The other day, Jo and I went to the gym and a front desk employee asked us what we do for a living that allows us to come in at different hours each day. We said we’re travel YouTubers and she responded:
So do you come from money which allows you to be able to do that?
We were a bit taken aback that a stranger would assume something like that, about anyone. Let alone that sentence being the literal reason why we started our YouTube channel – that you don’t have to be rich to take a totally-fine $10 public bus to a nearby city and have a good time. That, too, is travel.
No, we’ve just been working toward this for years.
I went straight to the treadmill to burn off the steam built up after witnessing someone jumping so quickly to conclusions about someone in the first two sentences, but eventually, mid-way through my sudoku puzzle, I realized it was just a lack of awareness, and an excuse some people cling to as the reason why others are somewhere and why they’re not. In other words, resentment.
I got home that night and decided to look up some past FutureMe emails. I found one especially that I wanted to forward straight to the front desk.
I did leave New York. I did work at a hostel in Lisbon before backpacking around Europe for a second time. And I did make it to LA. You see something you want and you make it happen. Whether you’re into dream boards, or manifestation, or just putting hard work in to getting to where you want to be – it’s really up to you at the end of the day.
I continued reading:
January – May 2015 was the beginning of our YouTube channel actually succeeding; it was also the same time we decided it could be a serious career if we wanted it to be. If you’re someone who wants to launch a YouTube channel and make it your full-time job, 1) good luck (you will need it – as we did too), 2) read 10 Ways To Actually Grow Your YouTube Channel.
But what? $100 in my bank account. I. Literally. Remember. That. And I’m not one for cheesy, cliché rags-to-riches stories, but I might just have to write one up one day just to hand out to the front desk staff at my gym. Living paycheck to paycheck is scary, stressful, and it’s a struggle you just have to accept if you’re anyone trying to build something bigger. But reading that FutureMe email brought back some nostalgia about what it took to get to where I am, wherever I am, today.
I remember editing our first videos out of Whole Foods Tribeca because they had an upstairs cafeteria that I could sit at for hours without employees getting suspicious about why I was lingering for hours without buying anything. I remember sharing a studio apartment for three years so my Manhattan rent was only $572. I remember switching to Simple Mobile because the plan was only $40 a month. I remember never turning on the A/C because I didn’t want to pay extra for the electricity. I remember drinking Four Lokos at the tables in M2M in East Village because it was only $4, got you drunk, and you didn’t have to pay tip since it was a supermarket. I remember growing to like filter coffee at Starbucks because it was the cheapest thing on the menu.
Throwback to that 2014 Christmas gift coming in handy just when I needed it.
I remember making a “joke” to the French class I was teaching in Brooklyn, that if anyone needed an extra dog walker, I was up for it. I got two emails that night and one turned into a dog-walking gig with a dog named Gypsy in Chelsea. I remember Jo and I only signing up to work for Instacart only because the app was so new and nobody was on it, which meant we’d be getting paid to edit our videos while waiting for orders to come in. I remember working as a TV extra for $7.25 an hour on the most random shows that I still have yet to see today. I remember going on castings for Delta, K-Mart, Meetic (a French dating website), and Teen Vogue, and booking none of them. I remember working at Johnny Rockets for three days before I had to call it quits. I remember getting fired for talking back to my boss at a catering company because he didn’t like how goofy I was at his bougie parties.
I remember doing all of these odd jobs while trying to start a YouTube channel, to eventually one day make it to LA and to one day be able to walk into my gym at 11:35am on a random Thursday.
Only to be completely misunderstood by a front-desk employee.
I guess we all have to deal with little instances of people not understanding, or not wanting to understand, but after all, they’re just little instances. Whether you once only had $100 in your bank account or currently have $100 in your bank account, just remember: it’ll all be okay.