18 Jan Make a plan. Be digital. Fly. Discover yourself. Then settle. And Share.
It seems obvious, but there are many wanting to share what they haven’t learned, yet. Wanting to be digital without ever having monetized online, yet. Don’t quit your job and become a digital wannabe like most I see traveling and calling themselves “digital nomads”. I know how useless we can feel when we have a meaningless job, not aligned with our values. I’ve been there. We can do crazy things when we’re trying to find a solution and be happy. Leaving before you have a plan and you start monetizing, means you will end up spending your savings, in debt, confused and insecure. So start collecting results from your remote, temporary location independent projects, before you quit your “traditional” life. It will save you so much energy and emotional stress. And remember that monetizing online doesn’t mean you’ll be doing what you love, at first. It means you’ll be doing something useful, online, a way to pay for your basic expenses until you figure out who you really are and what you’re really good at.
I learned how to work online a few years ago when I left Brazil on this mission to find a new country for me. I thought that was it. But now I realize I was looking for self-discovery. But I made a plan before I left. I had to learn how to make at least enough online income to pay for my housing and food. I had a strong entrepreneurial and commercial background that kept me safe. I wasn’t afraid of selling myself and my skills. I wanted to find out who I really was. I couldn’t find what I was looking for in my country. I was feeling imprisoned by a lifestyle I did not want. Not for me, not for the family I plan on having. If you’re interested, you can read more of the story in this article I wrote years ago.
I learned that I could live with only a backpack for years. Which means that I discovered I don’t need much money to be happy. And I used to live in a four bedroom apartment, In Itaim-bibi, one of the best areas of Sao Paulo, making a lot of money from the financial market. And I got used to “living with a backpack”. Not only I got used to it, but I learned how “light” I could be. Changing countries every 3 months, when my tourist visa was up meant it was easier for me to just live out of airbnbs and work from coworkings. In my bag, I carry one pair of heels, one pair of sneakers, 2 sets of workout clothes, 1 or 2 nicer dresses, 1 scale (yes, I know, I’m weird, but I need to weigh myself everyday so I don’t eat too much), 1 mini water boiler for cooking the basics and a few other things. I left 1 suitcase in Miami, one in Thailand, 1 in Brazil and 2 are here with me in Spain (these were things I had left in my mom’s house in Brazil and I now decided to bring to Spain where I’m planning to settle).
I learned that I have much more fun doing a picnic at the park than going to a fancy restaurant. I actually discovered I don’t really like fancy restaurants. Not even when someone else is paying the check. lol
I learned that for me to feel complete, safe and happy, I have to live in a town where I can use my bicycle everywhere. Where I have safe, clean, fast public transport. Where I can walk around till late without being afraid of someone taking my stuff from me. I need to live in a beach town with good weather 8 months a year, to be my best healthy version. I need to have good public schools for my future kids for 200 euros per month. I need to have a town as big as Barcelona only 3 hours away so I can go there whenever I miss the city buzz, but I need to live in a place where the “frequency” isn’t so high, like Valencia, where I am living now, for me to focus and have “productive silence” most of the time.
I learned that I need to do 6-day silence retreats every once in a while for me to quiet my monkey brain and listen to what is real. I need to meditate and exercise almost every day for me to feel good. Spending a month or two each year in Brazil is so much better than spending twelve. And the only way I could learn all that was letting go. Of my country, my family, my friends, of what the “perfect career” looks like for most people, of my “safe” income.
Anyway, now I feel I am transitioning into a new phase. Now that I learned what I need and was looking for, I am ready to settle again and make my “nest”. And it feels so good. That means I will be socializing again with local people who don’t live out of a backpack. It can cost more to hang out with locals. And it’s ok. I got used to an inexpensive life where I can work with clients for only 6 hours a week and make around 3 or 4 thousand Euros, which is a luxury for me. Here in Spain I can live very well with half of that. That is a third of what I could be making if I had chosen to continue in the corporate traditional world in Brazil. But instead of growing my income, all I was interested in was growing my collection of experiences around the world and getting to know who I really was first. And to be honest, my life has never been so good.
I’ve decided it’s time to settle and prioritize building a family. Time to focus on growing my business projects. Time to find some locals, who can work with me side by side, face to face, for a change, for us to inspire each other. Time to relax and share with others what I’ve learned so far. I am ready and I can’t wait!