Something is in the water. Or the air. Something is different right now.
I know people who are moving (or have moved) from Wisconsin to Portugal with cats, from DC to Brussels with a child, from DC to Switzerland with a younger child, from Virginia to the Florida Gulf Coast for more #LiquidRoadTrip lifestyle and remote work, from Maryland to Florida Gulf Caost for a better lifestyle. And many more.
I know of people who recently bought RVs, fifth wheels, Airstreams, and pimped up camper vans.
People are creating a post-pando nomadland. People are launching kindness and happiness projects. I saw more painted rocks on hikes in the past year than in my entire life.
The time is ripe to do what you want.
What makes you happy. What brings you joy. What makes your soul sing and burn.
If you were happy with your pre-pando life, awesome. Keep doing what makes you happy. Our world needs more happiness and joy.
If you have a potential personal passion pursuit burning a ghole in your mind, heart, and soul, it is time to get off your butt. And your buts.
But the pets. But the bills. But the kids. But my mom. But, but, but.
I know people sailing around the world with three kids. They do remote school by satellite. Many nomad workers prove it is cheaper to live in Bali with a higher standard of luxury while they do remote work. Or Rome, Paris, South America, or even Oregon. My friends just moved to Portugal with several cats.
Choose to be happy now. Do not delay your happiness and joy.
One of my favorite modern philosophers, Shock G. (recently RIP) sang about Doowutchyalike (“if you got a weak bladder or can’t climb a ladder, what we’re saying is it doesn’t really matter”) and “stop what you’re doing, cuz I’m about to ruin, the image and the style that you’re used to.”
Another favorite unintentional philosophy guru is Yogi Berra. Among many things, he said, “No one goes there, it’s too crowded.” and “We are lost but making just good time.”
What is your secret personal passion?
Open a bar. Learn to SUP, cook, or fix the running toilet. Trace your family history.
Perhaps the pandemic showed you something you really want. Or do not want. You love working from home or crave a nomad lifestyle or want to start your own small business. Or you do not like the way you look on Zoom and want a different hairstyle, whiter or straighter teeth, or a beach background. Or you want to throw more parties or prefer to read more books.
One of my current potential personal passion projects is to create my own US walking tours. Inspired by the European paradigm of hiking hut to hut in Switzerland or between B&Bs in UK and all inspired by a friend who walked Route 66 (yes, walked!), I want to explore the US Gulf Coast area by foot.
I would also love to kayak the entire intracoastal waterway, From Baltimore down the East Coast, around Key West, along the US Gulf Coast to the end of South Padre Texas. And drive from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to the southern tip of South America. And so many other possible, potential, and pending personal passion project pursuits.
But what I want to do should not matter to you.
Pick your own personal passions. Do not follow another’s example. Well, unless you want to.
However, learn from others who had the courage to pursue their own passion projects. If you are caught up on how to make money or how to live in another country for a year or whatever, someone else has done that. I have interviewed over 200 of the world’s travel experts. Find them under the Travel tips tab on McCool Travel.
For inspiration, read their interviews and learn. For inspiration in other areas, find similar interviews about photography, cooking, cliff diving, or whatever floats your boat. Follow those people. Ask them questions. There are thousands of others like them.
Will it be difficult to pursue personal projects?
It may be the hardest thing you ever do. But it also might be the most rewarding, inspirational, exciting, and fulfilling thing you ever do.
It is most difficult telling family and friends you want to pursue a dream, to do something so different. But this is the new you. Post-pandemic YOU will do things to please your body, heart, mind, and soul.
In a year, you will be happier and they will be a year further into their grind.
Heck, it may also be the easiest thing because you are finally living your authentic self. Living in the zone, time does not exist, you forget to eat, your mind is woke.
Either way, easy or hard, you will wish you started last year. Or in 1999. But start today!
But I DO NOT KNOW what I wanna do
Confession, neither do I. Every single day I wonder if I should be doing something else—applying for jobs, going back to my old career (which paid really well and had amazing benefits), better utilizing my degree. I do know that I am happier being my own boss than working for someone. I am happier on travel press trips than working in an office.
Perfect? No. Heck, I do not know what perfect is. Does anyone? But the pursuit of perfection should be your motivation. Do something that brings you closer. Every day. TO-DAY.
Not sure you want to live in a van for a year? Totally understandable. Find someone who is (like my friends HoneyTrek) and contact them. Or next time you see a small RV, ask the owner about the experience. Or go to a dealer and test drive. Then ask how to rent one for three days.
Not sure you want to live in Thailand? Start small and visit your local Thai restaurant. Ask the workers what part of Thailand they are from. Ask when is the best time to visit, the name of the travel agent they use to book airfares there, and so on.
Passion projects are NOT a straight path. Each one is unique, customized, and a personal journey. A journey toward your JOY. There will be dead ends, rough roads, accidents. Wrong turns. You might chuck the whole itinerary and start over. That is OK. You are doing something for you. The most important thing you can do and may ever do!
Pimp your passion project
Other travel writers and bloggers advise me to do different things. Do this to get more page views. Place ads to make money. Charge clients a lot of money because content is king.
Their journey is NOT my journey.
My joyful journey is to travel as much as I can and help people be happy travelers. If I make more money, I spend it on trips. And I already have enough trips. See, I am an efficiency expert. I cut out the middle man.
I know travel bloggers with full-time jobs in other industries. Some want to make enough money from the blog so they can quit. Others love their jobs and will never quit. Some focus on a niche while others are generalists. Some write ebooks, or run trips, or are travel agents, or produce videos.
There is no one, single solution for being a successful travel blogger. Just as there is no one right way of being joyful in any pursuit. Pick your personal passions, pursue your path, adjust as necessary.
There is only ONE YOU and the world deserves your best. Do you. No one else can replicate that or do it better.
Here are some of my favorite books for further investigation. Links go to the Amazon page, from which if you order I will receive the tiniest commission. Really, very, extremely tiny. All of these books are in my public library and I usually start there and then buy books that are really extraordinary.
Refuse to Choose and other books by Barbara Sher
Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winter
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
The Power of Pivoting by Monica Ortega
Die With Zero by Bill Perkins
Let me know about your Post Pandemic Plans and Perfect Personal Passion Project Pursuits.