Meet the Woman Traveling Across the World, Wonder Architect Kym Pham

I found Kym on Instagram. When you come across her feed, you cannot help but fall for all the wonderful photos she takes to document her experience all around Earth. She has a wandering soul and it seems that her heart cannot sit still for more than just a few months in one place. As you are reading this, she is driving from Norway to Mongolia on an epic adventure of a life time called the Mongol Rally. Yes, you read that correctly. From Norway to Mongolia, that’s over 10,000 glorious miles through deserts, mountains, and steppes where just a few bold souls dare to travel through. The hardship is all part of the experience, when your car breaks down in the hills of Kyrgyzstan, you better learn to jump out of your comfort zone and find a local for help.

She curates very special experiences for a select group of people to take them on a magical journey. Even if you’re ready and willing to pay, she will have to interview you first to make sure you’re the right fit. This is how we met, virtually.

I came across an opportunity to travel through the Golden Circle in Iceland earlier this year and did not hesitate to reach out for the last spot on her trip. We set up a time to meet via Skype, as she was located in Norway, and I was nervous about it like I was waiting for a job interview. There was something very calming and gentle about her, even through the phone screen, I felt comfortable and at ease. We instantly clicked and I knew the trip was going to be special.

I spent a week in Iceland with strangers, we quickly became like sister-friends. We came from all parts of North America and had walked very different paths until they converged into one through Kym.

Tell us about yourself and how you found your calling as a Wonder Architect

Wonder is medicine for the soul.

That’s what I’ve learned over the last decade of gathering people under a united vision of beauty. There is something extraordinary about being in the same space with humans who are collectively in awe of something. They are almost unrecognizable in their wonder and yet they are themselves more than ever. You can almost, in that moment, feel the world shudder with joy and breathe more deeply. Can you imagine being able to to expand someone’s experience of being alive and having them return to themselves even for an instant? It is absolute magic. And I love surrounding myself with magic. So I built my life around that—designing adventures around the world for groups of inspiring humans, creating an ever-evolving container for wonder.

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received that rings true to your heart?

Bring it back to your heart. When you are faced with a difficult decision, feel the contour and depth of your beating heart. Does your heart feel light, expansive? Or does it feel heavy, constricted? Use your heart as your compass in making choices—from which country to explore next, to what book to read. It may lead you to scary paths, but it will never lead you to an untrue place.

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How has traveling around the world changed your perspective?

My perspective hasn’t so much changed as it’s been enhanced and deepened. Exploring the world and its humans have made me quicker to understand, softer to react, kinder to speak, and wildly bolder to dream. It only affirmed what my heart already knew what to do; all of the world is home. I feel so grateful for the chance to be a guest.

How do you deal with tough hurdles and stress in life?

I love this question because I have such a healthier approach now than I did not so long ago.

On a healthy day, when I feel something arise, I sit with the feelings. I don’t try to push them away or distract myself from them. Instead I let them in, knowing they’ll move through me. The fear, the anger, the sadness… whatever shows up, I allow myself the experience, and if they feel a little stuck, I’ll move or dance or shake my body to shift them physically. Often I talk about befriending these feelings we are so ashamed of. I will actually speak to that part of myself, and say “there, there, baby girl…” and cradle it. It feels so much better when I remember to be kind to myself.

Once I’m in my body, I then ask myself: “What is the lesson here? What can I learn from this?” And then I actually learn something new, which is pretty exciting.

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What are three of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned while being your own boss and running your own business?

1/ Prices are more than prices

I believe they are gateways to the level of service you desire to provide and the level at which you want to be met by your client. So price accordingly. This is why I’m significantly increasing the prices of my adventures starting in 2017. I am ready for the next level.

2/ Create in iterations

This holds especially true for those of us who use perfectionism to self-sabotage from releasing something into the world.

Try this instead: create a working version of your product or service and release it. Not a perfect version, simply a working one. Once it’s released, get feedback, improve what’s vital, and release the new iteration. Do this enough times and you’ll not only have your own creation out in the world, it will likely surpass your perfect vision. It will have evolved with you.

3/ Don’t be afraid to get weird—to go there.

I couldn’t have possibly dreamed this up when I started, but it’s my every day reality now so I’m saying it’s possible. You could say I get paid to be weird. That is, I make a living combining all my strange loves into one cohesive adventure-filled business. Like, meditating under waterfalls before toasting girlfriends with a regal-ish goblet of rosé, wearing a flowing red dress across mountains like my soul is on fire (it is), driving a 4WD on another planet (Iceland is other-worldly), or traveling to a remote island to release feelings under a magical hot spring.

But the best part is I get paid to share these experiences with other incredible, weird humans—humans like Sarah Park. In this big, big world, their weirdo found my weirdo. And to build a business around that? It doesn’t really get better, or weirder, than that.

Are you ready to experience the magic with Kym? You can join her spiritual adventures by visiting her website here. Where would you like to go next?

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