Follow Your Shit


Follow Your Shit

Traveling isn’t for me anymore.

When I first entered into the world of location independent entrepreneurship, with its travels, its freedom, and flexibility, I was immediately seduced.

It was new, sexy, and exciting.

Travel wherever and whenever I want? Meet people from all over the world? Who wouldn’t love this?

And it was enjoyable for all of 2014. I loved every minute of it.

I had just left college and started an amazing job with a great company that I loved, which led to me starting my own business.

To top it off, many of my friends lived and loved this lifestyle too.

They were always talking about the greatest cities to live in and where to meet other entrepreneurs. Discussions revolving around why this city was better than that were common.

Then the novelty all wore off one day. I don’t know when it happened but I found myself comparing everything to how it was back home.

How does Vietnam compare to California? How does Thailand compare to Arizona?

Every time someone boasted about what made a country fun to live in, I began listening more intently (with a hint of skepticism). Instead of nodding along, I’d ask them for specific points about what made a country or city great and I’d find myself thinking one of two things:

“But that’s not important to me,” or “But [that specific thing] is better in the states.”

I’d grown so accustomed to listening to other people’s feedback on where I should go that I forgot I can make these decisions on my own.

When I spent two weeks in Japan, it was the first time I had landed in a country without a “cheat sheet” of all the best places to go and where I should stay. I couldn’t just hop onto a group chat specifically created for the cities I was staying in and be instantly connected to my friends.

All the other places I’ve been to were exactly that. You land in Ho Chi Minh City or Chiang Mai and you immediately know at least a dozen people.

They’ll tell you what to expect and how to get acclimated so you hit the ground running. You’ll know all the best restaurants, the coolest bars and nightclubs, and you’ll get a good idea of the landscape before the day’s half over.

That’s great and all, but I made the mistake of exclusively limiting my travels to places with that ease of connection. I also let the hype get to me and set impossibly high expectations so reality never quite held up.

I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out if Southeast Asia was a good fit for me. I’ve been back here for three months and I’m already itching to get back home.

The more I thought about it the more it became clear that Arizona and the lifestyle I had there was actually ideal for me.

I don’t need the craziness and spontaneity of Southeast Asia. I don’t need the feeling of the Wild Wild West when I’m crossing the streets. I don’t need easy access to adventure.

Instead of listening to why other people liked a specific place, I began asking myself what I look for when settling down. Ironically, what I was looking for was exactly where I started off in the first place, back at home.

Traveling isn’t completely off the table for me. I’ll still fly around in small doses, but I can’t see myself spending more than a few months out of the country each year.

It’s funny, traveling is just sort of seen as something that everyone is expected to want to do. Here I am on the other end of it saying I’d rather just be at home.

But that’s me, I like boring. Give me too much to do and I get drained. I’m re-learning that about myself.

It’s about time I make up my own mind when it comes to traveling. Be unafraid to disagree with someone just because they’re a friend. If someone asks me what I think about this or that city, tell them I don’t like it if I truly don’t, even if it’s their favorite place in the whole world.

As another friend of mine recently told me, “Follow your shit”.

I’m following my shit, my gut, and what it tells me. Right now, it tells me I need to get back home.

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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8 responses to Follow Your Shit

  1. I do not want or appreciate four letter words coming over my email.

    • Hey Christine, I understand where you’re coming from, but I’ve thought about this in advance. I absolutely refuse to censor myself as that would be unfaithful to who I am or how I speak in person. I use profanity and don’t feel guilty about it as it’s not over-the-top or excessive in anyway.

      If this offends you then I’d understand if you unsubscribe or decide to no longer visit my site. There’s nothing I can do about that.

  2. Welcome back. Doesn’t matter where you are that’s your presence. If you’re interested in doing something that can change your outlook, right in AZ, check out Windspirit Teachings with Don Lorenzo near Arizona City. His lessons I highly recommend. Sounds like you could use a return to spirit for fun and discovery. If you d,ecide to go and don’t mind I’d love to join you on the retreat.

  3. The best and simplest way to enjoy life is to follow what your heart desires. It will not just make you happy. It will also lead you to self fulfillment and self development.

  4. Hi Vincent!

    One comment said earlier to be polite. I would say fuck it and express as you want. This is your life and your steps in it!

    Anyways, I’ve lately been thinking about the phenomen of Ho Chi Minh City and Chiang Mai. What’s with those two cities that everyone (mainly freelancers or writers) go to? I’ve travelled only once to Thailand and it was tourist area (Phuket). Seemed nice with its beaches (but high beer prices). Maybe you can give some brief overview about those two cities?

    Also, have you ever been to Europe? 🙂

    • I’ve got my own opinions about both cities that some may disagree with. I really like Chiang Mai and even HCMC in some ways too. I do find myself more content with the daily rituals I have in the states, though (a common thought process I’ve been having lately is that traveling simply isn’t for me these days, at least not over long periods of time).

      Chiang Mai is very quiet and much more my style. Natural beauty in the mountains and just the city overall. Cheap living expenses and great street food.

      Now with HCMC, I’m a bit more biased. Growing up in Southern California and being born into a Vietnamese family means I already had insights into the culture and all before landing. I can get into a whole thing about my views of the city that will greatly contradict what you’ve heard from others. Overall, I like it but it’s not a place I could see myself spending a significant amount of time in. It doesn’t feel real to me.

      Haven’t been to Europe! Was planning on making that 2016 but I may end up spending a lot of time in AZ instead, heh. 🙂

      Let me know if you’d like me to go into more detail!

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