How Buying A Plane Ticket Increased My Life’s Sexiness Tenfold (+Video)

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I’m writing this in Doha, Qatar as I wait for my connecting flight to Vienna, Austria. Gotta wait 9 hours, but at least I got free dinner at the airport + there’s a designated room to sleep here. As of posting, I’ve already been spending 3 days in Austria.

(Click here if you can’t see the video: Last Day in the Philippines.)

8 months ago, I hopped on a plane with a one way ticket to Thailand. I had no clear plan what the future will bring. All I knew is that I wanted to see the world. In retrospect, taking that risk and buying that one-way ticket was the best decision of my life.

Flashback: March 2010

Back in March 2010, I just finished compulsory military service for the Austrian Armed Forces. .

In the Army (yes, that's me)

I wasn’t happy at all in the Army. What I didn’t like was that it was the exact opposite of freedom. Others were deciding on serious things about my life like where I have to sleep or how I am going to spend the weekend.

Plus, you had to do what people that were way less intelligent than you told you to do – without question. It’s basically 5x worse than a really bad day-job (the salary was ridiculous too: I got $380 per month).

On the bright side, my time in the Army probably helped me to become more self-reliant, bold and independent and prepared me for my upcoming adventures in Asia – I’m only 21 years old after all.

So here I was. I just survived Army and graduated from IT school the year before. I wasn’t really sure what the future would bring, but I knew three things:

  1. I don’t want to work in a 9-5 environment as a programmer, database-specialist or anything similar.
  2. At least for now, I don’t want to continue studying.
  3. I want to see the world.

So what did I do? After reading the Four Hour Work Week and being inspired by guys like Sean Ogle and Cody McKibben, I did something bold:

I bought a one way ticket to Bangkok.

Friends and relatives had mixed feelings about my upcoming adventure: They ranged from envy and excitement  to worry (some of them experienced all of those emotions). Why the hell was I travelling to South East Asia for an undetermined amount of time? And why, for ****’s sake alone and without return ticket?

I was personally feeling pretty calm until 3 days before departure. Over those last few days, I started to ask myself exactly the same questions too. “Why the hell am I doing this? I’ve neven been longer away from Austria than 2 weeks on a package vacation.” Those thoughts didn’t keep me from boarding the plane though.

Boy, what a great decision that was. The last 8 months in Asia were the best time of my life. I definitely have been living 2010 to the fullest. My life’s sexiness increased tenfold.

Opportunities on the road

Once you are on the road, you’ll find opportunities en masse. After two months of travel when I was hanging out in the Philippines, I found out about a location independent online-marketing internship (the TropicalMBA) that takes place in the same country. I got the job.

I found a new home in the Philippines and stayed there for 6 months. Over those months I figured out what I want for my immediate future:

I want to live in Asia.

I love Asia and had a blast in the Philippines. Asia is jam-packed with beautiful beaches, adventures and feels like the Wild West (especially the Philippines).

I’m currently making it work by working on various web-projects (mostly affiliate marketing) and having a part-time job.

TropicalMBA group photo

Next year

Words can’t describe how stoked I am about about 2011. After spending Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Austria, I’ll be back to Asia in early January.

Dan, Chris from MyEggNoodles, many other online marketers and bloggers and I will ride on motorbikes all over northern Thailand in January. It will be awesome.

In February or March, I’ll most likely go back to the Philippines. However, Bali or staying in Thailand are options too. The nice thing about location independence is that you have high quality problems like not knowing where to move next because you have so many great options.

What about you?

Enough about me. What about you? I took a risk and was rewarded with the best year of my life. What are you going to do? When you examine risky things closely, even the worst-case might not be that bad.

Take a risk.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Fernando December 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Hey, nice to meet you!
Wow, what a crazy story but I have to say I completely agree on this, I mean taking chances is what life is about and sometimes taking risky one awards us.
Hope to see you around David!

Reply

David December 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for the comment, Fernando.
All the best things in my life happened because I took a chance and risked failure.
David

PS: I dig your blogname (ninetowhat).

Reply

Tasos April 1, 2011 at 6:22 am

WOW man. I don’t remember exactly how I found your blog but I bookmarked it and now after reading this blog I am thrilled on the similarities we share. I am 21 too, I finished my 9-month mandatory service in the Greek army(I completely understand how it is to follow orders from idiot superiors and not having the option to say NO and my monthly salary was 8,65 euro!!) five months ago and then came in the United Kingdom for a few months to improve my English.Now I am going back to Greece to continue my studies(Computer Science) but I also want to start a website and be an Internet marketing and travel the world but I am afraid to take action and take the one-way ticket as you did mainly because I have zero income. Wish you the best with your internet ventures and life and I have to admit I am SO jealous of you! :)
With regards from a fellow Greek reader and free-man wannabe from London,UK!
Cheers.

Reply

David April 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thanks for your comment, Tasos.
8,65 Euro? That’s ridiculous. And I was complaining about 280 Euro/month.
I also had no business when I bought that ticket, but I had a couple of grand in the bank, so that helped a lot.
One thing that programmers like you and me easily forget that IT skills are perfect for building some kind of location independent business, you don’t necessarily have to sell information.
I wish you all the best, I’m sure you will achieve your goals if you are persistent enough.

Reply

Tasos April 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Thanks for your inspiring reply David. Keep it up!

Reply

Micamyx|Senyorita June 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Glad you took that risk! :D I’m new to your blog and i’m quite interested to know more about your stay in the Philippines. Were you able to go to Boracay or Palawan?

Reply

David June 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

Thanks for your comment.
Yes, I’ve been to Palawan (was an amazing 2-week trip, highly recommended). I haven’t been to Boracay yet. Everybody agrees that it is nice, but many people think it’s a bit overrated – the Ph has so much more to offer than Bora.

Reply

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