Lauren Rudick took off on a long term backpacking trip after graduating university as an escape, but found that the trip gave her fantastic insight into the kinds of things she wanted in life moving forward! She had completed her yoga teacher training during an earlier visit to Mexico, and after learning about a variety of yoga career opportunities beyond teaching at a conference she attended while teaching English in China, decided she wanted to pursue a career in the industry. On facing an adjustment and some reverse culture shock after returning home to Canada, Lauren realized she wanted to integrate her chosen career path with her love of travel and take her teaching internationally.
Lauren has let her love of yoga take her around the world to places like Bali and Europe. She founded the Yoga Academy International school with the goal of raising the standard in yoga education, and is currently living in Costa Rica offering a number of courses and retreats.
On this episode we talk about why Lauren started traveling and how she became interested in yoga teacher training, the importance of knowing what you don’t like and how this can contribute to learning what you ultimately want in life, and the logistical and social challenges in maintaining a travel based-lifestyle.
What we talk about:
- Lauren’s first experiences with travel after completing her yoga teacher training, including a 2 year open-ended trip that spanned 23 countries across 5 continents, and her realization that she wanted to include travel in her life long term
- A cross Canada road trip she had taken earlier driving from Vancouver to Montreal
- Some of the jobs she held during her two year trip including working as a cruise ship kids counselor and hostess, a nanny, and an English teacher in China
- Her experience teaching English in China, including accommodations provided by the school and making the living space her own
- Some of the challenges with her teaching experiences, including not being passionate about the course curriculum, language barriers, and difficulty fitting in with Chinese culture and other teachers
- Some of the unexpected benefits she was able to take advantage of in China, including getting picked up by an agent for a successful modeling and singing career
- How her travel journey started as an escape from her life after graduating university and evolved into a journey that helped her heal and move towards finding her passion
- How she views her choice to teach in China as contributing to her finding her passion by allowing her to attend a nearby conference where she discovered international opportunities in the yoga industry beyond teaching, and the ability to afford additional yoga teacher training with the money she had earned while teaching
- How travel can help to accelerate the speed with which you learn things about yourself and cram a variety of life experiences and feelings within a shorter time period
- The value of challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone, and how discovering what you don’t like in life is just as valuable as learning what you do like
- What it felt like to return home to Canada after a long time abroad, including feeling some reverse culture shock and the challenges of feeling like you’re starting over
- Viewing long term travel as part of your life as opposed to “time off” from life because it doesn’t follow the traditional life path of your culture
- How she realized that she wanted to integrate teaching yoga with a travel-based lifestyle
- Some of the roadblocks she has overcome in building her business and travel lifestyle
- How social media can sometimes skew the image of a travel based lifestyle as being perfect and mainly glamorous, as behind the scenes struggles and misadventures are not shown
- The comforts of coming home and rediscovering hobbies and things you can forget you enjoy!
- How she made the decision to move down to Costa Rica, a touching experience with securing accommodation and how she landed her first yoga teaching job
- The differences between living in Costa Rica as opposed to Canada and managing visa logistics
- How you can feel like an outsider in your hometown if you don’t connect with the culture, and how a foreign country can feel more like home
- Living with a seasonal sense of community and the search for a place that feels like home
Join us for our new weekly online hangouts every other Tuesday this summer, where we’ll be joined by travel experts to discuss topics like Digital Nomad life and long term travel with children! Be sure to bring any questions and travel stories you’d like to share!
You can also check out our brand new travel community on Facebook where you can ask questions, get travel recommendations, and find community members in your area!
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