We bet you鈥檝e heard it from your coworkers and BFFs before: 鈥淎ll I want to do is quit my job and travel the world!鈥 While most of the travel blog,YouTube wanderlust聽Vlogger or even travel聽tattoo-ignited wanderlust usually comes in the form of dreaming without action, we recently chatted with Emily Chen, a designer who actually made the bold leap (congrats, girl!). Emily left her job at Squarespace in August of 2015 to see some of the most far-flung corners of the world for an entire year. Read on for a day in Emily鈥檚 ultra-inspiring life, where she鈥檚 super focused on reconnecting with herself, good food and creative global communities.

Morning by Emily Chen

A Day in the Life of Emily Chen

7am: I wake up. I鈥檓 an early riser, so I really like the early morning, when I can walk outside and still have the city to myself 鈥 I鈥檓 currently in Melbourne. Since I started my solo trip around the world in August 2015, my external home and environment has changed so much. I鈥檝e found that having a good morning ritual is incredibly grounding and balances out the parts of my life that are in constant motion.

My new morning ritual always involves coffee at a neighborhood cafe I love. I鈥檓 lucky because the coffee in Melbourne is wonderful and so is the hospitality. Today, I use the opportunity to write what I鈥檓 grateful for and what I hope for myself in the next year.

Coffee by Emily Chen

It鈥檚 honestly been a bit scary branching out into the unknown. For as long as I can remember, I鈥檝e always had a plan and a stable job. Now, I鈥檓 not even sure what this 鈥渢hing鈥 I鈥檓 doing is called. I just know what I care about and I have to keep going and doing it.

I think about how staying open in the unknown, without scrambling for the next thing or having an answer, is amazing, but also trying and terrifying. It鈥檚 not something I 鈥 or people I know 鈥 are used to!

8am: A while ago, I started to carve time out of my day to create things with my hands. The computer can limit my imagination, so getting back to basics makes me realize what鈥檚 possible. I love any excuse to carve this time out of my day, think outside the box and play with type. Today, I collaborated with a very talented and inspiring friend on her Trends on Trends food forecast feature.

Emily Chen, traveler and designer9am: I鈥檓 starting to take on more freelance work, and I also have a part-time job at a food company here in Melbourne. At this time each day, I鈥檓 at my job working away on branding, copywriting, social media and design. This morning, I head to a co-working space (another great place to meet new friends!) and work on design projects, getting back to people and reaching out to others.

I really LOVE design ideas and projects 鈥 the initial brainstorming is always so fun! You pick up so much inspiration from all over in your physical world. You become a clue-hunter, noticing details in a building, at home, in a poster that your brain normally filters out.

11am: By now, it鈥檚 already 9pm in NYC, where most of my friends are. I miss them a ton, so I often have one or two Skype calls a week around this time. Travel will have its highs and lows. You get to take in the awe of new places and meet new faces, but you鈥檒l always miss your community back home.

The Royal Pavilion at Royal Park Rajapruek. #thailand #chiangmai

A post shared by Emily Chen (@emcwanders) on

2pm: I use my afternoon to continue with email, my own project work or freelance work. (Note to self: Must. Resist. Buzzfeed.)

6pm: Dinner time! I usually make dinner or have dinner over at a friend鈥檚 place. In NYC, I had monthly potlucks with friends and I loved how it brought everyone together. I think it鈥檚 time to start them again here!

8pm: I鈥檓 new to Melbourne, and it鈥檚 my home for this year. I鈥檒l usually meet new friends through activities (dance classes, yoga) or go to the occasional meetup. Or, like tonight, I鈥檓 on my computer, as that鈥檚 how life and working in different time zones goes sometimes.

11pm: I try to get to bed at this time, and today is no exception. :)

Days should always start like this 鉂わ笍 #bali #islandlife

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Emily鈥檚 Favorite Quote

鈥淲hat if you just decided that you were going to be fine, no matter what? You鈥檇 probably do a lot of things differently. You鈥檇 test your boundaries. You鈥檇 trust yourself more. The trick is that feeling this way is just a choice you make. You decide to believe it or not.鈥 鈥 Fredrique Dame. I recently read this great article as told to First Round by Fredrique Dame, and found so much goodness about career happiness and confidence in it!

Emily鈥檚 Best Advice

I鈥檝e realized connection, creativity and empowerment have been key in everything I do. And I have a keen interest in any project that centers around illustration, design, food, women鈥檚 empowerment, global health and bringing people together over food and authentic conversation. I鈥檝e also realized I need to be able to shape my schedule and work flexibly wherever I am. Find what works for you!

Inspired by Emily? Share your Instagram pics of travel, good food and creative communities with us by tagging us on Instagram @BritandCo!

(Photos via Emily Chen and @emcwanders)