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