Exactly 5 weeks ago, I left the Philippines again with no return ticket. For the past months before I left, I have been struggling to stay in one place. I had to be patient while I took care of all my obligations and responsibilities, and wait for the right moment when I can travel long-term again. The saying “patience is a virtue” hit a home run.
For my 2nd big trip, I want to do things better, smarter, and a lot more sustainable. And because of that, I also had better preparation.
Here’s how my 2nd big trip looks like:
For the first half of the year, I will be traveling within Asia [Korea and Japan included]. For the second half, I plan to go to the other side of the world. To visit friends and family in the US, then make my way down to Central and South America.
My plans are very ambitious to say the least but I am determined to make it happen. I am in search of that place where I feel at home, to have that same feeling I had when I was in Sucre and Valparaiso.
And so it begins.
February 7, 2018, I boarded the plane headed to Kota Kinabalu. Frankly speaking, I was feeling a bit scared and nervous because, once again, I don’t know what’s waiting for me out there. I will be living in a world of uncertainties again but I have faith that everything will be just fine.
Days prior to my departure, I was doing a lot of things. I sold my t-shirt printing business to one of my closest friends, I launched another online business [ETC: Essentials, Travel, Crafts], and continuously worked on this blog. And on top of that, I still have my online job that I spend 4 hours on each day.
My daily schedule was so hectic that I even considered postponing my trip for a later date. But I decided against it, thinking I can still work on my online business and blog whilst traveling, volunteering and working for my online job.
I already know that working whilst traveling can be very challenging, I just needed more discipline and time management. But, as you can see, I haven’t written a new post for almost 2 months now! And I do have a lot of stories to share, I just can’t seem to find the time to do some writing. Excuses, excuses.
Anyway, as I was preparing for my 2nd big trip, I can’t help but notice how history is kind of repeating itself. I mean, I once again sold my stuff, in this case my t-shirt printing business, spent time on the same surfing beach a few days before leaving, had dinner with the same friends, and did some last minute shopping to buy the exact same things.
It was kind of surreal but I guess, doing it for the second time, it felt like I was on autopilot. However, there were some things I did differently:
- I haven’t told my siblings or my friends, only the closest ones, that I’m leaving because I didn’t want to make a big deal out it. In my mind, I will just be in Asia until June, so if I need to go home, it will be easy.
- I made sure that I have a sustainable income. I have a stable online job, this blog which is currently attracting a lot of readers, volunteering opportunities, and an online business which I have high hopes of earning good money from.
- I deactivated my social media accounts because I didn’t really feel like updating the world about my experiences and whereabouts.
If you’re curious about how I started a life of travel the second time around, here are a few tips:
- Plan well.
Winging it is good but at the beginning, it’s better to have contingency plans in place. In my case, I don’t want to be stressed financially whilst traveling so I made sure I have a stable monthly income. And even if I already have an online job, I continuously look for other clients/employers just in case my current one decides to end our agreement.
Also, I made a deal with myself that if I don’t have sufficient funds to travel anymore, I will go home and hit reset. But this time around, I promised myself that I will never go home broke. I am aiming for financial stability, and this year, I will be successful at it. It’s a non-negotiable goal.
Another thing, if you already know which countries you would want to visit, make sure to prepare the necessary travel documents (i.e. visa) before leaving. In my case, since I planned on going to Korea, Japan and US, I went on a visa run last January. Thankfully, all my visa applications were approved.
And of course, don’t forget about your travel insurance!
- Look for volunteering opportunities.
I highly recommend volunteering whilst traveling. You get to save money and experience the local life. An experience that you will never get if you’re at hostels all the time. Besides, if you decide to travel long-term, you have all the time in the world. You can spend weeks in one city and travel slow.
- Create or look for other streams of income.
This is where my blog and online business come into play. Both are still not generating an income but as long as I still have my online job and earning a monthly income, I have time [and breathing room] to continuously build and market the business until it’s income generating.
I can work online jobs all my life but I know deep inside that I want to be my own boss. I want to put into action my own ideas, build an empire, and inspire people that they, too, can create the life that they want just like I did.
It has been 5 weeks since I left and not once did I regret that decision. Sure, I miss friends and family back home but what I am experiencing right now, is something life-changing, priceless, and surreal.
Traveling makes you a minimalist, opens your mind and heart to amazing people and wonderful experiences, and transforms you into the best version of yourself yet.
Sending you love from Indonesia! Cheers!