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I bought a one-way ticket to Iceland on a weekday afternoon hiding behind my computer screen, and a few weeks later I found myself with no job, moved out of my apartment and almost all of my things sold. One amazing month-long backpacking trip later, I’m back in the states surfing couches, freelancing as a photographer with a completely new outlook on life, my career and the future. But it’s not all full of happy things and it’s definitely not always pretty.

Florence | Piazza Michaelangelo | Grease & Glamour

The roadmap to my future once so delicately detailed has now completely disappeared, and now I’m living out of a suitcase, crashing at my angel of an aunt’s couch and anxiously waiting to find myself lost in a different city in a different country.

…and every once in a while, the questions just keep pouring out of my head:


Aren’t you just running away from your problems?
What happened to being responsible?
Don’t you want financial security through a steady paycheck?
Don’t you need to get back to working a corporate job, commuting to work at 9am, Starbucks coffee in-hand?
Where am I gonna live tomorrow?
Am I going to be okay?

Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe I AM just running away from my problems by creating new ones. I traded in the ‘Need-to-pay-my-rent-next-month-so-I-can’t-buy-these-Giuseppe-heels’ problem for the ‘Need-to-figure-out-where-I’m-sleeping-next-week’ problem. But I’ve realized throughout this ridiculously overly-emotional process that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life.

ROME | TRAVEL MOTIVATION | INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

It may be for the better, it may be for the worse – either way, travel changed my life forever. And besides the fact that my life is now completely turned upside down on its head, here are a few ways it changed me for the better.

Dubrovnik, Croatia | Adriatic Sea | Grease & Glamour

1. I WAS ALONE, AND IT WAS OKAY.

There isn’t a feeling in the world like that of feeling alone. It’s even worse when you’re in a crowded city like New York, and after I had shut myself off from my friends, I felt more alone than I had ever felt in my life. When I was overseas, I grew to love the time that I spent alone. I remember being on a jet ski in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, whizzing past couples in kayaks and tour groups on boats – it was the first time that I had felt free. It was just me, the waves and the endless sky and sea – everything was blue, and I was the happiest I had been in a very long time. Travel allowed me to become entirely independent, and that was the most liberating feeling in the world.

Italian Food and Wine in Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy | Grease & Glamour
Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomatoes | Eating in Florence, ItalyEating in Florence Italy

2. I STARTED APPRECIATING THE SMALL THINGS.

I used to surround myself with objects – luxury or not, buying things was my form of therapy. Once I sold most of my possessions to travel, I had the opportunity to appreciate things that I hadn’t cared for much before. That magnificent sunset, crisp Icelandic air, buffalo mozzarella cheese with fresh-sliced tomatoes, or just getting lost on Parisian cobblestone streets – I couldn’t imagine trading any of that in for my old walk-in closet filled with designer bags and shoes. My father used to have to drag me out of bed to watch the sunrise on the beach, and all I would want to do was go back home and get on the computer or watch TV. I learned to enjoy the little things that make life so wonderful, and I know now why he always wanted me to be there with him, soaking in a sunrise or wandering in a park for few hours.

Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy | Grease & Glamour

3. I LEARNED TO BE PRESENT.

Dwelling on the past, anxiety about the future – I never sat still and focused on the right here and right now. I was in a rush to grow up, and I constantly stressed about why it took so long to become ‘successful.’ Now I’m grateful for the roof I have over my head, the food I have to eat and the fact that I’m alive, healthy and living my dream. Learn from the past, but don’t let it consume you. Prepare for the future, but be grateful for today. Learn to be present, and happiness will find you.

Iceland Hike Glacier

4. I’M ACTUALLY STRONGER THAN I THOUGHT I WAS.

I hiked a glacier when I was in Iceland. A FREAKING GLACIER. A month before I didn’t even know such activities existed. I was scared I would fall through a crack in the ice or slip and stab myself with the hiking axe. On this trip, I conquered my fears slowly, one by one, and realized that I could handle a lot more than I thought I could. No plan? No problem. I’ll figure it out. Don’t speak the language? No worries. I’ll figure it out. I acquired a peace of mind, and that helped me find the strength to do something crazy, unconventional but at the same time wonderful.

Roman Cathedral

5. I FELL IN LOVE WITH LIFE AGAIN.

When I booked that plane ticket and started researching for my trip, I was asking for a change in my life, and that’s exactly what I got. A new city, new foods, new language, new culture – I saw things and did things that I had never done before and it fueled my desire to continue to see the world and experience new things. I fell in love with learning about and experiencing life’s wonders, inspired by nature and the people all around me.

Levanto, Italy | Italian Riviera | Grease & Glamour

6. I FOUND HOPE IN MY FUTURE.

I had reached a point where life didn’t excite me. Tomorrow didn’t seem worth waking up for. What was my motivation? What was the point in working hard anymore? Why did bad things happen to me and my family? When was I going to get my big break? I finally said, enough is enough. I left everything behind and gained not only renewed happiness, but a new sense of hope. Things DO get better. It just takes time.

Florence in the Rain | Grease & Glamour

7. I STARTED TO BECOME GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAD.

For years I was always complaining about what I didn’t have, what I wasn’t born with, what I wasn’t making. Happiness appears when perspectives change. I stood by a bridge in Florence and thanked God for the rain. It made the water twinkle in the most beautiful way, and even though my hair fell flat, my feet were soggy and the leather on my bag was on its way to being ruined, I didn’t care. I will never forget how peaceful and magical that water looked, sparkling on that grey spring day. Yes, I did lose my father to cancer. He was the reason I worked so damn hard and the reason I slept 3/4 hours a night, but I have a mother, a stepmother, a brother and a sister who love me. Yes, I hated my job, but I learned so much from my time there, and it gave me the money to save to go on this trip. I may not have that apartment anymore, or a million followers on instagram, but I’m grateful that I’m here with a family that loves me, friends that support me and enough cash in my bank account to eat for the week.

Lunch at the Shangri La Hotel, Paris France | Grease & Glamour

8. I RECONNECTED WITH MY OLD FRIENDS & MADE NEW ONES.

When I started planning for my trip, I started to asking around for travel advice. Where should I go? What should I bring? How much money do I need? There were people I had never connected with before, but did as soon as travel brought us together. There’s just something about people who prioritize travel over other things – not to say they’re better or worse – they’re just different. I felt an incredible amount of support, and became thankful to have something that connected me with people I hadn’t connected with before. While on my trip, I met some of the most interesting people – people I’ll never forget. Our tour guide in Iceland who owned 60+ sheep, a mountain and worked at the company because he loved to show people his country. The guy from Spain who hosted me in London, showed me around the city and inspired me to one day jump out of a plane like he had 12 times the weekend before. The two cheerful English guys, two girls from Spain, and a local sous-chef I met at an Irish pub in Croatia that I had ciders with every night I was there. The Italian-American man I met in Levanto who climbed and sat with us on top of a huge rock in the water, chatting about his life in Milan and corporate life for 2+ hours in the sun.

Levanto Italy | Grease & Glamour

9. I GREW SOME MAJOR B-LLS, AND WITH THAT: CONFIDENCE.

Fear will slowly suck the life out of you. What is a life if you’re not doing something memorable? Doing something that scares the living sh-t out of you will sometimes make you feel the most alive. After hitting rock bottom, there was nowhere else to go but up. I jumped across glacier chunks in a glacier lagoon, went up to random people in Paris asking for directions in rusty French, and tried kangaroo and puffin meat at a tapas restaurant. Was I scared to leave a steady paycheck, long-term boyfriend, friends and family to travel the world for a month with a lifesize cutout of my late father? ABSOLUTELY. Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not. I’m more confident in myself and my ability than ever before, and that’s because I took that first chance to make one of my dreams come true.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon | Iceland

10. I WAS GIVEN A NEWFOUND PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE.

When I started the #FORMYFATHER project and posted it on my blog, I had no clue how much impact sharing my story would have on the world. The overwhelming response by the international community and press has given me a newfound purpose to help inspire people to live without fear, find hope in their futures and follow their dreams. Sometimes you have to get lost to find your way home. So yeah, I don’t have anything planned out, I don’t know where I’m going next month, where I’ll live, or how I’ll make money to survive, but I know that this journey has only just begun, I’ve got something to live for, work towards, and I’m more excited for the future than I have ever been in my life.


So, how has travel changed you?

Thank you so much for reading. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram for day to day updates. 🙂 @projectinspo

With love,
Jinna
&nsbp;


 

10 Secrets To Traveling Smarter, Cheaper, & Longer

  • Beautiful!! Thanks for this, sometimes it feels like the 9-5 life would be easier, and in many ways it would,, but it is not nearly as rewarding.
    Katie
    http://www.worldwidevegetarian.com

    • greaseandglamour

      For some people, yes! I just realized that everyone is different and when I started living for myself I became more confident and worked harder because I was passionate about what I was doing. Thank you so much for your comment! ♡ wishing you much love and happiness 🙂

  • Queenie Lee

    Loved this post! You’re such an inspiration xxx

    http://peanutbutterandmussels.com/

    • greaseandglamour

      Queenie you’re so kind thank you!

  • what an inspiring post. I think it’s awesome what you did and hope you continue to travel as much as you can. I’m living abroad right now with my husband and am gaining new perspective daily. life is an adventure, and its time to get rid of the idea that you have to own certain things/have a certain job to be happy.

    • greaseandglamour

      Wow Caitlin hope you’re loving it wherever you are. And being with your partner for life is even better. 🙂 sending you lots of love!

  • GREAT!

    • greaseandglamour

      🙂

  • Wonderful post! I agree, sometimes it does take our lives to shift entirely for us to see what matters most, and appreciate simply waking up to see how fortunate we actually are, even in the smallest ways. I didn’t used to like my family always having to pick up and move and travel, being in a miliary family, but I am so grateful that I grew up travelling the world and experiencing cultures. 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      I can understand how it’s tough if you don’t have roots but life’s about perspective right? It’s awesome that you saw so many places growing up! You sound like a really cool, open minded individual! :):)

  • Those are such valuable lessons–and the photos are gorgeous, as well! It’s truly amazing how much travel changes you–keep up the adventures!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Heather! The trip changed my life. I’m a completely different person now and it’s a great feeling. 🙂 sending you lots of love

  • So proud of you Jinna! These are some great life lessons that some people aren’t even fortunate to ever learn so I’m so happy for you… keep sharing the positivity! xoxoxo

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Elle!!! ♡ you’re amazing

  • Bekka

    This is the first post of yours I’ve read (so excuse me while I backtrack through your posts), but I just wanted to say that this was so a heartwarming post. I’ve so glad that travel has been able to help you, and that you have learned a lot about yourself in the process. You photos are wonderful and I look forward to keeping up with your blog! x http://www.orbitingoceans.blogspot.co.uk

    • greaseandglamour

      Hi Bekka, thank you so much for your comment!!! Xx jinna

  • Mel

    What camera & lens do you use/own??

    • greaseandglamour

      Hey Mel, I use a Canon 5d mark II with a 50 mm 1.2 lens!

  • Karisa Blake

    Beautiful! Travel is such a life-changing experience. I’ve been living abroad and traveling for the past 2 years and I can’t imagine going back to my regular life w/o travel!

    • greaseandglamour

      Karisa u r my hero. ♡

  • Cherrylouise

    This post makes me smile and gives me hope. I love the life I have today, but I’m always thinking about leavin for a long travel around the world someday. Thank you for writing this!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks so much for reading!!! You should definitely try to go, even for a week at a time. Ease yourself into it if that’s easier and better for your schedule!

  • mjc

    Wow! What an incredible and inspiring story.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so much for your kind words!!!

  • Great post! My husband and I recently booked a one way flight and are getting ready for a year of living a digital nomadic year of travel. This post has been very inspirational and in a way comforting. Thanks!!

    • greaseandglamour

      That.is.my.dream. you guys are AWESOME!!!!

  • Guest

    So inspiring, you’ve really made me want to travel even more now!

    • greaseandglamour

      Haha great!!! Hope you do!!! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • MyPink Boudoir

    Such a great post! So inspiring! I recognize myself in so many thoughts of yours! Thank you for sharing and inspiring!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks so much for reading :):) sending you lots of love!

  • Denita

    I really enjoyed reading this. Your pictures are breathtaking.Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. This completely touched my heart and opened my eyes. Love & Light
    Denita
    http://www.DenitaAustin.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you for reading Denita!

  • Denita

    I really enjoyed reading this. Your pictures are breathtaking.Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. This completely touched my heart and opened my eyes. Love & Light
    Denita
    http://www.DenitaAustin.com

  • Mark

    and your financial support was how?

    • greaseandglamour

      Saved up my money and moved out of my apartment so I didn’t have to pay rent and sold 80% of my things. Currently living off of savings and freelance gigs. 🙂

  • Mark

    BTW, tried to pin to Pinterest and got invalid URL

    • greaseandglamour

      Man man hopefully I can fix it :/ thanks for letting me know!

  • Beautifully written Jinna. You put into words exactly where I was 5 years ago before I made the decision to pack up and travel. Thank you for sharing!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so much for reading!!! So awesome that you made the decision to travel as well. 🙂 sending you lots of love!

  • Kuddos to you for following your instincts! The corporate life or a stressful job can literally suck the life out of you. True, this is perceived as the way to be successful. However, you have learned an important life lesson: follow your instincts, be true to yourself no matter what, happiness and peace of mind cannot be purchased—even with a regular job. I am self employed.

    • greaseandglamour

      Denise you’re awesome thanks so much for the kind words! You’re amazing!

  • Alicia

    This is the first post I have read of yours and I love it! I feel like I can relate in some ways as I got laid off from my job in February and decided I needed a change so I moved to Philadelphia, being closer to my bf but he lives at his work site so it is pretty much just me. I appreciate the small things in life so much more as I can with just a couple suitcases and a few other essentials. I don’t own any furniture other than a desk and sleep just on a mattress but I see no need for a couch right now. In fact I like having less and I was so much more materialistic before. I didn’t have a job when I moved but found one after about 5 weeks. A new job, a new beginning and being very independent! Like you I am starting to connect with some old friends, people from college I only met maybe a few times and now they live in Philly also. Thanks for sharing the way travel changed you! I hope someday in the future I can go backpacking through Europe.

    • greaseandglamour

      Wow Alicia! You’re so awesome and inspiring! Congrats on the new job, the newfound independence. It’s amazing to hear your story. Definitely gives me some hope. 🙂 sending you lots of love and wishing you lots of success and happiness. ♡

  • Kristie

    Loved this post. It was real it was honest and it was relatable. Thank you for sharing your story. http://Www.alofadesigns.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks for reading Kristie!

  • Jing Jing

    Both of your story and pics are beautiful. Keep inspiring others.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Jing Jing you are so kind :):)

  • This is also my first time reading your blog and I am just so impressed and I felt I could really relate to some of the things you were feeling. Thank you for being honest about the ups and downs. It was beautiful.

    http://dutyfreecritic.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Diana! sending you lots of love!

      • ah 🙂 thanks for responding back and for the love!

  • Kayla

    This is my first time reading your blog. This post is amazing and inspiring. Also the pictures are really beautiful. Love it.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks for reading Kayla you are so kind!!!

  • Christine S.

    I love this post.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Christine 🙂 means so much

  • Izzie Anderton

    A fabulous blog post with such incredible photos. Make the most of the opportunity to just be yourself right now, I’m sure there are many people out there who wish they’d done everything so very differently instead of trying to grow up too quickly. Good luck.

    • greaseandglamour

      Izzie you’re so kind thank you! I’m just grateful for the opportunity to share my story and live my life 🙂 life is too short you know? Sending you lots of love!

  • Lynne kayenne

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Its empowered, inspired and really motivated me in many ways to live a fulfilling life and be grateful for what I have….www.populairelife.co.uk xx

    • greaseandglamour

      Lynne you are so kind thank you! ♡

  • Colette D

    So true! Travel is the best thing to help you grow and appreciate things. To be surrounded by like minded people is a wonderful thing and opens the mind. Very motivating post 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      Totally agree Colette! I’ve met so many awesome people, people who appreciate the little things in life. 🙂

  • Sho

    It takes you away from the mindless routines that we are lulled into, and gets you in touch with the world. When that happens, magic unfolds. I love this post 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      Yes Sho I couldn’t have said it better myself! Opens your eyes and expands your mind. Travel is so magical indeed. 🙂

  • You really have a gift of insight! Keep sharing with the world 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      Julie that means so much thank you. Just grateful to have you read! 🙂 ♡

  • Marika

    wow this is amazing! this is exactly what I needed to hear 🙂 I am on a holiday/work in Japan atm and I felt as though my life was crumbling, I have lost most of my friends as I have been travelling so much and I have been kicked out of the rental I was in cos the owner wanted it back… but this blog post reminded me of what I really needed to do to feel good again.
    I have decided to go on a very unplanned trip to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto with a guy I met on travelbuddies.com, 10 minutes ago I was worried about whether things would work out or not… but after reading your post, I have decided I will make them work!
    thank you so much! amazing blog x

    • greaseandglamour

      …This just gave me the feels. Thank you for sharing your story with me. You’re awesome, inspiring so strong and courageous! WOW. Japan is gonna be AWESOME!!!!

  • Kayse

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. And, really, a very great story. Inspiring.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Kayse!

  • Michaela Kullberg

    I loved to read this! Maybe sometime I also will have the courage to do something similar :)You go girl!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Michaela! You have the courage inside of you just takes a bit of inspiration and motivation to make a dream a reality. We’re all born with that strength and I believe in you! Keep me posted! 🙂

  • Sarah Speaks

    You are living what I feel I can only dream of! This is so so beautifully written and it’s so inspiring hearing that you just packed up your life one day and went travelling. It’s completely true about fear sucking the life out of you. It’s sucked the life out of me for the past 8 years with anxiety and I hope one day I’ll be ‘free’ like yourself. Keep doing what you’re doing 🙂 xxx

    Sarah | Sarah Speaks

    • Talya Price

      Don’t dream is, be it! Live it.

    • greaseandglamour

      Sarah! Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to figure out which direction to go. I was so lost and empty I felt I had nothing else to live for. I had to make a change and that’s why I found the strength to finally do something! You can do whatever you dream of – work hard, be persistent but most of all never lose hope. I believe in you!!!!

  • Jo Robinson

    Great post, really inspiring. Well done! x

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Jo!

  • Teacher Traveler

    At 49 years old, I can look back to the day I bought a one-way ticket to Germany as the turning point in my life. That was 21 years ago, and I have never, ever, regretted that decision. I did eventually come back, but I took a completely different direction from the corporate track I had been on: I got a master’s degree in German, which led me to becoming a teacher, which led me to the job I love (teaching high school). And… teaching allows for many travel opportunities. There are so many seminars in every corner of the world for us to take part in each summer. Travel = learning, and for teachers, that’s a lifelong process. Good luck to you as you find your path. It sounds like you are well on your way!

    • greaseandglamour

      You’re amazing and an inspiration. Giving back to society by shaping the futures of our children – wishing you the most happiness peace success and love. Xx jinna

  • Andres Poiche

    GINA ESTUVO GENIAL, YO IGUAL VOY A TRBAJAR MUCHO PARA PODER VIAJAR!!!

    http://thepocketstyle.blogspot.com/

  • Talya Price

    Traveling has definitely changed my life for the better. I believe that I was born to travel. And now I can travel and get paid for it, by being an actress. I think ever person on this planet should travel. It is essential for life. Your story really inspired me to push myself to go beyond my comfort zone and try something new and different. Take risks and really live life. You are never too old to take a leap of faith and travel the world. Thank you for sharing your amazing story.

    • greaseandglamour

      You are an amazing inspiration! Thank YOU for sharing your story with me! Wishing you so much happiness and sending lots of love! ♡

  • I think you literally nailed every reason on the head. Travel is hard but you get SO much more out of if than you think in the beginning. Brava!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you! It’s tough definitely not always pretty haha but it’s an awesome experience. The good and the bad.

  • What an awesome post! I think I have to travel more!

    http://labloguerapelirroja.blogspot.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Celia! Yes please do! 🙂 then tell me all about it haha

  • greaseandglamour

    You’re amazing! Thank you for your comment and for reading!

  • KatyQ54

    Wow! You are living my dream I had many, many years ago. Be happy…always!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Katy! Don’t give up on that dream!

  • Julia Perry

    And oh how I needed to read this!
    Thank you for buying your ticket & thank you for sharing!

    • greaseandglamour

      Julia you are so kind# thanks for reading! When are you going to go on your next trip?

  • Chloe

    I would love to email with you personally. Please write me at chloehughes45@gmail.com I need someone to connect with me on how I can be set free.

    • greaseandglamour

      Hey Chloe! Sure my email is under contact!!!

  • Beatiful, heartwarming post. This is my first time reading one of your posts and I feel so inspired! I hope to be able to travel more someday. I’m waiting for the right time, but lately, my heart has been telling me to just do it 🙂
    http://adiasinead.blogspot.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks for reading and for your comment! I hope you decide to take the step in booking your flight! That’s the first thing I start with 🙂 you’ll figure everything out!

  • I lost my father to cancer. It took losing my immediate older sister to cancer as well to open my eyes and push me out of my comfort zone. Suddenly, my 3-4 weeks of vacation was not enough. I wanted to experience other cultures. I am so glad that travel helped you. I love this post, very heart warming and your images are beautiful.

    • greaseandglamour

      Cancer sucks. All the way around. I know exactly how you feel and how you felt and I know deep down that they’re looking over us in all that we do. Thank you for sharing your story with me. You have a friend here! Xx

  • kaffy

    i will definitely plan to travel on my own one day!

    • greaseandglamour

      Woohoo!!! What’s your first stop going to be?

  • MissLilly

    First of all excellent post, really!.that does require courage! But I’m sure the experience is worth it. I would have trouble in letting all go and do such a change.
    When I started traveling for work all I wanted was the pleasure of returning back home. I started appreciating all the good moments which I never really valued before.
    And it makes me prioritize. I missed the freedom of deciding where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be with. I missed writting and walking on my own and my camera.
    Now I travel as a choice, I can decide where I want to go a and really appreciate the journey and every smell and new people I would meet. Freedom after all has no price 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      That’s so awesome thanks so much for sharing your story with me! It’s true, I know a few people who travel all the time for work and they hate it. All they want is to be home! Every one is different and once you figure out what it is that makes YOU happy, you prioritize that and you have a game plan which sets you up to finally achieve that happiness. So grateful for your comment! Sending you love!

  • simone

    It’s 8am in London & I am probably twice your age….BUT this post was so inspiring & heartwarming….I too love to travel, I think it’s the best experience that you can have….this was just the thing I needed to read on a Monday morning….thank you & good luck to you!

    • greaseandglamour

      Simone! Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet words! It’s incredible how many people I’ve met and spoken to in the past month and age, race, gender, location all have been irrelevant. We’re all in this together!!! Sending you much love 🙂

  • I am happy for you! ^-^ I pray that you will continue to heal and find inspiration in everything and everyone. Cheers!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Christine!

  • ikking87

    Such an inspirational post. I don’t know you but feel very proud just the same
    What a great start to my week reading this 🙂 Thank you! xx

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so muchhhh! ♡

  • Clare

    Love your story, you may like to read my brother’s – he hitch-hikes around the world – the things he’s seen and ppl he’s met are astounding. Facebook : Where’s Willy?

    • greaseandglamour

      That sounds so awesome I’m going to look him up now 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  • Samsam

    This is incredible. I applaud you for everything you’ve done and where you’ve come both as a writer and as a person. It warms my heart to see that travel has had such a positive impact on your life! It really does take a lot – a complete change of scenery, friends, money, life in general… – to free you from the old self and let a new one take its place. I’m experiencing a similar metamorphosis as I’m spending a summer in Ireland away from EVERYTHING. It really is amazing how much you learn about yourself AND about the world and the connection existing between them 🙂 This is the first post I’ve ever read from you and needless to say, I’m hooked. I’m sold. I’m a new follower. Check out my blog if you get the chance 🙂
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

    • greaseandglamour

      Sam you’re so awesome I can’t even explain! Ireland for a summer? I am so jelly! Congrats on finding the strength and confidence to do something so cool and major! Things like this shape us in ways that can’t be explained. So excited for you keep me posted!

      Xx

  • Maya

    It’s amazing how moving geographically also makes us ‘move’ inside. I did a lot of travelling when I was younger and completely relate to your thought process after returning home. I’ve never had a steady pay check or the security in owning my own house. But I’m not bound to anything or anywhere, and you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m 38 years, still together with my boyfriend of 14 years, we have two bilingual children and we live in a different country than where we’re from. At the moment we’re established with me owning and running my yarn shop, but nothing prevents us from making changes and jumping into new adventures, and that attitudes comes with having travelled a lot. I hope you’ll be on sour way again soon, wherever you decide to go. 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      I can’t even explain how happy your comment made me! Sending you so much love to you and your family! Can you send me a photo of you guys and your yarn shop please!! I have this weird dream of moving to a beach and opening up a jet ski rental shop hehe. Some people think it’s weird and maybe not now but hopefully I’ll meet a man who loves to travel as much as I do and we will be able to have bilingual children :p
      You’re an inspiration and thank you for reading!

  • Stine

    Thanks for a very inspiring blog post. I live in Denmark and have always dreamt about trying to live in NYC for a couple a months. But I have not found the courage to leave my safe life with job, family and friends behind. I love that you took the chance without knowing anyone in Europe.

    • greaseandglamour

      Stine! You can always come visit first! 🙂

      • Stine

        That is true. Been there 3 times already 🙂

  • Ngozi M

    This is the first time i’m reading your posts because I truly connected with everything you shared here.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you!!!

  • Taj

    What is as heartwarming as your post are the comments left below. Many blessings to you in your future endeavors. Just have faith it all happens for a purpose, xo

    • greaseandglamour

      Thanks Taj! Man I agree totally. I’m just so grateful for people reaching out, supporting, sharing their stories. This is the best part about this whole journey – connecting with people around the world and it’s given me a new purpose! Thanks so much for your support and for your comment. Sending you lots of love!

  • Zoki

    Beautiful post! I love every word and every sentence… I completely understand you and agree with you! Big big big support and greetings from Serbia!

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you Zoki!

  • Gabrielle Baechtold

    This was such an amazing thing to read, I now have to read more of your posts to find out more. I am in a similar position as you were, nothing in life excites me anymore, I just sort if sleepwalk through life, so I really was able to understand where you were at.
    With me it is a little different, I used to travel a lot ( Paris alone over 14 times in my life) but now that my mother is older and not in great health, I just am not able to jet off and rejuvenate my soul as often as I would like. But reading your post made my heart sing with joy; I hope you do not mind that I lived through you vicariously for a few minutes 🙂
    I am in amazement of your bravery in just buying a one way ticket and going for it, that is one thing I was never brave enough to do…but secretly always wanted to. What you did was truly phenomenal and huzzah for you.

    • greaseandglamour

      Gabrielle you are an inspiration your strength is amazing. I know it’s tough to go through life feeling like you’re not really living. You get caught up in the day to day and wake up with no purpose. I hope you will never give up on your dreams, and know and trust that you can make them happen! Never lose hope! When I was in new york preparing to leave, I went to places I had never been before just in my neighborhoods. I had lived and worked there for 4 years but still there was so much I hadn’t done. Maybe you can try that first – hike a trail you haven’t hiked or drive down a road you haven’t driven down before. Eat at a new restaurant or try a new recipe. Make an effort to do things you haven’t done before and it will start this cycle of being inspired! That’s what I did, hopefully it will do the same for you. 🙂 keep me posted and thanks so much for reading!

      • Gabrielle Baechtold

        Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I will keep you posted to any interesting things I may encounter. I will definitely keep reading your blog, you truly have inspired me. I wish you all the best this world has to offer, you deserve it.

  • Isadora Gol

    It was the first time I cried while reading a blog. The most honest text i ever read! Thank you so much for the inspiration. xxox

    • greaseandglamour

      Isadora you’re so kind! No more tears, just big dreams and bigger smiles! Let’s take on this world and live life to the fullest. Cheers!

  • Wow…thank you so much for your insight. I recently came back from Alaska (and also hiked a glacier!) and France, and it has really helped change my perspective on life – though I didn’t leave everything behind, it has given me baby steps to see the world and people in a different light. It is refreshing to read about your perspective, and that life isn’t all about how much “stuff” we have or how successful we appear to the world. : )

    • greaseandglamour

      Wow ALASKA! THAT’S SO AWESOME! Hoping I’ll make it there one day. And yes, it’s amazing that you’re funding the balance of life, love and travel. 🙂 cheers to you for being such an inspiration!

  • thoughtfulstroll

    I absolutely LOVE this post. Your photographs are beautiful. I also specifically like your #3. I could not agree more with the concept of being present. SO many of us have lost or never had the ability to live fully in the present.

    • greaseandglamour

      Thank you so much! Yeah it’s tough to stay focused on the right here right now :p that was always stressin me out

  • After reading this article I think I have to do something with my life. I am, as I would say a majority of people, just scared too much to actually left everything behind and travel the world, meeting people and enjoying myself. You gave me a thought to think about and I will have to reflect this for a whole day now… Thank you for this! 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      Michaela, I think you can take a few days and try it out first. Why leave if you’re happy where you are? If not find small things you can do to warm yourself up to the idea! I believe in you!!!

  • Beautiful photos!
    I totally get that – the feeling of complete freedom and exhileration that comes immediately after the fear and anxiety of being out there on your own. Sometimes we get too bogged down in the norm, and the what if’s.

    • greaseandglamour

      Absolutely! There’s something so freeing about exploring the unknown and unseen! Thanks so much for your comment !

  • Aunt Pearl

    Hi! Love your post which I just came across. You are inspiring may I am sure. At 19 I left all to live on an island in The South Pacific and life was never the same again….thank goodness! Happy Trails to you! xx

    • greaseandglamour

      WHAT that’s so cool !!! I’m sure you wake up everyday like um, wow love my life! Haha thanks so much for reading ♡

  • What an amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing! I made a decision earlier this year to book a trip to Europe (It will be my first time there! And I’ll be going next month) because I am looking to experience something new in life. Everything you wrote about in this post resonated with me. So, thank you again for sharing. I can’t wait to follow along on your adventures! 🙂

    • greaseandglamour

      You’re so awesome can’t wait for you to get there. It’s such a beautiful place and it’s amazing how close everything is when you compare it to the US. You can hop skip and jump and you’re surrounded with a completely different culture. Insane. So excited for you!

  • greaseandglamour

    Hello Wiola! Thank you for your comment! You have all the time in the world remember that you don’t need to be perfect you are strong inside and confidence comes with practice. Try something small that you’ve never tried.before whether it’s a new food, driving around a new neighborhood or taking a hike somewhere you’ve never been. Doing little things like this will help give you confidence but also inspire you to continue doing things in life that may scare you but are so worth it! Keep me posted girl! ♡

  • Susie Cutter

    My Hat off to you for your braveness. I would have wussed out! :O) http://www.meandmyegobreakingbad.com

  • Bri Watson

    This is the first post of yours that I’ve read and I’m so glad to have discovered your blog! What an amazing adventure you’ve had. It’s very inspiring!

  • Amy

    Yay for you!!! A little envious ; must admit! 🙂

  • Brian B.

    I was 45 before I traveled out of the USA the first time. My first trip was to Sumatra. I can not describe it, but that trip caused a fundamental change in who I am, and how I view the world.

    I want to thank you for sharing your adventures. I am always looking for inspiration for my next adventure.

  • This is amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience and kudos to you for making your dream come true instead of waiting around for it to happen =)

  • Thank you for your inspiring blog. Such a beautiful post with amazing pictures! I’m also planning to earn some extra money for a long trip!

  • The Queen of Dreaming

    I loved this post so much, it’s so inspiring and touching!

    https://justsem.wordpress.com/

  • Giulia Viti

    This was so inspiringg, thank you 🙂 I found out who the real me was during a travel, and I’m fighting not to let that goeven when I’m overwhelmed and so stuck in some kind of things. I give you a big hug and wish you the best of luck, for everything <3

  • Ruby

    Hi, I’m new to your blog, but I am already so inspired by you (and sorry for the loss of your dad). I am a teenager and I have travelled a lot because of my parents’ jobs, and I am so in love with travelling. I can’t wait until I am eighteen – I’ll be straight out the door to see the world! I often feel like my life is dull/worthless/meaningless and I can’t be bothered with the school, people and surroundings in my life. I am so happy to read that travel is liberating and that being alone is a good thing, because I am more of an independent person. I love your blog so much, Ruby xx

    http://www.thechatterboxblog.com

  • questioning

    Sure, I like most people want to believe this all was created earnestly & ethically. I do think people have the right to point out the fakeness of the photos if nothing is stated in the blog about why they were obviously photoshopped. If it was disclosed & for a valid reason, people wouldn’t have a reason to think the whole thing was now shady.

    How much money did the total vacation cost – how much did she actually pay? Was she sponsored by anyone because the trip was #FORMYFATHER ? I think these are perhaps the most pertinent questions.because she’s sending the message that if 25-year-olds just sell some purses and use their savings, they can go on a month-long luxury vacation around Europe to solve all their problems. Yes, I realize she said she made a lot of money…which brings me to my next point.

    Were the card board cut-out photos necessary to write the vacation off for tax purposes? Or did she receive money from sponsors because she was doing this for her father? The truth is she is doing this for herself (maybe to honor her father’s memory). It technically would not benefit her father if he is not on the earth anymore.

    I have relatives who have passed on, but it doesn’t mean I can quit my job and travel for months with seemingly endless amounts of money. Could I by an expensive car, drive it around the country & say it was for my dead uncle because he dreamed of having a corvette? Can I write a blog about it and take that off my taxes? I would also challenge how monetarily poor she is now…is she back living in her parent’s house? Maybe that’s why she has the new-found, care-free attitude.

    • Mylilbackpack

      Questioning: I have never responded to internet discussions before, but I feel compelled to do so here and ask you, Why Do You Care? What about jinna’s choice to live her life authentically and bravely share her choice with others on the internet rub you the wrong way? What does it matter if someone has $1million or $100 in their bank account before or after starting their travels? The choice to travel does not depend solely on money. It depends on committing to your dream and doing whatever it is, in whatever amount of time it takes, to accomplish it. Everyone has a different situation and everyone’s threshold for risk taking varies, so it’s impossible to question someone’s drive to follow their passions. If you have questions, they are about you. Own those questions as a reason for YOU to find out about YOURSELF and follow your dreams. It has nothing to do with jinna.

  • Laura Elizabeth

    This post makes me so excited to go travelling (hopefully next summer) it will literally be my ultimate dream come true. I can’t bloody wait!! Loved this post!
    x

  • Vincent

    Hi Jinna! I really love your blog. This was the first post I got to read
    some time last month. It inspired me to start sharing my experiences in
    a travel blog. Here is the link:
    http://africankenyantourist.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/five-things-i-have-learnt-from-touring-the-world-2/
    …….Seeing one of your photos above, I wonder…Isn’t it dangerous
    to stand on an iceberg…I mean, being slippery ‘n all…

  • Vincent

    Hi Jinna. I love your blog lots! This is the first post I read about a month ago. I shared it with my friends on facebook. It also inspired me to start my travel blog through which I would share my experiences with friends http://africankenyantourist.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/five-things-i-have-learnt-from-touring-the-world-2/ …Keep sharing your

    experiences. They are quite inspiring.

  • traveling rolemodel

    LOVE this!!! Im addicted to traveling and your brave heart made me smile. its nice to see people kill routine and make their own way and happiness. wish you the very Best. come on over and check out my blog If you are interested in TRAVEL and FASHION. Subscribe-> http://the-rolemodel.com/

  • Furabella

    this is soo heartfelt. you’re just a type of blogger who pour your heart out in sharing your experiences and im just a type of reader who deeply appreciate that. so really thanks! im gonna follow you!.
    im also a traveler…in my mind and through my eyes. 😀 im still working out on my finances so i can also see the world…!

  • Abby

    Hi, jinna. I saw your story while i was surfing the net, i was having breakfast and your story caught my attention. After i read it, i was trully inspired. I lost my father a year ago, liver cancer. it took me 5 months to totally accept that he is gone but until i still cant find ways as to how to live my life as if he is still with me. Your story gave me hope that someday it’ll be better, and like you I love to travel too! 😉 good luck, jinna! and thank you.

  • C.K.

    I believe l have read some of your post in the past. This was certainly inspiring and kept me laughing while l was reading. It definitely demonstrated how to deal with fear and encouraged me to take a leap on faith.

  • You inspire me, Jinna. Love you!

  • Nyca

    Wow heartwarming story. I always wanted to travel. I’m poor though I’ve kept that dream alive. Maybe someday, I will and experience what you have…

  • Zee Strobel

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I’m struggling a lot in life, and after reading what you said I think traveling will help me too. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • yunga

    Love your story. Keep going, maybe some day we meet in a random place in the world.

  • presyl

    hai jinna, this is the first time i read your blog, and absolutely i’ll come back again to see your other post.
    I feel the same way like you felt, i’m not excited anymore with my job (the routines killed me), i loss my motivation and confidence and recently i think so many times about travelling alone outside my country, but the fears always haunt me. about the money, the reason i should tell to my mom so she’ll give permission to me, feel afraid when i’m alone in airplane and the others. but after read this post, it makes me to think that i have to go out from my comfort zone, i have to fight the fear that haunted me. thank you for such beautiful post jinna 🙂

  • What an incredible post Jinna! I have only just discovered your blog and this was one of the first posts I read. I’m now in a similar point in my life reassessing everything and dismissing what society prescribes. I too am about to take a giant leap into the unknown and I cannot wait to reach the point where you are it – making peace with the past and relishing the present. I really admire you and will continue to follow your journey xxx

  • Becca W.

    I just have to say the more post I read from you, the more it inspires me to follow my dreams. In a month I will be traveling to Europe to study abroad for five months and from there I hope to travel around Europe more than ever (though I have been fortunate enough to already have done a good chunk of it) and I hope it doesn’t end after the five months is over. I have always had known I will never be able to sit behind a desk from 9-5 after I graduate from college and it scares me to think what is going to happen when college is over but I know that traveling is what I want to do and knowing that it changed your life for the better and you had such a positive experience with it helps reassure me that in the end following my heart will be the best thing ever.

    dreamerseekingself.wordpress.com

  • Neal Arrendo

    Traveling has taught me to find my inner happiness. Those that know me know I have been through an incredible amount of pain since my childhood. I could hate the world for what it has done to me if I wanted to. However, I learned that I hold the key to unlocking my happiness.

    Neal@MapDestinations

  • Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a
    few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    web browsers and both show the same results.

  • I so just want to live this life… <3