Monica Houghton is a professional solo travel writer, digital nomad and Forbes contributor whose incredible blog and Instagram, From Here to Sunday, will make you want to quit your desk job immediately and book the next flight to Thailand (consider yourself warned!!!). Monica is part of an inspiring movement of solo travelers who are making history by empowering women to fearlessly embrace the possibilities of independent exploration and discovery around the globe. Get ready to learn more about this global nomad who is (somewhat literally) taking on the world!
Name: Monica Houghton
Company: From Here to Sunday
Job Title: Founder, Travel Writer and Digital Marketing Consultant
Currently based in: I’ve been traveling for nearly four years, so I currently live out of a suitcase – in hotels, hostels, Airbnb’s, and temporary apartments.
Originally from: I grew up in the the Midwest (born in Ohio, raised in Wisconsin, and went to University of Minnesota). After I graduated, I moved and lived in San Francisco for nearly seven years before I started traveling.
A woman in history that you admire & why:
Isabella I of Castile is a woman in history I admire. She not only funded Christopher Columbus in his global exploration, but based on her support, Spain became the first global power dominating Europe and much of the world. She knew what she was doing!
What inspired you to start your current venture?
For me, inspiration comes in many different forms, but mainly in the discovery of new ideas, cultures, and ways of life. My previous full-time job was remote, so that allowed me the freedom to travel and discover new things. I continue to find inspiration through my nomadic lifestyle – moving from place to place and making new friends exposes me to the diversity of the human experience, and I gain such a valuable perspective along the way.
What are you doing to make history today?
For the past four years, I’ve been living a modern-day lifestyle – first as a digital nomad, and then as a solo traveler. I am part of a movement of female solo travelers, and all of us are making history by supporting each other and stepping into the unknown with confidence. As more and more women travel solo, I believe there will be more infrastructure built around the world to support us.
When I began working as a digital nomad, I realized that the world wasn’t quite ready to accommodate my way of life. For example, major things like your residency, taxes, healthcare, voter registration, and driver’s license are still structured to accommodate a way of life that is no longer the norm. Increasingly, people are living their lives in more than one place. Being able to work remotely gives us the ability to embrace our freedom, but it still comes with unnecessary amounts of red tape. By advocating for new policies and sharing my experiences with others, I hope that I am paving the way for others to be able to embrace their opportunity to travel or work remotely.
What is one thing you have accomplished that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my role in helping people to see the world in a new way. I like being able to shift other people’s way of thinking, enabling them to see a world of possibilities instead of a world full of boundaries and limitations.
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
I believe that the biggest challenge facing the world (and especially the world of solo female travel) is fear. Some people are afraid to travel alone. Of course, it is very important to be cautious and safe, but it is also important to not let assumptions or unfounded fears hold you back from exploring and experiencing the world around you.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced in this job?
I receive a lot of pushback from others who question my life choices and my decision to live a nomadic lifestyle. I live in a way that is new and different, so it falls outside of many people’s comfort zones. It also challenges some people’s assumptions about what defines a job or how someone like me is “supposed to be” living her life.
What were you doing before your current role?
I used to work in the nonprofit sector, government, and professional consulting services. Unfortunately, my previous roles lacked the smell of a rainforest, the view of the ocean, intriguing conversation with new friends, and discovery of the world around me.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
Nothing gets done without doing.
Are there any great resources you have discovered that you would like to share?
Facebook is a wealth of information these days, with travel-specific groups and pages I reference and visit frequently. Anytime I have a question related to traveling to a new country on my own, I turn to Facebook groups like Girls Love Travel and We Are Travel Girls. As many of us already know, Instagram is also a great place to find travel inspiration!
Follow or connect with Monica on LinkedIn.