10 Dec Moving from a Life of Existing Toward a Life of Living
This is a guest post from one of our featured Intentional Travelers, Dorene of Travel Life Experiences. We’re so inspired by the big steps she and Troy have taken in their new life, and are excited they’re willing to share more about it with us today!
My husband Troy and I were the typical, educated suburban couple. We bought a house, worked hard to make a living, focused on our careers, and dreamed about our next holiday.
Every year on January 1, we felt optimistic and energized as we wrote down our dreams and goals for the year. But, when we looked back on the previous year’s ambitions, we instantly felt the pangs of frustration and anxiety—another year of unattained goals had gone by. They became broken promises that we mindlessly transferred over every year, perpetuating a cycle of disappointment for ten years.
Nothing changed for us until we changed our perspective.
Changing our perspectives didn’t come easily or naturally, nor did we do this on our own. We needed disruption, turmoil, and inspiration to catapult us into action.
But once we did it, everything changed. We sold our home and everything we owned, and left our accomplished careers to pursue a life of full-time travel and digital careers.
What really kicked my butt was losing my job. After getting over the initial shock, my emotions were a pendulum, oscillating between low self-worth and confidence. I had spent seven years slugging it out for a company, only to end up as a number, a casualty—not human or relevant anymore. Job interviews left me feeling uninspired and almost nauseous at the thought of re-living the same kind of role, waking up each day, doing the same uninspiring work. It turned out my goals had changed, and what blossomed was a new urge to do something more meaningful.
The other wake-up call was the massive health problems that plagued my cousin Colin. He was young, had lived through cancer three times, and was at risk of leaving this world far too soon. His incredible zest for life and perseverance astounded me. The chances of him surviving to follow his dreams were low, but he beat the odds and pulled through. His experience was the best reminder that life is too darn short.
Despite this, we still had all kinds of excuses preventing us from pursuing a new life on our terms. What if we ran out of money? What if illness struck our family again? What if we got sick? What if we couldn’t create new careers for ourselves? And sadly, were we too old to start over? All these questions should have stopped us, but they didn’t.
We got resourceful. We devoured every bit of information to guide us on our next step. We started talking about our plans to others and met people that complemented our journey. They subsequently introduced us to other people following new paths of their own.
We were told about a website called Live Your Legend. Troy took the Connect With Anyone course through the site and responded so strongly to it, he feels it was the biggest catalyst for his transformation.
Not only did Live Your Legend provide us with a wealth of tools to find our passion, it also opened our eyes to a community of people around the world doing the same. These people became our mentors, coaches, cheerleaders, and our life-long friends.
Surrounding ourselves with inspiration not only helped us, but convinced us that anything is possible.
We began connecting with people in the travel community such as industry insiders and bloggers at Travel Massive meet-ups. We opened ourselves to communities entirely different from our usual circles. At first we felt like imposters, encroaching into a world we enjoyed, but didn’t actually work in yet. It didn’t matter because the community was so welcoming and open to our thoughts and participation. It gave us all the inspiration we needed to do the impossible.
Don’t be afraid of the reactions to your life-changing news
It’s your life, and your dream. You can’t control what your family or your peer group think about your choices. If you have a passion for your cause, you won’t waiver from it. You just need to find those people in your life who will help and assist you, or at least support your decisions.
Where are we now with living our dream?
We are 332 days into our new life. We’ve lived in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, Portland, Oregon, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.
We started Travel Life Experiences, a website dedicated to helping people who feel they are missing out on life and are seeking change through meaningful (local, cultural, and immersive) travel. We create videos and communications and marketing strategies for clients in the travel industry looking to inspire their guests with local activities.
We are getting accustomed to our new life each day and are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead! We’re grateful to have found a lifestyle that challenges ourselves where we learn new things everyday and work through our problems as a team.
Looking for help to take the first step? We’d love to connect with you at Travel Life Experiences.
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