Preparation and arrival for the Job Ready Gypsy – Remote Year

by Beth - Feb 16, 2018

Remote Year Kanyini Family


Week one of Remote Year ends, I must remind myself that it is in fact only 1 week! After a short week of a crash course in acclimating to a new culture, new location, and total opposite time zone, I find that I am blown away that even with all those distractions, we have already created deep connections with a talented, diverse group of nomadic professionals. In our travel family of 35 people we have IT professionals, graphic designers, attorneys, HR/management and political consultants, producers, operations managers, finance professionals and entrepreneurs. The work ethic is astounding, the talent is mind-blowing, and I get an entire year with this group.


WAY harder than I expected. How does one pack for a year?! Be warned, this is not an advising entry.

Round 1

Supplies: Bagail packing cubes, 24-inch Samsonite suitcase, and 30-liter North Face Backpack

Packed each packing cube individually, weighed them, added up to about 38 pounds. Too easy. Ready to combine that with my 8-pound suitcase should be totally fine. Oh, but wait, that is 46, must be under 20 kg which Is 44.9 pounds.

Take out two shirts and extra pair of shoes I won’t need. No problem.

Let’s get this all together now.

Everything is going my way! Room to spare in the suitcase, easy to close, this is way too easy. I lifted it up to the scale, feels a bit heavy.

Scale: 52.8 pounds. I took stuff out and it weighs more than originally?!

Round 2 Beth vs. Samsonite

Take out a pair of jeans, two more shirts, and some luxury items I enjoy (the struggle was real on that one). Sweating as if I am running a marathon in 70% humidity.

Scale: 47.2. Dear baby Jesus, please help guide me, give me strength.

I need reinforcements. “Mom, I need help!” Mom provides sound advice, that I of course, do not take, because, Yes! I DO need 7 tank tops!

Round 3

Back hurts. I am sweating. Start heeding mom’s advice.

No extras, less shirts, one bra, still tough to remove dresses, but down two more dresses, 1 skirt, really… I am not even sure what is left.

Scale: 43.6

Hallelujah! I can successfully board the plane.

Street food street, where I got my first Malaysian meal and ringgit, the local currency

Arrival Day

Immigration: My first time out of North America and I stood in line for an hour just to be asked, “are you traveling alone?” said with an awkward giggle from the immigration dude/officer. Is that normal? Seemed a bit anticlimactic. Then, wait for it, the FIRST stamp in my Passport! Wow, what an incredible experience. I feel like I accomplished something. Made the 24 hours of travel and loss of one day all worth it.

Airport: Surprisingly western. Littered with overpriced stores and souvenir shops. You know you are not in the states because of the smells of curry being carried to your nose in the humid, wet air, as if you were face-first over the hot pot of freshly cooked curry. Another shocking difference was the restroom. I was not expecting to squat but after being on a plane for almost 5 hours, any bathroom would suffice. At first, I thought it was so kind for two women to let me ahead of them in line, I thought, “they must see the emergency in my eyes.” Then I waked into the stall only to have the metaphorical wind knocked out of me in shock. Knowing I was being looked at, I acted like, oh, I got this. One thing the Army teaches you, you can pee anywhere. So, I used the “squat” toilet, only to realize as I left, there were western toilet options. The women were not allowing me to go ahead, they were waiting for the western toilet. Well, when in Asia!

Fast forward to about five days into the year: More than enough clothes, but should have brought my little bottle of Tide (MOM!) and my water filter. Could have done without 1 pair of jeans (too hot and humid). Overall, there is no way of knowing what you will need for an entire year. If the rest of the locations are like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there will be plenty of places to buy anything you need.

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Hello December: T-Minus: 52 Days until take-off

by Beth - Dec 05, 2017

Welcome to December, y’all!

It is officially official, my Remote Year experience has a launch date. On January 26, 2018, I will be flying from Phoenix to L.A., then on to Hong Kong, and finally landing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! The longest flight I have taken to date has been six hours from NYC to L.A., which is a stroll to the park compared to the 16-hour flight to Hong Kong. I can barely sit for six hours, let alone 16! Oy! Any tips for long flights are appreciated, so please feel free to comment. Also new in November, as part of the Remote Year program, we have gotten to meet our community! I have already spoken with several co-travelers that I will be with, and three are from Arizona! With even that limited information, this travel has become less daunting and mysterious and more welcoming. Enough about me…

In mid-October, I had the pleasure to work with LearnKey’s production team to create a marketing video for our sister company, Brighton College. I am giving a HUGE shout-out to the incredible work of Mer, Jason, Seth, and Neil. They create masterful videos with ease. If you have never been on a production shoot, it is NOT easy. I, the amateur, probably had 15 takes just to say, “the need is urgent”. Neil creatively edited the video, resulting in me sounding less awkward. Thanks Neil! Feel free to check out the video below. Side note: Neil and Seth have amazing taste in horribly-terrific holiday horror films.

The Job Ready Team is pleased to announce that three BO students were hired and started work in November! LearnKey is proud to improve employability every day! We are also giving our online Job Ready Resource Center a new look, launching in 2018. Please keep a lookout for the improved layout.

Wishing you all an inspired holiday season. Next blog will be from Kuala Lumpur!

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September Flew By; October Disappeared

by Beth - Nov 06, 2017

Graduates of the SNAP Program.

Did I just have an unusually long blink? Where did September go? AND October is gone?!

Lots of exciting news from September, maybe that’s why it went by so fast…

It all started with getting to meet a LearnKey Alumni that relocated to AZ for an IT job at Spectrum. It was an honor to shake his hand and see the joy in his eyes brought on by finding a career in his field. LearnKey has assisted nine Blue Ocean graduates finding a new career in their field in the last six months.

Next, I was shocked by the final itinerary for my Remote Year experience! It could not have imagined a better list of places! Emotional roller coaster is a term that I continue to use to describe my experience but it is more like ton of happy, exciting, anxiety bricks hitting you at any moment, like when you are celebrating a moment with a friend who you may not see for an entire year, presenting a resume and interview workshop in Las Vegas, or ya know, just breathing, just hits you. Seeing the places in which I will live made this experience become very, very real. And, here they are .

Speaking of that resume workshop and Interview workshop, I had the pleasure to work with an amazing company called Three Square. Three Square is Southern Nevada’s only food bank providing food assistance to the residents of Lincoln, Nye, Esmeralda, and Clark counties. Three Square’s mission is to provide wholesome food to hungry people, while passionately pursuing a hunger-free community. We combine food banking (warehousing canned and boxed goods), food rescue (obtaining surplus or unused meats, bread, dairy and produce from hospitality and grocery outlets), and ready-to-eat meals to be the most complete food solution for Southern Nevada. They, in partnership with LearnKey, have stepped up to take its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, outreach efforts to the next level. Three Square approached the state with a proposal that it create a pilot program to train SNAP recipients in call-center work, with an eye toward becoming a certified third-party training provider.

I had the privilege to administer the Resume Writing and interview Workshop to the students in the pilot program for Three Square as of October 10, 2017, 3 out of the 5 participants have been hired.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Went to the HeroZona Launch Luncheon for Arizona’s Veteran’s week, find more information here:
  • Met with an AZ Congresswoman’s Community Liaison who mentioned that the VA is moving to hire more work-from-home customer services representatives, more information will be shared as it is received.

September 2017 has changed my life for the better with all the inspiring events. I look forward to sharing my October with y’all!


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Introduction to Remote Year

by Beth - Aug 04, 2017


St George

In July 2017 I decided to share an exciting adventure with my LearnKey family. Here is the story.

In my first two years with LearnKey, I have created a Job Ready Team from nothing, managed over 50 veterans’ successful placement in careers and assisted with strategic initiatives…. All while learning the ins and outs of the IT field and training myself to be efficient and productive at home, which in theory sounds awesome, but when you are a social butterfly (as my parents say) it can pose a bit of a challenge.

The first year, I was distracted by negative questions like, “am I doing enough?” “can I do laundry during work hours, or is that illegal (I can be a bit dramatic)?”, “do people remember that I even work here?” I felt like I was doing something wrong if I wore pajamas or workout clothes all day, I mean no one saw me, right?! This negative self-talk can be detrimental to productivity especially when you do not have the physical support of your peers and coworkers. However, one day, with the simplest conversation with someone who worked remotely, and who I admired, my work from home life changed.

I was at lunch with a mentor that I revere, a woman that has it ALL together, inspires others to persevere and does it with the utmost grace and integrity. She said to me, “do you ever take an early meeting without brushing your teeth?” – or something to that effect. OMG! YES! I was overcome with excitement, like a child that can only express the excitement with a squeal. This woman, perfect, powerful, professional, sometimes does not have time to brush her teeth before a meeting!! I was not alone. I did not have to be perfect. I had to be productive. And I was.

From that day on, I hit my stride working from home. I developed new processes, assisted massive amounts of students with resumes/job searching/and interviews, often in leggings and a tank top. I made sure I brushed my teeth BEFORE every meeting! I was killing the game.

At that point, I decided I needed a new challenge. I presented my Remote Year program to Jeff, the coolest CEO you could meet. His progressive mindset and passion to change the world fueled his approval of the program. To travel the world for a year… and work. Because of the two years I had been working remotely, and the accomplishments I have, Jeff said yes. This month, July 2017 – I shared the program with my LearnKey family. And with little shock, as the team is comprised of the most genuinely, supportive, creative and all around amazing people I have encountered, they approved of my adventure as well.

Now, I HAVE to go through with this. I have no choice. Nervousness excitement is the simplest way to describe what I am feeling. But it’s more like an emotional roller coaster of EVERY AND ALL feelings you have ever felt. I hope I do not disappoint my team. I hope I can find good food. I really, really, really hope my Internet connection does not fail me in Thailand, or Prague, or Colombia! I hope I can afford shopping in every country. I hope people like me. With lots of hope, excitement, nervousness, and dedication, I embark on my journey January 2018. This blog is meant to inspire, relate to other remote workers, and hopefully make you smile. Until next month!

To learn more about Remote Year, please visit their website:

Photo: St. George Office Team

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