Pharmacist going travel developer to explore the world and to live a fearless life.
Current Location: Medellin, Colombia
Inevitably you’re going to come up with questions that will make you wonder if this leap is worth it. Self-doubt and negative talk will not only come from within yourself but also those around you. There might be FEW who will support your journey but MANY will drag you back down to the life they understand so “clearly”.
If you can’t find support with those around your life, seek out people online. Interacting with others is important but you also need to have conversations with yourself to figure out why you want to leave it all behind. Intrinsic motivation is the MOST powerful motivator in my opinion. Who else could feel the pleasure and pain more intensely than you?
I encourage you to write out important questions and answer them for yourself. Feel free to use mine if you wish. If you sense that your responses are NEGATIVE, try to reframe them in the POSITIVE. In a way, you are tackling your biggest inner demons and once they are defeated, what’s left to fear? Here are some questions I wrestled with:
What are my fears and challenges with this lifestyle?
The biggest three primal fears for me stems from death, money, and loneliness. The other fears are usually related to these in one way or another.
I fear that I will die. Somewhere out there, I could contract a fatal disease, die through an accident during an extreme recreational activity, or possibly get kidnapped.
I fear that I would go broke. I won’t be able to make it out on my own and end up using up all of my savings. I could also get robbed/cheated and all of my money will be gone. I will end up without a home and no family around to help me.
I fear I will be alone. I don’t know anyone on the road and would just feel isolated and ostracized. I won’t get along with anyone and end up not having anyone liking me.
Past these questions, how likely is it that these fears will rise to reality? Hardly worth worrying at all after I’ve put them on paper. If others have done it, so can I!
What are my biggest sacrifices to start this lifestyle?
I will have to give up a comfortable home with a familiar bed.
I will have to use a lot of career time to pay off all my loans so I can escape the corporate work culture.
I will be leaving my family and be really far away from them.
I will not be settling down and starting a family anytime soon.
What are the advantages and freedoms I’ll gain?
I will be able to see the world.
I will be able to visit my family in other countries.
I won’t have possessions that will weigh me down physically and mentally.
I will be my own boss and design my own lifestyle.
I will be a truly unique person and be the best version of myself through all the growth from the journey.
How long is travel life sustainable?
As far as when I’m in my 60’s or 70’s, I can see myself happily retired somewhere in Southeast Asia or South America where it’s warm and comfortable. I’ll probably still be having adventures and working on the side to stay mentally happy.
Honestly, there are people out there who have traveled until they are 65 or 70 years old as digital nomad as I have read about in Matt Kepnes’ book!
How do I tell my family?
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
My family would want me to be happy. They will be sad at first because I am halfway across the world. They might question why I’m throwing away years of education and work resulting in a good life in a safe and prosperous society.
I believe that it’s better to slowly ease someone into a situation like this. I plan to just start “traveling” for a year and then slowly telling them that I’m happy where I am. I would also share with them about the success I would have with multiple online ventures. Though I might be far away, I can still reach them via Skype. I can also return home during the holidays since I will have plenty of airline mileage points by then.
What if I never start a family?
I can always start a family later. For guys, it’s much easier since we are not biologically restricted. Maybe it won’t even be a regular family but we can all travel together! I would be okay with not having kids right now but that could change in the future. I would be happy just having a girlfriend right now. I think for me, just to be able to share experiences with someone special is what matters most right now.
What if I get a serious illness? What if I lose a limb/eye?
It’s highly unlikely that I would catch anything I would die from. They do have really good healthcare in other countries too but probably not as high tech for acute problems. I shouldn’t need high tech unless I’m seeking a cure for a rare disease; by then, I would be ready to go anyways right?
I’m not even going to be doing anything that is that dangerous. This will likely never happen in the first place and will be more of a freak accident more than anything. If it did, I’ll have a wicked story to tell and be as cool as Amadeus Hellequin from Morten Hake Summit who wears an eyepatch around like he’s a swanky pirate.
What if I run out of money?
As hard-working as I am, I will not allow that to happen. The best motivator for most people is when their backs are against the wall…the proverbial match under the butt. The only way I would run out of money is if I let that happen through traveling in splendor and hedonism. There will also be resources I could use to save money on travel that will be listed in my favorite resources section.
For any unforeseen circumstances, the structured life in the states will always be waiting there for me. To find another job, a new place to live, and new friends will be an unequivocal breeze after venturing out into the world where I’m learning to make money online, not speaking a word of the language, and meeting new strangers-turned-friends.
If I’m really already in the worse situation now with a corporate job, how much worse can it really get out there?
Where do I live?
There are a lot of options around the world with a better quality of life for half the price. It’s true that the infrastructure and the country might not be the same as the states; but, I will have more time to enjoy more freedom of people, culture, and food.
I feel that even if I don’t know the language that well, it will be enough to get by in the country since I could always learn a few phrases to interact with locals and carry out transactions. I will most likely be in a country with lots of other nomads as well and I’m sure we can all figure it out together. The beauty of traveling is not to worry so much about what can happen but enjoying the process of the journey.
I have a couple of books that I have in my library right now which directs to different countries with fair weather and affordable lifestyles. Some of the countries off the top of my head are Thailand, Colombia, Ecuador, Hungary, Bulgaria, Vietnam, and Bali. Check out my favorite resources section to look at the resources I’m using to find out awesome places to live!
Do I want to keep my professional license?
At this point, I believe that taking an inactive license will be the best. Seeing as I want to depart from the practice of pharmacy to make more time to devote towards online business, it would simply be another unnecessary fee for me.
Past the point of 3 years, I could simply pay the difference between the active and inactive fee and complete the 45 CE credits (part of 15 CE required per year).
Past the point of 5 years, I would have to pass the Virginia Law Exam again and commit a mere 160 hours (6.7 days) of pharmacy internship in order to be eligible to reactivate.
Here’s the official print from the board of pharmacy website for my state:
“What is the benefit of having an inactive license?
If a pharmacist does not plan to practice pharmacy in Virginia, taking inactive status will cost less in renewal fee and the pharmacist does not have to obtain 15 hours continuing education (CE) each year. If a pharmacist decides to reactivate an inactive license, he or she will need to pay the difference between the active and inactive fee and to obtain the amount of CE that would have been required during that time period up to a maximum of 60 hours total. However, the hours may be obtained at any time between the date inactive status is taken and the date of reactivation. For example, if a pharmacist has been inactive for 3 years, 45 hours of CE is due to reactivate, but all 45 hours may have been obtained the week prior to the reactivation request, rather than 15 hours dated within each year. One problem with inactive status, is that pharmacists who have been inactive for more than 5 years, and then want to reactivate, must take and pass the Virginia pharmacy law examination again, and if they cannot provide documentation that they have been practicing in another jurisdiction, must also perform 160 hours as a pharmacy intern in order to be eligible to reactivate.”
Update November 2016: The fee to go inactive costs half the amount of the active license in my state, $45. That completely doesn’t make sense at all to me and I feel it’s just another money funnel. How difficult is it really to make someone’s account go inactive in the computer? It’s even convenient for them not to post it on the website and I had to call them to find this out.
Complete the paragraph below:
My ideal day would begin at 7 a.m in the city of Prague. I would wake up and start my day by doing meditation/cold training/yoga. I would want to work with a creative and meaningful type of project in the morning. Then I would meet friends for a delicious meal for lunch. By dinnertime, I would have seen a new place, met a new friend or had an awesome adventure. I would also leave time for reading a book, spending time with my close relations, and take a nice evening walk before I go to bed, including time to help my girlfriend do things that make her happy.
Short-term goals: In the next 6 months, the 5 things I would most like to change are…
To start a location independent business with flexible hours and something I sincerely enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money but would help me get closer to being debt free.
To have completed the Wim Hof Method and become physically tougher. I want to reap the benefits of a healthy immune system and ability to avoid the seasonal blues.
To move to a new place and further consolidate possessions that are truly important to me.
To listen to a podcast every day because it brings me great happiness and hope.
To find a girl to spend time with and good friends to share great experiences with.
Long-term goals: In the next 24 months, the 5 things I would most like to change are…
To be traveling in a new country and enjoy local activities every 3 months.
To learn (or at least try) to become fluent in Spanish.
To have a great online business and side projects that create some passive income.
To find a nice place where I could perhaps stay for some time and figure that I could retire there one day.
To be better with my spiritual practices.