We’re almost three months into 2017 and I haven’t posted an update yet, so this is to catch you up on my life over the past few months.
Where We’ve Been
Amanda and I started the year in Myanmar. We spent 16 days exploring the center of the country.
We recently put out two episodes on The World Wanderers documenting our time there. Check those out for some deeper detail.
Overall my experience of Myanmar was mixed. I got value out of the experience but it was challenging. The history of Myanmar is a depressing totalitarian storyline. The government of the country has opened up economically and to tourism. It is fascinating to travel the country and see it in the early stages of mixing with the world after decades of being forcibly isolated.
We spent 16 days in Myanmar, and both ended up with food poisoning at the end. So we were excited to be moving on back to Bangkok where it is a lot easier to find healthy and safe food.
We spent a week in Bangkok recovering from our stomach issues and catching up on podcasting.
This was our fourth time in Bangkok. It is a big chaotic city. It turns a lot of people off. But I kind of like it. We rented an Airbnb apartment in the Rama 9 area of the city and spent most of our time working, eating, nursing ourselves back to health.
Before we left Canada in October, we agreed to spend a month in Bali. Amanda did a yoga teacher training there in 2015 and loved it plus we found a cool coworking space in Ubud. We rented a room on Airbnb for the month near the center of Ubud for just over $500 Canadian.
We will have a podcast episode coming out about Bali in the next couple weeks with more detail about our time there, but we both enjoyed it.
Traveling and working is a balance between adventure and settled life. Bali was a swing back to settled life. We extended our visa’s and spent two months in Ubud. It’s a small down in central Bali with an astounding amount of good restaurants. For $30 a day you can find nice accommodation and eat good healthy food. With a couple of coworking spaces that allow you to meet other entrepreneurs and remote workers and have high-speed wifi. If you are interested in lifestyle arbitrage, Bali should be at the top of your list.
Bali is also a popular travel hub, so we had the opportunity to reconnect with a few friends who were there at the same time as well as meeting a few new friends who follow the podcast! Shout out Nathan, Allie, Matt, Liz, Jake, and Michelle!
If our visas didn’t end, we would have stayed in Bali longer, but since they did expire, and we are going to Japan at the start of April we came to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for the next two weeks.
KL is a seriously underrated spot in Southeast Asia. A lot of travelers don’t come to Malaysia, and if they do only spend a day or two here. There aren’t many “must see” things here, but there is great affordable food, places to stay, and things to do.
It’s my favorite capital city in Southeast Asia, and great places to spend a while if you are working remotely.
Settling in Bali helped us to get a lot of stuff done. Here is a quick scan of new projects I’ve been working on.
I helped two great companies launch podcasts in February.
Short bites of wisdom from Praxis CEO Isaac Morehouse. These are great doses of inspiration to listen to on your way to work and get you excited to kick ass and create value.
TK Coleman interviews small business entrepreneurs about the lessons they’ve learned. As humans, we are attracted to popular giant success stories, but I find a get a lot more value from the real conversations with people who aren’t in the spotlight. On Small Business Edge, TK is interviewing down to earth entrepreneurs who have great stories and wisdom, but remain very relatable.
Amanda and I released a course on the basics of yoga for people who aren’t that flexible. In the course you’ll learn the most popular yoga poses and how to adjust them if you don’t have much flexibility. There was a lot of resistance to filming and creating this course. It was an idea we had months ago, so it was fun to create and realize it.
We’ve put out a mix of destination episodes, updates, and interviews so far and have a couple exciting guests already recorded and lined up!
Each month for the last six months in a row our audience has grown, and February was our biggest month ever more than 28,000 downloads/listens.
I wrote a couple of blog posts for the Praxis Blog in February, and have put out a handful of other posts this year. I’m writing less than I want to be, so look out for more content shortly.
Reading Right Now
I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series over the past 6 weeks, and I’m about halfway through number six right now. I haven’t re-read these books since The Deathly Hallows came out in 2007 so it has been fun and enriching to go through again and to make lots of new connections that weren’t there before.
There are a lot of deeper themes in the books that you don’t pick up when you’re younger. One that stands out the most is the commentary on government involvement in the education system that you see in book five.
On the writing side, JK Rowling is a master at keeping the action going through these stories. There are dozens of small narrative arcs that take place during the big macro story. She is also a master at foreshadowing and naming characters in a way that creates an association to their personalities.
Could Sirius Black be anything but dark and brooding?
Could Neville Longbottom be anything but goofy and uncoordinated
Could Draco Malfoy be anything but a villain?
I am also re-reading Atlas Shrugged with a group of Praxians. This is my third time through the book and has probably been the most valuable time yet regarding the practical actions I can pull out of the book and into my own life. I wrote a blog post about one of the lessons. And will have a few more before we are finished.
Deep Work by Cal Newport
I just started Deep Work by Cal Newport.
This book had been recommended by a few people in the Praxis community, and it caught my eye at the bookstore. I’m only a chapter in, but I’ve already gotten value from it in inspiring me to remove some distractions from my life.
A big theme in my life over the past two months has been experimenting and learning more about the way I work best. The Multiplier Mindset Podcast by Dan Sullivan has been a big help with this. In Bali, we were a 10-minute walk from out co-working space. This was the perfect amount of time to fit in a dose of entrepreneurial wisdom from Dan Sullivan.
I’ve also been using the Life Coach in a Book Journal each day to keep track of my work and have put in a rule for myself to not check any social media before 5 pm. That has been a massive boost in keeping my head clear during the day and allowing me to be more productive.
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
I just finished Show Your Work before starting the HP series. It is a great reference book and shot of motivation to share what you’re working on. It’s the type of book you leave on a bookshelf near your desk as a reminder to not be a perfectionist and to get out and create value in your community. Highly recommend.
After KL we are headed to Japan for three weeks in April. If you’ve been and have recommendations I’d love to hear them!