Under A Palm Tree
On the 31st October 2016, I left my job to pursue my mantra 'Life Under A Palm Tree' and live a nomadic life of travelling the world whilst pursuing a career.
I resigned from my amazing but corporate job giving two months notice. I sold my belongings on eBay, Gumtree, Facebook, at car boot sales and gave the rest to charity shops. Handed in my notice on my flat in Bristol, UK, packed my (far too big) 85kg rucksack, threw a big party with our nearest and dearest and headed to the airport with my boyfriend Julian and two one-way tickets to Bangkok.
I guess this kind of lifestyle has been on the cards for me for a long time and I know I am not alone in craving this kind of freedom. From the age of 16, I dreamt of drinking Pina Colada's on golden beaches and gallivanting around exotic and unexplored worlds. At the time, it was a fantasy of escapism born from the dark UK winters and long drawn out teenage years but it was a fire that continued to burn.
Malibu Beach, Koh Phangan.
Shortly after returning home from travelling Europe in a van when I was 20, I had set up my first business when I discovered an article on 'Location Independence'. It was a concept I had dreamt about but didn't know it was achievable unless I worked on a cruise ship or as a flight attendant. As great as these career choices would have been, my ultimate aim was to have my own businesses that I could operate anywhere in the world. To have complete control of my time, freedom and money.
After this, becoming a digital nomad became almost an obsession of mine. I would read blogs, listen to podcasts, download e-books, watch videos on YouTube, teach myself online skills which I knew would benefit me in this pursuit. Staying in to work started to take precedence over going out and partying.
Office necessities: MacBook Pro, Canon, LifeStraw & Iced Coffee
By achieving this goal, I knew the following:
1) I knew I would be 100% in control of my time.
No more asking to take holiday.
No more 9 hour working days (unless I felt like it).
No more working overtime without getting paid for it because I was on a salary.
No more getting out of bed before the sun rose.
If I wanted to take the day off to go to the beach, I could.
Time became more valuable to me than money.
Your time is your number one most important asset. I cannot stress this enough.
Time is the only thing you can't buy. We all have X amount of days on the planet.
Do you want to spend them working for the Man or do you want to build something of your own and see the world?
2) Everyday would be different.
'If variety is the spice of life, then I like it hot.' Jesse Krieger
The world is such a big place, I have never understood why people want to stay in one spot.
There are so many cultures to explore, landscapes to see, people to meet, food to eat, experiences to experience. Why limit yourself?
You'll be surprised at how much travelling can positively affect your health and motivation. For example, just think back to how you have felt when you have come back from a wholesome and rejuvenating holiday.
Last year, I spent 1 month travelling Sri Lanka. I spent my days diving, surfing, trekking, meeting new people, exploring the island, partying and most importantly that undervalued ME time. I came back happier, more focused, healthier, fitter and TANNED!
When people stay in one place for too long, they begin to stagnate. They get bored, they start to complain, they gossip, they do not focus on self-growth. You see it in offices all the time.
But you can never get bored when your landscape is always changing.
New Years Eve celebrations - Klong Khong beach, Koh Lanta
At the age of 25 I knew it was now or never. We took the leap of faith and did it.
We are now 5 months into our Digital Nomad journey, it has not all been plain sailing but it's been the most interesting 5 months of my life. We don't always know where our next jobs will come from, but that makes it all the more exciting.
So why Asia?
Living in Asia really takes away the stress of earning a full time wage. We spend half the money we did in the UK in Thailand (and Thailand is one of the most expensive countries in South-East Asia to live now.) Every 2/3 months, we move to a new place and we get to call that spot home for a while.
Aside from money, the culture is completely different to the Europe or the West. The food is incredible and the sun (almost) always shines. The people are always smiling and... coconuts grow on trees here!
We get to road trip across beautiful landscapes, meet amazing people from all over, jump into clear blue waterfalls, eat out for £2, laze on white sand beaches, trek through jungles, swim through caves, go sea kayaking and watch rainbow sunsets.
And you can do this too!
4 Island Tour - Koh Lanta
So my advice for you...
Ask yourself what success means to you.
Is it money, a flashy car, a big house, the latest iPhone or is it freedom, time, adventure?
If it is the latter, write down the best and worst case scenario from pursuing your wildest dreams.
Create an action plan of the steps you will need to take if your dream doesn't not work out favourably to get you back in the position where you are currently.
Then create a moodboard of what your life will look like if you achieve all of these wonderfully amazing things. Putting this down on paper allows you to visualise the risk and analyse if it outweighs the potential gains AND it will probably get you really excited about the possibilities out there if you take the leap of faith.
If this lifestyle appeals to you, I highly recommend reading the following books:
'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki
'The 4 Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferriss
Are you on the same journey? Are you aspiring to become Location Independent? Or are you already on the road?
Let's connect, I would love to hear from you!
Under A Palm Tree