Why We Decided to Leave Europe and Our Change of Plans
We were in a cramped bus in Morocco where every hairpin turn felt like a little rollercoaster ride. It was midday and the sun was scorching down on us, only adding to the seemingly long yet still strangely familiar bus ride. When you constantly travel like we do, 10-hour bus rides feel rather normal.
We had been on the road for a couple of hours now and our bus slowly pulls up to the services for a quick break. My partner Tom, who had been lost in thought listening to podcasts for the last couple of hours suddenly looked at me and said, “how do you feel about staying put somewhere for a really long time?”
I looked at him with a big grin and said, “let’s do it.”
Although we’ve been on the road for almost 4 years now, 2018, although it still isn’t over has been an EPIC year of travel for us.
This year alone, we traveled to the Philippines, Thailand, ventured to Everest Basecamp in Nepal, then hung around in the UK (due to an unplanned ankle surgery). Although we didn’t get to do van life as planned, as soon as I was back on my two feet, we carried on traveling to Portugal and around Spain visiting Gran Canaria, Barcelona, and attending the La Tomatina Festival.
After that, we breezed on through Morocco, drank way too much beer in Munich for Oktoberfest, and spent a good few weeks road tripping around the Czech Republic and Croatia.
While it all sounds like a dream, traveling all the time does get tiring.
The reality is, when we travel, we also work at the same time so our days are usually a mix of sightseeing and scrambling to get decent wifi. We wake up early to take photos, sleep late to catch up on work and finish emails and deadlines. We work hard to create profitable funnels, create great content for our readers, and engage with people in our blogging school.
This combined with having no place to call home on a permanent basis has slowly been wearing down on us.
We found ourselves craving for routines and normality. As Tom and I continue to grow our business, we also found ourselves longing for a community to grow and share our experiences with.
With that in mind, we made the decision to once again…slow down and re-shift our priorities. It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal post but today, I share with you our change of heart and why we decided to ultimately leave Europe despite our initial plans to keep traveling around.
Re-defining Our Mission
Over the years, Tom and I have secretly struggled with the mission of Adventure in You. We knew we wanted to create a blog that inspired people but as entrepreneurs, we knew that in order for our business to grow with purpose, we needed a bigger mission.
A mission that we both felt strongly and passionately about.
You see, when we first started, Adventure in You was really just about inspiring people to do more. To get out of their comfort zones and pursue things that they are passionate about. For us, that meant traveling.
Coming from the Philippines, I worked my butt off to save enough money to travel the world. It took me 6 years of saving up, working multiple jobs, and side hustles…but I did it anyway.
Coming from a country where the norm is graduate school, get married, buy a house, and have kids, this notion of me “squandering” my life’s savings for a trip around the world seemed crazy. Heck, at that time, even I thought it was crazy but as soon as I started experiencing everything that this world had to offer, I knew traveling was something I wanted to do forever.
After seeing and experiencing so many things during my first year of travel, I knew I couldn’t wait another six years to save up enough money to travel again which is why we started our blog. Although at that time, we thought it would just be a great way to document our travels and earn a couple of extra beer money along the way.
Never did we think it would ever become our full-time business that earns us six-figures a year.
Today, Tom and I run our blog Adventure in You as well as a Blogging School where we help others make money from blogging. Together, these two encompass one mission which is
To Inspire People To Do More and Live Their Life To The Fullest, So They Can Create Unforgettable Memories
Traveling has allowed me to create unforgettable memories. Sometimes, I feel like I have enough incredible experiences and memories to last me a lifetime…and I know I am just getting started.
Five years ago, if you told the broke 24-year-old me that I would one day get to hike to Everest Basecamp, trek through the Amazon Rainforest, sleep in five star hotels in exotic locations, camp in the Sahara Desert, drive a tuk-tuk across Sri Lanka, camp in un-chartered islands, and wine and dine across Europe, I would have laughed.
The only reason I was able to do all that and more is because of our blog. This is the reason why Tom and I are insanely passionate about helping others in the same boat.
To be perfectly honest, this is our primary motivation for starting our blogging school and to date, we’ve helped tons of people work on their passions and make money from it which is our little way of giving back so they can create their own unforgettable memories.
It’s crazy to think that when we first started Adventure in You, I was down to my last $2000 and yet here I am, three years later still on the road and thriving.
As soon as Tom and I re-designed our mission for the two companies, we realized that if we really wanted to carry out our plans for each one, we needed to find a base. Traveling and blogging have undoubtedly changed our lives and we want to share this with others.
Although we always get messages about how inspiring Adventure in You is, we think we could do a better job at really conveying our purpose and passion. While traveling will always be at the core of what we do, we decided that in order to do our mission any type of justice, we needed to buckle down and get to work.
We have exciting plans for Adventure in You and want to keep growing it to be a resource that can help inspire others to create unforgettable memories. We want to promote once in a lifetime adventure holidays, we want to partner with brands whose ethos match ours and for those that are interested in finding a way to fund their travels, we also want to keep growing our blogging school.
While we know we have big dreams and plans for our business, we believe in the type of impact it can make and how it can help change people’s lives…exactly the way it changed ours.
Three years ago, when we first started Adventure in You, we thought we could do it all ourselves. Fast forward to now, Tom and I see and know the value of community and how it can help transform your business and outlook in life.
In fact, now, Tom and I spend more on courses, conferences, and masterminds even though we’re making more money than we ever have.
Although we continuously meet interesting people on the road, we wanted to surround ourselves with fellow entrepreneurs and nomads who could inspire us to up our game. Suddenly, the saying by Jim Rohn “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, including yourself.” never seemed so true.
Although we are lucky enough to build amazing friendships virtually, Tom and I realized that the times where our business grew the most was when we physically surrounded ourselves with inspiring people who helped influence our mindset.
When Tom and I are on the road, we try to consume as much business books and podcasts that we can but nothing comes close to meeting and interacting with fellow entrepreneurs and nomads. When we meet other people who are building unconventional businesses with passion and purpose, we always leave feeling renewed and inspired.
Building real-life relationships and belonging to a community is one of the reasons why we’re choosing to settle down for a bit. We know how helpful this will be for our business and for our own personal development as well.
Where to Next?
Because of the reasons above, Tom and I decided to head back to Asia to regroup, settle down, and continue growing our business. As I finish writing this post, I am in one of our favorite cafe’s in Chiang Mai, reeling in excitement about the thought of staying put for a couple of months.
We just signed a lease for an apartment for three months and have exciting plans brewing. Are we stopping our travels? No.
We are simply recognizing that in order for us to really live our mission and grow our businesses the way we want to, we need a base.
A base to thrive, work, and keep us inspired. Traveling is something that we will always do (in fact, we already have a couple of exciting trips planned) but rather than just moving around aimlessly for the entire year, we will opt to find a base and do trips from there.
The non-stop traveling over 10 months also took a toll on our health which is why we are eager to start working out again and eating better.
For now, we are planning to stay here in Chiang Mai for three months, go away for my birthday in January, then probably stay in Bali for six months or so for 2019. Although Chaing Mai and Bali are both places we have lived at before, they are hard places to resist going back to!
The quality of life, the digital nomad communities, and just the general work-life balance that we get when we stay put in these two places is something you can’t put a price tag on. Although this year didn’t go as planned, I know that this is the right move for us.
This year, I learned a few lessons but mainly, I realized that plans change…and that’s okay. I realized that in order to stay happy, you have to be willing to roll with the punches and change your plans based on what you need at that time. Having the flexibility to do so is one of the best things about our job!
If there is one thing I want you to get out of this post, it is to recognize what your mind and body is needing and to be more self-aware of it.
For us, although we had so many travel plans, we found that the main thing that we needed right now is a place that we could call home, a community of people and friends that can inspire us, and a clearer perspective towards our goals, both physically and mentally. We are both really excited for this next chapter in our lives and can’t wait to continue sharing our goals with you guys!