The Essential Familiar

Everything has changed. Everything will continue to change.

The people I see every day are different. The smells, the flavors, the route, the temperature, the sights. 

Few things are constant.

When you're craving a different life, different is so very welcome.

And yet, the mind still craves a dose of familiar. I hear fellow Battutas speaking English on the street and feel myself relax, just a little bit. I catch a whiff of the perfume I've worn for years and feel like myself, even though I sweated off every hint of styling hours ago.

Jessie organized a craft beer tasting at the Montevideo Brew House this week. Craft beer is a cultish obsession in my home city of Durham. Hops are hoppin' and we know not to drink the yeast cake (or else risk an unhappy stomach a few hours later).

Working knowledge of beer varietals is almost a requirement, if you say you're from the Bull City.

That craft beer tasting was such a welcome dose of familiar in a world where absolutely everything is different. We rolled 40 deep and took over the bar. We drank for hours, laughed, and kind of forgot that we were in Uruguay. We were just a bunch of friends in a bar, drinking beer like we do at home.

I know that's not the "point" of travel. I certainly don't advocate for going to a new place and doing exactly what you do at home. Yes, we should experience the place we are in for what it is.

But consider this: most travel is a sprint. Most vacations last mere weeks. Travelers feel compelled to pack in everything, see it all, do it all, and very quickly.

Remote Year isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. We have an entire year of change, of different, of being out of our comfort zones.

Finding an evening of familiar every now and then is like a welcome water break in that marathon. I felt like I was back in America for a few hours, and it made me appreciate Uruguay all the more the next morning. 


Taylor Coil is traveling the world with Remote Year, living in 12 countries in 12 months, while working as a marketing manager. Follow along to read more philosophies on work, stories from the road, and general (mis)adventures. Sign up for the weekly email or read more from the blog.