Every now and then I like to profile “awesome people” – people who embody the Our World philosophy in their everyday lives. Today’s guest is Jeannie Mark, the author of the website Nomadic Chick. Who is Jeannie you ask? I’ll let her introduce herself:
“I’m in my late thirties faced with an unsatisfying desk job and a growing resentment towards the North American lifestyle. So, what’s a girl to do? Sell my earthly possessions and travel the world, or course! My ultimate dream is to combine two pastimes: traveling and writing. Where could I end up? Hopefully a travel writer and full-time digital nomad.”
I believe the North American lifestyle Jeannie describes is actually symptomatic of western society. While we live in times of great prosperity, this prosperity has caused us to question the very meaning of our existence. In short, prosperity has created an existential crisis within western society. We go to work 40-60+ hours a week, take 4 weeks of holidays a year and spend our weekends doing chores and drinking. We will occasionally stop and ask what the point of all this is – and often the answer is “not a lot”. What makes Jeannie awesome is that she recognised that she was not happy with the life she was living and has chosen to do something about it. Recognising that your life can be so much more meaningful is one thing, having the courage to do something about it is what sets you apart from the vast majority of people on this planet.
Read on to discover Jeannie’s thoughts on being awesome. Hers is a story that will inspire!
1: What inspired you to embark on your journey?
Time. For 3 months I surveyed my life – where I stood, who I had become, realizing I didn’t like it. Then I counted 7 new gray hairs. Excuses and fear were no longer convenient. Not to sound like a tired middle life crisis, but my dreams of adventure and world travel needed to be done now or never. Then I realized, maybe in my own small way, I could be an inspiration to others stuck in the same rut.
2: What does being awesome mean to you?
Remaining open-minded. The second you close up to possibilities, being a dried up old turd is what you’ll become – very far from being awesome To sum up, awesomeness is defying odds or pre-conceived notions.
3: What sets you apart from ‘normal’ people?
I had a very unusual upbringing, which forced me to carve out my own identity. Most people tend to label or categorize. Hard to do with me, LOL. I can be polar opposites: one minute soft,yielding and feminine, the next cracking offensive jokes with the guys.
4: If you could change one thing in this world to improve the lives of millions of people, what would it be and why?
Distribution of wealth and property. I believe Noam Chomsky once said there’s more than enough wealth for the entire world, the crux is most of that wealth is accumulated by 1% of the population. Poverty, illness and lack of hope are inexcusable. I’m not suggesting everyone on the planet should be toting iPhones, but basic needs shouldn’t even be questioned. The North American lifestyle seems to go beyond basic needs, which tips the scales of balance. Ack! You shouldn’t of asked me this question, I could go on and on.
5: I believe that constant personal growth is the key to living a meaningful life, what are you doing to take you life to the next level?
The obvious answer is my round the world trip. The transformative answer is my round the world trip. Those 3 months I mentioned? What I discovered is how passionate I am about everything. The future is not simply finding out what I can receive, but what I can give – open up to or learn. So, wish me luck, it’s gonna be a wild ride.
Jeannie has taken the leap, sold her possessions and is on the eve of a round-the-world trip that is making even me jealous! I have written a lot about living a meaningful live, and my recent post Travel the World AND Keep Your Job may, at first glance, counter the lifestyle that Jeannie has chosen. In reality, the two experiences are more similar that you might think. I have made a conscious decision to work full-time and incorporate travel around that. I have a fulfilling and meaningful job – a job which is making a difference. It inspires me, and through that I can inspire others.
Jeannie has taken a different path. She has left the corporate world and is setting out to explore the world. In doing so, she is making her journey meaningful. Her website provides a wealth of information and inspiration to people who are frustrated with their jobs and their lifestyle. In fact, Nomadic Chick has become her job – she has gone from being employed in a corporate job she hated to being self-employed with a job that she absolutely loves. I am going to be following her travels with great interest because of the pure strength of her character and the strength of her writing. It is well worth checking out!