It’s now almost mid-July, and I’ve decided I wanted to continue these progress reports – or at least talk about what I’ve been going through these days. Currently I’m in Athens, and my parents are visiting. My brother and I purchased a 3-4 week trip for them so they’re currently stuck with me for a few nights ;). I’m super happy about it as I had missed them a lot.
Musings and Introspection…
June was the first month I really got my feet wet with the digital nomad lifestyle. I started in Stockholm, Sweden end of May, did the hostel bit for a few nights, and am now settled in Athens, Greece.
Athens honestly tested my limits in many different forms, including:
- Unbearable heat
- Unparalleled douchebaginess (yup)
- Sketchy situations
- Wavering faith (in my purpose/passions)
- Lack of Asian food
- and more…
From these “tests” I’ve realized that A) I’m stronger than I think but B) I let little shit get to me too often – and I linger over it. Like the douchebag incident. This guy made non-sensible arguments, constantly bragged about his money, cars, titles, etc., and thought he knew everything (and he’s 20 years old) I couldn’t help but let it get to me. He was everything that I despised – hypocritical, superficial, condescending, judgmental, closed-minded, acts all-knowing…I was in shock when I heard the things coming out of his mouth. I had to speak out – which led to a few hours of nonsensical arguments that I just wanted to get out of. It was terrible.
But instead of ignoring this guy’s bullshit, I spent a few days questioning/analyzing myself: my values, my goals, and my self worth. Why did it affect me? I kept thinking, he will always be in his own little bubble, and it will never pop. And I had this sad thought that maybe some people can die happy with materialism and an over-inflated sense of self. And in a society where many are driven by this superficial concept of success, this guy may thrive because he’d probably be surrounded by people chasing his “success”.
I just felt hopeless/defeated thinking about how most people put fame and fortune on this pedestal and judge their worth based on that.
And I was disgusted at myself, because if I were really able to live my own path and forget about what society thinks, WHY DID I LET THIS GET TO ME?
Maybe I felt like the only way to get through to people like that is to gain the riches in the world, then prove that it ultimately didn’t matter.
Talking to another local helped ground me a bit as well as watching this amazing video on existentialism:
Existentialists believe that we come into life without a purpose/essence, and it’s up to us to figure out our purpose/essence. We have no set path to follow, so we have to create it ourselves.
This part of the video (well all of it, really) resonated with me: “The world and your life can have meaning only if you choose to assign it. If the world is inherently devoid of purpose you can choose to imbue it with whatever purpose you want. No one can tell you if your life isn’t worth anything if you don’t have children, or don’t follow a lucrative career, or achieve whatever standards your parents hold you to.”
I guess I’m an existentialist? Cause I totally agree with that.
But the fact that I let that douchebag get to me shows me that I’m not there yet – I’m not at that level of inner peace where I can let things be and let myself be, if that makes sense. If I were a true existentialist, I wouldn’t care as much because each person should live how they want, and nothing really matters in the end.
I hope that I’ll be able to achieve that level of peace, but we’ll see. I’ve just got to keep treating everyone I meet as a teacher:
“Everyone is my teacher. Some I seek. Some I subconsciously attract. Often I learn simply by observing others. Some may be completely unaware that I’m learning from them, yet I bow deeply in gratitude.” – Eric Allen
Let’s hope my learnings from these “teachers” translate into some type of action or inner peace.
My Next Challenge
Though Athens came with its challenges, I think Bucharest will be a huge test for me as well. I will be leaving to Bucharest on July 13 (3 more days!), and I’ll have my own flat with no roommates – just me, myself, and I. And in Romania, I’m expecting there will be a large language barrier. Being alone, it’ll test my ability to make friends and hustle hard. I keep wondering whether or not I’ll be extremely homesick. Maybe that will happen this upcoming month…we shall see.
My Income Progress
Just because I mentioned materialism previously, I want to make clear that my quest to make (passive) income online is solely to achieve financial independence and a lifestyle change – NOT to buy a bunch of nice things and to show off.
Below I’ll talk about my current progress with these active and passive income channels I’m trying to grow:
I’m starting to lose hours on my part-time, remote positions, which translates into less active income. It slightly worries me, but I think I’m more worried about my parents worrying about me. I know it sounds stupid. Anyway, this is another flaw I know I have – I constantly worry that things will turn to shit, which means my faith is always wavering.
My goal, as you know, is to grow passive – not active – income. Right now I’m just trying to hit the $1,000/month passive income milestone. After my year of abundant research on passive income, my logic tells me that my milestone can be achieved if I work REALLY hard. Like, I KNOW it’s all possible, and really I’m the only one to blame if I “fail”. But my shaky heart/feelings of fear always take over despite logic & reason.
I keep wanting to not only cover my monthly expenses but also save a decent amount of money per month with my active income. I keep meticulously calculating how much money I should be making. But in the end, I have nothing to worry about. I spent the past year freelancing to pay for this trip. I’ll be good. I think I just keep feeling guilty that I am saving less money (towards retirement) and irrational fear just keeps poisoning my thoughts. FAITH is something I really need to have/learn.
Aside from “active” income, I’m also:
- Steadily writing posts for MeWantTravel and DigitalNomadQuest. Even if it sounds stupid, I do have faith in Digital Nomad Quest and really want to grow it.
- Creating templates for Etsy. My goal is 100 PSDs by end of year.
- Writing kindle books…slowly and steadily…under a pen name.
Lastly, after about a month of negotiation, I should be co-founding a company. My cofounder and I are drawing up a contract to finalize the details of our partnership. We’ll see how things go………
Welp, my conclusion is always that – I need to work harder. I’m productive, but definitely not productive enough. In terms of passive income figures, I haven’t made much of an increase so far. I keep using the Athens heat as an excuse, so when Bucharest comes I better get my act together!