Growing up in Michigan was great. There is a sense of community, people have good jobs, nice houses and loving families. I always enjoyed playing sports, sledding and going out on the lake fishing with my Dad. As I grew older though, maybe around 15, it was evident after our family road trips to the ocean that I was meant to live somewhere else. I loved the sand and the palm trees and the water. Those road trips helped show me a new way to get out and travel.
Fast forward to when I turned 30. I was living in Orange County, California and loved it, but it was a turning point for me for so many reasons (putting it all out there!):
- I experienced launching a startup and shutting it down.
- I was married, but going through a divorce after 10 years.
- My current job I felt like I needed something new.
- I didnâ€™t have many friends yet since I worked from home.
- I lived alone, which was boring and sad.
- My family was all still in Michigan and I missed them, but didnâ€™t want to go back there to live.
I decided enough negatives, it was time for a change. Iâ€™ve always wanted to travel to Europe and I was done waiting for time off or someone to go with, so I did the unthinkable – I decided to travel alone. I booked a ticket to Paris and my excitement for the trip started building.
I couldnâ€™t believe I was going out of the country for a month alone, Iâ€™ve never been traveling anywhere alone before.
I wonâ€™t go over the trip details now, but it was a really liberating experience. I did find myself being lonely, but thatâ€™s just me, I like being around other people and sharing exciting things with them. The part Iâ€™m trying to get to though, is it opened my eyes. I worked remotely already for 5 years, but not once did I travel and work in another country. I was now ready to explore more!
As I felt more whole as a person and became more positive overall I found things were falling into place. In the new year I met Stephen, born in the UK, living in Bondi Beach, Australia. I instantly was in love, he was my perfect match. I decided to quit my current job, rent my apartment and live with him in Bondi to see how things go, plus, a new beautiful country to discover!
The year went by and we were at a crossroads, we were very much in love, but thoughts of visas and where we could live started to cross our minds. I put out the idea that I really wanted to travel the world â€œbefore itâ€™s too lateâ€. After reading the 4 hour work weekÂ and other books, I knew it was possible and believed we could do it. When Stephen agreed, I was elated and plans started to go into motion.
We were about to seriously get out and travel. People thought we were crazy, and so did I, but I loved it!
I sold (almost) all of my things: my car, furniture and apartment. I had one 30kg luggageÂ and thatâ€™s it – thatâ€™s all I had left to travel the world for who knows how long! I was scared of having no identity because I would have to wear the same clothes over and over (that’s a whole other post).
Stephen quit his job on Christmas Eve and we bought tickets to go to the Philippines starting January 24, 2016. It was really happening.
The thing that I didnâ€™t realize would happen is my friends and family that would message me, telling me Iâ€™m inspiring them to get out and travel more. They say weâ€™re â€œliving the dreamâ€ and in a way, itâ€™s true, and itâ€™s fantastic! Itâ€™s been my goal for many years to make a difference in a bigger way somehow and I think itâ€™s my time.
I wanted to start Travel Give Love as a passion project. To write about my journeys, give travel tips, take photos, and give back locally to people. Iâ€™m hoping that over the next few years this site can grow and be shared with many others to inspire and motivate.
As I travel Iâ€™ll be posting new photos that will be available for purchase on the site each week. If you like a photo you can purchase the canvas wrapÂ and each print gives back to a local charity and helps me stay on this wonderful adventure around the world! Please share with your friends and family!
Iâ€™m so thankful for each day, for my family, for my friends new and old and for Stephen who supports me and has given me a completely new outlook on life. Itâ€™s ok to start over. You could surprise yourself at what comes after!
All I know is my experience in this life, I know that Iâ€™m on the right path now and Iâ€™m the happiest Iâ€™ve ever been! So what are you waiting for? Get out and travel! Orâ€¦ if you donâ€™t like traveling, you could get out and experience something NEW!