Just a few years ago I spent my days sat behind a desk in a dark, dusty office twiddling my thumbs between typing up the occasional document. I was so bored that I would spend my time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or finding things to clean. I was still young but I knew I wanted more than this from life – much more.

Fast forward to the present moment and I’m writing this from a hotel room in Brazil, sat next to my Brazilian other half who I’ve just spent the last two and a half years living and traveling around the world with. This is the story of how I went from office dweller to university dropout to digital nomad by the age of 24.

From a boring office job to a life of work and travel - this is how one young girl managed to live her dream!

After high school, university was on the cards but I didn’t initially get accepted into the course I wanted. Trying not to get too upset about it, I decided to be wild and spontaneous and take a gap year instead, just like many of my fellow Aussie schoolmates. As it turned out, the majority of my gap year was spent in that dark, dusty office binding booklets and drinking tea while they were all out traveling the world and having tons of fun.

When I was finally accepted into my early childhood teaching degree, I began working in hospitality to make time for study. Life was good for a little while; I enjoyed working in a social environment and university was definitely keeping me busy. Little by little though, my passion for early childhood education faded away and as soon as I was sent to prac for 2 weeks I realised that this career was definitely not for me, so I quit.

Yes – I became a ‘college dropout’.

Naturally my dad wasn’t so happy about the idea of me being a dropout so he encouraged me to go and volunteer with him in Thailand while I figured out what to do with my life. Of course I said yes – as if I’d turn down the chance to travel!

Sure enough, this trip changed my life.

From a boring office job to a life of work and travel - this is how one young girl managed to live her dream!

6 weeks of teaching English in the north of Thailand with young volunteers from around the world was the inspiration I’d been seeking for a very long time. The complete culture shock I had experienced (showering with buckets, eating mindbogglingly spicy food and riding around tiny rural villages on scooters) completely opened my mind and soon enough, I fell head over heels in love with the place.

In fact, I fell head over heels in love with the idea of traveling.

I remember the exact moment when I realised that the travel life was for me. I was sat in the back seat of a song thaew with an amazing group of volunteers who I’d only met 3 weeks prior. We were chugging up a windy mountain road that ran parallel to a beautiful flowing river, the wind was blowing through our hair and everyone was smiling and joking without a worry in the world.

That was the moment.

From a boring office job to a life of work and travel - this is how one young girl managed to live her dream!

I went home and began hustling my little heart out to save enough money to return to Thailand in 3 months time. The plan was to meet back up with some of my friends, travel around and perhaps even find an English teaching job. I gave myself just over 12 weeks to save as much money as I possibly could because this time, I didn’t know when I would return home.

In the short time I was back in Australia I saved up over $4,000 plus the cost of my flights which I thought might have lasted me 3 months. 10 months later I was still traveling – all the way over in Europe.

How so?

One week into my journey back to Thailand I met the love of my life who had been traveling the world for 7 years, funding the adventure with his online business. I was amazed that working online while traveling was even a thing, let alone the fact that he was making a good income from it.

After spending over 3 months living together in the north of Thailand my new found love taught me the ropes of the digital business world so that we could continue traveling together. I went from not having a clue about online business to traveling the world as a ‘digital nomad’ in just a few short months.

From a boring office job to a life of work and travel - this is how one young girl managed to live her dream!

Now we travel slowly together, visiting our home countries of Brazil and Australia in between whilst earning an income online. Many people say it’s the ‘dream life’ but there are some difficulties as well, like not being able to see your family and friends as much as you want, living out of bags and not having a stable place to call home. Then again, I think the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

To be honest, I still don’t think it has fully sunk in that somewhere along the line I’ve turned traveling into a lifestyle. When I look back on it though, there were a few key factors which helped me to discover the path I’m on now and I believe that they can help you too:

  • Solo travel – this forced me to build up my confidence and meet new people
  • Keeping an open mind – this helped me to go with the flow and not hold back when opportunities approached
  • Confidence – If I had allowed fear or worry of the unknown to take over, I would have gone straight back to Australia after Thailand and continued working a job I was not passionate about
  • Commitment – I bought my ticket to Thailand before I had enough money saved for the entire trip which forced me to work harder and commit to saving the money (I admit, this is easier for solo travelers)

From a boring office job to a life of work and travel - this is how one young girl managed to live her dream!

If anyone would have told me a few years ago that by the age of 24 I would be in a relationship with a Brazilian guy, living a life of travel and earning an income online, I would have looked up, laughed and then carried on scrolling through Facebook.

Isn’t it funny how your whole life can change with the purchase of a single flight ticket?

This is a guest post by Hannah Finch.

cartagena-colombia-1 Hannah is an Australian nomad and the Founding Editor of StoryV Travel & Lifestyle. With a thirst for experiencing and learning about unfamiliar cultures in exotic corners of the world, she travels slowly, living a digital nomad lifestyle. Hannah’s goal is to inspire and help more people to live, travel and work around the world. To learn how, follow her on Facebook & Instagram or download the free eBook, 12 Steps To Full Time Travel.