Jen Mussaw
What is your story?
Where to begin? I am a modern day nomad traveling the world. Currently, I am en route to Asia with my boyfriend, all while living in our car. I grew up in Upstate New York, graduated from College, and like most of us I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. I actually thought I wanted to be in PR and did various internships. But I soon realized that was not for me. I had always wanted to move out west to California, so I packed up my bags and made the move with two suitcases, no job and no real grasp of what career or life path I was going to end up on.  After countless interviews, I landed a job working for a major financial firm in Los Angeles as an administrator for top executives. I thrived in the challenge and new environment, launching myself into that world, absorbing whatever I could. I raised my hand for any opportunity that came my way. My hard work led to a promotion in management with new responsibilities such as: managing events for our clients, overseeing office logistics, running office meetings, and more. A few years had passed and I started to feel myself in a constant daydream somewhere else; where going to work was now a struggle. I would give myself a pep talk each day in the parking lot before entering the office. That is when I decided to make a change.

I still had no idea which direction to go. Should I jump into another career and eventually hit this exact road bump again? Should I go back to school and obtain a masters degree? What would I even study? That is when I decided to just go out and see the world, hoping something would steer me in the right direction. I had heard about people solo-traveling and decided that was exactly what I would do. I chose to travel through Europe, hoping it would be safe enough. I bought a backpack online. I had a list of countries to visit and a one-way plane ticket to Barcelona.

The day came. I had quit my job and it was time to leave Los Angeles. On the plane, I had no clue what was ahead of me. I was scared of landing somewhere foreign alone, but something inside just kept telling myself to stick with it. I ended up traveling around Europe, staying in hostels and finished my solo journey in Croatia on an island called Hvar. The island was beautiful and I really felt a connection somehow. I was offered a volunteer position at a hostel to help check in guests, show them around the island, and take them out at night. I decided sure – why not? I spent three months there in what seemed like a dream. I also met my boyfriend, Borna, who is from the capital city of Zagreb, Croatia. We had so many similar interests, goals, and shared the same passion for traveling.

I wasn’t ready to go back into the workforce just yet; I still felt there was so much to see and didn’t even know where I would start looking. As far as finances, I had spent about half of what I expected to. Borna and I decided that we would travel the world together by car and just make that our life. I finally felt like I had found my “direction” and meaning. We bought a 4×4 car in Croatia and spent five months apart. We saved every cent and prepped for our travels. We originally had planned to overland Africa, but decided on the route to Asia instead.

So, here we are in Turkey; sitting alongside turquoise blue water on the southern coast. After countless hours planning and preparing we are now three weeks on the road and loving every minute. We plan to travel for the next few years, possibly ending up somewhere in Indonesia.

What message do you like to promote?

Anything is possible! If you are unhappy or feeling lost, get out there and put yourself in a new environment. Do what makes you happy! If you focus your mind on it, you can truly accomplish anything. It is scary at first, but trust me, you will learn so much about yourself and the world.

 

In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?

In a way I think I am paving a new road in my community for young women who want to travel and do something outside of the norm. It isn’t always easy on the road; you face many challenges, but it is an incredible journey so far. I love to share my advice and stories with our followers, family, and friends.

 

In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?

I think that in business and in life, it was tough to explain to people what exactly I was trying to do. So many women feel the need to work as hard as they can to move up in a company, and taking any sort of time off during can be viewed as detrimental to your professional success. Women already face more scrutiny in the workplace, and can feel the pressure to have to “make it.” Some people didn’t understand why I would possibly want to leave the firm I was working for. They thought it would set me back as a young woman. But I feel the exact opposite and have learned so many valuable lessons while traveling that I feel can easily translate to whatever I end up doing.

 

Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?

My former boss, Michelle. She had left the firm years before to travel the world with her husband for eight months. She had saved and meticulously planned the entire trip. This was the first time I had heard of someone doing that and that lit a spark in me. I was so interested in her travels and motivations. She ended up back at the firm as a business manager. She has taught me so many lessons about what is really important not only in the work place, but also helped me align my priorities in my personal life.

I also have to mention Borna here; he has done so much work on our car and makes sure we are safe along the way. He has truly made this trip possible and I am so thankful to have him by my side.

 

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

Waking up in the morning somewhere completely new and amazing, looking around and knowing that I did this for myself. I managed to make my way around the world, without letting fear stop me. I love living in our car, the room with a thousand different views!

To follow Jen and Borna’s journey across the globe, check them out on Instagram:
3 Comments
  1. Jen and Borna,

    A prayer for you both!

    Lord, be their guide and their protector
    on the journey, they are currently on.
    Watch over them.
    Protect them from accidents.
    Keep them free from harm to body and soul.
    Lord, support them with Your grace when they are tired.
    Help them be patient in any trouble which may come their way.
    Keep them always mindful of Your presence and love.

    Love you Jen please be safe!

  2. I’m so proud to know you. I think this is amazing and so important for the soul.
    You have always been inspirational. Thank God for strong, brave, smart women like you.
    Love,
    Heather

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