Welcome to Spin the Globe Project! I’m Anna, a 27-year-old dreamer with an appetite for adventure, a desire for simplicity, and nomadic tendencies. Hence why I live in a self-converted, self-contained, solar-powered van with my dog Cagney.
After graduating with a degree in Sustainability and Global Health, a few things were true about my life. I was more lost than ever, I felt relatively unqualified to start any type of career, and I had an itch to know more. So, I packed my bags and set off in pursuit of becoming a global citizen.
Growing up in a military family, I was no stranger to the nomadic lifestyle. So it was probably inevitable that I booked a one-way ticket to Australia to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Development.
I knew I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, but hadn’t fully worked out the “how.” So, I spent five years trying on professional titles like English Teacher, Executive Assistant, Operations Associate, and Project Support Officer.
Through travel hacks, studying abroad, volunteering and working in international nonprofits, I managed to backpack around Africa, South America, North America, Oceania, Europe and Asia on a budget. I crossed off and simultaneously added bucket-list items, taking me through Incan Ruins in the Andes, to the thin air on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, diving with crocodiles in Australia, swimming with giant Manta Rays in Thailand, and eventually working a “9-5” office job in New York City.
I explored 6 continents and countless cultures, seeking growth, connections, and love. I fell for people and places, pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, and occasionally stumbled into pessimistic lows about myself and humanity.
No matter where my journey has taken me, I always strive to combine storytelling with my cultural experiences to promote human rights and sustainability.
So, how did I go from being an international aid worker & travel seeker to a full-time nomad in a van?
My decision can’t be attributed to one thing. It was a series of events, leading up to a dramatic moment when I could no longer ignore the fact that something needed to change. As an executive assistant to a CEO of an international non-profit, my job was emotionally draining and complex. I failed to create boundaries, and the job seeped into my personal life and took a very real toll on my health and mental well-being.
I burnt out at 26-years-old, after five long years of working in the nonprofit and international development sector. (Read more about why I burned out here).
Even though the diverse cultural melting pot of Manhattan was a dream come true, I needed a break from the rat race, I needed to do some soul searching, and I used this opportunity to jump into a new life.
On January 15th, 2017, I put in my two-weeks-notice, packed my backpack, and on February 1st, I hopped on a plane, Asia bound. I spent two months trekking my way through a jungle, finding my zen inside ancient ruins, and learned how to scuba dive while marveling at marine life.
Somewhere between the coral reefs and heart-to-hearts with fellow dreamers in hostels, I was inspired to combine and pursue my passions of human rights, environmental conservation, traveling, and writing as a career.
So with nothing left to lose, and desperate not to fall into old patterns, I decided to stop going against the grain of my heart, and build a job around a lifestyle I am passionate about.
So, I converted this Ford, Transit cargo van…
Into my new mobile home.
And hit the road.
In hopes that my journey will inspire you to follow your own truth, take more risks, and travel with a purpose.
Follow my van life journey here.
or read about Spin the Globe Project here.
Discover 10 Ways to Travel the World on a Tight Budget from my own tested methods over the last 7 years.
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