Like many well-traveled people, the idea of blogging had long been camping out in the dark, neglected recesses of my mind. I’d been encouraged to do it on numerous occasions, especially on my longer sojourns, and even gave it a half-hearted effort once while on a two-month road trip across the United States. My best friend Molly and I chronicled our adventures on a very rudimentary blog with no intention or expectation that our story would be read by anyone other than family and friends who wanted to make sure we were having fun and hadn’t yet murdered each other after spending so much time together in a small car.
I’m not even sure that my mom read it.
Six years later, it took losing a job I loved, grinding through the employment search process, and finally being offered an exciting position in Philadelphia for me to realize what I truly wanted out of a career, and what would actually make me happy.
I wanted a place where I could share my experiences, in the hope that the lessons I’ve learned and the places I’ve visited can inspire and assist others in making their travel dreams a reality.
I wanted a platform to be able to share the stories of people who inspire me, from those who have pursued careers overseas to those who fit incredible voyages into “normal” lives.
I wanted an opportunity to use my talents to serve those who might need them, people for whom the thought of taking a vacation is met with just as much anxiety and overwhelm as it is excitement.
I wanted this.
I wanted Full Life, Full Passport.
In the spring of 2017, I was informed that my position creating and executing technology implementation events for a certain “fruit company” (as my dad called it) was being phased out. I was devastated. Anyone who has lost a job can probably relate to the grief, uncertainty, and fear that comes with such a sudden change. You saw your life and career going in one direction (in my case setting goals for the next quarter and year in my job, purchasing a house, starting a family), and then suddenly everything you thought you knew and were working toward has been called into question.
I was fortunate to pick up some freelance work that allowed me the time to really examine what I wanted out of my next career move. As I scoured the web, networked through friends, and sent resumes into the abysses of HR departments, one thing became very clear: what would make me happiest would be to be able to help people achieve their travel goals and vacation dreams. When people would ask, “Well, what’s your dream job?”, my response would always sound something like, “I would love to just be able to plan trips for people.”
A few months later, I received a very promising job offer in Philadelphia. It had a lot of great things going for it: a new company where I could have a strong influence in creating my role and its processes, a job description that hit on many of my strengths, an opportunity to grow and be challenged in a new and exciting way, and a female president and vice president in whom I could already see the promise of great colleagues and mentors.
So why was I so unexcited about it?
The decision as to whether or not to accept the job was a difficult one. In the end, my husband (whom I will call M on this site), sat me down and presented me with a notebook with three distinct sections written out. The first held Scripture verses and Biblical references related to decision-making. The second was more fill-in-the-blank; I was to make a list of pros, a list of cons, and a list of the potential lifestyle impacts that would come from taking the job before ultimately calculating whether it was a net positive or net negative. I was told I was not allowed to look at the third section until after I had made my decision.
When I finally decided to turn down the offer, M showed me the third section. In it, he had sketched out a rough three year plan for starting a travel blog.
Yes, of course I started crying.
It was as if I needed something as great as the Philly job to come along to show me what I really wanted and propel me headlong into it. Suddenly, I had answers to all of the arguments in my head that used to hold me back.
Everyone and their mother is a blogger nowadays. What makes you any different?
Maybe, but I now recognized that I have a unique perspective, a heart for serving others through travel, deep first-hand knowledge of some pretty popular destinations, and a killer network of people with even more experience and knowledge than me.
What would you even write about? There’s no way you could generate enough content.
Suddenly, the ideas came pouring out of me. Highlight reels of places I’d visited. Essays on relevant travel issues. How-to guides for planning, organizing, and packing. Resources to maximize PTO and minimize the stress of going back to work. Itineraries for shorter versions of trips I’d taken. Alaska everything.
But what if you fail miserably?
I might. Some do. But worse than failure would be to never know if I could have succeeded. And if not now, when? Who am I to say the job I loved wasn’t taken away for such a time as this?
So welcome. Welcome to the product of months of planning, writing, research, discussions, prayers, and the steep learning curves of website building.
Welcome to Full Life, Full Passport.
This website is not a nonstop chronicle of my own adventures across the globe. I learned a long time ago that there is a big, important part of me that values putting down roots and having a place to call home. While my wanderlust is always an arm’s length away, waiting for any opportunity to strike and whisk me off to the airport, the fact remains that I spend more time in our suburban apartment than a mountain chalet or oceanfront bungalow.
Instead, Full Life, Full Passport is meant for people who may not want or be able to sell everything and hit the road permanently, but still want to have incredible experiences with the precious time off that they have. It’s geared toward those for whom travel planning is overwhelming or stressful, so they could use a little help. It’s aimed at folks who love to dream about the big, beautiful world at their doorsteps and need some practical help in getting out there.
I hope that this blog will be less “look what I’ve done!” and more “look what you can do!” I also have a lot of plans, itineraries, interviews, and services to roll out that I can’t wait to share with you as we move forward together.
So, thank you. Thank you for visiting Full Life, Full Passport. Thank you for reading to the bottom of this post. Thank you for helping make this passion project possible. I hope that this website becomes a great resource (and great bit of entertainment!) for you, and I hope that when it misses the mark or when you have expertise to add you’ll let me know.
As a little girl growing up in a rural, homogenous county in central Pennsylvania, I never could have imagined that thirty-one-year-old me would have already crossed twenty-five countries and forty-five U.S. states off her list. I can’t wait to help you achieve the adventures that you never thought possible.