One year ago, I quit my job to travel the world!
I always knew from when I was young that I wanted to explore the world when I got older. My first experience on an aeroplane, to try and distract myself from my fear of heights, I told myself that the aeroplane was simply a man-made portal used to teleport me to the other side of the world. I would force myself to fall asleep and knew that hopefully by the time I woke up, the doors of the aircraft would open and voila, I would have teleported to a new location.
I was hooked ever since.
When I was 18 years old, I read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and that triggered the inner desire to create a fulfilling life, to be whatever it was I wanted to be, in this case, a world travelling magician. Whatever passion or hobby it is that you have, I honestly believe in this day and age that there is a way to find time to do more of the things you love and be able to move away from the conventional day job.
More recently, it was Tim Ferriss’ book, ‘4 Hour Work Week’ that put the wheels in motion for me to plan my future world travels. Many books have inspired me over the years but it was Tim’s book that really ignited the fire within.
One year ago, I quit my six-figure job at one of the biggest companies in the world to live out my dreams of world travel and to give me time to perform as a professional magician, sometimes both at the same time.
Over the last year, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel over 80,000km to some of the most exotic locations in the world, and although this is a milestone in itself, it is a comfortable accomplishment when you’ve given yourself the time to be abroad, to slow down and to explore the globe at your own pace.
To live out this dream didn’t happen overnight. It took me 3 years of careful planning but I know numerous people who have made the dream come true in less time. Regardless of how long it takes, it is worth the effort and time put in to be free to do the things you love.
I know many people out there hate their jobs and can’t wait to one day say goodbye forever. Although that itself can be a big driving force for you to create a location independent lifestyle, I honestly, truly, deeply loved my day job and the people I was surrounded with. There was absolutely no rush to get out. My friends thought I was crazy at the thought of giving up such a great career, but I just knew there was a bigger purpose for me, out there in the world, and I had to at least try to find out for myself.
What’s the worse case scenario? Everything fails and I get back to working a day to day job? That’s not so bad at all so it was definitely worth the pursuit of freedom. Even if I was stranded abroad with no money, there are many ways to continue to fund your travel. How does volunteering in an animal shelter or working in a bar sound, in order to fund your travels? A good friend of mine who is joining me on my next trip to Thailand is able to continue to work as a graphic designer straight from his laptop and do his daily emails via his iPad.
So how did it all come together for me to finally leave my job?
I’ll ensure in future posts that I expand in more detail, all the separate parts that made this dream possible for me. For now though, here’s a quick snapshot of the things I did to prepare myself leading up to the last day on the job, before I set sail, literally, to the exotic islands of Thailand.
The Myth: The one myth that I want to debunk right now is that travelling is expensive. World travel is possible for many people, and it is a lot cheaper than you think. I now spend less per month travelling, compared to what I used to spend. Whilst in my day job, I lived a repetitive and relatively mundane lifestyle, with monthly bills, transport costs to and from work, and the coffee addiction of 3-4 a day to keep my mind energised. Now I spend less per month and do more, and drink coffees from across the globe. More on that later. While you’re here, also check out, ‘9 ways to spend $9 around the world.’
If you still don’t believe me that exciting travel can be cheap, you’ll have to wait for my future post where I share cool adventures that can be experienced for $20 or less.
Anyway, here’s a rundown of my preparation and pursuit to freedom leading up to the day I left my day job:
Airbnb: I love using this website for accommodation bookings and hands down is one of my favourite websites in the travel sphere. Not only that but after seeing how much I enjoyed using the service, I knew I had to one day rent my own apartment out to other travellers. Not only was I involving myself in a business model that I love, but it also eliminated my monthly mortgage commitment with the revenue that was coming in from the guests’ stay. Depending on where you are located, vacancy rates can vary, but I was consistently booking out 90% of the year.
Living frugally: I was willing to live a frugal lifestyle during my employment in order to prepare for my future adventures. This meant cutting down on many luxuries and careful budgeting. I remember one time after putting all my money away into investments, I was left with 80 cents one day to survive lunch at work. This got me a can of corn from the nearby supermarket and trust me, it was the most appreciated can of corn ever. I even heated it up.
Eliminate. Eliminate. Eliminate. You’ll be surprised how much junk and possessions we have that we really don’t need. I was able to condense my entire life into two boxes, and not only was I able to sell things and have more money for travel, it was also a mentally cleansing process. I’m a happier person, by having less. You find that your mindset changes to what experience and adventure you can have next, compared to what you can buy next with your pay cheque. I was able to also donate a lot my things to charity, especially clothes that had been in my wardrobe for years. Note: For the simplicity of this post, I’m ignoring the props and equipment that I use for my stage magic shows. Same with books! As much as I love using my Kindle, nothing beats the feeling of turning pages in a real book and the scent of an aged classic.
Investments: All my money, I put into shares and businesses knowing that it would give me a backbone for when I was to quit my job. Before quitting and setting out on my adventures, I sold all my shares. I kept my investment in some businesses however as a financial backbone, but I don’t see anything wrong in selling everything either like many other nomads.
Businesses: Aside from performing in stage magic shows which I will discuss later, I have two criteria that need be met for me to invest into anything.
a) The business needs to be self-running or managed by a team, without locking me in as an owner-operator. Otherwise, this would have the reverse effect of workload and tie myself down to one physical location, going against the point of being location independent.
b) The business model needs to be able to be managed from a laptop, allowing me to try all the coffees of the world whilst being able to work from anywhere in the world.
The backlash: Some of my friends have said that my ability to travel the world is only possible because of financial security and preparation leading up to my escape. Of course, it certainly helps, but I can tell you now that I would be just as happy working around the world in order to fund my travel.
Work while you travel: Here’s what a 5-minute google search came up with for jobs that I could do if I had no savings or investments before I set sail for the world:
-Teach English via Skype on various websites.
-Manage small businesses’ social media accounts and online presence from my laptop.
-Volunteer on a farm in exchange for accommodation and food.
-Be a rental boyfriend in Japan. I’m not even kidding – I could fund my world travels by pretending to be someone’s boyfriend!
So that’s it for now. World travel, and being location independent to do the things you love is possible. I did it to give me more time to explore the world and to live out my dream of performing magic. Now I want to share with you all how it was all possible. Whether you sell everything and pack up, or you have nothing to sell at all, we now live in an age where travel is just a click away.
What is your dream and where would you go if you had more time to travel the world?
Please message me your thoughts and comments through Instagram and Facebook and go live out your wildest dreams.
It has been an exciting first half of 2016 and after the success of our sold out shows at FRINGE World 2016 in Perth, Australia it was time to step away from the madness and escape to Tioman Island off the east coast of Malaysia. The Beyond Reality crew are ready for the coconuts, hammocks, cocktails, beaches and scuba diving.
Our journey will take us to Kuala Lumpur as a pitstop to meet up with magician Andrew Lee and his beautiful assistant Cindy, and together we will make the 6 hour bus and ferry ride to Tioman Island.
Photos to come shortly!
What inspires you to see the world?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Everyone has that “spark” or moment they decide to pack their bags and travel to a faraway location. Whether it’s to escape, explore or simply to unwind.
15 years ago, I was captivated by the thrill of finding paradise portrayed in the Danny Boyle movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio plays Richard, a young backpacker who finds a map in Thailand supposedly showing a path to a secret beach, rumoured to bring bliss and joy.
Here’s the trailer:
The moment that really kickstarted my obsession with travel was when I watched Richard finally discover the secret beach. In that moment, drawn in by the adventure so far, I questioned where it was that the scene this beautiful was filmed. I needed to witness it for my own eyes. In this very moment, I had a thirst to find paradise for myself and to enjoy the joyous adventure of getting there.
Still filled with wanderlust, I visited a local bookshop and bought the novel that the movie is based on, also titled ‘The Beach’ by author Alex Garland. I then booked a flight to Thailand and headed to Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi to read the book while laying on the beach, where this exact scene was filmed.
Words can’t describe the feeling of reading a chapter while glancing up from the pages, admiring the view, and believing for a second that it is you who is Richard, discovering paradise for the first time.
I’ve been hooked on travel ever since and because of that Koh Phi Phi will always be my favourite beach destination. It will always bring back the feeling of discovering paradise and a reminder that there is so much to see, if we dare go see.
(Me on Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest of the islands in the Koh Phi Phi archipelago and the treehouse I stayed in.)
Please share with me your travel inspirations and the stories that kickstarted your own travels.
What will be your next travel destination?