I can't tell you how many times throughout college and graduate school I was asked what I was going to do with my English major. 9 times out of 10, they would say, "Oh, so you want to teach?" No, I wasn't extremely fond of teaching, nor was that the direction I was headed. I wanted to be a writer -- plain and simple. Whether that meant travel blogger, freelance writer, novelist it didn't matter. As long as writing was incorporated, I'd be happy.
I was well aware that English majors did not make a substantial income. There were reports I read, articles that highlighted how broke I would be, stories that basically insisted I'd never be able to support myself. How exciting was it that I was pursuing my passion of writing and being told it probably wouldn't amount to sh%*.
However, that didn't stop me. For me, the money wasn't the goal. Yes, of course, most people dream of financial security while some strive for unimaginable wealth. But for me, my goal was to be successful doing something I loved, which was writing.
A story I often tell people was that of my college guidance counselor. We were set up to meet for the first time and I remember sitting across from this young gentleman, who barely acknowledged my presence and kept his eyes on the computer surveying my transcripts. After a long pause this was how the conversation went:
Him: Well, my advice would be that you have a double major in business.
Me: Business? But I'm an English major. I was to focus on creative writing.
Him: Nope, it should be Business. It will give you something to fall back on.
Me: I don't understand.
Him: Well, you just won't make a lot of money being an English major. So you might as well have a back up plan.
Needless to say, I did pick up a minor in Business. It has helped, don't get me wrong, learning the very basics of business and computers and whatnot. And I understand what the guidance counselor was trying to do, of course. But money should not have been the only long term career objective. He didn't discuss once what I wanted, what my passion was, what would truly make me happy. He basically said my major wasn't worth sh&* and that I should be choosing an area of study that would guarantee me money. Still to this day, I vehemently disagree.
Because I chose passion over money. I chose happiness over financial security. I chose to pursue what my heart was telling me, rather than be complacent in my career.
And so far, it's paid off.
Have I made a TON of money being an English major? No, not quite. But I have found that I am extremely well-versed when it comes to conversation (especially that in the realm of books, authors, literature, etc.). I am the go-to reference for friends and colleagues asking about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the like. (Note: especially in today's society where everything is abbreviated and emoji'd, I look like freakin' Einstein). I am well-spoken and can write emails and correspondence like it's nobody's business. And last but not least, I am able to travel in an RV and write.....for a living.
Where most people wouldn't be able to utilize their careers on the road, I am in my element. I can pick up freelance work from wherever I am, and work whenever I please. THAT is job security to me. I'm not stuck behind a desk, staring at a computer, wishing I could just be outside. Now, I spend most of my time outdoors, in exploration, constantly seeking new adventures to write about.
And you know what afforded me this beautiful, mesmerizing, envy-worthy, knowledge-inducing, adventurous lifestyle of being a travel blogger? Being an English major.
So, I ask you to dig deep and realize what matters most to you. It may change, with time and circumstances. But at the end of the day, would you rather have a pile of money or a pile of experiences at your feet? Or maybe, just maybe, you can have a little bit of both and live happily ever after.
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts! Would love to open up a dialogue and see how other travel bloggers feel.
After leaving Marfa, Texas, we decided to take an impromptu trip to Alamogordo. You may be asking yourself, "where in the world?" and "but why?"
The truth: we wanted to visit White Sands National Monument. It was absolutely on our To-Do list. (Note: our To-Do list is more of a joint mental compilation that is continuously growing. We can't help it.) Being only a few hours away, we decided what better time than now, and traveled up into New Mexico.
And...I'm so glad we did. White Sands is absolutely magical. The photos we took were outstanding. The sand beneath our feet was soft and cold. The fact you could get out of your cars and stand on a dune, untouched by other humans that day, was glorious. Take a look at some of the killer photos we had an absolute blast taking.
Apparently you can sled down the dunes like snow, which we tried with the lid of a storage container we had--and failed. But you can buy sleds in the Visitor Center, new or used, and sell them back at the end of your trip. How cool!
I absolutely recommend White Sands to anyone looking for a natural beauty fix. Or to spend the day playing around with photography.
Stay tuned for our next post on the tour of a pistachio farm in Alamorgordo that changed the way we eat pistachios forever.
Marfa, Texas is a weird f@&$ing town. Phew, had to get that off my chest. Besides the fact that the whole town is closed Monday and Tuesday of each week, it's ultimately just one giant, quirky, off-beat place....and really, I say that with genuine admiration. It's not every day that a town can dance to the beat of its own drum and get away with it. Like having only one stoplight in the whole town. Or some of their most popular restaurants only open on Saturday and Sunday. Or maybe the whole Marfa lights mystery highway stop that you can't help but notice when you're coming in from Alpine.
So, Marfa is odd as sh$&. But there's also a ton of charm. I did some research before our arrival, and found that some of the guides and/or lists of things to do weren't that great. Or, they were really basic and obvious. That only meant we had to dig a bit deeper. Which of course, we did.Take a look at what to do in Marfa, Texas that isn't necessarily art related.
1. Stay in a yurt at el cosmico.
Have you ever stayed in a yurt? Do you even know what it looks like? It's this.
And at El Cosmico, there are two of them that you can stay in. Not to mention teepees, Safari tents, and old renovated airstreams and trailers. This place is like boho-chic paradise. Driving in, you're welcomed by quirky art and decor.
There are lights hanging everywhere, and a building surrounded by a cafe/outdoor stage and theater. The building is where you get checked in, along with where the wifi is, the community fireplace is, the old record player where you can sit and jam, not to mention their gift shop filled with unusual bohemian, hippie items like leather booties, hand-crafted quilts, and modern campfire essentials.
The prices were outrageous in all honesty, but there were some really neat things I would've bought if I weren't on a cross-country budget.
Anywho, we checked in around 3:15pm. The girl at the front desk was so extremely helpful the entire stay. Super nice, very knowledgable, always willing to help. (We even watched from a hammock as she tried to wrangle an escaped dog from a teepee and almost got bit). Our yurt wasn't ready yet, so she told us to pick out a bottle of wine or champagne on her in celebration of Vanessa's birthday. This we thought was an extremely sweet gesture.
The yurt itself was glorious. As authentic and odd as we had hoped. But it was also romantic and completely charming. Not to mention spacious. The bed was very comfortable, with a heated mattress pad that I reveled in all night (the temp dropped to the high 30s).
We also rented a wood-fire hot tub for the evening, which is the coolest looking thing ever. It's like sitting in a giant guacamole bowl filled with hot water. I definitely suggest renting one, simply for the experience BUT be warned. There is no electricity heating this thing, it's really wood and fire. We made the mistake of going to dinner before the hot tub. Even though the gentleman from El Cosmico made sure it was stoked and ready by 4pm, we had it from 6pm-10pm. Dinner reservations were at 6:30pm, so we thought we'd come back by 8pm and have a soak.
By the time we came back, the fire in our tub was out. Nobody at El Cosmico had stoked our fire, and the embers were now minimal. The water was tepid at best. Because it was about 40 degrees out by then, we didn't want tepid bath water to sit in. The girl from the front came to help us add more logs on the fire. Which we did and got the fire going again, but it takes a very long time to heat. She suggested jumping in another one that was still very warm (because those people went to dinner AFTER). So we had a decision. Either stay in tepid water for two hours and freeze, OR go sit in someone else's tub which was about 20 degrees warmer.
We choose the other tub. Not extremely thrilled with how that turned out since we did pay for the experience of our own tub. With that said, I do recommend renting one, especially on a colder night. Just make sure the fire is forever stoked so you won't run into our same problem.
El Cosmico is a place to stay for anyone looking for a bit of a change. It's not your average hotel stay. There is a hammock garden where you can swing from the trees. A community kitchen. Outdoor showers and bathrooms. And free coffee in the morning. It's worth it if you want an experience.
Note: El Cosmico did reimburse us for the hot tub debacle. Extremely classy move and we thank them kindly.
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Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.