For as long as I can remember, I have loved traveling and discovering new things. Little did I anticipate that embarking on a solo trip around the world - something I initially hesitated to do - would not only satisfy my wanderlust, but also trigger an unexpected and profound inner change.

This change led me to the current journey I am on. The journey to myself, to my new career, to new opportunities, to more time and financial freedom and to more travel and discovering new things throughout the year 😉
At least that's what I dream about. And I've been working on it for a few years now. I have already achieved parts of it 😊. E.g. I can work from home or remote most of the time and sometimes I use this freedom to work from another country for a while. I became self-employed, something I couldn't have imagined before because it would have meant far too much uncertainty. I already earn enough that I could theoretically travel a few months a year, but currently only to cheap countries. That means I still have a few things to work on.
I wasn’t always this “adventurous.” I grew up on a farm in a small village in Upper Austria, where I learned to work (hard) and live a decent life. My goal after school was to have a “safe” job and work until I got married and have my first child at about 26 years old. Well… I think the “universe” had different plans for me. And it took me around 40 years to find out 😉.
I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend at that time who was studying in Vienna. When I was around 24, I followed him to our Austrian capital and began studying economics there. After that, my marketing career began. First in an advertising agency and then for about 10 years in various marketing positions for various luxury cosmetics companies.
While my career was progressing quite well, I felt like something was missing in my life. (And it wasn't because I hadn't been in a relationship in a while) I thought back and forth about what I could do differently, what I could do for myself to be happier. Should I change jobs? Which job would fulfill me more? Or should I take a break and travel for a while since this has been my dream for a long time? Can I just quit my “safe” job to travel for a few weeks and then potentially have an uncertain professional future? Or should I dare to travel for long periods of time so that quitting the job is at least worth it?
Maybe you know the feeling that you would like to do something but don't have the courage? So I slowly started doing some coaching and therapy to figure out who I am and what I want.
After much thought and the certainty that my current job could no longer fulfill me, I gathered all my courage and decided to make my dream come true. I booked my trip around the world for 11 months starting in August 2017
(Okay...just to let you know: About a year before I started this trip, I took my first short "trial solo trip" to Barcelona, as I had never traveled alone before and was very afraid of feeling alone and of not meeting new people at all. But luckily it worked out really well.)

When I finally started, I was REALLY sure that this would just be a break from work to travel and explore new countries and not - as you often hear from others who go on a long journey - to "find myself". I was sure that I would come back and - just like before - find another job and continue my marketing career until I could retire. But what I wasn't at all sure about was whether I would enjoy traveling alone and whether I would actually meet a lot of new people, as "experienced world travelers" always predict or write in their blogs. 
Little did I know what was really going to happen 😉
I pre-planned a “soft start” to my solo trip with a guided group tour from Vancouver through the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver Island, Whistler Mountain and back to Vancouver. I saw breathtaking mountain landscapes with glaciers, beautiful lakes, long, quiet beaches, whales, bears, cute little villages, a bustling modern city and much more. And it felt really easy to meet new people on this “solo trip”. Of course it was easy because I was on the same bus with the same 20 people for 14 days.

After Canada, I did a three-day stop in Portland alone. I thought it would be just as easy to meet people as it was on my tour because I stayed in a hostel. And all my friends who had traveled like this before had told me that it was easier if I went to hostels. Maybe they traveled in a time when there were no smartphones, tablets and laptops? 😉 Everyone in the hostel was just looking at their phones or typing on their laptops and didn't talk much to each other. So I just walked around alone, which was fine after these intense 14 days.
After a stopover in San Francisco to meet an Austrian friend for a few days, I was supposed to fly to Mexico City to meet another friend (this time a Mexican) and continue the trip in a relaxed manner in a new country. On September 19, 2017 - two days before my scheduled flight - a powerful earthquake occurred in the Mexican state of Puebla, about 75 miles from Mexico City, causing extensive damage and resulting in numerous deaths. I was so grateful I hadn't been there yet. So I decided to change my flight to Cancun and start alone in a new country. I was excited to see what awaited me in Latin America. I knew the standards (hostels, food, cleanliness, security…) would be different. How would I feel? Would it be dangerous? And the most important question: Would the real adventure now begin, all alone with myself.

The first night I was afraid to walk around alone as this tall white girl with blue eyes - obviously not belonging to this place. But this time it was a brilliant idea to stay in a cozy hostel. As my friends predicted, after a few minutes I was approached by another solo traveler. And the hostel staff also took great care of every new arrival. So I made friends easily and most of my fears disappeared. This experience was repeated in almost every new place I arrived. Sometimes I even met people who had similar plans and we continued traveling together for a while.
Of course, sometimes it was easier and sometimes more difficult, so I had to put in some effort myself to start conversations with new people. In this way, over time, I have learned to be more open to all types of people you meet without having any preconceived ideas. Because sometimes when I thought I probably wouldn't make friends in a place, those places were often the ones that ended up being the most fun.
I traveled for about 4 weeks through the eastern part of Mexico, a few days through Guatemala, 3 weeks through Costa Rica (where an Austrian friend followed me for a while), 4 weeks through Ecuador including the Galapagos (definitely one of my highlights within the 11 months ), 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic, 3 weeks in Peru (another one of my favorites) and a few days each through Bolivia (wonderful “Salar de Uyuni”!!) and Chile. From there I had my longest flight (about 13 hours across the Pacific Ocean) to New Zealand, with the plan to stay for 6 weeks, then travel to Australia for 2 months and spend the rest of the time in Southeast Asia.

When I left South America I was really sad. After arriving in New Zealand, I had the impression that there would only be bad and changeable weather, expensive hostels, expensive food and transport, as well as poor internet connections etc. - and so the “travel blues” overwhelmed me. After 6 months of traveling, it was the first time that I didn't like it that much. And it took about two weeks - during a journey through breathtaking volcanic landscapes to lush green forests on the edge of a river - before I realized again how blessed I was to have such adventures and to see this incredibly breathtaking world.

I started to love what I was doing again. I tried to explore as much as possible and traveled pretty quickly to see the whole country. I saw amazing landscapes and wonderful nature again. Still, I realized that sometimes it's less about how much you see and more about the people you meet along the way. And I realized that I often didn't take the time to meet locals or engage in deeper conversations with other travelers, instead rushing from one sight to the next. When I moved on to Australia, I decided to stay one month longer, travel slower, take more time, explore fewer places, and try to appreciate the people along the way more than the trip itself. I think that's how I finally ended up progressing from a vacationer into a real traveler.

In fact, when I moved on to Bali/Indonesia for the last month, I decided not to make any plans in advance at all and just go with the flow. I did a few hours of yoga, some massage treatments, a few scuba diving, a cooking class and so on... I rented a moped and rode it for the first time since I was 18. I discovered a few temples or waterfalls if I felt like it, or I just spent the day reading in a nice café.

Slowly I started thinking about what comes next. Not on my trip, but what will I do when I'm back in Vienna? And it's strange to say that. But a little research on a rainy afternoon in Ubud was the start of my later “new journey”, which would develop very slowly but steadily. By chance I found a competition where the aim was to win tickets to an event on the topic of sustainability. And since the first three participants were supposed to win tickets and I was 7 hours ahead of time, I won. With this competition and this event, I found my voluntary work in a co-working space in Vienna, which not only deals intensively with the promotion of sustainable social enterprises, but in which I also found a very international environment in my own city. And that was really important for me after 11 months abroad.

Because at the end of the trip I already noticed that I had changed more than I could have imagined at the beginning. But to be honest... I didn't really notice it until I got back. When you return to your old environment after so many new experiences and findings and realize that everything except yourself is almost exactly the same as it always was, I think it is impossible to simply pick up where you left off before the trip. So I had to search for something that perhaps has always been deep within me. My true self, my real visions, my dreams and my purpose - without listening to what society expects of me. And believe me, it is much more difficult to embark on this journey than a trip around the world. Especially if you wait 40 years to start.
If you would like to know more, just contact me. Not only do I love traveling, I also love talking about it 😊 And if you speak German, you can read my German blog, which I wrote during my trip around the world and which unfortunately ends around New Year 2018, although I didn't return before July 2018 😊. Apparently traveling became more important after some months than writing that blog:

Love what you read here? 

Hey, I'm Lucy! 
After my world trip in 2018, 'ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY' became my motto. Be inspired as I share my adventures, my evolving worldview, and my journey to a more responsible and natural lifestyle. Find out how my life is connected to “Young Living Essential Oils”, why travel and oils are my two great passions and how I combine them.