Travel Inspiration: An Interview with Monica McCarthy

McCarthy_Monica_interviewI’m chatting with one of my favorite travelers this week and her story is one that really illustrates the different paths you can take in life and still find ways to make travel a reality for you. Monica runs a successful business but also finds the time to travel through places like Asia and most recently to the Dominican Republic.

1) What do you do?

Let’s see… I’m a NYC-based actor and Los Angeles transplant. I took a hiatus for a bit during which time I renewed my passport and sense of wanderlust. Upon returning the Great White Way I founded a boutique web video production company (Show & Tell Stories Productions) for start-ups, small businesses and anyone looking to share their stories on camera.

So these days I guess you could say I direct, produce, write and speak about the importance of creative expression, while traveling as much as possible.

2) What was your biggest obstacle to traveling and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle to traveling was that I was so scared of missing out on directing and acting work back home. I’m not interested in having a career built on online products and services, so this presents quite a challenge! Also, I felt I couldn’t “justify” spending the money on something that wasn’t related to furthering my career.

I guess I overcame my perceived obstacle to traveling by making it as much of a priority as my career and by putting other goals on the back-burner until I could find a way to do both. I’m working towards a travel-centric lifestyle and I have to accept that sometimes that means sacrificing availability for auditions and gigs, and sometimes that means sacrificing the ability to jump on a plane whenever I want. But the compromise is well worth it.

In terms of how I took steps towards increasing my frequency of travel, I started with quick, easy trips (like the train to Montreal or a long weekend in Madrid) before embarking on “bigger” trips like three months in Southeast Asia or spending time in one of my “bucket list” countries like India. Traveling, especially solo, can take some getting used to at first, but it quickly becomes addicting!

3) What are you most excited about right now?

Hmmm so much! I’m excited to explore the value of creative expression from a global perspective. I’m excited to marvel more and worry less. I’m excited about creating more original content. I’m excited about all the ways that technology is making it easier and easier to discover and share stories.

4) What’s next for you?

I’m in one of those intersections of life where the possibilities feel wide open! In addition to developing upcoming video projects for clients, I have some personal projects coming up like:

Writing a short film that would love to see come to life on the big screen. In some ways it’s a love letter to NYC and the wonderful melting pot of culture that it really is.

Having recently completed a daily iPhone video challenge, I’m looking forward to creating online video content of my own… just not every day!

Training for my first marathon. (Eek!)

Visiting my parents in their new home in Maui.

And of course, international travel! I’m currently looking into a shorter trip in the fall to either South America or Eastern Europe and then possibly Australia for the winter.

I’m also developing workshops for people interested in creating more video content and for those looking to ramp up their public speaking skills. If either of those topics are of interest, I invite you to join the Show & Tell community to be the first to do know when the details are announced.

5) What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

This is actually very timely for me as I’ve been pondering more and more what cause, philanthropic or otherwise, I’d like to become more involved with. In general terms I’d say I’m passionate about learning the stories of people with circumstances and perspectives that vary greatly from my own. Freedom of expression is also something I care deeply about and I’d like to explore the impact on people and societies where those freedoms have been taken away. If you know of any organizations that fit the bill, please send them my way at monicanyla {at} gmail {dot} com.

A big thanks to Monica for sharing her successes and projects; if you’d like to connect or find out more about Monica’s recent travels, you can find her on her OHW profile.

Monica on Twitter and Facebook
The Show & Tell Stories blog

We regularly feature inspiring travelers who have taken the leap into travel as a part of our travel inspiration interview series. If you’re a traveler keen on being profiled here, sign up for an OHW account and fill in your profile — then shoot me an email (shannon at ohheyworld dot com).

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Shannon O'Donnell

A storyteller and knowledge-seeker captivated by the world. Formally an actress and web-nerd, I left in 2008 to travel solo, volunteer, and hunt down delicious vegetarian eats all over the world. She recently published "The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, and her travel stories and photography are recorded on her world travel blog, A Little Adrift.

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