One Year Ago Today

by FI Fighter on June 29, 2017

in Hong Kong, Progress

HK - 1

One year ago (6/29/16), this finally happened…

Early FI.

The culmination of a lot of: hard work, sweat, blood, tears, luck, persistence, determination, more luck, and a whole lot more…

Back in late 2011, I set a goal for myself to pursue a different kind of lifestyle… I didn’t want to be “one like the rest”…

 

Comfort. Conformity. Complacency.

 

No, I didn’t want that kind of life… I wanted to march to the beat of my own drum and try something else…

 

Everyone knows that time is precious and that we’ve only got one crack at life with no chance of rewinding the tape to attempt a do-over…

 

So, over the years I’ve learned to stop paying attention to what everyone else around me was doing. I tried very hard to tune out the noise and figure out what was important to me…

 

Before I quit my job, I asked myself, “If this was your last day on earth, would you leave it with lots of regret or would you be happy and fully content with how everything has played out so far in your life?”

 

One year ago, I would have felt (and answered):

 

Unsatisfied. Empty. Incomplete.

 

Although in society’s eyes I was pretty successful (working a white collar job that paid six figures plus; employed by a world class fruit company; had a distinguished job title and was performing “meaningful work”), in reality I felt trapped beyond belief… like I was living in a cage/bubble/prison.

 

Again, I had to figure out what I wanted…

 

Forget what anyone else thinks… It doesn’t matter (at all).

 

What do YOU think, deep down inside?

 

And anytime I did any kind of meaningful reflection, I knew that I wasn’t genuinely happy with my life… I felt deprived/uneducated/unfulfilled in so many ways.

 

I wanted more out of life…

 

I longed to:

 

Travel. Explore. Grow.

 

In the span of the last year, I’ve visited (and lived in) the following places:

 

 

And I’ve only started to scratch the surface…

 

I’m typing this to you all from Austin, TX.

Here’s proof (the pic below was taken at the most popular and recommended bbq joint for brisket in town)!

 

Over time, my goal in life is to become multinational… I don’t want to look at life through the eyes of someone who only has familiarity and experience with a SINGLE isolated region of the world.

 

Today, I’m very grateful and it means the world to me to have friends scattered all across the globe.

 

It’s like, depending on which country I’m in at any given moment in time, I’m forced to adapt and fit in to everyone else

 

I’m the outlier. It’s on me to learn the local customs and norms. It’s me who must adapt.

 

I kind of enjoy that challenge…

 

Life no longer feels:

 

Stagnant. Mundane. Uneventful.

 

You’re somewhat coerced into developing multiple personas… Become multi-faceted. It’s kind of neat.

 

And bottom line, that’s what early FI is all about.

 

Doing what you want on your own terms. Seeking adventure. Chasing happiness.

 

Finding your own meaning of life.

 

Life is too short.

 

Screw all the haters out there…

 

Do you.

 

And Fight On!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TawcanNo Gravatar June 29, 2017 at 9:54 am

Wow it has been a year already? Time flies when you’re having fun eh?

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2 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm

Bob,

Yeah time flies! It’s been a wild, crazy, but most memorable year.

No regrets. 🙂

Cheers!

Reply

3 No Nonsense LandlordNo Gravatar June 29, 2017 at 1:04 pm

It has been a year since I quit my job too, and a lot of travel has been accomplished. I have stayed in the USA and Canada, so I am not as adventurous as you are.

Keep up the independent spirit!

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4 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Eric,

Congrats on your first year in early FI! It must have been a tremendous year for you, I’m sure.

The US and Canada have so much to explore, I’m sure you could just keep doing that for many years and never feel bored.

I like to hit the road and am a huge fan of geographic arbitrage… After living in Asia for about 9 months and seldom ever paying tax/tip/service charges, it’s very tough to go back…

A dollar goes a very long ways in certain parts of the world.

Take care!

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5 Mrs. CentsNo Gravatar June 30, 2017 at 3:41 am

Wow, you’ve been to a bunch of places! Congrats on your one year anniversary. Just an FYI, I stopped and stared at that picture of brisket more than once. Yum!

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6 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Mrs. Cents,

Thanks! It’s been a lot of fun getting out there and exploring.

Haha, yeah that brisket in Austin was pretty epic! 🙂

All the best!

Reply

7 Midwestern LandlordNo Gravatar June 30, 2017 at 6:36 am

You have definitely made the most out of the last year with all of your experiences and travels. I’m more conservative regarding traveling, but very much enjoy being FI and not forced to work for corporate america anymore.

Some people like being in a system and having a boss. Others have no choice and that is what they need to do to pay the bills. I personally always despised it. Very little creative control, confined to an office workplace, dealing with office politics, dealing with corporate bureaucracy, having annual reviews, etc. I like to do things on my own terms and that is a pretty difficult thing to do on a consistent basis when you have that type of structure to deal with. It is therapeutic to be able to connect with people like yourself on the internet (blogs) that feel the same way and have done something about it. To get there a little luck helps and it is important to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. But ultimately, it start with the desire to get out of the conventional rat race. That desire is what puts everything else in motion to have that chance.

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8 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:44 pm

Midwestern Landlord,

Great comment, thanks for sharing! Yup, I totally agree with you there and for me the liberation of not having to be confined to a fixed location and report to a “superior” is a pretty amazing feeling.

I’m a pretty random person and like doing things on a whim, so early FI is right up my alley. Being conventional is pretty boring in my eyes and I’d rather venture off the beaten path, which early FI is all about.

Hope you’re having a blast in early FI, which I’m sure you are!

Cheers!

Reply

9 VinNo Gravatar June 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

I love the fact that you didn’t conform and more importantly, listened to your inner self. In many ways we live in a topsy-turvy world. I reckon, to be truly happy and grow constantly you would need to apply the exact antonyms of the three words you described above:

Be uncomfortable. Don’t conform. Be aware/conscious/eager to learn. Every single day.

For instance, when I met my woman in the Netherlands, back in late 2013, she got offered a job to work in Sydney. We barely knew each other, but it just felt right to stay connected. So I quit my job, started something new in Sydney (which pays way better ;)) and fast forward almost four years later I am getting married to this beautiful soul and we’re still loving Oz.

With regards to early FI. Unlike you, I lack cash flow, and I am therefore still working on my early FI. I was waaaay too early in the precious metals market, so instead of investing in Real Estate (which I nearly did a few times in 2011/2012/Amsterdam) I thought I saw greater long term value in precious metals (stocks). Boy, have I been proven wrong (for now). In the meantime I am definitely keeping some dry powder, in case this ‘EVERYTHING bubble’ pops and my precious stocks take a big hit as well.

Enjoy your travels and, as stated in one of my previous replies, I love exploring your blog. Inspirational stuff!

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10 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Vin,

Thanks for that great comment! Wonderful story and it really reminds me of another story I heard from a reader who dealt with a similar life-changing situation and had the courage to pursue what felt right.

It’s very inspiring stuff for me to read and a good reminder that I need to take more risks and get out of my comfort zone… I get complacent rather easily.

Precious metals are a tough place to succeed in, but keep at it and I’m sure we will get there! This sector is near the bottom, so it’s only a matter of time before we get a surge back and resume this bull market.

It just takes a whole lot of patience…

Having some dry powder is definitely a good idea!

All the best!

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11 JohnNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Jay,
DO you have a blog with the breakup of your estimated living expenses and how much of it was in RE (by way of rent) v/s how much in stock. I am also living in SIlicon Valley and not sure I want to continue 🙁
Loving your blog so would love to buy you a beer or protein shake (since you are also into fitness haha) when you are back in the Bay.

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12 FI FighterNo Gravatar July 3, 2017 at 10:47 pm

John,

I’m planning a trip to Thailand in another month or so… When I get there, it will be a good chance to start documenting raw numbers… I have plans to do an update as I’ve experienced a wonderful time in Asia over the last 9 months…

The cost savings are mind blowing when compared to the Bay Area… I really needed to come back here and travel to Puerto Rico to realize how great an arb opportunity is available to early FI enthusiasts in SE Asia.

Cheers!

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