Ever think of taking time off your regular routine life, quitting that 9-5 job that constantly restricts you from living life or are you just looking for something more out of life.
Thinking of living your life uncoventionally. Check out my interview with Stephanie Yoder.
Hi Stephanie, How are you doing today?
I'm doing quite well! At the moment I'm on a plane from Hong Kong to Xi'an, China. Hoping I can knock out these questions before the plane starts landing!
Quickly give us some background information on what you were doing before travelling?
Before I left on this trip in September 2010, I spent two years working for a medical association, basically boring cubicle work. I already knew I wanted to travel but I didn't have the means, so I spent that time living at home, saving my money and building my blogging business in my spare time.
Where are you currently and what are you doing?
After 7 straight months of travel I'm resting my feet in Xi'an, China. I was growing weary of constantly moving about and wanted to stay in one place for a little while and concentrate on my various projects. My boyfriend is teaching English in Xi'an, so it seemed like a good place to crash. Plus, I adore Chinese food!
What has been the most adventurous thing you have done on your travels?
It's hard to pick a most daring thing! Flying a glider (engineless plane) in Suffolk, England was pretty crazy though. I still want to sky dive, but for some reason I have a paraylizing fear of scuba diving.
Why did you decide to travel? When did you catch the travel bug?
When I was in college I studied abroad in London and got my first real taste of travelling. When I graduated in 2007 I had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise so I figured I might as well see some of the world while I sorted things out. I knew I wasn't done with Europe, so I headed back for another 9 months. The funny thing about travel though is the more places you go the more severe the addiction gets. Now I think I'll probably need two or three lifetimes to visit all the places I'd like to see!
Tell us about your travel blog(20-Something Travel) and it’s purpose?
I think that, in America at least, we are conditioned to follow a set path in life: go to school, get a job, work hard and THEN, maybe if you do it well enough, you can travel when you retire. I think that's stupid. Life is short, there are no guarantees and you should do the things you find fulfilling now, not later.
I started my blog specifically to encourage young people to travel. I think that your twenties are an ideal time for seeing the world. I aim both to provide inspiriation and to lead by example, showing people that it is in fact very do-able.
What would you say was the most challenging part of getting to where you are now?
I think that the hardest part of any big life change is trusting yourself enough to take that mental leap between wanting to do something and actually planning to do it. The day I bought my plane ticket to Japan my hands were shaking, but the rush was incredible.
Favorite tech gadget you take travelling with you?
I'm not a super high tech kind of girl, but I can't imagine travelling without my Asus EEE netbook. It's pretty light and compact but it's the perfect tool for writing and running my business on the road. Even if I wasn't a blogger I'd still love it for skyping home and watching movies on long bus rides.
Where have you traveled to so far?
Eeek, long list! Since graduating in 2007 I have been lucky enough to explore large swathes of the United States, the UK, Europe, East Asia, and Australia. Hopefully this fall I'll be heading to Latin America.
What did you want to be as a kid growing up?
A writer actually! My mom is a novelist and as a kid I always dreamed of doing the same. I love that I get to write about travel now, but it's still my dream to publish a novel someday.
How do you handle the negative judgments of people who think your lifestyle is lazy, irresponsible, or you're not living in the real world?
I feel sad that they are so uncomfortable in their own life that they feel the need to comment on mine. I know that comes perilously close to saying "they're just jealous," but the truth is, if you are content with yourself you do not need to tear others down. Live and let live, that's my philosophy.
I pay taxes, I travel ethically and I work hard for everything I have- no trust fund supporting me! Those people are wrong, plain and simple, so I try not to let it bother me.
Favorite International Food?
Tough, tough question. I'm a huge fan of Chinese food, Vietnamese food, Italian, Thai, I could go on and on... I love food, for me it's one of the best things about travel.
Favourte place visited and why?
I loved Bosnia & Herzigovinia, its a beautiful country full of rich and sometimes heartbreaking history. Iceland has weird and amazing natural beauty like nowhere else on earth. And Vietnam and Cambodia have some of the most friendly people. It's hard to pick a favorite!
What would you say has been your most valuable lessons learnt on your journey so far?
I touched on this before, but I think one of the greatest things I've learned, and am still learning, is the freedom that comes from not caring what other people think. It's a lot easier said than done of course. No matter what you do, somebody is going to have an opinion on it, but it's about following your own inner compass. In the end the only person you have to answer to is yourself.
What advice can you give to people who want to break out of the 9-5 lifestyle but are scared?
It's okay to be scared, in fact it's normal. If you weren't scared that would be weird. The big challenge is in being scared and doing something anyways. Yes, changing your life dramatically is a risk, but in my mind at least it's less of a risk than knowingly committing yourself to being safe, unhappy and always wondering what could have been.