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How an Investment Banker Quit Her Job to Travel the World Solo

Kristin Addis seemingly had it all: lucrative banking job in sunny Southern California, and all the things that go with that life. Yet something was missing. The money and apparent professional success weren’t as fulfilling as they were supposed to be. So she saved up some money, quit her job, and bought a one-way ticket out of the country.

I was by myself on the side of the road, in the snow, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of China with my thumb up. I was there because I wanted to trek the surrounding mountains. They were rumored to be beautiful and didn't disappoint. I'd had a continuous run of luck prior to that getting around the country by taking rides, and decided to try hitchhiking from there back to Chengdu.

After about 20 bone-chilling minutes, a couple of guys picked me up and drove like mad men through the mountain passes. When we stopped for lunch, they ordered a feast that even six people couldn't finish, let alone three. One item was a famous steamed fish in the area—a fish with a strange bone in its head.

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Ultimate 30 Day Challenge: One Man’s Quest to Eat and Train Like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

One of the best things about embarking on a quest is that it forces you to change your routine. Or sometimes, it forces you into a new routine. For 31 days, Mark Webster went from "ordinary tech guy" to "following in The Rock's fitness regime guy."

At the end of 2015, I read Jesse Itzler’s Living with a Seal. Itzler wrote: "I felt like I was drifting on autopilot in my life. Wake up, go to work, go to the gym — repeat. I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to get better." And that resonated with me.
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Man Celebrates 60th Birthday by Running 525 Miles Across the Spanish Pyrenees

To celebrate his sixtieth birthday, Andrew Townsend ran from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea – 525 miles across the Spanish Pyrenees climbing a total of 104,000 ft (4 Everests!) in 27 days. If that wasn’t enough, in 2015, he ran 8 marathons, in 8 countries, in only 8 days! Surprisingly, he spent most of his life behind a desk and didn’t start running until he was well into his 50’s proving once again that it’s never too late to get started.

It was day eleven. I had already run 227 miles and climbed 49,000 feet, but I still wasn’t even halfway there. It was just after 5:00am, but I was already up despite not having an alarm set as my aches and pains provided the necessary wake up call I needed. After a quick shower and with teeth brushed, I was ready for the next onerous task of the day – trying to find some clean running gear or perhaps I should say the least dirty!

Next up was the rucksack ritual – working out what I could discard to reduce the weight, followed by deciding I needed everything and re-packing it. Each day it felt like I had accumulate more things although I knew this wasn’t possible. After all, there were no shops.

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“You Just Have to Grab the Next Trapeze”: A Former Lawyer Reinvents Himself After Escaping to France

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how far along you are in your career—there's still time for change. Bill Crow felt like he was living someone else’s life. Even though it was a very successful lawyer's life, he still wasn’t happy. So he took a year off and moved his family to France. Disconnecting from his everyday world allowed him to discover what he really wanted to do next.

I went to law school because it led to the professional career expected of me by my engineer father. I had a lawyer’s dream job in my home office in Vancouver, Canada: I had my own law practice, negotiating contracts on the phone for international clients. Best of all, there was no overhead, and I was able to pocket every dollar I billed.

I loved almost everything about my job: the low hours, the freedom, the money, being able to spend time with my kids, the praise of my clients, the work-from-home dress code (PJs).

The only thing I didn't like about my job was the actual doing of it. Practicing law was like sticking needles in my eyes.

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“If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something out of it.”

Ediza Ferris is serious about travel hacking, and it pays off. A recent trip took her and her husband from the States through Sydney to Dubai—where they were whisked from the presidential hotel suite to the First Class lounge via private chauffeur. Ediza is truly hacking her way to incredible experiences thanks to the world of miles and points.

I started traveling when I was young, around age 5 or 6. My parents immigrated to the States from the Philippines and we've always made steady trips back and forth to go back and see family.

I took the opportunity when I was 16 to study abroad for the summer in a theater program. It wasn't until then where I realized the world was so much bigger than myself, and so much older than how it's described in the history books.

Since then, I've wanted to see more, eat differently, and discover anything new so that I can piece together for myself what this world is actually made of.

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Student Drops Out of College & Buys a One-Way Flight to Guatemala

looking-out After trying and failing to lead a conventional life, Jake Heilbrunn decided to follow his intuition by backpacking and volunteering through Central America. This trip changed the course of his life. I distinctly remember climbing atop La Danta and looking out across vast amounts of jungle expanding as far as the eye could see in all directions. It was humbling to realize how big this world is and how small I really was. Oddly enough, this new perspective gave me the confidence to continue pursuing my dreams and passions. The vastness of the jungle reminded me that if I was really so small, I had nothing to lose.

That night, the twelve of us volunteers cooked up a campfire dinner. There was no service or wifi in the jungle, so everyone sat around and talked, face to face. Nobody was distracted by their phones or technology. There was a powerful energy among us as we shared this intense, jungle experience devoid of distractions.

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Hacking European Budget Airlines: Learn From An Expat’s Experience

When American expat Julie Smith moved to the UK, she imagined endless jaunts around Europe, weekends exploring foreign cities and spontaneous day trips to Paris. Faced with a limited budget and a need to get creative, she discovered the glorious world of budget airlines and has been a loyal fan ever since.

Ultra low fare airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet changed the landscape of flying in Europe when they were created in the 1990s. They introduced the lowest fares anyone had seen, especially compared to British Airways, Aer Lingus, and the other government subsidized airlines, advertising tickets for as low as £1 plus tax.

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Epic Bike Quest & Failed Mountain Summit Leads Student to “Do More Than Exist”

It's natural to want to give back when someone saves your life. Ethan Maurice thought he was going to be a doctor in order to return the life-saving favor—but then he had another idea.

A brush with death changed my life. At sixteen, I was bitten by the wrong mosquito. I went from being a totally healthy kid to a full on grand mal seizure brought on by a rare viral infection of my brain and spinal fluid. After suffering a stroke, three days in a coma, many more seizures, and nine days in the intensive care unit, I emerged with significant brain damage.

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How A Wilderness Adventurer Wrote His Way To A Location-Independent Lifestyle

Kevin Casey has wanted to explore the most remote parts of the world ever since he was a little kid watching nature documentaries. Now, as a location-independent freelance writer - that went from $0/month to $7000/month in six months - he’s able to fully fund his adventurous, nomadic lifestyle.

Since I was a boy living in California, I’ve wanted to explore the world's wildest and most isolated rivers. Now based out of Brisbane, Australia, I live that dream and my one-man copywriting business has been paying for all my overseas adventures since 2013!

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One Man’s Quest to Leave the Oil Industry and Complete a 100-Item Bucket List

Matthew Bailey left the opportunities of the booming oil town that he grew up in to live a more authentic life. Ten years later, and with over 100 bucket items checked off, a new, bolder Matthew is still dreaming up more audacious quests to accomplish.

I'm a small town guy who grew up in Northern Alberta. Although it seemed normal to me at the time, the town I grew up in is anything but - it’s an oil town where almost anyone can make six figures a year, regardless of education or age. Instead of cashing in, I escaped.

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Five Weeks with Syrian Refugees: One Man’s Quest to Promote Cultural Intelligence

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Having lived abroad both growing up and as an adult, David Durham has dedicated his life to promoting cultural curiosity. Most recently his adventures took him to Greece, where he and his wife, Becky, observed the refugee crisis in Europe first hand. Though they were already veteran travelers, they were profoundly impacted by this experience.

I am a lover of culture. I write, speak, and podcast about crossing cultural bridges with a goal of promoting cultural curiosity. I teach French, Spanish, and Global Studies; my wife teaches World Geography. Between the two of us, our students have little hope of remaining indifferent to international cultures!

Ever since the trips back and forth to Australia, where I lived with my family for five years as a child, I have been infected with an insatiable curiosity about other cultures and languages. I spent 12 years in Europe and continue to travel there on a regular basis which includes leading cultural tours with my wife, Becky.

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From Bad News to Whole Foods: One Woman’s Path to Entrepreneurship

A stay-at-home mom turned foodpreneur, Sundara Clark called on years of experience in the industry to fill a hole in the dessert aisle. After getting a lactose intolerance diagnosis for her daughter, Sundara set to work creating an organic, vegan, paleo gelato that her daughter could enjoy, without any of the mom-guilt.

After five years as a stay at home mom, I was ready to jump back into the economy. Only problem was, in Humboldt, California where I was living, jobs were few and far between. Since I wasn’t inclined to be a lumberjack or marijuana farmer, I knew I was going to have to strike out on my own. I just wasn’t quite sure what that was yet. I’ve worked in all parts of the food industry - served in restaurants, made fancy desserts, and done sales and purchasing for a food distributor. While I was growing up, my mom worked as a distributor for a then-fledgling company called Odwalla. In retrospect, it makes sense that I got into the food business, but it actually started with a bit of bad news.

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“Freedom is the ability to travel”: Creating Multiple Sources of Income as a Millennial

evan3 Evan Tarver is a location-independent entrepreneur who, through multiple income streams and careful business growth, has the freedom to travel nationally and internationally. Right now he’s in Austin, but who knows where he’ll be next month!

Fresh out of college, I tossed aside a degree in Finance and Economics to take a retail management job with Target because it paid well (mistake!). Well, you guessed it, my happiness quickly waned and I decided to pull up roots, quit my job, and travel Europe until my bank account ran dry. And so I did, traveling to more than 7 countries and maxing out my last credit card to change flights from Geneva to Paris to make it home in one piece.

These days I'm a San Francisco-based millennial-entrepreneur who faces constant success and failure. I’m passionate about both writing and entrepreneurship for the collective freedom they afford. While a lot of my contemporaries in Silicon Valley are caught up in the "scale or die mentality," I focus on building my businesses very carefully so that they give me the freedom I covet. For me, freedom is the ability to travel.

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How 2 People Traveled for a Year on $20,000

At first glance Evo Terra and Sheila Dee’s story might seem a lot like many other empty nesters who sold everything to travel around the world. But most weren’t kicked out of their home state by a doctor—and most eventually return. These two are still going!

After 17 years of living in Arizona, Sheila's doctor told us to leave—the quicker, the better. The dry, dusty atmosphere was quite literally killing her. So two months later, we found ourselves on a plane bound for Europe, chasing high-humidity environments and seeing what living as travelers and expats is like around the world.

Prior to this trip, we hadn't done all that much traveling, except for the standard up-to-Canada and down-to-Mexico trips most people from the U.S. make every year or so. Because there's something extra motivating when a doctor orders you to get out, we decided to really go for it and try out a few other continents!

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Will Travel For Food: One Man’s Journey to Rediscover a Lost Love

After ten years in the restaurant industry, Drew Seaman had lost his passion for food. With the long hours, he also barely saw his wife. When the opportunity to move to London presented itself, they both jumped at the chance to remake their lives.

When Julie called me about the offer to move to London (yes, she called, because we so rarely had time for conversations in person), I was immediately on board. For someone who is risk averse, that was a big step. But I understood that without a major ‘reason to leave,’ inertia and fear of the unknown would carry me towards a future I knew I didn’t want.

Walking into the office and resigning without an idea of my next move was terrifying. But, resigning because I was literally moving out of the country, well, that seemed easy.

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