JetSetCitizens

Create the Life you Want Now!

We’re Having a Baby!

We're having a baby!

If you’re on my mailing list, you’ll already know that Motoko and I are having a baby. He’s only about six weeks away now. That will obviously bring some big changes. After 15 years of marriage, here are some of thoughts on our new lifestyle. I really like whether everything is going so far.

I am Canadian

We’ve decided to deliver the baby in Canada. Before and after the delivery we’ll need to have regular doctor visits and some stability in our lives.

We were considering Hungary, Japan and Thailand, but Canada was the clear winner. Our first two checkups were with a great doctor in Budapest, but it made more sense to go to Calgary. My immediately family is all here and everyone speaks reasonably good English. 🙂

We’ve tried medical services in about half a dozen countries, Canada is the best by far. All doctor visits are 100% covered by our free health care system and the quality and service are first rate.

Many Canadians complain about the long wait times, but I’d suggest they try other countries to see just how good they have it. Winters can be long and cold, but Canada is a pretty amazing …

4 Years of Location Independence

Location Independence

It’s been four years now since my wife and I sold our business, house, car and possessions and left Japan. It also marks 17 years of living abroad for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself in those years and hopefully I’ve also grown a little as well. Many people ask me why I left Canada and then Japan more than a decade later. I’m also often asked what were the key drivers of those major life changes. I’ll try to answer those questions here.

Leaving Canada

Leaving Canada back in 1997 was easy. My latest business venture failed again and I had zero desire to work in a cubicle for a big oil company. I had nothing to lose and I just needed a big change in my life. Moving abroad was the best way to achieve that.

I bought a ticket to Japan that departed in one week and I arrived in the country without a job, without a work visa and about $1000 to my name. I always wanted to go to Japan, so I went to Japan.

In hindsight, it was a little foolish to go with so little preparations and money, but everything worked out …

Digital Nomad Life Reinvention

Digital Nomad Reinvention

Have you ever wished you could reinvent yourself and start over? Maybe you’d start a new career, be more productive or act with more confidence. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get rid of all your old limitations and completely begin anew? Living as a digital nomad offers those opportunities on a regular basis. Relocating to a new city, particularly if it has a completely different culture, is an opportunity for a lifestyle makeover.

You Are Not In Control of Your Life

It’s can be very surprising to learn how much our cultures influence our lives. Our families, peers, societal norms and social status all have very strong control over what we do and strive for everyday. It’s difficult to understand if you’ve only lived in a single culture.

People don’t get tattoos and body piercings, wear the latest fashions, drive certain cars, purchase trendy products or join clubs and religious groups to stand out. We do those things to fit in.

This is very important. Most of us think we are unique and freely choosing everything we do and buy, but we are not. Even worse, those societal pressures that dictate our preferences all too often keep us …

The Digital Nomad Imperative

Digital Nomad Imperative

Cody Mckibben of ThrillingHeroics.com and I have recently published a free ebook with 42 articles by digital nomads describing how their travel lifestyles have impacted them. Most of the contributors will likely agree that embarking on a location independent business was one of most difficult, yet rewarding decisions they’ve ever made.

Download the Ebook

Why I’m a Digital Nomad

Giving up my house, business and most of my possessions in Japan was a transformative experience. It has given me the freedom to do what I want, where I want. While I believe that excessive travel is highly destructive to the planet, I also feel that living in foreign countries can be immensely personally rewarding. I highly encourage everyone to move abroad. It will help question all of your cultural assumptions and expose you to a world that most people can’t even imagine.

Despite the fact that international governments are still years away from accommodating the rise of location independent entrepreneurs, this clearly is a mass movement that is only going to grow in the future. There are only a handful of forward thinking nations such as Germany, Vietnam, Thailand, Costa Rica, etc., that have visa rules that make it somewhat …

What if You’re Afraid to Dream Big? My Dare Big Manifesto

I think most people live well below their potential, myself included. We’d all like to do bigger things, follow our passions, challenge ourselves and maybe even make a difference in the world, but, we’re afraid. Our fears allow us to justify many excuses for not doing something meaningful and worthwhile with our lives. I don’t want to be afraid any more. Life is too damn short and I’ve wasted too many good opportunities. Here is my Dare Big Manifesto.

Unconference for Social Good Chiang Mai

Unconference for Social Good Chiang Mai

I’ll Wait Till Someday

It’s easy to make excuses and procrastinate until some better perfect time in the future. “I’ll travel after university.” “I’ll start a business when I pay off my new car.” “I’ll join a gym after I get a promotion.” “I’ll start saving money after I get married.”

Substitute all the things you wish you could do, but aren’t and you’ll see that it’s pretty easy to put off everything important until it’s too late.

Waiting is not the answer. I want to accomplish big things, not make excuses.

Life’s Good, but it could be Better

My life is pretty good. I’ve been living abroad since 1997. I’ve started and sold businesses. …

What Are You Fighting For?

So many of us go through life without really considering what will give us a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. We have been conditioned to go to school, get a good job, buy a big house and lots of material possessions. All we have to do is work for 40 plus years until retirement to finally enjoy life.

What if that is not enough? Do your possessions make you happy? Or, do they just take away your time and money from what is important? Personal satisfaction and life fulfillment are not found at the shopping mall or on TV.

In a previous post, I outlined some of the key characteristics of an excellent life. I believe a big part of finding more meaning and fulfillment in our lives comes from contribution. This animation presents a simple question to ask yourself to ensure you are doing what is most important to you. I hope you enjoy it.

If you enjoyed the video, I would love for you to share it on your own blog or through the social media icons on the left.

In the …

What is an Excellent Life?

The current summary tag line of this site is “Celebrating Global Citizens in Search of an Excellent Life.” The pursuit of a better life has been an important focus for me over the last few years, there is an important question which I haven’t really addressed to any great extent –  what is an excellent life? What does it take to be successful, fulfilled or personally satisfied in life?

On your deathbed, when you look back on your life, will you be happy with what you’ve accomplished? That is the ultimate question most of us will ask ourselves. The problem is that the question is too often asked when it is far too late to do anything about it.

The Good Life

I’m a Selfish Person

Travel and living abroad are fantastically enriching experiences on many levels, however, I don’t travel to make the world a better place. I do it entirely to satisfy my own interests.

I also enjoy playing guitar, reading, exercising, eating and other activities that are of no benefit to the outside world. I think that is okay, we all need to follow our own interests and do the things that bring us happiness, but I believe there is …

My Experience with Minimalism: Less Stuff Equals More Experiences

Minimalism

It’s been a couple of years since my wife and I got rid of our business, house, car and most of our possessions. Culling our possessions and reducing and our materialism has been very liberating. I haven’t talked about minimalism or voluntary simplicity much on this site, but I’m starting to realize that it has become a defining part of my lifestyle.

It’s not Minimalism if you are a Backpacker

It is very easy to not own many possessions if you are travelling long term. If you can’t bring it on a plane with you, then it is essentially useless.

When I left Canada for Japan some 15 plus years ago, I had a ton of stuff in storage that I thought I would use again someday. I had clothes, books, kitchen supplies, bedding and a ton of other stuff. Virtually all of that was raided by my siblings, sold in garage sales or just thrown away and I don’t miss it at all. I can’t even remember what most of it was.

I went to Japan with only what I could carry on a plane. Did that make me a minimalist? I don’t think so. If it were free …

JetSetCitizen is Changing and I Need your Help

I’m going through a major redesign and re-purposing of this website and would love your feedback. There are only four questions in this survey and it will take you 20 seconds to answer.

Thai Monks

With my articles and interviews, I’ve tried to portray an honest and realistic account of  what it is like to give up a traditional career and lifestyle to follow your dreams and/or travel. That will continue. However, there are other topics that are important to me as well. What other content would you like to see on JetSetCitizen.com?…

Is this Lifestyle Design – Digital Nomad Stuff Foolish?

Is Lifestyle Design Foolish?Many people have ask my wife and I if we’re worried about our future. Quitting your job to travel the world and start new businesses is great in the short term, but is it the wisest choice for a secure financial future? What if I get sick? How will I survive when I am too old to work? What if I die, how will my wife survive? There are a lot of questions we have considered and continue to discuss.

 Lifestyle Design Take One

I was in my twenties the first time I gave up everything to move abroad. It was just after finishing university and a failed start up attempt so all I had to look forward to was an entry level job in a company I wasn’t particularly enamored with. I needed to reset my life, and leaving Canada for the unknown was the best way I new. I bought a plane ticket to go to Japan one week later with $1000, no work visa and no job. It was probably the best decision I ever made.

Lifestyle Design Take Two

I was 40 years old the second time I decided to change careers and leave Japan, …