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nomad Sep 19, 2010

Nomadic Existence: A Return to the Default World

The Deal Breaker
Being broke for the longest time and consequently living off on loans to sustain myself was the deal breaker for me. Loaning money for sustenance was like eating broken glass. Something had to give. And that was my vow of poverty. I've walked away from money so many times in the past because I didn't want too much of it...only what's enough to sustain my meager needs and to always put me where I feel the edge.

The Edge
I love being at the edge. The edge is actually an exciting place - you're still on safe ground but a hairline away from an abyss. There, all your senses are firing on all cylinders. You're always alert and nimble - absolutely no room for complacency. The mind is always racing and the instinct for survival is intense. You feel life surging from that unfathomable place inside you. It's a rush.

Being Poor
Being poor has so many meaningful things to offer as well. With meager resources, I curtailed my needs. We have so many things we think we need but actually, they're desires, not needs. Do we really need 2 cars and a closet full of clothes? Do I really need to own a house and a land title under my name? By stripping most of these things down, I came down to my bare essentials - roughly what I could fit in my backpack. With no property to my name and no attachment to anything or anyone, I was nimble and free to wander on the open road as a nomad. Home was whatever roof I had over my head. I was soaking life like a sponge. It's another rush, with life revealing itself with every passing day - new dwelling, new people I meet, new food to fill my belly, new horizon to traverse. Life was good that way.

What about Money?
I noticed one thing about this lifestyle. For as long as I stayed real, money followed me. I never asked for it, but it would always be there for the taking. It lands on my lap shortly before my funds run out. Like I said, most of the time, I walk away from it. I never went hungry and I never had to take on a loan. Until now. What happened?

The Flow
Like a surfer catching the wave, I was always on the lookout for The Flow - the esoteric ride where I find myself in the right place at the right time, when opportunities abound, where doors are flung wide open one after the other, etc. I would always catch that Flow and the rest is one magical ride where I'd be exhilarated beyond my senses. For sometime now though, life is still ok, but the superlatives that I've been used to are gone. What happened?

At the Back of my Head
The last year or so, despite the full-on engagement within my private universe, I knew at the back of my head that the world has morphed in leaps and bounds from the time I turned my back on it. With no tv and being away from the pulse of the world at large, I felt that I was existing in a self-made vacuum disconnected from mainstream convention. I was cognizant of that and I often catch myself thinking, "What next? How long do I keep backpacking? What am I missing out of? Is life passing me by?" I felt curious about the conventional world. But I paid no heed despite its linger.

An Intervening Universe
Like always in my past, when things need to happen but I'd be too dense to take the hint, the universe intervenes to effect the needed change. In 2004, it landed CAN$22K on my lap (in ways I could not have anticipated) in order for me to payoff my CAN$22K loan (yes, the same amount + or - a hundred dollars) to start life all over again. It also paved the way for me to realize much of my sought-after desires - living in Sagada (which I did for 3 years), a nomad's life (I'm still living it), etc. I can honestly say that almost everything I asked for in life, I already got. I cannot complain. This universe looks after my well being.

A Last Hurrah
This same intervention is apparent now. Inverse to its benevolent act in 2004, my all-knowing universe (I'm not talking about the bearded one) choked my money supply to make me snap out of my own gridlock. As a last-hurrah, it gave me a kick in the groin just to make sure I really get it - I had to spot a friend for P50 transport money. That was such a humbling predicament. If I don't act on the hint, it gives me a jarring jolt - tough love!

I Get It!
Yes, now I really get it. Yes, it's time for a change. Yes, like a snake, I'll shed off my old skin, and yes, like a phoenix, I'd rise over my ashes. I will reconnect myself to the default world - the same world I left behind in 2003 after my Burning Man immersion. For starters, I'll get myself out of the poor house. Secondly, I'm now open to owning land and building a house I can call home. Lastly, I'll resurrect a vision I had many years ago...something I somehow dismissed - driving a Lamborghini in Monte Carlo (yeah, right!).

What Lay in Waiting
After that internal deliberation, it's uncanny what happened almost immediately:

  • I got an offer from a charming senior couple to occupy a room in their old house for a song! They wouldn't take my money. So I just find creative ways to say Thank You. This house resonates unlike all the houses I've lived-in since I got to Dumaguete. Now I have a decent roof over my head where I can work and resume my yoga practice.
  • The house I moved into has cable tv. So what? Well, for someone like me who hasn't had tv in the last 10 years, I don't really have a firm grasp of the changing cultural landscape - the politics, technology (other than the web), economy, etc. It was a year after the sub-prime market meltdown in the US when I learned of it. Obama was already president for a few months when I was told of it. With the little time I've spent watching tv here, I realized how much the world has changed. Even Nat Geo and Discovery Channel employ cutting-edge production techniques I haven't seen before. On one scene alone, there's an underwater shot, terrestrial shot, aerial shot plus animation! This little tv serves as my transitional portal to the new world I'll be braving into.
  • I met a realtor who told me she has many properties for sale but only through word of mouth. It gave me an idea. Given my skill set in web design, search engine optimization (SEO) and GPS mapping, why not develop a real estate website incorporating all of that for anyone with real estate property to sell? Once the website is up, I can develop SEO-ed webpages with embedded interactive GPS maps for individual property listings. Instead of word of mouth, these realtors can command a global audience!

    In the last few weeks, I'd been living, breathing, thinking, and waking up to develop this real estate site. I finally went live with it Sept 11 and I already have 4 listings. I don't know of any other real estate website that offers this level of usability, comprehensive information and GIS (geographic information system) interactivity. 5 days into its launching, the house and lot listing was already #2 in Google out of 12,000 results, outperforming the most reputable and established realty sites out there. This website will be my initial ticket out of the poor house. Check it out!
  • I got a phone call from a friend inviting me to participate in a 2-week adventure package covering Manila, Boracay, Sagada and Coron through his outdoor adventure tour company - expenses paid! I can only imagine what other doors this one opens.
  • I had an extended conversation with an architect friend who gave me ideas on bamboo houses - my house of choice. I also met people who specialize in bamboo house construction. I also got leads on how to treat bamboo against rots. My home is gradually taking shape.
  • With my real estate website, I get access to land for sale. Perhaps I can find that idyllic lot on a mountain slope overlooking Bohol Sea, Siquijor, Cebu and Apo Island. Yes, being on volcanic terrain, it would be good to have a hot spring source to share the bliss with friends...perhaps a special partner who has yet to reveal herself. LOL. I know I'm getting carried away. But to manifest these things, I have to make it concrete in my mind first (and internalize it second).
  • Of course, all these would not be complete without well-meaning friends who've taken me in their fold. You know who you are guys.

Blazing a Path
The above is so uncanny that they happened almost immediately after I made my choice. It was if the universe already blazed a path for me, even before I made that decision. Too many things simply converged to a single focus. Given the magical things I've experienced in the past, I don't question the inner workings or even the motives of this universe. It provides.

Ending Thoughts
The writing on the wall has been there since a year back. I just didn't know if the low was part of the undulating roller coaster ride or a red flag for a change. I remained at status quo knowing that if it's an imperative for change, it will become increasingly clear. Money, or the lack thereof, acted as a catalyst for this change. I haven't made a penny yet but I'm confident new money will be here before my current loaned funds run out.

My return to the default world is challenging and full of apprehension. It's a new direction and a major turning point in my life - not unlike the one I took 7 years ago. The journey continues.

--- TheLoneRider

Sep 19, 2010

The following people like this story:





Reader Comments:

"Not in the sense that the journey is coming to an end but maybe mellowing down or laying "concrete plans?" -- Chona Cunanan
(Apr 23, 2011) Concrete plans...hmmm. I like the ring of that! Yes, the signs are there. A few months ago, I couldn't resist the lure of buying a breakable plate. For so many years, I only used a small tin plate that I could carry and abuse without breaking. And now this. It actually weirded me out, but I'm not attached to my lifestyle...not even that of a nomad.

Chona Cunanan
(Apr 18, 2011) Is this also equivalent to "settling down"? Not in the sense that the journey is coming to an end but maybe mellowing down or laying "concrete plans"?

Jhet van RuyvenJhet van Ruyven
(Apr 4, 2011) Simply shifting from vow of poverty to abundant and prosperity thinking is what the universe is waiting for. Trust that every thing else will come into place like magic once you say goodbye to poverty and embrace universal prosperity. Those people that started Burning Man have so much excess funds that's why they're able to give as much as they can. You've shared so much of your talent, heart and soul in this site now it's time to monetize. Keep doing what you love "shift" from lack to prosperity thinking and the entire universe will conspire to make it happen for you. Everything is divinely orchestrated and in divine order.

Cynric Sulit
(Sep 19, 2010) Knowing such turn-around can be scary yet exciting. A new world has come at hand and you are now on the road of joining it. Good luck and I'm on your back supporting. Cheers !!

Charlene Tan
(Sep 13, 2010) I'm happy you're able to take it all together. I feel so honored to have witnessed this turning point in your life. I can imagine all those roads converging to this point for you and the beautiful horizon opening up ahead. And such kindness from all these strangers life has given you. Have a joyful dive into the Flow.

Lucy Fernandez
(Sep 12, 2010) ...wherever you are, wishing you succulence of life, sweet and sour :)

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