If you asked me even two years ago if I thought I would be doing what I am now, I probably would have laughed in your face. I might have said that no one can travel that much for a living. But 2018 was the year that I decided to start living the digital nomad lifestyle, and my life is so much better for it. I took 53 plane, train, and bus rides this year, but I wouldn't have it any other way. (That number doesn't even include my cross-country road trip, sailing trip around Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, or any of the mini trips within the big trips.)
Don't get me wrong: Living out of a suitcase and trying to keep my travel schedule straight in my head is not the easiest thing in the world. I have had my fair share of moments when I felt overwhelmed and so exhausted, and I probably have enough packing horror stories to fill a book. But all in all, I'm constantly amazed at my life and can't believe I get to do what I do for a living.
I explored four different countries and over 20 cities across the U.S.
Throughout the U.S., 2018 took me all over the map: Austin, Denver, Las Vegas, Provincetown, and Portland were just a few of my favorites. I also took a cross-country road trip with my boyfriend, flew to Hartford to see my brother perform in the national tour of Hamilton, went on one of Sunsail's flotilla trips around Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, and even took a bestie vacay to Sydney, Australia.
Traveling as much as I did last year opened my eyes up to the incredible places that the country and the world have to offer, and made me realize that there's still so much more to see.
I traveled both for professional and personal reasons.
2018 was a huge transitional year for me, both professionally and personally. I made the decision to go full-time freelance, which gave me a ton of flexibility in my schedule, but also required me to follow the work, wherever it was. I traveled around the country and the globe to write and sing. I spent long hours on buses and planes getting from city to city, coast to coast, and country to country.
I also decided to move from New York City to Los Angeles, which has increased my travel schedule even more. I still frequently go back to NYC for events, and getting home to Tampa to see my family is a bit more of a trek than it used to be.
Traveling for work taught me a lot about balance.
While traveling all the time seems extremely glamorous on social media, I have also learned a lot about balancing my time. The trips I took were often work-related, so I spent most of my time on my laptop, camped out in my hotel or in a coffee shop. But because I was in a new place, I also had to learn to carve out time for me to actually explore the city I was in so it wouldn't be a totally wasted trip.
In addition, I learned how to balance out my personal life. I made it a point to take trips that would bring me to Florida so I could make a pit stop and visit my family in Tampa. My boyfriend also travels for work, and until I moved to LA, we were in a long-distance relationship. We had to work together to make sure we're seeing each other as much as we could.
Moving forward, I think it's safe to assume that the number of trips I take this year won't be less than 53.
As work has picked up and I ease into my new life in Los Angeles, I have a feeling that 2019 is going to be packed with even more traveling. I already have plans to hit a few different countries within the first half of the year, and I'm definitely going to be bouncing around the country, per usual. There's way too much of the world to see and not nearly enough time in my lifetime to see it.
Even though traveling as much as I do can be stressful, it's extremely rewarding.
Since my traveling schedule has picked up, I've seen such a huge amount of growth in my life as a whole. I've found new purpose, and feel like I'm finally settling into what I'm meant to be doing, at least for the time being.
And though I know I can't commit to a life on the road for forever — I would like to eventually settle down and have a family one day — for right now, being a digital nomad is the sweetest place to be. I could not be more excited to see what this year's travels have in store for me.