Dame Traveler Chantell quit her job in 2014 to travel and has been on the road ever since. She will tell anyone who’ll listen how beneficial a life experience traveling has been for her. As a result she now spends her time focusing on encouraging others to travel and showing them how to overcome the obstacles to doing so. Her latest book, Travel for Your Life, was written for this exact reason of wanting to help others make their travel dreams a reality. In it she takes readers step-by-step through how to overcome all the obstacles they may face to traveling and what the benefits will be once the decision is made to go. Chantell also shares her advice on travel, including suggested routes around countries to reduce planning time and essential traveling tips on her website. Her writing has been featured on various international publications such as Thought Catalog and Elephant Journal, as well as on numerous travel blogs.
Your favorite place in the whole wide world?
Indonesia is the foreign country in which I feel the most at home. I don’t know what it is about the place, but the country, and specifically Bali, connected with something deep within my soul that made me love it instantly. Sri Lanka and the Philippines are the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. Spain will also forever have a special place in my heart as that’s where I went for my first ever extended trip abroad.
The moment you realized you fell in love with travel…
It honestly snuck up on me so unexpectedly. I started traveling when I was 18 before I even realized I loved traveling. I just did it. And then I did it again, and again, and again. I don’t think it actually occurred to me until the start of this trip, which I’ve been on for almost two years now, that I really LOVE travel.
Who or what inspires you?
So many people. Mainly anyone who puts themselves out there and tries to help other people. The importance of helping other people should never be underestimated.
For daily inspiration, books are my go to source. You can learn so much from them. I read a lot of books!
How has travel changed you? What growth experiences have you learned from it?
Travel has allowed me to discover the things I love doing most in the world. I’m now a best selling author and have had two books come out this year. I would never have done that if it weren’t for travel. I wouldn’t have met the people who inspired me to write in the first place, had the time to explore my thoughts or ever have had the courage to put myself out there like that if it weren’t for travel.
One of the most valuable lessons travel has taught me is also the importance of people. I travel solo, mostly, and when you have no support networks around you and are constantly reliant on the kindness of strangers it really brings home the importance of good people in your life.
Where has travel taken you so far? Where to next?
It’s taken me to all over Europe, to South America, Central America and Asia. At the moment I’m in Asia and will be going to Australia, New Zealand and then back into South and Central America again soon.
What is your purpose?
To be happy, help others and always keep learning.
What does creativity mean to you?
A new way of looking at the world. Creativity comes from combining existing concepts and thoughts in new ways and so as soon as you start any creative project it actually changes the way you see and interact with the world around you because everything in your life becomes relevant. I get some of my best inspiration from the conversations I have with friends, the things I see whilst traveling on a daily basis and it means that I pay a lot more attention to what’s going on around me. Creativity literally gives me an extra filter through which to look at the world and I love it. Almost as much as I love travel!
What are some ways in which you make travel happen?
I’ve had to save up money to make my travels happen each time and usually travel on a tight budget to allow my travels to last longer. But it’s 100% worth it.
How has this trip impacted your life?
At the age of 27 I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was working 70+ hours a week and became so stressed out and insecure that I lost my entire personality. I forgot what it was like to just be a person and enjoy my life.
Instead I spent my life trying to keep on top of things. Then there was this one glorious moment when I suddenly realized nothing was worth what I was doing to myself at that moment in time. So I decided I was going to travel. I couldn’t leave right at that moment; I had a contract on my flat, work commitments and a depleted savings account but that’s when I made the firm decision that I was going to travel. And then I spent the next year working towards making that dream a reality. I changed jobs, got myself in a better position in my career for whatever I might want to do on my return, ended the contract on my flat, saved up money and then left. This trip literally gave me my life and my personality back. I feel like myself again for the first time in years and it is incredible. And rather than having hindered my career I’ve actually learned a huge amount of tangible skills that I would be able to apply to my previous work in marketing and advertising if I ever stop traveling full-time.
What’s your best advice for aspiring travelers?
Make the decision that you are going to travel now. Stop letting the obstacles and fear get in your way. Decide you will travel and then focus your attention and energy on making that happen. Until you decide it’s going to happen, it will never become a reality. And you should make it a reality. It’s one of the most beneficial life experiences you can ever have.