Digital Strategy Insights Marie Poulin

Let’s try this again

I have been trying to write this post for a few weeks now, but I get a bit overwhelmed and am unsure where to begin.

As those closest to me know, I went through a lot of big changes in 2011, and crossed some very big items off my life list.

Some of the things I am most excited about that I accomplished in 2011:

  • Worked with with some people on my “must work for” list (including Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte)
  • Paid off my student loan
  • Went to 2 web conferences on my own dime, including An Event Apart and Interlink Conference (Vancouver)
  • Travelled to Seattle, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, San Francisco, Thailand, and Hong Kong
  • Reached my first 5 figure month
  • Experienced my highest earning year ever as self employed

Yes, it was an exciting year. I met up with Twitter followers in almost every city I visited, and really started to come out of my “shell.” As a previously self-professed introvert, making small talk with new people always made me very nervous. So to force myself to get more comfortable with new people I started organizing monthly nerdy meetups in Vancouver. They’ve been such a success; I have met some of my very close friends in the city via Twitter!

At the end of September I took my first holiday in 3 years with a 1 month trip to Thailand, with 3 days in Hong Kong. This experience was life changing for me, but that’s another story… Shortly after returning from Asia, I went through a very big break-up. The life altering kind, where you begin to question everything about the way your life has operated until now, and everything about how you want your life to be moving forward.

Traveling was something that has long been on the backburner while I was paying down my student loans, and my trip to Asia really rekindled my love (my NEED really) to continue traveling. Inspired by people like Cody McKibben, Sean Ogle, John O’Nolan, Kate Elisabeth Matthews,: Travis & Rachel Gertz, Chris Guillebeau, and Jodi Ettenberg among others, I decided that now is time to explore the work-travel lifestyle that I’ve always been curious about.

There is no question that I adore living in Vancouver. The weather is mild (you can play sports outdoors year-round), the summers are incredible, the view is spectacular. Nothing compares to sitting on a beach with a view of the mountains. Of course, this experience comes at a premium. Were I to find a place on my own in Vancouver, I would be paying a hefty rent. I would also need to buy new furniture, as I would basically be starting from scratch after the break-up.

OR… I could buy a ticket to somewhere in Asia (Bali, anyone?), and live significantly cheaper and have an incredible experience by putting myself out of my comfort zone. Maybe learn (a bit) of a new language. Go somewhere that I’ve never been and am not familiar with, and learn to travel on my own… which I have never done before. I think the real question was… why not?

So, kids, that’s exactly what I did. With plenty of encouragement from friends and family… I decided that it was the right thing to do. Something was calling me to take the plunge. I sold pretty much everything I own, except for some books and clothing, and I bought a Macbook Air. My heart pounded as I confirmed the flight with my friend Holly, a travel agent. A 3 month trip to Bali, beginning with a 3 day stopover in Seoul, Korea – leaving February 4th and returning on Apr 26th. Until then I am officially homeless and living with the kindest of friends who have made their living room available to me. I am exceedingly grateful for the support I have received from friends and family, and could not have gotten through it without them. You guys know who you are ๐Ÿ™‚

I will still be “working” while I am in Bali, though my workload will be significantly diminished. This is partially an attempt for me to slow down the pace of my every day life, which had very little balance last year.

This year feels like a clean slate โ€“ a chance to start over. I am unleashing my adventurous side… the side that feeds on adrenaline, experience, learning, and reflection.

So here is to a more authentic, honest, and adventurous new year.
I’m saying what I think.
I’m being honest.
I’m taking risks.
I’m rising to the challenge.
I’m putting myself out of my comfort zone.

Some of my goals for 2012 include:

  • Visit at least 5 countries
  • Earn 25% more than I did last year while working half the hours
  • Produce and sell an information-based product
  • Learn a new language
  • Get my diving certification
  • Become decent at surfing
  • Learn to play the Ukulele (decently well)
  • Say no to more projects than I say yes to
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Hike the West Coast Trail (hopefully with my sister)
  • Ride on a motorcycle
  • Be able to do 20 chin ups (in a row)
  • Go rock climbing
  • Take at least one photo every day
  • Write a blog post every week
  • Speak on stage (aka get over public speaking nervousness)
  • Help someone who really needs it
  • Tango with a stranger

Let’s see if I can cross them all off my list ๐Ÿ™‚

“Never let your fear decide your fate.”

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