It’s been over a year since I last had a traveller interview! I recently decided that I needed to rectify that, so I got in touch with one of my favourite travel bloggers at the moment. What I love about her writing is that she’s a Scanner like me! I’ve loved her unique perspective and her adventures. Please enjoy!
Janet, thank you for this interview! Could you please tell us a little about yourself first?
Absolutely! I’m a creative entrepreneur with an online business where I help purpose-driven small business owners and writers with ebook design, launch and other tech goddess web bits. It’s great that my skillset naturally lends itself towards online work because this allows me a lifestyle where I can work from anywhere and travel quite a bit.
Why did you decide to start travelling?
I’ve always been a traveler and had the wanderlust in me since I was a toddler. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest but was born in the Philippines so being multicultural also lends itself towards seeking new places to see and cultures to immerse myself in. I love the cultural immersion aspects of traveling, often foregoing sightseeing and tourist traps to just *living* in different countries, seeing the off-beaten path, and talking to locals. I started traveling in 2010 because I needed a career sabbatical. I lived abroad for 2 years and now have created my work around being able to live and work from anywhere, which suits my travel style.
How long have you been travelling?
It’s always kind of an ongoing thing. I come back to Oregon where I grew up fairly regularly, at least once a year for 1-3 months at a time, but I’ve been living and traveling since 2010.
What’s your favourite country, and why?
I haven’t been to a lot of places yet because I tend to slow travel to the point of living in one area at a time. My favorite is a toss up between Germany and Thailand, but I think Thailand is winning just because tropical beaches are part of my ideal lifestyle. It’s a beautiful place and so cheap to live there!
What’s been your most memorable experience?
By far walking 800 km of Palawan, Philippines has got to be up there. It’s such a great metaphor for life. Movement in body is movement in life. Walking the Way… I felt a lot of flow with the Universe and lots of synchronicity that was easy and fast. I felt like I was on warp time!
Damn, 800km? I can’t imagine walking that far! Anyway, to continue – what’s your average cost of travel per week?
I’m more of a budget traveler I would say so my average is probably only $110 or less, skewed because I tend to spend more time around SE Asia.
What do you do to earn money?
Technically, I use Paypal for everything which works well. Most my clients are from the US, sometimes U.K. and New Zealand, Australia, etc. I’m essentially a graphic/web designer but I’ve chosen to specialize in e-book design since I love words and writing so much. I also have a small gig as a paid blog writer. So far, all the money I earn is freelance and service based but I’d love to transition into adding e-courses and workshops to vary my income streams.
What do you like and dislike about your lifestyle choice?
Great question! I’ll start with dislikes because it’s been on my mind lately… But I actually do crave a bit of stability and comfort. So it’s hard to create that when you move around so much and don’t root in one place. It’s also hard to cultivate relationships, for example romantically, without there being some kind of natural timeline or sucky long distance. It’s great for now but eventually I do think about wanting to ‘settle down’ and it’s hard to find someone who can keep up with me! I do want more of a home-base than I currently have, and actually start renting somewhere because at the moment I live entirely off my suitcase. Another thing I dislike is the stress of figuring out where to go next because I’m a horrible planner and getting things like where to live which is the basic and only thing I ever “plan” for ahead of time can be taxing if you travel frequently. That’s why I prefer slow travel and sticking to one place for at least 3 months at a time.
Other than that, I LOVE this lifestyle. When done right it can actually end up being a lot cheaper than a normal lifestyle in the “real world”. I love how I’ve been able to create a lifestyle where I get to play and don’t have to grow up. I love the adrenaline and buzz I feel when visiting new places. It stimulates my senses and makes me feel more alive. I both like AND dislike the fact that I work and travel because on one hand, it’s never a vacation so I’m limited with the amount of exploration I can do, but on the other hand, what a cool life I’ve been able to integrate myself in! It’s a life I don’t ever want to escape (i.e. taking a vacation). Whereas vacationers are limited in time (often hitting spots quickly and missing a lot), I have all the time in the world to slowly create the experiences that I want to have.
How has it changed you?
I feel like I’m pretty badass. I’m more confident, I’m able to problem solve and have so much appreciation for life. It has changed me for the better. I’m courageous, adventurous, and forged a challenging path (entrepreneurship isn’t easy) with tenacity. Most importantly, it’s taught me how to live my life through my intuition. It’s taught me how to let go and let flow, and trust in the Universe.
What advice would you offer people who are thinking about doing the same thing?
Don’t be afraid. The world isn’t as scary as you think. That being said, if solo travel seems too “scary” for you right now, don’t be ashamed to look at group tourist packages. They can be a great way to explore a new place, especially for less experienced travelers. If you’d rather go somewhere without any plans, like I tend to do often, I’d suggest to research places to stay at the bare minimum and make reservations. It’s much less stressful knowing exactly where you’ll be going once you land, although again, possible not to have that figured out as well! If you’re really hardcore about unplans, the best way to travel is LIGHT. You don’t want to lug around heavy baggages with you while looking for a place to stay within your budget so opt for just a backpack.
Please join me in thanking Janet for taking the time to join me with this interview. Thank you so much! Very much appreciated.
And she’s also active on Twitter: @JanetBrent
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