Anna's Wanderlust Story

Happy #wanderwednesday! Tonight Moth Oddities is sharing the Wanderlust Story of our featured traveler, Anna Vaughan. Along with our three other adventurous friends Megan ClineCarolyn Monke, and Kimberly Stabenow, Anna inspired our recently launched Wanderlust CollectionThese ladies have embarked on life-changing travels and Moth Oddities has been giving an inside peek into their journeys on the blog. Anna is well known for her wild, adventurous spirit. She has gained a tremendous amount of insight from her recent travels to India, Australia, Thailand, and Alaska. Yes, we are aware that we just listed a TON of different locations after the word "recent." That is how crazy this girl is. She is constantly on the move and broadening her worldview. Read on to learn more about her experiences and get tips from a pro!

Tell us about your personal Wanderlust story

Anna: I recently wrapped up a solo journey to Goa, India for a yoga teacher training retreat. I spent a month on the coast of the Arabian Sea meeting new souls, filling my heart with a variety of amazing experiences and engulfing myself in the yogi lifestyle. Most days were spent diving deeper into my personal yoga practice via asana, meditation, and pranayama while learning how to teach this passion to others upon my return. On days off of class we would get the chance to explore the island, beaches, and villages around the retreat and connect a bit more with the Indian culture. I am back in the states now preparing for another adventure Westward to begin work on a dude ranch called The Ranch at Rock Creek as a hiking guide until the Fall. I hope to also share my love for yoga using the skills I learned in India to teach at the ranch when I am not taking on the trails or learning a fun new outdoor skill!

Why is travel so important to you?

Anna: Travel is so much more than just a hobby or a passion for me, it is the way I live my life. The person that I am, the people in my life, the opportunities I have been given are all a result of following my inner wanderlust spirit and trusting the wild, crazy journey that comes with it. In the past few years I have spent seasons exploring the mountains of Alaska, hopping the islands of Thailand and Cambodia, and road tripping the coast of Australia - each experience has brought me a little bit closer to my own truth and made me feel so abundantly alive in the process - that’s what keeps me going.

How have your travels impacted your life?

Anna: I haven’t found my feet in one place for longer than six months in over six years and although it can be a bit of a whirlwind constantly relocating, it has also completely expanded my perspective and attitude towards how I live my life. It has made me entirely grateful for the people I get to return to and so proud of a place like Minneapolis to call home. Traveling has forced me to look at the bigger picture of life and made me slow down to appreciate the little things.

Anna is pictured wearing the Leaf Ring from the Wanderlust Collection. Shop all items HERE.

What is something you have done during your travels that is outside your comfort-zone?

Anna: The entire reason I travel is to live my life outside of my comfort zone, so I guess I would say almost every bit of travel I have done has challenged me, but in completely different ways.  Spending an entire month pushing my body to the extreme through yoga was definitely a physical challenge for me and this summer I will enter into the world of the wild wild West knowing absolutely nothing about horses or ranch life - finding comfort outside of my comfort-zone is, hands down, my favorite part about living this beautiful life!

What is the most enlightening experience you have had during your travels?

Anna: Being in a country of extreme poverty filled with some of the happiest people on the planet is one of the most humbling things I think anyone can experience. Realizing that joy does not come from money or physical possessions but something that can be manifested from within was one of the biggest lessons I have learned through traveling.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had during your travels?

Anna: My first solo backpacking trip will always be one of the most rewarding things I have done. While in Alaska last summer I decided to take on the Chilkoot Trail - a 33 mile trek through the historical pass running from Alaska to Canada - over a cold and rainy 3 day stretch. I spent five miles pushing through waist high glacier water, came face-to-face with a brown bear, and finished a four to five day hike in three. I couldn’t have imagined facing those challenges alone prior to the journey but they really helped me realize my own strength and potential!

Okay, here’s the impossible question: All time favorite travel destination?

Anna: I think people ask me this questions every day and I still have a hard time answering it because every place I have been has been heavily influenced by the people I meet and experience I have. That being said,  the mountains of Alaska will always have a piece of my soul and if you have not been, please put it on your bucket list.

Have you found ways to be frugal while traveling? If so, what tips do you have?

Anna: My number one travel tip is to not stress about the money, it always comes. If your intentions for travel are pure and you are open to every part of the adventure you will be abundantly supported and supplied. I know that may sound a little 'woo woo' but I have never found anything to be more true. Be willing to work your ass off, make sacrifices, and accept that things will never ever be how to you planned and I promise, you will always find a way.

Second, work where you travel! Like I said, travel isn’t something I do outside of my every day life, it is my life and I have chosen to make it that way. I have found odd jobs in different countries to support my travels and seasonal jobs around the US that allow me to experience a new place for a longer period of time. 

      For seasonal work inside the US:
      Coolworks - www.coolworks.com
      Backcountry Jobs -  www.backcountryjobs.com
      The Google machine - seriously, Google your dream job & I bet it’s easier than you think!

      For work outside of the US:
      WWOOF - www.wwoof.net (also inside US)
      HelpX - www.helpx.net
      Work Away -  www.workaway.info
      GumTree - www.gumtree.com   (Australia)

What are you looking forward to?

Anna: I am looking forward to all of the unexpected things that are coming into my future - the people I will meet, the experiences I will have and the places I will get to go. Being a wanderlust warrior has taught me to live my life with my heart and mind wide open to every bit of magic in this world!

Anna is pictured wearing the Red Plaid Button-Up from the Wanderlust Collection. Shop all items HERE.

Well, that's a wrap for miss Anna Montana (as Ian likes to call her). Which is appropriate since she is now settling in at her new MT home for the next eight months. We wish you all the best, Anna! 

How about you? Have any fun summer get-aways planned? Share in a comment below, we would love to get some ideas! Also, you can learn more about our Featured Travelers from the Wanderlust Intro blog post and stop over at the Shop to grab your favorite items for your next adventure! 

Thanks for reading,

XO - Yana & Ian, Moth Oddities