Administrivia And Rambling

by Frost on February 15, 2012

First up: How do ya’ll like the new header? (Hey, if you can do better, why don’t you? There’s a free book in it for you, and I’d be happy to pimp your blog/website/flickr account.)

Second, I’ve got a new name: Jonathan Frost!

It’s kind of funny, changing your name on a whim. After a year and a bit of blogging as Frost, signing off half my email correspondence as Frost, and meeting a dozen or so people for the first time in real life with: “Hi, I’m ____. Uhh, you know me as Frost.”

I may just unmask myself completely at some point. But until then, I want a first name. I like how “Jonathan Frost” sounds, and it reduces to Jack Frost – which is clever! Very clever in fact, because I live in the great northern hinterlands of America! Get it? Ahh, forget it.

Anyways.

As of last week, I’m back in Chiang Mai, and if you’re looking for a new temporary home, I can’t recommend the city highly enough. It’s a great place to train Muay Thai. The bars are, fun, laid back, and full of cute girls passing through for a few days at a time. The quality, variety and price of food is incredible. It scores way above average on the cheap/nice scale, which is to say it’s cheaper than anywhere nicer, and nicer than anywhere cheap. Every expat I meet has some sort of interesting hustle going on – webmasters, bloggers, internet marketers, business owners, e-commerce guys, exporters, pornographers, life coaches.

I’ve been spending most of my time working on some new projects that I’ll be announcing soon – a couple of new websites, a new book, and one mega-project that won’t be rolled out for probably another year or so – while learning everything I can about building and running online businesses. Critics of the Four-Hour Work Week approach to life may have some fair points, in that a lot of proponents make location-independent businesses sound easier to build than they are. Still, the gold rush is on for anyone who can create content, write and design good marketing materials, or leverage the technical skills to actually make websites work.

Are you looking for a career change? Stay tuned for an upcoming post in which I lay out my Online Business 101 curriculum .

I’m training at the same gym (check them out if you’re interested in Muay Thai in Chiang Mai), but only 2-3 sessions a week instead of the 10+ I was doing in December. I’m also hitting the weights again with a one-month membership to a fitness club in a five-star hotel, with an outdoor pool, sauna, and yoga classes, for about $30. Again – Chiang Mai, not a bad city to live in. Thai massages can be had for $5/hour as well.

My itinerary for the next six months is partly up in the air. I’ll definitely be in Italy for May, and Austria/Germany for June and July, and back home shortly thereafter. As for March and April – Bali? Burma? Nepal? Turkey? The Balkans? Barcelona and the south of France? I change my mind on a daily basis.

Not to be a dick or anything, but my life rocks pretty hard right now. Sure, I’m slowly hemorrhaging money. Sure, the majority of the relationships I form won’t last longer than a month, or a week. And yes, there are occasional moments of fear and doubt. There’s the suspicion that I’m kidding myself with this whole “writing” thing. There’s the extremely valid concern that my odds of dying in a horrific motorcycle accident are about fifty-fifty.

I think that I’ve made a smart choice, walking away from a ‘safe’ career so I can travel and write full time. I think that I’m much more likely to be happy, make money, and actually do something worthwhile with my life.

But sometimes, I have my doubts. Maybe I’m just running away from adulthood, partying it up while my years tick away, and rationalizing it to myself as something bigger. I don’t think that’s what I’m doing – but I wouldn’t, would I? It’s easy to look around at the people you meet, and wonder why they’re making such stupid, counterproductive decisions with their lives. The answer tends to be, that they don’t know any better. They don’t see how their actions are self-destructive. So I wonder – am I any different? How do I know I’m not just as deluded as them?

Good friends are a valuable reality check. So is having a blog, and writing about your life and goals and motivations publicly. But the people in our lives (including blog readers) are a self-selected group. If I’m deluded, you probably are too.

So I can’t fully excise the fear that I’m a complete idiot for retiring at the age of 25 to fly across the world and try to make it as a writer. But when those doubts creep up, there’s still one certainty that I can always hold on to: I love my life.

I love writing, I love having this blog, and I love the little coffee shop that I work at from 8-3 every day. I love kicking the shit out of pads and bags, sparring, and pushing my body to the limit in the afternoon. I love going out to eat every night with friends, meeting random people from all over the world, hitting on backpacker girls, and waking up in the morning excited to do it all over again.

Maybe there’s more to life than fun. Maybe there’s a lot more. But is there a lot a lot more? I don’t think so.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cody February 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Where are you going in Italy? I was in Rome for five weeks this past summer, so if you head there I could tell you some places to hit up and what to avoid.

Frost February 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

That would be awesome! Just Rome or did you travel around Italy a bit? Either way send me an email!

freedomfrost25@gmail.com

Cody February 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I was there for study abroad, so it was mainly just Rome. We took a weekend trip to Sorrento and from there a day trip to Capri, though.
I’m working on writing up everything, so I’ll send the email off soon.

Audacious Epigone February 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Your lifestyle utterly fails the categorical imperative test. And, while you celebrate a “transition from the outdated western ideal of monogamy, to our natural, tribal state of polygamy and soft harems,” your current deracinated (and I do not just mean geographically, but in almost every since of the word) existence is hardly close to a natural state of living. You do seem to have cut your ties to almost everything, so our evolutionary experience has probably prepped you with a better state of mind for what you’re doing than, say, for example, I could manage. 10k years ago, we started collectively being hit with evolutionary pressures that have increasingly oriented us to an agrarian way of life. I have too many assets, friendships, family members, sports and social ties, to just abandon. It would be a wrenching process with no apparent upside for me. I really like my life though (I always answer highest on the happiness scale whenever I take surveys asking about it, and about the only thing that really pisses me off are inefficient traffic lights), so obviously that contrarian perspective is not modal. That had to have been the most difficult step for you. As they say, the first step is always the hardest of all.

But I don’t want you to stop (nor should you give a damn if I did)–I enjoy the vicarious experience and wish you the best!

Frost February 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I can probably relate much more to your life, than those of the people who’ve been traveling for years and actually have completely cut themselves off from their ‘tribe.’ I also couldn’t do that – actually, I’m sure I could, but like you I just don’t see any upside. The life I left behind was pretty damn good, and I definitely miss my family, friends, dog, hometown, etc. on occasion. I would miss them a lot more if I wasn’t in frequent contact with all of them, and if I didn’t have a defined end date to my trip.

It’ll be interesting to see how much time passes in Ottawa before I feel like uprooting again. I think I’ll eventually end up spending about 50-75% of my time in the hometown, and the rest visiting new places, occasionally putting down mini-roots for a month or two. Time will tell though!

Rob February 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

Great post. Sounds like an awesome time. What’s the gambling scene like in the city? Poker?

Frost February 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

It’s a blast. No idea what the “local” gambling scene is, but there are quite a few professional poker players out here, making money online…

Jack Dublin February 16, 2012 at 1:17 am

Avoid dying in a fiery motorcycle crash. I’ve grown rather found of reading your posts.

In regards to your doubts: you will be a better, happier man for having taken the path less traveled and potentially failing, than never trying at all.

Frost February 16, 2012 at 2:02 am

Haha thanks man! Appreciate it. A friend of mine who works at the embassy told me that something like half the Canadians who die in Thailand, die on motos. And that includes old retirees who die of heart attacks and such, so…

But, riding fast and zipping through traffic is fun! Arghh

Rowan February 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

Are you ‘ramen profitable’ yet Frost?

I reached that point a few weeks ago and while I will wait a few months (before I quit my job) to see if I can keep it up, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

We want the money for the freedom and maybe a little stuff. But even more so, we want the feeling of being winners and of being our own men.

What’s it going to feel like to make a middle class Western income? What about $30k a month? What’s it going to feel like having $20mil, enough to set you up for a life of ass kicking?

We are living in the real world, everyone else hates life, the few men who risk it all and win enjoy life.

Frost February 16, 2012 at 2:05 am

I’m almost Cambodia Ramen profitable! But that would mean living in a hovel and probably losing a bit of weight from protein deficiency. Congrats on passing that milestone though, I’m pretty excited to see what it feels like.

Would you be interested in writing a guest post with your story? I’d love to read it, and I’m sure others would too.

Cheers,

Frost

Rowan February 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I’d feel too much cognitive dissonance writing about writing about business right now. I’m just getting my feet wet. But when the money starts pouring in I will start a manosphere business blog.

Also, here a bit of advice.

I’m a member of a sailing club, mostly for actual sailing but occasionally I go pay $12 for a f**king beer. About half the members who are actually rich and not just leveraged middle class are in a relationship business. They made their millions by connecting people.

So I suggest looking into exporting Cambodian products into the USA and selling wholesale or direct to retailers. This is where the real systemized money is, not in ebooks, niche sites or bloody drop shipping. It’s not an easy thing to set up, you have to create the relationships, solve the problems and have a lot of awkward conversations, but once set up you’ll be able to automate almost everything. The richest man I personally know exports high quality Australian food and wine into Japan. Spends half his time taking luxury cruises and the other half travelling around Australia meeting producers, sampling produce and relaxing back at the hotel.

I’m personally interested in exporting high quality European food to upper class Chinese who want safe and status boosting produce. But one business at a time has to be the rule so I’m sleeping on it.

Good luck, looking forward to the next book.

Neil Skywalker February 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hey,

I can’t find any contact button on your site so i hope you read this comment. I just finished a 2 year and 8 month trip around the world trying to bang as many girls as possible. I run a travel blog and wonder if you a interested in link exchange.

Let me know,

Ps Nice blog btw
Neil

Frost February 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thanks! I’ve been reading your blog and posts at the RVF for a while now, interesting stuff. Link added.

Cheers,

Frost

asdf February 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

“I’ve been spending most of my time working on some new projects that I’ll be announcing soon – a couple of new websites, a new book, and one mega-project that won’t be rolled out for probably another year or so – while learning everything I can about building and running online businesses. ”

This is what we want to hear about. The rest is just a shittier version of better lifestyle bloggers and a bunch of rah rah.

a February 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

Well there it is. Time for everybody to reorganize themselves to suit the personal whims of ‘asdf’.

Frost February 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Perhaps you should have checked with asdf before writing that comment, just to make sure it’s all right with him…

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