Eartha Austria took the plunge and decided to travel the world and blog about it!
She quit her job, moved out of her home, sold and donated most of her belongings and couch-surfed with a friend for 6 months to save some money for the trip. She doesn’t know how her year of travel is going to pan out, but she’s sure it’s going to be an awesome adventure!
Q. Tell us about your Good Life Crisis!
Eartha: My coworker caught me staring at the world map on my desk (again), and he laughed asking me where I was planning to go next. I shrugged, and said – “Everywhere!”
He turned serious and said, “You’re not going to work here for very long, are you?” His question caught me off guard and I said, “Excuse me? What do you mean?” He said, “Well, you’ve changed. You used to be happy.” And that, I think, was what really did it for me.
He was right. I used to be such a happy girl, very upbeat and energetic… but the past couple years I’ve sort of lost my passion and drive, primarily because I knew I was meant for something more than being confined in a cube all day.
I always knew I wanted to travel the world at some point, but there were so many reasons why I shouldn’t do it. I was scared of instability, not having a career, not having a steady income, letting go of the life I built for myself living in LA for 6 years, and not knowing what will happen to me afterwards.
For a year, I felt like there was a big dark raincloud over my head all the time. I was unhappy at work, but I didn’t know what I could do about it. It turns out, I knew it all along, and fear just kept me from doing it.
And so after that conversation with my coworker, and a night of reflection, when I woke up the next day I knew. I knew I had to just get over my fear and do it or else I’d regret it for the rest of my life! And here I am now, barely a month to go before my big trip and I couldn’t be more happy about it.
Q. When did you first discover your passion for travel?
Eartha: The travel bug bit me hard when I first went on a trip to Europe via Contiki Holidays in 2008. I started traveling every year since then.
In one word, travel makes me feel: significant!
Q. What has been the hardest part?
Eartha: The hardest part was giving up my apartment and selling and donating almost all of my stuff. Letting go is hard. I loved my apartment and the life I built for myself in LA, and I was really proud of what I had accomplished. I shed a tear for every book I had to donate to my local library.
However, I also found that letting go is very liberating. I don’t miss any of the things I sold, and I definitely feel a lot lighter without all the clutter I’d accumulated.
You realize you don’t really need a lot of ‘things’. They’re just noise. Clearing out clutter was therapeutic for me, and it’s definitely something I think everyone should do. A lot of those things were weighing me down, and I’ve grown to appreciate a minimalist lifestyle.
What do you hope to achieve on this adventure?
Eartha: I guess I just want to be able to see if I can carry on living this kind of lifestyle… being location independent and free. I’d also want to be able to inspire others to pursue their passion… If they see that I can do it, hopefully they’d believe they can do it too.
Has your vision changed since you started?
Eartha: The vision hasn’t, but the process has. For instance, I never considered travel blogging as something I’d pursue seriously.
I started my blog thinking it would be nice to have some sort of an online journal to document my travels, but learning about the art and science of blogging and getting introduced to other travel bloggers opened my eyes to a whole new world of traveling, blogging and living!
It’s pretty exciting!
What message would you like to give people?
Eartha: Just that with enough will, determination and hard work, anyone can accomplish anything.
Everyone should make an effort to pursue their passions with ferocity, and believe that no one is ever too old to start doing what they really love. I’ve learned that once I had settled on my decision and worked towards that purpose, the Universe really did (and still does) conspire to make things happen.
Doors will open, and opportunities will present themselves if you set your eyes and heart on a goal and commit to seeing it through. There is magic in following your bliss and living your life on purpose. I really believe that.
What’s next? Do you have a plan?
Eartha: I honestly don’t know. What I’m trying to do is get through the next couple of months first, get this journey started. A lot could happen in a year, and I want to keep things open.
Who knows? I might keep doing this till I visit all the known places on Earth. That is my goal after all – to live up to my name, one country at a time!
Check out Earth to Eartha to follow Eartha’s travel adventure!