- Courtesy of Dr. Cacinda Maloney of PointsandTravel.com.
Cacinda Maloney has always traveled.
At the start of her 21 years as a licensed chiropractor, a business coach advised her to travel every six weeks.
She and her husband “thought he was crazy at first, especially since we had just graduated from college with our doctorate degrees and in debt of college loans at $100,000 each,” she told Business Insider in an email.
“We were go-getters who were ready to work after 10 years of college. However, the advice he gave us ended up being the best advice we have ever received from a coach.”
So, while building and running an Arizona chiropractic practice with her husband, Maloney made regular travel a priority. In 2014, she made it her profession as well, leaving the practice’s daily management to her husband and beginning a new career as a travel entrepreneur.
Maloney, who runs PointsandTravel.com and its associated Facebook and Instagram pages, is today a Travelocity ambassador who’s visited over 50 countries so far. While her husband and two teenage sons sometimes join, she takes the majority of adventures on her own.
Below, Maloney tells Business Insider what it’s like to leave an established career, the realities of a life lived on and off the road, and the challenges of building a career that sends you around the world.
She had started PointsandTravel.com in 2012 as a way to document her travels. That year, she visited eight countries and 38 cities. In 2013, she did about the same.
Banca boats are used throughout the Philippines for transportation, since the islands are surrounded by water (obviously) It is one of the main modes of transportation. It has a couple of outriggers that keep it from falling over and also has a car engine in it! They come in all different sizes and can hold capacities up to 100 people using a truck engine! Fascinating! #gnomads
In Palawan, the Philippines.
By 2014, Maloney had reached a crossroads. “I was extremely busy at the clinic and then became busy at PointsandTravel.com and I knew something had to give. It was a good thing, but there was just too much work!” she said.
In Wadi Rum, Jordan.
“I had been working long hours for years and was ready for a break,” Maloney remembers. “I was one of the lucky ones, who had built-in vacations every six weeks of my life for over 20 years. But still, I was tired of the same routine.”
At the Hill of Crosses, Lithuania.
“I knew I had to make a decision at this point, as I couldn’t do both and do both well,” she said. Work like freelance writing gigs and photography offers, brand ambassadorship proposals, and trip requests started flowing in, and “it was now or never to take the plunge.”
Just call me #Galapagos Cacinda! ????I feel extremely fortunate to be able to visit the Galapagos Islands, which I often refer to as “a trip of a lifetime.” However, this time I got lucky and was able to visit a different set of Galapagos Islands onboard the Eclipse yacht with @adventure_smith explorations. #luxurytravel
In the Galapagos Islands.
Maloney remembers feeling like a “fish out of water” the first 3-6 months, hoping she’d made the right decision.
Now this is Montana country❄️! Famous for its BIG sky, lakes and streams, and of course, snow in the winter. Just coming out of Glacier National Park, we made a quick stop by the lake and got this amazing view! Seeing the reflections in the water and the glistening snow actually made me want to move to snow country, can you believe it? From this beach girl? That sure would make my husband happy❤️! #yahootravelexplorers #gnomads
In Glacier National Park, Montana.
“I was a part-time blogger for one and a half years, so the transition came naturally. Of course, it was scary for this medical professional to transition, but it was like a new adventure in many ways,” she said.
In Key West, Florida.
The hardest part, she remembers, was the “‘business of travel’: learning new technology, buying the equipment needed, learning to write creatively, learning to organize the workflow, figuring out social media, hiring virtual assistants/other writers, and planning strategy.”
The cute little seaside town of #Smögen #Sweden, with its boardwalk of shops in old fishing huts, restaurants and “half special” lunches! Delectable! #gnomads According to wiki, “Smögen is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Swedish west coast, well known for its fish, prawns and other seafood, and one of Sweden’s few fish markets is located here.”
In Smögen, Sweden.
Now, she’s a brand ambassador for three major travel corporations, a travel expert for a tourism board, a freelance and contributing writer, a social media manager, and a travel photographer. Her new income, she admits, doesn’t compare to what she was earning as a chiropractor, and she still maintains a partnership in the practice she built.
In Santorini, Greece.
Working with Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) means she rarely pays for accommodations, flights, or food on a trip.
In Southern Italy.
“As a travel entrepreneur, I’ve been paid to eat my way thru Sicily, gallop on camels at sunrise in Jordan, rappel a 100-foot waterfall in Costa Rica, sea kayak in the Galapagos, sail through Greece, marvel at the markets of Guatemala, swim with stingrays in the Cayman Islands, snorkel with beluga whales in Manitoba, and dive with sharks in Roatan,” she said.
In the Galapagos Islands.
“Plus, I drink in some of the world’s best bars, eat in elite Michelin-stared restaurants, as well as ‘dive’ restaurants and even street food. I get to explore archaeological sites and experience things I never even knew existed!”
In Chichicastenango, Guatemala.
In 2016 so far, she’s visited Great Britain, Spain (twice), Monaco, France (three times), Italy (twice), Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico (twice), Dallas (twice), Montana (twice), Park City, Utah, and Manitoba, Canada.
In Manitoba, Canada.
Next, she’s off to Indonesia, Mexico (twice), San Diego, Texas, and a cruise from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. She’s also trying to accept “a burning invitation” to Cuba.
Making my way on foot around #Troyes #France, I find it charming and quite a few ways. The half timbered houses, mostly dating back from the late 15th to early 19th century’s are very common here. They are made from timbers that are further supported by various fillings such as brick, chalk, plaster and commonly a mix of clay with chopped straw, lime and sand. The roofs are typically made of wood or slate shingles. In the 17th century it became fashionable to cover the half tembered facades with plaster as to make the building appear less rustic and more luxurious. Now days however, showing the timbers has the edge in terms of charm. #traveldeeper #yahootravelexplorers
In Troyes, France.
“Ideally, I like to think that 30% of my time I travel, 30% of my time I work on projects, and 30% of my time I am looking for new work with 10% of my time doing miscellaneous activities,” she said. She intends to cut back on the traveling a little in 2017 to devote more attention to the non-travel elements of her projects.
My amazing day at Zipolite beach in #Mexico, it was awesome to work with such professional guides and photographer of @cantimploratravel If you want to take #NoMoreSelfies and travel #offthebeatenpath throughout Mexico, then these are the guides for you! They know the area, curate the experience and take plenty of photos of you! #CantimploraTravel This photo, however was taken by Miss Sarah: @sjafana #gnomads
In Zipolite, Mexico.
She advises others who want to leave their careers for something new: “Invest in yourself. That one great skill you have: Use it. Do what you do and do it well. Do it better than anyone else. Strive daily to do your best work.”
In Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
And, she adds for fellow travelers, “If you travel more than six times a year internationally, get global entry. Only bring a backpack and carry-on luggage. Always get travel insurance, have a spare SIM cards for your DSLR camera, and get T-Mobile, who has free international 3G almost worldwide.”
My #redchair moment in one of Canada’s most remote national park #ShareTheChair #ShareTheLove in #Manitoba #Canada #ExploreMB The red chairs are placed in special locations around Canada’s National Parks and are all about taking time to connect with nature and with each other. Some are easy to find, while others provide more of an adventure. All of them offer a place to rest, relax, and reflect on the place you’ve discovered and the journey you took to get there. (except here look out for #PolarBears)
In Manitoba, Canada.