20 Highest Paying Jobs That Let You Travel The World

It was time to take the leap. “We literally spun a globe, pointed a finger and landed on Thailand,” Bionca says. She researched the country and decided that with a low cost of living, her longed-for beaches and plenty of culture to explore, it was perfect for Carter and her. With a first destination chosen, she sold, donated or stored most of their belongings. “I didn’t tell a lot of people what we were going to do at first,” she says. “Some we did tell fed us fear, because it was nothing they would do themselves. I was called selfish, like I was doing all this just for me.”

For the next eight months, mother and son traveled through Thailand and Africa, staying in homes they found on Airbnb while Bionca worked on her burgeoning business. She found clients through social media and coached them over the phone and via video chat, paying off her credit card debt in five months. Carter flourished, becoming an eager reader and passing second grade with honors. “When your child has freedom and flexibility, he can learn in so many ways on his own terms,” says Bionca. “Watching his transformation was amazing.”

Eventually, Bionca tired of booking flights, cars and places to stay. She had seen videos of van life in the U.S., and the concept-living in a tricked-out van and exploring the country-appealed to her. “I loved the idea of not paying rent and spending on experiences rather than things.” She picked her hometown of St. Louis as their starting point and they flew back.

Hitting the Road

Within weeks, Bionca found a 1989 Ford Econoline with a kitchen, a toilet, a shower and two beds for $4,900. “It seemed like a spaceship at first,” she says. “There were so many buttons, compartments and levers.”

View photos
Photo credit: Courtesy Bionca Smith

They set off for a destination in Southern California, with Bionca uploading videos of their travels to YouTube and Instagram. Just a month later, the engine conked out in New Mexico-and Bionca was happily shocked when her friends and family kicked in to help pay for repairs. “I’ve since learned that by sharing our journey on social media, we’ve inspired a lot of people to live out their dreams too,” she says.

With the van running, the two explored the red rocks of Sedona, AZ; toured

Yellowstone National Park

; drove through Montana; and had an impromptu science class poking around tidal pools along California’s coastline. “So many things he learns about in school are right here at our fingertips,” says Bionca. Sometimes they stayed in campgrounds; at other times they “stealth camped” on city streets. “Stealth camping is when you park and sleep in a place you’re not supposed to be,” says Bionca. “Usually there’s no problem, but one time we both hid up on the top bunk so nobody would know we were there.”

While they travel, Bionca makes a point of volunteering in the communities they visit. “We feed the homeless, work in animal shelters, clean up beaches and campgrounds,” she says. “We strive to give back and encourage others to do the same.” As part of that outreach, Bionca reinvigorated a nonprofit she had started in California called the Bully Barricade Foundation, which uses music and art to talk to students about bullying; whenever possible, she and Carter bring their program to schools they visit.

View photos
Photo credit: Courtesy Bionca Smith

By now, the naysayers have come around. “Everybody we know supports what we’re doing,” says Bionca. “My mom thinks it’s great!” Perhaps her biggest fan, though, is Carter. “Since we started this, my son has come out of his shell,” she says. “He’s open to trying new things and new foods and exploring. He’s not afraid to get hurt or dirty. He climbs trees, discovers wildlife, talks to new people. He thanks me every day for giving him this experience.”

View photos
Photo credit: Courtesy Bionca Smith

The two might live in a house again someday but don’t plan to settle down anytime soon. For now, they enjoy the simplicity and freedom of van life. “We’ve learned that we should enjoy every moment and truly embrace what life brings,” says Bionca. “We’re defining what success means for our family.”

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Source : https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/quit-corporate-sales-job-got-145400023.html

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