Once upon a time, I was a 12-year-old with questionable fashion sense and a throwaway camera she took on a family road trip around the United States.
Fourteen years later, both the fashion and camera have gotten slight upgrades, but the love of travel has remained.
How do I know?
If you're here, you're viewing the brainchild of a one Gina Edwards: native Ohioan, cookie enthusiast, bike rider, writer of words and bad jokes.
What began as pure curiosity into what the rest of the world looked like turned into a love and passion for travel that is only rivaled by my love for punny jokes and free samples.
In the time since that fated photo of myself at the Grand Canyon (wish I could say it had been sponsored by Old Navy, but alas), I've lived in three different continents and visited about fifteen different countries.
Now, thanks to a giant deep breath and leap of faith, I currently live in South America, under the new hat society is calling digital nomad.
As much as this term makes me think of roaming, lost robots, the truth is that it's a way to work online through remote positions, freelancing, and/or entrepreneurship.
For those of us whose feet can't seem to stay in one place for very long, it's like a dream come true.
So, WTF does that have to do with this website? –– I'm so glad you asked!
Along the time that I've been a traveller, I've read lots of travel info.
Shoestring guides, quick-hit posts, packing lists... I've spent more hours than I should admit reading about travel.
(In fact, I'm in a semi-serious relationship with Kayak and Google Flights... Facebook status pending.)
And once I moved abroad, my interest in long-term travel and seeing the world sparked me to read more about these vagabond robots – I mean digital nomads – that I mentioned earlier.
But somewhere along the line I got tired of the same tropes about this lifestyle.
Lots of people want tell you how to get the cheapest flight,
or book the best hostels,
or pack the essentials in your bag.
Many people will clamor to make you to read their top lists about Munich
or their off-the-beaten path experience in Thailand
or their photos riding camels in Morocco.
Well-meaning entrepreneurs will explain to you how to prostitute – I mean freelance – your skills around to make ends meet while you travel the world.
And you know what, that's great! We need that info. But that's not why I'm here or why you're here.
Impact Explorer is the travel guide you didn't know you needed.
If you're the kind of person who uses their yearly two-week (which, come on America, we need to improve that) vacation by booking an all-inclusive resort in a developing country, or hikes their feet up on a Carnival cruise and calls themselves a traveler, I politely direct you to your local AAA.
No, I'm talking to all of you fellow digital nomads, remote workers, slow travelers, location independent entrepreneurs, backpack bloggers, expats and anyone else who has woven travel into the fiber of your life.
I'm talking to the people who have traveled long enough that they have seen the literal and figurative peaks of mountains and bottoms of valleys. Who, for every moment of pure ecstasy upon exploring a new place, has also felt the fatigue, loneliness, anxiety and guilt of living such a life.
I'm talking to anyone whose unconventional lifestyle of constant motion is borne out of something much bigger.
You know who you are.
You travel for a bigger reason.
You travel for purpose.
You travel to energize your creativity.
You travel to push your mental and physical limits.
You travel to connect more deeply with the world.
While you journey around the world, you also journey inside yourself.
This is the guide for that journey.
It is the manual for those brave enough to do more than just travel.
Here, you will find a place for real, unfiltered advice about growing personally and professionally while on the road,
actionable ways to spark your creativity and maintain your passion for travel and adventure,
and resources and opportunities to use your travel to better the world around you.
Impact Explorer is for those of us who use travel to find our place in the world.