Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Half the World Away.
On today’s show, I will be interviewing some guests from a much raved about little program called Remote Year. They are certainly a loud and lively bunch of Americans, so let’s get some guests on!
Please welcome Angela Sandall, Molly Falco, Andrew Fezza and Jessica Schlauderaff.
Ladies and gent, welcome, thanks for being here.
Molly, let me start with you. Can you tell the audience a little about yourself.
Trying to figure out who I am is half the reason I’m on this trip, so thanks for that existential crisis. On a base level, though, I’m Molly, and I’m from New York City by way of Connecticut.
And Jess, Angela what about you both?
Jessica Schlauderaff. Tall, pale, and obsessed with all types of potatoes. I’m from all over the Midwestern part of the US, but most recently Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Hi, I’m Angela and I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I am an actor, singer, professional marketer and mildly obsessed with balsamic vinegar. I’m 5’3” on a good day. I really really really like Star Wars, I’m a Blackhawks fan and can belt to C5. I think I’m hilarious and my friends think I’m ridiculous and I’m known for my weird faces.
So, Andrew or Fez as you’re known, why did you decide to join the program and travel the world with 74 strangers?
For me it was a combination of wanting to see EVERYTHING and perfect timing. I also wanted a fresh start and couldn’t get myself to pick a destination or people that were flexible enough to travel for extended periods so instead I thought travel with like minded people.
Angela, you mentioned to me you needed a shock to the system, can you elaborate?
Sure, well everyone has their reasons for NOT doing something. In high school I was “too young,” in college I was “too busy” and now – after graduation and as a working professional – the time just “isn’t right.” Travel is expensive, I can’t take that much time off work, we’ll do it when we’re older… the excuses are endless. I don’t want to proceed in life under the assumption that I’ll take that trip eventually or that I’ll travel once I have more savings or that I’ll even be ALIVE in a few years. How dare I assume that the universe will afford me that luxury? Icicles fall from skyscrapers and impale people all the time! Freak accidents really happen! I could spontaneously combust!
I needed to unstick myself. There’s comfort in consistency – I had a full-time job and an amazing set of friends and a five-year plan. I felt myself stagnating and following some sort of prescribed course that was expected of me and in my heart of hearts I knew that I wasn’t psychologically ready for it. I wasn’t the person I wanted to be – I needed to be plucked from my every day so that I could continue to grow and learn and adapt.
I’m sure a lot of people on this trip can relate to that.
Jess, what about you? What made you pack up and leave?
I moved around a lot growing up, so I kind of feel like I was groomed to be nomadic. I get antsy if I live in one place for too long, probably not healthy, but don’t think about it too hard! So, I started applying for new jobs and looking at new cities to move to when I discovered a program that let me keep my same job at my same company but explore 12 different cities with a bunch of strangers. And not the crazy type of strangers, these strangers want to be my friend almost as much as I want to be their friend.
Well you guys have been in Prague now for just over 4 weeks. What have you found yourself overdosing on? Molly?
Anyone whose answer isn’t ‘beer’ is lying to you. I’ve had more Czech pilsners than my body cares to remember. Other than alcohol, though, I’d have to say togetherness. Everyone here is amazing and it’s hard to say no when people want to hang out, but I’m an introvert and need alone time to charge my batteries. I’ve definitely overdosed on people, but kind of in a good way. Kind of in a step out of your comfort zone and into the fun zone way. But also in an “I’m gonna sit in my bed and watch Czechflix alone today” kind of way.
And would you agree Angela?
Yes, beer – sweet baby Jesus I have had SO MUCH BEER. When it’s cheaper than water it’s tough to pass up, and also wait staff will just BRING it to you without even asking and then you’re like “well I guess I better drink this because it was put in front of me and I don’t want to offend the entire Czech Republic.”
So basically you have been drunk since arriving here and are possibly close to dehydration. Grand.
As I mentioned, it’s been 4 weeks since you all arrived, what have you regretted not packing? Fez?
Pens. Are you serious I hear you all say. But yes. I brought my camera. I brought a 1995 NBA All Star game jersey. I brought a disco themed speedo but I forgot pens?! I love to read and write and somehow within all those waking hours I still can’t get myself to go out and grab pens. Maybe a hardcover book or two as well.
Wow. Of all the things, pens. You know there are stores in Prague that can help you out right?
Molly, what about you?
Easy – A French press. I’ve adapted to the consumption of instant coffee but the transition hasn’t been painless and I would do unspeakable things to get a real cup of coffee. Not an Americano. Not an espresso. A goddamn brewed cup of coffee. Packing a single serve french press could have solved all my problems. I may still pick one up, if I can negotiate space for it in my bag.
And you Jess?
A few more shirts and leggings, I hate paying for and doing laundry.
So when I found out I was going to globetrotting, one of the first thing that popped into my mind was “how I will I maintain my eyebrows?”. Weirdly though the same thought ran through the minds of my sister and mum. What was I going to do?! I would have to do them myself and the struggle is now very much real. So my last question, what is the one thing you will miss this year? Angela, you first.
My best friend and I used to cook together most nights – I miss having a fully stocked kitchen replete with weird kitchen gadgets like a dumpling folder and pizza stone. I miss the air fryer and the sense of adventure in “what are we going to cook tonight?”. I’ll adapt to having a limited kitchen and maybe I’ll pick up some cooking-for-one skills along the way but those meals are what I miss most right now.
And Molly, what about you?
Going to Whole Foods. Seriously, I haven’t seen anything made out of kale in weeks and it’s freaking me out. It’s definitely possible to eat healthy food in Prague, but it’s also much easier to eat some of their local delicacies, like fried cheese. I miss walking into a grocery store and having a million whole grain, nutrient rich, bougie-ass items to choose from.
I miss the luxury of Target. Having a store with almost EVERYTHING you might need in one place. It’s so hard to figure out where things are sold here.
Homemade baked food. I was spoiled at home for 8 days before leaving and I’m already craving all the cookies and cakes that Momma Fez somehow made magically appear all week long.
Well thank you guys for being here and sharing with everyone a little bit about yourselves. I’m sure the viewership will appreciate it!
And I hope you spend the next year perfecting your Australian accents because quite frankly they need some work!
So many LOL’s at sunrise with Angela.
And just as many at sunset. These guys… Molly, Jess, Kevin, Me and Angela. (L to R)
Boats, boats, boats! Me, Emma, Kelly, Fez and Angela. (L to R)
If you fancy knowing a little bit more about these great people, you can read their blogs here, here and here.