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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Berdiel

Ramen On My Mind

This time next month I'll be a day a head of my team on the East Coast. I've been preparing for another month long trip over the past few months. In September I'll be working from Osaka, Japan. This will be my second trip with Remote Year visiting another country and collaborating with other remote contributors. When it comes to traveling, I tend to follow the food. I love experiencing cultures based on the foods I enjoy eating, along with music and art, but food is first. Izakaya, ramen, soup dumplings are just some of reasons for me to want to experience Japan. So when the opportunity presented itself in May of this year I hopped on it. Since the inspiration to travel to Japan was definitely prompted by the food, I think its only appropriate that I learn a few dishes before I travel there. I will be there a month so it will also be beneficial for me to learn a few recipes given I will be cooking some meals for myself over the duration of the trip. I'll definitely share those sometime in September while abroad.



The last work exploration MXM Creative embarked on was in July 2021. It was not my first time traveling as a remote contributor, but it was my first time traveling with a collective of remote workers with the shared goal of exploring other cultures through travel and shared experiences. This time around, will be my first "solo" travel abroad since my divorce, and with that comes a level of uncertainty, but also rekindles a feeling of adventure and heightened curiosity. I opted for a suite-mate, though I had the option to a private suite of my own for this trip. I won't find out who my suite-mate is until the day I move in and there's a bit of excitement with that as well. While part of this program is about embracing other cultures, the other part is about the community you create as remote contributors. Over the month there will be events/excursions that will allow my group to bond and develop that sense of community. It requires participation and a willingness to collaborate with others. I think those are some of the core values of an efficient remote contributor.


Work, Live, Play Remotely remains as the motivation to finding opportunities that allow me to explore and engage with other cultures and creatives. It's been a grind to acquire contracts, write up proposals, manage meeting in multiple time zones, and I can only imagine how things will be when I am operating 14 hours ahead. I'm thankfully the prep work for this trip has mostly been taken care of by programs like Remote Year. It's a rather seamless process to allow them to handled the lodging and excursion portion of the trip, though we definitely had a hick-up with billing this time around. While that's not something I expected as a returning traveler, thankfully the billing team corrected the error within 48 hours. They've definitely been a trusted resource when its come to figuring out how and where i want to explore next.


While I don't have plans yet for next year's trip, I am grateful to feel like I am back at the helm full circle. There is an excitement in taking on the unknown, and making it your home a month. The past year itself has been a lesson of navigating new routes and finding opportunities of growth. Not all of it has been roses, and I know I am still grinding to "get creative" in my own space. I recognize that I am definitely blessed to have the ability to do so. I remember there was I a time I day-dreamed about being able to live life as a remote digital designer, and I just didn't know how to get there. It's wild to see myself in a space that I only imagined years ago. So with that being said, here's to the next year of navigating the unknown in different time zones.





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