Learn about me, why I’m starting a blog, why I’m a fan of traveling slowly, and how I accidentally fell in love with travel.
Once upon a time, a young girl named “Amanda” was born. Just kidding! We’re not starting THAT far back.
Let’s start off with how I became an accidental traveler. This is an important part of my story because I want you to know, without a doubt, that you are capable, and worthy, of achieving your goals.
Growing up, my family typically vacationed in two places: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I loved both of these family vacation spots dearly. It never occurred to me to want more, to see other places or do other things. I was a child of routine, and darn happy with it.
I became even more firmly planted in my “Not Gonna Leave This Continent” belief after I saw footage of a plane crash when I was about 10-years-old. I think the part that terrified me the most was that a group of high school students from my state, Pennsylvania, had died. That was it, I swore NEVER to fly overseas. The thought of crossing a giant body of water was too much.
NOPE. No thanks.
Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but hey, I was a child with an active imagination and I made good use of it!
Thankfully, I came to my better senses as a teen when my obsession with Australia began after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. I could not get enough! I was officially on board the travel train
Finally! In January of 2008, I had my chance to travel overseas. I attended the University of Delaware, one of the first universities in the US to offer study abroad programs in the US, which offered winter session (sometimes referred to as J-term) trips to countries around the world. For many students, this was the most affordable option to get out and “see something.” I was on my way to Australia (Hooray!)… with 40 + other students (Hooray???).
We saw Melbourne, Cairns, and Sydney. And did I mention that my major was “Leisure Service Management?” This meant my classes included “Women in Sport” and “Australian Sport and Leisure.” BEST. MAJOR. EVER.
But when I returned home, officially a college graduate and in the “real world,” I immediately wondered “Sooo, what now?!”
Let’s rev up the DeLorean a little bit and speed through time at 88 mph. After returning home from my winter session I got a job as a bank teller. I HATED it. It was low paying and thankless work. BUT, it helped me save for my next adventure… a year long working holiday in Australia.
That year abroad would be just the beginning…
The young Amanda at the beginning of this story had no clue there was another way through life besides COLLEGE – JOB – RELATIONSHIP – MARRIAGE – HOUSE – KIDS (of course, there is some fluidity with the order of these life milestones). This is the path I thought I would lead despite some of these life events feeling off to me.
I wanted to be secure and stable financially BUT I also valued the freedom to do what I want. I was relying too much on others to tell me what to do instead of relying on myself and my internal wisdom.
Now, I am a virtual assistant. I work when I want and for as long as I want. I have the freedom to travel as often, or as little, as I wish.
I want you to know that it is okay to want more than what you think you deserve, or what society thinks you deserve. You can travel if you want to travel. You can quit your day job to teach English in Asia. You can find ways to travel on your budget. You can start your own business so you don’t have to listen to Greg pop gum all day.
You may even become an accidental traveler. (ahem, like another homebody that we all know. Me!)
My mission is to tell you that if you feel…
You DON’T need to stay that way. If something feels wrong with the way your life is going. Change it!
I will be sharing lots of stories that I have never publicly shared. Stories about my solo travel adventures, my baby steps into entrepreneurship + virtual assistant work, and tips and tricks on how to travel meaningfully.
And maybe, a post about the travel outtakes and inevitable “Oops!” moments.
There you have it, my journey to becoming an accidental traveler explained AND what you will see in future blog posts.
Of course, all things evolve over time, and I expect this blog will, too. Wherever it heads, I invite you to stick around to see what’s next!
If you would like to learn more about me, my new career as a virtual assistant, or my thoughts on socks with sandals, check out my professional Instagram account @amanda.kime and my personal account @amandas.backpack.
Amanda is a virtual assistant and online ESL teacher. She has lived and worked overseas in Australia and South Korea. When she’s not helping entrepreneurs build their YouTube channels, she is running, on the hunt for a cookie, or cuddling with her Korean kitty, Jangmi.