Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachlemorgan Perkins.
Rachlemorgan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
There is a saying I heard today that really resonated with me and it read, “You don’t know where home is until you leave it” by Neri Oxman.
The first 12 years of my life I lived in four different states. When my parents split up, traveling back and forth monthly from Idaho to Missouri was the norm for me. When someone would ask me the question, “Where are you from?” I would have to stop for a second and think. After a few moments, I would find myself saying, “America”. The reason for this was because I felt as if I hadn’t stayed in the same place long enough to call it home. When I finally graduated high school in Idaho in 2013 I felt compelled to immediately leave the country to travel with my family. When I turned 18 while visiting the Rhine river in Switzerland and celebrated with strawberry champagne in Stuttgart, Germany that evening. At that moment I knew that the travel bug had sunk its teeth in me and I was never going to go back to live in Idaho.
Upon returning to the United States, I packed up everything and moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where I continued my education at Saint Louis University. During these four years of college, I had the opportunity to live in Spain for six months to study abroad and was fortunate enough to travel to 6 different countries. About a year later I received the opportunity to travel to Auckland, New Zealand to help with the Senior Olympics. After achieving my B.S. in Social work., I was volunteered for the suicide prevention and crisis hotline during the evenings and worked at a gym during the day. There was absolutely nothing trendy or glamorous about my life. I shared a condo with three, sometimes four other women, and I found happiness within my life through family and friends, but I still wasn’t content with my path. I knew I had to make a drastic change to help challenge myself and the direction of my life. So, I did what I always felt comfortable doing. I moved to LA.
Being so used to change made me feel like I was immune to this feeling some people called, “feeling homesick”. It wasn’t until graduating from college and moving to LA that I truly started to feel slightly homesick. Sometimes, I break down when smelling the fresh air that reminds me of the mountains that would bring me back to Idaho. Never once did I think I would find myself missing such a place. I remember at the age of 16, after seeing all the businesses and schools open and close I felt like this was the place where dreams go to die. I will remind you, I lived there during the recession in 2008. Yet here I was tearing up at the smallest reminder of the place I spent so many of my early days.
Throughout the two years of living in California, I have felt inspired to show people that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how you were brought up, travel was in reach of everyone. It can be as simple as a sacrifice of budget, holding on to an older car a year longer, or simply meeting like-minded people who want to travel in a group to lower costs. These past two years I have added Mexico, and Thailand to my list of countries traveled, and have been to all 50 states and 15 different countries at the age of 24. The mission of my business is to help people stay positive and connected in life through the open-mindedness of tolerance that travel teaches you. Travel is essential to succeed in understanding other cultures and people. This does not necessarily mean traveling around the world. Sometimes it means traveling to your neighbors’ house and getting outside of your comfort zone.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Right now, I have decided to further my education at UCLA extension taking Science curriculum, in pursuit of understanding the world around me. It may not seem like it based on my desire to continue my education, but I have always struggled when it comes to working well in an educational setting. Yet, my love for positivity and traveling stem from this setback. In fact, when I told my mother I wanted to go back to school, she said (out of pure love and motherliness), “I thought you hated school”. And she was right, I do. High school was the source of my earliest days of my battle with anxiety. From my early high school days, I was prescribed medication for depression and anxiety. I had such bad test anxiety I had to take medications just to bare through tests. This struggle with anxiety would sometimes cause me to physically throw up before going to high school. I was even recommended to take ADHD medication because my ability to lose things was causing distress to those around me.
I was put on medication for six years, which forced me to deal with my high anxiety while traveling to all 15 countries. I found moments of clarity during my travels that lifted my anxiety and depression and made me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Through these moments, I got the motivation to quit my medication, which I highly do not recommend. The months to follow without medication were some of my worst months mentally. There would be days I would never leave my room. And I was unsociable, isolated, but I still had family watching over me. My father is the one who would force me to go to the gym once a week. Which doesn’t seem like a lot but eventually it inspired me to go on my own.
I tried to go to the gym early in the morning so no one could see the tears stream down my face as I ran out all my anxiety and depression. I felt pathetic. I felt hopeless. I felt that I was running away from my problems. And yet when I was done and would go back to bed to watch Netflix on my laptop. I felt like I accomplished something.
From these dark depressive episodes came my clarity to help people with mental illness, learn coping mechanisms. My coping mechanisms come from travel and family. The more travelers I speak with the more I learned that they travel for the same reasons. It doesn’t matter if we were traveling to a resort or traveling to a hostel. Traveling and accomplishing something and learning something new helped alleviate depression and anxieties. Traveling helped me meet new people of all different cultures and this diversity helped me from feeling so isolated from the world.
My business has stemmed from this coping mechanism. But my education in Social Work and volunteering at the Suicide Prevention Hotline has also helped me learn a lot more coping mechanisms to help me live with my anxiety. Combining my own experiences with others I have created this business to alleviate some anxiety others might endure, and create a positive space to teach people how to travel. The anxieties I am trying to help alleviate are how to budget before and during travels, how to make money while travelling, what to do while traveling, and many more I am ready to share help others overcome.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
The community I created was inspired by my friends, who were a group of broke college kids wanting to go from St. Louis to Chicago for three days. I was asked to plan it. And I loved it. We all spent under $150 per person for a weekend, had a huge apartment to stay in and bought our own groceries on the car ride there. We attended free museums and walked around famous streets. It was the first time a few people in the group had been out of the state we lived in.
My company is a modern travel lifestyle company. It’s been called travel coaching, a mix between life coaching and travel advice. I am not a luxury LA blogger which really sets me apart from most travel lifestyle bloggers. I speak of the experience of anxiety that I know comes and goes during traveling, the emotions during traveling, and the memories of the traveling you take home with you forever. I have been blessed to have fellow travel lovers all around me and really want to open that door of opportunity to those who may not know how easily achievable it can be. I have been able to travel on an hourly wage of $10.00 (New Zealand 2017) and have taken that outlook and approach when helping all my clients.
What I am most proud of my company is that it is not a luxury travel brand. I feel like my brand is like the Chip and Joanna Gaines of travel lifestyle. This sets me apart from others because most of the time I travel or write about my travels and my own experiences. It’s not about the things or the places I stayed, but rather the people I met and the things I learned on my trips to allow other people to save and take full advantage of their time on their next trips.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The first thing that comes to my mind is graduating from college. The second moment would be moving to Los Angeles. Moving to LA has opened my eyes to the next level of world of travel. I went from visiting a new country every other year to being able to travel to a new country once a year. This changed my views on the world and allowed me to really focus on how I wanted to present the ability to travel to those who felt it impossible. Of course, I still have a minimum wage job in LA, but my experiences and knowledge have allowed me to enhance my money management skills.
I still find myself inspired and motivated for more growth and love in my business and am learning the next steps to take to gain exposure. Recently, I started asking people where their dream vacation is. I research a little bit and show them how their dream vacation can be done for less than $1000 for a whole week. This has not only made me stronger as a travel coach but has shown people that it is possible to travel anywhere. I always tell people who are looking to travel but don’t have the money, or time, to start by traveling to their neighbor’s house. Knock on the door and sit with them for an hour. Ask them where they are from, some of their best childhood memories. We have become so distant as people, we forget that those around us have a journey to take us on as well.
- Monthly Postcards of travels: ($1)
- How to research budget travel: Travel 101 ($40)
- Mentor 1 on 1: Travel beginner ($100)
- Travel Scholar: Intermediate ($400)
- World traveler: Experienced ($1000)
- Address: 23371 Mulholland Dr. #203 Woodland Hills CA 91364
- Website: www.patreon.com/rachlemorgan
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rachlemorgan
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachlemorgan
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/rachlemorgan