Let’s try a short activity together: On the top left corner of a scrap piece of paper, write down your age. About 1cm below, write down the next number, add another 1cm below that number and write the next number. Continue until you reach 80. When you’re finished, write 2019 in the space below your age and the next number. In the following space below, write down 2020. Continue until you’ve filled all of the gaps between your age and 80. If you’re like me, I started getting a bit bored by the activity after 30 lines.

Before I started this entry, I read my first blog post written from Nusa Lembongan, Thailand. At the time, I had sold all of my things in San Francisco and spent one month as a digital nomad in South East Asia. Fortunately, my dry, uninspired words were little indication of my 2018 adventure.

First, I’d like to thank my clients, friends and family for the support during the full-time freelance journey around the world. Through the power of the internet, I’ve been able to keep in contact with all of you, directly or indirectly. In one way or another, I’ve incorporated my experiences as a solo traveler through Singapore, the Philippines, Wisconsin, and Belize—to name a few—into my work and relationships. I’m proud to share with others the experiences we’ve made together. My zest for life has taken my creativity to refreshingly new heights.

With this renewed sense of gratitude, I’ve decided to rethink my approach for the new year. I love resolutions, even when they are broken, but I think their limited, fixed scope allows little flexibility for the unexpected life events that come up in the span of a year. Instead, I’ve created a few principles to live by so that I can freely consider circumstances as they come.

NEW YEAR 2019 PRINCIPLES

  1. Be outside and travel plenty before the world’s coral reefs are bleached by 2040.
  2. Seek opportunities with good, socially conscious people.
  3. Learn a new language—Q’eqchi’, Dutch, or Arabic.
  4. Build, break, repeat.
  5. Surprise me!

The life expectancy of adults is around 80 years. For me that means a lot of years to soak in life’s adventures and prepare myself for the long road ahead. Today these principles drive me to look for more great clients, spend six months volunteering at Ak’Tenamit’s Computer Center, empower young tourism agencies in LatAm with technology, and jump as many waterfalls as possible. Thanks Universe for a fantastic 2018. Looking forward to the next one.

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