By Jennifer Trask, founder and “Chief Passionista” of Jennifer Trask International
It was 2002 and I was in my early twenties, beginning my first solo trip abroad. Green to international travel, there I was in the middle of King’s Cross Train Station, London, UK, and – just like in the movies – time stood still as I soaked in all the possibilities. I was enraptured by the busyness around me and enthralled by the newness of everything.
That was the moment I fell in love with travel. I knew I had to see the world and all it had to offer. My goal: 100 countries before I die.
Within six years, I had been back to Europe twice, lived in Australia, and visited more of my own country, Canada – and all these air miles came at a time when I was deciding what to do with myself.
When I completed my MBA in 2008, I entered the land of entrepreneurship: I knew it was where I would find work that I loved that would allow me to travel the world, create my own schedule, determine my own paycheck, and impact lives.
As with any foreign territory – at least when you first arrive – the land of entrepreneurship wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It was filled with a lot of ups and downs, and opportunities for learning. After three years of uncertainty, I knew it was time to get real with myself and ask, “Jennifer, how badly do you really want this?”
I recalled a simple exercise that I’d heard about years before, the “bookstore test,” and decided it was time to put it to the test. The bookstore test is this: When you walk into a bookstore, what section(s) are you automatically drawn to first? In those sections you will uncover your greatest passions and interests.
When I walk into a bookstore, I always gravitate toward two sections: business and self-help. After taking full stock of my skills, passions, and life’s mission – which were all crystal clear to me – I recognized that the time was right to choose a niche market that would make my heart soar as I met my personal and professional goals: I would deliver marketing and mindset coaching to self-help coaches!
Within a year, I was able to get my business to a point where I knew I could turn many of my dreams into reality. I had the right systems in place so I could be confident that my work would run smoothly, no matter my location. I had an established brand and presence in my marketplace and had an income to support myself.
It was then that I began to plan my first six-month trip to South America as a Digital Nomad. After years of visualizing places like the Galapagos Islands and Macchu Picchu, it was time to finally see them up close and personal.
Now that I am officially a Digital Nomad (I am living in Peru as I write this article), I have discovered three important keys to creating a life where you can work wherever in the world your heart desires:
- Do work that you love with all your heart and soul. Staying focused and strategic is much easier and more enjoyable when you are passionate about your work. Try the bookstore test for yourself and see what you discover.
- Live out your vision, surrounded by people who support your dreams. It won’t always be easy, and you’ll need encouragement from people who remind you that it is possible to follow your dreams — and that you deserve it.
- Don’t get stuck or held back by “what ifs.” Your life is happening now. Time will pass whether you want it to or not, so you may as well be loving your life every minute instead of postponing your happiness until everything is perfect.
Remember, all things are possible and you can live the life of your dreams. If I can, so can you.
Only 77 more countries to go!