Storytime! Meet Jill. She never thought to travel the world one day. But she was super brave, she listens to her gut and leave her comfort zone completely. She planned to make her life a full adventure. And it worked so far.
Tell us your story. What was your life looked like before? Why did you decide to change it?
Long story short, I grew up in the Netherlands and Germany. My life was kinda normal at first. I finished school, even studied like (german) society wants you to. At 21 I established a little company with my former partner. I was always into Motorsport, cars, and motorbikes. We did car wrapping, wide bodies, engine swaps, and other car tuning. I also designed and sold car enthusiast clothing and merchandise. We got to attend a variety of car events and racetracks all around Europe. I loved working for myself, being creative, and being able to make other people a little happier. At the same time, I studied business management in evening school and also had a normal 9 to 5 office job, so my days were super long and exhausting. A few years later I got even more creative and started handcrafting, I worked with resin, timber, and alcohol colors and made this a second little business on the side. After my relationship of 7.5 years ended unexpectedly at the end of 2020 I lost everything.
The only thing I had left was my office job, but this didn’t fulfill me. Also, societal expectations were drowning me meanwhile. For some people, it’s amazing, but for me, the imagination of a standard german life is making me run away. There has to be more in life, a wider horizon, more sunsets, more adventures, more happiness.
So at one point (the lowest point in my life) I just said Fuck it, I’m gone. I felt so stuck, unhappy, and completely in the wrong place and mindset. So I decided to quit my job, searched for subtenants for my apartment, sold my project car, and used this money to make my first trip around the world possible. And then I got to planning.
I just knew that there were other ways to live life and I wanted to find them.
What were the biggest lessons you learned on the trip? What did you understand about yourself?
There are a lot of things I learned on my previous journey, but what my previous life taught me is; you can plan all you want, but life just happens. I thought I would end up with a husband, a dog, 2 raccoons, and my own business. But it looks like life had bigger plans for me. At first, it felt like I lost the purpose of my life, but in the end, you’ll see it was just the universe pushing you in the right direction. Sometimes you don’t get what you want, because you deserve better.
You have to trust the process and your way.
Maybe you found yourself different from when you always thought?
Yes, I’m stronger than I thought, I’m also kinder and funnier than I thought. In my previous office jobs, I saw that I am a good organizer and problem solver, but I never thought I would travel the world one day. I never thought I’d deserve that because my subconscious was fucked up.
If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I have no regrets.
I was just a little shy at the beginning and maybe missed out on talking to some interesting people. But that’s okay. 😊
If someone is secretly dreaming about the lifestyle you are living now, what would you tell them?
Be careful about who you talk to about your dreams and goals. You have to understand that other people have different mindsets, which they will project onto you. So if they could never travel the world, work remotely, or even become self-employed, they may be projecting this onto you, and if your wish or idea is young and vulnerable, it could be destroyed by other people’s small mindsets. Don’t let that happen. Connect to people who are already living the way you wanna live. Learn from them, talk to them, and inspire yourself.
If you never leave your comfort zone and everything seems too scary to start, you can train yourself by doing this: Force yourself out of your comfort zone by practicing it. You can start with simple things like cold showers, trying out new food, eating at a restaurant alone, and meeting new people. You will teach your subconscious that you’re able to leave your comfort zone and that it’s good for you. Then go for your big goal.
Is it scary to go on the adventure of al lifetime?
Yes. It scared the shit out of me. But I knew it was the right thing to do. I just had to be super brave, listen to my gut, and leave my comfort zone completely.
What was happening in your head?
Internal conflicts, old beliefs fighting against my higher self. My subconscious trying to limit me and block my way, trying to keep me in my well-known comfort zone. But your comfort zone is a trap. You don’t get to see and experience new things if you’re staying in your old ways. So I broke out of my programmed beliefs and just trusted my gut and went for it. The doubts come and go still.
What are the most amazing things about traveling?
The best thing about traveling for me is to see new cultures and meet awesome new people, you end up with friends from all over the world, you get to see earth’s wonders, the most stunning nature, you get to taste all kinds of food, you hear unknown languages, you will get into trouble and difficult situations, but you will always find your way out of it. You’re growing so much on this path.
Living the way you live. What was the hardest thing in this whole experience?
The hardest thing still is, leaving your family and friends and especially my (family-)dog. I can write and video calls my loved ones, and we talk for hours every few days, to some of my family I am even closer now than I was before which is crazy, but I cannot call my beloved dog. She is in the best hands with my family and gets all the love and care she needs, but because she’s already a senior dog, I was super scared to leave her for a few months. I still am.
Besides my fear of losing her while I’m gone, it’s also not always easy missing out on birthdays, and special occasions. That’s why I am travelling mostly for a half year and then come back to see my family and friends for a while until I catch the next flight and explore the next country.
What do you suggest to people dreaming about this lifestyle?
Go for it! Even or especially when everyone thinks you’re crazy. Be the one person you need the most. Learn about affirmations, and rebuild your subconscious, you are so much stronger than you think, you will grow and evolve and be the happiest version of yourself. I’m not saying it will be easy. You will think MILLIONS of times „What the fuck am I doing here?! I can’t just do that“ Yes you can.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to be scared. But don’t let the fear stop you. If you’re scared to do it, do it scared. But do it.
What are the first steps in preparation?
Sounds weird but the first and most important step is to DECIDE. It all depends on your strong and final decision. The brain is a funny system. Before you decide to go for it, it will give you doubts and fear. It will show you every cause to NOT do it and every scenario that possibly could go wrong. But as soon as you decide to go for it, it will show you ways of how to make things possible. It will give you crazy ideas and so much anticipation. And honestly, that’s the best preparation. You will find every solution to any problem or obstacle after this point. Your brain will be like a personal high-performance google & problem solver. There are a lot of steps before leaving your country, traveling perpetually, or moving abroad. But there is also a lot of help and tips online to guide you. Plus the people you can connect to and learn from. And the rest is your mindset.
What are your next steps?
My next steps… Finding a way to travel to my bucket list places. Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil are very high on that list. I want to improve my Social Media, especially my Youtube, take more people with me on my journey, and inspire them to go after their dreams. I am planning to be self-employed again, probably I will combine my passion with my business.
Is there any adventure you are planning?
I plan to make my life a full adventure. It worked so far. I wanna be happy and make others happy. I wanna see the beauty of this world and show it to others.
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