Photographed by Derick Marquez
For the past year I have all too often dreamt of the moment where I would walk right up to my boss and nonchalantly say, “Hey, I quit.” Who knew this past October 2016 I’d actually do just that.
My name is Jakiya Brown, or as you might know me, @travelingfro. Some would say, “I’m living the dream,” traveling the world after making an exit stage left from my 9-9 #corporatelife; but that didn’t come easy. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my job, but somewhere along the way (3 years to be precise) I discovered my passion.
I was working for over 6 years in the beauty industry, developing marketing and advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in beauty. But I came to a point where I realized, “I don’t want to do this anymore…and that’s ok.” I wanted more flexibility and ownership of my time. It was after my first trip to Africa on a 1 month volunteer assignment that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Travel. And I mean real travel, NOT “vacationing.” I didn’t want to do it for the selfies, tourist sights, or the Instagram stuntin’; although that’s fun too. I wanted to genuinely travel; experience new cultures, immerse myself in completely different environments, and show people that they could do the same, and for less.
FULL TIME VS. VACATION TIME
At first, I looked for jobs that would allow me more time to travel while still working full time. I found some great opportunities but the most vacation time offered was 3-4 weeks, not even close to the amount of time I wanted to spend traveling. So I did what millennials do best, I googled. I watched YouTube videos non-stop and read countless articles about people who travel the world for a living and thought, “Hold up, I can do that!”
SAVE, SAVE, SAVE
I knew traveling full time would require a total and complete lifestyle change but sacrifice is the name of the game. So I set a goal, made a plan, and stuck to it. I started saving money like a crazy person. No elaborate dinners, no shopping, and limited amounts of alcohol, got rid of my apartment and started living a more simple lifestyle. This was definitely a major change and took a little while to get used to but it was an exciting year nonetheless. My lifestyle change enabled me to obtain the foundation to finally quit my job and begin my journey exploring the world.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY
Nothing happens overnight. It took me 3 years to get to where I am but I am proof that with hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and patience you’ll get to where you want to be. By leveraging my network (professional and social), having a strict travel budget, and working remotely on freelance projects I am able to pursue my travels. I am constantly thinking about creative ways to enhance my brand and generate an income without having to go back to Corporate America. I didn’t do this to make a ton of money or live a lavish life. I took this step so that I could live my best life, a life that truly makes me happy.
Follow my journey to learn more about my travel lifestyle and how you too can find your passion and pursue it indefinitely.