A world-traveler shares 10 questions anyone should ask before moving overseas.

More and more people are starting to pick up on the “secret” of how to afford and fund long-term travel.

All photos by Gloria Atanmo, used with permission


The fact of the matter is, if you want to travel longer than just your standard paid time off (#Murica), you simply need to spend a period of time living and working abroad to take advantage of budget airlines and cheap intercontinental travel.

But even if you’re 90% convinced that a year abroad is exactly what you need to refresh your perspective and find your zest for life again, somehow, the idea of the big move can still be just a tad bit overwhelming.

So we’re about to do some soul-searching to determine if this is indeed exactly what you want for your life.

Get out a journal or open up a document on your screen and physically write out the answers to the following questions. Then send them to a friend — someone who can be your accountability partner. Sound good?

Here are the 10 questions you need to ask yourself before making a big move abroad.

1. How independent do you consider yourself?

Does the thought of being on your own scare you or excite you? Do you always need someone to help get you out of sticky situations? Can you go more than a year without being in a relationship?

These are all serious things you need to consider because no one will hold your hand through job searches, visa paperwork, or breakups. Life happens to everyone whether in the comfort of their hometown or halfway across the world. I’ve had to cry on my own shoulder, pick up broken pieces, and figure out plans many times on my own.

It’s all a part of your journey and you become so much stronger in the end. But know that this part of the journey is inevitable, so be ready when it comes.

2. What do you want to gain from this experience?

Besides seeing as many places as humanly possible, traveling without a purpose could leave you feeling emptier than your wallet.

You want to make sure you’re doing this for the best reasons. Not to find love. Not to make your friends jealous.

You need to find the deeper value in what you’re about to embark on, so that you don’t come back with your money depleted and an opportunity wasted.

3. How will you fund your travels?

In between traveling, you need to find a side hustle. What can you do or offer others to help sustain yourself on your travels? Do you own a digital camera? Are you a social media guru? Do you have a musical talent? Can you sing? Can you write? Are you multilingual? Do you like teaching kids?

All of these are legitimate skills that can make you some side money whether on the streets or doing freelance work for a major business. Never rely on just one income when living abroad because you need a backup for your backup when your backup is backed up.

4. What’s your Plan B? (No, not that kind.)

If you’re like me, your Plan B might be to keep trying Plan A until it works. This is the definition of insanity, and I’m 100% OK with that. But again, life has a funny way of working out sometimes, and you need to be prepared to switch gears and take a detour if necessary.

Whether a local employer is going out of business or you have a minor injury that inhibits your ability to get around, life happens to all of us, so always hope for the best, but definitely prepare for the worst.

5. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do before you die?

And can this be fulfilled while traveling? What better time to do this than while on the road creating memories of a lifetime anyway?

I think there’s a liberation you gain from traveling in general, and the idea that we should wait for the right time to reach our goals is something people take to their grave and might never fulfill. Use this time abroad to accomplish as many of your bucket list items as possible!

6. How can this experience enhance your next chapter?

How can you use this experience to land your next job or plan your next trip? How can you format this on your résumé or CV to make this experience look like a million bucks to a potential employer?

Never underestimate the power of life abroad when talking to CEOs upon your return. That experience says so much more on paper than a 4.0 GPA, and there’s a global market for just about anything these days. Network to get work, my friend.

7. Will the job you have now still be there when you return?

If the answer is yes, then good. If the answer is no, then even better!

Chances are, you’re in a job you’re not too passionate about anyway. It pays the bills and gets you by, but do you rush to get out of bed to get there every morning? Didn’t think so.

8. What second or third language can you pick up?

Outside the U.K. and France, most people you meet in Europe will speak (at minimum) three languages. It’s amazing. It’s inspiring. It secretly makes me sick!.

So many doors of opportunity and communication open up when you’re able to connect with more people of more cultures.

So if you have the time, try picking up another language before you move. I’ve found it takes about three months to get the basics and six months for intermediate proficiency. So there’s that!

9. What “luxuries” can you cut back on now to help pay for the flight and getting on your feet after the move?

You’d be surprised how little you actually need to survive. Believe it or not, there was actually a time Starbucks didn’t exist. Or nail salons. Or overpriced gym memberships. But some way, somehow, people managed.

Cut back on your Starbucks coffee and brew your own at home. Quit the nail pampering and buy $1 polish that will last you over two months. Cancel the gym membership that you haven’t used in a year and buy a home workout DVD and a couple of weights. BOOM! What’s up, new savings of $300/month? I see you!

10. And most importantly: Are you ready for your life to be changed forever?

Are you ready to take the good with the bad and remember, no matter what happens, this experience, this moment, and this journey is something you will never regret?

It’s hard to imagine what I thought of the world and life in general before globetrotting across 30+ countries so effortlessly ripped my mind apart.

It tore up all the narrow-minded stereotypes and replaced them with gems of light, compassion, and understanding. It helped me see people and life with a new perspective.

Life abroad is every bit of what you make of it. And me, personally? I choose to continue making this life nothing short of extraordinary.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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A video of Li doing 80 back handsprings in under a minute (some people counted 82—it's really hard to keep track without making yourself dizzy) has gone viral, with more than a million views on Twitter alone.

At first, you might assume it's a looped video (I know I did). But watch the way the wrinkles build up in the side and top of the mattress. If there's a loop in there somewhere, it doesn't account for most of the flips, and when you see what else Li can do, the feat becomes a whole lot more believable.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.