This weekend I got a chance to interview Jenny Leonard, a “graphic designer, photographer, skateboarder, writer, entrepreneur, world traveler, and student of life.” I asked her a few questions that I hope will inspire you to “march to the beat of your own drum.” You must check out her blog and website . Here we go!
1. What motivated you to go solo traveling?
I wanted to see the world. We only get once chance at this life and I really didn’t want to waste most of it participating in what society thought life should look like. Although, quite difficult I found life much more awesome when I blazed my own path and follow my heart.
2. How do you deal with obstacles that many male solo travelers do not have to deal with? Such as dress, interactions with people, etc.?
I do some research when I am going to visit a new place so that I can be respectful of their culture and well-informed of any possible dangers.
3. Do you have some good resources for new travel hackers and people that want to get their feet wet with nomadic entrepreneurship?
If you are interested in travel hacking Chris Guillebeau has a really good resource called the Travel Hacking Cartel. You can check out my review here: http://www.whereisjenny.com/2011/01/review-free-world-travel-by-the-travel-hacking-cartel/
For those wanting to work from the road the best way is to utilize the internet to market your skills or sell a product. Everybody has some kind of skill-set that they can market online and build a business with. It doesn’t just have to be blogging, affiliate marketing, writing ebooks or any of that other stuff either. There are hundreds of services or things you can sell online from anywhere in the world. The most popular services are graphic design, web design, programming, copywriting, app development, editing, and social media marketing. If you don’t want to provide a service you can also create things to sell such as icons, fonts, stock photography, applications, crafts (using etsy.com), art, and anything else you can make that has an online market.
4. What keeps you motivated when the going gets tough (funds low, or resources low, etc.)?
The fire inside my heart. I want to create my own security, lifestyle, and legacy. I’ve never had a real job and I don’t intend on ever getting one.
5. What made you go the graphic design route? And do you know of any other careers that nomadic travelers can pursue? Do you know any people doing so?
I went to college for graphic design because it was a creative outlet and interesting to me, but I never pursued a job. I started my business straight out of college. There are lots of people out there that are making money online and traveling the world like Cody McKibben (http://www.thrillingheroics.com/), Nomadic Matt (http://www.nomadicmatt.com/), Never Ending Voyage (http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/), and Living on Impulse (http://livingonimpulse.com/) among others. It can be done, but you have to create your own path, rather than try to follow someone else’s.
6. And do you have any other advice to give to young people that want to be nonconformists, travelers, or just live their own adventurous life?
March to the beat of your own drum and don’t listen to anybody that wants to rain on your parade.
I want to thank Jenny Leonard for her time answering my questions. And I hope that you are all living a Bella Vie!