Destination Unknown

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Destination UnknownIn December 2011 Scotty Boxa decided it was time to live his dream.  He has given up his well paying job, moved out of his home, sold his possessions and is about to set out on an amazing journey around the world.

It’s the sort of thing a lot of us wish we could do and Scotty is doing it slightly differently than most – he’s letting his followers choose where he goes and what to experience!

I think Scotty’s story is so inspiring and adventurous.  It’s all about stepping out of that comfort zone  and taking the leap into the unknown.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Scotty, here is what he had to say:

What made you decide to leave a good job/career and head overseas indefinitely?

I have always loved to travel and after being in my job for around seven years and growing with the radio station from one station to now 10 stations, I had kind of reached the peak of my career within the company.  If I wanted to continue doing what I loved, there was nothing available, no options to grow and expand professionally.  I was stuck in a rut doing the same thing; trying to advance and do things differently, taking three steps forward only to be knocked back two.  Don’t get me wrong I loved what I did, but it can be very frustrating to see the huge possibilities and opportunities only to be knocked back due to others lack of understanding or unwillingness to move forward with technology.

So, after accumulating leave for 15 months due to the amount of workload (which is a long time for someone who loves to travel) I sat down and thought about what I wanted to do and the direction I wanted to go.  I was spending 10-15hrs a day at work, but for what? Almost no one knew I was there late because they had all gone home, so you wouldn’t even get a ‘thank you’ for your effort or time and every day I would be starting with another massive workload.  Like co-workers, I found little appreciation for effort, and it made me start to think… 

I was considering buying a house with the money I had saved.  I did a 5-10 year plan only to see that I would still be stuck in the same job, doing the same thing. Essentially, missing out on the things I wanted to do and time spent with friends and family.  So I chose the opposite path. Why spend that money to be stuck for the next however many years, when I have the opportunity to travel and do what I love anywhere in the world…? The choice was kind of easy after that.

A lot of people would love to do what you’re doing but think they can’t afford it.  What are your suggestions for financing a trip like this?

Well I have been saving to buy a house and I have always been pretty good with money so that’s a good start.  Australia also seems to be one of the most expensive countries in the world to live, so by going almost anywhere else in the world you not only get a good exchange rate but good savings on day to day living.

If you’re willing to give up on some luxuries/change along the way, you’ll be surprised at how it all adds up. I used to hire DVD’s a lot so I stopped that.  I subscribed to a few magazines so I stopped them.  I cancelled my Austar.  I used to eat and drink out a lot with friends, I started drinking and eating at home with friends.   I stopped buying the things I didn’t NEED… (there is a big difference between NEED and WANT)  e.g. you WANT that new shirt, but you don’t NEED it. You WANT this, you WANT that… but you don’t actually NEED it.

The biggest thing I found when moving out of my house and back into my parents for a month or two before I go travelling, was the amount of ‘STUFF’ I had that I didn’t need or use… all that wasted money!  All those clothes that didn’t fit or I didn’t wear! (Lifeline loved me for it).  Going from a three bedroom house to live out of a backpack you start to really realise how little you really need to live and how much junk you can accumulate that you’ll never use!  A few years back I stopped trying to keep up with the ‘Joneses’ and started just doing what I needed and buying only what I needed… Ok, I did do a few ‘wants’ too; I’m only human after all!

There are so many little things you can do to put a few bucks away, it may not seem like much but in a year it all adds up.  I added up all the spare change I was putting in a container at the end of each day… and found I had over $1200 just in spare change!  Then, rather than go out and drink with friends, where you spend $5-10 a drink, spend $40 on a carton of beer and invite everyone over.  It just made sense, you can save $100-200+ a night.  Cutting these things out didn’t really change my social life, if anything it gave me more time to do the things I never had time to do.

Spare Change – $1200
Drinking out – $100 a week
DVD’s  – $10 a week
Austar – $11 a week
Magazines – $10 a week
 

Just cutting these little bits out added up to $7000+ a year! I did a lot of other little things as well, one by one… You don’t have to do them all at once, just cut back on one thing a week, take stock and cut back on one thing the following week, and go on from there. The sooner you stop doing the ‘WANTS’ the more you have to save.

What do you hope to achieve personally while you are away.

I hope to grow more as a person, see the world in a new light and appreciate the little things a bit more.  Being stuck in an office five to six days a week, you get absorbed into your own little world and you start to forget about what’s going on around you.  I also want to try to break out of my comfort zone and do and try new things.  You always feel like you can’t do something because someone else said you can’t or wouldn’t do it and you don’t want to do anything too drastic because of the ‘what if’ factor.   But to grow as a person and to learn more about yourself and the world around you, you have to break out of that comfort zone. This leap…? Quitting my job, selling pretty much everything I own and throwing myself into the real world, is definitely breaking out of my comfort zone!

People will say “you’re very brave”.  What do you say in response to that?

Ha ha ha! Well some people have said more than “you’re very brave”. Some of the responses I got were more like. “You have a great job, you get paid well, why quit?” “You’re an idiot for quitting!” or “You’re just being a spoilt little so and so.”  Really, I’m just doing it for me.  I love travel, meeting new people and experiencing new things.  I wouldn’t say I’m brave, but I am going out on a bit of a limb.  What’s the worst that can happen?  As a friend said to me, “Do you ever hear anyone say “Oh, I wish I hadn’t taken that year off to travel.”  I haven’t, have you?  I have worked and saved pretty hard to do this, it hasn’t just happened over night, although to many people, that’s what they think.

The other side of the coin is the great feedback from people, about how they wish they could do it. They want to come, if they didn’t have kids or a house or ‘insert excuse’ here, they would do it. We all have that ‘excuse’.  We just have to cut the cord and take a leap of faith which is what I am about to do.

What countries do you hope to visit?

My trip at the moment, will begin in the USA, driving from the West Coast (LA area) to the East Coast (New York) and across Route 66 which I’ve always dreamt of doing. That will take about three months and then I’m off to Canada.  Where to from there, who knows? There’s something so liberating about travelling that has always appealed.  New people and new places. I’ve made some unbelievable friends and had incredible experiences in my travels before, so I’m looking forward to more!  I don’t really mind where I go as long as it’s exciting… I have already travelled quite a bit across Europe, Ireland, England and Scotland when I was younger and more recently Vanuatu, Thailand, LA & Vegas.

Have you got anywhere or anything in particular you really want to see or do?

There are so many things on my ‘To-do’ list, but also on that list, is to do things that aren’t on the list.  As I said before I love to travel and explore.  I also want to meet the people and see how they live and experience the world, not just see it from a hotel room or a tourist’s perspective. So really that’s what I want to do – explore. I don’t mind where or how (to a certain degree). Just to be able to do it is enough, I’ll keep it to something simple – like, to explore, dream and discover.

You are allowing complete strangers pick where you first head to, what made you decide to do this?

Well I’m not just allowing strangers to pick where I go to first, but many more things along the way.  No matter how much you Google, research and try to find out about somewhere, sometimes there is something better just around the corner you may have never known about. I’m hoping people will not only help me do things that are not on my ‘To-do’ list but I’d also like to think that I’m helping them get up and experience it themselves too.

So many of my friends, work colleges and probably many others wish they could be doing it, but can’t/won’t for all the excuses they can manage.  Hopefully this will allow them to live a little dream of their own through me and I will experience things I may have never thought of. Kind of like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book, except you’re helping me choose mine.

I’ll be asking YOU to vote on the places I go, the things I should see and do.  I want it to be an interactive website and not just a blog – a vicarious experience where YOU get a say as well. I’ll be trying to incorporate a TV/Video type show about the destinations I go, the people I meet and the places I stay….. and again YOU are a part of it every step of the way via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and my website.  So what are you waiting for? Head on over and Vote on my next Destination Unknown…

  

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Comments

  1. Thanks Paula, it was a pleasure doing the interview.. I wish you all the best with your site and I look forward to chatting again with you in the near future with you.

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