NYC Consulting to Extended Travel: Interview with Connie Hum

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NYC Consulting to Extended Travel: Connie Hum

Connie Hum

Lily’s note: This is an interview with Connie Hum of Connvoyage. Connie left her job with an international consulting firm in New York City in 2009 to travel and work on a variety of environmental and humanitarian projects around the world.

Connie has been on the road for 2 years, has travelled to 38 countries and even fell in love along the way. She is currently in Hong Kong.

 

You can follow Connie’s adventure on:
Twitter: @conniehum @connvoyage
Her blog: connvoyage.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/ConnVoyage


What inspired you to leave your job?

I made the decision at the end of 2008 when I was 28 to leave my amazing apartment in New York City and job with an international consulting firm.

My life and job in New York City were great but I began to feel the need for something more than the average 9 to 5 days. I felt that I had lived such an amazing and privileged life and I wanted to connect more with the world around me. I left my job in February 2009 and had no idea how long I was going to be gone, which was both thrilling and terrifying! It’s been 2 years since I left and I’m still on the road, loving my life and not regretting my decision!

Any particular goals or themes for your time off?

I wanted to focus my travels on volunteering, personal growth and trying to connect while simultaneously finding a balance between myself and the world around me.

I volunteered in Thailand for 3 months but had originally planned to volunteer in Nepal for 6 months before discovering that it was a volunteer scam. I had hoped to volunteer more but I didn’t realize how difficult it can be to get involved in some places. Now that I’m planning on living in Hong Kong for some time, I’m looking into more volunteer opportunities there.

How are you funding your travels and what’s your budget?

I’ve been spending my savings on my travels since 2009. I have a hard time budgeting and I admit, I’m not very good at it. I will say though that I have learned how to spend my money wisely (do NOT buy souvenirs!) and that’s really made a difference.

The budget always depends on the country you’re visiting. For instance, my average daily budget for India was less than $20 USD a day and I was quite liberal with my shopping sprees for Indian-inspired clothing! In Hong Kong, even though I was house sitting for a friend and didn’t have to pay for accommodations, my average daily budget ended up being $90 USD (though you have to take into account that it was Christmas and New Year’s so there was a bit of extra spending in Hong Kong).

Any tips for anyone scared to try long-term travel?

JUST TAKE A CHANCE ON YOURSELF!

You were smart enough to land your current job, what makes you think that gaining international exposure and world perspective is going to make you LESS employable? No matter what fears and doubts you may have, there will always be a job out there waiting for you. I completely understand the fear of leaving something so safe like a corporate job and nice salary but chasing after dreams is what makes life so wonderful. Truly no amount of money can replace the lifelong memories you’ll take away with you after you see the world.

More posts from Connie’s blog

>> Have you ever considered leaving your day job for long-term travel? Any questions for Connie about her travel experiences?

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  • http://twitter.com/swgraphic Sarah Wu

    Inspiring post. Love how Connie want to help people in other parts of the world.

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Thanks Sarah! I’m totally selfish though. I help people because it makes ME feel good! =)

  • http://twitter.com/swgraphic Sarah Wu

    Inspiring post. Love how Connie want to help people in other parts of the world.

  • Lois

    This interview is really very insightful esp since I also just quit my job recently along with a colleague to be able to travel. We still don’t know how to fund our travel long term. But we’re exploring each city we find and living each day to the fullest. I like your site a lot!

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Congratulations on taking the plunge! My initial fear was also figuring out how I would be able to fund long term travel but it’s been over two years and I’m still on the road! I’m sure you will find that you’ll be abler to be successful with your travels, for however long you want to do it! Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/RTWsomanyplaces Kim

    Great interview and fantastic advice. I love reading about people who have already taken the leap (like you, Lily) and don’t regret it for a second. I’ve actually never read about one person who regrets it! Anyway, thanks for the great interview, I really enjoyed it.

    • http://exploreforayear.com Lily

      Hi Kim,

      You’re right! Now that I think about it, I’ve met and talked to many people, particular during my travels, who were scared to take the leap of faith, but never anyone who regretted it! I think that’s great encouragement for anyone who’s considering taking the plunge.

      - Lily

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Hi Kim! Glad you enjoyed my interview! Hope it might help encourage you to take your next big leap! =)

  • http://www.pinayonthemove.com/ Grace

    I agree with Ayngelina. Sometime we unconsciously bet against ourselves. Thanks for featuring Connie, Lilly. Oh and I’m a sucker for travel romance =)

    • http://exploreforayear.com Lily

      Hi Grace,

      I know what you mean by we sometimes “bet against ourselves.” For whatever reason, we sometimes underestimate ourselves or view others more highly. More recently, I try to ask myself “Why NOT me?” The more I ask myself this, the more I’ve realized there aren’t good reasons why I can’t do something.

      - Lily

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      I don’t know why that is. but maybe it’s just built into human nature as a form of survival? If we don’t expose ourselves (physically or mentally), we have less of a chance of hurting ourselves? No idea really, but we should all work to change that!

      And Grace, it’s almost one year since Matt and I met. I’m trying to write a blog about meeting someone truly special while traveling and how that can change everything in your life. Stay tuned! =)

  • http://twitter.com/StruxTravel Michael Figueiredo

    Very nice interview! I love learning about new travel bloggers to follow :)

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Hi Michael, glad to hear that you will be a new follower! Looking forward to hearing your own amazing stories!

    • http://exploreforayear.com Lily

      Glad you enjoyed it, just followed you on Twitter as well and look forward to your updates :)

      - Lily (@lilyleung)

  • http://www.globotreks.com Norbert

    Really good interview Connie! I love your attitude and perspective on travel. It’s so good that you have a focus on Volunteering, which is something I’m also planning on doing when I head out on my long term travel plans.

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Hi Norbert! Good for you! I think volunteering is such a fantastic way to travel and rewarding on so many different levels! I have a page on volunteering advice on my blog if you’re interested. I wrote it after an organization I had planned to volunteer with for 6 months in Nepal turned out to be a scam. I found out that there are more volunteer scams out there than we’d like to imagine and it has some tips on how to best avoid falling for one. Keep in touch because I’d love to hear more about your travels and volunteer projects!

      • http://www.globotreks.com Norbert

        Thanks! I’ll definitely check it out, as actually one of the programs I was checking on is shelter building in Nepal… eek, hope it’s not a scam. I’ll keep in touch and let you know about it. :)

      • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

        Oh, I’m sure it’s not! Tell me more!

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    Love Connie’s philosophy of taking a chance on yourself, I have to remind myself of that every day.

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Ayngelina, I would say that you’ve already taken a chance on yourself by moving to South America. It seems like it’s paid off too! =)

  • Ted Nelson

    Good interview. Funny, I just followed Connie yesterday on twitter through a traveldude article.

    • http://exploreforayear.com Lily

      Hi Ted,

      Oh the synchronocities of the universe. Connie is awesome, I started following her on Twitter around last summer when I was first planning to travel solo. It was great for me to see examples of how others are following their dreams and doing well at it. :)

      - Lily

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Hi Ted! I’m glad we’re now following each other. It’s good to feed off other people’s good vibes and dreams. It makes us continue to aspire for more great things in our own lives. I’m looking forward to the inspiration you’re sure to give me!

    • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

      Hi Ted! I’m glad we’re now following each other. It’s good to feed off other people’s good vibes and dreams. It makes us continue to aspire for more great things in our own lives. I’m looking forward to the inspiration you’re sure to give me!

  • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

    Thanks so much for featuring me! I hope this can help persuade more people to take the plunge and set out for their dreams and the world! =)

    • http://exploreforayear.com Lily

      Hi Connie,

      Thanks for the interview. Leaving a great job and a great apartment in a world city take courage and I’m lucky to share your story here.

      “JUST TAKE A CHANCE ON YOURSELF!” <– What a great quote. I remember how scared I was when I left my day job to take time off, and looking back I can't think of having made a different choice.

      As I learned recently during my PADI open water certification, I have a tinge of terror every time I take the big step off the boat during the 1 second of free fall before land in the water, but it's been worth it. Every time.

      - Lily

      • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

        That feeling, right before you jump ship, is the same feeling you should get with life. Chasing dreams, whatever they may be, is a scary thing but I’m a firm believer that you just need to push yourself in order to make the most out of life. And see, every time you hit the water, it’s been worth it! Good for you!