Gratitude. Thank you. With all love – from Morocco

morocco

I am writing from lovely sunny Morocco as Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Specifically, I have been living at a co-living/co-working space of a place called Sundesk. It’s located in a tiny fishing village called Taghazout – quite world famous for it’s surfing spots actually. It really IS tiny – with one main road stretching along the coast with a beach for miles. There’s no alcohol sold (yes, it’s a dry town/village) and the nearest big city with alcohol sold is about 20-30 minutes away called Agadir. Marrakech is about a three hour drive away – where I am heading to tomorrow.

It’s been a lovely two weeks here and because there is nothing to do but work or surf/sunbathe, you find yourself being productive, relaxing, or catching up on sweet sleep. I find it a huge contrast to the rich opulent luxurious feel of Dubai with it’s glittering skyscrapers and officious attitude.

morocco

On this blog, a personal post is few and far in between but figured with Thanksgiving around the corner, it’d be nice to have a list of the things I’m grateful for and to count my blessings.

This year has been an adventure – with it’s fair share of ups and downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. For now, I’ll focus on the positives while plan to tell the whole story in retrospect in an end of year post.

+ I’ve moved on from my old (remote-friendly) job at Mixed In Key and now happily employed at GitHub. It’s been an incredible ride and I’m happy to take on this new challenge. I’m especially grateful that they’re remote-friendly (60% of us don’t work at headquarters in San Francisco).

+ This entire year has been pretty much non-stop traveling with a few months or weeks in a place. Just in 2015, I was able to live in or visit: Thailand, Hawaii, Ecuador, San Francisco, Portland, Taiwan, Denmark, The Netherlands, UAE, and Morocco. It’s been incredible – all the things I’ve seen, done, eaten, and people I’ve met.

ecuador

+ Incredibly happy that I’ve been relatively healthy for the most part. No debilitating illnesses, accidents or injuries – except my right knee has been sore after a slight incident with a curb in Amsterdam so I’ve come to realize that I am no longer in my youth and things like aching knees are going to be more common now.

+ Speaking of being more personal, I was interviewed by David Jagneaux from Vice.com and while the title is incredibly misleading, it’s an interview where I speak about the personal & emotional side of being a digital nomad.  Here is the article: Living as a ‘Digital Nomad’ Is Like One Super-Long Vacation. I’m thankful that the article garnered a mostly positive reception and while it was refreshing to be honest about my life, it was also completely & utterly terrifying. 

hawaii

+ Due to the article being a bit popular, I was also interviewed by several radio stations and while I would link them here, I hate the sound of my voice and I realize that my public speaking skills have seriously regressed since college. Time for a session of toastmasters. Nonetheless, it was an awesome opportunity and I’m grateful for it.

+ My family…people always ask how my family feels about me living such an unconventional life (for now) and you know what? I’m happy (and quite proud) to say that they fully support me 100%. They actually even understand my urges to wander and while yes, they are constantly worried about me and miss me, they know it would be worst and miserable for me if I was forced to stick around them out of familial obligation. I love you, Dad, Mom, Quyen, Davin, Addie, and the whole kennel we have at my parents’ house.

thanksgiving

+ Everybody that I’ve met and connected throughout this entire year so far. To have such an international network that’s incredibly diverse, to meet people from around the world that truly GET me….feels nice. To feel like a weirdo and meet another weirdo so you’re not as weird anymore?

It’s a warm mushy feeling inside. Some have supported and encouraged me to make moves with my career, ventures, or risks in love. Some have opened my world even more so and some have broken my heart. Living this sort of life has made me lose some friendships while some are strengthened. The ebbs and flow of life. It’s normal – that’s how the story goes and I’m OK with that.

hawaii

+ I’ve avoided winter this entire year so I’ve avoided the dreadful seasonal depression and dropping temperatures. Sunshine and warm weather has surrounded me all year and for that and my everlasting tan, THANK YOU.

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+ After traveling to over 21 countries so far, I am grateful to say that I’m happy to be born in the US and a fellow American citizen. The cruelties of life’s inequalities is staggering and can easily make a grown person cry at times. In another life, I could’ve been born in another time, another part of the world, living a very different life. Saying I’m lucky isn’t even enough. There is no way the US is perfect by any means, but it could be worse.

taiwan

+ Seeing the world. And the freedom & flexibility to do so. I don’t even think I have to explain this. I GET TO SEE THE WORLD!!!! YES. And it’s amazing! I love it. I LOVE THE WORLD!!!!