I recently read a an article titled “30 questions that made me quit my job and start traveling.” I thought some of the questions were really good, while others didn’t pertain to me because I already did technically quit and start traveling. This is a bit more cheesy than my average posts, but I thought answering some of the questions would be a good way to reflect on my travels. I answered most questions in relation to travel.
If not now, then when?
What would you do if nobody would judge you?
I would continue traveling after New Zealand or even stay in New Zealand longer. I would go to Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal on another lengthy trip like my Southeast Asia trip. Anyone keen to join- message me?! I could also see myself teaching in either Laos, Cambodia or Indonesia as well. Teaching in Southeast Asia is something I find myself wanting to do more and more. OR, maybe I’ll go home, because I’ll be ready to.
Have you done something worth remembering lately?
I’ve done a lot of things worth remembering and am so thankful to have had these experiences. Some highlights of my last year of traveling include hiking Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia, diving with manta rays off Nusa Penida Island, Indonesia, Canyoning in Da Lat, Vietnam, hiking the Queen Charlotte track in Picton, New Zealand, going to the Killing Fields in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and running my first full marathon in Oakland, California.
Diving in Indonesia
Time or money?
Time and just enough money. Money does buy happiness, but only up to a certain point. I want enough money to pay off my school loan. I’ll never feel completely free until then. The more I travel, the more I realize how valuable time is. Every trip I plan for comes and goes so quickly. The fact that I left for Southeast Asia a year ago is mind blowing, honestly. I’ve already been in New Zealand for nearly 4 months and the end date is daunting. I often stop and remind myself to really soak it in and appreciate my time in New Zealand because it will be over before I know it. Because time flies so fast, it’s important to do all the things you dream of doing now, instead of waiting for someday. I have had people message me asking me how I travel so much and the only answer I have is that I make it a priority and I have nothing tying me down. I didn’t buy a new car out of college or move into an expensive city apartment in Minneapolis because it wasn’t my priority. I lived with my parents and drove my 1993 grand am because that meant I could travel as soon as possible.
What is the one thing you are proud of but would never put on your resume?
I’m really proud of myself for saving and paying for all of my travel on my own and for moving to New Zealand by myself. In the last two years I have done a road trip to California, traveled Southeast Asia for three months and when I got home, I immediately started saving for New Zealand. I worked three jobs for 5 months and made enough to be able to follow my gut instinct and move back to Wellington. I do recognize that it would have taken me longer to save if I was not able to live with my parents, so thank you mom and dad! And thank you to all of my family and friends who have supported me and have only wanted the best for me. It means the world to me.
If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
That’s hard. I would move back to a country in Southeast Asia for sure. I would have more time to really get to know the culture that way. Maybe Cambodia because there’s something really special about that country and I just didn’t get to spend enough time there.
What is something that you have always wanted to do since you were a kid?
I’m doing it.
When did you first realize life is short?
When Asia was over. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about it and planning for it and it was over in the blink of an I. And when I left for New Zealand the second time. I just sat there thinking “Wow, I’m really going. I’ve wanted to go back since the second I left, and look, I’m already en route.”
What memory from the past makes you smile the most?
Breaking the number one rule of diving while surrounded by manta rays: deep continuous breathing. Too busy spazzing with excitement to breathe properly! Or that time I flipped upside down, dangled from the cliff face of a waterfall, bashed my knee into said cliff, and plummeted head first into the water. I am the brightest.
In one year from today, how do you want to be different?
I want to be more mindful. I want to be even more aware of my surroundings, of all of the little things that make a place what it is.
What do you need to do to make it happen?
Learn about and do meditation, and just catch myself when I’m not being perceptive.
What do you absolutely love in life?
I love talking to locals in new countries I go to. I find their stories interesting and most often find that people with the simplest lives have a happier outlook on the world and others around them. I love meeting up with people I have met traveling again and I also love spending time with the people in my life that I am so close with. I absolutely love exploring because it gives me my energy!
Maddy, Desiree and I reunited in Canada
What is success for you?
Success to me is just being happy.
What makes you feel great about yourself?
After I help someone
After going for a run (well, some runs…. it’s a love-hate relationship)
When I can share something I learned about a place with someone (someone who is interested in hearing about it haha).
What do you admire most in the world?
The resilience of people and the creativity of people. People all over the world have really hard lives and huge mountains to climb but still find happiness in their lives and it’s so inspiring. They suffer through hard times and bounce back even stronger.
I recently went to a poetry slam and loved it because I was so impressed with how creative people are. I’m not that creative so it really impresses me when others are. It was amazing to listen to the poems and how their words could move the audience.
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like doing?
Because we are too afraid to stray from the norms of society and follow our own gut. Because we are afraid of change, even when where we are or what we are doing is making us unhappy. Because of other people’s expectations of us.
When was the last time you started something new?
It’s been a while since I’ve done something new and continued to do it. I really should pick up a new activity, especially while I am in New Zealand. I did play Cricket the other day, which I really liked!
In order of importance, how would you rank happiness, money, love, health, fame?
Happiness then love, then health, then money, then fame.
What was the thing that didn’t last forever, but was still worth a while?
Every activity I’ve ever done hasn’t physically lasted long, but the memories last forever. It’s way more important spending time making memories while doing activities than buying things that “last forever.”
What has fear or failure stopped you from doing?
I am a bit afraid of something big financially happening to me while away from home. I’m not exactly sure of what that would be, but I’m afraid of having to be bailed out and having to go home because of it.
I’m afraid I’ll never find a career I’m passionate about. Although, I do feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last few years, so I’m slowly weeding out things I know I don’t want to do forever and figuring out avenues that my time would be better spent on.
What are you thankful for?
The support of my family and friends and knowing that no matter where my life takes me they will support me and be there for me when I get home. I’m also SO thankful for Face Time, seriously, I spend at least three lunch breaks per week catching up with family and friends. And of course I am thankful for all of the incredible people I have been able to meet. When I think of all the amazing personalities I’ve stumbled upon I can’t help but smile 🙂
What do you need to let go of?
Caring about what other people think of me. I’m pretty sensitive, so I need to let go of this in order to really follow my dreams.
In one word, how would you spend the last month of your life?
What do you want to be known for?
Being an encouraging person and living my life on my terms.
Alright, that’s a wrap. When I read the article, I thought some of the questions were pretty awesome and that it was a good chance for me to think and reflect on my travels. It’s good to do things like this to remind myself to be thankful and keep doing my thing. My blog is typically me just scrambling words onto the screen quick (sorry for all my short sentences and grammatical errors lol) about what I’ve been up to, so I thought something a little deeper was in order.