When I first moved to Portland from Los Angeles 2 1/2 years ago, I knew I was embarking upon a whole new chapter of my life. I moved to see what else was out there, to try something new, to live somewhere new, and to simply expand my horizons. I had no idea that this new chapter would lead to a whole new grand chapter of living a life as a traveling expat.
Pirates, Fortunes, and My Future
Last weekend, I bumped into a pirate who also happened to be a fortune teller. I asked him for some sage advice about my life and here’s what he had to say: “Your future life will be very sunny. I see in it a chest full of money. Be free to spend it as you see fit. Because there will be plenty more of it. You are a fortunate person. You were born under a lucky star and that will carry you safely through all your ventures. In time your love life will be something for the world to talk about. You will be extremely happy. There will be those who envy you and try to harm you. Just really learn who your true friends are and all will go very well with you. Your lucky stone is a ruby.”
Yeah, he was also made of plastic. But man, this Olde Pirate’s got some mad fortune telling skills! And where can I get my hands on some ruby jewelry?? I need some, pronto!
You see, this was just shortly after Johnny and I had started talking about moving out of Portland and living somewhere sunny, warm, and beautiful like Southeast Asia. We talked about being able to do what we love while living location independent, making money online, and living a dream life in the tropics!
And this funny little pirate was supposed to give me a fortune that is totally cookie cutter vague that makes little or no sense, but the thing is, as much as it was vague, it made soooo much sense to me! Haha. The irony of the surrounding situation was what made this whole thing even more comedic. We were on a weekend trip to the Oregon coast for a romantic getaway. The weather had been gorgeous all week long, then on the day of our trip, the rain decided to come back with a vengeance. We found ourselves in a beach town, walking around soaking wet fighting a rainstorm with gushing winds of 70 mph, then we walked into an odd little museum where the vending machine pirate handed me this fortune card about my sunshine filled future life where everything will be all gravy. It was as if life was telling me that it’s okay to go forward with our crazy plan of moving out of the country.
We have talked about the possibility of moving out of Portland before. We discussed that somewhere warmer and with less rain could be a nice change of pace. We’ve had this conversation in passing numerous times, always coming up with different cities we could potentially see ourselves living in. It’s always felt like something we would do years later, if at all. We both really love the city of Portland, and we have managed to create a great life here.
We have an amazing apartment in a great neighborhood, in one of the best cities in the country, and I just landed a new job that I really enjoy! Things are really good. Really really good!
But, there is this decision to go abroad, and it seems we’ll actually try living in Thailand.
You’re probably wondering “WHY???” If everything is so good, why in the world would you leave it all behind?
Future Expat Life
For a long time, both of us have been craving a life that is outside of the norm. A life outside of the 9-5, and outside of the rat race. We want a life that allows us to live fully while doing what we truly love. I have to admit, when Johnny first brought up the idea of moving out of the country, I thought he was crazy and I was very resistant to it. However, the more I thought about it and the more research I did, the more it seemed silly for me to not go.
I realized that my reluctance and hesitation stemmed from inner fears, doubts, and old programming. This reluctance was keeping me from my heart’s deep desire to live a richer and fuller life. I want a life that resonates in sync with my core being. Once my brain-fog cleared up, moving forward with the plan became easy.
Here are a few other reasons why I’ve decided to go ahead with this “crazy” new adventure….
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’ve reached a point of comfort zone in my life right now. There are peripheral things that are making some uncomfortable noise, but all in all, my life feels “good” and “comfortable”. I have a good job, a good home, and good relationships (with the love of my life as well as friends and other loved ones). Believe me, it has not always been this way, so I’m not complaining. I’m happy that I’m here, but I also know deep down that this is not the end of my journey. I still feel there is a void that needs to be filled. One of the things I’ve always wanted, was to travel around the world. Sure, it’s scary to leave my nest of everything that’s familiar and go somewhere completely foreign. At the same time, I want to push myself and my boundaries to experience something I’ve never experienced before, something greater than I can ever imagine. Living stationary in one city just doesn’t cut it.
I Won’t Be Young Forever
If not now, when? I want to be able to see and do more before I get too old. Even at an older age, I’m pretty sure my mind will be youthful. Kind of like the above cartoon depicting an old lady with cape, thinking that I can fly and do anything and everything I want. But physically, will I be able to do everything I think I can do? Probably not. I’m in my late 30’s, so I’m definitely not a young chick anymore, but I’m still young enough to be able to be active and “rough it”, if need be. The last 10 years of my life feels like they have flown by in a wink. I don’t want another 10, 20, or even 30 years to go by only to find myself at retirement age thinking, “Oh, I should have done something amazing.”
Cost of Living
Living in the US costs a lot of money! I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my life, where the cost of living is one of the highest in the country. I’ve always felt like I could never make enough money to live comfortably, let alone even just to get by! On top of that, being a creative individual, I never felt like I fit-in in the typical 9-5 work environment. Climbing the corporate ladder seemed like a huge pain in the ass, and something I had zero desire to do.
I’ve looked for alternative ways to make a living and I’ve found my own paths that suit my personality better. Even then, I’ve never felt fully satisfied as I’ve found myself constantly struggling financially and drained emotionally. It was like I was trying to live my life for someone else’s happiness and not for my own. Moving to Portland has been a refreshing change for me in many ways. It’s given me a whole new perspective on people, money, and life. It has allowed me to see that living decently doesn’t have to equal working your ass off at a job you hate. That there are many ways you can go about creating the life you want. Living in other parts of the world where the cost of living is significantly less will allow each dollar that I earn to go way further than it would in the States. A lower cost of living will allow me to do more, see more, experience more, and even save more money along the way.
Last but not least, why the heck not? I’ve always wanted my life to involve more travel and more adventures. I don’t have any kids, and I don’t have any other obligations that I’m tied to. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of this time and opportunity to get out there and explore everything that I possibly can?
I don’t believe that opportunities like this come around too often. With our skill-sets, I think that we have the ability to make this “dream” into a reality. Honestly, it would be a much bigger undertaking for me to plan and execute something like this alone, but when you have someone on your side who wants to go all-in with you on a crazy adventure of a lifetime, you have to just take a deep breath and say, “Hells yeah! Let’s do this!!!”
We’re working on building and growing our online businesses, JohnnyFit Online and Downdog Apparel, and we have more things to come. We’re figuring out how we are going to get rid of all of our possessions (except for a couple backpacks we’re going to take with us), and we’re planning a few little adventures before our BIG adventure. We have some more exploring to do, of the beautiful United States before we leave.
We will be sharing all of the steps we take as we turn our dream idea into a reality. If you have an interest in travel, living location independent, creating online business(es), or you simply find our story intriguing, I invite you to follow along!
Thanks for reading and see you on our next post!