In an instant, our world changed with a global pandemic. Our way of experiencing the world changed. Our world of working became one hundred percent remote work. With today’s technologies, we quickly proved we can indeed work from anywhere (and oh how ironic, though we can’t go anywhere).
So, we might realize now the opportunity to at least explore the idea of more location independence from our jobs or work in our future. We may want to integrate more freedom in our daily lives and how we live. We just may now be thinking about how to intentionally think about and design our work and lifestyles.
Travel has been woven into almost every aspect of my life. It’s a part of who I am, to my core. I wanted to make it part of what I did too. In 2017, I traveled solo with only a carry-on for 5 weeks spending time in 3 cities on 3 continents. It was confidence building, life affirming, and personally nourishing. After a few weeks of being back and having that travel experience, coupled with being 20 years in the corporate world, I started to see something different for myself and others.
I saw friends and colleagues incorporating immersive and extended travel into their lives and work. And I saw that more freedom was possible. I started getting super curious about how to do what they were doing. I wanted to make it part of what I did too.
What is extended travel? Well, it’s not that vacation or using up your whole 2 weeks of time off. Instead, it is weeks or months of travel to experience the world in a more integrated way — immersing yourself in new cultures, being exposed to new experiences and outlooks, creating new daily routines to adapt to the country you’re in, and having more time and mental space to think differently about your work and life. This trend of extended travel is something many are truly craving now. Perhaps we recognize we want more freedom in the way we life, or we’re realizing the world is so connected, or we desperately need an adventure (right?!). Perhaps after this pandemic pause, we’ve realized our deepest priorities.
I grew up living overseas during most of my childhood and experienced that immersion, but I was missing it again all of a sudden. I wanted to learn from these travelers to inspire myself again, and ask those who were doing that extended travel, exactly how they were doing it. And if I had these questions, perhaps others would benefit from the inspiration as well.
I interviewed 40+ people as part of my travel podcast series ‘More Travel in Life.’ I talked to a variety of adventurers. One successfully linked a dream volunteer effort with a business trip to India, one ‘hacked’ a system of travel rewards to go on constant weekend trips (like every weekend!), one worked as a safari consultant, and one couple planned a year-long around the world trip with a two year old.
At first it was a personal project for my own curiosity. But then I got feedback that it was also helping others look at their approaches to travel (and life) in fresh ways. I love listening to people’s adventures, their paths, and where they want to go in life. What took them here, then over there, and ultimately landed them in this moment.
Ultimately though, my guests all shared a common mindset. They stopped playing out any preconceptions, scripts, or “shoulda’s” that they’d been living previously, and they intentionally sought out to design their lives with more travel, in a variety of forms. Their stories showed me the range of creativity and unique approaches for how to incorporate more authentic travel into our lives, no matter our current situation. Whether we’re working full time, have families, or have pure wanderlust, we can design deeper and transformational experiences through extended travel.
In my consulting work, I help companies and teams explore ways to be change agents in their marketing and growth efforts. Through the More Travel in Life podcast and platform, I hope my guests’ travel stories showcase how we can in fact be our own change agents. We can absolutely shape our own paths, and we can start intentionally designing our best life.
Travel is just one way (my favorite way) to explore our selves and have experiences that expand our minds, grow our compassion, and perhaps even personally transform our lives.
PS. Yes, get your wanderlust on with 44 episodes of travel inspiration: The More Travel in Life Podcast.