When you think of a social media influencer, what image springs to your mind? Someone in their 20s or 30s with a big following on platforms like Instagram and Twitter who posts beautiful pictures of themselves in gorgeous, exotic locales? Well, that’s fair. 10 years ago, there really was no such thing as a social media influencer, so it stands to reason that most of its practitioners are indeed in that age range. Many of the influencers Triptime® sponsors (excellent follows, all: Jerre Stead, Pema Chinyam, Jonny Melon and Jorden Tually chief among them) fit that exact description. But for every rule, there’s an exception, and it’s time to introduce ours: Cassie Stockamp.
Last year, at an age when many people are winding up their professional lives and finalizing their retirement plans, Cassie decided it was time to take her life in an entirely different direction. “I’m calling this my year of discovery,” she says. “I know there’s a next phase to my life, but I don’t know what it is yet. I am taking a year to volunteer in communities around the world.” Yep, that’s right - at an age when a lot of people are browsing the Floridian real estate market, Cassie Stockamp is circumnavigating the globe, doing volunteer work in a community for a while, then moving on, always eastward, to the next one.
Self-reinvention isn’t anything new to Stockamp. The native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, has at turns been a farmgirl (“When I was ten, I fed 100 head of cattle every morning,”), a community recycling administrator, the head of a construction firm, a mother of two (she’s still on that job, mom to Sydney, 22 and Audrey, 20), a yoga instructor and the president of a foundation running The Athenaeum, a historic Indianapolis landmark. So, when the little voice at the back of her head started talking about rambling on a global scale, it wasn’t completely out-of-the-blue. “I feel most alive when things are new and different,” she says. “It took some courage to leave a great job [the Athenaeum], but my life was so full, I knew I needed to let it all go so that I could find what will fill me up next!”
How does one go about lining up a yearlong trip around the world without robbing a bank to finance it? Get creative. And that’s just what Stockamp did, pulling from several online resources to cobble together a trans-global jaunt that would help to defray some of its own costs (How’d she pull that off? You'll have to check out our upcoming blog post, "How Cassie Did It," to find out.).
It takes some chutzpah to strike out on your own and travel the world solo but, according to Cassie, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Since departing in mid-November, her travels have already led her through stops in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Back home in the States, a fervent fan club tracks her travels through her blog site, www.cassiestockamp.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. One of her most loyal fans, unsurprisingly, is daughter Sydney. “Without a doubt, my mother is the strongest woman I know. Sure, Mom being gone is tough, but it's empowering to bear witness to her journey. She's accomplished so much and I’m proud to call her my mom!”
Have you ever dreamt of taking a year and traveling the world, but held off for one reason or another? Cassie Stockamp has some advice for you: “Do it. NOW! You will never have any regrets for having done it …but maybe a few if this is a dream of yours and you don’t.”