I’m feeling so great these days, guys.
2018 has been, without a doubt, the best year of my life!
I can only wish that all of you, too, have had a tremendous year.
I just want to take some time this week to share my enthusiasm, what’s been so amazing about this past year, and what I’m looking forward to as we slide into 2019.
As this phenomenal year draws to a close, I want to give it the proper sendoff it deserves. I also want to welcome 2019 with open arms.
There are three things that have been particularly amazing for me, personally, throughout 2018.
As I reflect on this past year, I want to share those three elements of my life that I’m so grateful for and proud of. And I’ll take some time later this week to discuss what I’m especially excited about as we enter 2019.
Let’s first talk about what a year this has been…
This Was My First Full Calendar Year Of Living Abroad
2018 will mark the first year of my life in which I lived abroad full time.
I’ve celebrated my first year of living in Thailand with an epic, picture-filled post. Make sure to check that out!
This will surely go down as the first year of many years living abroad. I don’t see myself ever moving back to the US.
Thailand has been so kind to me. The way of life here is much more in line with my personal value system.
The US has a “work hard, play hard” mentality. To each their own, but it’s not for me.
Thailand, meanwhile, is more about generously interspersing fun throughout their days and lives. There’s an explicit balance here that’s best summed up with the word “sanuk”. It’s work to live, rather than live to work. I enjoy it and appreciate it very much.
The mental and physical shift toward move abroad and becoming an expat has been just as transformational to my life as was the mental and physical shift toward FIRE. And the former has greatly improved the latter. This is the first year in which I’ve fully felt the power of what FIRE can offer, which has honestly been slightly jarring.
My perspective has been broadened by living abroad. And I’ve improved as a person, coming into my own as a human being. I’ve never felt better about my financial, physical, or mental condition.
It’s been a hell of an experience. I couldn’t imagine being any happier.
I’ve Met So Many New And Interesting People
Chiang Mai is kind of this beacon that attracts interesting people from all over the world.
While this city is absolutely not filled to the brim with successful entrepreneurs, despite what it’s sold as, it is a place that has a saturation of engaging people who are at least trying new things and thinking outside the box.
And I admire that.
I felt like it was a challenge to meet like-minded people in the States. That’s probably because fitting in and keeping up with the Joneses is valued there, whereas doing something unique and standing out is more prized over here.
I only met a small handful of like-minded people while living in the US for 35 years. Yet in only one year of being over here, I’ve already met dozens of people in Chiang Mai chasing after their dreams and blazing their own trails. Meeting like-minded peers might still be extremely difficult, but like-mindedness can be found over here.
My life is very different now.
I was a bit of a hermit in the States. It was a lonely, isolated life. Part of it was by design, because I was living frugally and aiming for independence. The cost structure of the States means going out and doing almost anything costs a lot of money, unfortunately. Spending a lot of money to be surrounded by people I wasn’t interested in talking to seemed dumb. I’m a bit of a homebody by nature, but the US made me more of a recluse than I ever wanted to be.
I’m now constantly out and about, meeting people, enjoying my time, and still spending very little money in the process. It’s more life for less money. Plain and simple. The value I place on relationships is quite high, yet they’re so much more available in a cheaper place. Funny how that works.
Plus, I’ve met plenty of Thai people. That includes my wonderful girlfriend, Oh. Thais are gregarious and easy. My Western anxiety has been melting away by the day. The US is individualism on steroids, but there’s much more exposure to a community-oriented mindset here.
I honestly like being around Thais more than Westerners, all else equal, but it’s been a pleasure to meet so many different, interesting, driven people of all cultures in Chiang Mai.
I’ve Written Some Of My Best Content Ever
I’m a bit surprised by this, but I really feel like I’ve put out some of the best content of my life throughout 2018.
I’m starting to wonder when my engine of creativity will grind to a halt. I can’t imagine I’ll always feel this compelled to write. But the drive hasn’t yet dissipated.
I see myself as a writer before anything else. And writing high-quality, inspirational content is something I pride myself on. I write to share, keep myself accountable, and inspire others to make their dreams come true.
Well, I honestly feel like I’ve written my best stuff ever over the course of 2018.
It’s truthfully thanks to you readers that I still push myself to write. It’s your readership that keeps me going, so I have to say THANK YOU to all of you that read my stuff and support me. I really, really appreciate it. I can’t emphasize that enough.
To celebrate this, please enjoy 10 of my most popular and best articles from 2018:
Of course, I can’t forget about my second best-selling book, which I also penned in 2018:
2018 has undoubtedly been my best year ever across every major aspect of my life.
But I’m not interested in resting on my laurels. Nope. I’m incredibly excited about diving headlong into 2019. Bring it on!
I’ll release an article later this week discussing what’s on my mind as the New Year comes our way.
Stay tuned for that.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
What about you? Has 2018 been your best year ever? What was particularly great about this year for you?
Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you’re interested in achieving FIRE and living your best life, check out some phenomenal resources that I personally used on my way to becoming financially free at 33!