Are you sick of the daily grind? Do you need a little more adventure in your life? Meet Live Your Dream Star and travel blogger Susan Shain. Susan is a freelance writer who values mobility and loves helping people discover adventure through international travel or alternative careers.
Get to know Susan Shain below. (Warning: She may inspire you to plan your next big trip!)
1. What was your first international traveling experience? Was that what filled you with wanderlust?
My first international traveling experience was to visit my godfather in Paris when I was four years old; I can’t say I remember it too well. But I can, however, pinpoint two experiences that filled me with wanderlust.
The first was when I was 17 and spent a semester in Geneva, Switzerland. I went to a public Swiss high school (all in French) and completely immersed myself in Swiss life. Not only did I learn to appreciate different cultures, I also grew to love the European rail system.
The second experience was just a year later, after my freshman year of college. I participated in a university research program and traveled to Tanzania and Kenya for six weeks. We studied the effect of HIV/AIDS through volunteering, meetings with grassroots leaders, and homestays with local families. It was an eye-opening experience that made me realize traveling is the best education there is — and that I needed to do a lot more of it.
Susan Shain on the job in Alaska.
2. On your blog it says you have been traveling and working abroad since 2008. What has been your favorite job or destination?
Well, I haven’t been traveling or working abroad since 2008 — I’ve been traveling and working around the world since 2008. Though I’ve had a few stints abroad, most of my jobs have been in the United States, followed by extended travels abroad. My favorite job was working for a sea kayaking company in Ketchikan, Alaska. I love the community and nature up there; it is one of my favorite places on earth.
As for favorite destinations, I’d have to include Colombia, Japan, and Italy. I also love Nicaragua and spent three months volunteering at a Nicaraguan school.
3. Do you ever get homesick?
For the past few years, I’ve been building up a writing and content marketing business. I’ve now been completely self-employed for a year and a half, which allows me to be location independent and work from wherever I happen to be. I’m not too sure where home is anymore, but I do get people-sick (meaning I miss my friends and family!).
Six years of constant moving did get to me, so I’ve now been living in San Diego for several months. I love it here and think I’ll stay until at least the end of the year. I am still traveling about two weeks out of every month; it is just nice to have a home base to return to!
And that happened in Egypt.
4. What has been your toughest moment traveling and living abroad?
Hmm, once when I was traveling solo in Thailand, I had a bit of a scary situation. Luckily, I acted quickly and was able to turn things around before anything bad happened. I really love the Thai people, so it was tough to realize they’re just like anybody else — there are some bad apples. But this experience taught me to always be cautious and follow my gut, which is an important lesson to learn.
5. If you had any advice for young women trying to live their dream, what would it be?
One of the most important words when following your dreams is PRIORITY. What do you want to be your priority? And does that align with what you’re doing right now? It’s only when you take a good, hard look at what you’re prioritizing that you’ll be able to make changes that lead to you getting what you want.
For example, if your priority is travel, then you need to focus all of your efforts on pursuing that dream. Don’t make excuses like you don’t have the money or the time; don’t buy new clothes (because your priority is no longer looking good) and don’t go to the bars every weekend (because your priority is no longer meeting guys). If you shift your priority away from other parts of your life, there’s nothing that will stop you from fulfilling your travel dreams.
Want to learn more about traveling and working abroad? Check out Susan’s free travel cheat sheet, which is a 35-step checklist to kicking butt on your big trip.
Want more great inspiration? Stay in-the-know with great tips from our Chicsters and LYD Stars on our Facebook and Twitter. Who are your favorite inspiring young women? Share with us in the comments below.