[lifestyle design.] How My Friend Quit Her Job and Traveled to 9 Countries in a Year.

A longtime friend and I were catching up one day when she informed me of some exciting news.  Her friend, Kisha, made the life-changing decision to quit her high paying career to travel the world while building her business.  I was overcome with joy after hearing the news.  I had spoken with Kisha a few times and knew of her desire to leave corporate life. 

Once Kisha aid goodbye to her high-level marketing position, she jetted off to Africa.  I assumed that she would only be there for a little while before returning to the states to launch her marketing company.  I was wrong.  Over the course of a year, her getaway turned into an adventure.  I followed along on Instagram as she traveled from country to country meeting fellow entrepreneurs while experiencing the local culture.  The more I followed her journey from afar, the more I wanted to know the intimate details of how to live a life of travel while building a brand.

I felt compelled to reach out to her for an interview after speaking with another woman who expressed an interest in living a similar lifestyle.  I think many of us would like to experience long-term travel at some point. But that type of lifestyle may seem out of reach.  That's exactly why I reached out to Kisha to see what we can learn from her experience. 

Describe your first year of working on your own? What's been the greatest ups and downs? I left my job on July 28, 2017.  This past year has been better than I could have imagined.  The entire year wasn't planned out. I just planned the first two months of travel to Africa and everything else unfolded after that.  Looking back, I see the past year as a confirmation that everything will be ok. Once I step into something I want to do, I get this feeling of "don't worry it'll be ok".  Don't worry about money, don't worry about not speaking the language, don't worry about not knowing people.... you'll be ok.  Keep moving forward.

At first, I was worried and concerned. I took a bunch of steps to prepare as much as I can.  Entering into a new environment is like working a muscle that you haven't used. Once I had the tools in place,  it's not that difficult. 


Your Instagram feed is loaded with glimpses of your travel adventures? How many countries have you visited in the past year?  Columbia, Argentia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa,  South America, Bali, Thailand, Philipines, and Japan.

Any tips on how to maximize your budget while traveling? Can anyone do this without going into debtWhen I first began making plans to quit my job, I converted my emergency fund account to a "freedom fund."  When I quit, I had zero debt, wasn't paying a mortgage and budgeted $3k-$4k a month to live on.  One thousand dollars went towards my reoccurring bills (storage, car insurance etc). The other $2k-3k a month was for lifestyle, eating, classes, and social activities.  I routinely went under budget and didn't spend the full $2K-3k on living expenses. It helps to go to countries where the dollar is strong.  When you travel abroad, you see how other cultures are not as materialistic.  People a more concerned with family/community vs. stuff.  To get the most from your money, go to places where your dollar goes far where you can live a comfortable life without having to spend a lot on daily expenses. 

A lot of people are interested in exploring far away places but are turned off by the costs.  What are your bests tips and tricks for budget-friendly travel? Talk to people about where to stay.  Start small, maybe for 2 weeks.  Ask questions of people who are there.  With this type of lifestyle, you operate more as a local versus traveling as a tourist.  I talked to the hotel staff about stuff to do locally that wasn't too expensive. I would DM other women in the Instagram tag and coordinate impromptu meetups with other black women travelers.  I also met people by doing some of the same activities I enjoyed in the states (like taking a yoga class, etc). There are also companies out there that help curate trips. Another great resource are travel groups.  There are a bunch of travel groups on Facebook you can join.   


Are there any drawbacks to living this type of lifestyle?  I've met a lot of black women who are living this nomadic lifestyle. There are people who've been doing this for years.  Many of them don't have an established home and wish they had something of their own.  Also culturally, there are differences.  The lifestyle works because you aren't paying rent/mortgage in the states. When they go back home, they typically stay with family.  Also, there are some pros and cons when it comes to dating.   I also sometimes feel more appreciated as a black woman traveling abroad.  When I'm traveling, I'm a different person and I don't bring the baggage that comes with meeting new people in the states.  I think I'm more open and receptive since I'm in a new environment.  Most people are in good spirits when they travel.  That excitement makes my presence difference. Also, the appreciation and attention you receive helps you to stay open to the possibilities and experiences.  Some countries are more dating friendly to black women then others.
@creativekisha
You've had the opportunity to meet and connect with countless entrepreneurs and those hoping to launch their brands, are there any commonalities that you see in the ones that have experienced positive results?  The number thing is that they are open.  Open with talking about what they do. They are open to saying what they don't know.  They're open to connecting with other people and they are able to be vulnerable.  Unlike some people in the corporate environment that are so guarded.  It's a community vibe that consists of collaboration versus competition.

If someone who read this today wants to be where you are a year or so from now, what advice would you give them to start their path? Just start.  I started saving about 3 years before I quit.  If it takes 3 years, at least 3 years from you're ready to start your path.  It doesn't have to be some grandiouse thing. Start small.  I also started networking before I even quit my job. This helped me to start up conversations with others when I'm in faraway places with people I don't know.  The great thing about the internet now is there are a bunch of people to follow and they share details on how they launch their business and how they travel.  Start small, pick a place and do some research.  Send people DMs and ask questions. 

I'm a different person than I was a year ago.  People don't realize what's available to them.  I can never go back to working for corporate America because my brain is retrained to other possibilities.  I surround myself with other people who are living this lifestyle.  Now, whenever I come across an obstacle, I'm like, if you don't try, how else will you know what you're capable of?  

The t-shirt I'm wearing right now says "Your comfort zone will kill you."  I realize that if you want more, you have to understand that your comfort zone isn't the place to be.  If you feel like you want more out of life, you owe it to yourself to try otherwise you aren't living to your full potential of happiness.  Going to back to work isn't even option for me because my mind doesn't see things the same way. 

Travel changes you.  It allows you to be more of who you were meant to be.  Traditionally, we're made to believe that have this one road and when we travel we see more possibilities.  Traveling opens you us to create a world of possibilities.  Travel helps you be yourself in different ways that you can't see because you're tuned in to one way of living.  My definition of success has now changed from having money to being in a being in a state of expansion vs. contraction.  My healthiest state is when I'm in a place of constantly expanding.  I'm really using the feeling of expansion as my guide and it hasn't steered me wrong. 

I loved my conversation with Kisha because she helped me see how this type of lifestyle is really possible (even on a smaller scale).  Be sure to check out Kisha's 3 Part Blog Series on how she quit her job to learn more about her journey.

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  1. Thank you so much or sharing this article. I'd recently returned from a short trip to Barcelona and I have returned with such a fresh outlook on the importance of travelling and seeing the world from a new and fresh perspective.

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  2. This is a really incredible and inspiring piece. I work 44 hours a week but my passion is travel. This is affirmation that one day that can be a possibility. Atowle|https://formationvacations.com/

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  3. The life of travel is so much on my mind lately. I pray I can experience it someday, soonest.

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