Remote Year | Where The Hek Is She Now, With Casey Hekker Pt.2

I have to admit, I enjoyed keeping up with Casey throughout her year of expeditions around world. Jealously wishing I was there to witnessed every Instagram picture or snapchat of a brave soul taking a bite of a insect on a stick for dinner. Luckily for me I got a chance to meet up and see a little of London with her during her European stay. We walked, talked, well I talked and she listened to me stress about my lost cell phone and how I wasn’t gonna be able to take any pictures that day. A scary situation to be in a was able to get my cell back that afternoon!

 Now currently in month #11 of Remote Year the countdown has begun and the trek across the world back home to the hustle and bustle of  NYC will soon be a reality for Casey. I recently I got a chance to catch up with her to hear about her adventures since the last time we spoke with her ( See Part.1 ). Enjoy!

1. Since we’ve last talked, how has life been traveling, living, and working around the world?
Life is amazing and I’m pretty sure that I’m the luckiest person in the world.  I’m currently on Month #11 of my year and am living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  It’s been a busy past few months, as I’ve tried to see everything, go everywhere, eat all of the food and still maintain my full time job but I can say with confidence that it’s worth it.

2. Happy New Year! How did you bring in the New Year? What Country? How did the festivities compare to the US?

Happy New Year to you as well! I was in Bangkok, Thailand with my family. We went to a dim sum restaurant for dinner, said cheers to our friends and family back home and then went to an area of the city called Asiatique to watch the fireworks along with thousands of other tourists.
Much to everyone’s dismay, the clock struck twelve and there
were no fireworks to be had… No countdown to midnight and no celebrations despite everyone holding their phones up to take pictures of the fireworks we all expected.
A few months ago, the beloved King of Thailand passed away, and the country has been mourning his passing, with one of the “traditions” being no fireworks for New Year’s Eve. Apparently we all missed that memo and went home at 12:05am, happily waking up on New Year’s Day without a typical start of the year hangover, lol.

3. What countries have you been too since our last conversation?
I’ve added six new countries to my ever-growing list since the last set of questions!  The month of October in Croatia was truly one of the happiest of my life, but then I left the comfort and ease of Europe to see what Southeast Asia was all about.  I got a chance to see Qatar on the layover from Croatia to Malaysia for the month of November, and from there went to Singapore and Thailand. And here I am now in Cambodia!
4. Your family made you a visit! Where did they meet you? How was their visit overall?
I was so fortunate that my family was able to come to Thailand to celebrate the holidays. My little sister is currently teaching English in Nan, Thailand so my parents and brother flew across the world to visit us.  We celebrated Christmas in Chiang Mai and my parents were able to meet some of my Remote Year friends! It was so special for them to meet the new friends in my life who have helped shape this incredible year.
We then headed down south to the beautiful beaches of Krabi, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi, Railay Beach before checking out Bangkok for New Years Eve.

5. A big question for everyone is your work situation being the huge time difference from NYC from wherever you are in the world. Describe your working experience, how do you maintain? Most difficult time zone difference which you had to work so far?
Life behind the Instagram is a real thing on Remote Year. We’re all guilty of portraying a perfect life, full of rosé on a beach somewhere exotic with no computer in sight. What my friends and followers back home don’t see are the late-night hours that are spent working, aka the whole reason I am able to be on Remote Year in the first place.  I have maintained full East Coast hours around the world, so my schedule is currently 9p – 6a Monday through Friday.
With the nature of my job, I knew I would have to work these hours from the start, and I can’t say it’s been easy. Some nights are harder than others, but the fact that I have such an amazing team back at home helping me makes it doable.  That and lots and lots of coffee


6. Getting to explore many different cultures and food. Where was the best food and what was the craziest thing you’ve tried on you journey?

The food in Thailand has been my favorite of the year, how

Koh Phi Phi Beach, Thailand


7. I’ve noticed you like to go hiking/exploring. describe your most memorable hiking/exploring experience?

Eekkk this isn’t my best memory of Remote Year, but the craziest outdoor activity of the year was mountain biking down Death Road in Bolivia. I’d never mountain biked before, but decided to give it a try in South America and for some reason thought that Death Road would be a great intro into the extreme sport.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you haven’t heard of Death Road, watch a go-pro video on Youtube to see what it’s like… It was one of the most amazing days and I as soon as my adrenaline was pumping, I realized how much I absolutely loved mountain biking. Until I got a little too cocky, passed a friend of mine on the road while shouting at him to “Eat my dust, Andy” and flipping over the handlebars no less than five minutes later.

Oops.
It resulted in a broken collarbone that kept me in a sling for 10 weeks before going home to NYC to see a doctor. Luckily my bone was able to heal itself, but ever since that happened I’ve taken it easy on the extreme sports (for my mom’s sake!).

8. At this point you’ve gotten to see a large portion of the world that most people can only dream of seeing. What are some places on your list to visit you haven’t seen yet?

I spent last weekend in Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. It’s one of the most incredible man-made landmarks in the world, and similar to seeing Machu

Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand

Picchu for the first time, it takes your breath away to see it in person. That was probably the last “bucket list” that I had for Southeast Asia but I’m sure there are so many places I don’t even know about yet that I’ll fall in love with.


9. How much longer is your remote year, and where are your final destinations?

What a crazy thought that my year is coming to an end! In some ways, I feel like I’ve been gone for 10 years and other times I feel like it has gone by in the blink of an eye.  I’ll be spending my

Koh Phi Phi Beach, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Beach, Thailand

last month in Vietnam and then am going to Hong Kong for a few days before making the long trek home.


10. Do you want to come back?

This is a tough question…because on one hand, I miss my family, friends, coworkers and buffalo wings at home. But on the other hand, I am in complete denial that this insanely amazing year is

Sungai Chiling, Kuala Kubu Baru

coming to a close. It’s crazy to think that less than a year ago, my fellow Remotes were simply strangers and now they have become family. Without sounding too cliché, I am so blessed to be able to return home to people I love and still have amazing friends and family around the world.

11. Besides me, What do you miss most about being home?

You’re of course the person I miss the most D, and other than

Chiang Mai, Thailand

that… buffalo wings. But in all honestly I really miss sitting on the front porch of my house in Ocean Grove with my family and my dog Grover.

12. Is it possible to go on another remote year, if so would you?

Remote Year recently announced it’s new Alumni Program which is a great idea and option for Remotes who have completed the year.  If I ever wanted to, I could jump into a Remote Year city

KL Forest Eco Park, Bukit Nanas

and join their group for a reduced price for the month. This year was so special that I don’t think I would be able to do it again because nothing else could ever compare to the amazing and craziest year of my life.

You can keep up with Casey too!