In this episode of You Did That!, I welcome Christina, a Professional travel blogger, entrepreneur, writer, lingerie store owner, sensual movement teacher, and mother to a wild one. Christina is faithfully attached to being a multi-hyphenate kind of woman. After giving birth to her first child, she decided now would be the appropriate time to upend her life and start all over. So she sold almost everything she had to travel across the US with her husband and two-year-old in tow to “live a wilder life.”
Main Topics Discussed:
- Honoring your rhythm
- Prioritizing meaningful memories over an overcrowded itinerary
- Blogging and influencing as a career
- Everyday Adventures
- The importance of believing in oneself and starting over later in life
What was the moment that you decided, we have to do this now?
I feel like talking about it for a year before we left, and we were reaching a critical mass for what we need to do for this next stage of our life. I had given birth. We had a one year old, and my husband was working at the time, like 80 hours weeks, incredibly brutal production work. So if anybody doesn’t know what production work is like, it’s brutal. And while he’s not old, he’s not in his 20s, so that was really tough for him. So his health was starting to deteriorate physically and emotionally, and it was really kind of breaking down our relationship. Not in any way where we were near any kind of breakup, but where it was like, if we don’t change, it’s not going to get better. And there was nowhere to go with him with this job. He had reached the ceiling for where this job could take him. And I was kind of reaching an ending towards my career as well.
When we literally looked at the numbers and I did the math, and to live in La. Would have cost us $2000 to $3,000 a month. We weren’t making it. We were going into debt and we just didn’t literally could not make it. So that’s when we decided the only choice was to sell our house because we luckily had a home. And that’s when I realized we cannot stay here because we cannot afford to live here and we have to leave. We have to just completely blow it all up and start over.
Did you intend to create a blog of all your travels from the beginning, or when did that idea take shape?
That was the intention from the very beginning because we were leaving our jobs and we had money saved up from the sale of the home that we knew we could live on for a year or two. But after that, we needed to have a plan. I own a lingerie company and so that’s an ecommerce company, and that was like my first introduction to online business. And so that introduced me to this whole world of different ways that you can create a business and really be creative online. So that’s how I found out about blogging and it was a very natural place for us to go because Brad is a photographer, I was a writer, and traveling was something that had just been in my life since I was a little girl. And even on our wedding rings we have inscribed, there’s still so much to see. And literally we want to travel the world together. We knew that was what would be who we are and there’s still so much to see in each other, constant commitment to that. So it’s twofold. So since we would be traveling, I knew I would be writing about it, that I wanted to write about family travel and outdoor travel and kind of adventure travel in the US. Would always be our focus.
What sets you apart from other people who write about their adventures and have a travel blog or business?
My main angle is predominantly everyday adventure in the US. So what that means to me is there’s a lot of adventure. People who go out there and they do some extreme adventure. They’re going out and doing like, backcountry skiing, or they are out for a two-week trek. And that was never going to be us. Not only because we have a young child, but it wasn’t our vibe. We wanted to be able to do an amazing hike for the day and to help fellow adventurers, people who consider themselves adventurers, but are just like an everyday adventurer. And so for me, my vibe is always to be attainable, to be inclusive, and to never be better than anyone.
In the outdoor community they’re kind of like, unless you have the right gear or you’re fit or you know all the correct terminology and so there’s like a gatekeeping to nature. I find it really repulsive and exclusive, and I’m just anti exclusivity. I remember what that felt like. And I never want to make someone feel that way.
Is there a piece of advice that when you were first starting, would have been helpful to you?
I think in terms of traveling, the advice I would give to anybody who’s traveling with friends or family, is to always honor your rhythms. And so it’s so much more important to have memories together than to try to fit everything in. And I guess to know your intention. Like, when I travel with my father who’s older and disabled, we’re not going to do much, but I know what the intention is that it’s to be together and to be in this new environment together.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned about yourself through your experiences?
How capable I am as a person, as a woman. I guess what stands out is that I’m proud that I’m 40 now and I just completely started over and I started this thing. That I did it and that I’m successful at it, that I was able just to do it one little step at a time, and that I have a thriving business now. That’s what stands out for me. I guess I’m at an age where most people would be kind of sinking into their work and like rising. And for me, I just started over and that’s maybe more common than we think. And it’s just not talked about that a lot of people are continually starting over and that that’s okay and that you can find your groove later on and there’s no endpoint for it because this is a very creative endeavor for me. And so to continue to find out what I want to be doing for my creative work, for my financial work, what actually will sustain my family, has been probably the most rewarding thing, even more than the travel, which is just funny. I think most people focus on that. I got to travel, and that is it. I actually enjoy working. If I had nothing to do, I would be really unhappy. I like to create, so that’s been like, immeasurably satisfying.
Who are your role models or supporters on this journey?
I want to be honest, I didn’t know anybody who did this. And I didn’t have anybody guiding me on how to start my blog other than looking to other bloggers and taking the typical online course that’s very popular now. I’ve had many mentors in my life and many teachers and people have inspired me, but this is pretty much the first time where I did something where there was no compass, there was no guide. There was just kind of a lot of chutzpah, which is really just like a total determination and also a belief in myself that I could do it that was not easily attained.
What would your younger self think if they saw you now?
I think she would think I’m pretty rad.
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