This month at Tribewanted we are a Californian writer and editor, a German filmmaker, a NY business-guru turned social entrepreneur, a renowned medical practitioner and healer – and my work identity, which is TBC.
What do we have in common? On paper, not a lot. But with respect to our purpose here in Ubud? A lot.
The thing that unites everyone I have met in Bali seems to be the choice that they’ve made. That’s in listening to the urge for travel, adventure, new experience and accepting that we are actually free to live it – and to live it whilst moving forward with our careers/projects/ ideas.
There are too many excuses for not doing this back home (children, mortgage, illness – ties that we have which are obviously all legitimate). But when the urge calls and the only thing that’s holding you back is fear of uncertainty – fear of getting off the ladder and out of the system - well that’s just not accepting your freedom or being kind to yourself.
I didn’t wait until I had a solid remote career to come out here. All I knew was that I didn’t want or need to take that next step ‘up’ right now – and it was time to indulge in a bit of uncertainty. I say indulge because in London it’s expensive to be uncertain and it’s also not culturally acceptable. It’s a sign of weakness that should probably be kicked into gear and promptly pushed down one single track to specialism so that it doesn’t implode from overthinking and unproductivity.
So when I sat down at the first Tribe meeting to say the facts: I left the city, a pace and culture I didn’t identify with. I have freelance work and a few ideas, but I don’t know what the entire picture looks like yet or which ideas to take forward and focus on – this was celebrated as an opportunity and not judged.
There’s a misconception that being out here is all about being a #digitalnomad; only for tech entrepreneurs and travel bloggers who can Instagram beautiful pictures of themselves drinking green juice in front of a rice paddy. That snapshot of this month’s Tribe shows that’s not true. Here you actually don’t need to pretend you’ve got it figured out. Here you are successful if you have a good day, get the shit done that you need to, and even feel pretty happy doing it.
And here in Bali, accepting uncertainty feels really good. Not only because there’s time to try things out and lovely people also with spare time to talk about ideas with – but also because it’s the most honest thing to do. For anyone who has reached a juncture and doesn’t know what the next phase in their life looks like – or does – but doesn’t like it that much – I encourage you to step out and go somewhere where you don’t need to hurried into a decision. You have a lot more freedom than you realize.
Katie Jones, London escapee on a quest for location-independence
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