2016 and the first half of 2017, will be remembered as the kickstart to a dramatic life change. It was the year I finally acted on what, in hindsight, became a number of obvious signs encouraging my departure from North America.
First, while at George Brown, I applied for, and was accepted, to an internship program in Chengdu, China. I think that was around 2013 or 2014. I ended up turning down the opportunity because I'd have to leave working at Apple. There was also the issue of returning to Toronto and trying to find an apartment I could afford, which was near the downtown core. I wasn't willing to commute four hours each day again. I simply didn't have the faith things would work out back then, the way I do now.
The second time I ignored a clear sign from the universe was in 2015. Three random strangers each advised I visit Auroville, India when asked where I should go. What are the chances of that happening? I was really torn this time. The urge was very strong and there was a couple days I was about to cash out my investments and board a plane within 48 hours. One night, during this period, I sat looking at the Auroville website for over an hour, paralyzed about what to do. But this drive soon dissolved.
My dearest Netflix,
We've been together for so long. Our relationship started out roughly five years ago. Your sexy domain caught my gaze, and your offer of a no-strings-attached-all-access-granted two week trial was enticing. Not many people offer home base for a two week trial period up front, but that's just the kind of person I wanted! Ever since I entered my credit card number, you were always there for me. Keeping me company on lonely nights, and being an amazing host when guests came over. Your willingness to entertain and satisfy has been much appreciated.
It’s been a week since I started doing the morning yoga. I’ve only missed one day because the weather forecast predicted rain. The best part has been the lady who randomly joined me the first day. Since she continued asking if I will come the following day, I saw no reason why I shouldn’t, and now, its just a thing we do.
There are many great aspects that make Tianjin a comfortable and prosperous place to live. As someone who appreciates early rising, I find it a particular enjoyment to wake up with the sun. During summer, sunrise here is around 4:45am, I get up roughly an hour afterward. This is when the sun is fully past the horizon and brightly shining.
Often the first little while of waking up is spent lying in bed, thinking or reading on my phone (this needs to change to breathing and stretching). As I mentally shift to becoming more health conscious and expanding further on this lifestyle in Viêt Nam, I thought it prudent to head out and do some yoga. The only way I'm going to improve is gradual steps over time.
I'm balancing my equipment list between living in an apartment in the city and camping alone out in the woods. There's the potential to work, so I need a few outfits that would otherwise be too many for back country hiking, yet I cannot take so many outfits that it fills my pack and increases the weight, especially with the additional camping equipment.
I've made a few purchases to nearly complete my backpacking list! Only a couple more to go and I'm all set!
The past two two months have also been the kickstart of a change in my health focus. I've been aware of my poor dietary habits for a long time, but April and May have been the start of my changing these habits for the better!
Listen below to hear the full story about what I've bought for my backpacking list and my health improvements being a new focus.
Over the past few weeks I've become interested in volunteering abroad and learned more about work-exchanges.
I share some thoughts on the perks offered by doing work-exchanges, and how they can be of serious help financially.
The international exposure and learning opportunities from this kind of living have benefits on multiple levels. Be a global citizen, live abroad. It's a lifestyle.
Since I returned back from India, and subsequently decided to not re-sign my contract, there have been some big changes in my life. I've started seeing someone, my friend Angie received her visa to come work in China, and the girl I'm seeing just left for an interview in London, England.
With King's contract about to end, the visa departure date looming and my good friend about to arrive, I've come to trust such events are happening for a reason. They're happening to make way for what is coming next. I've grown in my ability to identify when such occurrences take place, knowing it is appropriate to continue waiting.
After an amazing trip to Rishikesh, India, it was time to return to Tianjin. Here is a brief account of my last day in Delhi and an overview of my transition back to life in China.
To view my photos from the trip, visit: Rishikesh, India 2017
2016:Rebirth was about transition, planning, hard work and results! The move abroad was full of change and new experiences. There has been personal development, struggle, success and insight.
As the year draws to a close I am prepared and looking forward to what 2017 unleashes. Travel, adventure, discipline and preparation will be key to goal fulfillment. My confidence levels have been boosted and I harbour an energy that shall thrust me into new heights. I must remember during my forthcoming struggles how insignificant my previous ones have become in hindsight. Facing such challenges with similar resolve will be of utmost importance.
Check out the the video below for all the details and my biggest announcement of the year!
It's been an interesting year. I'm more self-aware, have developed new habits, maintained old ones and gone through a lot of personal growth. If you're looking for a rapid way to promote personal change, growth and understanding, travel is certainly a great option! My life has it's ups and downs, thankfully, there have been many ups. From new influencial audiobooks (Confessinos of an Economic Hitman) to my yoga practice and teaching jobs, 2016 has been not unlike a rebirth. My desires have transformed into action and positioned me to accomplish more next year. As such, I am naming 2017: LiftOff!
Thank you to all of those who have played their part in making this year happen. There are some parts of the year I wish not to relive. I now more aptly accept how even the seemingly "negative" things in life can lead to unexpected results. 2017 will be a great year and I trust I will have to the strength, courage and determination to continue on this newly forged path.
The idea presented in this post is not the first time it's been shared. I've discussed this thought with my former Apple colleagues a few years ago and t's now even more sensible.
With the recent advances from SpaceX, it seems the age of Apple controlling the last piece of the mobile device puzzle (network infrastructure) is becoming very economically feasible. Listen to the rest of my thoughts on the matter!
A small update about how I've been doing given the rough previous month. It's good to be back on the upswing. Feeling the same optimism as during the first few months when I moved here. This is partially due to the results of a meeting held a few weeks back that really boosted my energy. I share about how my efforts with my new tactic of increasing results from last weeks post, and talk about a new project I want to start for my kids at school! Click below to hear all about it!
During and after reading The 4 Hour Work Week, I started eliminating many parts of my life which I thought were important and essential, but weren't. This was largely forced upon me by moving abroad, and was simultaneously seen as a perk. The search for making my life more simplified continues. Previously I've shared about having one of my students collect primary research for me while I taught her English. These are the types of changes I need to continue making in my life. The kind which reduce workload and increase results. This post summarizes some of my progress, and includes a new one with almost zero effort, and numerous tangible results! Click below to hear more!
A city like no other, world renowned for culture, tech, finance, cuisine, film making, music, sports and more!
The first city where I first lived on my own. It's my home, a benchmark for all future residency locales. A shout to all my friends from Apple, college, university and otherwise! Thanks for making Toronto the amazing city it is!
There have been some technical issues uploading my audio file for the originally intended post. In the interim, a new post on workplace culture comparison reviews the effects it's having, and the supposed logic behind it here. Maintaining a positive outlook has been challenging. Having goals and a schedule really supports the continued pursuit to achieving them. Thanks for tuning in, I'll keep working on getting my other post up!
Many consider escapism to be a bad thing, particularly because of the War-on-Drugs policy. I share my thoughts on substance, life balance, research and policy.
I have a bit of a bone to pick with people putting pictures of infants on social media, for the sake of preserving the child's lack of online presence.
Adults and guardians (and the rest of us) don't understand what actually happens to our social media activity and content once it's posted, or even deleted!
It has been a month since I've started taking action to work at achieving a goal I have. My journey along the path to achievement has begun and there is opportunity to learn. Failing to seize these opportunities would be a pity. The goal is material in nature, though not the accumulation of a particular resource. If this endeavour is successful, it would include a great, long lasting psychological release on top of the goal itself.
Like any pursuit, there are ups and downs. The most important thing is continuing onwards. Having and maintaining the foresight to see the end zone and keep pushing towards it. Often in yoga I will push myself knowing within seconds of the pose changing, I'll be completely occupied with the new one and not this current one. This is similar. There are adjustments to be made, new things to become accustomed too, and at the end of it all, I will have what I set out to achieve.
It's become obvious to me how much the kids in class sense my interaction with others. They're aware of my rapport and level of engagement, which results in they themselves wanting more attention.
I go on about the extent this kid insists on being the one I spend my time with and how it's backfiring.