Tara found love traveling 38 countries

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Tara has traveled to 38 countries and lived in 4. She was born in the United States, grew up in the United Kingdom, worked and studied in New Zealand, and going back to work again in Laos this month; where she found her passion. Tara shared, how she got a volunteer job in Laos that led to a full-time job offer in the following months. 

 

“ New Zealand is the first place I’ve lived in my adulthood that ever felt like home. The scenery is unbeatable and the people are the warmest and friendliest I’ve ever encountered. The U.K. and Europe cultivated my love for traveling, New Zealand is where I cultivated my sense of self, and Laos is where I recognized my purpose.“

 

Tara:” I have been to 38 countries across five continents. Most recently, I adventured around Canada, Laos, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Having a local experience is what pulls me around the world. And, I pursue a mission to promote responsible travelling.

Travel Tribe: Confucius says “you have two lives, one when you are born and the other is when you realize you have only one.” When did your second life begin, and what changed in you since then?

Tara: “I was busy with a 9 to 5 job. And, bored with that lifestyle, I was debating whether to keep doing the job for the next decade or not. Until, one day, I randomly came across an ad on Facebook about teaching English to monks in Laos. “Perfect for August!” I heard myself yelling inside. Considering my previous experience in Thailand, I assumed Laos would be very similar. But, it was more conservative, less westernized and way poorer.  My second life began in Laos.

I went through a culture shock.

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People had little, but the happiest crowd that I have ever met. The students were eager to learn. They didn’t own much, but grateful with all their being. They didn’t have much, but always ready to give. Their relationships, generosity and happiness just hit me.

As a volunteer I taught English to girls that were rescued from human trafficking gangs in Laos. Kids that were forced or sold for sexual exploitation. They were all very young; 9 to 13 year old kids. One soul that deeply touched my life and led me to recognize my purpose was one of my students. She was only 13 years old. You couldn’t ever see her without a wide shining smile on her face. She always sat right in the front with wide eyes, devouring every word that came out of my mouth. She was very sassy too. The most beautiful woman that I have ever met. I couldn’t even imagine the pain that she went through. But, not her. She looked happier than anyone that I’ve met. She always jumped in to say “Hello” before anyone else got a chance to. She designed her deliverables with beautiful cover pictures every time.

All of my problems seem like nothing compared to what she’s been through. But, her eagerness to live every second of life was my inspiration. Her spirit is what always stayed with me.

Yeah… Traveling is mostly about the people you meet…

Like, I met the love of my life on the other side of the world, in New Zealand. He’s a born and bred “kiwi.” We became friends, when I was a student in New Zealand. But, I didn’t realize how much I loved him in our deep friendship. Tall and slim fit, he’s the man that makes a suit look good, but it’s not his looks that make him the best half of me.

After my school finished, I went back to New Zealand for work. And, then I met his heart, and realized my love for him.

As travelers, we are both mostly on the road. Separate roads, in various countries. But, we jump on any opportunity to adventure together. So far, we’ve traveled across the world time and time again. Most recently I will be going to London to visit him.

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In 2014, we took a road trip down from Auckland to the Coromandel in New Zealand to see the beach and walk along the coast. Driving along the narrow, windy roads of my favorite island with my favorite person. Traveling with the person you love, is the funnest and best way to find out just how compatible you are in a relationship.”

“The culture of kindness and gratuity that people possess in Laos is something completely lost in the U.S. My need to make the world a better place in any small way possible intensified during my volunteer month in Laos. Since then, I have become so conscious about material possessions—you can’t take any of it with you when you leave this world anyway. “

Travel Tribe: Where is home for you?

Tara: “My dad was in the military. Growing up, we moved and traveled as often as we breathed. I never knew home to be a specific place, because I left pieces of my heart everywhere I went. However, it all came together in 2011 When I moved to New Zealand. It felt easier to breathe there. I found friends who became family. I found the best version of myself. I had never felt homesick but once in my life, until New Zealand. Suddenly, my heart yearned for my beautiful little island.”

Travel Tribe: What have you learned from traveling? 

Tara: “I have learned lessons on every trip, in every new country. Perhaps the biggest lesson for me personally has been that being a traveler isn’t about how many stamps you have in your passport, it’s about experiencing a place in the most kind and compassionate way possible. Having a local experience is the only way to understand a place and its culture.”

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Sophie

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Sophie left her “perfect” job, house and life in Warsaw last year, to travel. She has travelled to and lived in 12 countries within the last 9 months.

Last year, she came to the realization that she had EVERY THING she ever wanted: great house, great job, and great money. She wondered, whether that is all she ever wanted. “Do I want to repeat this life everyday for the next 70-80 years?

“Working 9-5 in the same office, with the same people, getting the same beer every day after work, laughing at similar jokes afternoon and finishing the day in the same house watching the same series, every night.

… Nope!

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She asked her company for a one month of remote work situation, and got it. Soon, she landed in Bangkok, Thailand that turned her world inside-out. She met herself and changed her lifestyle accordingly.

Sophia embraced serendipity to experience the magic of life

“After one month of living in Thailand, I returned to Warsaw. Being back at my “perfect” apartment and job, I realized that I could not live it anymore. My old lifestyle felt like prison, and I felt FOMO every moment of every day. I was missing out on meeting new friends and experiencing new sides of life every day.

I asked my boss for a second remote work situation. He said no. I was craving after quitting. My grandmother advised me to do what I thought was right. My friends warned me not to jump into such a decision. And, I felt trapped in Warsaw. Until a day that I woke up with the decision of quitting. And at lunch, in a Chinese restaurant, I got a fortune cookie.  It said:”Do what you think is right. Your success story is inside what makes you happy.”

That was it. I left my job. I had some savings that took me to Doha, where I visited a Mexican friend, whom I met in Thailand. 

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Then, I flew to Cambodia and India. Quite vividly, I remember the afternoon that I was working by a pool drinking a glass of beer. A random email notification popped up on my computer. It was from an unknown sender; a company that offered me a job with a much higher pay and promotion. I said no. I didn’t want that lifestyle anymore.
They replied back: “We know about your situation with your previous company. We are totally okay with you working remotely!”
The rest is history. I have been traveling since. I have lived and worked remotely in 12 countries in only 9 months. “

“Home is where I connect to wifi without asking for the password, Haha! Seriously, home is where your people are. People that have the same vibe, and you leave your heart with.”

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Travel Tribe: As Confucius said; we all have two lives. And, the second begins when we realize that we have only one. When did your second life begin?”

Sophia:” Two weeks after my arrival in Bangkok, Thailand. I met a guy. We spent the next 7 days together. Throughout those days, we talked about many things. Our attitudes towards life were totally different. He was a traveler; flying from country to country to discover the world. I was a tourist; vacating my life of Warsaw for a month in Bangkok. I was always organized, planned and stressed. He was always relaxed and open to every new event. Then, he left to go to Vietnam, and I found tears on my cheeks. I was surprised, because I wasn’t in love with him or anything like that. So, I kept wondering about why I felt so strongly disconnected when he left. The answer to this question was the moment, I started my second life. 

I realized that I found love for life in him, and saw my potential self in his. I met myself in his lifestyle. And, found what I was missing out on.”

Travel Tribe: Doesn’t it feel lonely to travel solo?

Sophia :” You can meet all these amazing people that you couldn’t meet any other way else. Like a while back in Taiwan, when I was staying at Happy Taipei hostel. I would mostly work out of the kitchen, where other people would also hang out. And, one day, I saw a Hugh Grant duplicate , a brit architect guy, with all his papers scattered around the table, working like he is in a huge office by Big Ben. I said hi, and a few minutes later, I was all ears to his life story. A few years back, he was traveling in Europe on a train with his daughter. The train got into major accident and his daughter died. After the accident, he packed his life into a car and drove and drove; around Africa and later South East Asia. I was drowned in his stories about his daughter, the changes in his life, things he’d seen around the world and cultures. So, No! How else could I meet such an inspiring friend, if I wasn’t traveling solo?”

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Travel Tribe: What does traveling teach you?

Sophie:

  • “Most than anything, it teaches you to be open minded. To trust people, and understand that people would rather help you that hurt you.
  • The first time that I stayed with a couch surfer, I wondered how would someone open their home to a stranger? And, then I realized that I would definitely do the same thing for some traveler like myself. You learn empathy and seeing the good in people. 
  • 50 pound backpack is enough! You really don’t need high heels.. Haha!
  • People will show you were to go. Just ask.
  • Say Hi. Don’t be afraid to do so. It takes only 5 minutes to become best friends.”

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The tale of a travel guru from Mexico: Carlie

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Carlie is a travel guru living in Cancun, Mexico. She has lived the beautiful land of Austria and preparing to move to Canada, soon. Her adventures have taken her to 16 countries. In this interview, she takes us to faraway lands and introduces us to the friends she made along the way.

Before reading further, please click here to like Carlie’s Instagram photo that wins her a free plane ticket.

Travel Tribe: ” Carlie, Confucius believes that we all have two lives. And, that the second one starts when we realize we have just one… When did your second life begin?”

Carlie: “My second life was conceived the moment I hopped into that plane to Austria. I left all I have ever known and to go to a country in the other side of the world. I began an adventure as an aupair in Austria. Then, I realized that I was way out of my confort zone. That’s when it hit me: I was free.

I was living the life I never thought was possible. I was traveling everywhere, meeting people, being happy, being grateful: JUST BY MYSELF. Once I realized how far I came, a peace of mind came over so hard, that I realized that the only reason to be here is to be utterly, completely and absolutely HAPPY. That it is our duty to find that hapiness.

I realized that if I was living all by myself in another continent doing all the things I thought they only existed in my dreams, I could do and achieve literally ANYTHING. The moment I realised that, my life found the porpuse. A meaning. And, finally, I felt whole. That is when my second life began.”

Travel Tribe: ” Tell us about traveling solo and not knowing friends in a new country…”

Carlie: “I can’t recall how many awesome people I have met along my travels and how many adventures I have had with this people. The best example that comes to mind is when I found, what at the end we called “La Familia”, “the family” in spanish 🙂

I was traveling alone, as I always do, through Chiapas, Mexico, in October last year.  While I was in San Cristobal de las Casas, I stayed in a lovely hostel in the middle of town. One night I was getting back to my dorm when a bunch of other travelers where there chilling and talking. I said sorry, walk through and they asked me whether I wanted to go with them on a tour the next morning. I was thinking to do it anyway so it was a big WHY NOT? That night we talked and chilled until late at night. We exchanged stories and laughed like we met each other ages ago. We went to the tour, spend almost 8 hours on a packed bus and had the time of our lives.

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We were 1 German girl, 3 Mexicans including me, a Bosnian guy, and a Canadian girl: 6 different people, with totally different backgrounds, stories, nationalities and paths. But, somehow we became a family in less than 24 hours.

The next day we had to say goodbye it truly hurt and we promised to meet again. We are still in touch and truly never ever will forget those 5 dummies, that became my siblings in only two days. It was truly the time our life.”

 

Travel Tribe: What have you learned being a traveler?

Carlie: “Wow, Man, that’s a tough question. There are so many thing I can’t even put it in to words. I think the main thing I have learned is TOLERANCE.

  • to embrace ALL the people, because we are human beings, because we are all amazing!
  • I have learned not to judge people only for their beliefs, costumes of ways of living.
  • I have learned to be more aware of the problems of the world, have more emphaty, more kindness, more love.
  • I have learned to be independent, to take care of myself, to don’t worry about what other people say or think.
  • I’ve learned that stepping out of your comfort zone is the best decision you can ever made, that eveything is possible, that dreams do come true.
  • I have learned to embrace this planet, to explore, to don’t be afraid, to trust.
  • I have learned to be a better citizen a better friend and a better human being.
  • I have learned to be grateful, to be kind, to be open minded.
  • I have learned to LOVE. To amuse my self to be happy!!

To read Carlie’s travel tips and discoveries, click here.

I think i would never be able to put it into words, simply traveling had made me who I am, has give me the place that I belong and the reason of my existence. Its just magic.

P.S. before going back to the home page, please click here to like Carlie’s awesome Instagram photo that wins her a free plane ticket. And, don’t miss out on her truly authentic story on the photo’s caption.