An Interlude by Maya Yette

Remote Year's Lisbon workspace, "WIP" (aka Work In Progress), which applies to this blog as well.

Remote Year's Lisbon workspace, "WIP" (aka Work In Progress), which applies to this blog as well.

Hello from Lisbon, Portugal! I’m writing this from Remote Year’s new workspace in Lisbon, Portugal, which seems appropriate considering I want to (finally) finish sharing all the experiences and places I visited during my Remote Year.

Remote Year officially ended at the end of January. Since then, I went to Bali for a second time to close out my time in Southeast Asia, moved back home and caught up with friends and family in the DMV, New York, North Carolina and California (one of my resolutions for 2017 is to spend more time traveling domestically after a year abroad) and spent a long weekend in Barbados celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday. Which brings me to Lisbon. From here I’ll be visiting a few more places in Portugal, spending another friend’s 30th birthday in Cuba and then heading back to Spain to explore a few cities I haven’t yet visited.

In the meantime, let’s pick up where we left off…

Hangin' in Hungary by Maya Yette

Budapest, Hungary is an uncomfortable and sketchy 9-hour overnight train ride from Belgrade. I left the train station in Serbia late one Thursday night with three of my friends from Remote Year to visit Budapest for the weekend. We didn't splurge on the 4-person cabin, so it was a roll of the dice who our other two cabin mates would be. We got lucky with a nice Irish couple who spent the evening playing cards and sharing their wine with us. The cabin was tiny and barely fit the six of us, let alone our bags. I hadn’t thought to bring my sleep sack (which I hadn’t needed since nights spent sleeping in South American hostels), so spent the night curled up under my scarf on the middle bunk, trying not to freeze or touch anything, especially the blanket provided on the train. Every few hours our sleep was interrupted by the border police coming through, banging on the cabin doors (which, thankfully locked from the inside) to check our passports and tickets. 

We finally rolled into the Budapest train station, bleary eyed and hungry, around 6 am on Friday. At the train station, we left our bags in lockers for the day since we couldn’t check into our Airbnb yet and set out to find a café that was open early. Friday afternoon we settled into our Airbnb and finished up the day’s work before heading out to dinner. We ate al fresco at a restaurant in the square surrounding St. Stephen’s Basilica and then spent the evening checking out the “Ruin Bars” that abound in Budapest. These bars are abandoned buildings that have been converted into local watering holes, each with its own unique vibe. I hadn’t heard of this phenomenon before arriving in the city, but similar to Prague and Belgrade, Budapest is a city that wears its history on its sleeve.

On Saturday, we explored the city, or cities, rather; the Danube River divides Budapest into Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. We stayed in Pest, where the ruin bars and many of the restaurants and cafes are. We began our morning with coffee at a cute café and then walked across the Chain Bridge from Pest into Buda and up the aptly named Castle Hill. There, we wandered around the Buda Castle complex, home to the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion, which offers great views of Pest across the river below.

Since it was summertime in Europe, the weather was extremely hot and after our morning walk we were ready for some air conditioning. After lunch, we stopped to visit the Museum of Applied Arts, which ended up being one of my favorite stops in Budapest. The building was built in the art nouveau style between 1893 and 1896 and is beautiful both inside and out. We had some fun playing on the bikes on display at the temporary “Bikeology” exhibit and then explored the permanent collections upstairs. Another temporary exhibit, “In the Mood for Colours”, arranged all of the objects according to their dominant color and was really cool to see. We capped off our day of exploring with a fireworks show in front of the Parliament building to celebrate St. Stephen's Day, which happens every year to mark the day of Hungary's foundation under the reign of St. Stephen, the nation's first king.

Even on the road, Sundays are best spent resting and relaxing. Before we had to endure the horrors of the night train again, we treated ourselves to a day at the Gellért Baths. Bathhouses are a major attraction in Budapest because the city sits atop a number of natural thermal baths. We chose the Gellért Baths because they’re a little less crowded than the popular Széchenyi Baths and with their art noveau style are supposed to have the most beautiful indoor swimming pools in the city. The baths are a weird experience – sitting in hot water with a bunch of strangers and not actually swimming around isn't my idea of fun – and probably something that I won’t do again, but I’m glad to have experienced it. We also got a nice massage while we were there and finished the evening with dinner at The Four Seasons Hotel before heading to the train.

This time, we weren’t so lucky with our cabin mates: one surly looking backpacker of undetermined nationality who barely said a word and an awkward Danish girl who kept staring at me while I tried to sleep. Budapest was totally worth it, and I enjoyed the city more than Belgrade, but next time I think I’ll fly!


Best (and worst) of Belgrade by Maya Yette

Whenever anyone asked me what cities I’d be visiting over the course of Remote Year, when I mentioned Belgrade, Serbia, there was always a pause. I didn’t know what to say about it, having heard very little about Serbia and Belgrade generally. It turned out not to be so bad, but was probably among my least favorite stops of the year.

Belgrade is super gritty and many parts of it are not traditionally beautiful in the way you think of other European cities like Paris and Prague. In fact, there are still a few buildings throughout the city that were bombed during the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. These buildings sit largely untouched since the bombings, gutted insides exposed, serving as a reminder the city’s rough history.

These buildings stand in stark contrast to the beautiful open areas that dot the city like the Kalemegdan Citadel, a fortress overlooking the Danube and Sava Rivers, which offers beautiful sunset views.

The first weekend I was in Belgrade, one of my good friends from college, Matt, came to visit. He was going to be in London visiting another friend and thought I was going to be in Prague during that first week of August. When I told him I’d actually be in Belgrade, but he was welcome to come there, I was pleasantly surprised when he said yes. Following a tourist map he got in the airport, we created our own walking tour and crisscrossed the city. We started at St. Sava Temple, the world’s second largest Orthodox church. It is beautiful on the outside, its silhouette dominating Belgrade’s skyline, but after 80 years remains unfinished on the inside.

From St. Sava we walked to the other side of town, stopping at the Belgrade Palace, the Presidential Palace and St. Mark’s Church along the way until we wound up at Republic Square, back in the heart of the city. To close out the day, we took a stroll through Skadarlija, the Bohemian Quarter, which is all cobblestone and filled with cute bars, restaurants and stores.

Overall, Belgrade was a big adjustment for me because of the language, which sounds like nothing I’ve heard before and is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, so it’s impossible to even sound out words. However, hands down my least favorite thing about living in Belgrade was the fact that smoking indoors is still very much acceptable and there were many meals that I couldn’t properly enjoy because I was waving away the smoke from someone at the table next to me. I kept thinking I’d get used to it, but to no avail. Add that to the fact that the food in Belgrade isn’t great to begin with (lots of meat and little finger sausages), and it was not pleasant. (The few exceptions to the bad food were Homa, Manufaktura and Marukoshi; check them out if for whatever reason you find yourself in Belgrade.)

The saving grace for our time in Belgrade was that we were there during the summer. I’ve heard from other Remote Year programs who went this fall that when it’s cold and rainy, it is even harder to enjoy the city and escape the smoke. Belgrade is heavy on the party culture and since we were there during the warmer months of the year, we were able to take advantage of the many club boats that line the Sava River at this time of year. The crowd favorite was the aptly named “Hot Mess” where Remote Year hosted our welcome party to Belgrade. Another crowd favorite was "Shake 'n' Shake", which boasted hammocks jutting out over the water.

The street art throughout the city was also pretty cool; a fact I'd forgotten until looking through my pictures from so many months ago. While I’m not itching to get back to Serbia like I am to a few other places I’ve been this year, it was certainly an experience to remember!

Prague (with Poppa)* by Maya Yette

* My dad suggested this title and probably didn’t think I would use it. He also didn’t think I’d be writing this post until at least 2017.


Prague was my first visit to a city in Eastern Europe and a great introduction to the region. Like many European cities, Prague is oozing with charm and all of the streets and buildings are just waiting to have their pictures taken. It also has a complicated history that is still seen when you walk the streets of this beautiful city.

I spent about two weeks in Prague in July (the other two weeks I spent in Sayulita, Mexico for a company team retreat) and the weather was great, especially after less than ideal weather during our month in London. I was based in a neighborhood called, Žižkov, which was extremely livable and removed from the craziness of all the tourists in Prague’s Old Town Square, but still pretty central.  There were a number of cute cafes and restaurants nearby, and we were a short 20-minute walk to our co-working space, K10, which is housed in the old Danish embassy and one of my favorite workspaces of the year. I also lived right across the street from the infamous Žižkov TV Tower, known as the second ugliest building in the world and which has ten giant babies designed by a famous Czech artist crawling up and down its sides. This tower, the tallest building in the Czech Republic, served as our guiding light home for the month.

I found Prague easy to navigate using a combination of Uber, train and my own two feet to get around. I usually try to do a walking tour of each city we visit to get my bearings early on. In Prague, the tour of the Old City took us from the Old Town Square to see the famous Astronomical Clock, through the Old Jewish Quarter to Wenceslas Square and ended with a visit to the Powder Tower.

My dad came to visit for a few days shortly before we left Prague and I had saved up the rest of my exploring for his visit. Our first stop was the famous Prague Castle, which is featured on many of the iconic images of Prague. I was surprised to learn that it’s not a castle in the traditional sense, but a complex of churches and an old palace, which has served as the seat of Czech princes and kings, as well as the Prague bishop. We also walked across the Charles Bridge to visit the John Lennon Wall for some obligatory photo ops.

Over the weekend, we tried to avoid the traditional tourist attractions and visited a couple of underrated destinations, which turned out to be some of my favorites. We started with a visit to the Vyšehrad Fortress, which offers great views of the city below and has some pretty cool architecture within the park grounds. After wandering around Vyšehrad we walked down to the Náplavka Farmer’s Market for lunch, which made me a bit nostalgic for Sundays at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market.

During my month in Prague I was also surprised to learn that it’s home to a mini Eiffel Tower, built in 1891 as part of the Jubilee Exhibition, sitting atop Petrín Hill overlooking the entire city.

Within the Old Town, the Klementium, a complex of baroque and rococo halls is also home to, arguably, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world (no pictures allowed, sadly, so check out the link), in addition to the Czech National Library. These are the kind of attractions that I probably wouldn’t have visited if I were in Prague for a few days, but that I had the luxury of discovering because of my slow travel style this year.

Prague also has some pretty good food and, of course, beer that’s cheaper than water. Some of my favorites were Field, Čestr and the Letna Beer Garden (go at sunset for the best views). There’s a food tour that I didn’t have a chance to participate in, but which gets rave reviews if you’re ever in Prague. The owners also rent out a very cute apartment, so maybe that will be my next home base when I make my way back to Prague one day.


Escapades in España by Maya Yette

I’d never really thought about it this way until now, but Spain is the country outside of the United States where I’ve spent the most time. It was the country I visited in middle school on an exchange program, staying with a host family in Madrid and taking a side trip to the university town of Salamanca, where I’d return years later for a semester studying abroad. I went back to Salamanca the following semester during spring break and I’ve been back to Spain on a few family vacations since then.

So, naturally, while I was in Europe this summer I made not one, but two, trips to the land of jamón, tapas, sangria and siestas. On my first visit, I spent a week with a friend traveling to cities both new and old to me. We started with a quick 36 hours in Madrid. To be honest, Madrid was not at the top of my list among Spanish cities based on my previous visits and I much preferred Barcelona (still do), but I was excited to give it another chance.

I woke up and got breakfast while I waited for the Vodafone store to open so I could get a Spanish SIM card (I can never go anywhere longer than a day without getting a local SIM card anymore and it is a game changer!). Armed with a data plan so I could navigate the city using Google Maps, I set out towards El Prado, the Spanish national art museum, where I planned to see a temporary exhibit featuring the works of the painter Jheronimus Bosch. I had not planned ahead and purchased tickets online, so when I arrived and saw the line that stretched around the corner of the building, I decided not to waste the precious few hours I had to explore waiting to get inside.

Instead, I settled for a couple of pictures outside the museum and then spent some time meandering through the Royal Botanic Gardens, which are located directly behind the museum.

After admiring the flowers I decided I wanted a museum fix after all. Lucky for me, one of Madrid’s other famous museums, La Reina Sofia, Spain’s national museum of modern art, is right around the corner from El Prado. I spent most of my time there at the Wifredo Lam exhibit and in the museum’s interior courtyard.  After the museum, I took a quick detour to Parque del Retiro, home to the Palacio de Velazquez and Palacio de Cristal, which are both operated by La Reina Sofia Museum, before heading to get some work done.

The next morning, it was time for a road trip to the city I was most looking forward to on this visit: San Sebastián! I never made it to San Sebastián while I studied abroad in Spain, so I was very much looking forward to visiting this city in the Basque country that sits in the northwest region of Spain. The New York Times recently came out with a “36 Hours in San Sebastián” piece that would’ve been helpful a couple months ago, but I think we still did a pretty good job exploring the city.  

The drive from Madrid took only about five hours, after a quick stop in Segovia to see the Roman aqueducts there that date back to the 1st century.

Once in San Sebastián, when we weren’t working, we spent our time sampling the variety of pintxos (small tapas-like dishes) that the city is famous for, wandering around the cobbled streets of the old town, and admiring the views of the city and its famous La Concha Beach from the Igeldo Hill lookout point.  

I could’ve stayed in San Sebastián much longer than two days, but it was soon time to move on and make our way to Barcelona for the flight back to London. We drove from San Sebastián to Barcelona in a whirlwind day, stopping off in numerous cities along the way. First, a visit to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, where we visited an Andy Warhol exhibit and admired the building’s beautiful exterior.

Next up, stops in Pamplona, Zaragoza and, finally, Montseratt, right outside of Barcelona.

My week in Spain was capped off with one night and day in Barcelona. I went with my friends to Park Güell, the famous park designed by Antoni Gaudí that overlooks the city, before dinner. The next day, rather than rush around trying to see all the tourist attractions I’ve already visited on prior trips, I found a great café in the Gothic Quarter, had a leisurely breakfast and sat in a nearby park to spend some time journaling before meeting back up with my friends for lunch at La Boqueria. I’m glad I didn’t rush around Barcelona, because about a month and a half later, I was back in the city for a weekend to celebrate another friend’s birthday. We ate and drank our way through town and I explored some neighborhoods I hadn’t gotten a chance to see before.

I’ll surely be back one day soon!


London Livin' (better late than never) by Maya Yette

I began my European Summer with Remote Year in London after four amazing months in South America. To be honest, everyone in the program was a little skeptical about how the month would play out after we found out that we wouldn’t be spending June in Istanbul (for obvious safety concerns), due to the extremely high cost of living in London. As a result, Remote Year housed us on the outskirts of the city, where we lived in a co-work/co-living space that was only partially completed (i.e., no actual workspace, no gym, no restaurant or café for half the month). Despite these challenges, I really did enjoy London and, aside from a very touristy weekend spent with my sister and friend Courtney, who were in town visiting, got to enjoy areas of London that I otherwise would not have seen on a quick weekend visit.

My favorite of these areas is Shoreditch. My first weekend in London, we spent time hanging out at Spitafields Market and the BOXPARK Shoreditch. It was sort of like reverse culture shock after being in South America for so long – both for the general diversity and for the fact that I was not the only black person around, attracting attention for my skin color, curly hair, or both. It also took a little while to get used to speaking in English again when we went out to restaurants or got in an Uber – my natural inclination was to say “Hola” or “Gracias” during my first few days in London.

I took a midweek trip to Oxford with a couple of friends and it is every bit as charming and picturesque as you’d think it is from reading or watching Harry Potter. We rented a car and drove the hour and a half out of London and spent the morning touring around campus before parking ourselves at a café to work in the afternoon.

The next day, we visited Blenheim Palace, built in the early 18th Century to celebrate the English victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. It was also the birthplace of Winston Churchill in 1874. I could have spent all day lounging in the beautiful green spaces around the palace, and touring its many rooms, but we had to get back to London to start working in the afternoon. The beauty of the last few months in Europe is that I don’t start working until my afternoon (early morning East Coast hours) and can spend my mornings exploring each new city I visit.

I had three weekends in London: one that I spent in the French countryside with my friend Roxie, another that I spent in Spain during a weeklong visit there (more on that in my next blog post), and the aforementioned touristy weekend spent riding around London on a double decker hop-on, hop-off bus.

My sister, Laila, had never been to London before, so this was the quickest and easiest way for us to cover all the highlights in a short period of time. We rented an Airbnb in the Fitzrovia neighborhood (no way was I wasting time commuting back and forth from my digs in Willesden Junction) and hit the ground running. We made stops at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and more.

For plenty of (obvious) reasons, London offered the greatest taste of home I’ve had since January. Despite my initial hesitations, it provided a great jumping off point to explore some other areas in Europe and even though the weather was grey and gloomy half the time, I’m glad I was able to spend more than a weekend there! 

Cusco's Charm by Maya Yette

When I look back on the month that I spent in Peru in May, I realize that between two trips to Lima, two trips to Machu Picchu and a great weekend at the beach in Mancora, I only spent about half of my time in Cusco. As a result, there are regrettably some things that I did not get to see, like the Inca Museum and the San Pedro Market. But, what I was able to discover during my time in Cusco I loved.

Walking the cobblestone streets and mile high staircases, you can imagine people hundreds of years ago walking the same paths. The streets are impossibly steep and narrow, barely allowing one car to squeeze through (yet somehow they are supposed to let traffic pass in both directions!). Walking around on my first day in the city, I remember being in awe of how picturesque it is.

This, and its proximity to Machu Picchu, make Cusco a very touristy city and it is definitely the South American city where we encountered the most English speakers. I had to learn to ignore all of the street vendors and men and women crowding the streets outside of their storefronts and restaurants offering “masajes” (massages) and inviting us to come try the daily special on their restaurant menu.

While Machu Picchu is the most famous, and certainly the most impressive, it is not the only place you can visit Incan ruins in Peru. On one afternoon, we hired a taxi driver to take us around to some Incan ruins in Cusco, including Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “sexy woman”), a huge complex overlooking the city; Tambomachay, which were believed to be Incan baths; and a few other sites whose names I can no longer remember. We also made a stop at Cristo Blanco, a large statue of Jesus Christ that can be seen from different vantage points throughout the city. I think that because I had gone to Machu Picchu the day before visiting these sites, I was a little underwhelmed in comparison.

Cusco is situated very close to the Sacred Valley, thought to be the heartland of the former Inca Empire. We spent one Saturday there in a town called Chinchero, visiting with a local community and learning a little bit about their way of life.

None of us knew what to expect, but as soon as we stepped off the bus, the women greeted us with singing and dancing, grabbing our hands to join in after presenting us with a necklace of flowers. We went into their compound and, following their lead, introduced ourselves by name, age and marital status (Maya, veinte-ocho (28), soltera (single)). We then had some hot tea, flavored with our choice of chamomile, coca leaves and another local herb. After fortifying ourselves, we walked to the fields where the villagers showed us how to build a traditional mud oven where we would roast the potatoes we were about to harvest. That afternoon we learned how the villagers give an offering of coca leaves to Pachamama (Mother Earth) before planting any crops. I also learned how hard it is to use a hoe to turn soil in preparation for planting crops and I declined trying my hand at leading the bulls in plowing a field.

After all this activity, we were ready for a traditional Andean Buffet, which largely consisted of potatoes and other starches in various forms, and the traditional delicacy of cuy (AKA guinea pig!), which is reserved for special occasions – I tried a tiny bite and it wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat too much.

Following lunch, we learned how the women make yarn from sheep’s wool, watching them wash and dye it with natural ingredients and then seeing how that yarn is turned into all manner of handicrafts from scarves to purses to camera straps (my souvenir of choice).

On another occasion, we returned to the Sacred Valley for a visit to the Sacred Valley Brew House where we had a beer tasting and tour of the brewery. In “the world’s so small” news, the founder of the brewery was born in Peru, but actually grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, where I’m from, and went to a rival high school! The brewery is pretty awesome and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Sacred Valley.

We also ate a lot of great food in Peru. If you’re ever in Cusco, be sure to visit KIONChicha, La Bodega 138, Morena, Cicciolina, Jack’s Café, Juanito’s, La Sanguicheria 154, Green’s Organic, Papacho’s and Inka Grill, among others.

This past month in London I have not missed the feeling of being severely out of breath when I walk up the steps to my hotel in San Blas (one of the most picturesque areas in Cusco), but I do miss the views of the city that such a vantage point affords.


When I left D.C. for Remote Year, people often asked me which city or country I was most looking forward to. My response was always that I didn’t have one in particular, but I was most looking forward to visiting South America, a continent that I had not yet visited. This made my itinerary seem a bit anticlimactic since I’ve spent time in Europe and visited all of the cities on our Southeast Asian leg of the trip on my post-Bar exam trip. While I am looking forward immensely to the next eight months (seven, since it took me nearly a month to finish this post), I was sad to leave South America behind. Montevideo, Buenos Aires, La Paz and Cusco were each special in their own way. Spending time in South America allowed me the opportunity to regain a lot of the Spanish that I lost since studying abroad in Spain during college, and connect with wonderful cultures and people that I previously knew little about! 

Memorial Day in Mancora by Maya Yette

Mancora is a dream. Before setting foot in Peru, I had never heard of this tiny beach town situated on the Pacific coastline. About two hours south of Ecuador, Mancora offered a warm escape from the beautiful, but often cold cobblestone streets of Cusco.

At first, my plan was to head to the Galapagos Islands with a few friends over Memorial Day weekend. We’re in South America, so why not? Unfortunately, we waited until ticket prices were a little too unreasonable and searched frantically for somewhere else to spend the long weekend. We settled on Mancora -- another friend happened to be getting his dive certification there (for the aforementioned Galapagos trip) and sent word that we would love it.

Love it we did! We arrived on a hot Wednesday afternoon to sunshine and blue skies, which were a welcome departure from the gray winter clouds that blanket Lima this time of year (we had spent the past few days there for “Remote Nation”, the first ever meet-up of all three Remote Year programs that were in South America at the time). As we drove from the airport, we were all surprised at how desert-like the landscape was, but once we made it to the beach, quickly forgot about the dry, clay-colored mountains we had just driven through.

In Mancora, our hotel, K!chic, sat right on the ocean in an area known as Las Pocitas. We holed up at K!chic for the next few days, taking this whole “digital nomad” thing seriously and working from their open air living room, taking lunch breaks at the pool directly overlooking the quiet beach, and eating some of the best food I had during the past four months in South America.

When the weekend rolled around, we were ready for a slight change in scenery and had planned to transfer to a hotel closer to the heart of Mancora where we could go out on the weekend. Enter Eco Lodge. At first, we were wary of our decision to leave the comforts of K!ichic behind when our tuk-tuk turned off of the main road and down a dirt path, driving past an empty lot and a few stray dogs. Our fears only increased when the guy at the front desk welcomed us and told us that there was no power in Mancora –- we did not realize that we’d signed up for another weekend in Cabo Polonio! In reality, it was a scheduled power outage and he assured us that the power would return by 5 pm.

So, we headed out to explore Mancora and spend the afternoon at the beach. The difference from Las Pocitas was noticeable immediately. We walked up the dirt path, baking in the sun, and turned onto the main street, where tuk-tuks and motorcycles zoomed by a surprising array of street art and people hung out at all the restaurants lining the street.

We turned toward the beach and were surprised at the number of people we saw compared to the nearly empty beach we’d spent the last few days on, a mere 10 minutes up the road. Mancora is primarily a vacation destination for Peruvians and other South Americans, and everyone could be found at the beach. People rode 4x4s and horses up and down the sand, others played soccer and sat around with friends, while vendors walked back and forth, selling juice, fresh fruit and ice cream (I couldn’t drown out the sound of the ice cream lady shouting “helados” and honking a little horn attached to her cart long enough to nap or read).

While this certainly wasn’t the tranquil beach we had left behind at K!chic, it was great to hangout and perfect for people watching. Shortly after 5 pm when the power returned, the beach bars behind us began blaring music, alternating between two Calvin Harris songs and trying to see which could play their music the loudest. We headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and then ended the night back at the beach bars, which had not given up on their quest to see whose speakers were most powerful.

On Sunday, we met up with a non-Remote Year friend we met while traveling who also happened to be in Mancora. After a lunch of ceviche, octopus and grilled fish, we spent the day hanging out in Los Organos, another tiny town outside of Mancora. We ended the day with a beautiful sunset over the Pacific. Watching it, I couldn’t help but reflect on the other beautiful sunsets I’ve witnessed during my four months in South America and feel a tinge of sadness at the thought of flying to London to begin the European leg of Remote Year the following week.