Travel Talk Tuesday: Kim Dinan | So Many Places
Travel Talk Tuesday: Kim Dinan | So Many Places
In the inaugural edition of Travel Talk Tuesday, a new regular feature where we’ll showcase travellers who inspire us from around the world, we are thrilled and honoured to introduce a phenomenal writer and travel blogger, Kim Dinan of www.so-many-places.com.
When we were first contemplating our round the world trip we stumbled across her blog and have since been completely enthralled. Kim’s voice is so genuine and articulate, it’s easy to see how she’s captured the imaginations of so many. Kim and her husband Brian (wanderingsasquatch.com) left their Portland home in 2012 and spent the following years chasing their dreams in some amazing destinations. She’s published two books and her forthcoming memoir will be available next year. Her blog continues to be a huge source of inspiration and she was gracious enough to share some more sage wisdom for all to enjoy.
Tell us about the feeling you had getting in your first car/plane trip at the beginning your round the world trip?
Yes- pure terror! I desperately wanted to travel, and we gave up a lot to make it happen, but even though I knew it was the thing I had to do I also wondered if I wasn’t maybe just a tad delusional and about to ruin my life. Now, with the benefit of time and space, I know that I was right to listen to the part of me that told me to travel and write and for godsakes get off my butt and go live my life. But at the time I didn’t have that perspective. We never do. The biggest and best things take a lot of faith and a big blind leap. I always say that fear is not a red flag. All the best things are scary.
Like you, we came to the realization after a number of years in the working world that in our pursuit of all the trappings of professional careers, something was missing. Now that you’ve spent four years outside of that world, has your relationship with money changed?
Yes, I have a lot less of it. Ha! But seriously, I have learned a lot about money. First of all, that I don’t need much of it (by American standards – still a huge sum to much of the world) and second of all I have truly learned what money can buy you. Brian and I saved for three years to travel but what that bought us was three years of seeing the world, time for me to change careers and write a book, and we still have savings that will be used to launch the next adventure—whatever that might be. And to think that I got all of that with the same amount of money that someone might spend on a luxury car. It’s insane!
Was there one piece of advice or sentiment that someone gave you about travelling that has stuck with you?
I know it is kind of cliché, but before we left a friend told me, “Change the world and let the world change you.” The let the world change you part has stuck with me through all the years of travel and always will. Because I’ve learned it’s not enough to just go out into the world and travel. You have to be open enough to allow your views to change, to let the world work it’s magic on you. It doesn’t just happen. You have to break down walls and open yourself up to it.
When you first contemplated your round the world trip you weren’t certain if children would be a part of your future, now you have a beautiful baby girl. How has travelling shaped the way you want to raise Juniper?
Before we left to travel we weren’t sure if we would have children. But traveling actually changed that for us. Because as we traveled around the world we realized how important love and family are, not just to us, but to everyone. Traveling helped us define our priorities.
Juniper is six months old now and it is so exciting to watch her discover the world. Of course we want her to experience everything we love about living- the outdoors, traveling and adventures- so she will have a childhood filled with those things. It is extremely important to us that Juniper understands that the world is very big and that there are many ways to live. We want to expose her to different languages and cultures and landscapes. We aren’t totally sure how it will all shake out yet, but her passport just came in the mail!
Travelling the world is wildly exhilarating and each day is so different, but we all have to come home at some point by choice or necessity. Post-travel depression can really put you in a dark place, what helped you get through it?
It has helped me to remember that there are ebbs and flows in life. Sometimes Brian and I get down because he’s back in a cubicle, we’ve got rent to pay and furniture and all this stuff that we got rid of before we left to travel. We’ve been home for a year- sometimes that feels like an eternity and sometimes it feels like it’s happened in the blink of an eye. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day. But when I take a step back I see that in the year we’ve been home I’ve written and sold a book, and had a baby, and Brian has stepped back into a career after a 3-year break—and it’s all worked out exactly the way we hoped it would. We are so blessed. And this “downtime” is helping us to figure out what we want out of life next. We are so, so lucky to have choices and big dreams that are achievable. I guess another thing traveling taught me is to never take for granted how incredibly blessed I am. When I get down I just remember that.
What places/experiences are still on your bucket list?
My bucket list looks very different than it did a few years ago! The first thing on my list is actually establishing a home base. Brian and I want a little place in the mountains that we can always come home to- no matter where our adventures lead. I love to travel, but I am a homebody at heart, so I need a place to come and rest my bones.
Secondly, Brian and I want to buy a campervan and camp and hike all over the U.S. and Canada. We did this for 8 months when we worked for Backpacker Magazine but it wasn’t enough time! And we want Juniper to have this experience too, so that will be happening eventually.
Finally, there are so many countries that we haven’t seen yet, but the next time we set out into the world I’d like to spend months and months in one place- more of an expat experience- and travel slowly. When I look back on our RTW trip, I was happiest in the places we really settled in to and got to know.
Oh, and one more thing! We want to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, but I think we’ll have to wait until Juniper gets a bit older for that one. I sure hope she likes to hike!
You just finished the manuscript for your book, can you tell us a bit about it and how readers can get their hands on it?
My book is called THE YELLOW ENVELOPE and it is a memoir. Brian (my husband- you’ve probably figured that out by now!) and I sold it all, quit our jobs and left to travel. Right before we set out on our trip our friends surprised us with money to give away around the world. So, it’s the story of who we met along the way and who we gave the money to. But it’s also about marriage, love, heartbreak and finding yourself and your place in the world.
I’ve just turned the manuscript into my publisher and the book will be published in April 2017. Anyone who wants to be notified when it hits the shelves can sign up here. I won’t spam you, promise!
I’ve also self published a book called Life On Fire: A Step-by-Step Guide to Living Your Dreams about the process of pursuing things that feel meant for you. You can learn more, and buy, the book here.
So Many Places – Social Media
Huge thanks to Kim for sharing her thoughts with us. Check out our new ongoing interview series next month with more great travel advice and inspiration!
If you would like to be a part of our Travel Talk Tuesday Interview Series, contact us and let us know.
Alyse & Ross
Latest posts by Alyse (see all)
- Travel Talk Tuesday: Kim Dinan | So Many Places - April 19, 2016
- On the Road Again - May 24, 2015
- Why I Quit My Job To Travel The World… Should You? - February 7, 2015