The Next, Next Chapter…

Barcelonetta_Sculpture

So I quit my job, again! To travel, again! Yes, It’s like Groundhog day.

I know, I know, I’m living the dream, but who’s dream? I work in fashion, in an office on the beach in one of the most fantastic cities in the world. Only a few weeks ago I was backstage at New York Fashion Week photographing models for my role as Global Influencer Manager in a career I love. But again something is missing. Freedom is missing, I crave it like a drug. Oh and my desire to give something back.

Clothes are just clothes. They became meaningless to me whilst I was travelling. Beautiful pretty garments were something I’ve spent huge amounts of money on in my lifetime. But that was back when my life had very little meaning or direction. I didn’t know what real happiness was. I can’t get excited about the latest Spring/Summer collection now I’ve experienced some of the most breath-taking sunsets in the whole world.

Barcelona has kept me occupied, my mind and senses stimulated for the last 5 months. I won’t pretend adjusting has been easy but I have a good life here, a beautiful apartment, the beach, good friends, art, culture and great food. It’s been an incredible stop-gap but I now realise I’d jumped back into the rat race, the view from my cage was just a little more beautiful than before.

I have never been happier than when I was free, surrounded by nature and an open road ahead. So what’s next… Well that my friends is something I’m working on. During my adventure around the world I was fortunate enough to meet people of all cultures trying to make a living from what they had and often that was very little. So many communities and small businesses heavily relied on travellers and tourists for an income but didn’t have the experience or skills to market what they were up to. English is without question the global language but many remote communities unsurprisingly can’t communicate very effectively in English. Their web copy is often a bit jumbled and their Facebook pages a mish-mash of random content. Without a good online presence how on earth are people supposed to find them in this day and age. Travellers often do dig a bit deeper and unearth these gems but not enough to sustain the communities and small businesses.

So many projects I came across completely inspired me and I often blogged about them. But as I was on a fairly fast paced journey around the world, I wasn’t able to do any more. Sat at JFK airport I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. I’ve got over 10 years of experience in PR, Social Media and Digital PR, oh and I am lucky enough to be a native English speaker (thank god because I suck at learning languages!). Why don’t I get back out there, travel slowly and exchange my skills for a bed and maybe a bit of food. I’ll take on paid clients if they’re profitable businesses but I want my primary focus to be for charities, communities and NGOs. I’m privileged enough to have got an education and I’ve enjoyed a good career so far but I dream of a simple life, a life on the road. It’s time to share my skills and experience with those who really need it and in exchange I get the life I want.

In a nutshell I’m quitting my well paid job in Barcelona, to go and work for next to nothing in developing countries. Maybe I’m crazy but I think about how much I’ve earned and the fraction I’ve actually saved. The years I’ve lived to work when I could have been out there experiencing life, I know I’m making the right decision for me. Maybe you’ve got it right and you’re happy, totally nailing the balance between life and work. I never quite managed that. I used to work, work, work, party, party, party and spend everything on my house, social life, my body and the odd holiday. I’m going to earn next to nothing, but spend next to nothing. I refuse to get sucked back into consumerism and instead with just a bag on my back I’m going to get back out there and try and make it as a global gypsy with a few skills to share.

I definitely sound braver than I am…

Dream quote

21 Comments on “The Next, Next Chapter…

  1. So proud of you, love you and can’t wait to see you – keep being happy xxxx

    • Cheers lovely! Not long now till we get to catch up. Cannot wait to see you and my beautiful godchildren! xxxx

  2. Stumbled across your blog, and it looks like you have some serious wonderlust. I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer and am looking for people to help me out with a project for my English class in Mozambique. There’s more info on the Postcard Project tab on my blog. Let me know if you would be interested in helping out. Haven’t gotten anything from Spain yet

    • Yep I got bitten badly by the travel bug Thomas! I’ll take a look and get back to you – thanks for sharing the opportunity 🙂

  3. Glad that you’ve found a new challenge, some might think you are a little crazy for giving up such a great position, but if you aren’t feeling a true passion for the job then I can’t blame you for changing to something that does.

    Good on you Jo

    • Perhaps I am crazy Iain… It’s highly likely and maybe I should just put-up and shut-up. But then I’ll always be wondering ‘what if’!

      • Everyone has a little crazy inside them, it’s what keeps us all sane lol.

        Life is full of choices, knowing which road to choose? What makes you happy?

        I think the answer is in the blog. I wish you the very best with this next chapter, oh and please don’t stop blogging. I find it a very inspirational read….”What if?”

        • I’m excited by big changes and the different paths life offers.. I spent many years feeling like my fate was sealed and that I was stuck in a mediocre life. It made me really miserable. I’m choosing to live for now and take all that life has to offer right now, whilst hopefully helping others on my journey. If I try and fail, I’ll be happy I tried! Of course I’ll keep blogging and thank you for reading and of course commenting 🙂

    • Cheers dude! I appreciate the inspiration and you proving it’s perfectly possible to live a life on the road.

  4. You are AMAZING! Although not a developing country we really hope you can get back to Melbourne during your travels. Miss you.

    • I miss you heaps Austen! I’m pretty sure most of your local projects and charities have mastered the English language. But I’ll never ever say never! 🙂 You’re all welcome to come and find me any time! Perhaps in Indonesia… that’s kind of close!

      • Places on my list that may coincide with your travels are Sri Lanka, Peru, Indonesia, parts of South America and maybe Japan…….. all for one very obvious reason. hahaha. We will see you soon, I’m sure of it.

  5. Oh my lovely Jo, good luck on your next adventure! You’ve got ants in your pants again! Our lives are so different these days but I respect how committed you are to the following the path that matters to you most. Stay safe and please add Wales to your list of countries to call in at. I can see that we don’t have the appeal of South America and Asia but it’s still pretty nice, and I’m here too!! Xx

    • You would have thought a whole year of wandering would satisfy the travel itch but nah! Yes our lives have taken dramatically different paths but we both left the corporate world to follow our dreams – love it! Life is for living, enjoying and learning every single day. I couldn’t be happier for you and Tom and I would love to come and see you in Wales. I will have no transport when I get back but I’ll check out the train travel. Lots of love! xxx

  6. Go for it! I’ve got an adventure lined up for me and my wife now the kids are almost gone. Some think we’re nuts but deep inside they want to do something similar but fear holds them back. Have the tie of your life and the memories to go with it. May be a book in the making about it all. Namaste

    • Thank you James! That’s exactly what I need to hear 🙂 Nuts maybe… but I prefer nuts to a mundane life. I’ve done conventional and it bores me. In our society we’re conditioned to live and work in a certain way, spending all our hard earned cash on new shiny things. I don’t want to live my whole life saving for a secure and in my eyes dull retirement. I’m not work-shy, I’ll turn my hand to most things if required. Maybe once I do this I won’t need to do so much convincing as actions speak louder than words. It’s my dream to write a book, so that’s on the cards but I feel like my journey is only just beginning. Best of luck with your adventure! You show em 🙂

  7. Congrats on taking the leap again! Money is overrated anyhow. Just ask my student loans :).

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