To get what most people want, you must be willing to do what most people won’t

We all have those ah-ha moments in life, moments of enlightenment where something or someone wakes us up to a whole new perspective.

The statement in the title is something that a mentor of mine said to me when I was 18 years old, it’s a profound statement and easily misinterpreted for someone who is young and naive.

15 years later and although I still believe it’s true, my perspective has dramatically changed.

What do most people want?

At the age of 18, I was working for a direct sales and marketing company and like many moldable 18-year-olds, I was lead to believe that having a big house, fast cars, and expensive accessories were the keys to success and happiness. A majority of what I was busting my guts, working 100 hours a week for was completely materialistic.

By the time I was 24, I’d become a master of sales, opened a fast-paced direct sales and marketing company, made my first $10k in a day, had my dream car, and made almost $250k that year alone, but I was also extremely confused, because that very same year, whilst in many people’s eyes, I’d “made it”, I was having a massive identity crisis. I was spending money almost as fast as I made it just to cover up the fact that even with all the things that I thought I wanted, the things that so many people think that they want, deep down I wasn’t fulfilled, I wasn’t happy.

I have a very fond memory in primary school when my teacher was asking all the students in class what they wanted to be when they grow up.

Kids who were asked before me spouted off stereotypical answers like “a fireman, police officer, astronaut” and so forth, I found myself profoundly answering

“I want to be happy”

As I write this, I admit it does sounds like the answer of a sad or depressed young kid, the truth is, I was a very happy kid, and I thought the answer was quite clever, other kids seemed to agree, laughing as they started to copy my answer,

“Yes! I want to be happy too!”

“Me too”

“That’s very nice Tom, but I’m referring to the type of job you would like to have” said My teacher.

It’s funny how we are trained from a very young age to decide what it is that we will dedicate the rest of our lives to, when we have almost no experience of life and what’s out there that might actually make us feel happy and fulfilled.

We create verbal prisons for ourselves based on experiences that we have not even had and then in many cases force ourselves or our children to follow through, or else they are “giving up on their dream”, a dream that was probably misleadingly created whilst watching a Hollywood film star glorify the roll.

Considering my primary school story, it makes me smile that 24 years later, I can confidently say that I have lived a very happy life, sure I’ve had my moments, close friends have died, I caught my now ex-fiance cheating on me whilst we were on holidays together in Thailand with a complete stranger, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I’ve personally escaped death more than once by the skin of my teeth, yet if you ask anyone who knows me well, these events as painful or scary as they may have been, have also put things into perspective and catapulted me to higher levels of gratitude, personal growth and strangely enough, happiness.

So What is The Secret to Happiness?

Well I’m not saying I have all the answers, and I still have my off days but as I said above and if you ask anyone who knows me well, they would tell you that I have an uncanny ability to see the positive in every situation, and even when I’m having a rough day, I’ve been through enough to know that, tough times never last, tough people do and simply knowing that gives me a little bit of light even when all seems dark.

That said, I have investigated as to why I have this ability and the good news is, I honestly believe it is something that can be learned and applied, so here are a few tips as to how I’m such a happy fella.

Fulfilling your heart’s desire

When a very close friend died in her sleep in a tragic house fire, it made me realize that we could wake up in heaven tomorrow, so if you are not fulfilling your heart’s desire and living a life that you love then something needs to change, no money in the world is worth ignoring that. Her passing gave me the courage to resign from a role that most people think would fix all of there problems because of how much I was getting paid.

My heart’s desire was to travel the world, try new things, experience new cultures, learn a new language and fall in love, not be chained to a desk 50 plus hours a week in a city that bored the hell out of me just to fill my bank account, only to spend half of it on the weekends to try put some colour back into my life.

That said, I’m acutely aware that although money doesn’t buy you happiness, being broke doesn’t buy you anything and having a certain level of financial stability is important for your general wellbeing, but if you follow me, on any of my social media platforms, or through my website one of my goals in life, which also brings me a ton of fulfillment is showing people that you don’t have to choose one over the other and that it is possible to make a great income doing something you love.

Forgiveness

When I caught my partner of more than 4 years, and fiance to be, in bed with a complete stranger on a holiday that I was paying for, sure I drunk myself stupid for a few days but eventually came to the realization that I had, in fact, dodged a bullet and was better off without her, this taught me so much about myself and the power of forgiveness, an absolute key to true happiness! It took a number of years and personal growth but has now lead to me finding a partner that I have a much deeper level of communication and love with.

How many people hold onto the pain of infidelity, betrayal, and let it prevent them from moving on to something bigger and better?

How many times have you heard the following

  • “All men want is sex”
  • “All women want is your money”
  • “All men/women are the same”

Yes, like Donald Trump and Mahatma Gandhi are soooooo similar right?

Gratitude

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, although our family was already very close, the news shook us all to the core but reconnected us in a way that made us even more grateful for every passing moment that we get to spend with each other. We now even have a family messenger group because of it where we share and communicate on a daily basis.

This incident also sparked the flame that was responsible for another life course correction and a massive reminder to pursue a fulfilling lifestyle career over a good job and income, which lead me to the geographical freedom lifestyle, philosophy and business model that I now live and love, as it has given me the freedom to spend more time with who I want, where I want, and when I want.

PS I’m thrilled to say that mum is a cancer survivor and is inspiring me more than ever with her passion for life, massive heart, and wonderful words of wisdom.

Daily Physical and Mental Stimulation

Another thing that I would attribute to my generally happy disposition is something that Tony Robbins refers to as feeding your body and mind daily.

He is the king of one-liners so I’m going to steal one more of the quotes I’ve heard him say, “readers are leaders“, even if it’s just half an hour a day, I’m not talking about an article in Dolly or Thrasher Magazine, read something that will challenge your beliefs, or teach you something new. The mind is a muscle and your mental growth and strength depend on how often you exercise it.

PS for those of you who don’t skate, “Thrasher” isn’t a type of porn magazine, but porn mags don’t count either, sorry guys 😉

If you think the body and mind aren’t tightly connected than you are kidding yourself, and even though I can name the time and location of the 3 gym visits I’ve had in my life, I do however like to do something active on a daily basis.

Be it running, swimming, riding, any sports activity, or even just smashing out 50 pushups, making sure you do something that challenges your body EVERY DAY can have massive effects on your energy and happiness.

It’s very well documented that the endorphins released during exercise improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood, and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function, exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
which brings me to my final point for this particular article.

Connection

Here is a question for you, Do you know what the opposite of addiction is?

Studies have shown that it’s not sobriety but in fact connection. And don’t be fooled, I’m not just talking about drug addiction. So then, with more ways to connect than ever before, why is it that we are so disconnected?

A massive skill that we must learn on social media is to connect, not compare.

Constantly comparing yourself to celebrities and all the “happy” faces on social media, has fuelled a fear of not being enough, leading to mass consumption and the idea that the more we have the happier we’ll be, wasting time and energy on things that do not serve us.

On that note, it’s getting a little late so I’m going to use that as a great bridge to say, if you got value out of what I have written, and want to learn how to live a more fulfilling, forgiving, grateful, stimulated and connected life then hit me up! let’s connect!

Please, reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and my personal website for more personal growth and tips around building a lifestyle around the things that you love and the people you love.

Peace out hippies!!

Save Money Whilst Traveling AND Enhance The Experience.

What? are you saying spend less money AND have a better time? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

“It isn’t a lack of resources that is stopping you but a lack of resourcefulness”. (Tony Robbins)

When people ask me how I afford to travel as much as I do, my first response is usually something like,

“well I haven’t been to the hairdressers in about 3 years, I might be a hairy beast but I save a fortune on hair cuts”

I’ll be honest, there are a ton of bloggers out there who’ve written articles around this topic, some great, but a lot suggest things like hitchhiking everywhere, eating self-cooked beans and rice 3 times a day, even suggest dumpster diving as a way to save money on food.

For the record and all my hipster friends in Melbourne who are about to bombard me with messages about how much “perfectly good food” is wasted by large commercial businesses, I hate how wasteful our society is, so much so that I’ve even started a not for profit called Wasteless World check it out 🙂 so yeah, I have nothing against dumpster diving, it’s just not my idea of a fun time.

Sure, if you can get over the fact that essentially you’re rummaging through a bin for food then go for it, just do a quick search on google and you’ll find plenty of tips but, I’ll leave that up to you.

As for hitchhiking, I have done it quite a bit in my life and you often meet amazingly beautiful, caring people which can lead to great things but it can also lead to waiting hours in the middle of nowhere or worse!

If you want to consider hitchhiking as a means of travel I suggest checking out https://hitchwiki.org/en/Main_Page a site 100% dedicated to hitchhiking advice around the world, You can even make posts in advance in the hope that someone might be going in your direction and are happy to give you a lift.

As the title suggests, the idea of this article is to make the travel budget last without ruining the trip but rather enhancing it.

If you can get one bit of advice from this article that will help make your travel experience better and last longer, then I’ve done my job. Below are my top 10 tips to make your travel savings last whilst still having a blast.

10 tips to make your travel savings last whilst still having a blast.

  1. Leverage the web – We live in an incredible time where there’s a site or app for just about everything you can imagine, yes even dumpster diving! not only can we communicate and get around easier with things like google maps and social media but if used correctly, technology can save you a ton or even make you money whilst you travel, here are a few sites I often use to save money whilst traveling.

    google flightsYou may have heard of sites like “I know the pilot” or “Skyscanner” and various other flight scanning platforms that compare airline prices but, I almost always end up going through “google flights” the granddaddy of search engines, it’s what most travel agents use to book flights for you anyway. Using the “Date grid” and “Price Graph” makes it super easy to see what days have the best deals around when you want to fly.
    lastminute.com
    Hotels/hostels would rather fill empty beds last-minute cheaply, than not fill them at all, I’ve scored up to 80% off normal prices on this site.
    transitapp.com
    Quickly compare all of your options for transport including rideshare options in 206 cities, 10 countries and 4 continents all on one screen.
    couchsurfing.com
    create a profile and connect with kind-hearted people all over the world who are willing to share their couch or spare bed for free, plus connecting with locals is always better than getting caught in the tourist traps.
    gasbuddy.com
    Driving on your travels? Compare gas prices along your route to ensure you don’t buy gas only to realize there’s a cheaper option just a few minutes down the road, this is also useful even if you’re not traveling.
    Flixbus.com – throughout Europe flixbus provide extremely cheap bus and even train tickets.
    megabus.com – Operate in Europe but also the UK, USA, and Canada. If you get your tickets early sometimes you can get stupidly cheap tickets as low as £1

  2. Stay awhile – As a less experienced traveler, I spent around 7 months traveling the Americas with my little sister, starting in the USA and finishing in Peru, excited to see as much as we could we visited 11 countries and multiple places in each, if we liked a place we would be lucky to spend 3 days there before packing our bags and moving on. Sure we covered plenty of ground and saw a lot but, we also spent a lot, plus it was kind of exhausting, ironically I felt like I needed a holiday afterward. 
    The problem with moving so quickly is you never get a chance to find the hidden gems and are often subject to “the gringo trail” and the prices that come with that which adds up quickly, I spent about $20,000 au within that short period, so find somewhere you love or that’s been recommended to you and stay awhile, find a business, foundation or hostel that you can work or volunteer for a month or three, not only will you feel like you have some purpose, you’ll save a fortune on travel, accommodation, food and get to know the local prices (not gringo prices), hidden gems, people and culture a lot better. It’s a lot cheaper, less stressful and in my experience a much more enjoyable way to travel. 

  3. Buy a vehicleI’ve traveled and know others who’ve traveled in everything from a bus to a took took and everything inbetween. Sure it might be a decent upfront cost but if you look after it, you can often sell it toward the end of your trip for the same price you got it for, and if it doubles as a place to sleep, you’ll save a fortune on accommodation, plus the freedom to move around as you please is the best! Just do your due diligence, the last thing you want is to have to deal with mechanical problems in the middle of your trip. Don’t buy something you or someone you trust hasn’t looked at and tested.
    – O
    rganize an international license before you leave your country, they are quite easy to get but can take a few weeks to receive so don’t leave it until the last minute.
    – Ensure the vehicle and try to keep it in a safe place, I had a motorbike stolen on one of my trips and I didn’t have it insured, money down the drain.
    – If you are only going for a short time, it may be better to consider hiring rather than buying.
    – Avoid unnecessary fines by checking common road rules that catch people off guard in the countries you will be driving.
    – Google the best site for purchasing vehicles in the country you will visit and start looking in advance to get the best deal. For
     the USA – Cargurus.com and cars.com even https://www.ebay.com for Europe – https://www.autoscout24.com Australia – https://www.carsales.com.au/
  4. Travel Insurance – that covers you and your valuables is something I would always suggest NOT cutting corners on. I traveled a whole year without needing insurance so I decided it was a waste of money and didn’t renew it, two weeks later I got seriously ill and the hospital bill cost me about 40 times more than if I’d just renewed it for another year. If anything should go wrong, not being covered can put a costly end to your trip.

    I won’t recommend any particular travel insurance because the cover that is good for a 20-year-old male who loves extreme sports and going to South America, isn’t likely to be right for a 50-year-old woman going to Europe so, “get your google on” and do your due diligence.

  5. Travel cards – Avoid paying double atm withdrawal fees and currency conversion fees by organizing a travel card through your bank or other financial institutions. On my last trip to Italy, Colombia, and Mexico I didn’t bother to organize a travel card and it cost me hundreds of dollars in excess fees that could have been avoided. Before coming on the European trip that I am currently on I organized a Qantas Frequent Flyer travel card which has not only saved me hundreds in fees but I’m also getting frequent flyer points every time I use it which will help save on future flights, I’ve also heard good things about the Virgin Frequent Flyer Travelcard.
  6. Buy a local sim card – It often cost next to nothing, you’ll able to take advantage of the local providers best rates, your new local friends, hosts or employees can call you if they need to and these days as long as you can get wifi, so can everyone else around the world for free!
    The last thing you want to do is travel with your phone plan on roaming as it will cost you a small fortune, if you are locked into a contract with your phone then it does make that harder, hence why I never have a phone plan anymore.

  7. Plan for spontaneity –  “The best-laid plans of mice and men, often go astray”, Generally the more you can plan the better but, I have a twist to add. Although booking flights or accommodation ahead of time generally gets you a better price, the most amazing opportunities I’ve ever had more often than not came from meeting people I clicked with along the way. Although this does require an element of spontaneity, THAT’S FUN! and when you get good at it, you can in fact plan to be spontaneous.
    Don’t over commit, early on in my travel days I bought a non refundable multi-trip tour through Mexico thinking it would save me money and save me thinking about where I would go next, I quickly learnt that the price wasn’t that good anyway and a week into my trip I was offered to join two guys who’d done up an old school bus and where doing a surf trip right down the west coast and said I could join them as long as I chipped in for beer, I was devastated that I’d just spend almost $500 (that’s a lot of beer in Mexico) on this non-refundable multi-trip, needless to say, I’ve never done that again.
    To enter a new country you’re normally required to show travel insurance and an exiting ticket or they may not even let you on the plane but unless I’m 100% sure of any trips I’ll need in between, I generally book a flight for the start and finish of my trip, and that’s it.
    Another fun spontaneous thing you can plan for is to register to receive promotions or notifications from low-cost airlines like AirAsia, Jetstar, RyanAir, EasyJet, FlyMonarch or Virgin Australia as you can score super cheap flights. Jetstar, for example, was recently giving away $0 flights to promote a new route they’d opened, all you had to pay was the airport taxes and be one of the first few hundred people to claim a spot.

     

  8. Low-cost airlines can cost you more. Now I know I just said to sign up to receive deals from low-cost airlines but a general word of advice with low-cost airlines, make sure you read the fine print and conditions of your flight carefully or you may end up paying just as much if not more than just going with a more reliable airline.

    I didn’t read the fine print on a confirmation email from VivaAir saying that if you don’t bring a printed boarding pass with you to the airport they charge you almost $20(US) to print it at the airport check-in, so the flight ended up costing the same as one of the better airlines but with half the service.

    When looking for cheap flights through sites that compare and work out the cheapest routes, they will often provide combinations of airlines that aren’t always affiliated with each other, if this is the case, it may mean you will need to collect and recheck your luggage at one of your connecting flights, I have lost luggage this way because funny enough poorly trained VivaAir staff wrongly advised me that I didn’t need to recheck my luggage in Peru when I initially checked in at the first flight. #neverflywithVivaAir

    Another thing to be conscious of when you don’t have a direct flight is weather or not you need to be aware of any extra taxes or visas that you might need in the country that you have your flight change in, for example;

    If you are Australian and you pass through Chile, if the agency who organized the flights has included a connecting flight through Chile with two airlines that don’t work directly with each other, you will need to pay an airport tax of $150 US just to re-check your luggage.

    Even if you are just on a layover in the USA you need to organize and pay for an ESTA visa, they aren’t expensive and depending where you are from fairly easy to organize online but if you don’t do it before you check into your first flight you are not going to be allowed on the plane even if you’re just changing planes in a USA airport and you could lose your flight if it’s a non refundable low-cost airline.

  9. Who’s in your network? – One of the biggest expenses with travel is accommodation but quite frankly I’d rather stay with people I know, be it directly or indirectly and not just for the obvious financial benefits but the overall experience of having a local friend to hang out with who really knows the area and it’s secrets, things that those staying in hotels or hostels will often miss or have to pay for.

    Look and post on social media for people that live in the areas you are thinking about traveling to, do you have friends who have friends in those areas? Make a list, get in touch and have a chat, maybe you can even organize work through them in advance.


    In the past few months here in Europe I’ve spent an amazing 5 weeks sailing through the Greek islands as crew on one of the most gorgeous yachts I’ve ever seen, 2 weeks in Germany just outside Munich, 1 week just outside Zurich in Switzerland, 4 days in Lucern Switzerland, 1 week in Paris, a week in Amsterdam and Breda in the Netherlands, a number of weeks in a camper van with my brother on his #looptheworld tour staying in all sorts of places across Europe and the UK, and only paying for the odd campsite a hand full of times because the rest of the time I’ve been with good friends or friends of friends.

    I’m currently writing this in a gorgeous little village in Wales called Beddgelert, where for the last 2 weeks I’ve been helping some new friends in their hotel, in exchange for a room and 3 meals a day, they are also paying me for the hours that I’m doing so I’m actually saving money whilst I take a step back from the constant travel and enjoy the Welsh highlands, which is absolutely stunning by the way! The situation is so nice that I’ve decided to stay for another 4 weeks at which point I’ll be going to stay with a friend in Madrid for a few days before road tripping across Spain in her car for a few weeks.

    I’m not saying this to brag but simply highlight the answer the question,  HOW DO YOU AFFORD TO TRAVEL SO MUCH? all of the above and sometimes paired with my final tip which is…

  10. Paid work along the way – If you’re interested in what kind of work options you might be able to find that allow you to continue traveling, check out my last blog;
    10 FULFILING LIFESTYLE JOBS THAT ALLOW YOU TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

    Have faith in the kindness of strangers, of course, that is a two way street, the world is a mirror. Show love and kindness with the world and trust me it will show it right back. To all those who’ve hosted me around the world, they know they have a place to stay when they come to Australia. Like anything, everything becomes easier with time as your experience and network grow, so get out there and let the adventure begin!

Continue reading “Save Money Whilst Traveling AND Enhance The Experience.”