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How to Travel Full-Time AND Make Money!

I loved traveling the world and when I found out my regular 9-5 job had such little paid time off, I made a new life for myself. Listen as I talk about tips for becoming a full digital nomad. I lived on the road for nearly 3 years and still was able to save money every single month.

Check out my latest video. Make sure to give it a like and subscribe to my channel. ❤

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Should I be checking SINGLE or WIDOW!?

Single

To take you all the way back. My husband passed away a couple days before my 27th birthday. When someone first called me a widow I was a bit thrown off since it is an “older” term.

I remember going to a dentist appointment 2 months after my husband passed away and saw the box that I had to check…single…married…widow…divorced.

I had no idea what to do and that really pissed me off. I decided to check both single and widowed.

It has been 2.5 years now and I’ve been to the doctors a couple times and it is slightly less painful to choose a box each time.

I have an active Instagram account talking about my journey. But I went on Instagram stories after visiting the doctors a couple weeks ago and asked other widows out there which box they check. I couldn’t believe the responses I got. Every single person seemed to tell me a different story.

I ended up putting the numbers together and talked about what others have said to me. I didn’t name any names. I also got so many thank yous. In the grief process, you can feel like you are on an island all alone and when you realize others struggle with this box it makes you not feel quite so alone.

So here is my video for any of you out there that feel alone and also are wondering which box to select.

 

Female Solo Hiking Tips

t can seem scary at first to go hiking by yourself. Once you start though, it’s addicting!

How trauma affected my grief process

It can seem scary at first to go hiking by yourself. Once you start though, it’s addicting! It’s important to keep safety in mind though wherever you are. Whether you are hiking in North America or you are in a third world country, I bring you through my top safety tips for being a female solo hiker! Click on the image above to check them out!

Keep living life ❤

Laura

How Trauma Affected My Grief Process

Today, I come to you from beautiful San Diego, California to talk about how trauma affected my grief process.

How trauma affected my grief process

My next YouTube video is now LIVE! Simply click on the video above and you will be taken right to it! I have started a segment where I will not only be sharing my story more in depth, but I will do so while hiking in different places around the world.

Today, I come to you from beautiful San Diego, California to talk about how trauma affected my grief process. I wrote a blog about dealing with PTSD after trauma and I couldn’t believe how many people didn’t realize that trauma was also triggering their grief process to be so much worse.

Trauma for me has been just as painful as grief. That is what I am sharing and talking to listeners today in my YouTube video.

Please be sure to share a comment on the video and let me know what you think.

Keep living life.

-Laura

How to Set A Goal

You may have been told that setting a goal is very important. Guess what, I’m here to tell you that it is. There are so many reasons for this.

You may have been told that setting a goal is very important. Guess what, I’m here to tell you that it is. There are so many reasons for this. In fact, I think setting goals has saved my life. I’m here to share with you a bit about my experience with setting goals, what my goals are moving forward in my life, and how you can set your own goals too (and really reach them this time). Keep reading for all the details.

Why goals are important…

When you don’t have a goal in your life you don’t have something to reach for. You don’t have something you are looking forward to achieving. A goal can be several different things. If you have been following me the past year or two, you know my goals have revolved around reaching a specific summit around the world. Each one I have attempted has been more difficult than the last. It has caused me to continue to work hard for the next mountain in mind.

Now, I’m not telling you your goals should be to climb a mountain. In fact, they don’t need to be anything athletic. Perhaps you want to excel at work, maybe you want to make a certain amount of money, maybe you want to save more money. There are so many things that you may want to achieve this month, this year, and in your life.

But…if the future is not promised, why not push us to reach our goals. Why not ensure you’re not at the end of your life and wishing you did more, saw more, and become more?

How to set your goals..

The next step is to set your goal. Like I said before, what came to mind when you thought of a personal goal? If you can’t think of anything, try thinking of something that is slightly out of your reach right now but you know eventually it could become attainable if you work hard.

There are also so many different level of goals you can achieve. I like to focus on ones that are 6 months or 1 year away. When it’s much longer I end up feeling overwhelmed that that will take me a long time to reach that.

The goals in my life…

I’ve had so many different phases in my life. One thing that has always been consistent is setting goals for myself. Whether that is athletically, travel wise, in my career, and everything in between, goals are critical for you to grow into the person you want to be.

Some fun facts about me and the goals I have accomplished (I feel like this suddenly is a boasting moment and it’s not meant to be.)

I went to World youth and World juniors in high school. Both were in Europe and I competed for team Canada.

I ended up going to the University of Texas at El Paso on a full scholarship for track and field.

I quite any type of 9-5 job and started an online marketing business full time that I have currently done for 4 years.

I’ve had a lot of times in my life where I have missed my goal. I’m proud to say it has never been a situation that has crushed me. I’m simply focused on a new goal or gone after it again.

My current goals…

I talk on my Instagram account about my various mountaineering goals. Right now, I have a permit in for Mount Whitney (highest peak in continental USA) and I am booked to climb Aconcagua at the end of the year (highest peak in South America). Both of this I believe are definitely attainable but I also know I’m going to have to keep working hard in order to get in better shape and even become mentally tougher. With some of these longer and higher hikes I’ve started leaning more mountaineering skills that will help me continue in the future (hint – I want to end up climbing Denali).

I also now officially have the goal of starting a YouTube channel. My goal is to share my story while hiking through the mountains around the world. I would love for you to subscribe (it would help me out so much while starting!) click HERE now.

So, what came to your mind when you were reading this? Did a large goal pop up suddenly? Perhaps something you have always wanted to achieve but didn’t know where to start.

Start now. Write it down and put it on your fridge. You may achieve it even quicker than you thought.

Thanks for reading. As always, keep living life.

-Laura Leanne

 

 

How Do I Travel So Much?

I get asked on a regular basis how I pay for my travels so much. I wrote about it in an Instagram post about a year ago, but figured a longer blog is in order since the question arises so often.
The first thing I want to add is travels can be on so many budgets. You can stay at 5-star resorts eat amazing dinners and go on tours, or you can figure out the local bus system and stay at hostels. I find myself gravitating towards the second one (with some fun things mixed in of course) which makes my travel very affordable. Make sure you check out my blog on tips on traveling on a budget.
I classify myself as a “digital nomad”. This term refers to anyone that can work remotely and only needs their computer. I find myself checking the WiFi connection of a city very regularly to ensure I’ll have good WiFi before going to it. Before I book a hostel, I will read the reviews simply to find how the WiFi connection was. So, having good WiFi is so critical for me.
Although I do a couple other things for clients here and there, I typically help businesses of all sizes with social media and blogging. I don’t have a specific niche as this allows my brain to jump from topic to topic so it’s never stale for me. I absolutely LOVE what I do and very fortunate to live a life that allows me to travel and work at the same time.
With that said, not everything is sunshine. I’m a contractor so I do not have any paid time off. Therefore, I never take time off. I also must pay for my own things like medical and be smart with my money, so I can one day retire. I’ve worked with Edward Jones in setting that up, but of course I don’t have an employer contributing to a 401K which most traditional jobs have.
I learned very quickly that flexibility is the number one thing I enjoy out a job. If I don’t sleep for a couple hours in the night, I end up working and getting to work less during the day. If there’s a great discounted tour on a Wednesday, I get ahead in my work on a Saturday and get to take the tour all day Wednesday. In this very moment I’m on a bus to southern Argentina and able to not skip a beat with my work because the bus has WiFi and I’ve been able to work the entire time.

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It also takes a lot of discipline. If I meet a group and they are heading somewhere, and I really need to get work done, I either am up at 4 am to work so I can join a couple hours later, or I don’t get to join and will meet up with them for dinner later. I pack so much into my weekends though and take advantage of them to the fullest. So, if you are seeing me posting on a weekday and I’m abroad I simply worked extra at another time. If you don’t hear from me and I’m abroad for a couple days, I probably worked 10-hour days and was trying to get ahead for something epic I’m about to do.

So, what exactly do I do?

Like I said, I help businesses with social media and blogging. All my clients are on-going and located in North America. Most of them now are referrals which is always a wonderful way to get clients. I have formed great relationships with many people I work with. I seriously love my clients.

How did I get into it?

I went to University and got my undergraduate and master’s degree. Although it wasn’t exactly in the same field, it was still similar. I had taken a couple marketing classes. With that said, there’s so many great courses out there and even free information you can find if this topic interests you. Even when it comes to digital marketing, there are many different fields like website design that may be of interest to you.

But isn’t traveling still expensive?

Yes and No. Like I said before, you don’t need to travel expensive. Buses are very cheap, and they prevent you from having to take Uber to the airport. They normally are located right in the city and drop you in the city. Yes, I have a had a couple bad experiences, but my flights have been delayed or canceled WAY more than my experiences on a bus.

The main cost is getting to the country. I typically use Hopper to see when the flight will come out cheaper. I also use Chase which gives me more points when using it abroad and I normally can end up getting my larger flights half off.

The other part of travel is that you save a lot of time and money on things you normally do in your “regular life”. For example, I do not have to clean. That also means I do not do dishes. Which also means I do not cook. I do grab items from grocery stores and make sandwiches, however overall, I’m grabbing things quickly and heading into the mountains for a beautiful foreign hike. So, that trip to the store to grab toilet paper, your groceries, laundry detergent, etc I am not doing. Also, most hostels have a laundry service which is very affordable. So, I drop it off at night and in the morning, I picked it up and it’s clean and folded.

It also really depends what country you are in. They differ in prices SO much. I didn’t stay in western Europe as long as I may have liked because no matter what I was doing I was blowing my budget. In South East Asia, I was way under budget daily, and here in South America, I’ve found a happy medium. I do book some tours but only ones I’m really interested in. Sites like the lonely traveler always have great tips. When you Google a hike or a specific item you want to see, there always seems to be a blog on it with how to get there specifically.

How could you get into this field?

Everyone’s story seems to be different. I recommend realizing the cons first though. If that’s still something you are interested in because flexibility means a lot to you, I would highly recommend trying to learn more!

A few suggestions on where to start.

Join a couple Facebook groups on the topic you are interested in. This is a larger one, but it always gives great advice and shares news going on: Social Media Managers. I’m probably a part of 20 groups and am active in about 7 on a regular basis.
Jump on Craigslist if you are just starting out. I got a few wonderful clients on there when I first started. Remember, don’t meet with them at their house. Meet at a coffee shop.

You can look for agencies that are looking to contract out work. These can be found on their website or in one of the two recommendations I just gave.

I’m sure there are way more – this is where I started!

If you have any questions or want me to go into detail about any particular area of this blog, make sure you comment it below and I’ll be happy to.

Now, off the bus I go to explore Patagonia ❤

-Laura Leanne

7 Ways to Help A Loved One That is Grieving

I remember 2 years ago if someone died I wouldn’t know what to say to their loved ones. Do I give them an awkward hug? They probably are so flooded with messages they won’t even notice mine. Maybe I’m bothering them. Do I send them something? How do I get their mailing address? What the … Continue reading “7 Ways to Help A Loved One That is Grieving”

I remember 2 years ago if someone died I wouldn’t know what to say to their loved ones. Do I give them an awkward hug? They probably are so flooded with messages they won’t even notice mine. Maybe I’m bothering them. Do I send them something? How do I get their mailing address? What the heck do I even say?

You can be completely confused. I GET IT! I’ve now been on both sides.

Since James died, other people have died around me and guess what, I’ve gone back to being awkward!! How stupid is that? It’s because humans just don’t naturally know what to say. It’s hard to put yourself in that person’s shoes. This past year though I’ve tried to make an effort to reach out to anyone that has had a loved one die.

When James passed away I was flooded with messages, emails, some yummy baked goods, you name it, it was probably there. The thing was, at the time I really didn’t notice. Maybe I thought, oh yum this is good. Or maybe I thought, wow that was a really nice thing to share and didn’t reply. Guess what though, over time I’ve gone back to each and every message and read them all. I still have not replied and don’t intend to. But I sure appreciate the people that reached out even if it was a 2 sentence “I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through and you are in my prayers.” Hey, check out how easy that was. Do you know what I hated…”Please let me know if I can help.” I’m not sure why it annoyed me. But it did.

Anyone who has lost a loved one understands it’s hard to know what to say. So I have come up with a list of 10 ways to help a loved one grieve. They range from small to larger things, but I hope that if it helps some of you out there.

Share a memory: I love this. I really really love this. I don’t care if it’s something I knew about or something that is a new story to me, it’s like a small gift. It shows they have not forgot about that person. It shows they are thinking about them when, of course you are too.

Offer assistance: Now I do not have children, but I can’t imagine if I did how much a helping hand would be appreciated. I say that not only to people with children, but people going through grief in general. It’s exhausting! They probably are not eating or sleeping, so they do not have a lot of energy. Offer to cook or clean or even check the mail. Maybe even say are you sure? I would love to help. Ask again a few days later and I bet they will take you up on it.

Give them a gift: Now I’ve already talked about baked goods. But anything that would be comforting is a great idea. Maybe a few dinners that can be easily heated up. Maybe a stress relief ball. Maybe even a nice gesture like a picture frame with a picture of your friendship. There are a million little things you can add in a small box.

Quotes: You know I love quotes. At least you should know this about me if you have been following me on Instagram for longer than a few days. Write down your favorite quotes for them. Quotes about hope, about life about love. This may just help to lift their spirits a bit. If you or they are religious you can highlight a few of your favorite Bible versus, especially a few about heaven which will add a special touch.

A card: Aren’t cards great? Some just have the words already picked out for you. All you have to do is sign your name. Guess what, that’s okay and it’s a lovely gesture. Just sign the card and put it in the mail.

Set reminders: This may seem odd, but set reminders on your phone. 1 month anniversary, 2 month, 3 month, 6 month, etc. Guess what, that person that lost their loved one may be counting the exact days they have been without them. They definitely remember these anniversaries. No one may reach out. Since James passed away on New Years everyone remembers mine, but after the 2 month mark, most people stopped messaging me each month anniversary. Send them a quick message letting them know you are thinking of them.

Send a message: I shared earlier how I liked getting messages but I didn’t reply to them always. A simple social media message or text message goes a long way. It doesn’t need to be anything long (although it can be), but let them know you are thinking of them.

If you have another way you loved being helped during your time of grief, I would love for you to comment it below.

Thanks for reading! ❤

-Laura Leanne

What Does the Name Mean?

I got asked the other day what my “Adventures After You 75” name meant. What!? I’ve never shared this. Well then, it’s pretty simple, but let me try and elaborate a little more. James and I started traveling before he passed away. We had been traveling together for 6 months through the southern states of … Continue reading “What Does the Name Mean?”

I got asked the other day what my “Adventures After You 75” name meant.

What!? I’ve never shared this.

Well then, it’s pretty simple, but let me try and elaborate a little more.

James and I started traveling before he passed away. We had been traveling together for 6 months through the southern states of the US. We had all our stuff in our small Toyota Yaris (please feel free to picture a small Toyota, a lot of stuff, myself who is 5 foot 10, our dog and James who was 6 foot 6 exiting this car). That was the definition of an adventure. We were not actually ready to stop going on adventures after he passed away, so I have continued.

At the beginning of my flights that were not a long car ride away, I went to the UK (a lot of Scotland). James and I were planning a trip for May of the following year there, so I took the trip we wanted to do. Of course, that once again was an adventure. It was right before that that I created my Instagram account. I wanted something that was meaningful of the journey, experience, life experience, and what it looks like to experience trauma and continue moving forward with your life. I wanted the account to be as honest as possible, but still showing the positives in my life.

I was thinking about Adventures Without You. At the end of the day, that was not my goal. My goal was not to continue my life and feel without James. Although that would be the case and there will always be a little part of my heart that aches, I truly wanted to be able to one day feel like Laura again.

So, I decided on the name Adventures After You. To me, it was my life, my life of adventure, and the life that I was still going to make epic. But it was all happened after James.

The number 75 is because James was a football player in university and that is where we met. His number was 75 for 1.5 of the years we were together (of course then graduating and no longer playing football).

Thanks for reading along on my journey. ❤

Laura Leanne

It’s Year 2 – Now What?

On my Instagram channel, I talk about almost every topic under the sun. What my bad days look like, what a feeling of relief is like, my fitness goals, my travel, my dog. Let’s be honest – you’ve probably read a lot. Why am I pointing this out? I’m trying to go into a little … Continue reading “It’s Year 2 – Now What?”

On my Instagram channel, I talk about almost every topic under the sun. What my bad days look like, what a feeling of relief is like, my fitness goals, my travel, my dog. Let’s be honest – you’ve probably read a lot. Why am I pointing this out? I’m trying to go into a little more detail of where I am at now.

You have probably read all about the phases of grief. You may be able to relate to them. You may be like me and laugh and think, well that didn’t happen at all like that. So, if you have experienced more of a roller coaster, let me tell you, you are not alone. In fact, I think that’s normally how grief actually is.

My husband, James passed away January 1st, 2017. It is now late September 2018 and like I always say, grief is still there smacking me in the face each day. But it sure has changed from this time last year. Let me go into a little bit more detail…

In 2017, a had a lot of a medium to low feelings. A lot of low feelings of course. And the occasional super high. I figured that’s probably all pretty normal and it’s a lot better than feeling terrible all the time. So yes, pat on the back – progress! 2018 has been odd. It’s this understanding of knowing what has happened and figuring out your life. So, I have actually had so many highs. In fact, probably more highs than I used to have because I’m doing so many things that I now enjoy and have learned that I enjoy. With that said, there’s been so many lows too. So, it’s been more highs and lows and only some mediums. Confusing, huh? I agree! In fact, some weeks when I’m really enjoying myself and having a blast it freaks me out because a low must be following soon.

The point of my words today is to give you a little glimpse of what year 2 has looked like in the life of grief. Grief is full of ups and downs. Anyone that is reading this knows that. I had read that year 2 is actually the hardest and I would have to agree and disagree with that all at the same time. It’s hard because it’s reality. I really understand what is going on in my life and any numbing that I felt in 2017 is all gone. Time though has helped. It has helped me to understand how to help myself, what to do when I don’t feel so great. It has helped me to be able to breathe a little easier.

I would love to hear if you experienced the same type of pattern during your year 2 of grief. Please comment it below or send me a message.

Thanks for following along on my journey! ❤

Laura Leanne

Pass it On

Hello Hope Rock, You traveled with me country after country. You traveled with me next to James’ ashes, in my carry on, in my hiking bag, in my day bag, in my purse, and even in my dorky little fanny pack. You heard me swear and cry. You also heard me laugh. I was given … Continue reading “Pass it On”

Hello Hope Rock,

You traveled with me country after country. You traveled with me next to James’ ashes, in my carry on, in my hiking bag, in my day bag, in my purse, and even in my dorky little fanny pack. You heard me swear and cry. You also heard me laugh.

I was given this Hope rock about 3 weeks after James passed away. I was given it by someone who had their husband pass away very suddenly. She told me that she had been given it by someone and left a note with it. The note said that when I was ready to pass it along to please do so.

The thing about grief is you’re rarely “okay”. You get to breathe a lot of the time, but you are never you anymore. That you is gone and you are figuring out a new you. I have not fully figured out this new me, but I’m darn sure getting there. I’ll always have days where I’m more sad that James is not beside me, but I’ve learned that that never actually goes away. Those days just get longer in between and you slowly learn how to rebuild yourself.

During the first month I received so many wonderful gifts. I understand most people don’t know what to get you, but just so everyone knows, someone who is grieving just appreciates the gesture. The brownies that I’m not going to eat sure do feel good on my heart. That card that you let the card do the writing for you and you simply signed your name…well I’ve kept that and remember to this day that you sent me a card.

So back to this rock…if you follow my instagram account you know that I like words, I like quotes, I like motivation. I like it because it’s real and it’s a way to look at life. The word hope to me is a way to look at life.

A hope that the pain will go away.

A hope that you might feel normal again one day.

A hope that you will be able to live again.

That’s what that rock meant to me and that is why I carried around with me.

A friend of mine recently went through a traumatic life event. It too involved the death of her loved one.

So, after 1.5 years I am mailing my Hope rock to her. The rock that somehow showed me that life is going to move on whether I like it or not. I hope that it inspires her the way that it inspired me.

Thanks for reading ❤

Laura Leanne