After sharing on Facebook yesterday about my whirlwind of travel adventure, 20 U.S. States and 18 countries in the last 52 weeks, my inbox blew up, essentially with the same question...
What I think I'm really hearing is, "how do you manage to travel so much?"
You sure you want to know?
First, and most importantly, my mindset changed. What used to be "I can't do this because [fill in with every logical sounding reason - busy, can't afford it, job, family, etc]", became seeing that each responsibility I have and action I make, is a new choice every single day.
Life is not just happening to me.
I had been living the life I had stumbled through, and in turn created, then felt beholden to. It shifted to consciously creating the life I wanted to live.
This topic is an entire rabbit hole, picking apart childhood traumas that lead to where my needs came from, how I was living my life to serve the needs that were built upon unhealthy places. Deconstructing how our culture and economy works to build and reinforce these narratives that cause us to seek anesthetics to numb and distract ourselves, and so on. Maybe in a future post I'll break this down, if you're interested. But the main point is turning inward and gaining clarity.
Secondly, when that shifted, I assessed, got very clear, then intentional on my priorities. I looked past what I THOUGHT my priorities were, but instead looked at how my life (how I spent my time, attention, and money) was reflecting my actual priorities.
I started to ask and answer (honestly) questions like this:
- How much is being spent on entertainment and stuff I desire?
- How many subscriptions do I have?
- How much am I spending on ride sharing?
- What's my diet like?
- How much am I spending at the bar or in coffee shops?
- How long do I spend a day scrolling through social feeds?
- Reading emails?
- Binge-watching shows?
- Reading articles and watching videos that I will never step forward to be an agent of change for, but just stay pissed off, or just stay entertained and inspired by?
- Were my actions seeking distraction?
- To be validated by others?
- To feel comfort or belonging?
I reprioritized ADVENTURE, novelty, and newness, to be my #1 need.
To make that happen, it meant traveling, seeing the world, stepping into unknowns and discomfort, and living more into my senses. Being and feeling alive. Connecting with other people to hear and share stories.
COST OF LIVING
It required a purge. Selling and giving away material that anchored me down. Cutting off subscriptions and bills. Changing my diet and social habits. Getting rid of my house and car.
Immediately, this made my cost of living go way down. Not having rent/mortgage, the many utilities and bills, buying food to keep a kitchen full, material to fill up all the rooms with all the nuance needs that are never ending... it's amazing how much it frees up expenditures.
When cost of living is lower, we don't need to make as much, which means we don't need to work as much, which means we have a lot more time to do, or just to be, or to go.
As for me personally, I've taken on a couple consulting projects, where I help a client solve a problem, and I charge an hourly, daily, or project rate.
My last client project, (not including pro bono), ended in October. With how I save, budget, and spend my money, I don't HAVE to work again until September of this year. However I'm already taking on more projects now so I don't hit the very end of my runway.
There are loads of resources for freelancing and some of my traveling friends do this very well. I haven't dug into them yet, because my projects have all been through pre-existing relationships, word of mouth, and most recently my GetYourOwnKyle experiment to source new opportunities.
What helped me get over some of these hurdles at the beginning, was learning the details of how other people made it work and thought about it, which I primarily learned over and over again through Heath Padgett's podcast - The RV Entrepreneur. Do yourself a favor and listen to it.
The rest is up to you, to ask yourself these sobering questions, and re-orient life to align to what serves you. It's not a comfortable transition, but so what?
Happy to answer more questions if you shoot me a note or leave a comment. Hope this was helpful.
And if you're in any of these areas during this timeframe. Please do reach out!