Why do you travel?  Are you going to “see” the country?  Taste all the foods?  Experience the sports, beaches or activities?  Are you going to meet the locals and chat to people?  Or are you going to unwind on the beach and it doesn’t matter where you actually are as long as there are margaritas, sunshine and pools?

What’s your purpose for travelling?

Katie Donegan, Alan Donegan, Travelling with purpose

After 4 years of travelling around the world, Katie and I have started to work out some of the things we love most about travel.  This post shares some of our ideas and comes with a HUGE offer at the end (well we think it’s pretty cool, you can judge for yourself!)

No matter whether you travel or not, want to travel in the future or not I think this article has a message that can help you.  Read Onwards………

Why travel?

A few times over the years I have felt lost whilst we’ve been travelling.  Have you ever felt lost?  Where you start to think “why am I here?  What am I doing?  Is this all there is?!”

Some of you will be thinking; “Alan you aren’t travelling properly! If you can get bored on a two week holiday then you are doing it wrong!”  And you are probably right.   It is easy to fill up a two week vacation with sightseeing trips, dinners out, tours and reading books on the beach.

The times I have felt lost are on my longer trips of 1 month or more.  Even if you are thinking “well I don’t ever travel for that long”, read on as I think there is a valuable lesson for us all in our experiences that you can apply whether you travel or not.

The first ever mini-retirement we took was after our wedding in 2013.  For our honeymoon, we decided to take 6 months off and experience the world.  I couldn’t wait another 30 years until retirement to do something like this so I parked my growing business (eeeek) and Katie took a sabbatical from her corporate job and off we went.

We headed to Costa Rica (where we met) and had an amazing first week or so until things started to slow down.  Nothing seemed to happen.  ​

​I kept repeating “nothing happens here” and I was getting frustrated.  One particular morning we had organised to go out with our friends at 9am.  We were up, ready to go, brushed teeth and everything.  We sat in the kitchen waiting for them reading our books.

10am came and went.  11am came and they stirred from bed.  We hadn’t left the house by noon and I felt like we were wasting our time. I could feel my life slipping away…..

We shook things up and went to Nicaragua and started going to yoga classes and learning Spanish.  After a few more weeks I had the same feeling.  Nothing is happening here and I was getting restless and bored.  Moving country didn’t fix the feeling it just put it off for a few more weeks.

I started to feel lost.  We were travelling, seeing and meeting people but was that enough?  What was our purpose for travelling?

Travel with a purpose

What is your reason for travelling?  Why are you going on vacation?  To escape your job?  To switch off?  To recharge the batteries?  What is your reason?

If I look back at the last 4 years of international travel some of the highlights of our time and the best friends we have made along the way are the moments when we have chosen to give rather than just experience.

In Puerto Vallarta we contacted the Digital Nomad group on Facebook and met a wonderful lady called Taylor.  She helped us organise an in-person talk for the group about financial independence.  We have made life long friends through that one talk and felt like we were part of the community there.  It took 90 minutes of our time to do it and the value was infinite.

We did the same thing for the Digital Nomad group in Buenos Aires and we met two British nomads there called Lilly and Angela.  They came to our flat every week to be the live audience for Rebel Finance School. We hung out and had dinner, we helped them open Vanguard accounts and we became life long friends.

The pictures below are us delivering Rebel Finance School, dinner afterwards with Angela and Lilly and the group we presented too in Buenos Aires at the Digital nomad group.

In Colombia we went to help Dani and Fabi set up the Colombian Rebel Business School there.  This has been one of the most rewarding things we have done on our travels.  Seeing how they have grown the business to help Venezuelan refugees and hundreds of victims of the armed conflict to have opportunities is truly inspiring.

Meeting them, helping them with my experiences and more has been so rewarding. Simon my business partner came out to meet us there and I have fallen in love with Bogota and Colombia.

Could you find a purpose beyond just travel?

Maybe you could find a purpose beyond just travel whilst you are on the road?  One of our friends that we have been hanging out with this week in Thailand has gone to the elephant sanctuary to volunteer and help!  What a cool experience!

Maybe you could volunteer half a day to help a charity?  Maybe you could go to a local group meet up and meet digital nomads?  Maybe you could visit local Toastmasters groups if you are into that sort of thing?  Maybe you could help someone in some way?

The expression “if you help enough other people get what they want in life; you can have anything you want in life” has driven me for years and now I have found a way to do it whilst I travel!

Purpose isn’t just for travel

Two of the biggest human needs are to feel like we are contributing, part of something bigger than ourselves and that we are growing & learning.

It doesn’t matter if you are travelling or not.  We just happen to be.  You can find purpose where ever you are.  You can find it in the work you do, you can find it in your spare time, you can find it in the town you live in, you can find it in the football team you support.  It doesn’t matter what the purpose is, just that your life will be richer for having one.

How are you contributing to the town around you?  How are you helping at work?  Are you volunteering (like the amazing people that helped us run Rebel Finance School and the Extraordinary Life course!)

The valuable lesson that I teased you with at the start of the article is this: You will feel infinitely happier if you have a purpose.  The secret that no-one tells you, to go along with this is that it doesn’t really matter what the purpose is.  You get to make it up!

So pick something to get involved with and make it happen.

Can you help give us purpose – the big offer!

That brings me onto our big offer.  We are looking for purpose as we travel the world.  Below is my rough itinerary for the year and where we will be (at least as far as we know!)

If you are in one of these countries or cities and you have a group you are involved in maybe we can come and give a talk for you, help you with your project or something else!  We would love to find more new and interesting ways to give as we travel around the world!

Hopefully those opportunities use some of our talents.  If you ask me to come and teach a class in cross-stitch then I am not your man but if it’s about entrepreneurship, financial independence and more Katie and I can and would love to help!

As we travel the world please tell us to come and visit you.  Even if you aren’t on our list of places we are heading to, tell us and maybe we can make it happen next!  Maybe we can create a reason to come to your country!

Things we are good at and can do:

  1. Personal finance talks – Rebel Finance School, FI for digital nomads, investing, financial independence, FIRE and more
  2. Entrepreneurship – how to start a business for free or something like this
  3. Presenting – I love visiting Toastmasters clubs and could run something on presenting with impact or other subjects
  4. Data – Katie is amazing at visualising data and telling stories with data
  5. Podcast guests –  you want us to come on your podcast and give to your audience?
  6. Helping with projects…..

So if you have a group and want us to come and do a talk for you, if you want us to help with your project or more then let us know.  We would LOVE to help and give as we travel.

Our rough plans for the year:

  • Feb – Bangkok, Thailand
  • March – Da Nang, Vietnam
  • April – Japan, Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto
  • May – South Korea & Indonesia
  • June – Singapore, Malaysia
  • July – UK.  Yes we will be back home so if you are there we could come and hang out
  • August – ????

This is where the plan gets a bit vague!  We are still working on it!

If you would like us to come and talk to your group, support you or something else then fill out this little form below!  The article finishes below the form.

Waking up with purpose

How do you wake up each morning?  Do you wake up full of joy and excitement ready to get on with the day, drawn from bed with a passion to make a difference and do things?

Or do you wake up, hit snooze, pull up the covers and dread getting out of bed?

Purpose can be the difference between being driven, happy and full of energy and dreading the week, wishing away the hours and praying for the weekend.  If you are praying for the weekend, if you are dreading Monday then something in your life is not working.

Start to work to uncover your purpose and passion.  Katie and I will be writing more about this soon.

S​ending you huge love from Thailand.

Let us know if we can call in and say hi on our way round the world and PLEASE share this form and article with people you think would love us to support them or turn up for them.

Katie and Alan

Katie Donegan, Alan Donegan, Blue Temple Chiang Rai

Katie and Alan Donegan at the Blue Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand

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