At Behere, we’re constantly inspired by the amazing women in our community. We’re thrilled to feature some of their stories and share how they’ve made traveling while working possible. From unconventional roles, to starting businesses abroad, these women have made exploring new places a priority. They share their biggest learnings, favorite memories, and advice for someone thinking about living in a new city for a month.
Today’s Behere community feature, Marilyn Sadler, is an author who sold her house to travel for a year. Originally from Ohio, Marilyn recently sold her home and belongings to embark on a year abroad. She used Behere to book several months in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. There, she’s focusing on writing, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and connecting with the community. Read more about her below.
You’re an author, but that’s not all. Tell us more about what you do.
I’m a writer and author of children’s books! As well, I’m the creator of a number of children’s television programs, including 2 shows for the Disney Channel. My profession has afforded me the luxury of being able to work from anywhere in the world, and I love it!
For my year abroad, I also recently created a travel and food website. There, I document the sites and sounds of the countries I visit, as well as the pleasures, and challenges, of being a raw vegan in some of the world’s diverse cultures. I would love to awaken others, in a gentler way, to the health benefits of eating vegan, not only for us humans, but for the planet at large. I don’t believe one has to preach one’s beliefs to change the world, but rather to live one’s life as an example.
So far, what has your typical day looked like while traveling?
When I decided to commit to a year abroad, I sold my home and put my possessions in storage so I could travel the world without a care in the world.
As a result, I greet every day with this incredible feeling of freedom and lightheartedness. Some days I sleep late, other days I rise with the sun. Being a raw vegan always in search of food, Chiang Mai has been paradise for me. The quality, variety and abundance of fresh fruit is astounding, and the beautiful apartment I booked on Behere is located close to a fabulous grocery store. It’s been a very healing place for me, spiritually and emotionally.
I have access to yoga studios, parks and massage studios on every corner and I indulge in at least one of these luxuries every day. I also love that I can be as social as I choose thanks to Behere’s an amazing network of local hosts who provide a bevy of stimulating, cultural and fun activities in which to participate. Heck, they’ve even helped me find new friends!
In between all these daily choices (which can easily fill up your day), I work. The workspace I booked on Behere has provided a comfy place to soak up the energy of other hard working travelers. I find I get much more done in these work environments, away from my refrigerator.
What is your biggest take away/ learning while abroad?
When I left home to travel I had so many friends and family members tell me I was brave and that they couldn’t do what I was doing. Then they would follow up with “be careful” and “be safe”. What was so interesting was they were mostly men!
It never once occurred to me that I wouldn’t be safe. Nor did I think I was particularly brave. I was just following a desire so strong I’d had no choice but to act on it. And I’ve never looked back.
I’m learning that traveling alone is not so scary. As long as you have the internet, you can sit comfortably anywhere in the world and find everything you need while drinking a smoothie. Things work out when you relax, take a deep breath and smile at everyone – not in an insane looking way – but in a warm, friendly and inviting way. You’ll attract the right people into your space to help you, comfort you or find you some pineapple on a stick.
How has Behere helped in your journey?
Before I arrived in Chiang Mai, I spent a month in Japan, which I navigated on my own; booking flights, finding rooms and figuring out the many details you need to know when stepping foot in a foreign land. By the time I arrived in Thailand, I was a tad tired.
By using Behere, I had a beautiful apartment, with an amazing host who has helped me in every way you can imagine – from facilitating the renewal of my Thailand visa, to introducing me to a social network of people, activities and events, not to mention restaurants, juice bars and transportation options throughout the city. It’s been great to have support and someone there to help, no matter what I need or how soon.
We love hearing highlights from our communities adventures, what was one of yours?
It’s difficult to pick one memory, but I do have one favorite repeating memory. Every morning I wake up in what feels like a dream-come-true. I’m happy. I’m in control of my life. And I have the whole day ahead of me to follow my heart’s moment-to-moment desires. Then I stretch my arms up over my head and realize I’m smiling.
How has living in a new place affected your work?
Traveling alone has given me the time to turn inward and be what some might call selfish. To me it’s something we all have access to and it’s a good thing. We are in this physical world to express our creativity (in whatever form that takes) and to share our authentic selves and our inner beauty.
Having the freedom to be alone and tap into deeper parts of myself has been a tremendous boost to my creativity. I left home having lost my desire to work. Sitting down to write had become an excruciating chore. Shortly after arriving in Chiang Mai, ideas for stories began to pop into my head, leading me down that old, familiar road to the land of make-believe.
Finally, what’s your #1 piece of advice for someone who’s thinking about living in a new city for a month?
If your desire is strong enough, like mine, you will act on yours too. At that point, keep your mind focused on moving forward. Don’t think about what you’re leaving behind. You can always return to whatever that was. I guarantee you won’t want to though.
Also, I didn’t make my decision overnight. I made it slowly over time, until the next thing I knew I was on the phone with a realtor. Six months later, here I am, in Chiang Mai.