Rachel Mazza

18 Dec 2013

“Traveling the world is fun, and addicting, but remember your big goals and dreams. Just because you’re on a 6 month trip to Asia doesn’t mean you can’t continue to achieve your dream of writing a book, or achieving your fitness goals.”

Hello, my name is Rachel ! I’m years 25 old from the United States and I am shortly traveling to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)!  If you would like to get in contact with me, submit a message here and Erica will relay it to me. Also, check out my website: Not Your Parent’s Life!  I hope you enjoy reading what I’ve learned while on my journey!

What countries have you traveled to so far?

USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand

What country are you currently in or where are you planning to go?

Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos)

What stage of life are you in?

Post High-School, Post-University, Between Careers, Professional in Your Field, Seeking a New Path

Why embark on your journey?

to experience a new culture, to check out new scenery, to challenge yourself, to meet new people, to learn something new (skill, trade, etc), To eat my way around the world!

What are some of your goals while traveling?

My ultimate goal is to build a remote income so I can work wherever I want, whenever I want with whomever I want.

I love culture, hearing people’s stories, and street food. So I’d like to continue to find cities and places that are more and more “foreign” to me so I can continue to experience new things.

I also want to eventually visit all 7 continents.

My ultimate goal is to develop a residual income (recurring income). This is the kind of money that you earn while you sleep. There are so many ways to do this, but they all take time and dedication.

At this point, have you been able to achieve any of your goals? If so, how?

My goal is to develop a remote income, or a recurring income so that I can continue to travel and work from wherever I am in that moment.

I’m doing pretty well so far. I’ve learned how to make simple websites, and work with other traveling friends to design logos as well. I also do some freelance writing for training organisations.

I’m also developing a team through a great network marketing business which allows me to get paid every month, whether I’m working that month or not.

What were some of your fears about traveling before you left?

running out of money, missing loved ones, having a hard time meeting people, not being able to find a job (if on a work visa), exposure to possible dangers (sickness, disease, violence, etc), fear of the unknown, language barrier, “wasting time” when I am “supposed to be” developing a career/family/life (according to society).

How do you feel you have faced those fears during your trip?

One of the biggest things that has helped me overcome my fears is meeting people around the world who are doing the exact same thing that I am.
Also, the fact that most of them are older than me (sorry Niamh and Michelle!) makes me feel comfortable that I don’t have some “deadline” where I’m supposed to settle down and stop traveling.

I’ve also learned that you don’t have to have everything planned out, because you WILL figure it out. You are not going to die in a ditch or starve on the street if you don’t book a hotel until you arrive at a destination. In fact, I’ve had some of the best times of my life just meeting up with people in a hostel and saying “where are you going next?” — then tagging along for a new experience.

Have your dreams of what you might do with your life changed as a result of traveling?

I wanted to be a famous actress.
My goal was to develop a residual, remote income.
I wanted to write a book, learn a new language, and become super physically fit.

I’d say most of these are the same! And I’ve done pretty well moving towards all of them.
The only thing that is “on hold” right now is acting. That’s a goal that takes time and dedication, and requires you to stay in one place for a period of time.

I did play a role in 2 movies that premiered in both Chicago and Hollywood though so I guess it’s still moving forward! Ironically, I missed both premiers because I was away traveling. 😀

What are 3 significant things you have learned while being on your adventure?

1.) Most things are not as important as you think they are.

This is especially true with “stuff”. Every time I go on a big trip I have to throw out all the stuff I’ve collected over the past year, or several years. Every time it is painful, and difficult, and I sulk about it. And as soon as it’s done I feel extremely free, liberated, able to go anywhere and do anything. Trust me, wherever you are going, you can buy it there.

Stop obsessing. I was the queen of OCD. You will be much happier if you can go with the flow, stay flexible, and keep an open mind. I’ve lived by myself most of my life until I started traveling. I HATED having a flatmate and was a super clean freak. After I was thrown into a situation where I was living with 10+ people in a 1 bedroom apartment, I learned to let thing go. So what if someone didn’t clean their dishes? If it really bothers you that much — clean them yourself. Otherwise give them a friendly reminder or just move them aside. Did someone leave out their stuff in a common area? Guess what, go somewhere else for awhile, or put it away yourself. It’s really not going to kill you.

2.) Spend time with people who make you happy. Get rid of the ones who don’t.

It’s been proven that you are generally an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Financially, physically, spiritually – the people you hang out with influence you whether you realize it or not. So spend time with friends and family who lift you up, encourage you, and love you unconditionally. Limit your time with people who are negative, make excuses, or are just plain lazy.

3.) Stay focused on the end game.

Traveling the world is fun, and addicting, but remember your big goals and dreams. Just because you’re on a 6 month trip to Asia doesn’t mean you can’t continue to achieve your dream of writing a book, or achieving your fitness goals. When you’re traveling, even though you’re out of your comfort zone, that’s still your life. So treat yourself well and take care of the daily tasks that will move you in the direction of your dreams….. THEN you can go out and eat the newest discovery of meat on a stick. 🙂

What advice could you give others who are considering taking some time off to explore themselves and the world?

Realize that it will probably cost you less than you think. You can live like a king in Thailand for less than $1000 per month. There’s most likely no way you could do that back home. Your lifestyle will be different of course! But realize that you probably won’t realize what you’re missing back home. No one needs Netflix when you’re riding an elephant.

Also, whether you love the lap of luxury, or would prefer to sleep in a tent on the ground, stay in hostels. I promise you that you will have a better experience staying in a hostel than in a private guest house or hotel, even if they’re the same price. You’ll meet people over beers and movies in the common room, gain some travel and activity buddies, and feel way more comfortable venturing out with some new friends than you would wandering the streets alone. You’ll also learn about places to go and things to do that you probably wouldn’t have learned on your own.
Having said that, do a bit of homework and check out reviews online to find out which hostels are well maintained and have a good environment. www.hostelworld.com is great for this.

Were there any quotes that motivated you along the way?

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Twain:

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I also love this quote by Jim Rohn….. actually any quote by Jim Rohn.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

What are the top three countries you would like to travel to next?

Ireland, Italy, Africa