I have been getting a ton of one-off emails and DMs from friends and followers asking the same question…
“What do you do for work and how are you able to travel so much?”
So I figured I would give you all a glimpse of what my life is actually like and help answer the overarching question. 🙂
I absolutely love to hear about how my content and travel adventures inspire people to start doing more in their lives — it means a lot to see my experiences making an impact! That said, I do think there is a common misconception of what my life is like and how I am able to travel so much.
For starters, and this answer surprises a lot of people for some reason, any international travel that I have done and that I plan to do is not through work, and really has nothing to do with work, much if at all. While I travel within the U.S. to places like Park City, San Francisco, NYC, it’s for company training or outings, other than that I’m at my desk at Two Pru here in Chicago. When I’m not working at my full-time job with CBS Interactive, I’m writing as an Author for various digital magazines such as Thought Catalog and Entity Mag. When I’m not writing for the magazines, I’m creating and posting social content for brands like FabFitFun, Rebecca Minkoff, P.Volve, Civion, Best Food Chicago, and more. So, as you can see while my work keeps me on my toes and very busy, none of it really requires me or allows me to just get up and start traveling the world.
And I also don’t want the fact that my life keeps me busy and involved to come across as life is great and nothing ever goes wrong — I assure you that is not the case at all. I have my fair share of ups and downs. In the last six months alone I have had to grieve over death, had to get my first biopsy (no one likes to hear the c-word out loud), go through a second company re-org, and start to see an emotional health coach to help me stop pushing the chaos to the side and stop compartmentalizing the good and the bad. On the outside, I get things can look exciting and easy, but I promise my life has just as many plot twists as yours. *I’ll write about how I balance the stressors in my life and maintaining a healthy, positive mindset soon!
Now, outside of my work (this is the BEST part — because it’s the one thing you CAN control!), one thing that I do consistently is I make personal and professional goals for myself and stick to them. And for me, personally, traveling the world is #1 on that list. Traveling has a lot less to do with my work and a lot more to do with just being proactive and holding myself accountable in making the time & effort to save money, set personal travel goals, and to stand by them.
To give a real-time example of what those travel goals look like (can be whatever you want, this is just my personal preference), that is traveling to two new countries a year; one being an extended trip for my birthday each year and the other over a long weekend. Because I do travel often, lots of people think I do so for work, and that’s really not the case at all. From a work perspective though, I really don’t need to take more than 5-7 days of PTO (including the long weekend Holidays) for international trips. So it is very doable if you are passionate about traveling and want to make it a priority in your life!
Another huge tip and trick for frequent travel (and saving money!), is to download the Hopper App. It’s largely in part why I am able to travel so frequently. It will show you the cheapest fares available and the best time to go — i.e $300 round trip to Iceland over Labor Day Weekend and $69 to NYC for a week in March. I totally understand finances being a concern and top priority, as they should be because let’s be honest, it’s life and life can be pretty damn expensive by learning how to just be an adult.
But, I do think that it’s important to be selfish with how we spend our personal time, energy, and money because as I have already started witnessing (as I’m sure you have), time goes by so incredibly fast. Especially for my single people out there, there is really only so much time; so many years to be really, truly single; to have no ties holding you in one place, to cross everything off of the list before being ready to settle down. I have found that a lot of people have personal goals of finding love in relationships, transitioning from renting to becoming a homeowner, running a marathon, anything really — the list goes on! But for me, the one thing that I have found I get the most satisfaction and personal fulfillment from is traveling; experiencing the world through a new lens. At the end of the day, it’s where I find all of the love and appreciation in the world. It’s allowed me to take on a new perspective on everything. It’s taken my self-awareness, optimism, generosity, and compassion to a level that I didn’t even know was possible to attain.
So, I really, really encourage each and every one of you to travel, and if anything – solo travel. I have found my core independence and pure zest for life from solo traveling because it opens up a side of yourself that you might not even know exists. I’m a firm believer in that everything in life will work out the way it is supposed to if you have a little faith to help guide you along the way. That said, I guess my best piece of advice and hope for you all is to not discount your dreams of traveling the world and think that it’s not possible, because it is, 100%. You just have to be proactive in taking that jump, holding yourself accountable, and having a little faith.
Good luck, and hope to hear of some adventure stories of your own sometime in the near future!
*For those asking, 2019 and 2020 travel adventures will be taking me to NYC, Italy – Amalfi Coast, and Tokyo, so stay tuned for content and international recommendations to follow!*