Travel has been a main priority of Sarah’s over the last few years . A little more than a year, she started working remotely for a company back in California. For the past month she has been staying with a friend in Turkey. She is documenting this journey of travel, digital nodmad-ism and personal growth through her podcast.
1. When did you decide to turn your life to travel?
I don’t think there was a specific time or point in my life that I made the decision to turn my life into travel, it kinda just happened. The first time that I “traveled” was when I was 18 and did a road trip with some friends. That was my first taste of traveling and since then I just wanted to keep going. Traveling ultimately become a priority so I structured my life in a way that I could make it happen. Generally it was saving up then leaving and then doing it all over again. I knew that traveling was something that I wanted to do so I starting building my life in a way so that it could always be a part of my life, not just something that happened once in a while. With that being said, the fact that I am now living life on the road is not a surprise, but something that was inevitable based on my values, needs, and generally what I desire out of life.
2. What is your best tip for someone wanting to pack in their 9-5 and turn their life to travel?
The best tip that I can give is simply knowing that you can. It’s not just knowing that you are capable of living the life that you want, but that you are also worthy. Creating the life that you want, no matter what that looks like to you is 100% doable and you are 100% capable of having it. Why? Because people are already doing it, people are already creating the life that they want and experiencing that sense of freedom. What makes them more capable, willing or deserving than you? Nothing. The difference is that they know they can, so they do it. Simple as that. Once you realize that what you really want is possible, why would you let anything, including yourself, hold you back? Thinking that this type of lifestyle is something made for someone else does nothing but limit you and create excuses for why you are not doing it. It is possible, but you alone must be convinced that it is so before you can act on it.
3.What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?
Inspiration. Traveling for me is the greatest source of inspiration. It allows me to step outside of my everyday life and see things from a different perspective. It also allows me to step out side of who I think I am and see myself in a new light because living life on the road continuously challenges
4 What do you wish you knew at the start of your travels that you know now?
There are two things: 1- it isn’t as scary as you think it is and 2- traveling is better with purpose.
Before every extended trip that I have ever taken, there was always something holding me back. When it comes to traveling and making major life adjustments in order to accommodate your trip, leaving is the hardest part. Even though you have that desire to go, making the moves to do it is the hardest part because it is complete and utter step into the unknown. It’s usually not fear about about where you are going, but fear of letting go and leaving the life that you were living behind. But every time I finally make that move and get outside myself and the country, I realize I was scared for nothing. Like anything, starting is the hardest part, but once you get on that plane, you realize that you were the only thing holding you back.
Secondly, what took me so long to learn is that traveling is far better when you have a purpose. While purpose means different things to different people, I think it all boils down to the same thing: travel in a way so that you not only feel fulfillment, but you bring it with you. Whether it be volunteering, starting that book you always wanted to write, or even gathering as many spices as you can simply because you love to cook, it doesn’t matter because by doing so you are making the most out of your travels. Whatever “purpose” means to you, find it, do it and live it. Traveling and seeing the world is great, but you are in such a unique and beautiful place, not only in the world but in you life, so do something meaningful with it. By doing so, I believe, you not only receive so much more from your travels, but you bring to the world a sense of light and fire that the world needs, no matter where you or where you came from.
5 How do you build a social life outside of work when in a foreign country?
Building a social life in general isn’t the easiest thing for me to do… if we’re being honest. I am an introvert through and through and need my alone time but I find that it is usually easier for me to socialize when I am abroad than at home. Why? I think that it is just being in a traveling mindset you are more likely to open yourself up, not only to situations and experiences, but also to people. No matter where in the world you are, you will only create something when you have the intention of doing so. So make a conscious effort to be open and accepting of people. That doesn’t mean going out socializing and trying to meet a friend quota. No. Instead it means generally living your life in a more open manner. This could mean you make an small effort everyday to socialize and connect with people maybe by just saying “hi” or “how are you” to more people than you would usually, or by being open to that conversation on the bus that you would normally close yourself off to. Finding a community or people you connect with is difficult, no matter where in the world you are, but it takes conscious effort and an open mind. For those of you who are a bit more pragmatic and want a more formal “how to”, I would say start by using the tools you have. The internet has more resources than you think… for example use meetup.com, network and find other people through instagram that are doing the same thing, or seek out the places you would want to meet other like minded people. If you like to workout maybe start by joining a boxing gym if you are in Thailand or even a local yoga Studio in Croatia, etc. At the end of the day, putting yourself out there takes effort and people aren’t as scary as you think they are.