Since I was in university, around age 18 or 19, I have wanted to travel the world. This is how I achieved my dream of going permanently travelling, and making money while I do it.
Even at that young age, I didn’t want to backpack or take a gap year. I wanted to do this permanently and on my own terms. Integrating it in to my lifestyle, not just putting life on hold for a year or so. Although I didn’t know what it was at the time, I wanted to be a digital nomad.
Nomadic entrepreneurs and professionals are often knowledge workers who can perform work duties irrespective of physical location.
Travelling the world, living in exotic locations and being able to move around at your discretion, all whilst earning a western income and often living in places where that money goes 5+ times as far. Sounds perfect right?
“But I could never do that because X, Y, Z…”
I couldn’t do it because:
- I was in debt
- Didn’t have any skills or knowledge to make a living
- Didn’t have any money
- I wouldn’t know anybody
- Don’t know where to start
A few years later, and I have a one way ticket to Thailand booked for 3 weeks time.
Honestly, I could have gone probably 2 years ago if I had the clarity of vision to go through with it.
In reality, I am in exactly the same place I was then, as far as this is concerned. The only difference is, I was able to clarify my vision, get over my fears and limiting beliefs to get out of my own way and make it happen.
What did I do to achieve my dream of permanently travelling the world?
I got really good at my profession – studying, taking courses, working with people, practising myself and seeking out coaches and mentors who were better and more experienced than me. Pretty quickly I was top 10% of the industry easily.
Learnt business skills – Luckily, due to being a control freak and having issues with authority, I always worked for myself. Scraping to pay the bills and feed myself at the age of 20 because I had very little idea of the realities of running my own business. An all too common tale for people in the fitness industry who get in to it because they love it, but have no clue how to structure and market themselves as a business. So I got that learning out of the way, although I still have massive learning to do and I am not even close to where I want to be, I know I can rely on myself to earn a living income at least. This is the next area of my life I am going to put serious investment in to, starting with working with a business mentor when i get the money together to pay him. (Take note: this is me being accountable and practising what I preach).
Made it my primary goal – I stated earlier I could have probably made this move a couple of years ago. At the time though, it wasn’t my primary goal. I was enjoying being young in London and wasn’t ready to move on yet. When I parted ways with my former business partner this summer that was the jolt that pulled me out of my rut and got me back to my core vision, which was to travel.
Got my vision – I re-did a lot of work on myself that I hadn’t done for a long time. Each of these exercises could be a post in itself so I will just mention a couple briefly.
- I mapped out my perfect day and got a clear vision of what that would be like
- I moved earning and saving money – to the end goal of travel – up in my values hierarchy
- I dipped my toe by travelling a little and getting a feel for what it would be like and to get inspiration
So that gives me the skills, the money to get started, I moved to London not knowing a soul 5 years ago, so that doesn’t scare me, most of my debts are paid off and I will continue working to pay the remainder off (plus I actually started saving money for the first time ever), and there is no right or best place to start.
Just start. I chose Thailand as my first destination because it is great weather, it is cheap, the standard of English is good (I want to learn more languages but it doesn’t need to be a barrier to starting) and I know I will meet a lot of other travelers there.
Sick of the rat race?
I’d suggest you spend some time assessing your values and look at what you really want out of life. Are you living on your own terms, doing what you want, or are you following the expectations of parents/partner/society/friends/etc. ?
If you want to change something, I promise you will have dozens of reasons why you ‘can’t’ and I promise you that every single one can be overcome, if you want it enough.
Perhaps you’re not sick of your career/life but you are sick of your body, your relationship or some other part of your life.