If I’m being honest, I’m nervous about telling you the decision. In the three weeks since it was made, reality has hit home and the amount of work I need to do has become fully realised. It’s a lot. Can I do it?!
But that’s the point of telling you, it comes with a certain type of accountability.
Side note: I’ve used this goal as an example in the blog post, The 4 steps to achieve any goal. It’s all about fleshing out your goal, the idea, its plan, the actions you’ll take and how to be held accountable. It’s a comprehensive coaching moment that’s worth a read if you want to achieve a goal or two in your lifetime.
The decision and how it came about
When I wrote Confession time: I don’t know shit about “running” a business it was a massive wake up call to the fact that three and a half years after becoming a coach, I still hadn’t landed my marketing sufficiently enough to build a profitable business. I was in serious misalignment with my heart’s song.
And then I had a fight about money with my husband, one that ended up with me experiencing my first episode of depression in a very long time.
It resulted in the realisation that I’ve been depressed, deep down inside, for at least ten years. It was buried under obligation and responsibilities that we call life and surfaced when life’s taxes triggered me.
You see, I had a life that was a holiday. I lived and worked overseas as an English as a Second Language teacher. Over the course of three years, I lived in many countries. I was also building a location independent, online, ESL education and editing business. And then, in February 2010, in a rundown bar on the promenade of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I met a man who made me laugh while he danced like a dickhead and who would, two and a half years later, become my husband.
My husband, Sanni, is Nigerian. Travelling and living abroad on a Nigerian passport is shit. It’s sooo hard for Nigerians to travel without also having to navigate the CIA-level inquisitions every country imposes to justify their reasons for travelling. Nigerians are not trusted and they’re all labelled with the foul-swath of scammers.
Side note: Scammers are throughout the world, not just in Nigeria. Yes, Nigeria has problems with corruption and a lack of innovation but being a scammer isn’t representative of the entire populace so please do your bit to stop the negative stereotype that “Nigerians” are scammers.
For Sanni & I to be together, it meant I had to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The matrix, for whom the bell tolls endlessly for lost souls
I ended my holiday-life and moved home to Australia to begin the visa proceedings and establish our life here. We never really discussed it but I always thought that once he got his permanent residency we’d leave again. We didn’t. And then he became an Australian citizen and still, we stayed. We didn’t even discuss leaving. I’d long since buried the desire to do so. I was fully indoctrinated back into society’s matrix by then, resigned to the fact that my living abroad dreams were over.
Nearly four years ago, we had our son. And, in June this year, we decided to move to the suburbs to a bigger house with a backyard, neighbours who put your bin out for you, shopping malls, and local schools for my son to have consistent K-12 schooling.
We told ourselves the story that that’s what our son needed. Bullshit. He needs us. He needs education. He doesn’t need friends from kindergarten. They’re a nice-to-have, but they’re not a need.
I told myself that I wanted to be the local business leadership coach. I tailored my business to the life I now had to live. It wasn’t true for me though. It wasn’t representational of the life that I yearned to live. I want a life that I don’t need to take a holiday from, and yet, the argument about money that Sanni and I had was the exact opposite.
The holy-fuckoly wake-up call
On the morning after I had the argument with Sanni, when I was in a zombie-like depressed state just going through the motions, I was on a call with a friend who confirmed what I had suspected from her ambiguous social media post about visiting Mexico.
She’d gone to seek advanced treatment for her four cancerous tumours, two of which were in stage four. My friend had been given three months to live.
It’s now been over six months, there is hope and yet, the news rocked me to the core of my being.
At any fucking second, you can receive news that you’re going to die. Die. Ka-peesh. Gone. You live only in memories.
“Fuck!” I screamed into a pillow after the call. “Is this the life I really want?!!!”
It was my soul-sister Kristine who got me through my depression, but it was also her news of leaving the US for much greener pastures that brought home everything I’d experienced in the last few weeks.
The joke that ended up being a seriously good idea
I joked, “why don’t we move to Spain to live with Connie (our mutual soul-sister)? Spain and Italy are on my bucket list as two countries I want to live in.” Kristine laughed and the conversation changed direction. At the same time, I Google-map searched for Spain. I spotted Valencia, a coastal city, south of Barcelona where Connie lives.
“Hmmm…” I thought. “I like Valencia oranges.”
No shit. That’s what I thought. I told Kristine and she laughed too.
Here’s where I lose my shit
“I’m serious, Kristine. I’m done. I’m not fucking playing this game anymore. I’m not going to look back on my life and wonder when I got too-old and when I stopped living, taking chances and believing that the world is a fabulous opportunity for whatever the fuck you dream of.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do, ever since I first left Australia in 2007, was to find a way to travel, write and get paid to do it.
“Kristine,” I pleaded, “I want that again. Let’s change the word ‘write’ to ‘educate’, and that’s what I’ll do with my life.
“Travel, educate and get paid to do it.”
I went on to explain, “at the end of the movie, Titanic, there is a short scene in which Rose, now elderly, looks at the photos on her duchess of the life she’s led as she recalls the advice Jack gives her to live her life fully. Kristine, I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I’d done more. I’m 38 for-fucks-sake, if I blink I’m going to be 88 and saying, ‘what the fuck happened?!'”
Clearly, I was passionate.
And that is the moment that the decision was made to move my family to Spain and to build my business into a location independent, predominantly online service. You know the greatest irony is that my businesses have always been predominantly online, I just didn’t see it for its potential. Talk about an Oprah ‘aha’ moment!
I hear you ask, “What about the hubby and kid though?”
Friends have asked me what Sanni thought of my decision to move to Spain. Honestly, I didn’t have to do much convincing. Like a good salesperson, I needed to overcome his objections. I said to him, “just say ‘yes’, I’ll figure out how. I’ll figure out how to get us out of debt. I’ll figure out how to save and increase my income. Just say ‘yes’ and I’ll do the rest.”
He smiled his gorgeous, slightly cheeky, crooked smile and replied, “SBDS – the acronym we use online for our son’s name – will have far greater football (soccer) opportunities there.” I laughed. Sanni was once a pro-footballer. He still plays but living in Australia has destroyed his career (football here is not up to European standard by any comparable measurement).
“Is that a yes, then?” I asked. He laughed, “Yes baby, let’s do it.”
When the excitement wore off, I came to see that Sanni needs a lot more than a belief in me to fully commit to this goal. He’s still firmly entrenched in the matrix’s trap of going to work to pay the bills. I think this will become real for him once he sees my goal’s plan and actions achieve an increase in income and a decrease in our debt.
So when’s the farewell party? More importantly, can I come with you?
Ha! Sure. Why the fuck not?! If there’s a merry ol’ band of men, why can’t there be a merry, young band of entrepreneurial mothers who are living location independently with their families in exotic countries? A la Sex in the City 2.0 meets Bad Mothers meets Under the Tuscan Sun. Perfect.
A farewell party is a while away yet. As I outline in the blog post, The 4 steps to achieve any goal, there are a few key measurables that are needed before we can sell our shit, pack our suitcases and hit the tarmac. Ideally, under a year. Even more ideally, before June 2020 so I don’t have to live through another horrendous Melbourne winter.
Keeping it under wraps, kind of, yeh, nah, not really
Unlike my 10k Melbourne Marathon goal, I won’t be doing a great deal of talking about this publicly.
As one friend advised via text,
Keep the energy and excitement of your plans to yourself. And obviously a select few. That way you keep the vibe in the hands of people who support you in your choice and keep it strong. Not out to all for them to question and doubt and generally stick their nose in someone else’s business.
It’s great advice. I don’t want to diminish my energy for achieving my targets but also because I think it’ll dilute my business brand and messaging to talk about this on the open meat market.
While she has suggested only telling a select few, I think this robs people who want to know the ins and outs and follow the journey who aren’t necessarily in my inner circle the opportunity to learn and be inspired to live their life to their fullest capability.
All I want to do is to travel, educate and get paid to do it. If I start the education for how I achieved it right at the very beginning then hopefully, others will be inspired to follow the steps and avoid the mistakes that I’ll make along the way.
I’m not worried about people’s judgement or opinions as my friend warned. I’m well-enough trained in mental agility to know that people will form an opinion no matter what I do. The news of my friend’s cancer and the realisation of my own death expectancy makes what someone thinks entirely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. This is my life and I’m going to live it.
I welcome you on the journey. I’ll provide periodic updates on my blog under the category ‘Location Independent’ and publish them through the newsletter.
As always, share your thoughts and ideas with me; I love hearing from you.
P.s Did someone share this blog post with you? Or did you find it online through your ingenious search talents?
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