Happy New Year dear friends!
I’m sorry that these wishes come a tad late, as we’re almost at the end of January now. Where did all that time go?
Life has been pretty manic, not least because we’re about to take a huge step in less than a week. It has been a long time coming, but we’ve managed to sort things out and so… (drumroll please) on the 28th of January, my wife and I will be setting off on a big adventure with our daughter. We’re going travelling in South East Asia!!!
We are hoping to spend several months in Thailand and Indonesia, with short stopovers in Singapore and Malaysia, and hopefully also visit family in Australia and Sri Lanka. This is the first time we have ever done something like this and so we’re pretty excited!
There are a few thing about this trip and the way it unfolded that I’d like to share with you because it’s made me realise a few things about life:
Sometimes, things take time
I first had the idea of long-term travel (as something I could hope to do) around 2009 or so.
I don’t remember how I was first introduced to the idea, but it kept coming up time and time again in different forms. Then, I read The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris and that cemented the idea in my head. Of course, Tim made it seem like the easiest and most natural thing one could do, but for us, it took around nine years to materialise.
I now realise that this is how life often works and I’m just about getting used to the idea that things take time. And I’m learning to be ok with that.
Things don’t always happen the way you plan them and that’s not necessarily a bad thing
After reading the Four Hour Work Week my game plan was as follows:
1) Start up a wildly successful internet business that provides ‘passive income’ (this is income that you don’t have to repeatedly put in the work for) and is ‘location independent’ (this means it doesn’t tie you to a particular location and thus gives you the freedom to move around).
2) Pack my bags and rush to the airport, dragging my family with me.
In case you haven’t already guessed, I was fully sold on the idea of raking in the money while lounging on a beach chair with my laptop.
It didn’t happen that way at all. As it turned out, our passive income solution was as simple as renting out part of our property (duh!).
Faith and perseverance will always pay off
From the time this idea of long-term travel was planted in our heads, my wife and I slowly began taking steps towards making it happen – even though we hadn’t quite figured out how to fund it (which in many respects, is the most crucial factor).
Instead of getting bogged down with just that one issue, we did what else we could towards helping this dream along. We decided to home-educate our daughter (for this and various other reasons) and we chose to pursue many different avenues of self-employment – even though it was often tempting to go back to full-time employment.
We never stopped hoping and dreaming or talking about it either (we also spent many hours together watching travel videos and ‘vlogs’ on YouTube). We kept the faith and did what we could at the time.
There is never a good time
We were unsure as to whether we should wait longer before taking the plunge. Maybe we should save up more money. Maybe we should do a shorter trip first and see how that went. But the truth is that there is never going to be a perfect time.
Sure there are times when it would seem premature (say when you haven’t figured out how you will finance the trip), but beyond that, now is as good a time as any!
Taking the plunge is sometimes the only way to find out
The thing is, you’re never going to figure out all the angles and have all your doubts and fears go away. So while there were some doubts, it was nothing too big or scary. So we decided to go for it.
And while we still haven’t worked out all the details, we have worked out enough to make a start. We will have to figure the rest out as we go. For example, we have not booked tickets or accommodation for Indonesia and beyond. We will probably do so while we’re in Thailand.
So while there are still a great many uncertainties, we chose to be ok with that. And the point here is that these things don’t necessarily need to hold us back.
Life is not without irony and pleasant surprises
While it is true that I first caught the travel bug from my wife, the idea of long-term travel was more mine than hers. And the vision I had was of me working remotely on a laptop in order to finance the trip and pay the bills.
As I mentioned previously, this wasn’t how it happened. Yet, we still figured out a way to cover all our expenses. But the ironic thing is that once we had figured out the finances and decided to go for it, my wife was handed an opportunity to do some paid work, where she can work from anywhere (as long as there is a decent internet connection) and where she gets to choose her hours. This role actually found her (through an ex-colleague)!
So now, she will be working some part-time hours while we’re away – working remotely while we travel!
While we hadn’t planned on receiving this income when we decided to take the plunge, it came along regardless and will certainly come in handy!
Why we chose to go
The main purpose of our travels is not to see the world or experience new cultures (even though we very much look forward to doing all of these things). Our main aim is to free up the time and the space to work on our development and do our ‘inner work’. We hope that being freed from our domestic chores and being in warm and beautiful surroundings will helps us in this regard.
While I do plan to write while I’m away, my main aim is to work on a book idea and to also produce some downloadable resources for my readers. So while I still do hope to publish new posts, please forgive me if I don’t post as frequently.
In terms of documenting our travels, I’m not sure if I’m up to the task of creating a separate blog or posting videos on YouTube. I feel that these things might take up too much time that can otherwise be devoted to the main aims of our trip. But I will definitely let you know if that changes and I will most certainly be posting the odd picture or two on my Instagram feed.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your support throughout 2017 and wish you all the very best for 2018. I would like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Henry David Thoreau:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
p.s. Here’s my favourite travel video ever : ) Enjoy!
Links and inspiration:
Our Favourite Travel Vloggers (video-bloggers)