It has been 8 months now that Motoko and I left Japan. We are having a great time with our lives but this is also not an idyllic lifestyle. It is great to be able to see the world and have complete freedom, but we are really starting to miss having a regular routine in our lives. Here is a short summary of our current situation.
We are in Istanbul
We are currently in Istanbul and loving it here. The hospitality of Turkish people has been amazing. Turkey is very unique in that it is a bridge between European and Middle Eastern cultures. It is so different then anywhere else we have been but I will write more about the country later.
Our Financial Situation
We haven’t been able to sell our house in Japan because of the terrible real estate market there, so we have been paying bills and a mortgage for an empty house. It would have been nice to get rid of that obligation, but such is life. We are now thinking of spending a few months every year in Japan. Unfortunately, we got rid of all of our furniture so it will be a little expensive to get set up again.
Purchasing a house was probably the worst decision we have made in our lives. If we didn’t buy our house we would probably have an extra $60,000 to $80,000 in the bank now. Again, such is life.
Our investments also haven’t done so well this year so we have lost a fair amount of money. We are not in a desperate situation but it has put more financial pressure on us. Mentally, it has been stressful. We really hate spending more money then we are earning. Watching your bank balance constantly go down is not a comfortable feeling. My wife and I have both been very good at saving in the past so these last 8 months without much income haven’t been easy. We definitely are not going to spend all of our money so earning a sustainable income is becoming a priority.
Traffic to my websites has been increasing slowly and we have started to earn a little money from a few of the sites but it will take some time to build them into sustainable businesses. I know there are still great opportunities to create real businesses online, but I don’t think blogging and selling expensive ebooks are the way. Blogging is great to connect with like minded people and even earn a small amount of income, but it is a huge amount of effort for the small potential returns. I am starting to redirect my focus to some smaller wins.
I love connecting with other travellers and lifestyle designers, so I will continue the interviews I have been doing. However, I don’t think I have much to contribute to travel blogging. The travel niche is very saturated and is not something I want to focus on. I will start to decrease the number of personal posts like this and just focus on the interviews. I also have a couple of ebooks in the works that I plan to offer for free or at very low cost. They will have a somewhat contrarian message to what most other people are writing. I think personal excellence is more important than accomplishing goals or striving for more experiences. You will start to see more of that reflected in my writing.
Too Much Travelling
My attitude toward travelling has definitely changed since my twenties. Maybe this means I am getting old. 🙁 It is great to see many countries, meet new people and experience new cultures but we are also getting tired of the constant moving. We are trying to travel as slow as possible but it is still too fast. It is really hard to exercise, eat healthy, play music, maintain friendships, really experience new cultures and get work done when perpetually travelling. We love being in new countries but the constant change is getting to be too much. We are most likely going to start rotating between a couple of main home bases with shorter travelling in between.
I also feel that new cultures are appreciated more when you can reset in a stable place. When you work for 11 months you really build anticipation and excitement for that 1 month of travel per year. When you are always travelling you start getting bored of new experiences because they happen every day. How many amazing European churches do you need to see? After the first couple they all start looking the same.
Travelling is also getting in the way of accomplishing important things in life. I want to spend more time working on projects that have the potential to make a small dent in the universe. Most of what I am doing now is for my personal pleasure. I am not really contributing.
I have no sympathy with vagabonds and talkers who try to reform society by taking men away from their regular productive work and making vagabonds and talkers of them too. Bernard Shaw
Life is good
Overall we have absolutely no complaints about our life. There is not a single day when we don’t discuss how lucky we are to do exactly what we want in life. We are working on projects of our own choosing, living where we want and spending time with cool people. What else is there?