What I Learned From Partying Around The World For A Month
I just got back from 30 straight days of partying with some of my closest friends. It started to feel a little like the Key & Peele LMFAO skit.
It started in Austin for SXSW, then New York, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Bosch, Oslo, and Austin again.
After David and I didn’t get selected for NBC’s new Bear Grylls Adventure show, I decided I’d join one of my best friends for his 40th birthday celebration. It spanned four weeks across six cities and four countries. Why?
How many times have you turned 40? Exactly. Once in a lifetime baby.
I’m back in Tucson now spending some quality time with my family and trying to rebuild positive habits in my life. I wasn’t going to write about this experience, because who really wants to hear about how I took a month off and spent more time in a nightclub than in front of my laptop anyway? But as I started to journal about the past month I realized that there were definite takeaways that are worth sharing with the world.
So while a piece of me is afraid of what you’ll think of me, there might be something in here that helps shift your mindset. And seriously, what do I have to be afraid about after writing this bonerific post in February?
So here’s what I learned from partying around the world for a month (God, that sentence sounds ridiculous).
1. It’s OK To Play
I grew up in a family of four being supported by one government salary. So I learned quickly that if I wanted something I would have to work for it.
I’ve always been very good with my money. Not cause I wanted to, because I had to. I’ve never had a plan B. Either make enough money to pay for what I want or don’t do it. No calling Daddy for a bailout.
With that said, I’ve always maxed out my 401K and Roth IRA, kept personal spending at a minimum, and most importantly I always made more than I spent.
I had the belief that Income ALWAYS had to be greater than Expenses.
So when I had the opportunity to take off and hang out with my friends for a month straight, a part of me said: “You’re crazy. Shut down your coaching practice for a month? You just started taking on paying clients at the beginning of this year! You’re going to run out of money!”
But when I looked at the totality of things, I could afford it. I just had to give myself permission to take the leap. So I did.
And the once in a lifetime experiences I had with some of my best brotherfriends was worth way more than any amount of money.
Money is just one metric to define success. And a poor one at that.
2. People Who Put A Dent In The Universe Aren’t Out Every Night
Yeah, I like to go out.
From the minute I walk into crowded nightclub, I feel at home. Something literally changes in my state.
Sober, drunk, standing, dancing, with two people, or with two hundred, it doesn’t matter. It’s my realm.
I’ve made some of my best business connections in bars and nightclubs. Yes, going out until the wee hours of the morning has had a positive ROI in my business.
But the guys who are really crushing it? The guys who are making five figures, maybe six figures a month? They know when to slip out. You know why? Because they have work to do!
Yes, it is possible to go out four to six nights a week and run a business that covers your expenses. I know plenty of people who do. Especially if you live in Thailand, Colombia, Vietnam or some other country where the dollar goes a long way.
But the guys who are writing New York Times bestsellers and building scaleable million dollar business aren’t socializing their lives away.
So it’s up to you to decide what’s really important to you. What do you value? Fun or profit?
I’m still figuring that out myself.
3. We Are All The Same
I’ve spent the first 100 days of 2013 across six different countries (The United States, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, The Netherlands, and Norway). In those countries I’ve connected with people from dozens more countries.
And as we shared our stories, goals, and fears, I started to realize that despite cultural differences, we are all the same.
We all want connection. We all want to make a contribution. We all like things that make us feel good. We’re all afraid of the same things. We all want to feel significant.
We all want love.
The best part about full time travel so far hasn’t been the food, museums, beaches, tourist attractions, or nightclubs. It’s been my restored faith in humanity and the realization that we’re all just humans doing the best we can with our current circumstances.
4. Travel Destroys Habits
We talked a lot about habits during our family dinners and meetups. It’s an area of opportunity for almost every digital nomad I know.
Sure, I have a morning ritual, but it’s probably not going to happen when I’m at an Armin van Buuren show until 6:00am and I have a train to catch to Amsterdam Airport at 7:50am.
Travel is great, but the pace at which I’ve been traveling just isn’t becoming sustainable anymore. Yes, I’ve been packing a month’s worth of life experiences into every week, but at what cost?
I’m squishier than I’ve been for at least a year. My journaling practice has gone to shit. And in Europe my average waking time was usually somewhere from 1:00-3:00pm. One day I woke up at 7:00pm.
It’s been a couple days back here in Tucson and I’ve been up before 8:00am every morning. I’m journaling again. I’m going to the gym. I’m eating vegetables like it’s my job. It’s been difficult though. I’ve built some habits over the past month that don’t serve me. So changing those requires fighting inertia.
I see travel being a part of my life for years to come. I’m just going to make some minor tweaks to how I do it, specifically in regards to how long I spend in each place.
5. Bringing People Together Creates Magic
Every city that I travel to, I host a meetup. Sometimes it’s at a bar, sometimes it’s at a restaurant, and sometimes it’s where I’m staying at. In Berlin we hosted two meetups at our Airbnb flat. The first one brought around ten people, the second one brought in around twenty.
It wasn’t my intention at all when I started traveling, but I’ve built some serious social capital just by bringing brilliant people together to share stories and knowledge.
In fact, I owe much of my current lifestyle to Nick Reese, who had the idea of bringing ten of his closest friends to a jungle paradise for a week at the first Skip Winter. Thanks Nick. Love you brother.
Yes, we are wired to connect. In today’s digital world, people are thirsty for it. In fact, they are willing to pay a hefty price premium to actually be in the presence of other human beings.
So why not be the person to do it? Here, steal my copy even.
Seriously, if there’s one thing you take from this post, get some badass people together. Now.
The magic will follow.
6. I Don’t Have All The Answers And That’s OK
Wait, you said it’s OK to play? But travel destroys habits? Which is it Mike!
I never said I have all the answers. None of us do.
Life is one big experiment. Create, Learn, Improve, Repeat. Right Karol?
I still have things to work on. That’s why I’m working on them.
I’m not afraid to share my ugly. It doesn’t make me a less effective coach. Just ask my clients.
It just means I accept that I’m human. I accept that I will never have it all figured out. But most importantly I accept that everything about my life is perfect as it is.
Because seriously… I just took a month off to party with my friends and I’m writing about it on the Internet.