I’m sitting cross-legged up on a cushioned bench, tapping away on my MacBook. The grinding coffee is drowning out the soft background beats. I’ve got the best seat in the cute Canggu café, Ruko – right under the fan.
I look up and smile at a girl, headphones in, as she’s typing away too. It’s like an unspoken understanding. Yep, we chose this life.
Work is no longer a place, but a long adventure… and with great coffee still. I gave in a life of comfort for something entirely different – ock bottom cost of living and a soaring quality of life. I’ve cut my expenses in half, by deciding to travel. Here in Bali, Indonesia, I’m spending around $1,000 a month.
I was always so afraid to make the jump. What if I run out of money? What if my client’s don’t “get it”? What if I miss my family too much? What if I get lonely? All the hard work of building my business, gone. I thought I was being selfish. But then something changed. I was lucky enough that a good friend of mine wanted this as much as I did. So we decided to go for it. No constraints. No limits. No expectations.
To many back home, I’m living the dream. Unspeakable freedom. And don’t get me wrong. I believe I’m living the dream too – my dream. That’s the key thing here. This is my dream – not everyone’s dream. It’s not the new lifestyle – it’s my new lifestyle.
For me, designing my life was the most important thing. I’m rich in experience, and luckily enough, I can earn a pretty decent living here too. I get the best of both worlds: wealth and travel. I don’t have to choose. All, I mean all, of my Australian clients have been completely cool. I haven’t lost one. If anything, they respect me more.
But don’t think for a second I’m lucky. I’ve been working on my new “lifestyle” for nearly a decade. Five years after I had this vision, I took off. So this wasn’t a quick, rash decision. And it shouldn’t be.
Making the choice to break free from the 9-5 is the hardest part. But I can guarantee, just like me, you’ll find your feet. You’ll discover an inner strength that you never thought you had. It’s not all pina coladas on the beach. You have to self-motivate. You can’t spend like you’re on vacation. You need routine. This life can sometimes get the better of you. But would I ever trade it? Heck no. It’s my life and I’ll make it how I want to.
With a whole world to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to work out where to point your compass. I could be in Brazil. I could be in Paris. I could be anywhere. But right now, I choose Bali.
Next, I’m thinking Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Then Mexico, Portugal, Berlin, Morocco… the list is never-ending.
To be honest, I owe this life to my natural, rebellious desire. Following the unknown. From a kid, I always had a little fire inside of me. Something that’s always pushed me.
One of my favourite philosophers, Alan Watts, said:
“If you’re aware of a state which you call life, this implies another state called isn’t. Nothingness. And so to make life poignant, it’s always going to come to an end. Everything does. But that’s exactly what makes it lively.
Liveliness is change; it’s motion. So you see, you’re always at the place, where you always are. And the only time you ever notice any difference is in the moment of transition. When you go up a bit, you gain. When you go down a bit, you feel disappointed.
Nothingness seems so permanent. On the contrary, it takes nothing to have something. Because you wouldn’t know what something was without nothing. You wouldn’t be able to see anything unless there was nothing behind your eyes.”
This rings true to where I’m at now. I’m in a state of transition. And I can see everything I have – clearer than ever.