It’s already a new year. Isn’t it crazy how fast time goes? This is the first interview of the month of this year, and already the 15th on our little blog.

This time we are talking with Maggie Langeness, who has worked as a travel agent for six years before she decided to travel more herself. So she decided to become a yoga instructor that specializes in Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga. Her plan is to travel the world and lead retreats.

Let this interview with this yoga guru inspire you to start being more balanced and zen!

Hi Maggie, tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I am Maggie, travel professional and yogi originally from a small town in Wisconsin, USA. Since leaving Wisconsin I have lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, Tulum, Mexico, and am currently calling Auckland, New Zealand home. Working in the travel industry has allowed me to travel to countless cities and over 17 countries! I hope to inspire others to travel the world and lead a healthy lifestyle!

Tell us a bit about your time as a travel agent. Did you like your job?

Working as a travel agent taught me so much about the logistics of traveling well. The perks of being a travel agent also allowed me to afford those plane tickets and hotel rooms!

Maggie Langeness SUP

Maggie Langeness as Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Instructor.

What made you realize you actually want to be a yoga instructor?

I realized I wanted to become a yoga instructor, because I really wanted to share my story of how yoga saved me from a life of unhealthy habits. So much of my time was spent working behind a desk planning other people’s travel when it finally hit me; I wanted to help people travel AND incorporate yoga into their lives.

And what is your driving force for traveling the world?

My driving force for travel really started when 2 of my friends passed away at the age of 20. This was a big realization that life is short and you are not promised tomorrow. Since then I fell into a job in the travel industry which fueled my desire to travel more and I started to incorporate yoga into my life to heal from that heartbreak.

How is it going for you at this point? Is it like you imagined it would be to travel and work as a yoga instructor?

Being a yoga instructor is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people and tell them how to stretch and move their bodies and it has taught me so much about communication. I also learned you can never get enough training and styles can always change!

Hiking with new friends in Northern Indi

Hiking with new friends in Northern India.

Do you have any tips for people that would like to do the same as you?

My tip for people who want to travel or change to a profession that they have always wanted is: just do it! Okay I stole that from Nike but seriously, if not now, when? Save up money by cutting back on eating at restaurants or going to the bar and go. When I first quit my job I used a site called ‘Workaway’ I was able to work 5 hours a day in exchange for room and board making the long term traveling life more affordable.

Can you tell us one of your best travel memories?

My top 5 travel memories are:

  • Waking up in a tent overlooking the cliffs in Big Sur, CA
  • Zip lining through the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua Mexico
  • Swimming in the sea at Cathedral Cove in Coromandel, NZ
  • Canyoning through the Alps in Interlaken, Switzerland
  • Stand up paddle boarding alongside fishing boats in Tamil Nadu, India just 90 km from Sri Lanka

Name places you would still like to visit.

Some things I would still like to do are:

  • Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in New Zealand
  • Hike through the Svaneti region in Georgia
  • Relax on the beach in Rarotonga
  • Eat banana pancakes in Samoa
  • Play with penguins in Patagonia, Argentina

What are the downsides to traveling the world?

There are downsides to travel, especially long term or moving abroad. Since being in New Zealand which is only 7,980 from ‘home’ I have struggled a lot with missing my family and friends. It’s not easy leaving all that is familiar, if it was easy everyone would do it!

Any thing else you would like to add?

If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be: ‘stay present’

I spent so much of my time planning the next trip that I never really enjoyed the moment.I thought happiness could be obtained if I booked a ticket for further away.  By bringing a daily yoga practice into my life I feel I am feeling more grateful and mindful of living in this moment and staying present.