It's no secret that life is meant for good friends and great adventures. If there was one girl who is living proof of this, it's Mindy Lamoureux (see, even her name's cool). When we heard of her story, we wondered why a 22-year-old girl with the world at her feet decided to give it all up to travel the world? This is her story..
At twenty-two she had a well paying job, just finished buying a beautiful house and started settling into what society considers a “normal life”. Feeling restless, she took a spontaneous seven-week trip around Europe to discover she wasn’t exactly ready for this so called “life”…
Mindy daydreamed about travelling day in and day out. She knew she had to go out and explore the world out there. Sometimes it takes leaving your comfort zone, to fulfil your dreams in the long run.
So she quit her desk job, moved back with Mum and Dad and started working in the hospitality industry at a pub known as the Heart & Crown. She averaged 50-60 hour working weeks for a solid year (how’s that for dedication!).
It’s always a hard choice to decide to leave it all behind and step into the great unknown. But she did so anyway with a one-way-ticket straight outta Ottawa, Canada to begin the adventure of a lifetime.
"Our youth is about a time of total empowerment, you can do what you want. Leaving behind that kind of comfort wasn't easy but I knew it had to be done if I wanted to fulfill my dream..."
So she went on to travel throughout Europe, visiting over 20 cities, from Prague where she partied the night away, to Italy where she found herself getting lost in the streets of Venice and her personal favourite, Switzerland where she visited the top of Jungfrau mountain and went dog sledding! She has seriously done it all.
After her stint in Europe it was on to the next adventure – South America. But it wasn’t all rainbows and good times as she descended down one of the world’s deadliest roads on a Mountain bike in Bolivia, shattering her elbow and ending up in hospital. Not too long after, she was rescued by the Canadian embassy in La Paz and was made to pay $4000 USD in cash after a disagreement with the hospital!
You’d think after something like that, one would throw in the towel, but if anything it made her more determined to pick herself back up and make her way to Africa, to volunteer in Uganda.
"I have had many moments of transformation on the road and have been provided with a source of education impossible to get in school and I think that is truly special.."
After a few weeks of volunteering, she moved on to Egypt and experienced the revolution first-hand. Somehow she managed to walk the same streets as Nelson Mandela (seriously she is the world’s luckiest woman).
After Egypt, she made her way across Asia travelling to Thailand, Cambodia, and Nepal.
Not too long after, Mindy decided that she’d follow her heart back to New Zealand, a place she fell in love with many years ago.
She lived in New Zealand for four years. Managed to find love along the way. And the best part? Has been on the road for 6 years and visited over forty-four countries!
So what does an adventurous and seasoned traveller like Mindy have to say for NZ?
“Kiwis are the friendliest people in the world, the laid-back culture and the scenery is breath taking. The country is known for its array of landscapes, from beaches to snowy mountains, rainforests and volcanic deserts, all in a short space of time. Nothing quite compares to NZ..” And her hit list of must do adventures?
- Explore the Caitlins and learn how to surf in Curio Bay. (Warning: there may be cute dolphins in site!)
- Go mountain biking in Wanaka
- Take a Helicopter ride for the best views of the mountains
- Go camping! Every campsite in New Zealand is as if you’ve just walked into a postcard.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
“Travel has consumed the majority of my twenties but for good reason, because every trip I take I learn a little more about myself, the world, and the way I choose to interact in it. It gives me the opportunity to find something new and inspiring and be completely open to it. It’s transformed me and I wouldn’t change any of it.”
So for those of you wondering how you could go about working and travelling around the world, it’s not as hard as you think.
From moving back home to working 50 -60 hour weeks, to scrubbing toilets and hosting famous musicians at festivals. She has done it all. Her advice? JUST BE OPEN-MINDED. Most jobs you get while you’re travelling is minimum wage so you gotta work hard, and play hard! “Do it for the adventure. Thrive off going to new places, meet new people and experience new cultures. Make that your reality.”
Now we all know that the best part of adventures is that they are never-ending. Although Mindy is back in Canada – the road is life for her. Every trip she believes she learns a little more than the last. 1 – Give back to the world we live in by taking part in volunteering. 2- Find ways to make a real difference in someone else’s life by respecting the culture and world they live in.