Ginger Kern believes in collaborating with other people to help us reach our own potential. Her venture, The Traveler’s Mindset helps new travellers have more authentic travel experiences.
What’s your story?
When I was 14, I flew alone from the U.S. to Europe and spent a month in Germany and Italy. That summer, I decided that I would live abroad long-term. Eight years later I moved to Germany. I lived there for over 3 years and became fluent in the language and travelled to 25 countries before I was 25. My experiences inspired me to move back to the U.S. and create ‘The Traveler’s Mindset’, an online community for the 64% of Americans who don’t yet have a passport, to help new travellers explore the world and discover themselves.
What excites you most about your industry?
The number of international travellers is only growing and will continue to grow as the world becomes even more connected out of necessity. I love seeing that most millennial travellers today want to have authentic experiences rather than all-inclusive, generic vacation packages; they want to feel connected with and immersed in the local community wherever they are.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand while working online as a freelance translator before moving back to the U.S. in 2013. Some of my favorite memories out of all my travels are from the three trips I made to Southeast Asia: biking through rural Cambodia, dancing salsa and Argentine tango in Kuala Lumpur, eating pho for breakfast nearly every day in Saigon and befriending Tuck, an entrepreneur who runs a local fruit stand in Chiang Mai and exchanging language lessons with her.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
While I was beginning to build my coaching business and working remotely on the side, I enjoyed Chiang Mai the most. It has amazing internet connectivity, better than many parts of Europe and attracts other like-minded entrepreneurs. There was a close-knit community of people there who shared many of my values, which made it an easy place to stay motivated as an entrepreneur.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
A mentor once told me, “Everything is a grand experiment.” This philosophy gives me the freedom to create and to test out new ideas, to test out selling a new product or launch a service without being attached to how the rest plays out. I get to try things and fail and know that I might as well experiment because each time I do, I get closer to the ‘right’ answer. I get closer to finding an idea that people will pay for and closer to creating something that will help a lot of people.
Who inspires you?
Explorers, innovators and peacemakers. Specific people who come to mind? Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg and Nelson Mandela.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the idea that ‘successful people are self-made’ is a proven myth. Malcolm Gladwell writes that successful people are “the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” Great men and women become great through specialisation, collaboration, time, place and culture. Nothing great is accomplished alone, nor is ‘overnight success’ a real thing. We all need people supporting us, collaborating with us and critiquing us over time and we all have the power to put ourselves in environments that pull for our success.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would fully forgive people who had wronged me earlier on in life and let go of relationships that didn’t support me being fully self-expressed or powerful. Otherwise, I know that every experience I’ve had has made me who I am today – a person I’m proud of and someone I trust deeply.
How do you unwind?
A solid hike in the mountains of Boulder, where I live, dancing salsa with friends, reading a good book or catching up on Game of Thrones.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I loved how secluded the island Phu Quoc was, just off the coast of southern Vietnam. Staying with a host family who ran a homestay on the island forced me to slow down and enjoy each minute, every purple-orange sunset and each warm ocean breeze.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Anatomy of Peace – any internal blocks you have will be sorted out after reading this book, which will have exponential effects on your personal power, your leadership and your success with relationship building in your business.
Shameless plug for your business:
Find out what it would be like to work with me as your self-leadership coach on my website, or how you can book me to speak at your university or your next conference.
Or, if you want to start travelling abroad, please reach out! Subscribe to The Traveler’s Mindset and hit reply to any email I send to ask me a question. I love hearing from people who want to explore the world and themselves!
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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