Before I left the United States to travel the World in 2007, I had this feeling sometimes that I was just waiting to die. I wasn’t depressed or suicidal or anything. I just felt like I had some potential left in me that needed to get out. I was just letting the clock run out.
I was not honoring my potential or the limited time I had left. I was dreaming about my ideal life but not taking any action to make it happen.
In this video, I will explain how I went from being a dreamer to living my adventurous retirement dreams. In the end, I will explain how I would do it better and faster if I started all over again today.
Starting in my late forties, I remember thinking, is this all there is? There must be something more to life. Eat, sleep, work, eat sleep work, eat, sleep, work, repeat.
The weird part was, normal people around me thought I had a pretty good life. I guess by comparison, it was pretty good. But I knew I was not normal. I suspected I might even be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But I was not eating life. I was going through the motions.
My life looked good on the outside. I was not rich or anything, I had no proof I was a wolf. But I had a respectable job that was paying me in the high five figures. I was divorced and enjoying dating. I had a beautiful girlfriend I had met online. We had amazing chemistry.
I was hitting the gym before work, so I was in great shape. I was taking a couple of vacations per year, one ski trip and one international trip. I was eating in great restaurants and driving a fun little convertible sports car.
Yet, I had this feeling that I was just passing time. I knew that all I had to do was keep saving money each month for another twenty years and I would be able to retire. So I would drag myself back to work on Monday and go through the motions.
But the thoughts kept coming. What was my life about? Is this all there is? Just a few weeks of vacation per year and a few long weekends out of town per year and a steamy love life? While I wait to retire in my mid-60s? What would retirement look like in my 60s, I wondered?
Would I be healthy long enough to enjoy my retirement? Would I have enough energy to have fun after I turned 60? Or would I just be sitting around waiting to die? I remember thinking, why don’t they just give us a decade off in our 40s?
In our 40s, we would have the health, stamina, and fearlessness to have fun. But instead, we are given our late 60s to have fun when we are just starting to struggle with our health and energy.
I think the Europeans and Australians got that part right. They invented the gap year, where they travel around the world for 1 year after school before they start working or going to college. Shouldn’t there be a gap decade in your 40s when you are allowed to seek adventure?
But society has different plans for us. Many of us have children and society tells us we have to get them through school before we think about travel. Somehow we never hear about parents that move to other parts of the world with their kids and home-school them.
The parents I have met since moving overseas have done just that and have more interesting children that understand the world. Even though society and all of their relatives told them it was too dangerous. Children need a safe stable home to grow up in.
Luckily, they didn’t listen. Not everyone stays on the well-beaten path.
Society wants us all to be the same. Follow the others, don’t have any crazy ideas of your own. Shut up, get in line with the others, follow the path in front of you, listen to your elders. There is nothing special about you, just wait for your turn like the others.
So we put our noses back down on the grindstone while we wait and wonder? Will this turn out to be all life was about? Will we live to see something more … later? How much later? When do we get to forge our path in life? How long do we keep our heads down and wait?
From time to time, we hear about others that jump out of line and run down another path. We get excited for a moment before the fear gets the better of us. The well-beaten path must be the safest, right? Don’t do something stupid. Put your nose back down. It is only 20 more years.
Only in My Dreams
I had silly thoughts like … could I find some shortcut to turn my life into an adventurous novel? Could I write a living novel of my life in real-time as I live? Could I be the lead character living overseas? Could it be on some white sand beach with palm trees swaying in a warm breeze?
Could my character snorkel in turquoise water and watch colorful fish swim around a stunning floral coral reef? Could my character live in a hut on the beach, and eat fresh pineapple and coconut juice for breakfast? Could I make love with a beautiful woman every morning and take naps after lunch in a hammock under a palm tree? What would a novel about my adventurous alter-self look like?
Would I live part of the year in the Andes Mountains in a beautiful colonial-era city with cobblestone streets? Could I spend hours in a cafe reading as I watch life unfolding as the sun sets over an ancient city?
Could I go trekking in the Amazon, climb Machu Pichu, and wander around the temples of Angkor Wat? Could I ride a motorcycle along the coast of Italy and snowboard in Kashmir?
I am a dreamer. So I spent hours thinking … what shortcut could I take to start living my dreams? Could I start an online business that threw money at me no matter where I was in the world? Could I create a passive income that paid my bills so I could live my design instead of going back to work on Monday?
Do I need to wait until my investments have grown large enough to pay for my life in retirement? Do I need to wait until I am old enough to take my pension? Is there another way? What if I retire at age 67 and I die a year later at 68? What if I die one year before retirement?
I needed a way out. Could I write a best-selling novel? Could I write a hit song? Could I hit the lottery? How do I break these chains of normal that keep me living a normal life? I am a wolf I tell you. I need to roam the landscape freely without regrets. I am a wolf I tell you.
If I am a wolf, why do I allow this collar and leash to dictate how far I can run?
I wanted an adventure. I wanted excitement. I didn’t want to keep waiting as death approached.
I am not normal. I was never normal. I don’t want to be normal. I have always been willing to take risks. I know I am going to die, but I want to live before that day.
I won’t just be getting in line anymore, I won’t just be waiting my turn, I will no longer be waiting to die while time slips away.
My Adventurous Retirement
One day, I finally got the courage to prove that I am a wolf. I have been a wolf for 16+ years now.
I quit that job and left the United States at the age of 46. I have lived in or visited 67 countries so far. 7 years ago, I met the beautiful woman you see in the videos with me. We met on Tinder in Malaysia 7 years ago. She began traveling the world with me 6 years ago. She is a wolf now too.
Her name is Qiang Hui and she has a YouTube channel called Hobo Ventures. We travel the world together and share our world with you. We both teach that you are not a dog. You are a wolf too.
I never wrote a best-selling novel or song. I never started a dot com company, and I still am not rich. But I am a proud wolf now. I left the United States before I had enough money to retire. And, what little money I had when I left the USA, dropped by 40% in the 2008 market crash.
So I went from the frying pan into the fire. It took me a decade to create a passive income that pays for my life as I travel the world. I did all the wrong things until I figured out how to pay for my dreams.
My income now is sharing a wolf’s life with you as we travel the world. I was never a dog. I was always a wolf that needed courage. You see, a dog is only a wolf that is still wearing a collar. When you break free of your chains, you go from being a dog to a wolf.
When dogs break their chains, they can only truly remain a wolf when they have a passive income or assets that secure their permanent freedom as a wolf. But once you are a wolf, you will never be happy as a dog again. You will always be looking to break free.
I had to learn how to be a wolf. So I started watching wolves and learning from them. Some wolves ate more of me than they gave knowledge in return. Other wolves were more generous. They remembered what it was like being a chained dog. I learned from many wolves along the way.
I spent thousands on courses and countless research online until I made my first dollar online. I went down several rabbit holes before I created the passive income streams that pay for living my dream life overseas. But I finally made it. I am a wolf living in total freedom.
Now I am writing my personal dream story in real-time. Not in words, not in a book, but in the actions I take every morning when I wake up. My dream lifestyle pays for my dreams now. Imagine what that feels like. It is a feedback loop where I dream something up, go live it, and then share it to fund my future dreams.
I had never thought of it that way until I typed these words. My life is a dream feedback loop. I am living my dream adventurous retirement.
Okay, I promised I would share how I would do it better and faster if I started all over again today. How I would become a free wolf today if I started over. Okay, here we go.
Let’s assume I was back in the USA today, sitting at work, asking myself the question, is this all there is to life? Let’s say that I was dreaming about creating a new life for myself. But I knew what I knew today about creating online passive income streams. What would I do?
I would make a list of my five favorite things in the world. Things that I would do for fun even if I never made any money at them. Let’s say my five favorite things were (1) coaching little league, (2) dog training, (3) holistic healing, (4) fly fishing, and (5) home beer brewing.
Then I would ask myself two questions. First, which of my above favorite things, do I know 5 to 10 things about, that a beginner may not know, that I could teach that beginner right now if they were sitting in front of me?
Understand, these don’t need to be 10 perfectly formed expert-level ideas. They may just be basic concepts that you learned by trial and error, that could save that beginner some of the time you wasted on your learning curve.
Second, is this topic something you would enjoy studying carefully for a few years? Something you would enjoy reading everything written on the subject and sharing whatever tricks and tips you learned as you study? Would you enjoy creating a comprehensive body of knowledge on this favorite thing, but in bite-sized chunks over several years?
If you can answer yes to these two questions, about any of your top 5 favorite things in the world, then there is a good chance you have just found your passive income stream. That is your ticket to becoming a free wolf and breaking the chains of normal.
And the beauty is, now you will have Artificial Intelligence to help you get all this studying done more quickly. What am I talking about?
The Internet turned the world on its head and it is still doing it. Anybody with a computer or smartphone and an Internet connection, can create a body of knowledge on a very specialized topic and share that with the world.
So when people type questions online, your body of knowledge will eventually start to show up in searches, whether you are writing articles, making YouTube videos, or creating Facebook posts.
Right now you are listening to me doing exactly what I am talking about. The only difference is, you would be talking about your favorite thing instead of listening to me teach you about how to become a wolf.
So, why would I do this now instead of something else to make money online? Because I could get started for free. It is called the “Information Business” by the way. I would do this because I could start with no real investment, only my time.
Once I started to get an audience, or following, then I would monetize my information business. So, how would I monetize my information business? There are several different ways. You could sell memberships to content like eBooks, you could give video courses, or you could do one-on-one coaching or lice multi-person seminars.
When I first heard of this, I thought, the Internet is saturated. There are already people talking about living overseas and about saving money on travel. How could I possibly get an audience? I couldn’t have been more wrong.
You see I didn’t understand something about how the search engines work. I thought it was based only on the subject matter. If somebody types a question into Google, Google provides only information from the top providers. New people would probably just be ignored, right?
But I have since learned that Google not only looks at your question, but it also looks at who you are. Google considers who is asking the question: Your age, your country of origin, your political point of view, your sex, and many other factors. And it takes all of that into consideration and it finds someone like you that is sharing the information that you want.
That means that you are like me. That is why statistically you are getting this information from me, an American man, 62 years old, divorced, loves travel, and concerned about having a great retirement overseas. You are like me in some way. You might even be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
If you were a woman in your 30s, you would likely be served information from someone like you instead of me. But chances are, you are more like me than a woman in her 30s. You see, Google knows that you are likely to watch longer if you see yourself in me.
These aren’t the only factors, but you get the idea. People tend to watch someone more like themselves for longer which is Google’s goal. Get you to watch longer.
So the favorite topic that you decide to monetize may be saturated more than other topics, but you still may be able to get your foot in the door eventually and monetize that topic because Google is finding people like you that want to learn about this topic.
So what would I do differently this time? I would not quit my job. I would just start putting one or two videos up per week helping beginners learn how to save time and money when they are doing my favorite thing. “Top 5 tips to brew beer at home.” “Don’t do this if you are brewing lager at home.” “Top 3 places I buy home beer brewing equipment cheap.”
Once my audience got large enough, I would start monetizing my content. But I would not quit my regular job until my income exceeded what it would cost me to be a wolf overseas. It would be a lot of work, but you would be free once it takes off.
So what is the difference between success and failure for wolves in the information business?
One. Your information should be practical and helpful. Two. Your information should be so good that people don’t want to miss one of your videos so they subscribe. Three. Your free information should be so good that they feel guilty about getting all the free stuff and eventually buy your membership, course, or whatever.
So what is the difference between success and failure for wolves living overseas?
One. You need to keep your expenses super low in your home country, so you can quit your job eventually, go full-time, and grow your business faster. Two. Once you have socked away enough money for emergencies overseas, and you your research has found several places you can live overseas for less than your growing income in your monetized information business, then you are ready to quit and live like a wolf overseas.
So that is how I would win my freedom as a wolf if I started over again today. That is how I would pursue my adventurous retirement if I started again today.
One final thing, no great wolf would let you get away without taking a small bite of you today. So, click the link in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to learn more about my Hobby Income course where I teach people how to break the chains of normal and become a wolf wandering around the world.
This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube channel for VagabondBuddha.com. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?