Erin Drew is one of our favorite people. She's bold, courageous, and has offered our readers incredible insight on the beauty and benefit of independent exploration. Read our Q+A with Erin below, and don't be surprised if you start packing a suitcase right after.
This month's theme is all about Independent Travel. Tell us about some of your adventures and why you value independent travel so highly.
I've been doing solo getaways since 2017. I usually go 2-3 times per year. It gives me a chance to reconnect with nature, revel in the joy of silence, journal, and paint. These trips fill my creative tank and keep me grounded. I've taken a carriage tour around Charleston, SC, a bubble bath in Hagerstown, MD, bought CBD honey in Berlin, MD, and ate Thai food on a bench by the water in Solomon Island, MD. Food tastes better on these trips and my dreams are more vivid.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to supporting the growth of future leaders. How do you believe that independent travel can spark our growth as professionals?
I think any time you take to eliminate the noise of life and be with yourself, you can hear your intuition better. This is beneficial regardless of profession or life path.
Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment that took place during one of your travel adventures.
Last year, I was hiking by Smith Mountain Lake, VA and napped in the sun on a little bench I found a few feet away from the water. It was June and the mix of breeze and sun on my face was so healing. My brain has gone back to that place as I've attempted to meditate my way through the pandemic.
How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?
I quit my job a month later because I realized I didn't want to endure the stress and negative energy of my work environment. I started a nanny gig because I realized a deep need (I had been ignoring) to help others in a direct way. I sold my house to live out my dream of cohabitating with my dog in a cute city apartment.
What is a step that each of us can take today to start to venture out into the unknown?
Start small. Pick a spot 30-45 minutes away. Go for a night. Plan an agenda. Bring things that make you happy and engaged: puzzle, book, art supplies, sketch pad, notebook, running shoes...There are no rules except to go by yourself.
If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Do things that scare you. You're more resilient than you think.
What is your favorite quote or song lyric?
"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." -- Lily Tomlin
Based on your experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed as a result of independent travel?
Problem solving, creativity, and trusting my intuition.
What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2021?
Launch my voiceover business, On Brand Voice.
Erin is a Baltimore-based writer, voiceover talent, wedding officiant, performer, and Co-Producer for Mortified in D.C./Baltimore. Since the pandemic, she has honed her paint-by-number and interior decorating skills.