Yesterday began the start of another adventure. After a 3 month pit stop in Monaco to refuel my travel funds, I packed up my dusty suitcase and headed back on the road towards the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy. It occurred to me somewhere between hauling my over packed suitcase, trying to decipher the train schedules and language once I crossed the border, and the exhausting 12 hours it took me to finally get to my destination, that this traveling stuff is hard work!!! And as the question often gets asked about what I do for living I realized the answer yesterday. I travel!
Of course, the second question many ask is how I am able to afford it. Did I win the lottery? Am I a multi-millionaire? Did I just acquire some big inheritance? How exactly does one travel continuously around the world, without having to go back to a J.O.B; (just over broke; just out begging; I am sure you can creatively come up with a few more acronyms.)
A while back, a grade school friend posted on my Facebook after seeing countless pictures and posts from exotic locations, wanting to know why he was never told that “endless vacation” was a list of possible career options. I told him he had the wrong guidance counselor! In reality, I did as well. I was also told that I had to go to college, get a degree, so I could get a good paying job, and that was how I could acquire the “American Dream.” How many of us have hard-working jobs and still haven’t achieved the financial independence that we thought it would bring? Working harder doesn’t always work.
Eventually I realized that rather than working harder, I had to work smarter. Even with a college degree, I still wasn’t achieving the success I knew I was capable of, and more importantly, I wasn’t following my passion. So with my entrepreneurial background, I applied the concept of leverage to finding a job that would allow me to be able to finally follow that dream, which was to travel around the world and write.
To fund my travels in the beginning, I worked on yachts and in hostels, worked on farms, and basically anything I could do either for free accommodation or travel. It allowed me to be able to extend my travels into 18 months and 24 countries into the world, only coming home when I chose to, rather than when I had to. Being a “Travel-preneur” can consist of anything that your little creative mind can come up with. Yes there are careers and “jobs” working overseas and many other ways to make money while you are traveling. There are even ways to travel for free. The definition of an entrepreneur is someone who is creative, willing to take action, someone who is innovative, a risk taker, and finances enterprises. If your goal is to endlessly travel, or at least to be able to do it for a few years of your life, or even just finally take that dream vacation, then make THAT your enterprise.
And what if you aren’t the single, unattached college (or post college kid) and besides your job, you have a list of other obligations that are tying you down, preventing you from picking up odd jobs around the world? In my experience, it just means getting involved in something different. Something that allows you to break away from the regular box that we all seem to place ourselves inside of sometimes. What are your talents? What are your passions? What do you really enjoy? How can you help someone else? Do you have to tie yourself down to a desk, or could you find a way to make money in a more creative way (blogging, tutoring, affiliate marketing, etc. ) that would allow you the freedom and time to be able to travel and fulfill other dreams?
If you want something different, sometimes you have to DO something different. Life is so fleeting. Before you know it, another 5 years, 10 years, or even 20 years will have passed by, and at the end of the journey, will you be able to look back through a picture book full of memories, or will you have an empty scrapbook and a life full of regrets and what ifs?