This post title is perhaps misleading. It’s actually about a lot of things. The culmination of some thinking. But also a work in progress.

I’m recovering from an SI joint fusion operation, which you can find out more about here, should you be so inclined. But the point is, I’m having time off work, with now manageable pain for the first time in 15 months, and having this time allows me to reflect.


Lending to help build lives

I’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness – (try out – and thinking a lot about generosity. Giving. Not just to others, but also to myself. I’ve re-established my habit of giving a Kiva loan a month – ( – and giving myself time, regularly and intentionally, to think on where I am going.

I’ve discovered the Tim Ferris podcast, the HiddenBrain podcast and the Infinite Monkey Cage podcast – all of which I thoroughly recommend. This has also led me to Tim Ferris’ book – The Four Hour Work Week, which is fascinating reading.

So where is all this leading? To an epiphany, I hope. Certainly to a lifestyle change. As I near the end of a contract here in Nanjing as a High School Counsellor, I see the future as an open door, full of possibilities. And these may not involve working full time and saving for the future…at least not in the traditional sense, where I’m working a 9-5 in order to ‘enjoy’ a retirement in 20 years’ time…

We’re taking a year off from August and giving ourselves the luxury of a year to travel, to chill out in our place in France, and to be with our kids and each other in a much more intentional and rich way. The year off has been planned for a long time and is evolving into two years… Instead of travelling around the world for 8 or 9 months, we may simply visit Canada and the US and then come home. And then head off again when we feel like it to tour Europe closer to home. And then hit South America sometime in 2017…

Are we sudden lottery winners? No. We’ve been keen savers for a while and have no illusions about the lifestyle we’ll be adopting for a couple of years. Learning about investment has been a big thing over the last couple of years for me as well. We think we can do this. It’s exciting.

So giving in its broadest sense. Giving us time and adventure and life in the here and now. After all, it’s where we always are..