You’re cuddling your children and feel that warm, loving connection as you delight in every precious second. Suddenly you experience a light bulb moment and it starts to burn more brightly with a seemingly impossible dream.
Here it goes. Imagine, selling your house and taking the family on an unforgettable globetrotting experience across arid deserts to snowfields and the wide open savanna for 12 months.
Well that person exists. Her name is Tina Tower and she and her husband one day literally put down their tools to enjoy quality time with their sons Kai, 11, and Cohen, 10.
Selling their five-acre property north of Byron Bay in NSW, they bundled the family together and set off on an intrepid journey to 28 countries on planes, boats and on trains.
Tina certainly deserved the break after running multiple businesses for 14 years, without drawing breath since starting her first two businesses at the age 20.
“My husband went on a surfing trip,” says Tina Turner recalling the day her life inextricably changed. “I got to spend time chilling with my kids. My husband was a stay at home dad. Suddenly I had this special time with the boys and realised I’d been missing them. I was soaking them up. I knew travelling with the family for one year would be a once in a lifetime experience. Rarely do you get to spend time like that with your kids when they are young and at such an amazing age.
“When my husband came back, we had a chat and I booked the tickets. I am a hyper planner. I didn’t wing it. The entire trip was booked before we left, starting in the Philippines where we stayed in overwater bungalows. It was a nice way to start. Next we went onto Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Thailand. In all, we caught 44 flights.
“Mongolia was definitely the hardest place to travel. It was there that I realised we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. We even had a couple of days with no food. Our kids never knew what it’s like to be hungry before that. We continued onto Russia, Eastern Europe, and Africa where we went to Kenya, and did volunteer work which is good for soul. Then we went back to Europe and America. Finally, we decided to return home because our oldest son got homesick and missed his friends.”
Leading the life of a true digital nomad was a revelation for Tina, who managed to continue her work as a business coach teaching entrepreneurs how to build their brand and scale their business for two days a week whilst travelling the world.
“I didn’t want to disconnect completely so I started working a couple of days a week,” she said. “I fell in love with this new life. You see the world so differently when you travel. I got completely hooked. I’d been running businesses for 14 years and thought you had to go to an office and always work harder and longer.
“It was a revelation to me. You hear people do stuff like this and think, really? Is that possible? But I can tell you it was the most fun, most creative I’d ever been in business and I experienced the most freedom.”
Many people would question selling up completely, but Tina says she’s not someone who gets attached to things. She’d also sold her franchise business for an undisclosed seven figure sum in 2006, and was convinced there was more to life than endless working hours.
She was right. The trip proved to be the best thing she’d ever done and her life is clearly much richer for it.
Tina’s other dream was to write a book. With so much experience in business, she wanted to share the lessons she learned.
“Writing a book was a big dream of mine,” Tina explained. “First it was going to be a start up, scale and sale book. But I’m a big personal development junkie and wanted to write in that vein. I wanted to share the story of business and lessons learned but not just the technical stuff and short cuts but explain how what really sets people apart is resilience and attitude. That’s how you break through in business and become a success. I talk to women every day, and they are not doing that. My aim is to help them.”
Tina has already hatched two impressive ‘dream’ plans and there will be no stopping her the next time that light bulb lights up.
About Tina Tower
Tina Tower is a high performing business coach. Her own entrepreneurial journey began when she launched a toy store & tutoring centre in 2004, designed and licensed her own programs & curriculum as Begin Bright in 2008 and franchised her business in 2011. Building the network of Begin Bright centres up to more than 30, Begin Bright was acquired by international education company, Cognition Education in 2016. Tina won Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year in 2014.