Hello, I'm Heather Markel

I give people in their 40’s and 50’s the confidence and know-how to live life more fulfilled by changing your life without ruining your life.







It’s Not Just For Millenials

If you’re tired of feeling like you’re too old to live your life without runining it, I’m your advocate! I specifically inspire people who, like me, are over 40, have too many years to retirement to spend them unhappily, but need to feel they have a smart and safe plan to do what they want.

You Don’t Need to Be Wealthy

Traveling the world full time doesn’t require tons of wealth. In fact, it may be less expensive than the fixed life you’re living now! I can help you figure out what you really need, and what you don’t, to turn your dream into a reality.

You Don’t Need to Be Retired

Living a fulfilling life isn’t just for retired people. In fact, pursuing what you love well before retirement allows you to reboot yourself and your career better than any job change can! Remember, there’s no guarantee you will reach retirement or have all the money you’re saving.

A Little About Me.


  • After 25 years in corporate America, I quit my job to pursue my passion. After two years on the road, I’ve been able to sustain myself and create additional income as I travel.
  • I’ve spent over 10 years as an entrepreneur, starting with the creation of The Expat Coach Association and The Expat Coach Directory
  • I’m a certified professional coach, trained at Leadership That Works and spent 4 years as a Director of the New York chapter of the International Coach Federation.
  • As a Business Coach I built my business up to consistent 5-figure income months
  • I graduated with a BA in International Relations from The George Washington University
  • I create and edit The Inspired Nomads video series to bring you tips and knowledge that there’s a lot of us out there living fulfilled instead of for retirement!
  • I speak English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and a little Japanese
  • I’ve been published in:

What’s Heather Begins About?

What started out as a travel blog has become a source of information and inspiration. You can follow my journeys, get information on the places I’ve been to plan your own trips, or get inspired to leave frustration behind and follow your passion to a sense of fulfillment.

In my experience, you don’t have to be rich to quit your job to pursue your passion, but you do need to know what to expect, plan ahead, and trust yourself. Here are some posts where you can get an idea of the types of personal, cultural and resourceful tips I provide:

Why I decided to take this journey

—Feeling Lost

I remember as a kid writing a lot of poetry, winning a Peace Essay Writing contest and wanting to be a superhero. Specifically, I dreamed of being Wonder Woman, being bullet proof, and saving people (as well as looking hot!) People always said I had a sense of determination and was “going places.” I felt that, but I didn’t know where to put that energy. When college came around, I had no idea where I wanted to go. I had to write an essay and they were decent words, but devoid of true emotion, which, dealing with fallout from my parents’ divorce, I was learning to stuff away.

My focus became doing – doing my homework, playing on lots of sports teams (basketball, softball and volleyball) in high school, getting into college, getting a job, working hard, creating my own job, working harder and for the greater part of 20 years feeling like I was living on the side. I took classes in every subject I could; freelance writing, watercolor painting, jewelry making, sewing at FIT, acting (the only place I could channel my emotions). On top of that, I was on boards of advisers, running a referral group for The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, volunteering for the ASPCA and Big Apple Greeter, sporadically performing stand-up comedy and figuring out how to build websites, oh, and of course also going out, meeting people, traveling….

I ended up feeling like 20 different people and unsure of who I am at a deeper level or where to feel that deep sense of self connection that happens once in a while. I was also deeply aware of feeling like I can and should be making more of a positive impact on humanity, and felt unclear how to do that with anything I was doing.

P.S. – I’m not a Millenial. So I also had to fight through all the “you’re too old” stigmas I had taken on from those that care about me the most.

—Health Speaks Louder Than Words

While all this doing was going on, I spent roughly 10 years knowing that I wanted to travel and live in Europe, use my language skills (I speak 6) more than I was. I’d get to December of each year and become deeply depressed, for a week, that I had not yet done any of these things I really wanted. The depression would go away, January would come, and then I plodded forward.

Cycle repeat.

Until December 2016 when the depression lasted most of the month. It continued into January 2017. The Woman’s March happened, and I felt like I wanted my own movement, my own sense of purpose, and had no idea what they were. And then chest pains started. That was it, I knew I’d be spending the year preparing for radical changes in 2018.

—The Boxes

I became aware that I’ve been living life through a series of boxes. They made me feel like I was actually following my life, not living it. These are just some of the “guidance systems” that were at the forefront of my life for most of it. Even the good boxes felt like words, rather than words to live by. The other boxes kept me stuck in the insanity of doing what often felt like the same thing every day hoping for a different outcome.

I decided it was time to bust out of all my boxes and create a life that truly suits me, one choice at a time.

—Wanting More

The big truth is that I wanted to be and do more. I knew it’s possible, but I didn’t know how. So, rather than strategize, plan, visualize, dream, and read, I decided to surrender. Though this path in many ways isn’t logical, it’s sure different than anything I’ve ever done before. It truly allows me to follow my heart rather than just my head. So, I decided to proverbially jump off a cliff and find out what’s waiting for me after the jump!

The site is called “Heather Begins” because this leap of faith is, in truth, the beginning of me being the person I was born to be, rather than the one I was told to be. Every day is a new beginning, and because of my belief in myself, I’ve developed more confidence and more alignment than I ever could have if I had remained at that desk job. I share my stories in my blog, and I aim to inspire you to create your own beginning through everything I write, and my Inspired Nomads video series.

Follow along as I take this crazy adventure!


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Learn about Heather and what set her on her world journey. She also explains why this life is not just for Millenials, it’s for anyone that wants to create a life around what they love most in life. 

Listen to an episode of the video interview series that will inspire you to follow your heart. Whether you want to travel full time or have another calling, this series is for you.

See the amazing people I’ve been meeting on my travels and the fun stories that go along with the meetings.

Check out my travel photos from around the world to see the world from wherever you are.

If you’ve been thinking that there’s got to be  more to life than work, or, you’ve lost your job, and wonder whether now is the time to do something you’re more excited about, this quiz will help you. Answer a few questions and get a free guide to help you know the areas you need to work on, followed up with inspirational and helpful tips to put your dreams into action.

Traveling the world full-time may sound glamorous and exhilirating. (In many ways, it is!) But, it’s not full-time fun. Before you decide to go, take this quiz to make sure you’re ready, and, if not, find out how to bridge the gaps.

This fun quiz helps you understand what your travel personality is, and how to make sure you indulge it when planning your next trip to maximize your enjoyment!

This one is pure fun – test your transcontinental travel trivia knowledge. Hit the button below if you dare take the quiz and see your score! 

If you enjoyed the first quiz, see how you do on the second one! More fun, more tricks, Click the button below to test your knowledge!

If you want to see every post I’ve written, starting with the most recent, this is the place to start!

In 2020, I was traveling in New Zealand as the coronavirus pandemic brewed, and, got stuck there. If you want to read about what this time was like and traveling during this time, check out this page.

Many of my blog posts are about things I’ve discovered about myself or about being, while I’ve traveled. If you’d like to focus on posts that only have self-discovery themes, click the button below.

I’ve been traveling the globe solo, and many of my posts share thoughts and resources specifically for other solo travelers. If you’re a fellow solo traveler, or you’re thinking about solo travel, this is a collection you will find of interest.

Sometimes I write posts where I give insider information on certain cities I’ve visited, which may be more along the lines of places to go, how to save money, etc. If that’s your main interest, check out this compilation of posts.

At the heart of international travel is learning about the many different cultures and ways of being around the world. The posts compiled on this page speak, specifically, about the cultural observations I’ve had.

If you’re looking to read blog posts about specific destinations, click the country of your interest below to go to it’s blog page and get country-specific reviews and thoughts.






Costa Rica


New Zealand








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Want more in-depth information about travel? Trying to figure out how to afford full-time travel (or, doing what you want to do, full-time)? Check out these items!

Looking for a photo or a travel-related item to reconnect with the spirit of travel? Check out this page to see some of my photos and where you can find them as prints and various photo-gifts..

Trying to create a more fulfilling life? Want help with planning out how to make your mark in the world? Check out this page to see how Heather can help you!

Ready to start a more fulfilling life but can’t figure out the money part? This eCourse may be your answer! Click here for more details.

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