How Taylor Accelerated Her Adventure
A few months ago I had the pleasure of running into Bossed Up Bootcamp alum Taylor at a DC event and she casually mentioned how she had just returned from a weekend in Paris.
“Damn, girl!” I said, “That’s awesome! What were you there for?”
“For Paris!” She retorted, and began telling me all about the adventures she’s been on since our time together at Bootcamp.
Seeking out solo international travel is just one of the ways in which this boss has accelerated her life since then. I sat down with Taylor to get the full story.
Emilie: Thanks for sharing, Taylor! So tell us what you’ve been up to since Bootcamp!
Taylor: My pleasure! I love sharing – but so much has changed, it’s hard to know where to begin! I suppose let’s start with the travel. I’ve always been one to have wanderlust and consider myself a pretty worldly person, but I had only ever been abroad once in college. I really hadn’t taken action on that part of my identity – it was more aspirational.
Frankly, I thought picking up and traveling abroad was this unattainable, financially-reckless thing that only other people could do. It’s not something my friends were doing, and so I just sort of stifled that desire while pursuing my career. I have a stable, 9-to-5 job at a major think tank that I love, after all. I wasn’t going to quit my life and go on some Eat Pray Love world tour.
Then my coworker introduced me to Wow Air, whose whole motto is that finances shouldn’t prevent you from seeing the world. I was like, wow, I’m going to do this! I got a bit enthusiastic and planned a week vacation that spanned across three countries, and I planned it as a solo trip because it was simpler and I knew exactly what I wanted. And I wanted to challenge myself.
E: Wow! That’s amazing – weren’t you scared flying solo that whole time?
T: You know what? It was amazing. Being alone! It meant I had to schedule myself to get out and about and got to see everything I wanted to see. It also forced me into social interactions with strangers that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I travelled that way through Copenhagen, Berlin, and Amsterdam, and it was incredible.
E: So cool. What did that experience teach you?
T: It made me kind of laugh at myself for not having done this before! I was like, “of COURSE you can do this, Taylor! Why haven’t you done this before now?” I felt so accomplished and proud and had this deep sense of satisfaction for going off and not waiting for the world to come to me.
It also made me realize this: I don’t need to drastically change my whole life to have the kind of adventure I want. This is doable, and it’s not impractical, and I believe it makes us better humans.
E: Fab! So what was it like going back to work after that?
T: Well, funny you should ask, because I had been working hard at my organization for 3 years and was in the midst of a review when I left for this vacation. They knew I needed to feel a sense of forward momentum and was looking to progress, and apparently they also wanted to make sure I didn’t quit on them, because I came home to a 20% raise.
E: Damn, woman! That’s amazing.
T: It is, right?! They really invest in me and my bosses there have gone the extra mile to help me truly understand my strengths and passions, and where that fits into the long-term vision of the organization and of my life. I mean, they sponsored me to attend Bossed Up Bootcamp, after all!
E: Love. So what’s next?
T: In the past few months (after starting to study for the GRE’s six whole years ago!) I finally felt clear about why exactly I wanted to go back to grad school in the first place. I applied and was accepted into a phenomenal program right here in DC where I’ll be studying political communication and continue working with my organization full-time. We worked out a mutually beneficial arrangement, since this program leads directly into the work I’m already doing and will hopefully yield beneficial relationships for all parties involved. I am so excited for this next adventure to pursue my professional passion.
E: Congratulations! So tell me – what role do you feel Bossed Up Bootcamp played in all of this?
T: I went to Bootcamp, frankly, because my colleague was already on board, my work sponsored me, and I was open and willing to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted next for my life. That weekend – and being a part of the Bootcamp alumni community – truly repositioned me to accelerate my life in so many ways. Being surrounded by ambitious women who believe in uplifting other ambitious women — that’s real boss. I feel reconnected to the whole reason I moved here to DC in the first place, with a clear sense of what I want for my life, and I’m back on the path that will lead me there. There were a few years in there where I felt like I was spinning my wheels – not quite sure what I wanted or where I was headed. Bootcamp absolutely turned that around for me. Now I remind myself regularly to ‘embrace the boss.’