Stephanie, you’re an awesome part of the Behere team! Tell us about yourself…
“Hey, I’m Stephanie James, and am originally from Colorado Springs, CO. I lived in Baltimore for eight years after graduating college. I’m passionate about my family and friends, poetry, singing, traveling the world and helping others do the same.
I am fortunate enough to be a Flexible Lifestyle Manager for Behere. What in the world is that, right? Glad you asked. I help women live, work and travel abroad, by helping create their foundation in cities around the world. In my free time, I love to host and perform at spoken word poetry events. I also like to sing for weddings and business functions. My health is important to me, so I work out often and try to remain conscious about what I’m feeding my body.
How did you start your journey of traveling and working abroad?
I worked for a Fortune 50 company for eight consecutive years and things were great, I was on the fast track for promotion. I was privileged to be promoted four times in eight years. The company leaders said they saw me reaching a national platform in my career. I was also traveling quite a bit; to Greece, Italy, Beijing… exploring some of the world outside the US. My desire to travel became insatiable. I decided to take a leap in 2017 to travel the world for 12 months. My company leaders initially told me that leaving would be career suicide and it wasn’t the best time to go. But sometimes you have to make the harder decisions alone.
I chose the road less traveled and submitted my leave notice. Starting in 2017, I lived in twelve countries for twelve months. I visited a total of eighteen countries in one year. This put my total countries visited at 28! I lived in South America, Europe and Asia for four months each. I’m currently in London, with plans to explore more of Europe and visit Asia again this year.
What was the scariest thing for you when you first booked your trip? What fears were holding you back?
The most difficult part about the journey was the initial leap. I had security at my job, a platform that I built and strong rapport with company leaders and peers. What I learned most from taking this chance, was that there are opportunities everywhere when you’re willing to see them. I learned everyone thinks it’s impossible until it’s done. Now, the company leaders watch my vlogs and follow my journey. They send me encouraging messages about how they wish they did what I did earlier in their careers.
How has travel inspired you and taught you?
Living out of a suitcase and backpack for a year teaches you how little you really need in life. It shows you where the true value of life lies. That’s in relationships built, experiences felt and all the beautiful people, that look different then you, but have so much in common with you, no matter where you go. It teaches you things are not ‘weird’ but ‘different’. That my way is not the right way or even the best way, it’s just one way. I’ve learned how much I love all food :-). I’ve learned there are kind hearted people everywhere you go. And there are negative people no matter where you go. So choose to surround yourself in beauty and those who bring it. I’ve learned family is everything. You can be alone at the Taj Mahal having an amazing time, but you can also be in your dad’s backyard, playing with your little brother, and experience the same joy. I’ve learned everything and every place is what you make it. I haven’t been to a place yet that I didn’t like and I don’t plan on finding one.
I think everyone should live abroad at some point in their lives. It doesn’t have to be long term or as extensive as myself. But to experience the world, is to experience something bigger than you and appreciate all the things in life we take for granted.
You started your own project when traveling. Tell us about it…
I’ve had the opportunity to perform in almost every country I’ve visited. I have many artist friends who would love to indulge in international performing as well. I created an international platform for artists called, The Artists Connection (TAC). It helps to “bridge borders for artists worldwide.” I have artists participating from all over the world and it grows every day. If you are an artist or lover of the arts, join the connection at taconnection.com and follow us on Instagram @taconnection.
Lastly, I am an international poet, singer and host. If you’re interested in seeing the vlogs from my journey and hearing some of my poetry connect with me justavesselpoetry.com and on Instagram @justavessel22.
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