4:15pm, Friday Afternoon – Valencia, Spain
“Isn’t this great? Two guys talking about their businesses. And we’re in two different countries! And neither one of those is the United States.”
The words of my good friend Pawel hit me like a ton of bricks.
I paused, chuckled a bit, and said, “Yeah, I’m so super grateful for this.”
My thoughts immediately went to the past version of myself who used to sit in a cubicle dreaming of traveling the world.
I said, “It would be cool if there was a way you could time travel and go back to your cubicle-dwelling self and say, ‘Hold on man, it gets better!’”
Pawel and I met when we moved to Cozumel 2 ½ years ago. He’d been living there with his wife for 5 years already and both of them had built successful lifestyle businesses.
Pawel and I started meeting weekly to share insights, set goals, and generally push each other to grow our own individual businesses.
Now that we left Cozumel and are in Europe for a bit, we have our weekly meetings via Skype.
“Yeah man, it actually astounds me that we live in a day in age where we get to do this” I said.
“See you next week?” Pawel said.
The World is Flat
Technology, like the internet, has changed everything. My grandparents could never have imagined doing what I’m now doing with my family.
In fact, in a couple of months, we’ll be heading to Scotland. As far as I know, I’ll be the first in my family to have done so since my ancestors left there over 150 years ago.
Because of increased mobility, country lines just don’t matter as much. It’s less about, “I’m American so I live in the United States” and more about, “Where’s a cool place to live in this world?”
The world is ripe for exploration and there’s never been a better time to do it.
I should mention that we’re not a traveling family. We just happen to be a family that is traveling. In fact, we’re slowly making our way back “home” to establish a base camp.
It’s more about being hyper-intentional with where we live and the experiences we wish to have. It’s all based on our desired lifestyle and living everyday according to our highest values.
One of the values includes exploring. Every single story is made 1000 times better when there’s an adventure to go on.
It could be Frodo having to destroy a ring or Harry & Lloyd returning a suitcase or Tommy & Richard having to sell brake pads. It doesn’t matter.
Moving. Exploring. Adventure. It all makes life better than sitting in one place.
The simple term for it all? Travel.
Why Wouldn’t You Live Abroad? Or At Least Travel?
My intention here isn’t to spout off all of the benefits of living abroad or at least traveling for a bit. There’s plenty that’s already written on the subject for that.
My intention here is to shoot down any possible excuse you can come up with for not traveling (or living abroad) – especially if you have a family.
I feel I’ve got some authority on this subject.
I’m married and we have three kids. We’ve been living outside our own country for over 2 ½ years now (that’s way less than many but light years more than most).
Our kids have ridden on more planes, trains, ferries, buses, & taxis than most adults ever will.
NOTE: If you’re totally not into traveling then it’s really not worth your time to continue reading this. Stay put. Watch ESPN and work through your Netflix list.
But if you have even the slightest inkling of wanting to get out there and see some of the amazing people and places this world offers, read on amigo. Read on.
Your Family is Not an Excuse to Not Travel
One of the excuses we’ve heard the most is “what about the kids?”
People use their children as shields to keep from leaving their suburban cave. They use jargon like consistency or safety to justify their inaction.
I’m no expert but I just don’t see how weekly trips to Costco compares to learning a new language and making friends literally all over the world.
Kids need love. Kids need attention. Kids need education. They also need adventure and to be exposed to amazing stuff – the earlier the better.
Just this morning my 6 year old told me she has four different types of money in her wallet.
“Dad, I’ve got Mexican Pesos, U.S. coins, Euros, and British Pounds. Cool hah!”
What’s even cooler is that she understands the monetary value of each coin and understands to a degree, the currencies they represent.
She told me her favorite currency is the British Pound.
“Mine too, buddy” I told her.
Your family IS your reason to travel. Buy the tickets. Get them on a plane. Enjoy listening to another language or eating a new food together.
Your Job is Not an Excuse to Not Travel
We live in the information age. Anything is possible. You can make money in so many ways.
If you’re at a job, I can only conclude that it’s because you want to be at that job, right? I mean, that’s OK. Many of the people I know and respect are at jobs and they love them.
However, if you’re at a job because you think it’s the only way to make money, then dude, get online!
I created a business that supplies real value to real clients and I literally learned it all online. I didn’t go to college for it. I didn’t put in my 10,000 hours. I googled it!
Anyone who can read this can also do the exact same thing. In fact, I teach you how in a course that I created!
Think about what you want to do, look it up online, and then do it. If you’re providing something that other people will pay for, you’ll make money.
I’m not talking about following your passion necessarily. I’m talking about creating a viable income that puts food on the table. Oh, and one you can scale the snot out of and take off and see the world.
It’s possible. I’m not the only one doing it.
Your job should be the reason you want to travel! If you don’t like it, let it kick you in the butt to hustle in the early hours before work or late at night when the kids have gone to bed.
Learn the skills. Put them up for sale in the market. Then get mobile and start loving your life.
Your Lack of Money is Not an Excuse to Not Travel
This one is pretty close to the last one. Making money isn’t tied to a job.
You can make as much or as little as you want. It’s up to you. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. But I will say it’s never been easier.
If your desire is there, you can make it happen.
My mother-in-law is getting married this May in Venice. Not Venice Beach, California.
She’s not a millionaire. Her fiancé isn’t a millionaire either. But they set a goal to get married in an amazing part of the world and they’re doing it!
And she gets to have her granddaughters there too!
When your intentions are clear, the money will happen. Even if you need to hustle, scrimp, and save, it will happen.
“No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.”
Make the money you need. Wake up early. Work late.
When you take that selfie in front of warm, turquoise waters or stuff your face with Turkish döner kebab, it will be worth it.
Your Lack of Time is Not an Excuse to Travel
This one is kind of silly.
We all have the exact same amount of time. Yet, there are some people who see the world while others simply look at their pics while steaming with envy.
It’s all about how we use our time.
Will you use your time waiting until 5pm when you can leave your job and watch TV or will you use it to build something that buys you freedom?
Besides, the concept of time should motivate the crap out of you to get moving! Who knows how much time you really have left. You might as well use it on something that’s going to enrich your life forever.
Preparing for the Changing World
Recently I got an email from a young woman who said, “My parents want me to get educated in a job. They told me it is better to learn a job before going into other countries”.
While there’s a certain element of truth to learning a skill at a job, there’s no better education than traveling.
Traveling will teach you things about the world and about yourself that you can’t learn in any other way.
As a parent, it’s rewarding to see my kids making friends all over, speaking another language, and learning new cultures.
I feel they’re better prepared than their suburban peers for the world we live in. The world they will inherit won’t have as many boundaries as it once did.
It’s wise then, that our kids have left the boundaries of their own neighborhood.
My Friend Pawel…
In the past 24 hours, I’ve reflected a lot on what Pawel said.
I think it’s just cool that I have a friend named Pawel! (It’s Polish btw for the name Paul)
He and I both have lifestyle businesses that give us income and mobility and most of all, time. Time to be with our families doing cool stuff.
That’s what this is all about. Do cool stuff with your family.
It’s worth it.