Meet Miriam: She Paid Off $24K of Debt, Now Lives In Her Car?

Chase Your Dreams Miriam Lilly So She Went Sooner Not Later

Last week, I introduced you to Mark Jones Jr. an Experimental Test Pilot pursuing his dream of becoming an astronaut (while also doing a bunch of other fabulous things). If you missed that interview, be sure to check it out here.

But today, I want you to meet Miriam Lilly. Miriam is the kind of girl that dreams really big dreams and asks questions like, “why not?” A few months ago when she turned 29, she quit her job so she could travel to all 50 United States before her 30th birthday. BUT the main reason I find Miriam to be so inspiring is that in 2013, in JUST 10 months, she paid off over $24,000 of debt with a discipline I can’t even imagine (more on that later).

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Right now I am taking the road trip of a lifetime, whilst also championing the cause of eliminating human trafficking.  Every day that I get in my car, and basically chase the sunset, I feel like I am literally pursuing my passion, as if it would run from me, and the miles melt the distance between plan and action.

What has been your proudest moment since setting out on this adventure?

Leaving. The part where I actually LEFT my salaried position in a 4 star hotel, sold everything of value (including my hair*) and just left. Sometimes I still can’t believe what I am doing–as if I am watching myself on a screen. This is so unlike the Miriam I was formerly.

*From Miriam’s Blog: “My budget covered everywhere my car could take me – but not much farther… Time to get creative, what could I sell? Turns out there was a fairly large market for….my hair.  I sold 20 inches of my hair for $700 and in the same breath bought a ticket that took me from the mainland to Alaska then on to Hawaii in one swoop for that exact amount.”

What have been some stumbling blocks along the path of this current adventure?

The sheer exhaustion that driving over 30,000 miles can bring. As it turns out passion alone doesn’t get me up in the morning. There are never ending maps, logistics, and pit stops. Not adhering to any sort of routine is a little unsettling. Imagine waking up each day in another place; you aren’t sure how this shower works, or what time the dog goes out, or how to get the microwave running. Nothing is automatic.

Do you have any “haters” or negative voices in your life? How do you handle those situations?  

Interestingly enough the only negative voices were to the extreme measures I took to get out of debt.*  But just as the rap song says, those that asked me “why?” are now asking how I did it.  So far it’s been mostly success in this phase of my journey; it’s hard (for them) to diss success.

*From Miriam’s Blog: “I literally stopped spending money. I killed any “entertainment budget”… ate to the end of my pantry then purchased only rice and oatmeal for a very long time; which eliminated my need for a refrigerator, I unplugged that to save energy, along with my microwave and other appliances. I then unplugged everything from the AC & heater, to lights and clocks, and even charged my phone and laptop only at work. I stopped driving except the 6 mile loop to work- I even banned Target & Walmart…”

What is the best choice you have made, in regards to your dream?  

Changing the idea of “eventually” to actionable steps that happen today.

I’m a bit of an inspirational quote junkie. What is your favorite quote?

I am also a quote junkie The one I am loving at the moment is: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”- Neale Donald Walsch

Life Begins at the end of your comfort zone sooner not laterIn honor or the year 2015, if you could hop into the Delorean and go back in time (or to the future), when/where would you go and what would you do?

Hmm, I have a few options. Perhaps lunch with Mother Teresa, or going on “The Price is Right” when Bob Barker was the host, or forward to the day when human trafficking is eradicated. But really I can’t imagine a much better place and time than where I am, and what I am doing right now. I know that may not always be my answer, so I am trying to enjoy it while it’s true.

As you know, I have a bit of a passion for bucket lists. So what are the top three things on your bucket list?

1) See the Northern Lights.

2) Raise 50k for victims of human trafficking.

3) Eventually be a dream designer/life coach

Finish this sentence:

The best thing I have ever done for my dream is….. ask myself, “why not?”


P.S. There’s something REALLY important that Miriam did not say during this interview. Please take 1 minute to read about it here.


So what do you think? Could you unplug your fridge and sell your hair? Have questions for Miriam? Share them in the comments below!


About the author: Catherine

3 comments to “Meet Miriam: She Paid Off $24K of Debt, Now Lives In Her Car?”

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  1. Charis - March 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm Reply

    I love, love, LOVE this adventure! I also have a heart for human trafficking victims as well. Great job Miriam, I can’t wait to pay off all our debt (only my student loan is left) and take a roadtrip across the US as well! :)

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