“If you could travel anywhere – all expenses paid – where would you go?”

I remember asking this question to a client who had a serious case of wanderlust, and felt trapped in her current job. She needed to realize what was possible by dreaming a little outside her mental box.

After closing her eyes and pausing a moment, she simply replied: My own backyard.

A little stunned, but curious, I asked “Tell me more about it…”

The visual picture she painted was lovely. A covered patio with a wood-burning fireplace and comfy outdoor couches. Listening to the sound of wind chimes as she sipped her morning coffee. A pergola covered in sweet smelling jasmine alongside a fountain surrounded by an array of flowers. A peaceful outdoor sanctuary, literally just steps away…

Peace. Rest. Renewal. That’s what she craved more than a big vacation to an exotic place.

Instead of trying to escape her reality, this client modeled a vital lesson that we all experience – especially in our busiest seasons!

Sometimes, we simply need to create more space to explore where we already are instead of going somewhere new.

As an avid world traveler and self-proclaimed “Life Explorer,” this lesson hit home in way I didn’t even know I needed. I can get so busy planning, dreaming, designing, and acting that I fill my time so full so there isn’t space to enjoy being where I am now.

Before, I assumed I must be off on some grand adventure to really be exploring the world I lived in. Now after talking to this client, being a “Life Explorer” was expanded to include the ordinary, wonderful moments that we all can so easily access. Especially in my own backyard, neighborhood park, or tree-lined street.

This is the true test of exploration – to be where you are and still find the adventure!

The Mindset of a Life Explorer

The mindset of a Life Explorer is marked by possibility and action. Rather than focusing on a destination, it is a state of being that is defined by the following qualities:

  • Possibility
  • Creativity
  • Play
  • Innovation
  • Imagination
  • Desire

Life Explorers aren’t afraid to live and play.

These creative nomads turn big dreams into tangible realities because they figure out innovative ways to live their life. Rather than waiting for life to happen to them, they create the kind of life they want through their intentional actions and living out their desires in a positive way.

Now this doesn’t always materialize into a month-long European vacation and generally doesn’t even require a passport. But it does involve imagination and willingness to look for the opportunities available – no matter how big or small.

Millennials + Exploration

When I’ve connected with Millennials from across the globe through my Millennial Leadership Project, almost every person has shared that exploration, travel, adventure, or experiencing new things is one of their top motivators and defines their identity.

Compared to previous generations, Millennials are 23% more interested in traveling abroad according to Boston Consulting Group reports. Nearly 200 million international travelers are young adults, making up nearly a quarter of the tourism population based on estimates the United Nations. And a July 2015 survey by Destination Analysts shared that 68.9% of Millennial travelers in the US reported to be “exploration hungry.”

Millennials are using travel opportunities to dive deeper into self-discovery, find clarity around important life choices (like attending graduate school or taking on a new job), and experience something transformational before they settle into a career.

The very values most Millennials espouse center around freedom, adventure, autonomy, and flexibility – all major themes of becoming a Life Explorer!

What’s On Your List?

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag

In my twenties, I set a fun “life goal” of traveling to at least as many countries as I am years old. Now as a mother, it’s become a huge value of mine to expose my children to other cultures and ways of living so they, too, can have rich life experiences and fall in love with exploration. I’ve been to some amazing places – including living abroad in the Middle East and taking a one-year-old to Belize! And there are still so many more to see!

What’s on your list? Whether they are exotic destinations or backyard sanctuaries, I encourage you to share them with the hashtag #LifeExplorer throughout the summer to share the love!

Some Reading for Your Next Adventure (Or Your Backyard Patio)

The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World

The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)

A Year of Adventures: A Guide to What, Where and When to Do It

On The Road

The Art of Travel

The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World

Be the Revolution,

Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist for Millennial Leaders + Managers

Originally published at leadwithintention.com on July 1, 2018.

More About Leslie

Leslie M. Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC, is an Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist designing customized leadership solutions for Millennial Leaders and their Managers. With a background in strengths-based leadership development and applied positive psychology, she runs a multi-disciplinary practice called Lead With Intention where she coaches, trains, and consults with clients around the world.

Leslie works with a variety of clients ranging from top executives at worldwide corporations to creative entrepreneurs and non-profit teams. She is an avid artist who also enjoys traveling, karaoke, cooking ethnic food, writing in local coffee shops, and practicing yoga.She also recently launched The Makers Place™ — Sacramento’s first professional coworking space with onsite childcare!

Leslie lives in Northern California and travels internationally for coaching, organizational trainings, and retreat facilitation. You can connect with her onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Medium or send her an email at[email protected]to learn how to partner together.


  • Leslie M. Bosserman

    Founder and Executive Coach

    Lead With Intention®

    Leslie M. Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC is an Executive Coach and Lifestyle Strategist for innovators and creative professionals leading dynamic and diverse teams. As a creative thought leader, Leslie has spoken at TEDxEustis and is currently writing a book on a decade of research around the science of Emotional Endurance. After working for a decade in higher education and student development, Leslie launched Lead With Intention® – a boutique coaching and consulting practice that specializes in leadership coaching, customized training, and organizational strategy for clients and their teams around the world. She collaborates with a range of creative professionals from entrepreneurs launching their startups to executive leaders at Fortune 500 Companies. Leslie is committed to enhancing her local community and co-created and launched The Makers Place™ with her husband. As the regions first coworking space with onsite childcare, this innovative multi-use space supports parents who need a professional workspace along with flexible childcare options. She also currently works as the Director and Site Supervisor of Mini Makers™ Preschool. Leslie has also served locally on the leadership team for TEDxSacramento as the Event Coordinator and volunteered as a coach for emerging female leaders through The Women's Impact Alliance (formerly The Coaching Fellowship). As a two-time UCLA alumna, Leslie graduated with her Bachelor’s in Mass Communications (B.A.) and a Master's of Education (M.Ed.). She is also trained as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through The Co-Active Training Institute, international leaders in Coach Training and Leadership Development. Before becoming a Professional Coach, Leslie worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she taught leadership and diversity classes as well as ran a campus-wide Leadership Certificate Program for over 500 students, faculty, and staff members. She also has worked professionally in residential life and academic research at UCLA and in Public Affairs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy. Leslie loves to travel and explore new places and has visited over 30 countries, including living abroad in the Middle East for a year where she volunteered at local schools in Amman, Jordan with her husband. She is an avid artist and creative who also enjoys karaoke, cooking ethnic food, supporting local coffee shops, and practicing yoga. Leslie is a novice pickleball player and an expert bargain shopper! She lives in Northern California with her husband and three young children, and travels internationally for coaching, organizational trainings, and retreat facilitation.