A meditation on the final stretch to living abroad
We’ve officially surpassed the two-month countdown and are inching closer to the six-week mark.
We are on the proverbial cusp of doing something that most people, especially 20 years ago, would consider crazy.
Normalizing a Life of Travel
These days, it’s not entirely unheard of for people to upend their perfectly normal lives in exchange for a passport full of stamps and a world of new possibilities. In fact, this lifestyle has been popularized by books such as The Four Hour Workweek as well as blogs and social media profiles. You know the ones where you don’t quite know what the person does yet you just know they get to travel all the time?
Yes, this lifestyle is becoming more accepted. In fact, I could have told you years before I had ever stepped one uncomfortable heel onto my first corporate step that a life of travel was one I innately desired. Yet until now, I never knew how or when to pursue it.
But How Do You Get There?
The space between I want to travel for extended periods of time and Holy shit I’m about to start traveling for an extended period of time is undoubtedly vast and unclear.
In February 2018, less than 9 months ago, Abhi and I sat at a café in Newport Beach, California. I was almost a year into my first corporate job. Thanks to some seriously messy office politics, I had hit a wall a lot sooner than I had anticipated. Halfway through reading The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, the books talking about Dreamlining. It’s an exercise where you plan your life around your dreams rather than your dreams around your life. One morning, I asked Abhi to join me that morning to go through the exercise step by step with me.
We started writing out six and 12 months goals based on what we wanted to have (material things, acquisitions), what we wanted to do, and what we wanted to be. I was surprised at what poured out of me. As someone who always rode the waves of spontaneity before corporate life, I had never so much as written down a single goal or timeline.
The Results of Dreamlining
We learned a lot about ourselves and each other during this exercise. For one, I learned that I didn’t desire many material items besides new sneakers and blonder hair. I also learned that I wanted a new job, no, I wanted my own job. In fact, I wanted to own my own business. Oh and I wanted to create online content. But most alluring of all, scrawled on the last line of my 12-month plan were the words. I want to travel the world for 10 months while generating income.
The exercise told us to be bold, even unreasonable. To write down the goals we wanted if we could have anything. You must understand how incredibly far-fetched that seemed to me as I spent most of my days crawling through a 40 hour week in an entry-level marketing position at a company no one had ever heard of.
It’s November, just 8 ½ months from that coffee shop morning. We are two months away from packing up our lives, moving abroad, and running businesses while we do it.
Turning into Digital Nomads
There’s so much to be done to transition from overworked young professionals paying too damn much for rent and other needless expenses to two untethered digital nomads trotting the globe with purpose.
From a practical and logistics standpoint, there’s a decent-sized yet still manageable list. Click here to get more into the checklist.
However, the most significant preparation for me is the mental exercise. What do you do on the eve before you set sail to the life you’ve always dreamed of? One that you internally desired to the point that you decided to write it down on paper? It’s a strange feeling. I get caught up in the to-do’s and the uncertainty of everything that’s about to change.
But then I flip back and smile upon a day when I once didn’t even know what this life would look like. And now it’s here. If you want to change everything, you have to be willing and accepting when everything is about to change.
And everything is about to change.