March 31, 2017
Where the Fox is Naomi? Croatia
Before I left for Remote Year last month, my possessions had dwindled down to just a suitcase and a backpack in the center of a living room that used to be full of stuff I owned. I had keychains holding no keys. I had no loans, no subscription plans, no bills to pay. None of the responsibilities i.e. ‘stuff’ that comes with living and working.
My first morning in Split, Croatia, I woke up at the wildly inappropriate wee hours of the morning and waited eagerly for the sun so I could go exploring. While walking around, I noticed how casually locals went about their day-to-day business among such mesmerising history, and also how long Croatians take to drink their coffee. There are some moments in life you want to in-print into your brain and that cold rainy Sunday morning walking around Old Town on my first day of Remote Year is one I will hold forever.
The main event was meeting the other ‘Remotes’ later that day, who were arriving from their respective countries. My heart ached to meet everyone, who until then were just a couple of Skype hangouts and Facebook stalks.
It was all too surreal to understand what I just got myself into with these 56 other people. Meeting everyone that night felt like coming together with my distant extended family, except I had a better idea of who they were. The chatter about our work, our dreams and feelings about what we had just signed up for bounced off the walls and warmed up the room.
As I continue to take the time to speak to everyone I’m coming to understand the underlying strength simmering within this group. Each person has their story to tell of the tests life has thrown at them and the moment just before coming to Remote Year where they decided to choose their own happiness. A concoction of go-getters and good-timers. For the first week, I was running on very little sleep, it was the collective high feeding us all.
Now I am only just at the cusp of week two. I’m up before the sun each morning to catch some decent work hours with Australian time and I finish my day at noon. I fill my afternoon up with long lunches and leisurely walks along the Adriatic Sea to the town. The few days off I get this month is being filled up quickly with side trips to the islands and the other towns nearby.
It’s difficult to define this experience to everyone back home. It isn’t a holiday because I’m not escaping life, I’m just amping it up to another level. I’ve drawn every day since being here and created some work I’m feeling proud of. I sense good things ahead and hopefully a bit of sleep too.
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to visit 12 countries in 12 months, while getting paid! Thanks to modern technology and What the Fox Creative’s forward thinking, graphic designer, Naomi Fenn is doing just that.
Look out for ‘Where the Fox is Naomi?’ next month!