2016 is officially in the books and damn, what a year it’s been. No, I’m not talking about all the celebrity deaths or the Donald Trump upset. I’m speaking of my journey, where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going.
In 2016, I lived in London, Singapore and Thailand. I went to 17 countries, experienced amazing cultures and met some amazing people. I ate fried tarantula in Cambodia (I’m deathly scared of spiders), bungee jumped out of a gondola in Switzerland and witnessed the most unbelievable sunrise in Burma.
In 2016, I quit my job as a banking consultant to follow my dreams of becoming a location independent entrepreneur. I’ve started multiple websites (some successes and some failures), partnered with other digital nomads and learned a ton.
Not to mention, I witnessed two of my best friends (my cousin Kody and my buddy Tyler) get married to beautiful women in beautiful settings.
I even got to shoot my guns when I was back home and boy-o-boy do I need some practice. The girls put me to shame.
As I sit here looking back, it’s been an incredible year. As I look forward, I’m excited to what 2017 will bring.
Looking Ahead to 2017 and Beyond
In a lot of ways 2017 is my make it or break it year. It’s the year I find out if I’m cut out to be the entrepreneur I envision myself to be. It’ll be a year of new websites, new ideas and new opportunities.
It’ll also be a year of a lot of travel! I’m headed to Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Philippines, Brunei, Hawaii, Yosemite, Glacier National Park and Banff National Park starting in February. And I’m capping that off with spending my summer back in the best place on earth, Northern Michigan (haven’t spent a summer there since 2006!).
2017 will also be the start of my teaching career. It’s ironic as I’ve told my father (career educator) countless times I would never become a teacher. It just didn’t interest me. But there are two questions I get asked frequently; “What do you do that allows you to travel?” and “How do I start?”.
So with those questions in mind, I’m in the process of creating a 30 Day: Zero to First Sale Challenge course. This is perfect for beginners that have no experience whatsoever in creating an online business. It’ll teach you how to select a niche, how to make a website, how to partner with suppliers and how to make your first sale.
If your new year resolution is to start a business or earn extra income then sign up in the form below to get invited to the course once it launches. I’m hoping to have it ready by February (we’ll see).
My Goals for 2017
I’m a goal oriented person. Setting goals keeps me focused and keeps me hungry. This is probably the first time I’ve actually written them down in a public setting but this is good. It will keep me accountable.
Create 3 new $1,000/month (net income) stores
- This is a validation goal. Validation that I am an entrepreneur and will be far beyond 2017.
Replace the banking salary I left behind
- This is a luxury goal. Not essential but I want to aim high in 2017!
Create an online course
- I want to share all the things I’ve learned to help others achieve their goals. Whether that is becoming an entrepreneur, earning extra income, freeing up time, etc.
- I’m definitely not getting any younger so health and fitness is essential. I have a massive sweet tooth so this is going to be a challenge.
Visit 15 new countries
- There are approximately 196 recognized countries and I aim to see all of them. I have 30+ under my belt which means I have a shit ton more to go.
Spend more time with family
- I’ve been selfish. I’ve always put my dreams and goals first at the expense of spending time away from friends and family. I’m excited about spending the summer back home and being around all those people.
As you sit down and draft your 2017 goals, make sure to dream big. And make no mistake, dreams and goals are linked. We set goals to achieve our dreams.
As my buddy Hoxie once said:
Remember to relentlessly pursue your passions everyone. Aim to make your adulthood as awesome as you imagined it would be when you were a kid, or better.
2016: A Year in Review
Looking back at 2016 has been fun and I’m glad I took the time to write down a lot of the trips I’ve taken. I hope others are enjoying the stories but if not I’m enjoying re-reading and remembering my adventures. My goal with the travel posts is two-fold:
- To share and catalog all my trips, images and videos with family and friends.
- To inspire others to get out and to see and to do.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane:
In 2016 I finally visited Paris. I took the high speed train from London and had an awesome weekend there. Check out the 2 day guide to seeing all Paris has to offer.
Other places worth a visit in France:
I visited Budapest with some buddies and we had a great time. Budapest is a great Eastern European city that delivers that Eastern European look and feel. I haven’t yet written an article on the trip to Budapest but it’s on the 2017 to-do list.
I love ancient history. First and foremost is Roman history but a close second is Greek history. I took an extended weekend trip to Athens and got lost exploring all the ancient ruins, especially the Acropolis. I can’t believe I haven’t done a write up on this one yet. Add it to the list!
Another weekend trip I took from London. I spent the weekend in Brussels and Bruges and gorged on chocolate and waffles.
One of the places I called home in 2016. A fantastic city (the entire country is an island/city) that is modern, clean and safe. It also serves as the perfect gateway to the rest of Asia. In fact, the airport in Singapore has been voted year after year the best airport in the world. It has a butterfly sanctuary, botanical garden and 2 movie theaters. And the movies are free!
My buddy and I took a trip to Bali and had an awesome time. We spent 4 days waking up, surfing, lounging poolside with beer in hand and experiencing the Bali nightlife. Wake up, rinse and repeat.
Unfortunately, I didn’t document the weekend well so I haven’t done a write up but Bali is a place I will visit again!
I took a quick trip up to Kuala Lampur and had great time with my buddy there. A very cool city that is shadowed by the very impressive Petronas Towers.
I finally made it to Switzerland for some action and adrenaline. Read about this trip that was 8 years in the making!
Croatia is amazing! It has been one of my favorite countries to date. It has a beautiful landscape and amazing blue water. Twelve of us rented a yacht and went island hopping in what turned out to be probably the best week of our lives (if not, I’ll speak for myself).
I will be going back, that much is certain.
Another place I lived in 2016. I had an awesome experience living with the Brits (and Irish) and drinking way too many pints. Damn the Irish for this.
I did take full advantage of all the nearby escapes however:
My first stop after quitting my job. Siem Reap has long been on my to-do list and the sunrise over Angkor Wat was truly memorable.
Laos is one of my favorite countries in all of Southeast Asia. Picturesque and still somewhat untouched by globalization it offers an authentic travel experience. Don’t skip Laos if you’re planning a Southeast Asia adventure.
The 3rd country I called home in 2016. I spent a good 3 months in Thailand and visited much of the country. Good times, good people and good laughs. Oh, and $1 Pad Thai all day everyday.
- Full Moon Party and the Slip N’ Fly
- Outdoor adventures in Pai
- Maya Bay and Bar Fights in Koh Phi Phi
Also, check out my YouTube channel for videos of the Sticky Waterfalls, scooter rides through the mean streets of Chiang Mai, an epic sunset time lapse from Doi Suthep and more!
I often refer to this as a ‘raw’ travel experience. Burma is untouched by globalization and it’s awesome because of it! Make sure to check out the best sunrise I’ve ever seen. You take in the sunrise from atop one of the 2000+ temples that dot the land.
A group of us went to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and had a great weekend. We sampled some cobra wine, biked the craziness that is Ho Chi Minh (craziest drivers ever!), visited the Mekong Delta and I even crashed a scooter on the highway (scary as hell).
I visited a friend in Barcelona that I hadn’t seen in 8 years (since living in Rome). She welcomed me into her home and even played tourist guide throughout the city. I’m lucky to have met such great people in my travels! Thanks Maritza!
Loved every minute in Portugal, especially the little town of Sintra. The castle there sits atop the local mountain and offers some great vistas.
I also captured these bad-ass kids doing a little medieval reenactment.
…and this awesome peacock!
Make 2017 one for the Books!
2017 is upon us and so is the time for new beginnings. Figure out what makes you happy and do MORE OF IT!
Figure out what’s important to you and start taking the steps to realize that. Prioritize your time and resources and make 2017 as bad-ass as possible.
Don’t let anyone tell you what your dreams are or should be.
Happy 2017 everyone!
Let me know what you want to read or see about in 2017. More travel posts? More how to build website posts? More videos? More tutorials? All of the above?
Leave your comments below!
Also, if you liked the post, please share it with others! The more the merrier.