Not Your Average Gals are kickass, blazing-their-own-path, independent-minded, free-thinking, kind-hearted and all around wonderful humans beings. We learn a lot about ourselves from the people we choose to look to for inspiration or friendship. I’m excited to introduce you to some of them.
World, meet Jen of Jen on a Jet Plane. I became kindred spirits with Jen while living in South Florida and following her life back then of balancing being a full-time lawyer while also traveling the world.
She used to live on the west side of Florida and I’d often see her post about her east side road trips to my side of town. She gave me plenty of things to do even in my own city that I didn’t even know about.
But she doesn’t live in Florida anymore.
In fact, she’s not even practicing law full time anymore.
She quit being a full-time lawyer, moved to Puerto Rico and (before COVID) travels for a living educating the masses about how they can work remotely and do the same.
She’s now a #1 Amazon best selling author, TedX speaker and TikTok extraordinaire.
I’m so incredibly grateful Jen is sharing her story with me. She’s most definitely a Not Your Average Gal you’ll enjoy learning from. Let’s go!
Jen on a Jet Plane, Solo Female Traveler & Entrepreneur
What’s your passion–the thing that makes you a Not Your Average Gal?
I love to travel the world solo and on a budget, and help others do the same.
When did you start this passion?
In 2017, I set out to take 12 trips in 12 months while employed full-time as an attorney before my 30th birthday. While I was professionally accomplished, I felt like I was lacking personally since I had failed to acquire a husband or start a family before the milestone birthday.
I’d tried countless dating apps and websites but the interactions all left me feeling depleted and devalued. So instead, I quit dating altogether and focused on making my travel goal a reality.
I ended up taking 20 trips in 12 months, finding deals that were too good to pass up, like a $38 flight to New Zealand and $16 flight to Ecuador. I wrote a book about finding cheap flights that become a #1 Amazon bestseller and 2018 Readers’ Favorite award winner. After that, I decided to quit practicing law and pursue my passion of traveling and writing. I’ve since given a TEDx talk about the power of flying solo, published a second book that cracked Amazon’s top 150 list overall, and have been feature by The Washington Post, Huffington Post and ABC News.
Do you make any income with your business?
My books provide me with a steady stream of passive income through Amazon royalties every month. I launched a companion course on affordable travel that did well and have also worked to monetize my blog by learning more about SEO best practices and increasing organic traffic to my site.
Do you have a “day job” that is different from your passion or business?
I quit my “day job” but I teach English online in the mornings to help pay the bills. It started out as a side gig and then became ideal when I transitioned to the digital nomad life as the pay is reliable and the hours are flexible. I can teach anywhere with decent WiFi.
What lead you to your current path? (What was your previous job or background or experience that got you to where you are today?)
I used to work at a nonprofit law firm, and I enjoyed my job. I had great coworkers and a sense of purpose. However, I had to fight with people on a daily basis. Not a day would go by that I didn’t get stressed out or irrationally angry, and it didn’t seem sustainable. I practiced law for 5 years before I decided to make the switch.
In pursuing something less than conventional, did you face any pushback from family, friends or even strangers? If so, how did you deal?
Surprisingly, my friends and family were very supportive. I even had a coworker buy me a book for Christmas about the business of being an author with the inscription, “Go ahead, be happy.” I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.
What are 3 things that you’ve gained from doing what you love and perhaps going against the norms?
- I’ve learned to enjoy life in all its stages, instead of wishing I could fast forward to the next.
- I’ve learned to be happy for my friends instead of resentful or envious that everyone I know is getting married or having a baby except for me.
- Lastly, I’ve learned that the world is filled with experiences that can make you feel whole, and that kindness and a smile can surpass all language barriers.
Tell us something about yourself people would be surprised to hear!
I’m left handed, I took Chinese for three years in high school but can’t speak a lick of it, and I was once invited on stage to be David Copperfield’s magician’s assistance. Hobby-wise, aside from traveling and writing I love to read and get lost in completely non-productive books like a YA series or romance novel. Karen Moning’s fever series got me through law school — it’s a guilty pleasure!
Are there any words of advice you can offer readers who struggle creating their own path?
Focus on what you have instead of what you’re lacking. I didn’t have a boyfriend, husband, children or even dog, but that meant that I had no one to tie me down, no obligations and complete freedom to go wherever I wanted. There’s always an upside if you’re willing to find it.
Any favorite mottos or quotes that you live by?
“The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.”
– Spencer Johnson, author of “Who Moved My Cheese?”
“The best adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Be sure to follow all of Jen’s adventures here:
Bolding throughout article is my own emphasis.