In this report, I will explain how I got the courage to quit my old life and fly away. This report will help you quit stalling and jump on a jet to paradise. You see, there is nothing wrong with caution, let me explain why.
I have lived several different lives during my 62 years on this planet, including my baseball life, my stoner life, my self-employed life, my college years, my corporate life, and my travel life.
I will show you videos I took all over the world as I explain.
Each of these new lives required a transitional period of chaos and change that I went through before I was stable in my next life. It is during times of change that people seem to assume takes courage to transition into your new life. Let me explain why I think it requires knowledge instead of courage.
I will explain my transition from my stoner life into my self-employed life so you will understand how I got the courage to quit my old life and fly away, It turns out that it is not courage at all that leads to positive changes.
I fell in with the wrong crowd when I was about 13 years old. I was selling marijuana in high school by the time I was 15. My mother explained that things could go really bad for me if I didn’t change my ways.
She said, “If you get arrested before the age of 18, your life might not be completely ruined. But if you keep selling after 18, it could change your life forever.”
Stay with me for a second. I promise it will become clear how this relates to finding the courage to quit my old life and fly away.
My mother explained that I was a smart kid. But I was just bored in high school. If I found something I loved that was legal, I could do it for the rest of my life without going to prison.
She knew I wasn’t interested in college yet. So, she gave me a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. In that book, the author interviews people that became millionaires in the USA. This was the first book I ever read in my life that I could relate to.
I learned that not many millionaires went to college. Some didn’t even finish high school. These millionaires just started various businesses and learned what they needed along the way. They were self-taught. When they needed new knowledge they would go find it somewhere or just fake it until they make it.
This sounded fascinating to me. Being self-employed sounded more fun to me than college. I didn’t go to college until my mid-thirties. I’ll share that story with you another time.
When I finally started reading the book, I was working at a gas station. One day, a kid, about 4 years older than me, pulled in for gas. He was driving a gorgeous red convertible car with the top down. He had two drop-dead gorgeous women with him.
It was 1976. They looked like they were all dressed up to go to the disco. They were all wearing bright shiny colorful polyester clothes.
His life looked like a scene from a Hollywood movie. It was a Saturday evening. As I filled his tank with gasoline, I heard them say they were going to a disco that night. I didn’t know anybody that went to discos.
I didn’t like disco music. I was a stoner. I did not want to dance. But I wanted to know what world these people lived in. What does their life look like in motion?
I am not sure I would have said it this way at the time, but I was sincerely wondering if there was a better life I could be living. I had to go see with my own eyes.
So I went to this disco in the summer of 1976. I didn’t want any of my stoner friends to know so I kept it a total secret.
I was amazed at how much fun everyone was having. They were all teaching each other how to dance. They were not stoned and mellow. They were high energy, laughing, smiling, and dancing.
You could see it in their faces. They really loved to dance. There were beautiful women all over the place.
That night changed my life. I wanted that level of energy. I wanted to be around these beautiful women. I felt like I was just in the audience. As I watched, I wondered, could I insert myself into this movie?
At about the same time, the book was teaching me that we become like the people we spend the most time with. I wanted to become like these people. I wanted to be a part of this energy. I wanted to be in this movie.
So, I started going to the disco once or twice a week, at first. I even had two sets of clothes, the stoner clothes that I wore to high school, and the disco clothes I wore out dancing.
I also quit smoking and selling weed. I started dating a beautiful girl I met at the disco. I was getting to be a really good dancer. Eventually, I was going 4 or 5 nights per week.
After a few months, I even cut my long hair and started wearing disco clothes to high school. I was no longer in the audience watching. I was a character in this movie now.
I started to do more of what the book was teaching. Instead of hanging out with friends and getting stoned, I started trying out different businesses. One day I saw a sign on a car for sale. I made a really low offer and they accepted my offer.
I spent a few days cleaning up the car and I sold it a few days later. I doubled my money. I did this several times before deciding it was my new gig. I spent the last 2 years of high school flipping cars during the day and dancing at night, in this whole new world of people.
I was making more flipping cars than selling weed and I didn’t have to worry about going to jail anymore.
So, what does any of this have to do with how I got the courage to quit my old life and fly away
You see, I never would have been able to get the courage to quit my old life and fly away! Nobody can do that. Almost nobody plans and executes their life like that. I just take baby steps, one after another, until I end up walking into a completely different world.
Looking back at what I have done, it looks smooth and easy. But it never is. Have you ever seen what movie films looked like before the world went digital? Movies are just a series of plastic film frames that show every little movement between frames, one after another.
But when you play the movie back at full speed, single steps look like one smooth motion. But in reality, they just took one step at a time. If they needed to take 100 steps at once, they would never have had the courage or visibility to see that far in advance. The fear would overwhelm us.
You can only take one simple step. The first simple step. Put your toe in the water first. Is it warm enough to put your whole foot in next? Yes? Now put one leg in the water. If that is okay, then put the other foot in.
I didn’t decide to become a disco car flipper in high school. All I did was go to a disco in secret and watch that first day. You see, you can never look at someone else’s life and decide to do it. You can only decide to go to the disco and watch the first night for yourself.
You can’t decide to sell cars in the last few years of high school instead of selling weed. You can only decide to buy one car, clean it up, and then put a for sale sign on it.
Said more simply, you can’t decide to quit dreaming and fly away. You have to just book a roundtrip ticket to one place and see if you like it or not. Keep dreaming, that is okay. Just add one little step to your dreams–buy a ticket.
You can’t decide to move overseas. You can only decide to go on an exploratory visit. You have to see if you like spending a few weeks there. Then consider whether or not to spend a few months. One step at a time.
You can’t move overseas to find a new lover and live happily ever after. You can only put a profile up on day 1. On day 2 you can only decide to go on a date if you find someone interesting. On day 3 you decided whether or not to go on a second date, and so on.
You have to walk inside 3 or 4 apartments and see what you can get for $300 per month overseas. You have to go to restaurants, open-air markets, and grocery stores and see how much everything you want to buy costs overseas.
You have to find, buy, and eat a $2 meal before you decide if you are willing to eat $2 per meals.
You can only gather one data point at a time. You can only make one decision at a time. You don’t have enough information to decide if quitting your old life and flying away for good is right for you.
But you can’t do any of that until the plane lands in the new country. So just start with buying the ticket.
You don’t need to decide anything. You just need to book a flight. Buy a round-trip flight your first time. Don’t even try to decide anything when you are overseas. You should probably wait to decide when you return. You may even want to take a second trip for even longer before you make a final decision.
The thing that is stopping you is that you are trying to make life decisions about living overseas while your feet are still on the ground in your home country. That is impossible and you should not judge yourself for being indecisive.
Your indecisiveness is protecting you so it is a good thing. All you can do now is take one action, gather one data point, and save decisions for later.
You have to start by going to the disco and seeing if it looks like fun. You have to buy one car and clean it up. You don’t have to decide if you should change your life.
You don’t have enough information yet. Listen to your intuition when it raises fears and concerns. Understand that your fear is protecting you from making uninformed life decisions. That is good, not bad. There is nothing wrong with you.
Just go to the disco and watch people dance right now. And save your decision for later.
So, the truth is, I never had the courage to quit my old life and fly away forever. I only had the balls to book one round-trip flight to go see the place with my own eyes.
Yes, it is true that 95% of my flights are one-way tickets now, but that is only because I have done this many times before and there is no uncertainty in that decision for me. One step at a time does not require courage.
When I was in your shoes, I didn’t have courage, all I had was uncertainty. I took one action at a time, gathered one data point at a time, and made decisions much later when I had all of the evidence in front of me after seeing it with my own eyes.
So now you know the truth about How I got the courage to quit my old life and fly away. I never did have that courage. I never quit anything until after my exploratory visit. It didn’t take courage.
It took knowledge and certainty gathered with my own eyes with my feet on the ground. Courage was never necessary. By the time I was making that decision, the need for courage was replaced by knowledge and certainty.
By the way, I have a course called The Retire Overseas Course that goes over all of this and hundreds more ideas like it. Ideas I have learned living overseas for the last 16 years in 67 countries.
For more on that and how I fired my boss and traveled the world for 16+ years, just click the first and second links in the notes below this Youtube video.
Thanks for listening to How I got the courage to quit my old life and fly away.
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?