One of the great things about touring is the people you meet along the way. Those chance meetings in customs lines, venues, gas stations, restaurants, football stadiums ….
Every now and then you bump into someone who sticks with you, mentally if not physically. For me, Monique Stellenberg is one of those people. I met her randomly in the departures lounge at Pearson Airport in Toronto last year (not 2017 as erroneously reported in my intro). I was on my way to Europe to tour with Sarah Smith and Monique was serving drinks at the airport bar we chose to patronize.
She was great. Smiling. Laughing. Ebullient. Charming. We started talking to her and she told us that she was planning to quit her job the next week and travel the world. I love that stuff. Love it, love it. We exchanged Instagram accounts and I watched with interest to see if she was actually going to do it or just talk about it.
The next thing I knew, I was seeing pictures of Monique in the Spanish sunshine and posing outside the Taj Mahal. She did it. She put herself out there, just as she said she would, and she spent nine months seeing the world, gathering experiences and learning to stand on her own two feet. I was impressed and inspired by her journey, and when I launched the podcast, I immediately thought of her as a potential guest.
I’m so glad I did.
You learn a lot about yourself when you take on the world the way she did. You learn self-reliance. You learn how resourceful you are. As Monique says in the episode, you learn how much you’re capable of and you begin to value yourself in a compelling new way. Her trip helped her develop a lot of wisdom that she shares willingly and generously in our conversation.
Monique’s trip took her to several places in Europe, as well as India, The Maldives, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and elsewhere. She is not a rich person. She has no special privilege. She simply made the decision, saved the money, and took the chance.
How much more could all of us experience with a similar determination?
With the new year – the new decade – approaching, I’m sure you’re thinking about things you want to experience or accomplish. Let Monique’s story be the encouragement you need to make a plan and draw some lines on that bucket list.
Enjoy the episode, and if I don’t have another one before 2020, all the best for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Follow Monique on Instagram.