“Dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.”
As I walked on the gravel trail through City Park in Denver, I thought about how I got here, to this amazing and vibrant city. The air was different in Denver, and I was different, I was so excited on the plane because I knew I’d meet people and have experiences that I’d never forget, and return to Pennsylvania a different person, someone who’s ready to take my life to the next awesome place, to let go of the gremlins, dance, and enjoy each moment.
In September, I traveled to Denver, Colorado. This is the first part of my story, detailing the journey to getting there.
Earlier this year, wanting to learn more about travel, I searched through many podcasts and discovered Zero To Travel, with host Jason Moore, who interviews travel experts and others living a location independent lifestyle talk about their adventures. I started to get really excited about the possibilities of travel and also discovered the Location Indie group. LI is a community of nomadic and world travelers, remote workers, and entrepreneurs, all living location independent. Moore and fellow podcaster and blogger, Travis Sherry, who created Extra Pack of Peanuts, started LI after their own adventures of traveling lead them to want to connect with other people doing the same thing, doing travel full time. As they say “The key to happiness and success was having a like-minded community of friends to lean on for support, advice and to share some laughs with. That’s why Location Indie was born.”
Around the time I started listening to Zero to Travel, Jason was talking about their other project called the Paradise Pack. In this “pack” is a bundle of world-class resources from 20+ travel and location independent experts. After learning a bit more, and thinking about it a LOT, I decided to invest in my future, after all, if I’m going to be a travel writer (which is now what I’m working to build a business doing) and living LI, then what better way than to invest in the tools that will help me get there! I have invested in a TON of things that weren’t taking me towards my goals, and I’ve spent a TON of money on things that gave me little or no residual income. After getting into the PP and discovering more about the awesome world of travel and doing webinars, listening to how it’s possible to create something I’m proud of and that will take the talents I already have, and help grow a business, I was overwhelmed, to say the least.
I was introduced to the LI community shortly after starting to dig into the PP and in addition to working a full-time job, it quickly became a focus of my time and energy. I was struggling to figure it out on my own, and when the LI community opened up (it’s only open to joining a few times a year) I decided that it was another investment in myself and my future. So I joined LI! I started to join in webinars, connected with people who are doing amazing things and really started to get inspired about all this potential. I found people who were struggling with the same things I was, working a full-time job, and wanting to travel. In less than five months, I was wanting to take trips and trying to figure out where to go, because I haven’t really traveled up to now.
Then an email from LI announced the Denver Experience, an In-Person Meet UP with fellow LI members and the founders, Jason and Travis! I knew this was the time, this was the moment that I could step WAY out of my comfort zone, and I booked my ticket for the 3-Day event. It was scary and exciting to make a commitment to travel for the first time to somewhere I’d never been, and meet people I didn’t actually know, all because I listened to a podcast in April. I didn’t care; it was time for me to do something that would make it REAL. So I figured it out, planned my flight, and booked my stay. I managed to work out an affordable flight and used my new Venture credit card because I’m learning to use travel points to get miles for my next flight! (Spoiler, my FREE flight to Austin was paid with the points I earned ;)) I also talked to my company and set up two days of account visits. As an inside sales rep at a distribution company, I work with customers based in Colorado, and several of my larger accounts are right in Denver! So I was able to fly out a few days early, and visit customers, getting paid, and having my company split the flight so that I could save some money!
I also decided that I’d challenge myself more by pitching a travel story to a travel publication. I had a friend that I’d worked with when I was a reporter and I reached out to him to see if he’d connect me with the editor over at Travel Pulse. After telling the editor about my trip, they agreed to run a slideshow and story upon my return. So I again made some additional cash for paying down my expenses for the trip, which made me feel better about spending money on travel. It’s no longer something that I can’t afford, and it will actually pay for itself, if I do the work that I love doing already, so all around a win-win!
The last piece of the travel plan was lodging, and right after the LI team announced the Denver Experience, fellow members started getting ideas to rent an Air BnB to share, and one of our friends in the group booked a “Hostel” in downtown Denver, in the RiNo District, which had enough room for 12 people, bunk-bed style. This was great because it was super affordable. I only paid $87 for three nights and my company picked up the other three nights. Yep! Super affordable.