When you’re dreaming of a life less ordinary, the urge to pack your bags and leave can often win. Here are some inspiring souls, no different to you or me, who’ll admit their lives have been changed forever by travelling. David Bernstein, Life Force Project
David Bernstein, Managing Director of Life Force Project
After years of working in private equity and investments, Colorado-born David dropped everything and took a solo trip. What was originally a five-day solo adventure in Panama became a three-year journey through Latin America. Today he runs Life Force Project, creating authentic and transformational experiences in the world’s most captivating destinations.
“My adventure took me to a place where I saw the world and my place in it through fresh eyes, and the vision stuck. I was liberated and inspired to make wellness (yoga, meditation, healthy eating, spirituality) my companion abroad, and life became magical.
When I landed back in Colorado I was determined to share this experience with others. I launched Life Force Project to take others along with me on this transformational journey and in a short time, it has attracted a community of international wellness specialists, intuitive healers, meditation and tantric masters; shamans and Taoist Qi-Gong experts, eco-adventurists and some of the country’s most sought-after yogis.
It is so easy to sleepwalk through life. To become a victim to a routine. To limit ourselves and operate from fear. Travel is one of the strongest ways to break this pattern.”
Sarah Alderson, Author and Screenwriter
British-born Sarah Alderson‘s life changed in 2010 when she and her husband quit their jobs and took off on a round-the-world trip with their three-year-old daughter. Sarah is currently living between London and California.
“We were looking for a new place to call home and were keen to explore our passions. I started writing a book and by the time we reached Bali, where we settled for five years, I had a three-book deal with a top publisher.
I’ve since gone on to publish 10 books, several of which are now in production as movies and TV series. And I’m screenwriting in Hollywood. If I hadn’t taken the risk and set off on our travels, none of this would have happened, and I’d still most likely be working in the same 9–5 job. I have to pinch myself every day!”
Elizabeth Henzell, Founder of Pet Adoption Centre, Villa Kitty
Australian mother of three, Elizabeth has had the travel bug her whole life and her love of languages has caused her to change direction more than once. A love of animals saw her founding a sanctuary for abused and abandoned cats and kittens in Bali, where she now lives. Villa Kitty was recently featured on an Australian TV show.
“The reason I landed on Bali was because I had started studying Bahasa Indonesia at uni. I already had a smattering of Malaysian having lived there in the ’70s and I loved the lifestyle and had a great variety of Malaysian friends. And I LOVED the food.
I started studying it privately in my late 20s when I was working in travel! I took myself off to Florence to study Italian at Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in 1980! After my marriage broke up I went back to uni and studied Indonesian, purely because it was either that or Japanese. I studied in West Sumatra in 1998 for two months! That was amazing. And when my children were grown I moved to Bali.
I worked as a PA but animal welfare desperately appeared in my vision and the rest is history. I miss my children but they would have killed me if I’d been the needy mother at home, so if anyone is like me and needs to be needed, then please come over!”
Camille Nicole, Writer and Certified Yoga Instructor at This American Girl Retreats
Four years ago Camille decided to quit the American dream and created her own instead. Since then she has lived with her home on her back in over 20 countries, become a certified yoga teacher, set up a successful retreat for women in Costa Rica and discovered the true meaning of happiness.
“Four years ago my life looked really good on paper. At just 24 I managed a team of employees, had a growing side business as an interior designer, lived in a beautiful apartment, drove a BMW and my boyfriend was a successful restauranteur. But I wasn’t happy.
So the universe decided to take it all away. I lost my job, my boyfriend and two of my best friends all at once. It was the darkest time in my life. Feeling like I had nothing to live for, I made the uncharacteristic decision to run away and live in a cabin in the jungle beach town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
I quickly learned that all I needed to be happy was nature, play, freedom, community, solitude, and the belief in magic. I had nothing material, I was dirty all of the time, and I spent most of my waking hours alone. But I had never felt so good in my life. Since then, I’ve travelled all over the world with my home on my back, started the popular travel blog This American Girl, become a certified yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, written a popular eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rica, and created my own travel retreats in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from pursuing this unconventional life it’s this: say yes to your heart and everything else will follow. Never settle for anything less than what makes your heart flutter.”
Scarlett Hawkins, Distinguished Slam Poet
Scarlett Hawkins is a writer, blogger and internationally renowned slam poet from Melbourne, Australia. She was 23 years old when she quit her job and left home to travel around the world indefinitely.
“I was scared of all that I was leaving – my loving friends, a supportive family, an invigorating career – but those nerves did not outweigh my urgent need to move.
In the last eight months, I have toured the United States as a slam poet, met countless people whom I will cherish for life, fallen in love, gleaned perfect comfort in being uncomfortable, and commenced writing my fourth book. A
s a notorious homebody, my friends were bemused that I had no prediction of a return date. But any traveller will tell you that if you know and accept yourself authentically, flaws and all, anywhere can feel like home.”
How has travelling changed your life? Share your story in the comments below.