We Roam review: Where I found the perfect travel companions

We Roam is a professional remote work program that brings together people who work remotely for 12 months across 12 countries. I was part of the Polaris tour.

Before traveling with We Roam I always made “special trips” by myself. The people I did travel with before I started traveling solo didn’t work remotely, so when I needed to open my laptop to grind for a little, they didn’t understand it. Why are you working on vacation?! they would ask. I would tell them that work and vacation are not parallels. For me they intersect. I can hop on one road, then easily hop on the other. This is how I like to live my life. Still, they didn’t understand.

We Roam completely changed my feeling about traveling with other people. Because everyone traveling with We Roam has a job they’re passionate about – or they’re working to create something they’re passionate about – we’re all on the same page. Plus, everyone is as easygoing or more so than me. On a near whim we can travel from, say, Buenos Aires to Mendoza for the weekend. We can work by the pool, our legs in the sun, surrounded by the snowcapped Andes, and then easily transition to sharing a bottle (or three) of wine.

Sure, you can travel by yourself or with “other people,” but I’ll take traveling with Roamers any day.

#WhyWeRoam: Rob Writer for Tech Startups (Pittsburgh, PA) Before traveling with We Roam I always traveled the world by myself. The people I traveled with before these solo trips didn’t work remotely, so when I needed to open my laptop to grind, they didn’t understand. Why are you working on vacation? they would ask. I would tell them that work and vacation are not parallels. For me they intersect. Still, they didn’t understand. We Roam completely changed my feeling about traveling with other people though. Because everyone traveling with We Roam does work they’re passionate about, we’re all on the same page. On a near whim we can travel from, say, Buenos Aires to Mendoza for the weekend. We can work by the pool, our legs in the sun, surrounded by the snowcapped Andes, and then easily transition to sharing a bottle (or three) of wine. Sure, you can travel by yourself or with other people, but I’ll take traveling with Roamers any day.

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Update: I lasted for 7 months

I love everyone who is part of this program: the founders, the employees, and my fellow roamers. But after 7 months I got burnt out from traveling and adapting to new cultures. As I write this, I’m in a plane back to the United States.

I think part of the reason I got burnt out is because I never had a stable job on the trip. While I had two full-time remote jobs in the span of seven months, I quit each sooner than the last. On the trip, I realized I was incapable of working for people unless they were building something deeply meaningful to me.

Because I quit these jobs, I had to keep digging into my saving to support my travels and activities. Over time, this caused me quite a bit of anxiety, to the point I couldn’t enjoy the trip. And because of this anxiety, I decided it was time to come home early and figure out what the hell I’m doing with my career.

Deciding to leave We Roam was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I find some consolation in that I traveled to 12 countries in 7 months instead of 12 (possible because of side trips).

Here’s a list of the cities I lived in and visited:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (lived)
  • Florianópolis, Brazil (lived)
  • Bogotá, Colombia (lived)
  • Rabat, Morocco (lived)
  • Lisbon, Portugal (visited)
  • Barcelona, Spain (lived)
  • Nice, France (visited)
  • Les Plages, Monaco (visited)
  • Prague, Czech Republic (lived)
  • Berlin, Germany (lived)
  • Dublin, Ireland (visited)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands (visited)

Why We Roam rocks

I met so many awesome people. We Roam does an incredible job of vetting and accepting people and I hope they keep it up. I became friends with everyone on the trip. There were one or two dumbasses at the start, but they left the program pretty damn fast.

That said, if you’re an inconsiderate, selfish person, don’t consider joining We Roam. You’ll feel strange being around so many wholehearted and selfless people and end up leaving anyways. Save your money.

The people and the built-in community are what make the trip. The badass destinations help too.

How We Roam could improve

I had some really cool apartments and some really uncool apartments. When you’re paying $2,000 per month, the latter make you a little bitter.

Instead of having apartments all over the quality scale, I think it’d be better to have apartments consistently of higher-than-average quality rather than average or really high quality.

For the professional bit, I think We Roam should function like a monthly Hackathon. For instance, each roamer should come up with a goal each month and use the community’s help to hit that goal.

Final Word

This all said, I recommend We Roam if you have a full-time remote job that you’re happy with and can see yourself sticking with for a year. It’s an awesome experience and the people are fun and lovely.