Amy of Generic Dreams was gracious enough to answers questions for the Esquire No More audience. Currently in Hawaii, she started her journey as a digital nomad years ago. She offers some excellent advice below.
Pretending to contemplate life because…it’s for the ‘gram. For the ‘gram. 😂 #Kauai #waimeacanyon #waimea #hawaii #upandexplore #visithawaii #luckywelivehawaii #luckywelivehi #hawaiiunchained #venturehawaii #unrealhawaii #alohaoutdoors #inspiredbyyou #welivetoexplore #hiking #wanderlust #mothernature #travelstoke #traveldeeper #exploremore #lifeofadventure #lifewithoutlimits #adventurethatislife #glimpseofhawaii #mytinyatlas #mywherever
What convinced you to leave your corporate job and become a digital nomad?
My main reason was because I fell in love with traveling and seeing the world. At the same time, I didn’t want to be chained to a corporate desk and see the world a few times a year. It didn’t hurt that I had no close family nearby, no significant other, and a lack of real & deep connections as well. Slowly, as I kept traveling, it became about living my life the way I choose and not living life the way society tells us to.
What was the process like leaving your job and home? Was it difficult?
When I started planning to travel long-term, I researched and got into the idea of minimalism. By the time I actually left, it was easy because I had already threw away or donated everything that didn’t matter to me (and you always think everything you own matters when it doesn’t). I began to understand that owning a lot really “holds you down” – metaphorically if not physically. It was very liberating to start tossing everything in the trash or Goodwill boxes. Everything that was sentimental, I put in boxes and shipped to my parents’ house.
It was difficult leaving my job because I loved it and my colleagues. They understood my desire and had no ill will about me leaving. They wished me well and I keep them regularly updated on my adventures (or misadventures). One of my former colleagues actually started his own nomadic journey. Him and his wife are living in an RV exploring the US right now. It wasn’t hard in terms of family because they lived so far away from me and I rarely saw them anyway – I actually saw them MORE as a nomad!
Taking the boyfriend around SF. ☀️ I don’t miss the cold weather in the middle of July though. ❄️ #SF #sanfrancisco #bayarea #citybythebay #alwayssf #onlysf #nowrongwaysf #bayareabuzz #landsend #pointlobos #california #adventurethatislife #lifewithoutlimits #lifethatisadventure #wanderlust #upandexplore #greatoutdoors #exploremore #traveldeeper #mywherever
For a lot of people, success is a steady job, mortgage, an SUV and 2.5 kids. Why do you challenge that idea, even though you’re less nomadic now? How would you redefine success?
I challenge that idea because it’s literally what society deems as success, but who is society, and why do we have to listen to them anyway? Coming from a family of immigrants, it’s hard to grasp a different idea of success because my parents started over when they came to the US for a better life and for more opportunity. To almost reject their idea of success is painful. Weirdly enough, I did all those things (went to school, got a good paying job, got the nice apartment and luxury car). It was only about halfway there that I realized – wait a minute, next is get a house and have kids? There’s got to be more to life than that – at least for now or until then!
My idea of success is really doing what YOU want and also being realistic about it as well. It didn’t hurt that I went to school, got an education and honed my skill set because it got me further in life with it than without it. I wanted to travel but I didn’t want to be a broke vagabond at the same time so I had to redefine what I wanted and needed to be happy but also feel safe and secure. (Being a broke vagabond with nothing planned in my future scares me a bit).
How did you stay focused and productive on the road, even in such exotic locations?
Well, if I want to keep my job, I have to! Just kidding – it helps to build a routine so no matter where you are, there’s that sense of routine and familiarity. There’s also co-working spaces that you can work at and be around other people also working.
Finally, do you have any other advice for people who feel unfulfilled in their current job?
Do a lot of reflecting and take a really hard look at why you’re unhappy. Is it really what you’re doing? Is it poor management, leaders, or coworkers? Is it a lack of professional growth or opportunity? Is it just the money? You might just be burnt out and need a break. If you really want to switch careers, be realistic and honest about why. Then start thinking about solutions and next steps on how to fix it. You might need to rehaul your life and go back to school for something completely different or you just might need to continue the day job while starting a side/passion project. After you figure out the why and how, it’s just the actual doing. That can take some courage but that’s life.
2016 – what a year. 😳 So many ups and downs, adventures, and misadventures. Next is Lunar New Year! Rooster time. ✨ #2016bestnine #happynewyear #2016 #hawaii #homesweethawaii #norway #tromso #kauai #maui #sedona #arizona #stairwaytoheaven #northernlights #auroraborealis #luckywelivehawaii #luckywelivehi #wanderlust #travel #digitalnomad #nomad #adventurethatislife #adventureisoutthere #lifewithoutlimits #travelstoke #welivetoexplore #neverstopexploring #traveler #mytinyatlas #upandexplore
My thanks go out to Amy for her time and insight! You can read more from her at Generic Dreams.