Posts in Travelers
The End is Never the End
ROB 10 000

(Reading time: 1,5')

I met Rob after hearing about his captivating story on a podcast.

He had embarked on a journey to meet 10 000 people and was staying in Long Beach and swinging by LA pretty often. Great timing.

We decided to meet up in a coffee place and chat, I was number 1900 on his list. When I arrived, he had an enormous smile and sparkly eyes, as if we had met before. 

“I was raised in a tight knit family in Norristown, Pennsylvania, right outside Philly. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone. I also had a great group of friends in college, so I’ve always enjoyed human connections. Therefore, when I started traveling, it was missing having friendly faces around. 

I thought: 'how fun would it be if I knew people everywhere I’d go? Having a place to stay at, someone to show me around, or just be able to walk around and saying hi to people on the street. Feeling home. Feeling connected?'

So I decided to expand my circle of friends. I set the goal of meeting 10 000 people for an hour each, to get to know them. I started 3 years ago, back when I was still working full-time. I’d meet strangers in the evenings and on the weekends”. 

I asked why he was so enticed to meeting strangers when other people had rather maintaining a close circle of friends, focusing on tight bonds rather than quantity.

“I think it's difficult to create a set definition for friendship because there are different levels of friendship. For the purpose of my project, I simply define it as treating each other like old pals for the hour that we're together and leaving the door open to become better friends in the future.

I spend an hour one-o-one quality conversation getting to know them, not preparing anything, not following a guideline, not asking pre-determined questions. I like the concept of being surprised by people’s personalities and lifestyles.

I try and maintain bounds with all of them and naturally relationships can evolve into closer friends, business or even romantic relationships, who knows! I leave it to faith and go with the flow”.

I asked if he had any plans on monetizing his project. 

“I do not set any expectation nor have a strategy for the moment. I just want to spend genuine quality time with people and see where it leads. I am confident that this project will keep expanding and that I’ll be able to start traveling and do this for a living within a couple months.

I trust that things will work out because I know that I am on the right path. I’m not worried for the future, I stay positive as I know there’s always a solution to anything.

In fact, the motto I live by is: 'the end is never this end'”.

Your Curse is Your Gift
Reading time: 30 sec

Reading time: 30 sec

I heard about Perry for the first time while listening to one of my friend's podcasts.

He was talking about his 10-week long traveling across the States in an RV with friends, Traveling Good, creating video content and promoting non-profit organisations, a pretty badass initiative.

 Turns out he comes from a small farm town and his first trip to California and then outside of the country has turned his life around and his curses into blessings.

He now is a filmmaker and storyteller and aims at exploring under-developed countries and ask indigenous people questions about their lifestyles to make us reflect on society, happiness, culture and all the choices that we make. Listen up!

Find your way in the episode:

00:40 Finding his first camera & messing around

03:00 Pivotal moments & going one’s own way

05:40 How traveling puts things in perspective

07:00 The secret sauce of taking risks

09:40 Your curse is your gift

16:00 Doing things for money or following your heart?

#4HWW - The Four Hour Work Week is not a dream
Reading time: 1'

Reading time: 1'

 

If you have an account on social media, Instagram and Youtube in particular, you are likely to be following a couple of lifestyle influencers.

During my trip to Bali, Indonesia, the digital nomad Mecca, I had the chance of being introduced to the Youtube & travel influencer Riley Bennett by a common friend who had moved there from San Francisco.

We most often see the picture-perfect dreamy side of the digital nomade journey, but rarely get to know how to concretely get there and how the path looks like, from dreaming away to creating a successful and sustainable lifestyle as a traveler.

Riley kickstarted his journey after having a revelation when visiting a friend in Thailand, on his first trip outside the country. Seattle or the tropical life? The decision to move there was easy. 

Find out how he made it happen.

 

Find your way in the episode:

0:00 Traveling abroad for the first time

3:30 Becoming a digital nomad & getting inspired

6:00 The advantage of having a buddy/community to take the leap

12:00 The reality of making money as a digital nomade & fear as a motivator

19:00 Amazon selling as a passive income

23:00 The psychology of warm weather and the holiday mood

27:00 From introvert to extravert

32:00 Entertainment Vs Education

34:00 Content is key: be real and do not blame failure on algorithms 

37:00 The trigger

42:00 Actionnable tips to becoming a digital nomade

 

Riley's tips: the major keys to becoming a digital nomade

- Surround yourself with inspiration: watch your idols on Youtube, print pictures of your dream destination, talk to people that already live that lifestyle...

- Make the necessary sacrifices : Slept on a couch, sell your car, your clothes...

- Have a buddy and become part of a community of like-minded people 

- Set a starting point: a specific date or event that will kickstart your journey

- Have a clear and realistic financial plan for your business

- Don't give up, you can still succeed right on the edge of losing it all!

 

The four-hour workweek is not just a sweet dream
Follow Your Heart & Enjoy Your Life
Estimated reading time: 2'

Estimated reading time: 2'

 

I met Moloo on my last day on Gili Trawangan island, Indonesia, he was the friend of the hotel manager.

I had not been able to take out cash from multiple ATMs the previous night and it was time to check-out.

Like most places out there, they don’t accept debit cards, and I was slightly panicking at the idea of being stranded on an island with no money, and the embarrassment of not being able to pay for my room. Every backpacker’s nightmare.

Moloo offered to walk me to the bank. He was walking barefoot on the concrete, serene.

On the way, he insisted on getting me water.

 

“Don’t stress, just relax. Think about the moment. You are in beautiful Bali, look around you!

Personally, I am an introvert, and I like to observe what is happening around me and take it all in. 

I’ve lived in New Zealand and in Lombok (i.e. the closest big city in Indonesia). 

Over there, people worried about money too much.

It was all about competition, and making money, but they didn’t enjoy the moment, they barely spent them with their family, or in nature. 

It was too intense for me.

I moved back because I was looking for freedom. I found my freedom here.”

 

I asked how he defined freedom.

 

“It’s a peace of mind. I can be free to be me. Without caring about having people judge me. Without caring about what my salary is.

Without feeling the pressure of being better than the person next to me.

Here, we do not worry about money as much. At least, less people do.

If a friend or family member needs help, we’ll support him. 

We are all in this together, different but the same.

And if I ever feel the need to unwind, I can walk to the beach and look at the sea. It’s the most relaxing thing I know.

So for your situation, don’t be scared, let life happen, don’t let the ego take control, follow your heart instead. You’ll figure it out, you always do”.

 

I knew he was right, but I also was starting to think of the different ways to solve my situation and could not really focus on anything else.

 

We arrived at the bank. The bills came out.

 

I offered to pay back the water.

“Next time. You’ll be back. You know… Bali is dangerous”, he said.

“Why?”

“Because when people leave, they remember. He pocks at his temple.

They remember our mindset”.

Always Stick to Your Ethics
Estimated reading time: 1'20

Estimated reading time: 1'20

- Reading time 1'20 -

 

I heard about Sebastien's story while discussing dream jobs abroad with my boyfriend at the time.

He told me the horror story of one of his friends.

It all started well.

Sebastien had signed a new job in beautiful Cyprus, his dream job, great salary and perks, fun company and interesting responsibilities, and had moved into a beautiful apartment with rooftop terrasse.

His girlfriend was willing to have a long-distance relationship, and he was getting along well with his new colleagues.

Or so he thought.

One night on a weekday, they all went out and his colleagues insisted that he's take drugs with them.

He never tried it and wasn't into it. But everybody was doing it, insisting over and over again so he felt peer-pressured and ended up accepting to try it for the first time.

Incidentally, the next day, there happened to be a drug control in the office.

Not for everyone though, he was the only person "randomly picked".

His test was, of course, positive and he was asked to pick up his things and leave the company/country on the same day.

Once he came back to his home country, Sweden, he was unemployed for a while, became depressed, put up on weight, his girlfriend broke up with him and he lost his apartment.

Eventually, he turned his life around, has a new place/ job/girlfriend and is happy,

Turns out one of his managers in Cyprus was jealous of him and felt insecure, fearing that he'd take his place eventually. He had arranged the whole thing to oust him.

My conclusion on that one would be: always stick to your ethics, no matter what others are pressuring you to do...

Have you ever been backstabbed? How did you react?
Being Accepted Isn't Your Life Mission
Estimated reading time: 3'

Estimated reading time: 3'

It is commonly known that Swedish people (in particular those from Stockholm) are referred to as “cold” or “not easy to approach”. Having lived there myself for 5 years, I have noticed that compared to other countries, they are indeed not very keen on small talk nor having any sort of interactions with strangers. Just google “waiting for the bus like a Swede” to see for yourself (and crack a smile).

That’s anyways where Patrick grew up. A couple weeks ago, he spent a weekend with his cousin in Copenhagen, and went out to a bar. Despite being originally “hungover, tired, and not in a party mood”, he ended up spending one of the best evenings of his life.

"We went out, had a few drinks, no more than usual, and started to talk to random people sitting next to us, also Swedish. 

First, a guy asked us if the seat next to us was taken, I said “Sure, as long as you turn your back at us and do not talk to us!”, half joking. 

Another one asked to smell my cousin’s drink, and he let her take a sip, which he’d never usually suggest. We all ended up talking for 5 hours until the place closed down, then headed to a club and let loose on the dance floor until it closed at the break of dawn.

It was all a coincidence, everything was just smooth from the taste of the food, to conversations, to the music..."

But was is really just a coincidence? Why did he completely let loose with strangers, for once?

"I just felt a connection with other people I haven’t felt in a long time. I didn’t feel the need to impress, and was 100% myself. I used to convince myself that I did not enjoy meeting new people, because fear was taking over. What if they did not like me? It would have reflected my own low self-esteem. That night, I figured that I had it all wrong. I used to see “being accepted & being special” as my life’s mission, until I accepted that other people’s expectations, opinions and wills were theirs, not mine.

I originally understood this after studying Biocentrism*, which gave me a clear understanding of life, our purpose and relationships. As soon as you stop trying to please everyone, you become your own boss. I feel good about myself now, which means that I can BE myself, and consequently, others can also appreciate my personality, which was confirmed that night. I felt a flush of satisfaction and pride the next morning, which led me to want to start being more social, open, travel more, change my business and do something with my life. Live it to the fullest so to speak".

Living in a society where people have to be someone special, do something special, live to expectations, seems to have a heavy impact on people’s self-confidence in social environments, in particular in Stockholm, according to Patrick’s experience... It made it harder for him to open up and make new acquaintances. But the cocktail of those 3 things seem to do the trick:

  • Having a special connection

  • Letting go of social fears (being abroad, where nobody knows you & you can reinvent yourself, helps, as well as alcohol, the infamous social lubricant)

  • Topped with some background work on self-confidence

_

*NB: Biocentrism is a theory developed by the physiologist Robert Lanza that explains that life creates the Universe, is infinite, and that there are as many realities as there are people.