The Wayward Blonde
I’m Candice- a free spirit and dreamer from a small town in the South.
In 2014 I left everything I knew behind and began my love affair with travel and adventure. There is a preconceived notion that a life of travel requires a trust fund, a well-paying location independent job, or some other form of financial security that feels out of reach for the average person.
But I’m here to inspire anyone and everyone to attempt to live an unordinary life or a life of adventure if they dream
There is an assumption made that because my social media portrays that I travel heavily, that I’m doing it all the time. But that is not the case! Regardless what people think I actually am not a digital nomad.
In 2014 I sold just about everything I owned and moved to Australia on a working-holiday visa. I bought a van, traveled for a few months waiting to find the place I felt like I wanted to settle down for some work.
I landed in Byron Bay where I got a job in a surf shop. I stayed for three months there before heading to the West coast where I pretty much just repeated that process.
I would do the same thing in New Zealand about a year and a half later. Australia is what first sparked my love for van life and is what provoked me to buy my van in America. I realized that it was okay that my life didn’t look like everyone elses.
There’s a freedom and happiness that comes with deciding to live your own truth and not compare yourself to others. It’s a less fleeting, more all-encompassing kind of happiness.
Since I started van life four years ago, I’ve spent the majority of the time working in a stationary location for anywhere from three to five months before an extended period of work-free travel.
For the last year or so I have split my time between traveling in my van and working on a beautiful farm in Oregon. I’m very lucky to have found what seems like the perfect balance and I’m so grateful.
My work varies a lot depending on the time of year. I work anywhere between 20-45 hours a week throughout the season.
I enjoy being able to travel and not worry about work while I’m doing so and this sort of lifestyle is perfect for where I am in my life at this time. I work very hard! But I also play very hard! It’s very rewarding.
Right now I am living comfortably on the farm in Oregon. The great thing about this work is that I can live on this beautiful property in my van, so I do not have rent or bills. I am able to save about $3,000 a month here.
The subject of finances in my life is something that changes pretty drastically throughout the course of any given year. There have been times traveling where I’ve managed to save up more money than most of the people I know with professional careers.
There have also been times when I’ve been so low on money it feels like I’m in a hole and don’t know how I’ll get out.
In the past, when I was a bit younger, I was okay with the idea of spending my last dime on a flight to Thailand and figuring the rest out later!
As I’m getting older I’m making sure to prioritize financial stability and put into motion long-term financial goals. Sometimes I think not knowing what the future looks like is what keeps my life interesting.
The key for me has been gratitude and deciding that I do not need a whole bunch of meaningless things to be happy. It requires a lot of faith and trust in the universe. And It’s not for everyone!
Like I said before, when I’m working, I’m working. That’s not to say that I am not still able to enjoy life, though. I have the flexibility to make my own schedule (within reason) so it’s easy for me to get away for a few days or a week whenever I please.
I love my job, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything else while I’m here! Once work is over I’ll go out and adventure to my hearts content without a concern for work interfering in the experience.
"never not to let fear take over your life."
Many people desire to live a certain kind of life but they get too hung up on the “what ifs.” Fear can cripple us into self-doubt which keeps us from ever taking the leap required to live the lives we want to live. I’m not saying everyone needs to sell everything they own, quit their job, and go to a far away place to feel freedom.
Sometimes a reprioritization and a few sacrifices in the right direction can make all of the difference. Just don’t be scared! You know what your life will look like if you sit back and do nothing.