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Living the Fun Life in Florianopolis, Brazil:

I first visited Brazil in January of 2008.  I had recently taken up surfing in the mountain lakes of Montana and wanted to take my newly learned skills to the ocean.  I was debating between going to Australia or Brazil.  After seeing the images of Florianopolis, Brazil became my choice. 

Before going I used Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur to learn the basics of Portuguese.

Florianopolis, also known as “Floripa” by locals, is actually a large island off of the coast of Southern Brazil. 

It’s a stunning location to live or visit with over 40 beaches and some of Brazils most beautiful and happy people.  Think of it as the Miami of South America where the rich from Brazil and surrounding countries come to vacation and party. 

DJs from all around the world come for the parties and club events that regularly attract crowds of over 10,000 to a single event.

The people of Brazil are the most friendly and passionate I have met. 

Holidays are so common that rarely does anyone even know what the actual holiday is for.  And holidays in Floripa mean a chance to go to the beach! 

Sexuality in Brazil is celebrated and not hidden away as if it is some kind of sickness.  It’s perfectly fine to look at other people and even talk about them.  Gossip is rampant in Brazil!  But it’s all in good fun.  What Brazil lacks is the harsh criticism of Western Culture.  I’ve literally watched old ladies in Brazil laugh out loud at the foreigners on their beaches with their gigantic swimsuits.  Being beautiful and showing it is rewarded with positive glances from both sexes instead of disdain.   

One of the things I always miss when I leave Brazil are the great buffet lunches.  Lunch is actually the main meal in Brazil.

After discovering Floripa in 2008, I have lived there part time ever since.

In 2014 my wife and I welcomed our daughter into the world.  But when gun shots went off just outside our house we decided it was time to leave Brazil.  We were on a mission to find a country like Brazil but without the problems – the next best place.  We travelled to 18 countries in 18 months.  But we didn’t find any country like Brazil.  Not even close 🙂

We’re now back in Brazil and trying again to live here full time.  I’ll say the only reason we left the first time is the crime.  Even on the beautiful island of Florianopolis you can’t escape Brazil’s worse problem.   But we’re here again because it’s the funnest place to live.

December 29, 2016 0 comment
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Being “Rich” is just a perspective.  Financial burdens dominate every income level including the financially “rich”.  It’s funny to think but even people with millions in the bank waste their days stressing about how to get more money.

Financially the subject person in the story below could easily be mislabeled as poor.  But spiritually he is rich.  And that is the best feeling of “rich” you can have.

If there is one story that has stuck with me over the year’s, it’s this one:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.


Simple-life

We’re on a timeline.  And it starts with birth and ends with death.  Everyday that happens in between is a day to live and experience life.  The fisherman in this story gets it.  The Harvard grad is lost and will no doubt one day take up yoga and meditation to try and figure out where it all went wrong.

Life is too short.  Stop chasing that extra dollar.  Make your days count today.  And appreciate what you have.

 

December 28, 2016 0 comment
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The idea is you don’t eat beef and you save a cow’s life.  If only it were that simple.  The reality is eating beef allows more cows to be brought to life.  And then killed.  It’s a cruel twist where if cows were not wanted to be eaten they wouldn’t be given the chance to live.  What a conundrum.

Choosing to be a vegetarian isn’t saving a cow’s life. But you are off the hook for having a cow killed for your food.

Corporate "Farming"

Corporate cattle farming conditions like this are the norm. Are you supporting this?

Nowadays the vast majority of cows are owned by corporations.  Large scale agricultural has taken away any chance these cows had at enjoying a good life. Many cows live indoors their entire life.  They never see a pasture. Others are outdoors but are kept in such small confinement they live their life standing on their own feces.  Stressful conditions like this should be illegal for any living creature but are presently being allowed.  All for the purpose of saving money.  It’s really sad.  And it’s completely ignored by the media.  The corporate “ranchers” are being given a free pass for abusing life.  It’s a shame.

I have an instinct and urge to eat meat.  I’m not happy with it but it’s in me.  I also feel there is a more responsible way to eat meat that gives cows a chance to live a better life before dying.  Before massive agricultural companies came into existence the small scale farmer did things in a way that was a lot easier to accept.  Their cows were born into a world where they could step out into real pasture that was often grass.  They could soak up days in the sun.  They could enjoy life.  Sure at some point they were killed but at least in the time in between they enjoyed a normal quality of life that any living thing should have. 

Free Range CattleThere are countries where cows have a chance.  New Zealand comes to mind.  I was recently visiting the country and in the grocery store I had a hard time finding any beef that said “organic” or “free range”.  Well it turns out all the cows in the entire country are free range!  No need for fancy packaging in that case.  What a great surprise. So the entire world has not yet been turned into a corporate nightmare.

In summary:

  1. Vegetarians are not saving the lives of cows.  If they were to eat cows they would actually be giving more cows the chance to live.  I’m not talking down on vegetarians.  I admire them and really think it’s great they are able to live without eating beef.
  2. Large scale agricultural corporations are abusing cows in a way that if you ever saw the abuse first hand, you would likely want to become a vegetarian – the key is to not have a blind eye but rather avoid buying beef that was not raised humanely – no more fast food is a good start.
  3. Buying your beef from stores that source from small farms is the best way to show your support for humanely raised beef.  It sucks that cows have to die for us to eat beef.  The least we can do is to pay a little extra to help give the cows we eat a better life.
December 27, 2016 0 comment
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Thanks to the internet & airplanes it’s pretty easy to travel around the world while earning an income online

For the past four years I have been living outside of the USA while running a small marketing company for law firms. My employees are completely outsourced. I started the business in 2012. Shortly after starting the business I moved to Brazil to live full time.

In June of 2015 I started a 18 month around the world trip to 18 countries with my wife and young daughter. We traveled to some amazing places including Iceland, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Fiji, Tonga and all over Europe.

Over the last 4 years I’ve spent a total of less than 4 months in the USA even though 100% of my money is earned from American clients. So how do I do it?

Phone Calls:

For speaking with my clients by phone I use Skype. It works well. I’ve tried other services but Skype is still the best in my opinion. And it works on my laptops and mobile phones.

I also have a Skype To Go phone number that gives me a USA number to hand out to my clients when I want. I can take the calls on my cell phone or even forward them to another number if I prefer.

I typically don’t give out my personal Skype number but rather have a different virtual number that is setup with a team of virtual secretaries in Tennessee. They take the calls and can route it to my outsourced employees, route it to me or simply take a message. I have chosen to never have them route the calls to me directly but that is an option. The voicemail messages come to me by email. There are many companies offering this kind of service. I am using this one: https://www.gabbyville.com/

I try to avoid speaking with clients by phone. For new customers this is not always easy but for established customers I can typically get them to put forth their questions by email.  Most new customers I refer to an outsourced sales rep to answer their questions.

My business is simple and I have things dialed in very well.  I average just 1 phone call per week so phone calls are not a big part of my everyday life.

Postal Mail:

I have all my postal mail sent to a virtual mail box where letters are opened, scanned and uploaded to my online account. I can even forward any piece of mail to any address I choose. And checks can be mailed by them and deposited to most any US bank. I’ve been using this company for over five years now and the service has been good: www.MailBoxForwarding.com

Changing Time Zones:

One of the biggest pluses of putting yourself in a remote environment is that you focus better on work because you tend to work less.  Less time means working faster when you need to get things done.  And typically working faster actually results in less errors and better overall production.

Our time zones were completely flipped while we traveled through Asia.  During that time I worked the fewest hours. But I never got behind or felt like I was missing out. And my clients didn’t either.

Bank Accounts:

There’s no need to change bank accounts.  Your debit and credit cards are going to work just fine anywhere you go.

Taxes:

If you stay out of the USA for a full year directly you can potentially gain a large tax credit on your taxes.  It’s called the “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion”.  Learn more about taxes while living outside the USA here:  http://www.efile.com/foreign-earned-income-and-income-exclusion/

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I don’t have any detachment about working from outside the USA.  The ability to travel when I want is an incredible feeling.  And after seeing so many other countries, I can’t imagine a scenario where I would ever want to live in the USA again.

For me it was very easy to leave the USA on a mad dash for anything new.  But for most the biggest hurdle with working remotely is to detach yourself from your current situation. It means abandoning most everything around you.  My advice is to just do it and later you can always go back if you want 🙂

 

December 14, 2016 0 comment
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