All posts in Lifestyle

Why Move To Malaysia?

When three years ago I announced to my friends and family that I was leaving Barcelona to travel, and that I was starting in Malaysia, their first question was “Why Malaysia?”. Their second question was “And where the heck is Malaysia?”. It’s in South East Asia, by the way. Next to Thailand, which is way more popular than Malaysia for expats and travellers.

Even though I had never been in Malaysia before (or anywhere in Asia, for that matter), I expected to like it based on my research and what my friend Tom Hayton, who lived in Malaysia for 5 years, told me about the place.

I have to say I didn’t have a good first impression of Malaysia. My cousin (and travel companion) and I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in March and were greeted with a suffocating heat and humidity. Meanwhile, back in Barcelona, they were having the biggest snowstorm ever.

After that, we spent the next few days awake mostly at night due to jetlag, and hanging around a not so nice part of town (where we had booked a hostel for the first week). We realized that wasn’t what we signed up for and booked a ticket to Phuket, Thailand for two days later.

Funnily enough, before we left, we met Hani, an old friend of Tom’s, and we hit it off right away (spiler alert: she’s my wife now). We still moved to Phuket for two months, but kept in touch with Hani and ended up moving to Kuala Lumpur afterwards for three months.

This is my list of things that make Malaysia a great place to relocate to as an expat, which may not seem obvious at first if you come here for just a few days.

PROS:

Language

As opposed to the superpopular Thailand, where the language barrier can be a problem and even reading something is mission impossible due to their hieroglyphic-like alphabet, language in Malaysia isn’t much of an issue.

Malaysia is an old British colony and because of that, English is spoken by a big part of the population. The official language is Malay, the mother tongue of the Malay ethnic group, the biggest one. But there’s also a big Chinese (32%) and Indian (8%) population, so English is often used as the common tongue. Even though some people speak very good English (specially people in their 20s and 30s), be prepared for some heavy accents or situations where the other person simply doesn’t speak English,

Weather

It’s hot (25-35ºC) and very humid (75-95%) in Malaysia, depending on the season and the area of the country where you are. It rains often too. I personally dislike rain, that’s why I’d have a hard time living in London. But rain in Malaysia is different. In Kuala Lumpur, even on the rainy season, it rarely rains more than one or two hours a day. But it rains very heavily. It’s also quite predictable once you get used to it, so it’s relatively easy to avoid being caught by the rain. On the plus side, it cools the day down and because of that, this is probably the only place I’ve ever been where I’m happy that it rains on a daily basis.

Location

Malaysia is very well located in South East Asia. Its borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

AirAsia, Asia’s most popular low cost airline, uses Kuala Lumpur’a airport as its central hub, so there’s lots of cheap flights all across the region. Roundtrip prices for next month according to AirAsia’s website: Singapore $70, Bangkok $79, Bali $107, Ho Chi Minh City $115, Melbourne $123, Phuket $131, Hong Kong $189, Tokyo $247, Shanghai $262, Seoul $368 and the list goes on and on. You can find way better deals if you plan in advance, but as you can see it’s pretty affordable. When people living in Europe or the US consider a holiday in any Asian country, it all comes down to the same problem: local expenses will be low, but the flight cost is ridiculous. If you live in Malaysia both the holiday cost AND the flight can be cheap!

Cost of living

Malaysia offers great value for money if you’re an expat. Rents vary a lot depending on where you stay in the city and the type of housing you want (apartment at a condo with gym, whole house, etc ). 3 years ago I stayed at a decent 2 bedroom apartment at a condo with pool in Bangsar, which is a pretty cool area to live in, for $577 /mo. Now I’m staying with some friends at a way better two bedroom apartment in a nicer condo, in the same area, and they pay $729 /mo. There are way cheaper options if you’re willing to give up some comfort (pool, space, location…), and way more expensive as well.

Most condos have a laundry shop where you can get someone to do wash and fold your laundry for like $0.30 a pound. A maid to come for 4-5 hours to clean your house might cost you $20.

Cabs are cheap here as well, with most rides costing around $2-$3. If you choose to drive, even paid parking spots in malls usually cost no more than $0.5-$1 an hour.

Going to the movies can cost from $3 for basic seats and movies all the way to $9 for the comfy seat, 3D movie, etc.

Eating out can be extremely cheap, or just as expensive as in Europe or the US. You can eat a delicious local meal for $1-$2, $5 or so for more expensive options (shrimps, etc) or maybe spend $10-$15 at a fancier restaurant at a mall (still sticking to Asian food). There are some great Sushi places as well for $15-$20 per person. If you want Italian, American, steak, etc. then you’ll probably looking at $20 or higher. Overall, cooking at home is only recommended if you’re going to be eating things like meat, salads, etc. If you’re into Asian food, you’ll be eating like a king for very cheap.

Drinking is expensive, though. Between importing costs and the very high tax on alcohol (it’s a muslim country after all), the cost of drinking is very high compared to everything else. The same wine that in Spain costs €4, here you’ll find it for €20 on the supermarket. A bottle of rum that would cost €13 in Spain, here costs €40-50. Drinks might be slightly cheaper or same price than other places in the US or Europe. A cocktail usually goes for $5, and a beer for $3. It doesn’t get much cheaper if you buy beer at the supermarket either.

What some friends do, considering that flying is cheap and they take regular weekend escapades, is buy their alcohol at the airport, where there is no tax and a bottle can cost half as much as in the city. It’s a good idea, but still doesn’t help with the cost of drinking at a bar.

Food

Other than the cost, which can be really cheap, food here is delicious. Before I came here I had tasted sushi, chinese, thai and indian food back home. After being in Asia I can say the only authentic Asian food I had tasted was sushi.

First of all, pretty much everything is spicy here. Our most spicy food in Spain is probably the lowest here. If you’re not into spicy food (I wasn’t at first), you’ll be sweating and drinking juice or milk tea after every bite. But after a few weeks you’ll be hooked and will love it. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t go for the “real spicy” stuff here, but the basic spicy tastes great.

You’ll find delicious Malay, Chinese and Indian food everywhere. Some good Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese too, although pricier. And for more money, I’ve also tasted decent burgers, pasta, pizza and even tapas. Basically, if you love food, you’ll be right at home.

On the grocery front, you’ll find almost everything you want if you shop at the right places, but expect to pay a premium for imported or not very locally consumed goods, and the quality won’t be as good as back home sometimes: bread, cheese, pork cured meats, etc. Overall, you’ll find eating in more expensive than eating out.

Being an expat here

White people are usually pretty well regarded here. You could say there’s positive racism towards white folks. Salaries in Kuala Lumpur are OK for locals, but usually expats command higher salaries, even in local companies. Still, the ones who do really well are expats who come here relocated from their country’s office (say, the UK or the US). They usually make the same salary as back home, sometimes with a relocation bonus, and here that means big bucks.

The community of expats, at least those who I’ve met, seems pretty great as well. They mostly have good jobs and are cool and interesting people. It also helps that they make good money when it comes to planning things to do. In Barcelona there’s a lot of expats that have local salaries (not great) or living on savings who are always scrapping by, and the difference shows.

Comfort

With an expat salary, life can be just as comfortable as back home, if not more. Eating out all the time, good apartments, pool and gym right in the condo, frequent weekend escapades, AC on all the time, a fast and reliable Internet connection… The only thing I find more unconvenient than back home is that Barcelona is small, walkable and the public transportation is great, while in Kuala Lumpur you pretty much need a car to move around.

Diversity

The mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures along with a lot of Western influence and expats living in town make Kuala Lumpur a very diverse and interesting place to live. As a comparison, I found Bogotá (Colombia) to be more homogenous. People share a similar look and personality traits, while here that doesn’t happen.

Entertainment

Kuala Lumpur is huge (the metro area is home to roughly 7.5 million people), and there is a big variety of entertainment offers. Clubs, bars, movie theaters, concerts…

If you get into the expat circle you’ll see there seems to be a pool party pretty much every weekend, too.

There are also awesome places to visit without leaving Malaysia during a long weekend: Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, Penang, Batu Caves, Sarawak in East Malaysia…

If you like diving, Perhentian Islands have some of the best spots in South East Asia, although you should only go March to October due to monsoon season. And if you’re into surfing, Bali is great for that and just around the corner.

CONS:

Traffic

Huge city plus crappy public transportation equals traffic jams. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Los Angeles or Mexico City, the formula is never wrong, and it isn’t here. If you skip rush hour you’ll be mostly in the clear, though.

Religion

Malaysia isn’t Afghanistan, Iran or Saudi Arabia, but you can still feel it’s a muslim country in many ways. It’s not too bad, though. As an expat, here are the things I’ve noticed that are quite annoying (some more than others):

  • The ridiculous “sin tax” on alcohol.
  • The annoying traffic jams around mosques on Friday afternoons, during praying time.
  • If you want to buy alcohol or pork at the supermarket, you have to pay that first at a different line and then line up for the regular line for the rest of the products.
  • Less freedom of speech in the arts. It’s quite common to ban or censor movies, shows, videogames, etc. depending on their content.

I hope that by now you’ll be curious enough about Malaysia that you’ll consider visiting if you’re in the region. I’ll be here for another week and then spend a month in Bali (being so close and all), to be back later in Kuala Lumpur for another week or two before moving on with my travels. If you happen to be in town while I’m here or just want to ask anything about Malaysia, get in touch.

To Everyone Who Works Online: Never Forget This


Like everyone, I have problems. And like a lot of people, I worry or stress about them more than I should. Yes, there are big problems or situations in life that  will (and should) stress or worry you, like critical health issues. But 99% of what most people worry, stress or get upset about is just bullshit. I’m of course talking about people with their basic needs covered, which I’m sure includes everyone reading this post.

A few years ago a friend was explaining to me how he realized his life was pretty sweet: he found himself being quite upset about running out of ice while having drinks at home with some good friends. He was right. When your biggest problem in life is running out of ice for drinks, you’re doing well.

Sometimes I’m so occupied worrying about stuff that shouldn’t matter that I don’t have time to be grateful and happy about how extremely lucky I am, and have been most of my life.

I’m from Spain, where the situation for a lot of people is pretty bad right now (youth unemployment is over 50%), and I’m sure a lot of them won’t be having an easy time this holiday season. Still, if you’re as fortunate as I am to work online (and every year more and more people are), we live in exciting times. If you’re a developer, designer, marketer, writer or a multitude of other “professions”, I’m sure you could use a little reminder for when you’re feeling down.

We have found our passion

Sometimes I get sad when I realize that actually, most people don’t really enjoy what they do at work. They might be OK with it (as in, they don’t hate it), but it’s definitely not something they’d do on their free time or that they are passionate enough to discuss with their friends. We are fortunate to have found something we love to do in life. Most people aren’t that lucky and don’t even have a hobby outside of work, and just spend time watching movies, meeting friends, etc. Not that here’s anything wrong with that, but if you have a hobby or passion you’ll agree with me that life would feel emptier without it.

We work on something we love

That doesn’t mean work is always easy or that we always have a smile on our face. Sometimes we work with people we don’t like. But I’d much rather be doing this than anything else in the world. Heck, this is how I spend much of my free time too, and it’s a topic I never get tired of talking about.

We are paid well

Of course, there are exceptions. But right now, everything online is in high demand. Sure, there are better paid professions, but they’re usually just something that is more critical or difficult (say, a surgeon) or that are in higher demand (say, a movie star that can make a movie highly profitable).

I agree there are things that could be better (overtime in certain companies or industries, crappy managers, etc) but the important thing to remember is that we have one of the better paid jobs out there. Enjoy it while it lasts.

We can find work easily

Again, we’re in high demand. There are online businesses everywhere in the world. And if you speak English, you can actually move anywhere you want in the world and, if you’re good, will probably have an easy time finding a job.

We can work from anywhere

The majority of companies still require their employees to work on site. And I’m willing to bet most people are actually OK with that. But if you’re one of those who prefer to work remotely. Either from home, from a different region in your country or from the other side of the world altogether, there are companies out there who could be a good fit for you. You can find some of those jobs here.

There are not many professions that let you relocate to a different country while still being able to keep your job. We should be grateful we have one that allows us to do it.

We’re mostly valued on our performance

Again, there are exceptions and companies that value more the time you spend there (if you work for one, find another job). Still, you’ll agree that in most companies, as long as you perform well and do your job to the standard that is required (or higher), they won’t have a problem with you leaving a bit early, taking some off here and there or playing the company foosball a bit too much. Very few companies (again, the wrong ones) will fire a great performer because he doesn’t “look like one”.

We have incredible perks

Since demand is high, and having the right talent is critical to the success of your company (unlike many positions in other industries), companies resort to not just paying us well, but also offer other great perks. From great offices, foosball and pingpong tables to delicious catered lunches and free massages, I’ve seen it all.

We are treated like human beings

People who’ve only had this kind of jobs (like me) sometimes forget how badly treated employees are in general in certain industries. Horrible bosses, lack of job security, change from day to night shifts every few weeks, safety or health issues, etc. Most Internet companies are run by decent (yet sometimes flawed) human beings and we are generally treated fairly. And some of the policies these companies have are just plain inspiring. Have you ever seen a mining company offering deceased employees’ spouses 50% of their salary for 10 years, or a bank having an open salary policy?

Starting our own business has never been easier

This is probably our biggest advantage over other professions. Very few industries allow you to start a business on the side while having a day job, and grow it successfully until it allows you to make a great living out of it.

I’ve never seen a waiter or chef start a restaurant while having a full time job. Everytime I hear how much it costs to start a small restaurant, bar or shop, I get a shock. It’s ridiculous, to me, as someone who works online. And then I remember, that’s the capital you used to need for starting any kind of business: a lot. And most types of businesses still do. But online, we can start a business dedicating mostly our time.

Every writer can start their own blog and make a living out of it (I did). Every marketer can get into affiliate marketing and make money. Every developer can make an app or website and do the same. Yes, not everyone has the determination to do it. And not everyone who does will pull it off. That’s just how the market works. But we have it easier than anyone to give it a try.

So don’t forget. We’re extremely luck to live in such a short and exciting period in humanity’s history. Let’s be grateful and enjoy it while it lasts.

Challenge: Get Out Of My Comfort Zone Regularly

I read a lot about entrepreneurship, success, self growth, etc. and one of the common advice I keep seeing over and over is: get out of your comfort zone regularly. Every time I read it, I nod. But I do nothing about it.

The reason is, obviously, getting out of your comfort can be scary and is definitely uncomfortable (surprising, I know).

Still, looking back I can see how some of the moments in my life where I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone have stuck in my memory, either because I’ve been proud of myself, grown in some aspect of my personality, or just plain simple, had an amazing time. Some of these moments include going on my first trip (other than with school) with five other people I had never met, pitching a project, doing some prepared public speaking or hitting on a girl I thought was way out of my league.

If I feel so great about all these moments, why don’t I do it more often? Again, it’s scary. Every one of those moments was preceded by fear, and not precisely in small amounts. It could be irrational or not (most fear is), but that doesn’t matter. It matters that it was there, I went through it and achieved something important for me.

I constantly think of things I would like to do, because they could bring great things into my life or because they would help me grow in some form, and time and time again I put them on the “someday” box. Not because I don’t have the time now, but because it would mean getting out of my comfort zone. No more.

Starting next week, I’ve decided to do a least one thing a week that gets me out of my comfort zone, and I’ll be blogging about each of those things. Call it a challenge, if you wish. I already have a few very different things in mind, from public speaking to cooking to trying to get coffee meetings with potentially interesting people, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I think one thing a week is very doable (as opposed to my first initial idea of once a day), and I can always increase that number if I stop finding it challenging (I doubt it). I hope this new habit will allow me to grow in different aspects of my life that I want to improve, as well as learn different things and meet new interesting people. I know it’s gonna be scary. And most of the time, I’ll find excuses not to do it. But I’m looking forward to all of it.

Putting My Life Where My Mouth Is

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala LumpurTim Ferriss is one of the very few people in this world that I look up to. After his announcement a while ago that a new edition of his world famous book The 4-Hour Workweek was going to be published, I realized I had a copy of the first edition sitting on my shelf and that, while I knew what the book was all about, I had never read it. I ordered the new one and decided I would read it this time. As I’ve said before, I often meet people who’ve travelled a lot and have also lived in other countries, even very different in many ways to their own. I always say the same thing when I hear their story: I’m so jealous, I’m gonna do that one day. You know, when the time is right.

I’m not a big fan of reading, I must say. Most of the time books just bore me to death. Tim’s had a slightly different effect on me. The day the book arrived I started reading it, and just couldn’t stop.

The Timing Is Never Right

I once asked my mom how she decided when to have her first child, little ol’ me. The answer was simple: “It was something we wanted, and we decided there was no point in putting it off. The timing is never right to have a baby.” And so it is.

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up all the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a desease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pros and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want do it “eventually”, just do it and correct course along the way.

—TIM FERRISS, The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated

After reading that, it struck me. The only thing that was putting me off from doing everything I ever wanted to was myself. Two weeks later, I’m quiting my job, selling or giving away everything I ever owned and moving to Southeast Asia for at least a year. First stop: Kuala Lumpur. I guess books can be life changing after all.

When I tell people, the most common reaction is “What the hell are you going to do in Asia? You have a life here!“. Well, one’s life is not anchored to any place. I’m gonna have a life there as well, it will just be different. How much different, I still don’t know. That’s what most people don’t get, that someone can embrace (and definitely get excited by) uncertainty instead of avoiding it. People who have lived somewhere else besides their own country have a different reaction, though. They say I’m gonna love the experience and that it’s gonna change me in ways I can’t even imagine. I’m sure it will, and I’m looking forward to it.

Creating a Passive Income Source

revenueMost people get paid based on the time they spend working. So for many of them, earning more money means working longer hours, and sometimes that situation gets to the point of not having enough time to enjoy the money they worked so hard to earn. It’s kind of ironic when you think of it. I’ve long known I want to have enough money to live the way I want -spoiler alert: above what most people make- but I also don’t want to end up spending most of my time working, specially for somebody else. The way I see it, that’s the key to happiness: having enough money and time to do whatever you want. I’m sure you agree with me.

Now, if it was that easy, everyone would be enjoying such a situation, and that’s not the case. And it’s not like that because a traditional job, the way 99% of the people in the planet make their money, is not compatible with such a lifestyle. You have a low, base salary, decided by somebody else and you spend half of your time being awake there. You need more money? Work a few extra hours. Want to be promoted so your base salary is higher? Work longer and harder so your boss notices you. Now you get promoted and have a higher responsability position in the company, so you need to work more hours, maybe even work at home, to keep that position. I guess you can see how the whole thing is fucked up. Why so many people do it, then? For starters, society as a whole is structured in such a way that is really easy for people to follow the same path: school -> high school -> college -> job market. There’s not a lot of information, unless you actively look for it, on alternative ways to make money. That changed a lot with the Internet. There’s already loads of information about this topic, but I’ll give my two cents.

A passive income source is a way to make money that doesn’t need you to be actively working in order to earn profits. Money just flows every day into your bank account. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to work to get that money, just that the money you get is not proportional to how much time you spend working. There’s always been some people enjoying the benefits of such a system, like book writers or musicians, but not many people have the skill set -or the talent- to do this kind of jobs. Then the Internet arrived. Now anyone with an understanding of how things work in the net can make some money off it just by following some easy steps. First off let me make things clear. I’m not talking about becoming a millionaire, but rather having a secondary, steady source of income, which can go from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month, depending on the market and the execution.

As an example I’m gonna talk about JuegosIndie.net, a blog about indie and casual games I started a couple of years ago. Last month it made $1,500 in revenue, with me spending around 15 minutes every week. I could automatize it even more to the point that it runs itself, but I would need to invest some more time into it, and 15 minutes a week doesn’t really bother me.

How I ended up earning $1,500 a month with a blog?

  • Choose a topic with a big enough market (in this case, downloadable and online games). It doesn’t have to be huge (like mainstream console games), but it has to be big enough so that a lot of people look for related things using Internet search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.).
  • Do not enter a market with a lot of competition. In my case, there’s a few huge game download portals out there, but when it comes to blogs there’s not that much, specially in Spanish. I would say mine is the one with the most traffic in that language.
  • Write original content often. I don’t do this lately (although I’m thinking about hiring someone (paying around 10 euros per post) to do it, but it’s key to a blog’s organic growth (visits from search engines). Most of the posts in my blog lately are content gathered from other sources (not written by me), and Google notices that and pretty much ignores those pages. On the other hand, original and relevant content can bring you traffic forever. Taking a look at the blog’s statistics, the top 10 visited posts last month are all from 2008.
  • Learn about SEO and use it. Search Engine Optimization is kind of a fuzzy science. Basically, it’s a set of practices you can use to make your website and content rank better in search engines. This is such a wide topic I won’t say anything else about it, but if you’re gonna build a business on the Internet, take the time to learn it, because it pays off. Over 90% of my traffic comes from Google.
  • Have several revenue sources when possible. Most blogs are based solely in advertising for their revenue, but in my case it’s more like 1/3 advertising and 2/3 sale comissions (whenever buys a game downloaded from my site, I get a comission). That allowed the blog to keep making decent money even after the global AdSense “crash” that happened some months ago.
  • Don’t get frustrated when you don’t get what you expect in the beginning. This isn’t a get rich quick method, but rather a pretty sustainable model. I reached $100 a month with JuegosIndie in the 6th month. Be constant and stay motivated despide the results. Working on something you love helps.

I’m not an expert on making money online but that’s what worked for me, and considering it’s pretty much common sense, I thought it might work for you too. If you happen to start (or have already) any kind of Internet business, I’d like to know more about it, wether by email or publicly through a comment in this post.

On Burning Bridges

burning-bridgesWhen it comes to understanding CouchSurfing, there’s two types of people: those who get it right away, and those who make a weird face when you tell them what it’s all about. «So you let strangers into your home?» What the second group doesn’t realize is how richer your life can get if you interact with travellers from all around the world on a regular basis, usually on a very deep level. Lately I’ve been hosting very interesting people, but one of them made me think a lot.
She’s a 25 year old Australian girl who’s been travelling around South-East Asia for the last months, and ended up volunteering somewhere in Vietnam. Telling me all this crazy stories about how life is in those parts of the world has really made me want to just get on a plane with my backpack and leave everything behind for a while. I have a decent, regular income from one of my blogs, so I could live like a king in almost any country in Asia (South Korea, Japan and very few others excluded). I also have a friend living in Thailand now so it’d be great to hang out with him. Those are not issues.

But in doing so, I’d be, as the expressions says, burning my bridges. It would also mean making some people unhappy, like my roommate who just moved in (and whom I get along really well), who would definitely have to move out of the apartment (finding someone to pay that much for a room plus a +3.000 euros deposit is not an easy task), or the company I work for part time at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to start my own company (that’s my top priority right now), but the 3 years I’ve been working at Softonic I’ve been treated very well, and I’ve made some of my best friends there. It’s not a coincidence it’s the #1 Best Place to Work in Spain. More than enough for me to want to leave properly, which means finishing the project I’ve been working on for a year and that will launch soon. I will also lose my apartment, which I’ve come to love. I also invested a lot of money in furniture and appliances, but I guess I could sell those and get some of the money back.

When I stop to think about it more carefully, right now I’m very happy in Barcelona, and I don’t feel it’s the time to move anywhere else. I also have a routine, which helps me keep focused on what’s important. All those paradises, lost cities and exotic cultures are always gonna be there, waiting for me. All in due time, Manuel.

The Perfect Lifestyle

That's the dream...As I’ve said before, my number one priority right now is starting my own business. Why? Well, for starters is something I truly love. I enjoy pretty much all the aspects of it, from planning to development, PR or marketing. OK, maybe not accounting, but you can always hire someone to do that for you. What I find most interesting of running your own (small) business is you don’t do the same thing two consecutive days, you become a jack of all trades. I like that, it keeps you from getting stuck in monotony.

Being honest, I also love the possibility of earnings a lot of money. I’m a very ambitious person, and while I don’t have dreams of having a ridiculous house or a fancy car (I don’t think I’d ever buy one, as I don’t like driving), my goal is getting to a point where money is no longer an issue for me. Where I could travel, go to restaurants, buy drinks for me and my friends or rent an apartment without even having to look at my bank account. I think that’s pretty achievable in a year or two.

But all in all, what I’m looking forward the most when it comes to having my own business, is living THE lifestyle. For me, that means being able to travel all the time, live wherever I want, staying in a place a couple of days or a couple of months depending on how I like being there. And again, without having to worry about the financial details of doing such a thing. Working wouldn’t be a problem, since I’d be running an online business, I could manage it from any place in the world where there’s an Internet connection.

I don’t really like the touristic way of travelling, and CouchSurfing would definitely help me get a better feel of all the places I’d go to. For all of those who don’t know what that site is all about, basically people offer their couch to fellow travellers who want to crash there. What do they get in return? Meeting new people from all around the world, exchanging stories and the satisfaction of helping someone else. I’ve been hosting a lot of people lately in my flat  (this is my profile), even four people at a time, and it’s a very gratifying experience. For me it’s the ultimate way to travel: staying at the place of somone who knows the city very well, so they can tell you the best places to go, even those far from the touristic places, meeting really fascinating people, and as the cherry on top of the cake, you get all that for free.

Hopefully you’ll be able to read here in the coming months (or years) how I achieve this lifestyle, so if it’s the kind of thing you would like for yourself, you may even get to learn a thing or two from yours truly :)