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Ep. 256: How this location independent traveler achieved freedom and fulfillment from anywhere in the world with Crosby Melendi

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In this episode, I speak with Crosby who is a location-independent traveler, freelancer, and content creator who’s been traveling the world and working online since launching her freelance business as a senior in college. 

Over the last 2+ years, she’s gone on 3 USA road trips, lived in an RV, traveled solo to Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.

All while building her remote career and helping others do the same. 

Listen on to find out how Crosby has been able to achieve freedom and fulfillment from anywhere in the world.


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Listen Below:

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Transcription:

Debbie:

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I am really excited to speak with my guest today. I’m here with Crosby.

Hey Crosby, how are you?

Crosby:

Hi. Hi. I’m really good. Very happy to be here.

Debbie:

I am so jealous of Crosby.

Honestly, a lot of my guests like it’s winter right now, where I am and a lot of my guests have been talking to me from like tropical places and Crosby is no different. Where are you right now? You’re in Mexico, right? And I’m like, “You have a nice tan. I’m so jealous.”

Crosby:

Yep.

I do my best to stay in sunny places at all times.

So I’m in Puerto Escondido right now in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Debbie:

She’s definitely living a true digital nomad lifestyle, which I love. And I’m really excited to talk to you today.

So before we get to all of the things that you have to share with us today, can you tell us why you live an offbeat life?

Crosby:

Yes, absolutely.

So there are so many reasons why I think the main one for me, and I didn’t even realize that this is what I was searching for for so long. I just kind of felt very out of place, very unfulfilled for the longest time. And I realized eventually what I was seeking was freedom and freedom with my lifestyle, freedom with my career, and yeah, freedom with just how I designed my everyday life.

So I live an offbeat life because I have experienced just how much there is out in the world. And I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out on that. I don’t want to succumb to a career or a lifestyle where I feel trapped. And so I just create this lifestyle so that I can have the ultimate freedom each and every day.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And it’s so crazy how 10 years ago, even five years ago, this would’ve been really what most people would think about as unstable, right? Or it’s something that wasn’t even in most of our radars because really none of us went to school hoping could be digital nomads or even remote workers a few years ago, even.

And now this is a reality that most of us can do. And it is something that is really incredible. And Crosby and I were talking before the interview and she was even saying, “This is the time. This is one of the best times right now, or this the best time right now to become a digital nomad, a remote worker.”

And you were able to do that. And I think there are a lot of misconceptions about it. A lot of fear before you dive into this, but was this something that you always thought that you were gonna do, Crosby? Like, what were you doing before you became a digital nomad?

Crosby:

Oh, I was living the very typical “American Dream” where yeah, I was in college. I was at a four-year university in North Carolina and my focus was to graduate and start working at a PR agency in like Washington DC or New York, because the major that I was in, my major with strategic communications, was pretty much the route, the only successful route that we were being primed for.

And so I just didn’t know anything different. And I think that that is where a lot of people are right now, or they have been until the pandemic showed us that remote work really is possible in so many different industries. So yeah, before I became a remote worker, I was doing a ton of corporate internships, things that I thought would be building my future career.

And it wasn’t until I was in an internship with a company that I had been pining after four years. Like, I was like, “This is where I’m gonna be working right after college. I’m gonna build my career here. I’m gonna work my way up that corporate ladder, blah, blah, blah.”

And I got there and a few weeks in, I was just like, “Okay, I don’t know if this is how it’s supposed to feel, but it doesn’t feel right.” And yeah, it was at that point where I started looking at other avenues and came across freelancing, came across digital nomadism. But even still, like, it felt very impossible and very out of touch.

So it took a lot of work and mindset work, especially to get to the place where I am now, where I know for a fact that this is possible for anyone. And so that’s why I’m super passionate about it now.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And I think for a lot of us, there’s always that moment when you realize that it’s not the life that you expected it to be. Because for more of us, we go to school, we get a job, you go there and you’re still unhappy. Like, you’re thinking once you get A, B, and C, it’s gonna start feeling different. You’re an adult now, you have this “freedom” with your life and then you go into it and it’s not what you expected it to be.

And I think the reason why I love doing, not think, I know that the reason why I love doing this podcast is that we are showcasing people like you, Crosby, who are able to do this. And there is an alternative to the regular nine to five or the regular just cubicle going to work.

Now, it’s not for everybody. I’ve seen that actually during the pandemic where I’ve seen people say, “Well, remote work is just not for me. I like being in a space where I’m with my coworkers,” but for someone like you and for someone like me, it’s not enough, right?

Crosby:

Right.

Debbie:

You had to go out there and look for it yourself.

So what was your first step to actually doing this? Because you did say it still felt really overwhelming. You saw all of these people doing it. Maybe you read something, you saw something, you heard something, but it still felt like it was a huge leap. What did you do to get out of that confusion or to take out that gap that you had?

Crosby:

Yes.

So it’s interesting, my story, I hear a lot of other people’s stories as well and how they came to live the digital nomad lifestyle or whatever they’re doing. For some people, it’s a gradual transition. Over time they realize that this is what they want. And over time they kind of take baby steps towards this lifestyle.

However, for me, it was a very specific turning point and I will never forget it, basically that internship I was talking about, those first few weeks I felt very unfulfilled and a little lost and unsure if I wanted to go down this route, but didn’t know what else to do. So I just kept pushing.

The point in which I realized, “Okay, this is not happening anymore. I’m changing my life,” was I actually took a week off or actually just a week out of the office. I was more working online.

And I went on a trip to Idaho, which is super low-key, but we went there. I had a trip planned with my family and I was working remotely from a cabin in the mountains. And it was at that point that I started questioning everything.

I think I just needed to be separated from the corporate lifestyle because you can get very sucked into that world. So separating myself from that, being in the mountains, realizing, “Whoa, I can do pretty much everything I was doing in the office from here.”

And in an even more productive way because I can control my schedule. I don’t have a lot of distractions around me in the office. So it was at that point where I really started looking at other options and it wasn’t until the second to last day that it really started to hit me. Like, I have to leave and go back to my tiny cubicle office. And I got really, really upset.

I was just like, “I really don’t wanna do that. This is… No.” And basically, that night I stayed up all night and just got into the craziest rabbit hole of how can I work from my laptop, from anywhere in the world? How can I travel and work at the same time?”

Because I had seen a lot of videos like I was mentioning, but I didn’t get the nitty-gritty how of how I could and do this. So I stayed up all night. I made a bunch of Google docs, spreadsheets, figuring out kind of how to make this a reality.

The main thing that stuck with me was freelancing. That was the kind of area that sparked my interest the most. And I did a ton of research and I basically decided that night, that that’s what I was gonna start pursuing.

And again, it was a big leap. And I remember waking up the next morning and kind of informing my parents of what was happening. And at the time I was still a college student. So I still had like a year left of school. When I decided to do this.

I told them they were a little skeptical, but still super supportive. And they’re like, “Look, whatever you wanna do, we’re gonna support you, blah, blah, blah,” which is so amazing. But yeah, I pretty much went back to my corporate job, balled my eyes out on the plane.

And once I was there, the last like a month, month and a half of my internship, when I wasn’t working, I was working on my freelance business. So figuring out what services I wanted to provide, what kind of clients I wanted to work with, compiling a list of potential clients I had pitched to.

And by the end of my internship, I had landed my very first client. And that very first client was actually a family friend and I was getting paid next to nothing. But to me, it was like the most exciting thing ever because I was like, “Oh my God, they’re taking a chance on me. This is my time to prove myself and to get into this lifestyle and see if I can really make this work.”

That first client snowballed and I was freelancing as a full-time college student and eventually bringing in 3, 4, 5 clients by my second semester. So that’s kind of how it all started. And yeah, it’s just been a whirlwind ever since. It’s just been so incredible, but it was that turning point. That really changed everything for me.

Debbie:

It’s so funny how the first income you ever make as a freelancer remote worker, even if it’s only a penny, you’re always gonna remember that because that was the first up that you knew it could actually be possible. Like, “Oh my gosh, I could actually do this.”

And it’s not just a dream now. It’s not like a pipe dream. It can actually happen. And you weren’t even graduated yet. You had this epiphany and I talk about this, like the “sliding doors” moment. Have you watched that movie?

Crosby:

Sliding doors? No.

Debbie:

Yeah.

So the sliding doors moment is when there’s a moment in your life where you choose one path or next. It’s from this movie sliding doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m like mentioning this movie all the time, but it’s where she missed a train. And then in one of her life, she missed a train and the other half she got in and if she missed a train, her life completely changed. And then when she got in, it was totally different like the way of life.

And I think a lot of us have that sliding doors moment where if you had stayed, even though you were feeling unfulfilled and you had that epiphany moment and you had stayed at that job, you probably wouldn’t be an intern. You probably would be a PR marketer or whatever it is that you were gonna do. You wouldn’t be in Mexico.

Crosby:

They offered me a job. Yeah.

Debbie:

Isn’t that crazy?

Crosby:

It’s crazy. Yeah.

Like literally they offered me a job after I graduated. So they were saying, “We’ll wait eight months for you to graduate. And then you can come back and come with us as an account executive.” And I probably would’ve taken that on if a month prior, like you said, hadn’t taken in that path. Because again, like, it would’ve felt like the only option, but at that point it wasn’t the only option for me anymore because I had chosen another path.

I need to watch that movie. I love that whole paradox is just so fascinating to think about.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And it’s so funny. And I think about that and I’m like, “How many times in our life do we have the sliding doors moment where instead of being comfortable with something, taking a risk and seeing where that goes, right? And figuring out where life can actually take you once you take yourself out of that comfort zone.”

And I know that’s very cliche, but a lot of the things that happen to you that really change your life are the things that you take a risk on. And that’s what you did. And I think for somebody like you, Crosby, like you just graduated, you still had your whole life ahead of you. And if you made a mistake and if it didn’t work out, you could always find another job, right? You could always go back.

Crosby:

Exactly.

And I think that’s something that holds a lot of people back like this doesn’t have to be some black and white thing and nothing ever is. So you can choose to take a risk but still have a backup plan. That is perfectly fine or you can take baby steps. Like, I didn’t really take baby steps, but many people do where you slowly transition into this lifestyle as you feel comfortable. And as it makes sense with your individual life.

So that’s something that I think holds a lot of people back, but it doesn’t have to. You don’t have to decide to go 110% into this lifestyle all at once. Because for a lot of people that’s just not realistic. So it’s just figuring out what works for you. And like I said earlier, things are a lot scarier before you take action.

So if you’re just thinking about and watching videos and watching other people live, your “dream life”, it feels so much more scary and impossible. Then once you take that small first step towards it, and then it just, it feels a lot more manageable and a lot more realistic because you’re taking these small step-by-step things every day.

And it does not happen overnight. I think a lot of people make it seem like it does. I’m here to tell you it does not, I’m years into this. And I feel like I’m still at the beginning. So, it’s just you have to realize that these things, you don’t have to turn your life upside down to make it happen.

Debbie:

I absolutely agree with that.

I think there’s a lot of that misconception because we do just see the beauty of remote work, right? And not so much reality. You’ll get a glimpse of it here and there from people who are honest about it, but it’s not just working on a beach, even though you’re in Mexico right now, you still have to be in a place where you can concentrate.

Crosby:

Exactly.

Debbie:

And I tell people all the time, “If I work on the beach with a laptop, do you know how much sand will go on that?”

Crosby:

Oh my God, it’s the most unreal.

I was talking to someone about this yesterday. Like, I never laugh harder than when I see a photo or a video of someone laying on the beach, looking so like paradise with your laptop. I’m like, “I have never done anything remotely close to that. And I’ve never seen a real person do that. That’s not taking a photo.”

Debbie:

Yeah.

Crosby:

It’s just not a thing.

Debbie:

Exactly.

Crosby:

I’m in a co-working space for like five, six hours out of the day with other remote workers doing the same thing as me. And that’s how it goes. Like, it’s just not like that. Instagram is obviously a highlight, as real as we know. So we have to kind of take these things to the grain of salt. Always.

Debbie:

Yeah.

It’s so funny. If you actually look at my homepage on my website for The Offbeat Life, I take a series of photos of me with my laptop in the middle of the road, like the desert in the southwest. And, oh my God, Crosby, this was so funny because my two really good friends who are like travel bloggers or photographers, I was like, “You know how ridiculous it is? People think that we actually like take our laptops to like beaches.” I’m like, “What if I do the same thing, but on like the middle of the road in the desert?”

I’m like, “I just wanna take the most ridiculous remote work pictures.” I’m like on a rock in the desert, on the road, on the desert. I’m like, “Let’s just take the craziest stuff.” And it’s so funny. It’s become like the most popular photos I have because it’s like, “Okay, we get it.” It’s ridiculous but also like, it makes sense.

So I’m like, “Yeah. It’s all unrealistic. You will never find me in the middle of the road.”

Crosby:

No outlet, no wifi. Like, “No, this does not work like that.”

Debbie:

Exactly.

You’ll find me in my office, like 10, 12 hours sitting here on the desk. Like, that’s what reality is, but it’s so interesting, like reality versus Instagram and all of that, but there’s so much good that comes to it. You do have this autonomy with your time, right?

And if you’re a freelancer, you can decide what type of jobs you can go into, or if you decide to start a business, you can decide when you wanna work, you wanna work with, or if you actually get a full-time job, you may still have like that timeline that you’re following, but you don’t have to go in and commute and all of these things.

Crosby:

Right.

Debbie:

So there are just so much more options in that sense when you do this type of life and lifestyle for yourself.

Crosby:

Exactly.

And that’s the thing like I am a part-time freelancer and a part-time business owner. And so a lot of times people will come to me and say like, “I don’t know how to start my own business. I don’t even know if I want to do that, but I really wanna be a digital nomad.”

And for example, here in Puerto Escondido where I’ve been working every day, there are people from all over the world, mostly from Europe, actually waking up at 6:00 AM to get online for their remote nine to five. And they’re working all day and then I see them out doing the coolest stuff at night and on the weekends and living their best life from here.

And they still have that more stability in terms of a schedule and benefits and stuff like that coming in, but they’re here.

So it all depends, like I said earlier, what works best for you and your lifestyle. So you just have to take inventory of what makes sense for me. If you don’t wanna be a freelancer or you don’t want to start your own business right now, at least it can always be a long-term goal.

There are so many remote-first companies that you can research find and apply for that preach. It’s not like they’re letting you work from anywhere. It’s like part of their ethos is to give their employees the flexibility of their lifestyle, of their schedule, of their personal autonomy. And that’s like just part of their company.

So obviously a lot of companies went remote out of necessity during the pandemic, but there were companies before that, decades before that, not decades, maybe one decade, remote work is still new, but their whole purpose is to be a remote-first company.

And so whenever I talk to people about finding an ideal nine to five, remote nine to five, I always tell them, “Look for these remote-first companies first. Don’t go on LinkedIn or Glassdoor and just search remote account executive or whatever.”

Look for the company’s first, because if you find a company that has your values, treats their employees right, has a co-working space allowance, has a home office spending stipend, stuff like that are specifically geared towards remote workers, that’s where you’re gonna find the best opportunity and the most fulfilling and flexible lifestyle that come with a remote nine to five.

So I just wanna put that out there because while I haven’t worked a remote nine to five, I know so many people that have and have had a really great experience. So again figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle and going with that. So there are so many options like you said.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And it’s so interesting, right? And I do wanna get into that topic too about when you are looking for a remote job, a freelance job, whatever it is, if you’re working for a company, it is always good to look at their ethos that you mentioned about. Like, how they treat their workers, what you’re gonna expect when you’re working there, because you are not just looking for a job, right?

A lot of times when you’re looking for a job, you’re kind of like, “Oh, I hope they hire me,” right? It’s kind of just like on them, right? It’s like they have the power, they have all of that and you’re just hoping you get the job. But what I always say is that you have the first power before they do because you get to choose who you’re going to apply for, right?

So if you don’t apply for a job that doesn’t have the same values as you, that doesn’t have the same beliefs in the work ethics that you have, then don’t apply for them and you will have a less likelihood of being miserable in that job than if you just applied for everything.

And right now there are so many opportunities, right? There are so much more opportunities that you do have that option, that you do have different things and different companies that you can apply for.

Crosby:

Yeah.

And not only that, but if you’re just applying for every job opportunity, that comes your way because you’re kind of throwing darts at a wall, just hoping that something sticks that is to be perfectly frank, a recipe for disaster, or like, just not hearing back.

Because I’ve talked to so many people that are like, “I’ve applied for 25, 30 jobs, and I haven’t heard back from any of them.” And I’m like, “Well have you reached out to them on LinkedIn? Do you know the ins and outs of their company? How passionate are you about this company and its role?”

It can feel so daunting and it can feel like you’re never gonna get the opportunity to get a remote job sometimes because like you said, there are so many opportunities out there and there are so many people that are realizing that this lifestyle is possible so they’re applying to.

But it might seem counterintuitive but actually being much more focused on just a few different companies that you are extremely passionate about and focusing in on those so much more will make your job search and your job applications so much better. And it will give you a better chance of sticking out to them because it’ll shine through in your application.

And if you’re reaching out to them on LinkedIn, if you’re networking, if you’re doing all of those things, it will shine through and you will stand out.

So I always tell people, “Don’t just apply blindly for every job opportunity that comes your way. Do your research beforehand, find companies that you’re really passionate about and that follow your values and your lifestyle, and go in on those 150%.”

So that’s like my number one tip for anyone that’s applying for jobs, just quit the Glassdoor game and like go directly to these remote-first companies. Yeah, there are so many that I absolutely love. Sometimes I’m like, “Should I just apply for some of these jobs ’cause benefits are just ridiculous.” I mean, it’s crazy. Like, these remote-first companies, they know what they’re doing, they really do. So there are a lot of cool opportunities out there.

Debbie:

Yeah, absolutely.

And that’s the thing, you just have to go a little bit extra. And I think a lot of people wanna do the easy stuff, right? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, but when it doesn’t work then you have to switch up what you’re doing to actually make it work.

And I think that is what I find the reason why most people aren’t finding a job is that they keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. And that’s kind of the definition of insanity as they say.

Crosby:

Yep.

Debbie:

I love that.

Well, those are really great tips, Crosby.

Now, talking about remote work, you do freelancing, you have your business, you seem like you have a lot of different streams of income. Can you tell us about them and how you’re able to make that work so that it becomes more sustainable for you to have this digital nomad lifestyle?

Crosby:

Definitely. S.

o yeah, multiple streams of income are huge for people that aren’t working a remote nine to five or people that are working remote nine to five, anyone can have multiple streams of income. So for me, my main ones are, I have about four or five right now.

So my main one is freelancing like you said. So right now my main kind of role is I’m an independent contractor for a small social media agency and we do executive branding. So I have several clients usually like CMO, CEOs, companies, and I help them with their online branding and online social media presence.

So that’s what I do about maybe 10 to 15 hours a week, depending on what’s going on with my clients. And then the other half of the time I work on my online business. So this is kind of a whole plethora of things. It started out as content creation. So YouTube, Instagram, and my blog, those things, I started building out a couple of years ago when I started this lifestyle. And they’ve really transformed as people are more and more interested in this lifestyle.

So I use those channels to showcase what it’s really like to live this lifestyle and provide a lot of tips and advice and answer frequently asked questions from my audience on those channels. So those channels have kind of blossomed into a few other things.

So my more recent streams of income are through digital products. That’s something that if you have a specific focus if you want to help people. if you have a specialty that you want to really help people kind of get into you and provide value, I have created several eBooks.

One of them is called Prepare to Launch and that’s kind of my golden ticket that I give to anyone who wants to get into the remote work lifestyle, but has no direction, doesn’t know where they’re going. I created that a few months ago and have seen amazing results, which have been great digital products and then coaching as well.

So for people that want a little bit more one-on-one assistance with how to go remote, how to work, and travel I also help people with that. So I’ll do a few one-hour calls with people to put together a game plan of how they can achieve this lifestyle with everything that’s going on in their specific life.

And then I also have things like resume audits, LinkedIn audits, things that are really important to have polished and ready to go if you are trying to get a remote gig in any way.

Oh, and then also YouTube, I said content creation, I earn some ad revenue on there. So as I grow on YouTube, that ad revenue also grows. So it’s just another kind of passive sort of income that I have as well. So I think that equals four or five, I dunno, exactly.

But yeah, those are my main ones, and yeah, but for the longest time it was just one like I was just freelancing for a couple of years. But this year I’ve really kind of started hammering down on providing as much value as I can to people that wanna live this lifestyle because I just love it so much and I want other people to feel empowered to do it themselves.

So that’s kind of where all of this kind of came from.

Debbie:

Yeah. I love that.

And we definitely have similar thoughts on that, making sure that you have different sources of income is so important. And I love that some of the things that you’re doing in your income streams are passive income.

Crosby:

Yes.

Debbie:

Meaning you don’t really need to do much after you do the initial work. Now you talked about ads for YouTube, and I know you mentioned you had a blog too, and you could definitely do ads with that. And one of the things that you can do is through affiliate marketing, right?

Crosby:

Yes.

Oh, I didn’t mention that.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Crosby:

I do affiliate marketing on my blog as well, on my blog and on my YouTube, and sometimes Instagram. So yeah, blogging is definitely another great way to earn passive income as well. So that’s been another source of some money there.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And it’s amazing. One of the things that I love about affiliate income, I mean, that’s what I do with my website. And it is really effective because I literally just add information about a product, a service, a company that I already use.

And what happens is if somebody purchases something, I automatically get income from that without even doing any work. So I could technically write an article today and a year or two from now, I’m still making income from that.

Crosby:

Exactly.

Debbie:

You and I have a lot of similarities in that. We talked about remote work, we talked about digital nomadism, and we talked about travel and as content creators, specifically as travel content creators, one of the things that I found to be a little bit difficult is really finding all of these companies that I really love and become affiliates to them and not go to all of like these hoops that I have to go through to figure out which one’s gonna take me, which one isn’t.

And then even if I did find them, they’re kind of all over the place. And then I’m so disorganized. So the really great come that I’m actually working with right now and is also a sponsor. The company is called TravelPayouts.

And I love them because they are one of the largest affiliate platforms that are specifically for travel content creators, right?

Crosby:

What?

Debbie:

So, yeah, it’s amazing because I’ve never seen a company like this before which means they help you to earn all types of travel services that you already mentioned on your site, right? Like your flights, your accommodations, your insurance, car rentals, and so much more, especially as remote workers, we wanna travel as digital nomads. We do all of these things.

So if you have content like that, it will pay off if you go to TravelPayouts and apply for them. And it’s all in one place, you don’t have to be confused. They’re really amazing.

So if you’re ready to learn more about TravelPayouts and earn money doing what you love, go to theoffoffbeatlife.com/travelpayouts to get started and make sure you use the promo code: new2022 to get $25 on top of your first payout.

Again, go to theoffoffbeatlife.com/travelpayouts to get started. And again, use the promo code: new2022 to get $25 on top of your first payout which is I think amazing ’cause you’re earning more just by using that promo code.

And I love them. It’s so easy to use. Once you go in there, you get everything in one place and you’re literally just mentioning products and services and companies that you already love and you get paid for it. I mean, that is amazing and that’s why I love TravelPayouts. It’s just so easy.

Crosby:

Sign me up. Seriously, I’m Googling right now, going to your website.

Debbie:

I know.

I love that because you know what it is with me when I used to just look for different types of affiliates, they were so confusing. That’s why I love finding one place like that.

Crosby:

God, I know.

Crosby:

That’s awesome.

Debbie:

Yeah. I love that.

So now that you have this lifestyle, right? Looking back to when you first started, Crosby, was it everything that you thought it was gonna be?

Crosby:

Honestly, I didn’t even know what I thought it was gonna be because it just felt so not real. Like, I was just watching these videos and I was like, “Are we sure that this is actually their life? Like, this looks way too perfect.” I think honestly like we talked about before, it is for me like I think I had a bit of a more realistic approach. Like, I know how much I like to work.

I actually enjoy it, I’m weird like that. I really enjoy going and really diving into something and getting in deep and all of that. So I knew that this lifestyle was gonna entail a lot of work for me, but I think there’s so much more community than I thought there was gonna be.

I’m here in Mexico by myself. Like, I travel solo a lot of the time because most of my friends work in an office job. My sister’s in college, my parents are still working and my boyfriend has to work in Florida right now. So I go on a lot of these trips by myself and that can seem intimidating, but when you are doing it right, and you are focusing on community, you will find so many people that are doing the same lifestyle.

And it’s so cool to be surrounded by other nomads because at least for me, my immediate circle in the US, no one really understands why I do this or what I do on a day-to-day basis. So it’s really nice to come here and meet all these other nomads and see what they’ve been doing for the last few years and what their goals are and all of that.

So all that to say, yes and no.

I definitely knew that it was gonna be like this very freedom, joyful experience and it has been all of those things, but the community that I’ve been able to find on these trips has just been mind-blowing and shown me that it’s possible for anyone in the world, regardless of your background, regardless of your skills, it can be possible if you really want it to be.

So, yeah, I’m so happy. And I can’t wait to continue living this lifestyle because, during the pandemic, I really can only stay in the US. So I was doing a lot of road tripping, but as of the last, like six to eight months, I have been more international. So Peru, Columbia, now, Mexico, and yeah, it’s definitely like, it’s really showing me how possible this is for everyone. And yeah, how fulfilling it is for me, at least.

So I definitely foresee myself staying in this lifestyle as long as possible. I don’t want it to end ever.

Debbie:

And I feel like it also kind of pushes you to your boundaries most of the time.

Crosby:

Oh my God, yes.

 

Things that you didn’t even think you could do and you’re doing it. So there’s so much more to discover about yourself when you are placed in these types of situations that you become a totally different person once you come out of it.

Crosby:

Yeah.

I think that’s something actually, like, at least for me, I don’t see much of that conversation happening online because for example, like, I went to Columbia like a month ago and I was there for a month and half of that, I was solo. and the other half I was with other content creators and travelers.

To come back to my hometown, to like visit my family and my friends, I was there for maybe two weeks and I don’t know, I started to feel a little bit alienated because I really don’t relate to these people that I love so deeply like I used to.

I feel like I’ve kind of rounded a corner of like, “This is where I wanna be. I know my purpose and I know the lifestyle that I wanna be living.” And the values that I have don’t really line up with all of the values that my hometown kind of embodies and that most American places and typical like nine to five corporate places don’t necessarily share.

So I think that also is something to think about. Like, as you live this lifestyle more and more, and you meet other people who are kind of on the same trajectory as you, and you see just the possibilities that are out there and the perspective shift that it has for most people doing this, it is so transformative to the point where like, it’s hard to go back. Like, it can be really hard to like go back and try and live a more traditional life.

So that’s been something that I’ve been like kind of dealing with, not even in like a negative or a positive way, just like observing how I feel when I’m around. Like, my childhood friends and my family, when I go home. Like, it’s very interesting.

So that’s something to think about. It makes me feel so much more at home in places like here, Puerto Escondido, like living in a hostile with a co-working space and meeting people from all over the world, working online, and living this nomad lifestyle. Like, I relate to them so much more than I relate to people I went to college with at this point. So I don’t know, it’s really interesting.

Debbie:

Yeah.

It’s a totally different minds space that you have now, like I said, when you go out of that comfort zone and you do something else and you discover so many new things. And like you said, you can’t go back to that again. You’re just a completely different person now, which is amazing, right? Amazing to take that transition.

Crosby:

Yeah.

Debbie:

Now talking about that, Crosby, already you’ve been seeing all of these transformations that you’ve seen in yourself within the last few years. Let’s fast forward to around 40 to 50 years from now and you’re looking back at your life what legacy would you like to leave and what do you wanna be remembered for?

Crosby:

That’s such a good question and something that I actually think about a lot. I don’t try and plan too much for the future, but I do kind of think about like, yeah, like 50, 60 years from now, like what are the photos and the videos I’m gonna be showing my kids and my grandkids about how I lived my life.

And I think what’s driving me is I would want to inspire the current generation and the next generations to not feel like they have to follow societal norms and adhere to the things that they have been primed with their whole life.

I want my legacy to inspire people, to challenge themselves, to question the norms, and to live a life that is in 100% alignment with you and your values. So that takes a lot of mindset work, takes a lot of personal growth to even figure out what your values and your dreams are. But once you figure that out, living in true alignment with that, and living a life that you don’t wanna escape from as cliche as that sounds.

Debbie:

Yeah.

And I think that’s what most of us want, right? We just wanna do something that we feel happy doing every single day. And I think for a really long time, not being happy with what you’re doing is what was expected and you should just be okay with that.

And I think we are in this new generation of people who are not okay with that, who aren’t okay with being unhappy every day, just grinding to grind. And I think that’s a totally different new life that we can all lead and it’s definitely possible. And I love that it’s part of your legacy, Crosby, and I’m loving that. I’m loving that legacy.

So if our listeners wanna learn more about you where can they find you?

Crosby:

Absolutely.

So you can go visit my website. It’s CrosbyGraceTravels.com. If you are interested in getting into this lifestyle, click the start here tab, it has everything on there that you can possibly need. And then also you can find me on Instagram and YouTube @crosbygracetravels.

So yeah, that’s where you can find me.

Debbie:

Awesome. Thank you so much, Crosby. We really appreciate you for sharing your journey with us.

Crosby:

Thanks so much for having me. This has been really fun.

being a part of this journey. And I can’t wait to hear how your location independent story will unfold.


Listen to Crosby’s extended interview where she shares how to get started with bilingual blogging.

What you’ll find:

In this episode, Crosby will walk you through the steps to starting bilingual blogging.


Follow Crosby:


Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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