Around the World in Four Months without a Plan
I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who is active in the digital nomad community, and he asked me if I would be writing about my experience. Aside from two blog posts from Martha’s Vineyard and Tulum, I mostly stuck to social media posts and stories. With the end of my journey rearing its head, I thought a final wrap-up post was in order.
To give a little background on this trip and my story, I am an energy healer, teacher and retreat facilitator based in the Philippines since 2013. Back in 2020, I had a one-way ticket to Europe where I had planned on returning to since my move seven years prior to that. But we all know what happened in the spring of 2020, don’t we?
It wasn’t until two years afterwards that an opportunity arose, and within one month I was on a plane to the United States to celebrate my mother’s seventieth birthday and also experience life on a farm in April 2022. What I thought was going to last the entire summer only lasted two months, after which I went on to Mexico for the first time in my life.
My trip to Mexico was years in the making. The real impetus at that moment was the opportunity to train with Zen Takai, my bushido sensei. I had met Zen sensei online in September 2021, and had been training over zoom with him ever since that time. Though my time in Mexico was short, it was intense and exhilarating. My dear friend Gen flew down from Canada to meet me and helped me discover the mesmerizing temples of Chichen Itza and the lovely town of Valladolid in Yucatan. Without her, I would have just stayed in Tulum and trained with sensei.
By that time it was nearly August and another friend in Geneva offered me to stay at her place while she was on vacation (most of Europe is away on vacation throughout the month of August). Since my plans to stay in Martha’s Vineyard didn’t push through, I decided to accept her offer and got a ticket from Cancun (nearest airport to Tulum) and head to Switzerland, where I had lived for eight years.
After a relaxing month in Switzerland, enjoying the heat and the beautiful hikes that part of the world offers, I went to visit another friend in Vietnam (on my way home to the Philippines), who had just opened an ashram, or a place of meditation and healing, in the countryside. It was my second time in Vietnam, and as I am writing this, I am sitting at my friend’s vegan restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Heal & Celeb.
In terms of a digital nomad lifestyle, Mexico and Vietnam definitely stand out (the US and Switzerland are not cost-efficient, obviously), with Mexico being more expensive than I had anticipated. Still, it’s a very popular destination for digital nomads around the world, for the sunny weather, cost of living and chill lifestyle. It’s definitely on my list (okay I am biased because my martial arts teacher lives there too). I also love Vietnam, and the first time I visited in 2019, I wanted to move there.
My best advice is really to focus on networking and building relationships. Everything is about relationships. Take time to reach out and nurture your relationships, new and old. That is what allowed me to travel around the world for four months on a relatively small budget. Honestly I never even thought this trip would happen, but with a lot of trust, surrender and friendship, I had one of the best trips of my life.
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