69 Things I Learned From Selling All My Shit & Backpacking Around Asia

A year ago I was pretty unhappy.
 
In a nutshell…
 
I had a business that was starting to become financially successful, yet the workload, lack of freedom and social isolation I had meant I was miserable.
 
So I just said ‘Fuck It’ and sold everything (business, equipment, car and any other material thing that could be sold).
 
And travelled around various parts of Europe and Asia to figure everything out.
 
What did I learn?
 
Well, here are 69 things that come to mind…
 
(Make what you will of the fact I stopped at that number :p )
 
1. Happiness is freedom.
 
2. Money cannot buy happiness…
 
3. Yet money can ENABLE your dream life (and therefore YOUR style of happiness).
 
4. After three months of just shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops, socks feel weird.
 
5. Trousers feel super weird.
 
6. A jumper feels like body armour.
 
7. Wooly hats and gloves feel like little head and hand prisons.
 
8. It seems that at some point in history there was a meeting between Thailand & Malaysia to decide that Thailand would get every stray dog in Asia while Malaysia would get every stray cat.
 
9. You can be choose to be happy wherever you are.
 
10. Being happy requires amazing, supportive people in your life.
 
11. But also requires alone time.
 
12. If you want to see real rain, go to SE Asia.
 
13. If you believe something is YOUR truth, then it is true.
 
14. Knowing your values is the foundation of all being.
 
15. Places are awesome.
 
16. Places can be awesome for longer with the right people.
 
17. Bad places can be made good with the right people around.
 
18. Good places can be made bad with the wrong people around.
 
19. Awesome places + awesome people = paradise
 
20. You haven’t had a rush hour traffic experience until you’ve been to Ho Chi Minh City.
 
21. If you want to get run over by a motorbike while walking casually along the pavement, go to Ho Chi Minh City.
 
22. Vietnamese people are some of the friendliest people in the world.
 
23. Thai people are some of the friendliest people in the world.
 
24. Malaysian people are some of the friendliest people in the world.
 
25. Jackfruit is immense.
 
26. I would happily eat only Thai food for the rest of my life… if I could have a fat steak every once in a while.
 
27. I miss good steak.
 
28. I do not belong to a religion or consider myself religious, but…
 
29. Buddhism involves love.
 
30. Christianity involves love.
 
31. Judaism involves love.
 
32. Islam involves love.
 
33. Hinduism involves love.
 
34. Sikhism involves love.
 
35. Religion can be love.
 
36. Terrorism is terrorism. Twats are twats. There is no religion that = terrorism.
 
37. You can learn more from most three-year-olds than you can from most 53-year-olds.
 
38. Being killed by a falling coconut in Asia is a genuine possibility!
 
39. A hostel or coffee shop in SE Asia saying they have wi-fi… doesn’t necessarily mean they have working wi-fi.
 
40. Happiness is in the present moment and nowhere else.
 
41. We look at our phones too much (myself included).
 
42. Putting your own needs, desires and dreams first is the best way to help those around you.
 
43. There are some wonderfully weird and crazy bastards out there.
 
44. But I am also a wonderfully weird and crazy bastard.
 
45. One doth not need alcohol nor a late night to have a good time.
 
46. But you can also have an amazing time with alcohol and late nights.
 
47. Happiness is swimming in the sea at midnight.
 
48. I have been mistaken for a dog… twice… within 15 minutes of each other… by the same person.
 
49. A beautiful sunset on a beautiful beach can heal most things.
 
50. I would put meditation higher on a ‘health hierarchy’ than anything else.
 
51. The west is wayyyy too stressed out (see #50).
 
52. You haven’t experienced fun until you’ve slid down a waterfall in the jungle.
 
53. There are people who live in the Chiang Mai jungle with next to no material possessions who smile 1,000x more often than some people who own two BMWs and a 72” TV.
 
54. If you don’t truly ENJOY something, you will eventually stop doing it.
 
55. ^^This is also how you build a true habit, not through 21/28/60 days of perseverance.
 
56. If it is true to you… then it is the truth.
 
57. Let it go. Seriously, whatever it is that’s pissing you off or worrying you, just say ‘fuck it’. You will feel better 🙂
 
58. Nothing can be intrinsically ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ of itself. Right and wrong are just subjective judgements.
 
59. Learn to appreciate the darkness, its very existence PROVES the light exists.
 
60. I need to appreciate my present more, and not look into past or future.
 
61. You are doing awesome. Seriously, whoever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re currently doing your best with the knowledge, tools and experience you have… and you’re awesome for doing that. Our best is all we can give.
 
62. ^^Because of this… STOP comparing yourself, your success and your decisions to others. You’re doing your best with what you have and you are unique (honestly, you are). If you’re unique, how you anything be a fair comparison? Apples and oranges…
 
63. Inspiration is much more productive than motivation.
 
64. Just because something is the ‘safest’ or ’most logical’ decision, doesn’t mean it’s the right one for YOU.
 
65. The only person or thing stopping you is you.
 
66. Kuwait Airlines need to fix their video players (they were the two most boring back-to-back eight hour flights I’ve ever been on).
 
67. Just because someone else seems as if they have struggled more than you or been through ‘worse things’ than you, doesn’t mean you need to ‘suck it up’ and ‘get on with it’. Your struggle is your struggle. It is no more or less worthy of feeling like a struggle than anyone else’s.
 
68. If you need help… reach out to someone. More people want to help than you think.
 
69. My one goal in life… keep striving to smile more 🙂
 
Love, Laughter & Light,
Mike