The Covid-19 pandemic has changed lives all over the world. It has brought pain, opportunities, financial hardships or just change in general. Nonetheless, the world has shown resiliency, but also a shift in mindset in regards to what’s important.
Akia is a super woman entrepreneur, who has her own travel blog where she shares tips, hacks, resources, and provides services related to travel. She is also a freelance Social Media Account Manager for a friend's company. She has also taught English online to foreign learners at the start of her transition to a better quality of life.
Like many children from urban communities, Akia did not come from a family that had a history of travel. In fact, most of her family haven’t even left the country. Akia decided to break generational mindsets that trump many of us.
Once she started to make a decent salary after graduating college, she traveled whenever I was allotted the time during 1-2 week increments totaling about 11 countries. But then the pandemic hit and I was furloughed from my job, where she had been a Business Manager for 4 years.
In February 2020 she decided to go Spain for 3 weeks, July 2020 she spent 2 weeks in a cabin in South Carolina, August 2020 I spent a few weeks in Mexico, October 2020 I went back to Spain for a month, this time spending time in the countryside of Ibiza. All of these experiences really opened my eyes to quality of life.
She began to desire a different life for herself. The corporate ladder WAS NOT enough anymore. 40 to 50 hour work weeks, having a limit on how many days she could take off, and not having the time to do any of the things that brought her peace, was no longer an option. Spending the next two months building a plan, selling her things, and searching for remote work, Akia bought that one way flight to Indonesia and set out to find that life she’s been dreaming of.
Akia now lives in Sri Lanka! She will spend the next three months there. After her 10 Day Vipassana course in March she will continue her journey, transitioning to a new country. Before landing in Sri Lanka she lived in between 6 countries!
We asked Akia what advice she would give to people who wanted to pick up and live abroad. She listed these 5 very important things to check for:
Community - Just like when you move to a new neighborhood or change schools, you are now in a new environment which means starting over with building a community. You have to also be open minded about the fact that sometimes that community will not look like you, will not be the most friendly at first, amongst many other differences. Having a strong sense of self and little ego is important here.
Language Barriers - I am currently living in a local Sri Lankan neighborhood. The family next door to me owns the place that I am staying in and they do not speak English at all so communicating basic needs is sometimes a little tricky without using a translator app. Learning a few words to get you by is never a bad idea and it also makes the locals respect you a little more that you've tried.
Familiarity - I remember being on a trip with a girl in Turkey and she ordered Popeyes. Then she complained about the taste of the Popeyes. I thought, "Who orders Popeyes in Turkey?!". It's normal to miss things from home, whether it be food, music, people, or even convenience. Don't get so caught up in trying to compare places to home. Enjoy the newness, the challenges, the adventures, the discomfort. It's all growth.
Money - You need a job, savings, or a source of income. The good thing is that depending on what country you decide to live in you could really save a lot and live comfortably on a decent budget.
Understanding - You may not agree or understand a lot of customs, religious practices, lifestyle choices that the people make and you do not have to, but learning how to coexist is really important.
Akia also has her own PODCAST! This woman must have special productivity powers because she does not stop! Stop Waiting 4 Friday (click here) is the name of her motivational podcast and her goal is to inspire, share, and help others who feel the fire that she felt to make drastic changes in their life. You can also follow Akia's travel journey here on instagram @aikabella.
A lot of mindsets have shifted on the topic of what’s important during the time of this pandemic. Knowing that anything can happen at any time of day, our freedoms taken for granted just stunted by a virus. It seems like more and more people are looking to reevaluate how they work and how they spend their time. Personal growth and self care have become a priority. So many more people are remembering to treat themselves and spend more time with their loved ones. So maybe there is a silver lining to all this…people are finally out to seek true internal happiness.