I have been selling you sun, exoticism, cheap living, travel… for the past few months, and many of you are saying ”oh my god! You are living the dream!” and other super kind comments that make my day, and remind me how grateful I am to be living this kind of life.
But let’s be frank for a minute. Who would REALLY want to live here with me? FYI, I don’t snore and make the best guacamole! Still, would you take the almost 100 degrees heat some days, the bugs, snakes, cockroaches, scorpions, mosquitoes? Would you live without make up because your pores sweat too much and be able to pack all your clothes for the year in one suitcase? Would you like to have only a small town 30 miles away to rely on for daily products, and a major city 9 hours away if you need serious health treatment or a decent mall to buy clothes? Could you stomach the city’s crime, or handle public workers to get what you need without bribing them?
I know I do, and all those things are quickly forgotten when I wake up every day in front of a huge body of clear water, enjoy food that is almost entirely grown by local farmers and tastes like food, or can afford a multitude of workers to handle anything for me.
This is as close to my dream life as I have gotten. I made some concessions on the distance to Europe, the critters, etc. because otherwise I would still be miserable in an office working towards my goal. Your dream is probably different from mine. I know seeing my friends and family three times a year is plenty, when many of you can’t be more than one hour drive from their parents. Other do not enjoy being abroad, in an unfamiliar setting. That is completely fine. Your dream is yours, and yours only.
Are you working towards it? When I was still in college, I knew I wanted to see the world before I settle down. I started saving aggressively and graduated with $25K in savings that allowed me to buy a first rental property and travel the world for a year. Then I wanted to work abroad, so I started looking like crazy, and within a week, I had a job in Guatemala. One job followed the other, taking me to three more countries before I came back to Guatemala.
All of this sounds like I went where the wind would take me. Partially only. I never accepted a job that was not paying enough for me to live comfortably, keep saving and traveling. The last job I took in the UK was because I wanted to buy a second rental. I did just that and then left to explore some more.
Every few days, for the past 10 years, I have been working towards my goal. By saving money, by looking for passive sources of income such as trading, or freelance gigs to make extra money. (Trading has a learning curve but on the upside the platforms have never been easier to use, and most trading companies offer a choice of platforms so you can find the one that’s right for your needs).
I now own my little house by the lake, do not need to step foot in an office ever again, and generate enough passive income to spend the rest of my life doing what I please.
It is not luck, it is will. And you can achieve anything too, if you really want it so bad that goal will become your #1 priority. Work four days a week, be a stay at home mum and maintain a comfortable lifestyle on one income, start painting, running or go back to college. Whatever floats your boat, do something to get it.
But make sure that goal is 100% you. Decide to have children because you want them, not because all your friends are pregnant and your clock is ticking. Decide to buy that insanely expensive car/watch/dress that you have been dreaming of for years and makes you feel like a million bucks because you will thoroughly enjoy it, not because the Joneses have one too. Decide to simplify your lifestyle if it makes you feel free, and stop listening to the naysayers who insist you need a McMansion.
Don’t try to reach my goal, it is mine. I can tell you how I got there, and how you can get to yours. Determination. That is all you need. Provoke your luck. Knock on doors, pick-up the phone and ask for help, find a mentor. Don’t take no for an answer.
No mountain is too huge to climb, if you start small. Put $20 towards debt. Run for two minutes. Eat one fruit per week. Before you know it your actions will snowball, you will be debt free, run a marathon or eat your five portions of fruit daily. Just remember to do what YOU want. Take a moment to think about your life plan, alone or with your spouse. Detail each goal to a maximum. Picture yourselves there. Are you happy? Adjust until you are.
Marketers, peers, medias, blogs… everyone has something to sell you. All day long you will read fantastic stories about people who did amazing things. Niall Doherty has a list of 100 just off the top of his head. Niall himself has been traveling the world for the past two years without flying. How cool is that? For 5% of crazy travelers, a nirvana. For 95% of people, that is hell on Earth.
Remember what your goals are, copy the method to get there, but change your goals if they are not truly you.