I got in the car and drove three thousand miles for a contract job, taking a big chance. I had applied to over 110 jobs in the area where I was living, and after obtaining nothing more than a job that paid $9.00 an hour…couldn’t offer me full time hours in the future…and required me to pay $1.00 an hour to park…I felt I needed to do something to elevate my situation and switch my brain to a different channel.
Driving in the car with a destination in mind, with time to explore along the way, is one of my absolute favorite activities. As an introvert, I enjoy driving in silence. The white-noise hum of the car settles me into this glorious peace where all the puzzle pieces that have been floating around in my mind begin to connect. It helps me regain a sense of self. Somewhere along the journey I meet myself. And we sit and have a cheeseburger somewhere interesting.
Fires raging in California, I didn’t go the route I knew through my home state. Instead, I chose to wind my way up California through Eureka and along the Oregon coast to my final destination of Seattle. Along the way I found Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in the middle of the redwoods. I saw so many Roosevelt Elk in a field at one point that I questioned if they were real. I saw the creamery, Tillamook. I crossed bridges with breathtaking views.
I felt so alive. So confident. It reminded me how much I love travel and exploring my world. My how question showed up. How could I turn this into a career?
The next month wouldn’t be easy. As I got closer to the end of my job contract, I hadn’t been able to obtain a guaranteed job. Bigger fires were now raging in California, closing the very highways I needed–and snow was closing down the passes to the east, cutting off my alternate route. I was running out of money and wondering what my future held.
But during this time, I was writing. Thinking. Snapping pictures. Learning about Instagram. Reading. Asking myself the question how, over and over again.
I began thinking about Etsy.
I began wondering how I could create an Etsy store that combined my passion for writing, photography, and travel.
Realizing that I also had a passion for stationary and just about anything that is square-shaped, I began building a store called “Traveling Introvert”, and an idea for “Square Story Stationary” was born.
Creating 5×5″ cards with my travel photos, I’m working on a subscription based product. I want to create not just high-quality cards, but I want to create an experience. I want subscribers to feel that same joy of exploration as I did while driving those 3, 000 miles.
Having a background in design, I’m sketching my plans out in my notebooks. As a writer-at-heart, I’m plotting and outlining my ideas. I’m researching. I’m forming a test group that will test out my products and offer me advice.
This is yet another step I’m taking to move myself closer to my dreams.
I hope, as I work on this aspect of my Traveling Introvert success project this year, that my Square Stories become a positive, wondrous reminder of just how spectacular a world we live in. I hope they strengthen connections with people as they use them to send messages to family and friends. And I hope they inspire people to travel somewhere new in search of their own travel stories and adventures.
It is only in its infant stages, (this is my disclaimer) but if you wish to take a peek at my progress so far, I invite you to do so.
Best wishes for all of your endeavors. May they take you on many happy adventures.
Until next time.