Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to welcome a new writer to our staff at Y and T. We believe Joseph will provide a view on personal finance and insights into a specific lifestyle that we currently don’t have on our roster. Mr. Archibald has had a bevy of interesting life experiences and he will be sharing some of his wisdom with us every other week. He definitely looks at life from a different view than most of us and we are happy to have his unique contributions to our community. Please join us in welcoming the man who has been living his tropical dream for years now – Mr. Joseph Archibald.
My name is Joseph Archibald, and by “trade” for the past almost 5 years, I’ve been making a living online. My “thing”, if you will, was Google SEO, but what with the constant changes to algorithms among other factors, ranking in Google is becoming more difficult to achieve over a long term basis. I mean, it’s a case of ranking in the top spot one minute, then gone entirely the next. If you’ve endured that experience, you’ll know that it ain’t fun at all!
Nevertheless, working online in any capacity does bring with it many rewards. Even if you labour for clients, you still – in general – can please yourself when you work. Start work at 11am then finish off at 3pm – why not? Obviously with a normal job, you can’t possibly do that. And what’s more, with a normal job, you’ll find yourself forced to work when you are far from your most productive. When you work online – when you work for yourself online, you can choose to work when you are at your peak. Thus you get much more done in a shorter period of time!
You can also – in general – work from any location – be that your home in the US, Canada, UK etc. or be that from some exotic tropical location such as Colombia in South America, or perhaps Vietnam in South East Asia.
Let’s face the facts – you can live like a small king or queen in a place like Kuching in Malaysia in comparison to living life in North America, Canada or the United Kingdom, on the same monthly income. What will 1000 US bucks in North America get you? 1000 bucks in Malaysia will be enough to get you a reasonably attractive lifestyle!
So, let me ask you this question – when it comes to quality of life, what do you think about as being the most important thing to you? What do you think will bring the most quality to your life?
Will it be the amount of money you make? Most people tend to think it is, and I personally feel that this line of thought is flawed. Its flawed because we in the western world are educated to believe that money equates to happiness and fulfilment. We are taught to believe that we should become a slave to money. We are taught to think we must go to college or university and get a good education in order to then get a good career, in order that we may make more and more and more money. All in the pursuit of a happy and fulfilling life.
I too was led to believe this would be the right path for me. I too went to college and then to university. I too sought the high flying career. But each time I got any place close to successfully leaping on the career ladder, something backfired and I bailed out. Something was wrong. I started to question the “make money, be happy” philosophy. It suddenly didn’t seem to tally up the way “they” had always said it would.
But, I didn’t just bail out of pursuing a potentially high flying career. I bailed out of life!
I took the chance to get away from the United Kingdom – my home for the previous 40 years – and jump on a flight to Malaysia, where I lived for 3 years. No regrets either – life in Kuching was a wonderful experience for me! Now I’ve jumped over the water and am enjoying my time in the Philippines. It’s hot, it’s incredibly humid, it’s third world standards all around me, but I’m surely living life on my terms and not on anyone else’s terms!
The freedom to choose – that’s a key element to success in life! The freedom to choose – that’s a key element to happiness and fulfilment in life! Money is a part of that process, but you don’t have to have much in order to live of a life of real value and pleasure.
So what do I have in store for the Young and Thrifty website? What will I be contributing?
Obviously, since I’m fairly well-versed in living life abroad, in exotic tropical countries, I’ll be sharing some of my experiences with you and some tips about that part of the world. I’ll also be taking the point of view of the minimalist. Let me explain this. When I first came to live in South East Asia, I was still very much focussed on the “more money means more happiness” concept. Slowly but surely, I’ve started to see the error of my ways because I was earning more and more money online and I still felt something big was missing in my life.
So these days, I work far fewer hours each week than perhaps I’ve worked for years and years. To be honest, I do (currently) earn less than what I was earning a year or so ago, but I don’t feel the pressure to keep slaving onwards. I’m content to have “just enough”. The reason for that is I now realize that material wealth is not real wealth at all. It’s something of a false concept.
So, this line of thinking is what I wish to explore further on the Young and Thrifty website. And what I hope very much is that you will join me on the journey so we can learn together!