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Ep. 239: How this solo adventurer sold all her possessions in her 30’s to start fresh as a digital nomad with Claire Summers

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In this episode, I speak with Claire who is a dedicated traveler and Digital Nomad. 

At 34 she sold all her worldly possessions that wouldn’t fit into 3 boxes and hopped on a one-way flight to Guatemala.

Unable to speak a word of Spanish, and with no real clue of what she was going to do with her life, to say this was the start of a wild ride would be an understatement. 

She started writing her blog Claire’s Itchy Feet as a way to inspire other women to pack their bags and head off on their own solo adventures.

Listen on to find out how Claire has been able to thrive as a solo adventurer.

Listen Below:

RELATED EPISODES:

Ep. 238: How the founder of SafetyWing is changing digital nomad’s lives by giving them a safety net with Sondre Rasch
Ep. 237: How to make slow travel sustainable with Frank Thomae
My Offbeat Journey: Learning to Prioritize the Right Tasks!


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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 Claire. 

Hey, Claire, how are you? 

Claire:

Hey, I’m good. Thank you 

Debbie:

Thank you so much for joining us today. I know you have a lot of really great stories for us. But before we do that, can you tell us a little bit more about you and why you live an offbeat life?

Claire:

I left the UK I think when I was 34. So a little bit older than I think some people. And I didn’t really have a plan or any savings. So it’s definitely been an interesting adventure. And I didn’t really know what I was going to do, I just needed to leave the UK.

Claire Summers near the beach

So I literally sold everything. I got on a plane to Guatemala without learning any Spanish. I think I had like a thousand dollars in savings.

Debbie:

Wow.

Claire:

I had a few freelance things lined up but there were definitely desperate times and that was, like, 4, 5 years ago, 2017,  I think.

Anyway, I’m still here, I’m still on the road. I spent most of my time in Latin America. I had plans of going to Asia but I got a chronic illness so it wasn’t a great time for me to leave. So I’ve just been hanging out in Mexico for a while. 

So, yeah, I’m still here in Mexico. Moved to different places but I’ve been here for about 3 years and this is my base to travel around.

Debbie:

Well, there’s a lot to unpack there because first of all, usually people will say, “I did a lot of savings. I planned for years and then I finally did it,” but you went the totally opposite way. You’re, like, “I need to make a change in my life. I need to do this now.” Was it like a now or never thing for you? How did that decision come about? 

Claire:

Honestly, I think it was really a mental health thing. Like, I was ill. I was getting migraines all the time. I felt stressed all the time. I was anxious. 

I loved my job. I helped hundreds of people. Like, it was beautiful. It was amazing but I was so miserable. I felt so trapped and there’s so much pressure because by the end. I had, like, some people working for me, all these kids relying on me to get funding all the time and the stress from that just really built up inside. 

I mean, I had a vague plan. I’d always watch myself. I’d always been self-employed. Actually, I was in the military.

Debbie:

Wow.

Claire:

Just crazy. I know.

So, very disciplined. But I think because I’ve been self-employed for such a long time, it didn’t feel like it’s a super, super crazy thing to do. I knew I could make money. I’ve always had the ability to be able to, like, just manifest things and just create opportunities for myself. I created a whole company out of nothing.

And I’ve learned so many skills and being an Artistic Director of a publicly-funded dance company takes some skills and abilities. ‘Cause you don’t just give them money, you have to, like, do everything pretty much until you get to these abilities. 

So I’m bringing press releases, I’m doing social media, I built websites. I‘ve done everything. So, for me, what I did is I knew I needed to go. I booked the ticket and then I passed over all the transferable skills that I had and how I could make them work for me.

And I think the first thing I was like, “I’m just going to do work away. I’ll go and volunteer in a hostel or do something to get accommodation then at least repair my head while I figure it out.” And I thought of this vague idea of being a social media manager which is hilarious.

Before we got into this podcast, we talked about how much I hate social media but it’s kind of an easy thing to do. Honestly, at that point, I just didn’t care, I just needed to get out. I was like, “I need a break and some good weather.”

Debbie:

I think for a lot of people, they probably saw your life at that time being a dancer and you had this business, you are in charge of so many people. And from the outside, looking at you, it’s like, “Oh my God, Claire has such a great life.” That’s why you don’t really know what someone is going through unless you know them very personally, right? 

Because, like you said, you were having a literal mental break and I was in that same position too and that’s why I left a job that most people thought was like, here in the US, the American dream. 

And it’s so interesting how that really shapes what your future is if you decide to take that on because for a lot of us, it’s really scary but what’s scarier is staying where we are, right? 

Claire:

Exactly.

Debbie:

It’s so funny. 

Did you just buy, like, a one-way ticket? You didn’t really have too big of a plan and then you are just like, “I’m going to manifest. I’m going to do whatever it takes.

Claire:

I think my plan was to stay in Guatemala for three months. I wanted to learn Spanish. My overall plan by the way was just to get away for a year and I decided that I wanted to be, like, a UN peacekeeper. But to do it properly, I need a second language. 

Claire Summers Riviera Nayarit

So I was like, “Well, maybe I’ll just go and learn Spanish.” And then I looked at the cost in Guatemala, which is the cheapest place. My ultimate aim is to travel around Latin America. I wanted to go to Peru and do Machu Picchu because I’ve been there in 2005 on a Royal Navy ship when I was in the military.

Debbie:

Oh wow.

Claire:

I didn’t do it. The visit I want to go to Machu Picchu is like, “Is there a bar? No, I’m not going.” I had no idea what it was and so this really haunted me. And I was like, “I have to right this wrong.” And I never actually got to Peru.

I fell in love with Guatemala. I stayed there for, like, 9 months. And then I ended up in Colombia. I stepped there as well until it became illegal, I had to leave. And that’s kind of how I ended up in Mexico.

So I traveled quite extensively, like, in those three countries and other places in between. But yeah, I just kept getting stuck.

Debbie:

And that’s the thing, right? Because when you’re a foreigner, you don’t know the legalities of all of these things because remember, when you’re in Latin America, once you go from one country to the next, they’re all different.

Their policies are different if you’re in Mexico, it’s different if you’re in Guatemala and, like, Peru.

Claire:

Because I’ve been in Latin America for a while, the whole white privilege thing with a British passport, you become very complacent. I screwed up because I was like, “Oh, well, if it’s Guatemala or Mexico, you just pay a fine and no one cares.” Colombia was not Guatemala or Mexico.

You cannot get a 5 minutes visa. If you do, you have to pay a big fine and you have to leave. 

Debbie:

Wow.

Claire:

What immigration said to me was, “You can stay as long as you want but if you want to leave, you need to come, you need to register, and then we’ll give you two weeks to go.” 

So that means, I actually traveled around Columbia while I was there illegally with a letter from the immigration office saying, “We know about her. She’s going to come in and make it right before she leaves but she’s okay, basically.” Because hotels are asking me.

Debbie:

Oh my gosh.

Claire:

It’s a crazy system. 

I planned to stay there for 9 months and I had to leave after 4 because of the situation. And I was a bit too scared to go back. I was like, “Because of this issue I had, I was scared they wouldn’t let me back in again.” So I just left.

I messed around with Immigration.

Debbie:

They have like a wanted sign for Claire’s case.

Claire:

They did all the photographs, fingerprints, and everything. It was a whole big deal. Like, I was so stupid. It was very, like, a privilege for me.

But in Guatemala or Mexico…

Debbie:

It’s different. Yeah, the policies are so different.

But you know what? That’s, like, a huge learning thing for you there. At least you learned that, you know what not to do anymore. You can tell other people about it. 

And speaking of that, Claire, how did you become this nomad who travels around, pretty much just kind of living life day-to-day to now having a big blog and having a business from it? How did you become a blogger from all of this? 

Claire:

I’m a very strategic person. I’m a very big picture person. And I think that everything that I’ve done in my life, it’s a fraction of what goes in there somewhere. Like, my dance training and the military gave me a lot of discipline. And then, being an artistic director and dance producer, like, you’re always looking at that big picture. And I’ve learned so many different skills through that. 

And so when I started traveling, I had started just writing a blog. I did it after I’ve been in Thailand for a few weeks and that was kind of when I discovered blogging and bloggers. But I felt I was really lacking a lot of stuff that I was reading like the details, especially the woman traveling. 

I wanted to know like, “Where exactly is this, like, biggity bus stop? What does it look like? What am I looking for?” Because also I’m trying to tell taxi drivers. So I’ve just always felt like I wanted to be detailed – the big picture. 

So, when I started writing the blog, it was kind of, like, to fill in some of the information and also I knew I was going to go traveling and I thought it’d be a nice thing to do, my family and friends to read. 

And then I kind of learned a bit more about blogging that you could make money from it but it still didn’t really stand out to me being the main thing. So basically what I was writing somehow took off on Google and it really was just look.

And then I think when you get that where you’re going from, like, a hundred page views a month, so you’re like a hundred a day, you’re like, “Oh, my God, this is amazing,” and it kind of becomes addictive. 

So pretty much the whole time that I was traveling, my blog wasn’t making any money. I was just doing it in a strategic way and hoping that one day it would make some money and everything that I was learning through different jobs, I coworker with different bloggers. I worked as a copywriter, I worked as a social media manager. 

So all these jobs that we’re doing for other people really fed into everything that I was doing for myself. So I was always kind of using these experiences to, like, be able to eat but also train myself to be able to do it for myself. 

And then I think it was maybe 2 years ago. It was, like, the year before covid hit, so 2019. Like, I realized I needed to get serious. I’d finally been able to give up, I was teaching Chinese children online English. It was, like, “Oh, I hated it,” mostly because of the time difference. It’s, like, 5 o’clock in the morning. I was like, 4, 5 o’clock teaching, it was killing me.

And I was like,  “If I want to do this, I need to approach this like how I approach any other business. This is a business that needs to make money. It’s not about just having fun anymore. If I want to do it, I need to do it.” 

So that’s when everything changed. And I think in about 6 months, I’d already started focusing on SEO. Editing all my old stuff not producing much news such as being really strategic for everything that I was doing. And getting to affiliate marketing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I started making some money which is amazing. And then it became addictive, if you can get these things in Google, it becomes a fun game. And from there, I’ve managed to get my page views up so I was able to get on Mediavine where you can speak to any blogger. I managed to do it, it was like the joyous day 

At that point is when I know I can go full-time. My outgoings aren’t big, I don’t live a luxurious life. Like, I live in a studio, we have a little pool but I don’t need a lot of things. So the affiliate money was enough for me to survive, basically. 

So I was able to give a full view of the job and just focus on that. And in January 2020, I went full-time blogger.

Debbie:

That is amazing.

Claire:

I know.

And then within three months, the entire world stopped. My income died. It was like, “Noooooo!”

I mean, when you live this kind of life, you’re traveling around and you become illegal in Colombia, and you’re doing all these things, like, you learn to just react. Like, “I’m not going to sit and cry.” 

Okay, I went from earning, like, $40 a day on Mediavine, like, everyday, just $40 plus all the affiliate money from Booking.com and all that stuff, to $1 a day. 

Debbie:

Oh my God. 

Claire:

My traffic went from, like, over 2000 views a day, I was lucky if I’ll get a hundred. It was that fast.

Debbie:

That is crazy.

Claire:

And you think you’re being clever having different income streams, we all did in the travel industry, right? All of us, bloggers, we’re not daft, we got all these different income streams. Money comes from different places but it’s all from travel. So, it all dried up. 

And every conversation I’ve had with, like, blogging friends who are top bloggers, none of us get to be, like, an A-lister in a travel movie, designs and swimsuits, and created shops. We all did something. And for me, I started again getting into building websites. I’m a yoga teacher as well and I’ve got a lot of yoga teaching friends and pilates teachers.

Claire Summers Doing Yoga

So they all needed websites because they need to take their classes online so I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do this for a while.” And then I did that for a few months to bring some income in. 

And then around August, I was in Mexico and I could feel that Mexico is going to recover quickly, they never shut the borders. And I have written a great deal about Mexico but I was like, “I need to just take this entire month and just write everything. I know about Mexico. 

So I was very strategic, I did a little research: the keywords and search traffic. And I just wrote, like, a ton of content on Mexico. And maybe November last year, my blog was stronger than it had been in January before covid.

Debbie:

Wow.

Claire:

It was getting more page views. It was making more money. 

Debbie:

Yeah. A lot of people are going to Mexico because, like you were saying, it didn’t close its borders. So it’s still welcoming people. It was one of the only places that most people can go to during that whole thing, during 2020. 

So that was definitely a good strategy for you to be able to do that. And I love that.

Claire:

I think a lot of American bloggers started doing road trips. If you’re a strategic person you can see that big picture. You’ll be like, “What’s going to happen next?” It was a gamble, I must say, because I also did some stuff on Thailand ‘cause I thought maybe Asia will have it quick. But not all.

But Mexico…

Debbie:

That’s where it’s at. I know.

I saw a lot of people going there last year and the travel there was still pretty good. Like, people still went over there. So that’s definitely a good strategy that you were able to do. And I love that you thought outside of the box because I do know that you’re talking about a lot of travel bloggers who definitely lost so much income. 

And if you don’t have any savings, you’re kind of screwed and you’re back to square one at least for that year. So that’s really nerve-wracking when you’re making really good money in and all of a sudden, it’s, like, down to zero. And a few of my friends, that happened to them and I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so scary.” 

But it makes you more resilient, I think, when that happens.

Claire:

For sure.

Debbie:

And you think more about what If this happens again, and then you kind of put other things in place. 

Claire:

I have two different businesses now.

I’ve got another blog which I haven’t done a lot with. I’m starting to do more now with the autoimmune disease that I have so it’s more, like, kind of that side of things. And then I also set, like, a template store. An online store with a friend, which is just, like, passive income. We maybe do a day’s work a month where she designs stuff and put them up online.

Although I’m very much in the travel industry, having these, like, things aside from it is so important.

Debbie:

That is amazing.

Claire:

It’s not just an income stream in one industry.

Debbie:

Yeah. It’s true. It has to be all different ones. And I love that you’re making all of these websites. It’s still in your wheel of expertise but then you’re able to use it in so many different ways that you’re able to do that. 

And now things are getting back again and now they’re all making money from you. Now, you’re making more money than before. So if you think about it, there’s an upside to all of this. Because if you create another source of income…

Claire:

Yeah. That definitely is.

I was able to go back to full-time blogging by January. Like, that was the date that I gave up most of my clients and back to just full-time logging in January. I’ve not struggled at all. I’m not one of these six-figure people but I’m okay, I’m happy.

Sometimes I only work an hour a day. What can I say?

Debbie:

Yeah. And you don’t need to, you don’t need to have 5, 6, or whatever many figures a month, especially with you, Claire. You live in Mexico, it’s a lot cheaper than, like, with me. I live in New York City, I definitely couldn’t afford to be here.

Claire:

For sure.

Debbie:

But that’s also, like, where you live is also very important if you do this type of lifestyle.

Claire:

Being vicious has its own challenges. I got back from a trip to El Salvador and I was feeling really tired. And then I found out I was pregnant and I was like, “Ohhhhh!” I’m about to launch a new company, doing great tours in Central America. Like, being off on the road for, like, 10 days. It was, like, taking on this trip. 

So it’s, like, everything goes into a head spin but the worst thing for me was I couldn’t work.

Debbie:

Wow.

Claire:

I was physically so tired. I felt so awful where I’d sit in front of my computer for, like, 20 minutes, I’ll be asleep all afternoon. I mean, thank God that my business is pretty stable.You always have to be feeding the baby. But I was able to put in work for a month and a half.

I got a VA, she kept things taken over and I did what I could but I was not. I mean, still now, like, I have days where I just need to sleep.

Debbie:

I know. And we were talking about this.

Claire:

I know you’re making six figures a month but I can take a nap when I want to.

Debbie:

Exactly.

Claire:

Take myself off for the day when I want to. And to me, that’s more important.

I made good money when I was in the UK and I was miserable. I have enough to sustain my lifestyle.

Debbie:

That’s true though.

It’s like as long as you have everything that you need, you’re comfortable. You don’t need to be the richest person to be happy with yourself. And, like you mentioned, you could be earning more money if you go back to your old life but then you’d be miserable and you wouldn’t have the same sort of living.

Now that you are going to be a mom, it’s going to be incredible for your son or daughter, for them to live this life with you too. And it’s kind of an adventure every single day, which is pretty awesome. 

That’s a good childhood to have.

Claire:

I know.

Debbie:

Instead of just being in a place where you can’t really have any of that in your life.

Claire:

And also to have two parents at home.

Debbie:

Exactly.

And most people don’t have that, right? Maybe you’ll have one parent and the other one is working or maybe both parents are working. So when you have two of those parents, that’s pretty incredible.

So with all of these different things that you have to juggle with your life, with your different businesses, now, you’re going to be a new mom, how do you really manage your time, Claire? ‘Cause, that’s a lot.

Claire:

To be honest, I think being pregnant definitely taught me to give in sometimes. Like, before I think I pushed through a lot more, I was feeling tired, I was feeling something, I really forced myself. And now I’m just like, “No. I need to go now. I need to go and sleep. I’m not gonna do this. I’ll just check tomorrow.”

So, definitely been a lot more forgiving with myself. I’m much more flexible with my schedule. I’m not so great in the mornings at the moment but in the evenings, I feel like I have so much more energy. So I’m just kind of really listening to my body. And going with that has been able to get me to work and be more productive. 

And also, it really helped me say no to some stuff and, like, again, we were having this conversation before the podcast about I’ve been handing a lot of most of my day to my VA. Things that I would never dream of handing over before but I’m like, “I haven’t got time for this. I don’t wanna do my email anymore. Just go and delete everything that I don’t need to read and just leave the good stuff for me to check. I don’t have time to handle this anymore.”

And it became too overwhelming so I started passing a lot of stuff and getting rid of everything that doesn’t bring me joy or doesn’t have a financial benefit ’cause I’m definitely like, “Am I going to make money from this? Is this fun? Do I enjoy it? If it doesn’t fit it, I’m just not doing it anymore.”

Debbie:

You know what? Like, I’ve actually started doing that at the beginning of this summer and I completely changed my business model because of that and I did exactly what you are doing right now. And it changes everything. 

There’s so much more focus and now you’re not distracted by things that were just a distraction, right? And there’s a lot of them. You don’t realize how much time you actually waste on things that you don’t really need to do because you think that you have to do it. And then you really evaluate it. 

And there’s nothing it’s actually giving you in your life. If anything, it’s making you more tired, it’s just taking up time that you don’t need to give. 

Claire:

I think the ones susceptible to this are women; that we feel obliged to do things. 

Debbie:

Yes.

Claire:

And I was like, “Just stop that.” I just feel like I haven’t got time.

Debbie:

Especially with, like, growing another human in your body.

Claire:

And I became so much more money orientated. Not in a superficial way but I’m like, “How much money is this going to make me? Is this worth my time?”

Debbie:

Yeah. Exactly. 

Claire:

And I definitely noticed that I’m doing less now and making more money. I feel like that energy that you’re putting out.

Debbie:

It’s valuing your time and your energy. And that energy, like what you’re saying. if you’re putting that out there then other people are going to respect it too. And if you’re just giving it out to everybody then they’re going to take advantage of it. And, like you’re saying, for women, for us, like, we definitely tend to do that a lot because a lot of us are very caring and we don’t want to step on anybody 

Claire:

We want to help everyone.

Debbie:

Yeah. 

Claire:

That’s why I started the blog. I wanted to help women, I do, but not at my own expense. 

Debbie:

Exactly. 

Claire:

Like, my health, my mental well-being, especially my mental health.

It’s not been easy coming to terms with being pregnant. I wasn’t expecting it, it wasn’t planned. I’m so grateful and joyful about the pregnancy now but, like, I’m a nomadic person who lives out a suitcase and I was like, “How’s this gonna work now?”

Debbie:

Yeah.

Claire:

Just all of these things. Like, the first time I left, I wanted stability. Like, I refuse to leave this area during my pregnancy. I was like, “I want to stay here. I don’t want to move. I want the same midwife. I want this, I want this.” After the baby comes, I’ll go anywhere.

We’re even ordering, like, everything that’s travel. Like, a travel pump, a travel this. My family buys me lots of stuff and they’re like, “Babies need that much stuff. Adults need extra, babies don’t.”

Debbie:

Yeah. Exactly.

Claire:

So I’m, like, very conscious about that and we are all planning. We are always gonna have a home base, I think, ‘cause that’s the way that I prefer to travel now. I like having a home base and then head off for a couple of months somewhere or a few weeks and live and work from there and then come back and have a base.

Claire Summers Working at Home

Debbie:

It’s definitely different when you’re not just thinking about yourself and your partner and now you have, like, another human that you have to take care of and you’re like, “Okay there needs to be some sort of stability.” 

And then they say too, that with pregnancy, you have this, like, nesting phase where you just want to, like, take care of everything. So you’re like, “Yeah. I’m into that phase right now. We need to do that.” That’s awesome. I love all of these changes.

You’re like, “Don’t take me out of here until I’m ready.”

Claire:

I’m planning a home back as well for my little studio apartment. It’s literally, like, my woman cave. This is where I’m gonna have the baby. This was really important to me. We got a six-month lease so we’re just here 2 months after the baby comes. Just to get us through that time and then who knows what’s gonna happen? I’m not even thinking about that.

Debbie:

Once the baby comes, you guys can choose to leave and go everywhere. 

But I did want to ask you, Claire, what type of travel insurance that you actually use since now that you’re planning all of these different things once the baby comes? Did that change? Like, what has that been like?

Claire:

This is one of the things that we are really trying to look into as well. So, at the moment, because I have residency here in Mexico, I actually had insurance, like, ex-pat insurance. So it will be a year in January. 

I’m back to being a tourist now just because it was complicated with the baby but that insurance still covers me. Before, I was using SafetyWing digital nomad insurance and it’s, like, a long time one because I never went home and a lot of insurance won’t cover you. When you’re out of the country, you have to get it in that country.

So yeah, I used SafetyWing before. I don’t know what we’re going to do with the baby. It’s definitely something that I need to look into. My partner looks into: him adding me and the baby onto his insurance.

But I haven’t really had to think about travel insurance going to fit in Mexico because of covid and everything else. So I’ve been here, apart from a couple of weeks in El Salvador. And I’ll never get insurance in the US. 

Debbie:

Yeah. 

Claire:

If everything goes wrong, just put me on a plane back to Mexico or I’m just gonna have to die 

Debbie:

Oh, yeah. It’s pretty crazy

I can’t even tell you, Claire.

Claire:

It doubles your insurance. It’s cheaper to get insurance in the Congo or somewhere considered dangerous. 

Debbie:

I know. I live in New York City and it’s such a pain to get insurance here. And I’m like, “I just wish I could use travel insurance all the time because it’s so easy, so much cheaper.” And it pretty much gives you the same exact stuff that we pay for here in the US. 

And especially with you as a remote worker and I, like, it’s also really such a headache to figure all of the stuff out. Like, what you’re dealing with right now when it comes to health insurance, now that you’re pregnant.

And there’s a lot of different things that they usually require, right? So you’re like, “Oh my God, what do I do?”

Claire:

Yeah. And my insurance doesn’t cover pregnancy. I have to pay for that myself.

Debbie:

Yeah. So there are so many things.

It’s so crazy how many things that you didn’t even know what could happen. Like, the pandemic and then your pregnancy, it’s pretty crazy. 

That’s why I’m really glad that I actually found and I’m working with Integra Global because they have super-comprehensive plans. They don’t ask their members to build a plan because how would you know what you’ll need? 

And their insurance covers everything and it’s all built-in. I love them because of that. Because there are actually people that we’re stuck with during the pandemic and there’s a lot of insurance companies that didn’t cover and they actually did. So that’s why I love them even more. 

So if you want to check it out, Claire, if anyone else wants to check it out, you can go to IntegraGlobal.com. See how they can give you the insurance coverage you need and maybe some you never knew you would because who knew all of this was going to happen?

When you, Claire, would be traveling around in Latin America during covid-19 and getting pregnant. So it’s pretty funny how life turns out, right?

I feel like there have been so many changes for you, like, these last few years. But it’s all good changes, right?

Claire:

Yeah. 

I am, like, the brunt of all these meme jokes. I came out of covid, I walked down with an instant path, I baked sourdough, I adopted two raspy kittens and I got pregnant. So I’m like, “I am the meme.”

Debbie:

Everything is like you’re checking all the lists, like, “Check. Yep. Check.” That’s so funny. 

Claire:

Did that. Did that. Yeah.

Debbie:

So, Claire, last question for you. Let’s fast forward to around 30 to 40 years from now and you’re looking back on your life, what legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for? 

Claire:

Oh my gosh. That’s so hob because I feel like the world changes so fast. Like, so many things that are, like, relevant now. Like, technology-wise, it can be so different in 40 years. It’s crazy.

Debbie:

Yeah.

Claire:

I definitely feel like I’m going to write a book about this life change. About going from being, like, a strong, solo traveller, kind of lone wolf to having a baby and a family. I’m still trying to keep that.

I left the UK for a reason. I picked myself and my life for a reason because I felt tied down, I felt suffocated to kind of slipped back into having these things,  having this stability, having this family without feeling, like, it’s choking you. 

So I think that’s the interesting thing I’m doing at the moment. There’s definitely gonna be a book in there, I think, something about that transition into, like, how you can have a family without feeling stuck, how you can continue traveling. Like, all of these things. 

Claire Summers at San Luis

So I hope that writing the books and just living my life and kind of, it’s not really egotistical, but like, the way I share myself on Instagram. I do feel like I’m very genuine. I don’t really post a lot of, like, fake stuff, I do very well in the realm of make-up. Like, if you follow me on social media, it’s really a big part of me.

I feel, like, just being an example that other people can see what’s possible. Like, you don’t have to suffer and feel like you just have to do these things but you are obliged to do them. You can make different choices for yourself. 

Debbie:

Yeah.

Claire:

And it’s possible.

Debbie:

It’s true. 

Claire:

We all have choices all the time, no one is really stuck. You choose to be stuck.

Debbie:

It’s true. And also, you know what it is too. Like, I feel like people tell you you have to choose, like, you can either stay at a 9 to 5 or you can decide to travel but you can’t have both. Like, you can’t work and then do all of these adventures. Like, you have to choose one or the other, right? 

You can either be a parent and raise your kid, you can be, like, a business person, or you can travel. And it’s really great to see you be able to do all of this and still come out okay and actually even happier with your life, with all of these things that you’re able to do.

Claire:

I chose not to do any of those things. I chose to do it differently.

Debbie:

Exactly. And you can do it. Like, if you really want to do it, you’re going to find a way to do it and it’s on your own terms, not anyone else’s. 

And I think that’s why I love where we are right now in the world, at this time, because it is possible with technology. Because 10 years ago, 20 years ago, this wasn’t even in anyone’s mind, like, this was not possible at all. 

So, I feel like we’re all so lucky that technology and all of this stuff is so much more available for everyone that even in, like, the poorest country that you can give them work and be able to live, like, a better life for themselves which is pretty incredible. And I love that.

And I love that you’re showing this, Claire. I love that you’re showing that it can be possible, I mean, you’re right, you don’t have to be stuck with your life. You can do something about it.

Thank you so much, Claire, for being here with us. We really appreciate you sharing your story. If our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you? 

Claire:

So you can find me on social media. I do hang out on Instagram a lot. More of my stories on my posts. I think I posted, like, twice in the last 3 months but I do put stories on them. So it’s Claire’s Itchy Feet on all social platforms. And then that’s my blog too. 

I’m getting more, doing much more on my other Instagram now about my pregnancy and living with an autoimmune disease. So that’s @meandhashimotos and there’s a blog as well but I haven’t done too much with that. But I’m on Instagram with that.

And then Endless Summers Tours is my new baby. So if you want to come and travel with me, my first tour is in October next year. The schedule, the time table’s going to go out in November. And I got some epic tours coming out.

Yeah, come and travel with me to Mexico. It’s mostly Mexico, a little bit of Guatemala.

Debbie:

Love that. Yes, love both places so definitely go check that out. 

Thank you so much. We really appreciate you and all of these stories that you gave us. 

Claire:

Thanks for having me.


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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