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The Bold Life Movement

How I Used Twitter to Quit My Job and Travel

I’ve always hated the word “networking”. It makes me think of college career fairs. You know the ones. You’re carrying a leather resume holder that you bought at the school bookstore, wearing the grey pant suit you bought at Express. At this point, it probably smells like B.O. because you can’t machine wash those things and what college student is getting shit dry cleaned on the regular.

If you’re a girl, you have those stereotypical black pointy toed heels on, because god-forbid you show your toes at a career fair. You’re supposed to approach potential employers and act like you have acquired some sort of skill set at your overpriced university, while meanwhile all you want to do is take their free mints and airplane-shaped paper clips and run. (Thank you Boeing, I still use those).

What were they even hiring for? What did a Marketing Major really know how to contribute to a company at that point? The answer: nothing. No one was hiring anyone with Marketing degrees! HA! I might as well have majored in liberal arts.

The point is, for someone who prides herself in being outgoing, “networking” events always made me feel forced and unnatural. And sweaty.

I’ve since grown out of that to a degree (alcohol helps) and can comfortably approach strangers at these once-dreaded “networking” events.

But what if I’m trying to network with people who aren’t nearby? How do you go about doing that?

A lot of people would say LinkedIn. And good for those people. I’ve yet to master the Facebook of professionals.

For me, the secret was Twitter.

Two years ago I successfully networked my way out of a 9-5 job--and around the world--through my use of twitter.

It wasn’t about followers. I think I had like 30 at the time. Yeah… I was a big deal.

It was about conversation. I engaged people I wanted to know in conversation. I didn’t ask them for anything, I didn’t try to sell them anything. I just wanted to talk to them. And somehow this made them want to talk to me.

I’ll give you a little backstory… I was working a 9-5 job at a Web Marketing Agency in Maryland. I had attempted to take my position remote, and failed. I was working 12-14 hour days on the regular and it was making me miserable. In addition to the fact that I would go to sleep thinking horrible things about mean clients, I knew that I wasn’t living the type of life I always pictured for myself.

Traveling 10 days a year and maxing out PTO in the process just wasn’t cutting it.

Enter, The Four Hour Work Week. I won’t dive into the book in this post, but let’s just say it’s a game changer. For me and millions of other people who have fantasized about slow travel and being their own boss.

So there I was, riding the Tripper Bus back to D.C., after spending New Years Eve in New York with my friends, when I finished the 4HWW. It clicked in THAT moment. My life would be drastically different in 6 months and I knew it.

Anyone who has ever had one of those "holy shit" clarity moments (some people call them "aha moments") knows what I'm talking about. From that moment on everything just seemed to fall into place.

I recently heard it referred to has "Pronoia." Instead of thinking that the universe is conspiring against you, instead you feel like the universe is conspiring to help you.

Fast forward a few weeks later, I had started throwing money at any info product or online community that would take me. Digital Nomad Academy led to Location Rebel, led to CopyHour. And ultimately, the DC.

Often those communities are targeted towards newbs who want to start a business and quit their jobs to travel. Ideally working 4 hours a week on a mostly passive-income-generating business. (Of course that’s not how it works for most people).

The DC was different though. I had to have a business to get in! That made me want it more. I knew if I just got into this community that everything would change.

So the only logical next step was to befriend everyone I could who was inside the forum and hope for the best. Hope that I could learn from them enough to get my own thing going and get accepted.

I took to twitter and started following everyone I could. Note: once you’re inside the entrepreneurial, location-independent, internet marketing world, you realize how small it really is. This is probably true for most subcultures.

It was pretty easy for me to see who was connected to who, and actually where in the world they were living.

Following Sean Ogle of Location Rebel (and a former Tropical MBA/ DC Intern) led me to Derek Johanson of Copy Hour. Derek was in the DC at the time and seeing who he was chatting with on Twitter led me to a whole slew of people.

There was a big DC contingent in Chiang Mai back then, so I started following anyone who was using the DC Chiang Mai hashtag. It snowballed.

Maneesh Sethi was another person I began following through Derek and one day I saw he was hosting a meet up in New York. Derek Johanson would be there, along with Derek Halpurn and some other people that were doing business online.

As if I needed an excuse to skip work and go to New York….

2 Days later, I took a half day from work and hopped the train to NYC. I was the only female at this meet up of successful internet entrepreneurs. I was the only person who didn’t have a business. And guess what? It didn’t matter.

We drank beers, we talked travel, and to this day I still count some of those people as friends.

How I Quit My Job to Travel
How I Quit My Job to Travel

A couple weeks later Derek referred me to the DC (along with another person that I’d connected with on Twitter) and I was in! I finally got to give them my money and pretend I was an entrepreneur. All of a sudden my conversations were moving from Twitter to inside the forums, and people were treating me like they knew me.

A few weeks after that, the creators of the DC posted a job opportunity for the Community Manager. I applied, and because of my twitter stalking networking, they already knew who I was. My ability to connect with people across the world who had no idea who I was made them think, "hey maybe she's good with people?" A pre-req for managing them, it would seem.

So I got the job. (I hope you saw that coming. So much build up and all...)

And 2 weeks later I moved to Vietnam.

The End!

Not really, that was just the beginning. But it was a start that would not have come to fruition if I hadn't used the resources available to me to MAKE SHIT HAPPEN.

If you want something, don't be scared to do unconventional things to make it happen.

I didn't have a business. It didn't stop me.

I didn't know anyone living the life I wanted. It didn't stop me. It was out there. I had read it in a book (!) and that was enough for me to get started.

I may have had an advantage, in that I've always been comfortable getting to know people virtually (my AIM game was strong in my youth) but the reality is that anyone can do this.

Here are 3 tips to start networking on twitter today:

1. Find the right people to follow

Understanding who you want to be talking to (and why) is step one. In my situation, I just wanted to talk to people who were doing what I wanted to be doing. Who were living where I wanted to be living.

I could tell who was influential, and who would be likely to respond, based on their tweets with other people. It may sound like a lot of work (and perhaps creepy) to go through people's twitter history, but I assure you it's worth it. Some of those original tweets I sent were to people I have since lived with and become best friends with. We've seen each other in countries all over the world, and it all started with a single tweet.

Follow people who look like they will engage in conversation!

2. Retweet. Retweet. Rinse. Repeat.

Retweeting content of people you follow is one of the quickest ways so show them that you're interested in what they have to say, and you're willing to share it. If you're uneasy about sending them a tweet, and they haven't yet followed you back for you to send a DM, start by retweeting.

Be sure to balance retweets with original content of your own. If people do take note of you, you want your twitter log to have show some representation of who you are. Avoid looking like a retweeting robot.

3. Learn their lingo.

If you're naturally a sarcastic person, but the people you follow seem to be more literal, avoid banter in the early stages. On the other hand, if people you want to connect with seem to respond well to humor and wit, offer it up freely. Give people a reason to bond with you. 140 characters is not a lot, so use every one of them wisely.

If you combine these tactics, and are able to offer up some value to the people you're looking to connect with, you'll be ahead of the game.


I'd love to hear stories of how other people have used Twitter in a bold way to make strides in their business, or in their life. Leave a comment below or send me an email to tell me about it!

The Beginning of The Bold Life Movement

Below is an email I sent to a group of close friends last week.

The responses I received, combined with some incredible talks I recently heard (more on that later) inspired me to start this blog.

Hopefully this blog will inspire you to start something too.

SUBJECT: I did something bold today....thought I would share!

Some of you knew me when this relationship dominated my life, some of you knew me after. Either way I know that I've at least mentioned my long distance/online boyfriend Nick* from [city name]*. I met him in 9th grade (online), and eventually started dating my junior year. Multiple hours of the day spent texting, talking on AIM, and racking up our parents' phone bills. Multiple cross country trips to visit each other, attend high school with each other, even prom, and ultimately Mexico. He was my best friend for so much of my adolescence and he was my first *AHEM*.

Anyway, distance, youth, and technology make our long-distance breakup a big blur. Drunken texts (mostly mine) and "don't talk to me anymore"s (mostly his) left me without closure for SO. LONG. I can't even tell you how many times my mom has said, "Kimber. Let it go."

True to form, I ignored that advice and just bided my time til the day I would go back to [city name]*. The internet would once again prove a useful tool for knowing too much about people and I would easily message him on Facebook and get the reunion I always wanted.

Well not quite.

I'm in [city name]* now. I'm here for a conference with friends and I did what we all knew I would do, I looked him up on Facebook.... Got nothing. Looked him up on Instagram. Nothing. Linkedin, twitter, whitepages, google. All yielded NOTHING. As if he DOESN'T post pictures of his food and let people tag him in drunken photos from 4th of July. (What kind of monster is he??)

So in a last ditch effort I googled his full name, Nicholas*. One picture showed up. This picture.*

So for three days, I've had this knowledge. For three days I've known he is a short 6 minute drive from where I'm staying between the hours of 9-5. For three days, I've been in [city name], wondering how to casually show up at an auction house* and not get the cops called on me. Not get screamed at by someone who thought they had eliminated me from their life.

I didn't even know if he'd be thereI mean what is the work environment even like at an auction house?? Does he go in every day? Does he wear a suit? Does he talk really fast now? Who knows.

I managed to convince a girlfriend to come with me as a buffer. Also to catch me when I fainted.

We blasted "eye of the tiger" in our rental car as we drove to the Auction House and I screamed and laughed out my nerves.

When I got there, I asked the closest front desk person "if Nick* was working"... like I'm in freaking high school calling Subway to see if my bf is working that day. She went back into her office and said she'd call him to come down.


He actually does come into the office. I gripped the nearest structure for support, hoping it wasn't some $15,000 antique waiting to be auctioned off. My girlfriend took a seat on the sofa, trying to act as natural as someone could for feigning invisibility.

And then he walked out. He was wearing the same skater clothes I had seen him in 12 years earlier and after the longest 10 seconds of my life, he said "Kim?? is that you?"

And then I passed out.

Ok, not really. I said that I was shaking... as if that would make it stop. Said that I had looked him up on google, and wondered if he wanted to grab coffee while I was in town. He made some passing comment about me being a stalker (as you do). But really, it went so much better than I could have ever thought.

He asked if I could wait a few minutes and wanted to grab lunch. At a nearby cafe, we talked and reminisced and I dropped the word "surreal" a good 20 times. I was very smooth.

I showed him pictures of Abby, and explained my current lifestyle in a way that [I hoped] didn't make me sound like a jerk. He said he lived at his grandma's because she needed someone to take care of her and refused to leave her house. I remembered how he was always more selfless than me.

It was a reunion I've literally dreamt about for 12 years. Because that's what lack of closure will do. He was so sweet and so thankful for me being bold, and my heart is so happy and warm.

It could have gone horribly, but I feel rewarded for taking the chance and I just had to share! BE BOLD LADIES. In whatever way that means to you.

xoxox Kim

*I've changed his name and hid his photos and the city he lives for privacy's sake. Just because I can look him, doesn't mean everyone should. 

Here are the responses I received from my friends:

So from these messages, I was able to glean a few things:

First, someone needs to teach my friends how to update their email signature on their iPhone.

Second, no one thought I was bat-shit crazy for having tracked down a high school love to find closure! So either we’re all bat-shit crazy (haven't ruled it out) or the happy ending made the ballsy move easier to digest.

The biggest takeaway, though, was that every single friend SUPPORTED me. All the taboo or scary things I’ve done in my life have maybe invited a few questions, but mostly they’ve inspired or impressed those who knew me.

People ask me all the time, “How did you quit your job to travel?” “How did you make money and live wherever you want?” “How did you date someone across the country when you were 16??”

The answer is usually just… because I wanted to. I often don’t ask permission because I won’t accept no as an answer. (I'll explain in a later post the logistics of dating someone you met online when you're a minor, pre-tinder, pre-facebook. YES I'm that old.)

For 12 years, I didn’t accept no as an answer and last week it came to pay off.

Do I think this is a green light for anyone to track down old flames or not appease someone’s request for space? No. Absolutely not. You could maybe --probably-- end up in jail.

I’m saying I had a gut instinct and I went for it. I didn’t let my fear of rejection or the advice of my parents stop me. My need to know and my willingness to act trumped everything else.

It’s okay to take risks if you trust yourself.

It’s okay to be curious about things people tell you to leave alone.

Sometimes fostering that sense of curiosity is more important than trying to be courageous. Author James Stephens has a quote, “Curiosity will conquer fear more than bravery will.”

Curiosity for me has come in many forms. Most of them challenging the status quo in some way. Why can't I love someone I met on the internet? Why should I work from a desk in Maryland if I could work from a desk in Italy? Why are cheez-its so much better than cheese nips?

Why should I feel ashamed of these questions? 

In this blog I want to share stories and adventures that I would not have otherwise had if I didn't ask why?

Ultimately I want to hear the stories of my readers as well. If we don't share what we know, then how will anyone else learn?


  1. This is the first post. Chances are good that my writing will improve.
  2. It's okay to take risks when you trust yourself.
  3. Give people the chance to be inspired by your courage and curiosity.
  4. Cheez-its ftw.