This week is an interesting week for me. It’s my last full week in Italy, a place that will live on in my heart for several reasons, which I will blog about next week before I leave – I get mega excited about moving so forgive my over-enthusiasticness. After 8 months of mouth watering food, sumptuous wine and beautiful views, I feel ready to take the next plunge into the unknown (Greece), and looking at my little “Days On The Road” widget from the Vagabond Family website, today is marking my 2500th day since I decided to leave my life behind in the United Kingdom and pursue something a bit different – a bit more “me.”
A lot has happened in the time since I started my journey 2500 days ago, for a start I discovered virtual assistance – this industry has been like a warm safe blanket for me on my travels. Occasionally it slipped off, and I was left feeling a little cold, but for the majority of the time, it has been the one consistent comfort-zone I have had. It has given me the means to live life in a way that I could only have ever imagined while reading National Geographic…
Luxor Egypt, 2006
Multi-6 Figure Virtual Assistant Company.
The “Virtual” side of things meant that I could clearly communicate to clients that I was not available for any direct interaction, and I am only available virtually – online – in cyberspace so to speak, and whilst I am very fond of all of them, they remain at a distance, and we connect digitally, online which means that it doesn’t matter where I am, and it doesn’t matter where they are – in a nutshell – I freaking love being virtual, and it’s the global, virtual nature of my business that I personally thrive on!
The “Assistant” part meant that I get to do what I do best, and help people with their businesses to achieve what they want, or need, or both. It’s phenomenal that I connect with people I work with on my team and my clients across 6 out of 7 continents in the world. I never would have believed this if someone had told me 2500 days ago that I would be doing what I am doing now. The business is progressing and moving forward daily, I am powered by my desire for learning new ways to work with clients online and collaborate. I am hungry to learn more when online services come out that could improve productivity and communication. In a sense, I’m addicted to Internet technology, and how it can not only improve my own business, but also that of my clients. I experiment, I research, and that is why this virtual assistant business has become to me, like a seed that I planted and nurtured, and tended to, every day, so it became a beautiful flower, and when I look upon it, it brings me an enormous feel good factor, that I would never let wither away.
30 Years Old.
But moreover – (according to my husband, this is something I feel I should be a little proud of.) The business I started to research in Egypt 2500 days ago, which I started freelancing at, hoping I could earn a few hundred pounds a month for myself to live on and to get me from A-B turned into a multi-6 figure, multi-faceted entrepreneurial endeavour before my 30th Birthday. So I went from knowing nothing about how to run a business, or market it, or manage it… let alone the type of work I was getting into online, to it becoming what it is today, through research and online learning, all while I was in my 20’s and all while I was travelling through places with questionable Internet connections. I also left school at 16, so even higher education was not a contributor – you don’t need a fancy degree or letters after your name to do this. Because of the love I have for my business, and the way it’s such an integral part of my life, and family life – you could say, I retired the day before my 24th birthday – the day I left the UK, and “real world” work.
I mentioned my husband just a moment ago. An American man who happened to be passing through, walking the same road as me. Someone who shared my love for travel, and was equally as adventurous (or equally as mad, whatever way you want to look at it) – we have now been together since 2007. The evening I met him, on a friend’s balcony overlooking the river Nile in Luxor, was the evening I found my travel companion and my best friend – in the whole wide world. We went from travelling as single people, to teaming up as a duo, and then came…
We then proceeded to have a bouncing 10.¾lb baby boy (complete surprise on both parts having had 4 doctors declare me clinically not able to ever conceive without some sort of medical intervention) and that baby boy became the reason – my entire reason – why I became so highly focused, determined, and committed to the life I chose. I was no longer freelancing, or dabbling in a little business idea, I had an impeccable reason to push myself hard, really hard… Having a baby, and trying to provide enough income for a family home in Europe from one small online business in amongst foreign countries, planes, trains and automobiles, plus learning to be a mum for the first time, was shall we say – challenging… and character building!
When my son was 6 months old, I became pregnant again, this time with my daughter who was born in France. Fortunately it didn’t matter during the delivery that the midwife had no English, and was about 18 years old… I was a pro at that stage. The day she was born, I checked myself out of the hospital and was back home checking my email and collaborating with unsuspecting clients who had no idea I was even pregnant, and a majority had no idea I was in France. I never went public about my location and travel lifestyle until I started blogging on here in 2010, I look back on that, and I smile – very few people knew about my nomadic lifestyle.
I take such pleasure every day from the simple things I discover about the world, and also about me, which is a result of having this kind of freedom, from how big the spring onions are in Spain (never seen them that big – seriously), to watching fireworks on New Year’s eve from an Italian hilltop, to gazing upon the pyramids in Cairo. My life is not “peachy” in the sense that I don’t have a care in the world. I work long hours, I have all the usual bumps and bruises from being a mum, I get tired, I worry about money to a certain extent, the business is (and has always been) the sole household income to provide for the family, to keep a roof over our heads, I have things I want to save for, and I make huge investments of both time and money into projects I believe in to help other people who are as thirsty for life online and offline as I am.
But we all have those things… Call them ups and downs… Call it life.
I can tell you this now, I swear on my last 2500 day journey – I have NO regrets. I wish that words would do this feeling justice, but they don’t. Living life on your own terms, even if you fall and get back up again, will still feel a million times better than living a life that’s not of your own choosing. Now, I may have simple requirements, some might say I’m easy to please, whereas others might say, I’m a complicated so-and-so with a complex life…
The fact is I remember the last time I cried tears of unhappiness… unhappiness with my life and my choices, and it was well, well over 2500 days ago. I may feel sad very occasionally, and I have had the odd moment where I have cried throughout this time, but such moments are only induced by fear… fear of going back, and it’s that fear that has always made me stronger, more eager and even more determined.
Whilst I have had difficulties and struggled, I have never lost sight about what I am aiming for in life, and how I am going to get there. If anyone should envy someone like me because of the life I have, (I get emails sometimes from people who say this) then that’s just strange – what they should be envious of, is the ability I have found within myself to never give up, or back down, or stop believing that my way, my choices for my life, (and now my family’s life) are worth fighting for and following through on. By taking what seems like “the easier option” I could easily end up with regret, remorse and maybe, I might shed a tear of unhappiness for the choices I made which went against my better judgement, and my gut instinct.
I urge you – start today – make a decision, decide to do whatever will make you cry your last tear of unhappiness with your life, and who knows where you could be in 2 days from now, 200 days… or 2000 days… the time is not an issue, as long as you have the will.