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.
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.