This is an exercise I learned about from Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur.com. The idea is to invent a snapshot of my life three years from now, outlining all the things I want to achieve in that time. This is a picture of my ideal self, having achieved all my crazy dreams. The funny thing was, I thought this would be a difficult thing to write. But once I got started, it flowed out like water from a broken dam. I even discovered some new goals, like not working for anyone but myself in two years. That one sort of took me by surprise.
September 18th, 2017
Three years ago I made the decision to build an online business that would support my freedom loving, cycle adventure lifestyle. I decided that in two years I would no longer work for anyone but myself. Within a year, I paid off my credit card debts. The next summer I attended the writers’ workshop at Esalan and met two of my writing idols, Pam Houston and Cheryl Strayed. That fall I moved to Japan to teach ESL. I lived in a tiny apartment over the school. I learned Japanese and explored the island nation, made plenty of friends and filled my blog with interesting anecdotes and videos of cycle trips. I wrote constantly and my blog had a substantial following. I sold a number of fiction and non-fiction stories. My family and friends all came out to see me in Japan and each time they brought supplies and gear that I’d ordered for my ultimate trip. In 2016, I traded in my work visa for a tourist visa and rode my bike from the southern tip of Japan to the top. After that, I flew to Bangkok and toured SE Asia for a few months before flying to Alaska to start my cycle journey to Argentina. By that time, I had a huge following on Social Media, with donations and offers of free places to stay coming in everyday. I sold a number of travel stories. To finance the first leg of my journey, I wrote a short comic book about living and cycling in Japan. I hired a talented young illustrator to draw the comics and the result was outstanding. I funded my comic book with a Kickstarter campaign. I reached my funding goals very quickly. The comic was a huge success, in the US and abroad, particularly in Japan. That brought huge traffic to my website, as well as two big-time gear sponsors. Although I’d planned the trip as a solo bike ride, I frequently find myself hooking up with other cyclists. Sometimes romantic, mostly platonic, company is never hard to find. I am frequently invited as a guest speaker to travel and writing events. Travel magazines and websites solicit me for articles and pictures. Ex-boyfriends and old high school rivals write to congratulate me on my amazing lifestyle and successes. One of my stories struck a Hollywood nerve and I sold the rights for a screenplay. I have a sufficient cash flow to do just about anything I want. I can afford nice hotels and restaurants. I can help out my family when they need it. When I get tired of moving around constantly, I stop someplace lovely for a reboot. I take trips with my family for holidays. The best part of my new life is the nearly daily emails from people who tell me that my books and website have inspired them. These heartfelt messages from people who have transformed themselves from unhappy and unfulfilled to a new lifestyle and their most passionate selves are the most gratifying aspect of my new life: knowing that my actions and words are helping other women. I have an online community of fellow adventurers and digital nomads. We may not ever meet face to face, but we continually support each other and collaborate. I have thousands of miles in front of my tires and no reason to stop. I have a podcast that I record while riding and video footage from my GoPro. I send out my rough footage to an amazing producer who condenses it all into a weekly video podcast. Occasionally I test gear for outdoor companies and review it on my website, mostly small startup companies run by passionate people. I have found a meaningful charity for which I raise funds and awareness. It supports technology and education for girls and women. The best thing about this journey has been how much fun it is. How thrilling and fulfilling it is to be so actively engaged in a long term voyage. It’s been like going to college again, but completely on my own terms, self-directed and immediately profitable, always meaningful.