My Journey

The Traveler In Me

The Traveler In Me 900 600 Shelly Eilrich - Becoming Bohemian

As a Nomad and traveler, I don’t have my own place to call home.  I have many homes instead. In August 2018, I gave up my permanent address and traded it for a PO Box.  This was not on a whim and actually something I had been slowly transitioning into over the last 4 years.  Let’s be honest though, it was already part of my path way before I became an active participant in the planning.  My soul was always called to travel and live life on the road.

As a child growing up in Kansas, our vacations consisted of weekend camping trips to the nearby lakes.  My best friend and her family would always come along and we would create this tiny village as we set up camp.  Some of my fondest memories took place on these simple family outings. We would build mud baths and run wild in the woods, take the boat out to tube and ski, get nice and clean in the nearby shower house, ride mopeds without helmets, and roast marshmallows by the fire every night.  What more could a girl want?

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, we got to travel to Disney World for Chistmas.  This was the first of many flights to come in my lifetime. I don’t have specific memories of being on the plane or even any feelings but excitement.  The trip was a good balance of full speed ahead and site seeing to ending our days early to go swim in the hotel pool. This lesson has always stuck with me.  There is no set amount time you have to spend somewhere in order to fully experience it. It is always important to check in with yourself to see what it needs in that moment.

My first international adventure would be when I was 16 and invited to visit our French foreign exchange student and spend the summer with his family.  I was presented with the choice to either go to France or get a car. I did not hesitate with my choice. I knew I could always get a car but the opportunity to visit a real French family would be a once in a lifetime.  At that age I already knew it was more important for me to experience things rather than accumulate things. This belief continues to shape my life to this day.

In the years to follow,  my travels would include music festival weekends, many more camping trips with boyfriends, a 3 month solo backpacking trip in Europe, family vacations to visit relatives, and a cross country move to South Carolina.  I then became aware of Brand Ambassador work and it was a seamless transition from the Food and Beverage industry that I had spent many years working. This allowed me to travel for work and work when I traveled. I spent the next 5 years floating up and down the East coast promoting for various companies and products.  

That brings me to the present day lifestyle I lead.  One of those temporary gigs has provided a greater opportunity to partake in long term travel across the United States.  Now I get paid to be a Field Supervisor and manage a local survey team for long term projects in various cities. They pay my travel expenses, my lodging, and I get summers off.  Please pinch me! I’m in full gratitude of how my life has unfolded. I had no idea what my life would look like but always knew that travel and freedom would be at the heart of it.  

"Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself."

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

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