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The above picture shows everything I own and it all fits in three small bags on my bicycle. Sounds fuckin crazy right?! See, before living so simplistically I dropped out of college and worked 40+ hours a week. I constantly bought clothes and shoes while spending the remaining money on weed and Jack Daniels. Jack was not my boyfriend, it’s a type of whiskey. I never wore that oversized sweater my grandmother got me ( sorry grandma) , the off-black suit I never got tailored and the custom Nike shoes my ex-girlfriend gave me. Why did I even keep those shoes, I’d obviously wear my mint pair of Jordan Dub Zero’s over any other! The point is I had a lot of clutter in my life and I really started to see it once I stopped
Now I live in Southeast Asia touring around countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. I am living my life the way I want working towards my ultimate dreams slowly making them a reality. It all sounds so magical in theory but how it all happened might surprise you.
I moved out of my parent’s house in Port Jeff early 2013 and that’s when I started getting rid of a few material items in my life. It started with some white T-shirts with the yellow pit stains followed by that old suit, holy socks and loose underwear. I packed everything else up in a Home Depot van put it all in storage and moved in with my girlfriend and her family in Miller Place. They treated me really nicely but I never fully felt comfortable there by myself. I only hung out late night once my girlfriend got home from work or when she had the day off.
I lived there for about a month until my sister and I lived in out first 2 bedroom basement apartment in Rocky Point. When I moved my things from storage I gathered up a few bags of clothes to donate to a local shop. One time I saw them giving receipts as proof for donating items. I thought, great, I can claim this on taxes later only to only find out I needed to own some sort of property in order to legally do this. This is also the time I sold items like my gold chain, super Nintendo and old iphone 4 on craigslist. Below is a picture of myself in the Rocky Point basement apartment.
Six months later I moved into my own place in Lake Grove and of course, I got rid of more stuff. This is the time in my life when I felt very sad and resorted to a lot of alcohol. I had a new girlfriend this time around eventually moving in with her in Centereach a few months later. Man, I was getting super tired of always packing up my shit and moving it around. It was really cool that she already had a bed and couch so I didn’t bring any furniture with me except for my glass kitchen table. At this point, everything I owned was able to fit in my 2008, Grey Scion TC.
It wasn’t long until she realized I was treating her poorly, not paying rent and just trying to save money for my own backup plan. One night I came home late, like always, finding myself locked out of her apartment and I was pissed. I drove around for hours trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep but never actually slept much. This went on for a couple of days and it’s also the time when I started reading dozens of self-help audio books that can be found on my resources page.
At the time I was trying to finish my Business Associates Degree at Suffolk County Community College so money was super tight. Once I knew things wouldn’t get any better with our relationship I committed to living in my car full time to try and finish school by next semester. This is when I figured out how to bootstrap and save money on another level! It wasn’t easy but I learned a lot, so I posted my experience in the video below. Watching the video is necessary to understand the rest of my story.
Winter arrived quickly so come November I moved for the last time into a huge house shared with 8 other college students that went to Stony Brook University. Nobody got my name right so I was known to them as Andrew. I had a small basement apartment with a tiny window, shared bathroom and kitchen for $600 USD per month. I only rented it because it was 5 km from my job in East Setauket which made it easy to commute by bicycle. After living there for about 6 months I gave the rest of my shoes and jackets away to a local charity called Food Not Bombs. I gave more expensive items to friends and family.
The last to go were the sentimental things like my graduation t-shirt, yearbooks, funeral cards, love notes, photos of family and my brother’s bachelor party jersey. I felt relieved to let go of these items and found myself less and less worried about the little things. I had literally no attachment to anything I owned so none of it owned me. The daily chores like cleaning my room became less stressful and I never worried about what to wear that day because I only had seven shirts.
By September of 2015 I used all my sick and vacation time then I quit my job, said goodbye to my family and headed off to New York City to live with my friend Shaun. Curious to what I wrote on my resignation letter? Well, basically it went a little something like this: I have an opportunity of a lifetime I have to pursue in order to fulfill my dreams.
I road for hours on the bike that day and my back really hurt from the heavy backpack. Once I arrived in the city I realized it was a necessity to have more cycling bags that could take pressure off. I also made a few minor upgrades to my Trek 1.1 bicycle which will be another post but I will list every item I added on my bike since the improvements.
I arrived in Chiang Mai Thailand on October 4th 2015 and that month I cycled 1,000 km all over the city. I lived in Chiang Mai for 4 months and I was able to take my last college course online to finally graduate with a degree. Eventually, I toured through Cambodia, Laos and took a flight to Hanoi Vietnam. Now I work as an intern for JohnnyFD.com as a social media and podcast engineer earning around $600. I am currently working on other passive avenues like my travel guides that will launch soon.
Traveling through these countries has changed my life in such a positive way. I love the freedom I have to just pick up and go travel a country. Just give me 10 minutes to pack everything I own. I FEEL SO FREE! If only this bicycle could talk now she’d tell a million stories. For now, I will share my journey and passion on this blog while I ride my bicycle around the world.
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Peace & PMA