Five years ago, I went to Singapore and Thailand with my friends for a week and caught the travel bug. I met a lot of people who have travelled far and away and their stories captivated my adventurous soul.
I went back to my same old routine after that trip and tried to nudge the idea. I tried so hard to ignore the burning passion that got ignited on that trip and kept myself busy with my same old routines.
I was new in my position that time since I just got promoted prior the overseas trip and my managers were already gearing me up for another promotion. Job promotions in big call centers are quite fast compared to other industries due to the fact that there are so many positions to be filled.
While trying to keep myself busy with everything that was being thrown at me, I felt like I was being eaten alive by my passion to see more of the world.
After nudging it for two months, I finally gave up and filed my resignation paper, together with one of my friends who was on that same trip.
It’s a Stupid Idea
Initially, my boss asked if I could just file a Leave of Absence for two months and if it’s not enough, maybe three. She suggested that I still travel and find out if that’s the thing that I like and if it’s not, I could go back to the same company.
At first it sounded like a cool compromise so I told her that I’ll think about it first and that she should not process my resignation for the time being.
But after having thought things out, I realized that I don’t want to go back to my old routine. So I talked to them and told them my final decision that it’s my time to leave.
I told my so called friends in the office about that decision and a lot of them said that it sounded like a cool idea but it’s the most stupid idea that they have ever heard especially that the managerial position was looming in my horizon.
I bid them goodbye, wished them luck and followed my “stupid idea”.
The First Try to a Nomadic Lifestyle
I flew to Thailand with my friend with a very small amount of money and tried to find a job there. The idea is to have a job so we could legally stay in that place for a long time and use it as a base to explore nearby countries.
After a month of looking for a job, I finally got the chance to be hired as an English Conversation Tutor by a small school in Bangkok. I got the call when I was in the North exploring Sukothai.
I went to the school and aced the interview and the demo. The other teachers liked me despite the fact that I never had a teaching experience. They said that they’re gonna help me on my “new job” even if it wasn’t offered yet.
While waiting for the result, I was sitting outside their conference room and chatted with the other applicants. They’re also Filipinos who came from the Southern provinces. I was excited and asked them the places that they have visited in Thailand.
I was surprised when they told me that they haven’t been anywhere except the room that they’re renting and the schools that they’re applying to. They said that they only have enough money to cover the day to day cost of living and nothing more. They said that they couldn’t even afford to visit the local attractions in Bangkok.
I felt horrible after that discussion, here I was applying for a job because primarily I want to be based in Thailand so I could explore the other countries. And they were there to work and probably send money to their families.
After a few minutes of dead silence, I was called and the head teacher congratulated me and told me that I could work in Bangkok or in a smaller town. I chose the smaller town and thanked them and told them that I would bring them the documents the following morning so they could do the necessary paperworks.
I called my friend while I was in the cab and told her the supposedly great news on a sad tone.
“Wow, that’s great! Congratulations, but why are you sad?” she asked.
“Coz I met people who needed it more than I do,” I replied.
I was shook up with my naivety the whole afternoon and decided to give the head teacher a call. I declined the job and asked if they would hire as a replacement one of those fellow applicants I met that morning. She said yes and I felt relieved.
The Second Try to a Nomadic Lifestyle
Having no job to finance my life in Bangkok, I have decided to go home and look for a job in the same industry I was prior the trip. I found one after a couple of months and stayed there for almost one and a half year.
The sweet taste of freedom and adventure still lingers in my mouth and for almost everyday I think about seeing the world again. I tried to save as much as I could.
I got hired as a supervisor and on the next couple of months promoted as a manager. I flew to different countries and stayed in business hotels for free courtesy of my company but the idea of backpacking haunts me still despite of the free travels that I was getting.
Coz of the promotion and the per diem and miles that I got to earn and save, I was confident enough to plan my next “whirlwind trip to nowhere”.
I filed my resignation and bid goodbye again. But due to some unforeseen family crisis, I gave almost all my money to my parents and got left with only P30,000.
I told my mom that I will still continue with my “dream trip” despite of the lack of budget.
I flew with P30,000 and went to 8 countries in 6 month juggling some volunteer stints while sightseeing.
Despite of the lack of money, I realized that there are so many opportunities everywhere that could help me continue my life on the road. I met a lot of people from different countries who were doing the same thing.
But an unfortunate event struck when I was in Varanasi that prompted me to go home. So I cut the trip on my sixth month and promised India that I will go back.
The Third Try to a Nomadic Lifestyle (am I just stubborn or what LOL)
I arrived in Manila just in time before my grandma’s burial day and spent the next few weeks grieving and at the same time catching up with some family time.
After almost a month of doing nothing, I decided to do some research about people who are living an alternative lifestyle. I tried to read about people who are not living the 9-5 grind. I came across the terms, “digital nomads” and “location independent lifestyle” and did further research about those stuff.
And after spending weeks of reading day and night, I’ve decided to setup a website to practice on the things that I was learning online, and on October 25, 2009, flipnomad.blogspot.com was born and a few weeks after that flipnomad.com. FlipNomad is not just my travel blog but it also serves as my platform in learning the economics of the internet world.
I started writing up the past trips that I took and everything that I know about travel. I started writing tips and I also started interviewing fellow travellers and launch a new segment on my blog called Meet the Nomads. I coded my own website with the help of various online tutorial sites. I kept on learning and creating on the next months.
After a couple of months, I felt the need to get a job. The backpay that I got from the last company I worked with (which I received when I was in Manila already) already dried up.
I got a job again in a call center and continued blogging, learning, networking etc. I was deeply hoping that my blog would help me get back on the road just like the stories that I’ve read from other bloggers. I believed it without any hint of doubt even if the only thing I had that time was their words.
I spent four months working with them and left the job to focus on my online adventure. And on March 2011 I flew out to El Nido and a month after, left the country to start a new adventure.
I’ve been on the road for 16 months now and has travelled to multiple countries. And I just didn’t travel for 16 months, I also built multiple sources of passive income and amped my skills and competencies to further increase my chance just in case a need arises that will prompt me to go back to the world of employment.
It became possible to live the life that I want because I did something that everyone could do (but failed to do sometimes).
I never stop believing in myself even if the others have already did.