interview interview advent

Interview Advent Day 16 : Laura, Fun Life Crisis

12/16/2017Jake Ryan

If you've never heard of Fun Life Crisis, it's a website that traveller Laura and friends run as a way of giving advice and tips on how to cope in life during those crisis moments and just make life more fun. 

Laura is currently travelling around the world documenting her travels through her popular Instagram account Vagablonde_laura and Fun Life Crisis and we recently asked Laura a few questions about her travels and life. 

See what Laura had to say below. 

Hey Laura, Can you tell us about yourself?
I grew up in a small Eastern European country called Latvia until my family and I moved to the US when I was 16, settling in Long Beach, California. I did all the normal things -- go to college, make friends, get a stable job – but as I grew older I realized what I truly wanted to do was travel the world.

A few months before my 30th birthday I finally decided to leave my comfortable job to travel for a bit. My husband and I packed everything we owned in a U-Haul, I gave my notice at work and two weeks later we left LA and drove north to explore the Pacific Northwest. We had no plan, no place to live but we were beyond ecstatic. 

As we entered Portland, Oregon we instantly knew we wanted to stay there for a while. So we settled in Oregon for a year where we traveled, backpacked, hiked and just enjoyed life. 

Can you tell us about Fun Life Crisis?
Fun Life Crisis is a blog and an Instagram account that I started once I moved to Oregon. It is a place where I share my adventures, travel experiences, and things I learn along the way in hopes to inspire other people to get out and have more fun. 
The blog is full of ideas on how to take advantage of the free time that you do have, whether that is going on a local hike or making the best of your two-week vacation abroad. There is no better way to lead than by example so I figured by showing that I can travel and enjoy life more, anyone can do it too. All you have to do is just step out of your comfort zone and say “Yes”. 

Where did the idea come from?
The idea of Fun Life Crisis is something that my friend Priscilla and I came up with on a bungee jumping trip. At the time we were both working full time in our corporate jobs but we were always looking for fun ways to spend our weekends and break up the boredom crisis that usually set in after a 40 hour work week. We would take advantage of any free time we had to take surfing lessons, go kayaking, hiking, zip- lining, rock climbing and even bungee jumping. Giving it a fun name made these adventures seem less scary and more doable.  

What made you make the decision to quit work to travel?
For a few years, I was working in an industry that went through a downturn. The employee morale was down and over time it was becoming less and less enjoyable. To take a break from it, my husband and I went on a two-week vacation to Singapore, China, and Bali that turned into one of the most influential trips of my life. 
In Bali, we met people that traveled full time, alternating working on their online businesses while river rafting and going on other adventures. I thought “Wow, I would love to do this one day.” And then I thought, “Why not now?” Seeing and meeting other people that lived these alternative lifestyles made me think that it was possible for me too. I wanted to enjoy life again, travel and live the life that I always dreamed of so I decided to leave my job to pursue those dreams. 

Was it scary quitting your day job to travel full time?
It was scary at first. It took me 6 months to gather my courage to walk into my boss’s office and give my notice. I kept thinking “What if I can’t find a job after” and “What if I run out of money”. I think these are the fears that prevent most people from making such a drastic change. 

But the day I gave my notice, I knew it was the right choice for me. I needed a change in my life and this seemed the best way to do it. I had to try it out at least once. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

How long have you been travelling for now?
I have been traveling for about two years now. At first, I only planned to take a few months off work, but I enjoyed traveling so much that I decided to extend my time off work for much longer. What I realized is that the more you travel, the less scary it all seems.  

You’ve been on some incredible adventures, do you have a favourite memory from your travels?
I have so many amazing memories from my travels, but some of my favorites are from the first few months in Oregon just because I had never seen anything like it before. Soaring waterfalls, volcanoes, green forests, opal blue rivers…it was incredible. 

During my first month living in Oregon, my friend Priscilla came to visit me. It was early spring, cold and rainy outside. The water level at the local waterfalls and rivers was pretty high due to snowmelt but we decided to go searching for this waterfall called Oneonta Falls. It has a short hike, but one that required climbing over logs and rocks and swimming through ice cold water. As we approached the section that was too deep to cross and required us to swim, we just looked at each other with this “Let’s do it!” look on our faces and dove into the ice-cold water. As we submerged at the end of the river, we were greeted with this beautiful waterfall soaring from the cliff, surrounded by lush greenery. It’s something you would imagine seeing in Hawaii or a movie depicting some long lost, far away paradise.

What’s your favourite destination you’ve visited? 
Ooooh, that’s a hard one! One of my all-time favorite places is the Painted Hills in Oregon. These hills are old fossil mountains colored in layers of orange, red, yellow, and green. They look so out of this world like they belong on another planet. Whenever I post a photo of these hills on my Instagram account, people think they are photoshopped, but they really do look as incredible in person as they do in the photos!

How big is your bucket list?
My bucket list is long, but I think that’s how it goes. The more you travel, the more you want to see. In the next year, I am hoping to cross off some major things from my bucket list like Machu Picchu in Peru and Torres Del Paine in Chile. 

Who are your biggest inspirations in life?
Gosh, I have so many inspirations. Everything and everyone around me constantly inspires me. My husband Joel is the bravest person I know, nothing scares him. My sister has lived in Japan, China, and Singapore for a while now. She doesn’t let language or cultural barriers stop her from chasing her dreams. And so many people inspire me on Instagram with their artistic approach to photography and with their vagabond lifestyles. 

Other than travel, what makes you happy?
Being around my family, my husband and my friends. I have a small group of people that I hold dear in my life and they mean the world to me. Happiness for me is in the small things, like taking my nieces to a theme park or watching a sunset with a friend. And good coffee. Good coffee always makes me very happy. 

And finally, what are your plans for the upcoming year?
In the upcoming year, my husband and I plan to travel through central and South American in our van. We are planning to visit as many countries as we can, but we don’t want to rush through them either. I really want to submerge myself into each culture and give back by volunteering where and when I can along the way. I suppose the biggest plan is just to enjoy this crazy ride we call life.  

Thanks Laura for taking the 
time to speak to TravelFoodFilm

Follow Laura on Instagram HERE
And follow all her travels and tips on her blog HERE

All photos in this post belong to Laura/FunLifeCrisis

Did you miss day 15? Catch Up Here - Nicole Eddy 

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