winds to a prosperous and happy close. Drop me a line when you have time and let me know what's new with you. Que te vaya bien.

-Sean

PS. if you're on Instagram and want to keep up with my travels on a more frequent basis I post about a photo per day of something interesting and unique from my travels here.

About Sean
I'm Director of Sales and Marketing for Pagely.  If you have a high-traffic WordPress site that's been hacked, is hard to maintain, or is slow and/or crashes under heavy load, talk to me I can help. If you enjoyed this email the greatest compliment you can give is to forward it to a friend or colleague. And if you received this email from someone other than me, consider signing up for your own copy here
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