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The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

How Author Maxie McCoy Keeps Exploring Without Losing Herself

Maxie McCoy wanted to be a public speaker when she grew up, which today she finds hilarious for two reasons: “A. Who says that? And B. It came true!” Today, Maxie is an author and speaker obsessed with giving women the tools they need to believe in themselves. Her book You’re Not Lost: An Inspired Action Plan for Finding Your Own Way is packed with ideas to do just that. Maxie especially believes in creating meaningful offline experiences. She wants the women she works with — often in group formats — to come away with practical next steps.

One of Maxie’s personal favorite offline experiences is travel. In 2015, she relocated to Bali, where she hatched the plan for her business. We chatted with Maxie to find out how she keeps exploring without feeling lost.

What inspired you to write You’re Not Lost?

While building global offline communities of young professional women, the one thing I heard over and over and over again was, “I feel so lost.” This was confusing to me because the women telling me this were so smart, interesting, creative, hard working, and brilliant. There was no reason for them to feel this way! When I looked at what advice was out there, it was a lot of “follow your passion, find your purpose,” which I think is bullsh*t because these were savvy women. If we knew what those things were wouldn’t we be doing them already? The book was born from searching for the answer to this one thing we were all feeling.

Do you travel frequently for work or play?

Both. Always. I have to give myself self imposed “travel bans” when I have big projects so that I say no to things and have time to settle into big creative work that requires rituals, focus, and consistency. Oh, and my house plants benefit too.

How can switching up your surroundings contribute to personal growth?

One of the beautiful things about traveling, even if it’s just to another neighborhood this weekend, is that you tune back into yourself. You’re no longer on autopilot. You learn to come back to the awe and curiosity that is always with you, and will always benefit you, even if you’re walking a street you’ve walked a million times. Getting out of your normal surroundings can bring you back to this much needed state of mind, and hopefully you can remember to bring it home with you.

“One of the beautiful things about traveling, even if it’s just to another neighborhood this weekend, is that you tune back into yourself. You’re no longer on autopilot.”

Image Courtesy of Maxie McCoy

Tell us about a memorable trip you took. 

Heading to Bali with no set plan to return was a pretty big one. I ended up living there for most of 2015. I got my business launched from work done there. I wrote my book proposal there. I watched sunsets every night. I learned to surf. I didn’t know a soul for the first few months I was there. It was the most alone and the most out of my comfort zone, and the most connected to myself I’d ever been. The trip stripped me bare and led me back to a deep love for myself. I think our creativity needs space, and sometimes the best way to do that is on a trip (even though a year-long move isn’t exactly a “trip!”).

Can you share one thought starter or tip from your book?

One of my favorite things to do if you’re feeling lost is to set the big picture aside for now, set all the future obsessing down, and look back. Look back to the last few years of your life and ask yourself “What brought me the most energy? What made me feel the most proud? What lit me up?” And then figure out the absolute smallest thing that you can do to get that energy.

Fill in the blank. Traveling makes me feel: 

Alive.

Image Courtesy of Maxie McCoy

Some people say it’s important to fail along a journey—do you agree?

As Oprah says, a failure is a mistake you didn’t learn from. We’re all going to make mistakes, but it’s important that we take time to understand them so we can shift our course. So I think it’s important to make mistakes, for sure!

What are your top 3 tips to encourage women to go for it? 

  1. F*ck the big picture. Focus on small steps instead. It’s easier to get into action, and action is how you get places.
  2. Surround yourself with supportive women. That ride-or-die girl gang will remind you of your magic when you’re doubtful on the path.
  3. Be #batsh*tgrateful for all of it. Because the moment you’re living is the place you’re trying to get to.