Kellie Paxian, a 32-year-old Canadian, has been travelling full-time for 2 and a half years. In 2017, she left her office job and decided to do a 6-month trip around the world. Currently, she is in Cape Town, South Africa, working as a travel content creator and a travel writer.
Let the universe take the wheel and release your control!
What is it like to be a coach and travel at the same time?
Being the founder of Adventurelust, I host travel content courses there and teach my travel content creator clients how to do what I do! For example, travel writing, travel blogging, taking travel photography, growing your Instagram, getting brand collaborations and more. I work remotely, so I work on the road whenever I get hired as a coach and share what I do.
Where else have you been except Cape Town?
I’ve been to 48 countries now and been to every continent except for Antarctica (chuckles).
I’ve been to Europe, South-East Asia, South Africa, North and South America…And next month I’m going to Botswana, which I’m really excited about.
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How often do you travel and what drives you to travel to these certain places?
I travel full-time, and Cape Town is kind of my home now. But I go back and forth between Cape Town and my home country, so last year I was here for 6 months. Then I went home, saw my family and enjoyed the Canadian summer and winter for 3 months.
Sitting at home in Vancouver got me thinking about travelling. A lot of my friends were settled down, but I was single, and I didn’t want to wait around to see if I met somebody who would make me happy. I’d rather take my happiness into my own hands.
Of course, I also wanted to see the world as it is; that’s why I started, but the big part of it is knowing how to make myself happy, and that is through travel. I feel very fortunate to be able to travel and live in a place that resonates with my soul. Cape Town is my spirit city, and I am really happy here. It’s definitely where I’m meant to be.
I visit places that fill up my soul and make me happy.
Perhaps you could introduce a real gem location in Cape Town that you would recommend to visitors?
Oh gosh, there are so many, and I don’t want to say all of them because I don’t want people to steal my spots (giggles). Obviously, Lion’s Head is my favourite. I hike it as often as possible, usually once to thrice a week for sunrise. That’s the best gem, even though it’s not a hidden one.
There are amazing sunset spots here. My favourite is Saunders Rocks because it has a little tidal pool that you can sit next to. You can also watch the waves crashing with Lion’s Head right behind you.
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Tell us about a recent trip to another country?
In Fall, I was in Ecuador for a month and a half, where I hosted an 8-day tour on a cruise. We did island hopping and witnessed Galapagos’ well-known biodiversity. We saw amazing animals and species, and the underwater world there was just – unbelievable. Snorkelling with dolphins and diving with hammerhead sharks were one of a kind opportunities to witness the amazing sea life.
Do you have any expectations of what a perfect trip may look like? How would you define your perfect trip?
I do think you can have a perfect trip, but I would say the key is to have no expectations because you’d want to be flexible and go with the flow. You can set your intentions for what you want out of the trip – basically going in with a positive mindset.
I believe in the law of attraction: if you put positive vibes out, the universe will reward you with positive vibes. Whenever I go on the trip, I’d be like, “this is going to be the best trip EVER” and it usually is! What you put into a trip is what you’ll get out of it.
What has been your most rewarding travel moment?
There’s so many – obviously, the people place such a big part of your travel experience. On every trip as a solo traveller, my friend circle gets bigger because I make deep connections with people. If you travel with a friend, you’re more inclined to always talk to them, but if you’re alone, you’ll talk to different people. Meeting people around the world and getting close to them, caring about them and them caring about you is really unique and rewarding.
What else did you learn from your trips that could be advice for others?
The biggest lesson I have learnt was when I did my first 6-month real travel experience, where I learnt the power of the universe – learning to let things be. You don’t want to go into a certain place with a certain mindset. And that when you face challenges when you travel, remember to trust the process and that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is to make you stronger or an adaptable traveller. There have been crazy things happening to me, and I believe the universe rewards me for going after my dreams.
Since you are a coach, what common mistakes do new travellers make in your opinion?
I can speak for myself like, for example, I missed a flight. One of my biggest tips is getting ready and remembering to double-check everything. When you’re travelling, there are a lot of early mornings, so be prepared and pack the night before. You wouldn’t want to leave anything at your previous destination.
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Do you make a living out of your travel guides? Is it sustainable work that manages your travel expenses?
I have various streams of income – part of it comes from travel writing and editing. I get paid for writing travel articles for media publications, and I’m an editor for the World Footprints. On the other side of this, with my business Adventurelust, I coach clients and plan trips for them, host tour groups and make commissions off of that. For example, later this month, I’m hosting a safari.
Do you have any more advice to those who would like to become full-time travellers?
Definitely have a budget and save up. It is crucial because things can go quickly wrong such as missing a flight and getting another.
It is also a good idea to work remotely so you can travel, experience the world and still get paid.
It’s also imperative to have an open mind – be open to whatever experiences flow in your way and be open to whoever you meet. Don’t be stuck in your way. Follow the flow, and that’s where you’ll have the best experiences.