"A Global Movement of Positive Energy!"
"I quit my corporate job and became a full-time traveler."
I've seen this quote used all over social media. Travel Bloggers and Instagram Travelers are quick to sell you the dream as you are sitting behind your computer in a dreary office. It sounds perfect, and they make it sound so achievable. "Just buy my 10-week program and I will show you how you, too, can travel full-time."
Perfect, right? What they do not tell you, however, is that you need to have the mettle to make it work for you. No 10-week program is going to make you an Instagram famous travel blogger overnight. Another massive point that should be noted is the semantics of their wording. "Travel full-time" doesn't mean "full-time vacation"; a common misconception.
Facing Fears & Traveling Around The World...
I've been living abroad and traveling the world off and on for more than six years, hopping on planes, touching down in countries with cultures different from (and in many ways the same as) the one in which I was raised, eating (strange) foreign foods, doing research on the documents needed to enter (or exit) a country properly, being invited to peoples' homes around the world the first day I meet them, and more. The truth is: it takes a certain kind of disposition to be able to do this. I remember a friend of mine saying — some years back — that this kind of living ain't for everybody: exploring country to country, sometimes living out of one's backpack, other times becoming a resident, perhaps in one of the most homogeneous and innovative countries in the world — South Korea — as an ESL teacher, or maybe even writing or working via one's laptop on three continents in one year.
But, for my generation, it's pretty common. Millenials travel and explore the world at increasing rate, perhaps mainly because we perceive the world as more connected and accessible than any generation prior. And many of us don't care about going it alone. And the digital nomad community is growing steadily. And brands like Travel Noire and Nomadness are shedding dope light on the black travel movement that has been brewing for years.
And to think, back in 2010, while people were traveling and living all around the world, I was back in a cubicle in Los Angeles working a less-than-fulfilling job, basically unaware of this alternative reality. What I did have, however, was a burning desire for something more.
If moving abroad were easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
With only about 35% of the American populace holding passports, I think it's safe to say that most of our knowledge of the big wide world comes from the idiot box and the internet, not from firsthand experience.
Personally, I cannot STAND it when people make incorrect assumptions about other countries. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. I have made it my life mission to encourage and help as many people, especially young people and women, to travel the world and move abroad. Hence this massive, rather long-winded blog.
Whether it's from movies, books or TV, I feel like the image of "the rest of the world" and "moving abroad" has become so idealized and misconstrued in American media today that it's no longer relevant to the actual experience.