You Should Start Over in a New Country (Here's How)
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It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living in Medellin, Colombia for over 8 years now – and with respect to my own personal development, the decision to move to another country was probably the top life-changing decision I’ve ever made.
And as I’ll explain in this video – I think that especially if you’re a young person or at a point in your life where you don’t quite have things figured out and feel like you still have so much more to learn about yourself and your place in the world…
Or if you’re someone who wants to completely reinvent yourself like I did –
Then moving to another country is probably one of the best life-changing decisions you could make as well.
Let’s begin –
How Living in A Different Country Went from Dream to Reality
So if you’re anything like what I once was – the idea of moving to another country probably feels like more of a fantasy than it does a real possibility… so let’s see how you feel after hearing my story 😊
So I grew up in Long Island, NY – and the idea of ever leaving, let alone moving to a different country, had either never crossed my mind, or seemed so utterly preposterous that I had never really considered it. That was just something that other people did.
Virtually everything I do now, I used to think only other people could do.
Anyway to make a long story short – 2012 is when, at 27 years old, I sold everything I had and moved back in with my parents to start a real estate web design company.
Fast forward a few years to 2014 and I was watching an interview that one of my industry friends had done, where he mentioned that he was living in Medellin, Colombia – and this blew my mind for 2 reasons.
First was that, like most Americans – the only things I associated with Colombia were drug cartels, and murder – yet my friend seemed to be in a really nice place, where, at least at that moment, he was not being murdered by a drug cartel.
Now the second reason that his interview blew my mind was that, for the first time since starting an online business, it occurred to me that I didn’t have to live in New York… that I could actually live anywhere.
So with my curiosity piqued, I reached out to my friend and that conversation ended with an invitation to join a private online forum consisting of mostly location-independent entrepreneurs who were living and traveling all over the world.
Suddenly I was now talking to these ‘other’ people and as it turns out, they were just like me.
Most of these guys were living and traveling throughout South America – where new cultures, warm climates, stunning geography, and a very strong US Dollar all merged into a dazzling offer that many young, broke, starved-for-adventure entrepreneurs living in their mothers’ basements couldn’t say no to…
The reality is that if you make money online you are ‘location-independent’ too – and you can technically live anywhere that will give you a visa… which is most places.
You may be thinking that you can’t afford to live in many other places, and if that’s the case – I think you’d be surprised at just how many amazing, affordable places there are in the world.
In addition to South America – places like Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Spain, and most of Eastern Europe are all hotbeds for location-independent entrepreneurs because they’re all extremely affordable while having a very high quality of life.
Once you have an idea where you want to live – you can easily find online communities (either forums or Facebook groups) of foreign entrepreneurs or expats who are already living in those areas where you can ask questions and make friends.
That’s exactly how I was able to find my first ‘home’ here in Medellin – it was a small room in a big apartment where I lived with 4 other entrepreneurs for about $150USD per month.
Not only was I paying roughly 10x less than what it would have cost me to rent an apartment in New York, but I was now spending entire days working at a kitchen table with other like-minded young entrepreneurs who i was able to ask questions, talk strategy, and bounce ideas off of –
That experience alone is worthy of it’s own video but what I’ll say briefly is that, if you’re a young entrepreneur and you an opportunity to live with other like-minded people, do not hesitate even for a single fucking second. Do it.
Why You Should ‘Move’ And Not Just Travel
So despite the title of this section – I highly recommend traveling a bit before you decide to move somewhere, because it will teach you a lot about yourself.
You may even end up deciding to go full-blown digital nomad and spend many years traveling the world- but my recommendation is that if you’re really seeking personal growth, you should commit to living somewhere and fully immerse yourself into the culture – let me explain.
So when I first arrived in Medellin back in May of 2014 (I was now 29 years old) my plan was to travel all throughout South America while I grew the fuck out of my business.
I planned to blog about these experiences on a domain that I bought – thetravelingsuit.com – where I spent almost $1000 (that I didn’t have) to get a logo designed that would change depending on the country I was in.
Well here’s what actually happened – after a few months in Medellin, I spent another 6 months in Mexico, where I spent time living with other entrepreneurs in El Rosario and Valle del Bravo, and then finally a few months living alone in Mexico City – and at the end of all of this, I learned two things.
The first was that If I really wanted to grow my business the way I wanted to – I couldn’t be traveling like this. I needed routines and systems and lots of other things that are difficult to set up when you’re living out of a suitcase and moving around every few months.
The second thing I learned was that even though I was meeting amazing people and having amazing experiences – I felt like I was missing out on the experience of true immersion.
I didn’t want to just keep floating in and out of ‘digital entrepreneur bubbles’ across South America… What I wanted now was something deeper.
I wanted to visit small pueblos and local attractions and not feel rushed – to learn the history and the culture inside and out –
To go from broken spanish to Fluent Spanish – To learn to move like the salseros I saw at dance clubs –
I wanted to be able to walk down the street and just… blend in… and probably more than anything, I wanted to find love.
So after 1 year of travel, I officially retired from the digital nomad lifestyle and made Medellin, Colombia my permanent home – where I promptly began the full immersion experience that radically changed my life.
I practiced my Spanish for hours every day – not with books or courses, but through actual conversation – mainly with my girlfriend at the time who only spoke Spanish.
The fastest way to speak a foreign language is to date someone who only speaks that language. The second fastest way is with Spanish VIP – the sponsor of this video… but more about them later on).
Soon I even started dressing like Colombians, and got a motorcycle that I’d use to ride out to small pueblos on weekends where I would just walk around, talk to people, and record interesting things on my GoPro.
I enrolled at a local salsa school and practiced 7 days a week for 2 hours per day – and what began only as a desire to dance and be more social, evolved into a profound love of an art-form that allowed me to express myself in ways that I had never even dreamed were possible.
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Speaking of dreams – Back when I was still living with my parents and just dreaming about what it would be like to live in South America – I started having this recurring fantasy where I’d be somewhere in South America at a random bar with a beautiful latin girl. I’d order us a couple of mojitos in fluent Spanish – and then we’d hit the dance floor and blow everyone away with our amazing Salsa.
In 2018 – that dream became a reality – and it was one of the happiest days of my life – because… well… not only did I finally make real something that I had fantasized thousands of times –
But there was a moment I had shortly after ordering another 4 mojitos (with my now less than fluent Spanish) where I did something that I rarely do – I paused to reflect just how much I’d actually accomplished…
And allowed myself to feel pride over how much I had improved as a person.
In New York, I believed that my happiness depended entirely on what care I drove, how much money I had in the bank, and how many girls I slept with – and because all of my friends had the same sort of values – I couldn’t see past that.
Moving to Colombia and fully immersing myself into a culture that was so radically different from the one I grew up in gave me the context I needed to be able to not only SEE, CLEARLY, all of my beliefs and values – but the POWER to change them.
People here have so much less, and yet are so much happier and more generous than the people where I’m from.
I credit this for helping me to derive less of my value from material things, and more of my value from how much I’m able to help others.
Who knows how much more money I could have made with my business over the last 4 years if I hadn’t directed so much of my energy and resources towards making these videos –
But when I get messages from you guys, and it’s thousands of messages at this point, saying that I’ve positively impacted your life…
Or when you come up to me in person…
The other day I was at the mall and some young kid came up to me and started telling me all of the stuff he was going through and it felt like I was literally talking to my younger self –
And so for him to tell me that my videos were helping him – which is LITERALLY why I do all of this – to help the younger version of myself… yeah there’s no price you could ever put on that.
I’ve become the man that I needed when I was younger – and hopefully as I’ve shown you guys through this video – moving to another country was a critical piece of that journey.
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