By Juhi Bansal
If you “work from home” and your kid/s have online school, you can look at remote living and learning as a real possibility for long stretches of time.
I have come to realize that work, play and learning are interspersed- we can’t compartmentalize them or switch off from one while we do the other. If we can’t separate the three why not make a winning combination!
What is remote living?
Simply put, it means moving to another city while your regular life continues in your old city and you access it remotely whether it’s work or school. You move houses but not permanently at least not immediately. You may look at hopping cities, road tripping and living in different cities every week or simply zeroing on one location and staying put there for months.
What remote living is not:
It’s NOT a holiday. You will continue to have packed work schedules with a lot of housework thrown in.
NOT losing sight of “remote”. Which means you’ll continue to do what you did back home just in a new setting- cooking, working and working out etc
NOT getting carried away by touristy places and things to do but taking it slow and enjoying the view.
Why should you try it?
I am not what you would call materialistic especially when it comes to buying new things however, I do feel attached to things I own. And that’s why the few months that we lived remotely were transformational (and I don’t use the word lightly) -they truly were.
The husband, I and our little one moved to a new city with just a handful of clothes and bare necessities. We left behind a house full of stuff (we thought we needed), our cars, my cherished possessions, our daughter’s dear toys, our trusty staff, friends and our well “settled” lives. We lived, made merry, went by our days with nary an itch for any of those things.
The lockdown has taught me many things (including baking banana bread and getting by without a pedicure) but the one thing I am ever grateful for is the realization that “possessions” are transient and only bog you down. Without the tug of “your own house” and “nice clothes” and other adornments- the whole world is practically your oyster. We met old friends, made new ones, and went to fancy restaurants and holes in the wall kinds, slept on new beds, cooked in strange kitchens, never once itching to dress up or longing for a whiff of the familiar.
Planning your remote life
First and foremost shortlist your destination. This could be a city you have always dreamt of moving to post retirement (don’t lie all of us have one such place!) or a city you used to live in or someplace you visited but always felt like going back to. For us it was Goa.
House hunt. Once you have decided the budget and the kind of house you need: apartment vs bungalow, number of rooms, level of furnishing, location in terms of amenities, start looking at houses online. Airbnb may turn out to be expensive, even with longer duration rental discounts. Scour local websites, fb groups, and local real estate agents. Search for local hosts.
Answer questions like do you need a car or would you rather use Uber and local transport? Do you need domestic staff or you would prefer doing things yourself? Do you need a serviced apartment or would you rather not spend on it. This will all make you work out a budget.
Once you have shortlisted places you can look up reviews online left by previous occupants not just of the property but also of the location. Ask your host to give you a live house tour via video calling.
Finalize, book tickets and off you go!
Do not carry a lot of stuff. Just take what you absolutely can’t do without. Buy locally. Remember Amazon delivers almost everywhere.
Is it expensive?
Everything costs money. You can tailor-make it as per your budget but remember it’s a once in a lifetime experience. You may not get to live remotely once the world goes back to normal.
Everyone should try it at least once in their lives. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that there is NOTHING we absolutely can’t do without. With this one gem of wisdom in your kitty, get up and do that discussion with your spouse & kid/s..NOW- of going on that road trip or moving to a new city. Remote living is an experience worth living at least once is your life. You can thank me laterJ.
(PS: In 2020 during the pandemic Juhi, her husband and their 5 year old daughter moved to Goa for a couple of months while they continued to work and learn online. At the time of writing this, she is dreaming of her next remote life destination).