Meagan Drillinger was living the life many young women could only dream about. She was 27 years old and working for a magazine in New York City, traveling to some pretty cool places, and also nurturing a thriving freelance writing career. And then one day her employers forced her to make a decision: stay on at her job full time or go freelance full time. She couldn’t do both.
“It wasn’t much of a choice for me,” recalls Meagan. “I knew what I had to do.” And so Meagan became a full-time freelancer. Interestingly enough, none of her friends or family told her she was crazy. In fact, it was quite the opposite. “They saw that I was not happy living the 9-to-5 life and working for someone else. It was always the long-term goal to go off and do my own thing. It just happened a lot sooner than I had anticipated. Everyone was incredibly supportive because they knew this was what I was meant to be doing.”
There’s no doubt Meagan was scared. It is terrifying to go from having a consistent paycheck and benefits to no source of income. But Meagan didn’t have a choice. As a single gal she had to make her own living. “I work well with my feet held to the fire, so I cast a wide net and started contacting anyone I had ever worked with telling them about my new career path and asking if they would want to work with me.” She secured some very loyal clients she still works with today.
One focus of Meagan’s freelance travel writing is Mexico. She’s the Mexico Travel editor for a travel trade magazine and spends a lot of her time there. “Mexico absolutely feeds my soul. I can’t explain what it is, but it is a place that has always felt comfortable and like home. It fits. I feel free there. I feel more like myself than I have ever felt in New York.” While a visually stunning country, Meagan finds the people incredibly inspiring as well. She has been to Mexico more than 50 times, and each time she either meets someone or has an experience that has changed her life.
Most recently, she teamed up with a partner to start Vaera Journeys, and while freelance travel writing is her ultimate passion and joy, she felt she was ready for a new challenge.
“I wanted to start something to help other women find their purpose and obtain the tools they needed to make their passions into reality. It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I want to spread the knowledge and help others do the same.”
Vaera Journeys is a retreat travel company for entrepreneurial women, which combines inspiring women to start their own businesses with transformation through travel. Vaera’s retreats are styled to help women take their personal and professional goals to the next level by assisting them in exploring a project that gives them purpose. “Vaera” means “on the edge” in Spanish, and the company challenges women to take the leap from unfulfilling careers to find their purpose and reshape their professional lives. Each journey is inspired by a unique destination and offers curated experiences designed to foster creative discussion, including a full-day workshop with a featured guest speaker. The intimate retreats with up to 15 participants, maintain a sense of community where each member can share and grow her talents.
“You get one life. That’s it. If you’re not living your best life, it
is entirely in your capability to create the life that gives you meaning and purpose.” Meagan adds that “it might not be easy and it will be definitely be scary, but the payoff and the adventure will take you to new heights, introduce you to new people, help you discover new places, and most, importantly, help you discover yourself.”
Check out Vaera Journeys at https://www.vaerajourneys.com.