I’m on the crossroads of starting again and this article is my reflection on how things go about for the past two years.
I did it with unconventional and conventional methods.
When I decided to resign from my work as an Accountant in Dubai (September 2016) I didn’t have much money with me. One of my biggest investment decisions at the time before I decided to resign was to invest in my friend’s family business. This enabled me to travel and not worry about my mom’s support because it earns interest, enough to cover her expenses.
Some of my money that I was able to save in Dubai was invested in….
- Travel gear
- DJI Mavic drone
- Canon G3x mirrorless camera
- Samsung Galaxy note 5
Casey Neistat’s “Make it Count” YouTube video and the book “The 4 hour workweek” by Timothy Ferriss inspired me to travel. Test a new way of approaching life. Casey and Tim gave me the confidence to listen to my inner voice, sleeping in ages. I was lost with other voices telling me what to do or what to chase in life for the past 11 years. I found out that there is a different world outside the office work and travel is an opportunity to experience new things. It became one of the best decisions in my life.
Longterm Travel (aka Vagabonding) is not a thing for Filipinos, most especially adults way above the marrying age (22-26 yrs old based on my analogy). In our culture, most will find what I’m doing is a waste of money and time, as the basic rule for professionals is work their ass out in a 9 to 5 job, find a wife, buy a house and live happily ever after… Comfortably.
After wrapping up my work in Dubai and turning over everything to my friend in Tesla Motors, LLC. I hit the road and started to travel on January 11, 2017 from Dubai to Thailand.
Thailand was a backpacking haven, built for tourists and first time travelers (like me). There I started to walk around with a camera all around Bangkok, trying to find a place to find a drone (only to find out with the police that it is not allowed)I’ve met great people in Thailand, most of them became a big part of my experiences in the past year. One of them was a girl I fell in love with while building Navotac and Sir Dougie of which made an impression on me when we met again here in the Philippines. He’s words was “I’m vicarious of your life right now” as he sees a lot of in me.
While in Vietnam, I was still partially working as a remote accountant. It paid half of my trip in Vietnam. Unfortunately it’s just a short gig. I traveled most of Vietnam alone but did met Saul, a British guy (whom I credit my drastic improvement to speak better english). We did Hue, Hai van pass, Hoi An and Dalat together and he really is one of my memorable travel buddies. Discussions with Anoeschka was also memorable, as I explained a lot our country’s war on drugs in the eyes of a Filipino and what foreign media now is showing mostly an incomplete picture.
Malaysia was a blend worth remembering. The food was amazing! The mix of malaysian, chinese, indian and muslim cuisine was crazy, most especially Penang. I almost died in Langkawi, all because of my stupidity to not prepare for a 42km bike ride and 700 meter tough mountain climb. I met also a German girl here that I fell in love with, planned to travel South America with her but never did because we had a falling out. That prompted me to shake everything that I have planned.
Coming back to the Philippines after almost 2 years and seeing my mon again was a breath of fresh air. I did planned to travel still Philippines when I came back.
I also needed to pay my close friend in UAE because all of my money was used up in the middle of my trip in Malaysia and decided to use my credit card in Dubai. I paid him with my savings in my previous work in Equatorial Guinea of which I have access only in Manila.
Since the cheapest place to visit Palawan I volunteered in a survival camp in Dimancal Island, Linapacan through workaway.info. There I have met awesome people like Angela, David, Sven, Lenya, Svend and Mark and off course the host of the camp Karel. This decision enabled me as well to meet my now business partners in Navotac, Wilson and his parents Papa Tolentino & Mama Leonilie. We all agreed to build Navotac, a hostel in the island of Calibangbangan. We faced all of the adversities, tropical storms, labor problems, burden of hauling materials in boats, unfriendly ocean waves, differences in cultures and funding..
I almost died while trying to get money from el nido before Christmas Eve (December 23, 2017). We traveled during the storm and barely making it with a small boat. That was the longest 2 hour boat ride of my life. While almost dying, I had a few thoughts running in my head… Like finding a way to cross Germany to meet someone and investing all of my money in the island instead of doing the super ambitious sailing trip from Palawan to Galápagos Islands.
Becoming a tour guide as well helped me to finance most of my expenses here. I did needed to buy new phones here because I broke five of them, I also broke my big camera and my drone.
After a year of doing Navotac, and reaching what my aim here to learn, provide jobs and become free from voices around me..I have reached a point now on starting something new. The things I’ve learned in the past 2 years was bigger than everything I had in my past 30 years of my life. Sounds Crazy? That is true for me.
Now, I’m looking forward to starting a coding life and combine it with my experiences. I truly believe that technology can help me have the most long lasting impact in this world. I am also going out of Navotac in pursuit of travel again..
To summarize my methods on traveling and creating business opportunities with little money:
- Investments in friendships are vastly underrated. Most of my experiences now is due to people believing in me. I was able to achieve this through being honest, and being there for them when they need you. When you also say that you’ll do something for them or pay them, make sure that you do it. Trust is a key factor
- Working on the road is always way to travel and explore the world. I believe the experience of it is also very beneficial because it is out of the box thinking.
- Luck is being prepared when the opportunity comes. We still need to work for it. No one is truly lucky.
- When you decide that you don’t want to work for someone anymore, make sure that you are courageous enough to deal with it. This scared the hell out of me. But in time that I saw the rewards of having my time all for me, it enabled me to stretch out my capabilities and test myself and live up to my potentials.
- Saving up is the best method still. But to continually live on your own terms, this will be not the best method. Volunteering can be another method in short spurts. That’s why…
- I truly believe working online or creating a business is still the best option. Another reason why I’m learning computer coding.
I hope you found value in my shortened reflection of the past two years. Now I will pursue the next chapter of my life, with less resources but more experiences and more optimism. I pursue long lasting impact in my next endeavor and I believe this will be the best years of my life.
visit my website: https://migueldeguzman.github.io