Adventures in Wanderlust

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This interview originally appeared on Vibe Tribe Shop on February 21, 2015.

We had a chance to catch up with Karlie of @misswanderlustca recently. We have been a fan of her adventure and gorgeous Instagram pictures. What caught our eye first was Karlie’s goal. Karlie had a dream to visit 30 countries before she was 30 and she did it! Then we fell in love with her ig pixels. In the interview below, Karlie shares how she has worked towards her day dream and what the journey has meant to her. You can follow the adventures of Karlie on Instagram at @misswanderlustca. Thanks, Karlie, for taking the time to share your journey with us and for the travel inspiration – don’t quit your day dream!

Tell us a bit about your adventure…

I first traveled outside of Canada in 2008 when I was 22 years old. My husband and I went to the Euro Cup and to Italy, where my family, including my five-year old father, emigrated from in 1958. We started traveling every year, more and more frequently. By the time I was 25 I had been to 10 countries and set a goal to visit at least 30 countries before my 30th birthday. I achieved and surpassed my goal with eight months to spare!

What inspired or prompted this dream…

This is a tricky question because it wasn’t like a lightning bolt hit me one day and I decided to do this. The goal evolved over time. My husband and I always enjoyed road trips when we were younger but didn’t have the money (or so we thought) to travel abroad. I lost my mom in 2007 and my entire world changed, completely altering my outlook on life. I started to think about what was important, what I would want to look back on at the end of a long life, or what would happen if I died tomorrow. I needed to start living the way I wanted to and enjoy time with my husband in a way that is special to us. Aside from the heavy stuff, the more I saw of the world, the more I wanted to see!

What were you most looking forward to as you worked towards starting this adventure…

Experiencing the world. Seeing all of the famous places that I’d only seen on TV and in magazines. Deviating away from that and discovering places that I hadn’t heard of that would end up surprising and delighting me. Meeting people. Eating delicious food. Proving to myself that I can do anything and accomplish my goals.

How did your friends and family react as you announced this journey…

When we first started traveling, people would act somewhat surprised whenever we told them we were going on another trip. I think this is because we’ve done our travels in a different way, meaning we go to a destination and return home, rather than doing an extended trip in one region of the world or a RTW trip. When I first announced my 30 by 30 goal in May 2010, most people didn’t give it a second thought, but as our travels picked up and we got closer and closer to my goal, people were really encouraging and excited for us.

Have you made any significant life changes to start/accommodate your adventure…

I barely spend any money on myself when I’m at home. I’d rather spend money on plane tickets than gadgets or material things. My money saving is so extreme that every time I save and/or don’t spend, I think of what I can buy with that amount abroad, down to single dollars. I also haven’t had a “real”, permanent job in years. I work on term contracts and have done temp work in the past. Sometimes the uncertainty can be nerve-wracking, but it’s always worth it. Like my dad always says, there will always be another opportunity to make money.

What has been your favorite moment of your journey so far…

I truly appreciate every moment that I’ve spent on this journey, because they all add up to make special memories and exciting trips. I love experiencing the world and getting to share that journey with my husband. It’s really hard to just pick one moment because I’ve had a lot of wonderful moments, but one that stands out for me is watching the sunrise with my husband on a sand dune in the Sahara Desert in Morocco with nobody else around.

What have you learned so far on this journey…

I struggle with anxiety and I sometimes have lapses in confidence, but this journey has taught me that I am capable of anything I put my mind to and beyond. It has taught me how to set goals and work hard to achieve them. I have learned that the world is a fascinating and complicated place that is worth exploring, and not just the beautiful or easy destinations. And it has taught me to appreciate everything that I have.

What advice would you give to someone with a similar goal or dream…

There is nobody stopping you from achieving your dreams but yourself. If you want to do something, do it. There will always be an excuse not to. Acknowledge those excuses and then toss them in the garbage. If you put your mind to it, anything is possible. If I can do it, you can do it!

 

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