18 Nov Intentional Travel Interview: Alyssa & Heath Padgett – Hourly America
We were privileged to cross paths with Alyssa and Heath Padgett this past summer at the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon. Both 23 years old, they have been “honeymooning it up across America” in their 1994 RV while filming a documentary called Hourly America. Their film features stories of hourly workers across the country in hopes of changing the way people view hourly workers. In order to meet the amazing people they want to document, Heath works a different hourly wage job in every state .
Immediately intrigued by their quest, we wanted to find out more, so we had them do an interview for our blog. We have loved following their journey and encourage everyone to do so as well, via AlyssaPadgett.com and HeathPadgett.com.
How did you get started in this lifestyle?
Alyssa and I really didn’t like to picture ourselves sitting in an office all day working. We wanted to write. We wanted to do work that made a difference in the world. A few months before our wedding, we started brainstorming ways we could spend time traveling the country.
We came up with the idea to spend several months traveling the US. However, we didn’t want to just travel, we wanted to have a mission for our trip. Since I was going to have to quit my job, I thought it might be a good idea to try out other lines of work while doing some traveling. Hence, Hourly America was born.
Check out their video feature on CNN: “Wish You Were Here” | 50 States, 50 Jobs, One Honeymoon
What’s the best part of your current lifestyle?
Heath: Being able to see the world and go on adventures with Alyssa. I never imagined myself being “partners” with the woman I marry. I imagined kids and maybe a big family, but being able to wake up every day and go to work with the girl of my dreams has been the most wonderful gift.
Alyssa: My official answer is spending every moment with my husband and being completely free. We can write, film, and explore. We can do what we love. My unofficial answer is being able to make popcorn while Heath drives down the road. RVs are so cool!
What’s the most challenging aspect?
Creating consistent and engaging content while also filming a documentary and traveling a thousand miles per week in an RV and learning how to be married and trying to fix the RV when it breaks and trying to market our work. It’s exhausting! We recover with trips to national parks and frequent naps. Oh, and the $3 bottles of wine from Walmart.
What over-arching goals or values that drive your life choices?
Heath: A mission statement I have for my life is to be a light for others, and live a life that inspires people to challenge the status quo. My mission statement has influenced a number of my life decisions. I don’t always have to be the smartest guy in the room, but I pride myself in being able to take big risks. It’s my hope that those risks will inspire others to take action as well. On top of that my end goal is to be an author and write cool books that make a positive impact on the world.
Alyssa: My goal in life is to always be better. Not better than others necessarily, but better than yesterday’s me. Right now, that means I’m working toward being a more fearless, less timid writer and adventurer. My five years ago would have a panic attack thinking of what I do now. But now, I’m living my dream with the best person I know.
What’s 1 big thing you hope to accomplish this year? In 10 years? In your whole life?
Heath: I hope to have finished working an hourly job in 48/50 states of America and submitted my first book proposal. In ten years? I hope to have a kid or two, and still be writing books. My whole life? Whew, that’s bringing the heat. Hm, I want to always have been an encouragement to people. I want to have seen the good. I don’t want to have complained, but to have lived a life filled of whimsy and love. Accolades such as New York Times Bestseller would be cool, but those are just one byproduct of doing something extraordinary with your life.
If you could give one piece advice to others interested in your lifestyle, what would it be?
Heath: It’s impossible to achieve if you’re not willing to give up comfort.
Alyssa: You will lose half of your friends. They won’t understand what you’re doing and why. That’s okay. There are hundreds of other people, like Jedd and Michelle, who are just as audacious and will encourage you along the way. Those are the relationships that count.
Where is the coolest place you’ve been to recently or coolest thing you’ve done recently?
Heath: Pacific Coast Highway was probably the most awesome drive of my life. The Pacific Ocean has always been kind of sacred to me. When I was 21, I quit my job on a Friday and then drove 24 hours straight to Los Angeles. I called my parents and told them I quit work, was dropping out of college, and that I was going to live in LA (I ended up coming home three weeks later when I ran out of money). It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was terribly immature and hurtful to those closest to me, but at the same time it provided me with the realization that we don’t have anything to be afraid of when it comes to being stuck in a job we hate. I knew that if I didn’t quit and go to California then I would spend the rest of my life accepting mediocre, and that’s not what I wanted. Little did I know two years later I would be self-employed driving along that same ocean.
Alyssa: Visiting a winery in Minnesota. We both love wine and had the chance to work at Carlos Creek Winery in middle of no where Minnesota. Who knew Minnesota has wineries? It was absolutely beautiful and we met tons of friendly people. We are a shoestring budget, so we don’t get to do cute coupley things like this often. Best glass of wine in my life!
Anything else you want to share?
Heath: There is power in showing up consistently. Some of the people who inspire me the most are the ones who show up, day after day. If you’re feeling like you don’t know what to do next or maybe like you’re on the wrong path, taking any form of action can help you gain clarity. Lastly, don’t worry about clarity. It’s overrated and most of the time you’re going to have to do with out it :).
Alyssa: Embrace the crazy. Embrace days where everything goes wrong when your RV fridge stops working and your coffeepot won’t turn on. Embrace waking up at 3:30 AM and working all day for your dream. Embrace the people who support you along the bumpy road. The alternative to chasing your dreams is boredom.
Check out our other Intentional Traveler interviews here.
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