The day before I moved to Argentina was the day I bought my very first DSLR camera. It intimidated the shit out of me, but those nerves didn’t even compare to the minor panic attack I had when landing in Buenos Aires the next day with two bags and sub-par Spanish skills. Here’s my 2013 one-way ticket to prove it, an electronic memento I’ll always look fondly upon. It set me back $77.50 thanks to my American Airlines award ticket 🙂
Moving abroad is definitely up there on the Best Decisions I’ve Ever Made short list. I went south to work as a marketing manager for a company called Oasis Collections, a little sister of Airbnb, if you will. After a year of working behind a desk and traveling the continent (Argentina recognizes a very high number of public holidays in a year – heyyyy long weekends!), I did a risky thing. Come summer of 2014, I decided I wanted to create a website that would inspire people to get out more. To not allow the grass to grow under their feet so much. To throw caution to the wind. To meet more walks of life. To travel.
I quit my job, I logged a shit ton of hours on my Argentine couch, and by trial and error, I learned how to run a travel blog. By April of 2015, I’d moved out of my Buenos Aires apartment to live a nomadic lifestyle. Who am I and where did the old me go?? Dear travel, LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.
Bear with me as I delve through self examination, family, culture, love lessons and realizations 🙂
Taking risks and throwing caution (and judgement) to the wind is beyond healthy.
I first learned this lesson when I took my talents to LA and filmed The Bachelor. Allow me to introduce you to giving less fucks which can be paralleled with throwing judgement to the wind. If you get offended by the language, don’t blame me. I didn’t write it, I just resonate with it. The past few years of my life can be summed up in the following page from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck:
Ahh. Relatable AF, no? Bottom line, do what makes you happy and don’t let others opinions get in the way of that. In my case, that means living a nontraditional lifestyle out of a suitcase, not paying rent anywhere, and being a horrid cook…and being okay with all of that. Society, hold please.
Confidence and dedication go a long way.
I believe if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. That means working long into the night and on weekends, missing weddings and family celebrations because you need to work and gather content abroad, pitching yourself to anyone who will listen, etc, etc. I knew it was risky to quit my well-paying job at a consulting firm in DC for a life abroad. I knew it was even riskier to quit my desk job in Buenos Aires for a life of travel. We must keep pushing the boundaries and wear our confidence like it’s the most stunning ball gown at the freaking gala.
Les(s) is more.
I’ve loved this little saying ever since I used it as inspiration to write my college essays way back when. It holds truer than ever now. I don’t have many possessions and the little I do own are either in a storage unit in Fort Smith, Arkansas where NOBODY in my family even resides anymore…or at my lovely parents house in Little Rock. I don’t own a bed. I don’t have a couch. I keep hearing about these zoodle makers though, so I can’t wait to own one of those some day. Bottom line: learning to live with less is the most freeing feeling I’ve ever known.
A strong support system is more important than you think.
From a very early age, my dad has always told me to find something I love doing every day. Through broadcast journalism and psychology and wedding planning and politics and hospitality and marketing, I have finally found that passion…and feel like I’ve lived 20 lifetimes doing it, the greatest feeling of accomplishment on earth. I was raised by the kindest and hardest working people I know. I have been surrounded by genuine, loving friends for as long as I can remember. This support group of friends and family constantly keep me grounded and bring stabilization and balance to an otherwise crazy life so that I can go through the journey unscathed, knowing a place of serenity awaits. Get a glimpse here in my Ode to Free Ferry Road, my childhood summed up in a blog post. It’s one of my favorites!
If people didn’t allow the grass to grow underneath their feet, the world would be a better place.
This may be my favorite lesson of all. Travel is a great way to avoid misunderstandings, war and suffering. It’s simply a matter of not having a preconceived idea of what something or someone is, but rather going to see what something or someone is. It’s the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had, travel and its social studies. There are so many lessons we have yet to learn awaiting us on the other end of that flight. When you travel well, you broaden the mind. When you broaden the mind, you see in all colors, shapes, sizes and religions. Dear Mr. President, I’m talking directly to you. Travel will change you and always for the better
Finding love and discovering the world are not mutually exclusive events.
I’ve been wanting to write an entire post on this for a while because after going through a few relationships while on the road, some readers and followers have asked if it’s hard to 1) find love and 2) keep the love alive while living such a complex lifestyle…good questions indeed.
Some people find love in their hometowns. Others on planes. Some find it on a dating app and others in faraway lands. We never pinpoint or choose where we meet the love of our lives, it just happens one day. I don’t think anyone can say, “Well if you stayed in one place long enough, maybe you would have found him/her by now.” That’s the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard in my life. I believe I have the same chance of finding love as anyone else, maybe even more because I frequently come across various walks of life and thus, have a larger pool to essentially meet. Ah, but who can really say? What I do know is that all relationships take work. Long distance relationships probably take more work. They suck and they’re hard and it’s a lonely existence sometimes…which is why you take your significant other with you as much as humanly possible 🙂 This can be harder said than done depending on his/her profession, but I’ve never known a relationship to blossom quite like it does in a foreign place where all you have are each other to rely on, left to navigate a country together with poor wifi and massive language barriers. It’s a beautiful thing.
And now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book Eat, Pray, Love…
Traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby—I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to—I just don’t care.