It’s 5:30 PM right now, when I’m starting to write these lines. Twenty minutes ago I returned from work. It was 13 hours ago, when my alarm clock went off. Like every working day now and for next months it’s set to 4:40 AM. Currently we are in the Netherlands. Working hard physical work to earn money and to save as much money as we can. Initially our plan was to work here for about 6 months and save 10 000 EUR (11 5000 USD).
We calculated, that this amount of money (together with some freelance works afterwards) would be enough to support us for 2 years in Southeast Asia. The region to which we both are so interested to return. We would travel around, visit places we already know and explore many new ones. We would stop, where we like and for as long as we want. We would live where we want and how we want.
That’s how we saw it then, about a month ago.
Yet now we start to see the bigger picture.
Today I was walking in the factory, where we work now. I was thinking. And at some moment I felt indescribable joy. I understood – I feel good. I feel happy. At that moment I understood, that inside of me I ‘m jumping out of joy.
Because I understood – I’m no more drifting in a life. I have found the direction in which I want to go. And I’m MOVING in that direction. Right now, being here and working, I am moving in that direction. We are moving in that direction.
In direction of becoming free.
Don’t get me wrong – work in a factory hard. Long hours on foot. In first days all I wanted after work was to sleep. Heck, after the second day I was ready to leave. And also now, after three weeks, Saturday is the day, when we sleep at least for half of the day. And every time I failed (at least few times a day), I wanted to quit. But what I did was kept doing, kept learning, kept adapting to new conditions.
Because I had a goal. And I knew – it’s only about me, it’s only about us – if we will reach it or not.
After such a pompous beginning you may be surprised by what I will say now. But I will say it. Yes, I know the direction, in which we want to go. We want to become free.
But at the same time, at this moment, if you ask ask us – what is your plan? How exactly you see it in a year or two? Our answer is – we don’t know. We don’t have a plan yet.
Do we need to be scared because of it? I think no. And I will explain why.
Because we know, that it is possible. We know, that it is possible to live the way one wants. That’s why now we are where we are – working in the Netherlands to save money. So starting from this fall we would have more free time for ourselves, to continue working toward becoming free.
Toward building our life the way we want.
During this next phase we will focus more on making it work. Maybe it will be connected with blogging and writing? Maybe I will start doing social media consulting? Maybe we will start organizing our tours? Maybe we will become certified massage therapists? Or yoga teachers?
Maybe we will become full time digital nomads. But maybe we will find our place offline. We don’t know it.
See, for example, I love writing. In fact it was one of the reasons why I wanted us to start this blog so badly. Because I wanted to write more in English. So, when vision about what our blog would be about finally came, it made me pretty excited.
Because it meant, if not for anything else, it will be my place online to improve my English writing skills.
That’s how we started We Are From Latvia. Our corner online, which we are turning into a place, where everyone willing to travel and explore more of the world could find an inspiration and advice needed.
That’s also my place now, where to I spend long hours working on design changes and adjustments. No, I’m not complaining. On the contrary – I love to learn more about it. It’s interesting for me. It makes my belief about having a work you love only stronger.
And, nope, I didn’t study these things in university or somewhere else. I left my telecommunication studies after 2 successful years, when I said for myself, that it’s enough for something I have never liked.
Everything about Internet, marketing and blogging I have taught myself. Currently Internet and specialized Facebook groups are my university.
The fact is – we are sure, we will find our place. There are just so many choices. For more inspiration, read this article written by Camille – How I Afford A Life of Constant Travel, and You Can Too.
Now let’s talk about what it means for us to be free. How do we see it?
To Be Location Independent
In the past two years we have been lucky to live in some very interesting places, both in Asia and Europe. So far our favorites are Goa, India and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. But at the same time, we want to see and experience so much more.
When asked about places, we would love to visit and where we would love to live, we like to quote Susan Sontag and say: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Traveling in our pace, it will take us whole lifetime, though. But we are not concerned about it at all, neither about the number of countries we have (or haven’t) been to, nor about the time it may take.
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list – Susan Sontag
We are just doing what we love.
I will not be surprised if in a year or two from now we will say – we have found it, we have found a place, which will be our home base now. But let’s see, how it goes!
Aren’t we missing our homeland, Latvia? Not really. Yes, we miss our parents and relatives. But that’s it. Latvia for us is like our parents place. It’s always nice to be there. But, hey, most of us leave our parents place to build our own corner.
That’s also our case. Only we are not planning to make any permanent home as well. At least not for now.
Ok, if only it might be something like Mike Hudson’s (Vandog Traveller) house.
To Be a Boss to Ourselves
This one is easy and hard at the same time.
Leave your job and here you are. You have become your own boss in 1 minute. But then comes the hard part. You need to think about everything on your own. You need to be not only yourself, but also your boss, your direct manager, your accountant, your sales representative, your customer service manager and so on, so on.
Some time ago I wrote an article, where I talked about hard moments of being a nomad. Constant traveling itself, even when traveling slow, can be tiring. And when also money making comes into a game, it’s not getting any easier.
But it’s not about easy choices. It’s about the right choices. It’s about your choices.
From the experience we have so far, we are more than happy to be in charge of this part of our lives. To be able to choose, what we are working on right now. To be able to choose, how we organize our work schedule. And to be able to spend this morning on the beach, watching the sunrise, and night – working, if we choose so.
Find a way and give it a try, if you don’t know how it is to work for yourself!
To Be Financially Free
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in last few years is, how little we people really need.
The less stuff you need = the less money you need to earn.
But this time I’m not even talking about extra low budget or money-less traveling, or traveling with no luggage at all. Though, it’s possible as well, and people are doing so. I’m talking about stuff we all own. And we own way too much stuff.
But the more stuff we own, the more stuff we need. Why? I think Gary Arndt has made a good point about this thing, saying: “The more stuff you have, the more stuff you need. If you have a bath tub you need a bath mat. If you have a stove you need pots and pans. If you have a bed you need sheets and a pillow and even the pillow then requires a pillow case. As you collect stuff you then need shelves, closets and cases to put all the stuff in.”
Read more on his blog – How Traveling Changed My View of Possessions.
The more stuff we need, the more money we need. More money = more work.
While working in factory I see it yet from another perspective.
Look – it’s a nice, sunny day and you decide to go out and to have a barbecue. Because of that you go to the shop and buy meat. Because of that people in the meat production factory have more work. But the more hours they work, the more money they earn. Leading to more money spent on services or products your company is providing. Thus – more work for you.
It’s in your power to stop it. Stop using so much. Think of what you really need.
Come along and join this journey of ours!
Come along if you are interested in becoming free as well. Come along if you are lucky to call yourself free at this moment already! Together we have a power to make a lot more people happy. And thus making this world better place for all of us.
When you will have any questions, contact us!
Heck, this time we even have a plan B. Well, we had it also before, when embarking on cycling across India journey, only we didn’t know about it then. Even if all possible and impossible things will go wrong – we will have lots of memorable moments along the way anyway!
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and a travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On We Are From Latvia they share their experience and things learned along the way.