Freedom

Planet Earth

Five Things I’ve Learned After Six Years Of Immersion Travel

Posted by | culture, Entrepreneur, Freedom, language, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 8 Comments

Last week Cris and I had a several-hours-long conversation with Jason Sugar from Breakthrough Adventures. He had just arrived in Mexico to begin the start of his new journey (we had previously been apartment hunting for him at Isla Mujeres) and we were talking about life, travel, experiences, teaching others, life coaching and the various things we’ve learned along the way.

During the course of the conversation we touched upon some of the things that travel and a life of location independence has introduced into our lives. Things which, had we stayed at home and remained locked in a life of wage slavery and suburbia, we never would have had the opportunity to experience. I truly believe that travel unlocks your destiny and allows you to achieve the heights of what it is that you are supposed to be doing while on Planet Earth, so without further ado here are some of what I consider to be the most important lessons I’ve learned after six years of location independence and immersion travel. Read More

Tweens

20 Things 20 Year Olds Don’t Get

Posted by | Entrepreneur, Freedom, Passive Income, Social Media, Writing | 4 Comments

As my long-term readers know, I’m a firm believer in the continual evolution of one’s self. No one is born perfect, and no one is by default perfect: it takes hard work to achieve any level of success, and for the vast majority of players in the field it’s about consistency and persistence, not luck of the draw.

When you are 20 years old, you don’t know shit. You are nothing but raw materials, unrefined but lacking any polish. And unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential; they don’t do anyone any good and until they’ve been refined they are nothing more than empty space.

Everyone who is worth anything in this world, whether it be as a musician, painter, Fortune 500 CEO, Bill Gates, Ian Anderson, Keith Richards, Geoff Colvin and beyond, has spent time honing their skills to reach the point they are at.  In the words of Jason Nazar in this brilliant Forbes piece, even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at his list of 20 things that the youth of today just don’t get…and what are the most important aspects to focus on.  Read More

Starving family

How Moving Abroad Can Save Your Life

Posted by | economy, Freedom, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 4 Comments

Father-of-two Colin Timpson, 50, has seen his monthly income plummet from a salary of £4,000 per month to just £900 in benefits since he became unemployed after his contract ended three years ago. He has applied for 700 jobs but secured only 20 interviews and gained just two weeks of temporary work since he became unemployed. He is a qualified accountant with decades of experience who is surviving on one meal a day to properly feed his children after applying for more than 700 jobs over three years without success. He is the average, ordinary, middle class, a casualty of the stagnation in the United Kingdom and other Western countries.

Meanwhile, in the same article we see others suffering the same fate. Richard Shakespeare, of Sinfin, Derbyshire applied for 1,923 jobs after becoming redundant in 2009. He stopped job hunting to become a self-employed consultant advising businesses on disability issues 12 months later. Former mechanical engineer Andrew Allerton, of North Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne applied for 1,000 jobs over four years. Former administrative worker Leslie Friend, of Epsom, Surrey applied for 600 jobs after he became unemployed in 2008. And if you think it’s bad in the United Kingdom, take a look at the United States, where the situation is even more dire and university students are giving up on hope entirely.

All of these people share a similar problem: a lack of work in their local environment. No jobs, redundancy, lowered wages, higher costs of living, more taxes to continue wars that the vast majority of people don’t support in the first place, staggering inflation, corporate lies and bailouts and a general elimination of the middle class has left the vast majority of people like Colin Timpson stranded in the prime of their lives, skewered by the very same system they had been taught since birth to rely on.

Thankfully, there is a very simple solution to their problems: stop focusing on local opportunities (which are nonexistent) and instead look abroad for work in other parts of the world where the economies are thriving. Such as Brazil, where lawyers make 21% more than they do in the United States and the economy just passed up Britain in 2012 to land on the number 6 position for most economically sound. Or countries like Chile, where Google is presently setting up a hub in Santiago to take advantage of the massive boom that most South American countries are currently going through.

Of course, moving abroad to take advantage of job opportunities means learning a new language, relocating the family and basically starting life over, but when you are faced with sink-or-swim options the vast majority of sane, intelligent individuals will choose to swim and fight against the odds no matter what, especially when their are children on the line.

I’m a freelance writer first and foremost and I can tell you this: the current trends playing out in the United States and the United Kingdom are mirrored in the online arena. Jobs in the English language are so over-saturated that the supply-and-demand realities are driving all of the content generation to India, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries where qualified English workers can supply the lowest bid. The English language market had a 20 year headstart on the other languages as the Internet boom of the 90s was predominantly enjoyed by the U.K. and U.S. before anyone else. And now that the supply has caught up with the demand there is a backlash where those who were previously at the top of the totem pole are suddenly toppled from their lofty heights.

But if you start looking outwards rather than inwards there are countries and markets which are booming with work for qualified professionals. You just have to be willing to take a global outlook on life. Learn another language. Or two, or three. Be willing to look for work in another country, either in the online arena or take your skills to a country such as Brazil, China, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and beyond where the markets are booming and there is a need for educated, qualified professionals with the relevant skills.

The Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, French and German markets are flush with work, especially in the online arenas as these other primary languages begin their own rush to fill the online marketplace with language-specific content. Digital entrepreneurs are flourishing in the current era…but only because they have chosen to go global. The new era is all about the entire planet being our Singular Home, which means the new local includes any corner of the planet. Which means anywhere there is an Internet connection and connectivity there are jobs and economies thriving as other countries around the world have their time to shine.

Haven’t learned how to make money online yet? Find a mentor. Take a course. Dedicate a few months of your time to learn how to feed your family in a way that is currently seeing massive growth and economic security. Haven’t learned Spanish or Mandarin or Hindu yet? You are only shooting yourself in the foot by not learning another major language, or more than one. Tired of spending tens of thousands per year on inflation and a cost of living that is oppressive? Find a country like Mexico or Bulgaria or Brazil or Chile where the standards of living are high, the cost of living is practically nothing for someone living on the euro or the dollar, and where you can afford for your family to live like kings rather than paupers.

“But my extended family/friends/community/things I’m familiar with are all here!”, you cry. “This is my home!”

Wrong. Planet Earth is your home. The entire population is your community. The sense of nationalist pride that governments instill into the minds of their people is nothing more than a form of cultural brainwashing, a way of motivating people to fight in wars and follow orders and “believe in something greater than yourself”, when in reality that just means following someone else’s version of what the future should look like. True freedom, the human right that we all have, isn’t something that is allowed or given as a gift just because you happen to have accidentally been born in a specific place on the planet.

Skype and other video calls have made instant video communication around the world instantaneous. Planes cover the globe every second of the day. A four hour drive to visit your family on the holidays is no different than a four hour plane flight. You can talk with your family and friends anywhere in the world for free with voice and video chat. There are absolutely no reasons why you cannot live in India just as easily as you can in Hawaii or Germany or Bulgaria or Argentina. There are only the excuses that years of fear and brainwashing (the world beyond the borders of your home country is dangerous/evil/inferior/filled with terrorists/Great White Demons/communists/capitalists/terrorists/morally evil/etc.) have bred into you.

Break the chains that bind you. Do you want to live and thrive and see your significant other and children go on to have fruitful lives, or do you want to starve yourself and them as you pinch pennies and live on noodles and water and shop at 3rd generation thrift stores to clothe your family? Do you want to continue beating your head against the never-ending chain of English-language candidates who are applying to jobs, unable to stand out amongst the million other grains of sand, or do you want to live in a place where your skills are not only desired but welcomed?

The opportunities are there….they just exist in other countries, in other languages, as the market continually shifts. The only way to take advantage of that is by being willing to consider the entire planet as your home, rather than one tiny dot on the map. You can choose to go from making 4k a month to living on noodles and watching your children’s future disappear…or you can choose a life of prosperity and wealth in a country of your choosing.

Don’t know where to start? There’s hundreds of people out there just like me who have developed websites and platforms that can help you get started. The Other Resources tab at the top of the page has links to some of my favorite fellow bloggers and international citizens, all of whom are living in other countries, traveling for a living and most of whom are making a healthy 50-60k+ a year while living in countries where their cost of living is almost nill. Our StumbleUpon profile also has links to some of my favorite travel-and-money-making writers and websites and videos.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

Oak Creek, Colorado

It’s The Little Things: Part II

Posted by | Freedom, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 5 Comments

Bret’s comment (from Green Global Travel) on my post the other day regarding speed bumps made me realize that I needed to create a counter post to talk about the positive things that can affect a trip, not just the negative. The point that I had originally intended to make was that it’s the little things on a trip which can make it stand out from the ordinary ones. If it’s a boring, normal, everyday, average trip, you won’t really remember anything about it because nothing special happened. But when something unique occurs, good or bad it will stick with you and make that trip memorable.

So, since I’ve already covered how conflict breeds interest and speed bumps along the way make you perk up and take notice, I want to talk about some of the amazing things which have happened to me along the way, and just how important it is to pay attention to the little things in life as you make your way around the world. Don’t blink, because you might miss something!

Manizales, ColombiaI still think one of the most amazing trips I’ve taken to-date has been my time spent in Colombia, living in Bogota. I made a post about the friendless of Colombians while I was in the country, and there were dozens of examples above and beyond the ones I listed there. For example, when I took my trip to Manizales my ComCel phone suddenly stopped working when I arrived. I had a signal, but I couldn’t make any calls, and I was supposed to meet some friends when I arrived. That was about a year ago, and my Spanish was pretty rudimentary then, just enough to get by, so I tracked down a ComCel dealer and as luck would have it stumbled across a store where the husband and wife who worked there happened to have lived in Miami for 15 years and both spoke fluent English. He checked out my phone and spent about 30 minutes troubleshooting it before coming to the conclusion it was just the chip and it would take up to 24 hours for the network to realize I had switched from Bogota to Manizales.

If I had been somewhere like the United States I would have had to pay for that 30 minutes of time, but they not only graciously spent 30 minutes of their time with me for absolutely nothing…they then offered to take me out for a coffee and crepes later that afternoon to show me around their part of the world.

Another example was my cleaning lady while I was in Bogota. I’m a bit of a health nut, and for those of you who follow along I also run a Mediterranean Diet website related to my personal journey through losing over 50 pounds while living in Bulgaria, and I also love to cook. I hosted weekly get-togethers with my friends while I was in Bogota and I would cook meals for 8-10 people every Friday or Saturday night. I always have leftovers kicking around the house, plus I am always in the kitchen (I cook daily), so whenever the cleaning lady was there I would let her be my taster. After a couple of times she suddenly started showing up with cookies, sweets, cake, pieces of pie and other little treats for me.

Then there were the security guards downstairs. I’d go for beer runs a few times per week and I’d always offer whoever was on shift a brew on my way back in from the store. These guys quickly became fast friends with me during my time in Bogota, and helped me with things ranging from the best places to find clothing, hooking me up with some local fixers, and so on and so forth.

TurtlesBut it’s not just friendliness. It’s also nature. I’m a big fan of the outdoors, and while I prefer the mountains to the beach, I’ve still enjoyed my time here in Mexico immensely. One of my most memorable evenings was last September when I got back from Colombia and I was out with my girlfriend for an evening walk on the beach around 10:30 at night. Now, I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd who has read way too many books and seen way too many movies and shows for my own good, and as we are walking along I suddenly see this massive thing crawling up out of the waves, easily the size of a Volkswagen beetle (at least to my mind at the time. It was slightly less, but still massive). I literally grabbed my girlfriend’s arm and pointed, and the very first thought that popped into my head was “omfg, it’s a sea monster/alien, we are going to DIE!”. Then, a split second later, I realized it was just a turtle…which we then were blessed enough to watch for the next three hours as she lumbered up the beach, dug her hole, laid her eggs, buried them and then made her way back to sea. It was an awe-inspiring moment that turned an otherwise ordinary, average night-time stroll on the beach into something magical.

The year before that I had born witness to the babies themselves hatching, around the same time at night, walking along the beach. Only then it was as if the entire beach in front of me had suddenly come alive and was crawling rapidly towards the ocean, and as I came closer I realized that it wasn’t my imagination….there were hundreds of these little turtles making their way out of the next into the ocean.

When I was younger, back around the time I was 18 or 19, I was working on a construction project in Colorado in the family business before I became a writer, and I can remember that one day during tornado season, the entire job stopped and people were suddenly shouting to come outside and take a look. Another day on the job, nothing special, but when I got outside it was the most impressive and frightening thing I had ever witnessed in my life; the entire sky from horizon to horizon was visibly turning above our heads; a giant cloud formation that was spinning, slowly rotating, giving us all that tingle in the back of the head that reminds of us just how insignificant we really are when we are compared against the power of nature.

Scuba in Bodrum, TurkeyOr my first time scuba-diving off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, and struggling to overcome my fear of deep water and fact that I’m not a very good swimmer. It was a ten minute struggle to calm my breathing from a panicked panting into a more controlled gasping, but the last few minutes along the bottom I remember finally transcending my fear and allowing the calm and the tranquility to wash over me as swam along the bottom of the sea, touching the rocks, swimming alongside the fish and being one with nature.

No matter what, we are all One People. This is Our Planet, and we are all of us sharing in the Human Experience. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy cultural immersion so much, because it allows you to connect with peopel around the world on a personal level…but it’s not just the people who make trips memorable. It’s also nature and the whole experience of being part of this wonderful planet we call home. And no matter if you are talking about people, places, animals or beyond…it’s the little things along the way that make the experience worthwhile.

What are some of the little things that have made your adventures special?

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

Bogota, Colombia

Why you should be focusing on international living as an expat

Posted by | Freedom, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | No Comments

The economic growth in South America, which has consequently seen Brazil catapult past Britain as of 2012 to become the world’s 6th largest economy, has also created a horde of young, eager and well-educated professionals who are looking for opportunities to advance their careers as they make their way into adulthood. And while countries like the United States rely on scare-tactics to keep their citizens at home, most of South America has been focused on doing the one thing that all of the current leaders in global economy are doing: stimulate growth within their young adult populations. And while certain governments around the world are stagnating, creating ever-more oppressive laws that make it impossible for people to leave their home country to do anything abroad, South American countries are teaming up with international partners to create global opportunities for their youth. They are focused on international, not merely national.

Spending is up in most of the Latin countries. Brazil’s currency has more than doubled its value, making international education far more affordable than it was in the past. 30% of the population is under the age of 19 and just now moving into the college-level playing field. More than 300,000 Brazilans are expected to go abroad to various countries for educational purposes in 2012 alone, with an expected 30% growth for 2013. Chile invested more than 6 billion in international scholarships in 2008 and has programs such as Start-Up Chile in place, awarding foreign entrepreneurs with $40,000 in start-up funding while giving founders access to educated Chileans in an attempt to foster international growth. Colombian employers have a 58% preference for international diplomas. There is a trend in most South American countries that is woefully lacking in places like the United States: international focus.

Whereas the U.S. is trying desperately to keep its citizens from going abroad and spending their money in other countries with laws like FACTA and the ex-PATRIOT Act, Chile, Colombia and Brazil are leading the South American push for globalization. They aren’t afraid of their citizens going abroad because they know that by promoting international growth with the modern youth they are fostering a win-win relationship that will see their citizens giving back in the form of international connections. The modern era is one of global partnerships and opportunities, and rather than attempt to stifle international growth the Latin countries are embracing the promotion of international relationships and the erasure of localized stifling. They understand the most basic principles of the modern era: opportunities exist all around the world, and the only way to ensure your position as one of the global elite is to embrace that internationalism.

As global citizens, we can take notes from governments like Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Brazil as we move further into the 21st century as professional expats. The current so-called “global crisis” is the perfect example of modern trends: governments which are focusing only on internal issues are stagnating, suffering through currency devaluation and massive inflation, not to mention unemployment and general discontent. But the governments of the world who are promoting international relations are seeing their currency rates double, triple and beyond, and have seen their economies skyrocket in recent years to surpass the once-elite places like Britain and the United States.

The bottom line is that if you want to have the most opportunities at your fingertips as an international expat you have to be looking beyond localized business and utilizing the global playing field. By allowing yourself the flexibility to go anywhere, you can do exactly what countries like Colombia, Brazil and Chile are doing: focus on international growth via global partnerships.

You can either be one of the unemployed, poverty-stricken, crisis-suffering sheeple…or you can be one of the entrepreneurial elite who are putting international relationships to use, finding investment and employment opportunities all around the world.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!