My name is Jo. After over 10 years of gallivanting, I’ve found the adventure that makes my life right for me. Let me tell you about it…
Not interested in reading my story? No problem! Jump right into:
Otherwise, read on!
It all started one warm, summer night when I was up in my tower waiting for my prince… Haha, I’m just kidding. This ain’t no fairy tale. It’s real life. Well, it’s the story of my real life, with its highs, lows and mega learnings that have slapped me in the face along the way.
By sharing my tale, I hope it inspires you to break free from the confines that limit you, to instead find the freedom to soar.
I’ve found that just by noticing the expectations, norms and inner beliefs that kept me captive, I slowly became liberated to find the life path that made me feel freer and more alive than ever.
I want to help you discover the same feelings.
Getting lost along the way
Having been raised in a rather conventional Canadian context, I was given a clear idea of what my life path was supposed to look like. Go to college. Graduate. Get married. Buy a house. Have kids. Wait until retirement.
It’s not that I didn’t want any of those things, but maybe I didn’t want them in that order, or maybe I didn’t want any of it in the same way that it was supposed to look like.
I wanted the freedom to do it my way.
As I finished my studies, it became clearer and clearer that I couldn’t just keep moving forward on this beaten path that felt so wrong for me. I felt like I was a square peg trying to be shoved into a circular hole.
I felt repressed, limited and unmotivated to take even one more step on this path. I needed adventure, I needed unexpected detours and growth. I wanted to be surprised and captivated by each day of my life.
I announced that after college I’d be leaving Ottawa. I didn’t know for how long and I was all over the map in terms of where I wanted to go. But what I did know, was that I needed the freedom to choose my own adventure, like those choose your own adventure books that rocked my world as a kid.
I spent the next decade gallivanting the world. Although I love to travel, it’s not really what that time was about. I was searching for myself, for a place that felt right to me and people that lifted me up and helped me become this version of me that I knew I had hidden inside.
I was looking for a circular peg hole, where a round peg like myself might comfortably fit.
After all those years of traveling, the most important adventure of my life started when I realized that peace, connection and love had to be found within my inner self, and not in some far off land.
In those 10 years of living and traveling abroad, I realized how liberating and necessary it was for me to live my life on my own terms. Also, after having had countless homes, jobs, relationships and experiences, I became a master at managing change and not letting fear stop me from fulfilling my dreams.
But I had gotten one thing wrong.
I had thought that one day, I’d arrive to a city/job/relationship/”fill in the blank of whatever else I’d been waiting for” to find true happiness and everything would just feel right. Like once XYZ happened, I’d be happy and fulfilled.
But it took me a long time to realize that I was wrong.
Everything would only ever feel right, once I felt right within myself.
Once I planted my feet in Madrid, Spain, in December of 2014, I started to realize that and a shift started taking place.
My path started to detour into a new unexpected direction. I started meditating more regularly, yoga became something much more profound and I started to really question my day-to-day thoughts and choices.
With each step I took on this new path, I felt freer and freer.
I felt like a bird that was being taught to fly after having spent so many years in a cage.
All of a sudden, I had the power to be happy. It was in my hands, and it was up to me to be brave enough to take it. I was in control of my life in way I had never even thought possible.
I had been looking under every rock and over ever hill to find these answers that I suddenly started to uncover within myself. My eyes were being opened to the thoughts in my mind, the power of living in the present moment and my ability to change the world, by changing my perception of the world.
Consciousness and authenticity became the backbone of my new adventure. It was wilder and more daring than any of the travel tales I’d ever go one to live.
Exploring the depths of my thoughts, feelings, perceptions and beliefs helped me become more and more acquainted with my truth, or the me that lies at the base of who I am.
As I embarked on this new inner journey, I realized that it had the unexpected effect of helping me connect more authentically and so more truly with those around me. As I was bringing a more honest version of myself to the table (that no longer NEEDED their love and support, but instead cherished and valued it) I felt freed from the shackles of their expectations.
Instead of making choices to please others or because this is how we usually do it, I started making choices that suited me, and my needs.
But just like all daring tales, the protagonist must eventually fight its dragon.
And my dragon came in the shape of my “dream job” that forced me back into that damn circular peg hole.
My last mega freedom finding move
Having landed an amazing job as an editor within a prestigious Spanish editorial, I thought I had hit the jackpot. I loved writing and was extremely enthused to have my daily contribution to the world come in the form of kick-ass textbooks that I’d help them publish.
And at first, that’s what this job was.
Until the cubicle walls, stern schedule, rigid hierarchy, egos, unrealistically high expectations and pressure, power and money obsessed dynamics put me back into my bird cage.
I spent the whole last year at that job justifying to myself my decision to stay there.
- “The job market in Spain is tough. I won’t be able to find anything better. Even if I change jobs, the conditions will be the same.”
- “I’m in charge of how I experience this situation. Perception is projection. I just have to change how I look at my bird cage.”
- “It’s not that bad… “
Until one day, I couldn’t do it one second longer. It was time to go. I was scared, but I felt sure that this was the right decision. I had learnt how to hear the soft, subtle sounds of my inner voice and it was nudging me into this new direction.
Talking to my boss that day, I remember feeling like the door on my bird cage was being reopened.
After so many years of “working for the man”, I knew that my new life path was guiding me towards starting my own business. From this idea, You Choose the Way was born. From here, I help brave world wanderers who are dissatisfied with their status quo, connect in with the deepest versions of themselves to then create a lives and travel adventures that authentically suit them, inside and out, at every step of the journey.
Freedom for me is about unapologetically living my truth and striving for my greatest life in each moment I’m given. Only from there, can I create everlasting, love-filled bonds with others.
There’s no greater freedom than giving yourself permission to be fully yourself.
No more needing to please others, or making choices based on what’s expected of me.
And even better, my own inner shit has been moved out of the way, so it no longer stunts my growth.
Instead, I hear my inner voice louder than ever. My inner critics have been hushed, I regularly check in with my self-judgments and fears to make sure they aren’t impeding me, but instead serving as guideposts that keep me walking on a life path that truly works for me.
Are you ready to choose a new life path? A path that gives you the freedom to soar and be your most amazing self? The life path you've always dreamed of, but didn’t dare strive for?
If I’ve done it, then I have no doubt in the world that you can too.
You’re brave enough, smart enough and badass enough to get out and become the person you’ve always thought you could be.
And no, this won’t only benefit you, every single person in your life will become better, as you start bringing a better version of yourself to the table.
As you soar higher and become freer, you share that possibility and encourage that liberty in each valuable relationship in your life. As you live more truly in line with your truth, you become a model that encourages others to do the same.
How can you take your first steps today?
Josée Perron (aka, Jo) is a mindful travel and change specialist, blogger, coach, yogi and nature addict with a keen eye for finding the beauty in life and the opportunities created by change.
Having reluctantly studied Business Administration, her professional path originally led her into various directions always based on what could be found in the random country she resided in. This gave her tons of experience working in almost all areas of business, eventually ending up and loving the non-profit sector. When she moved to Spain, she had to re-shift her focus due to the lack of opportunities within that field. She luckily landed on her feet finding work she loved as a textbook editor. Four years later, it was finally time to take the leap she’d been dreaming of and she quit her job to start her own business.
In recent years, she’s become a certified yoga and meditation teacher and also a certified NLP (neurolinguistic programming) life coach with specializations in mindfulness and time line processes.
She started You Choose the Way in March 2018, as a means to connect with other travelers ready to venture down the wild route of self-discovery.
- 2006 – 8 months in Jasper, Alberta, working at a beautiful tramway in the Rockies
- 2008 – 1 year living and working Australia (Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and Perth)
- 2010 – 6 months in Quetzaltenango learning Spanish and volunteering
- 2011 – 2 years in Cusco, Peru working to help young entrepreneurs
- 2014 – 6 years living in Madrid, Spain (still here!)
I’ve also traveled:
- Quite a bit throughout South America
- Parts of Europe, some areas more than others
- Stomped through parts of the South East Asian backpacker trail
- On the back of a motorcycle for 5-month
- Departure: Madrid, Spain
- Destination: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Pit stops along the way: Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan