Living A Meaningful Life After Travel – An Interview With A Former Nomad
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
I got to witness Jackie’s journey from almost start, to present!
** This interview was conducted before Covid-19. Clearly, you should not travel until it’s safe. **
One of the things that warms my heart is meeting brave souls out there who, after 40, made a leap of faith, quit their job, and then find their way to a new landing that lights them up. I hope more and more of us midlifers can have the faith to change our present so that we can live inspired futures. It certainly inspires me because I’m one of them! I’ve had the joy of speaking with a lot of midlife nomads in my video series The Inspired Nomads. In this post, I’m thrilled to share with you a story from Jackie Mordue, a friend I made in Thailand in November 2018 who I’ve had the pleasure of staying in touch with, and even meeting up with in Santiago, Chile, since then.
Jackie and I met on a day tour in Chiang Mai. She accompanied me to my birthday dinner, which ended up being a double celebration because her birthday is two weeks before mine! We bonded over being close in age and quitting jobs that didn’t fulfill us. May you be inspired by Jackie’s journey.
All photos of Jackie submitted by her and subject to Copyright.
What work were you doing when you quit?
I was a class teacher, teaching primary age students.
How long did you know you wanted to quit but feel like you couldn’t?
At least five years. (Side note – many of us know for a long time that we want to quit, and should do it, but we buy into the belief that we don’t have enough money, or, worse yet, are too old, to do it.)
How old were you when you finally did quit?
I was 46 when I finished my job.
What made you decide to travel the world after you quit?
It was part of the process of quitting. I knew I needed to leave my job and take a break. I’d been in the same school for 16 years. I love travelling and the prospect of being able to do so for an extended time was exciting. I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the school where I was to straight away take up another teaching job.
What are some of the fears you had when you quit, and how did your parents feel about your decision?
How do you feel you grew/changed as a result of quitting and traveling?
Travelling has given me a quiet inner confidence and a belief in myself.
I’m here gushing – that is so beautiful! The power of self-acceptance and you’re still young enough to put that to great use!
Do you regret quitting?
Never. I don’t regret giving up my job. I don’t regret selling my house. I don’t regret going travelling. Such a good life experience….plus lots more travelling to do!
What are your favorite and least favorite parts about the traveling?
When you returned home, did you feel done with travel and ready for work?
No. I’m never going to be done with travelling! So much more of the world to see and experience. Travelling gets under your skin: the more you travel, the more you want to travel.
What’s the job you found after returning home?
I saw the role of travelling teacher on the Falkland Islands advertised. You are not classroom based but in the homes of children on outlying farms. You would be teaching between 1-4 children of mixed ages. It just really excited me.
Wow, that sounds exciting even to me, and I don’t have your teaching experience!
You mentioned having your eye on this opportunity three years ago. Why do you think it worked out now?
I’ve had the experience of travelling and realised that I could be anywhere in the world to work. It’s given me the confidence. Three years ago it probably wouldn’t have even occurred to me to apply for it.
What I love about this is, how many times have any of us seen an opportunity and either thought “nah, not for me” or “I’m afraid if I don’t take this opportunity now I might never have it again”? And yet, when you follow your heart, and do something you love, somehow the universe seems to save that cherished opportunity for you, or it becomes right because you did what you love!