Spin the Globe & Live Like Locals, Wherever The Finger Lands

“It’s so sad that most of our friends will never do this,” was the refrain that my wife Katie and I kept repeating. We were wandering the ruins of the old Bulgarian Empire’s capital in Veliko Tarnovo. We didn’t mean that exact experience, of course (although we loved everything about Bulgaria). But a larger “this”: seeing the far corners of the world mapped on the globe.

Sure, some of our friends will visit Paris or London once in their lives. A few of the more adventurous might even do a two-week trip to Australia or Thailand. And those trips are fantastic, don’t get me wrong.

But those are tidy, researched, few-and-far-between vacations. For an authentic experience, you need to go live it.

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  Ever thought about spinning the globe and stopping it with your finger, deciding to go wherever your finger landed?

Katie and I moved from Baltimore to Abu Dhabi in 2015. We didn’t know what to expect; we’d done the kind of international traveling outlined above, with its neat edges and clear boundaries. That didn’t prepare us for actually moving abroad, much less to the Middle East.

But the story actually starts before we moved. I had spent two years travelling around the US once, as a younger, less-attached man. After returning, I wanted to try living abroad. Yet with every month that went by, my wife and I were setting deeper and deeper roots in Baltimore. Careers. Serving on nonprofit boards. Social clubs. Friends having children. You know the drill.

We were settling into complacency, the comfortable but all-too-familiar routine life.

Then Katie did something daring. She broke the cycle, and signed up for a recruiting service for international schools. After a series of interviews and job offers, we decided to take a leap of faith and move to Abu Dhabi.

I have passive income from rental properties (see my bio if you’re interested in doing this yourself), and Katie’s new employer furnished us with housing. Thus the adventure began.

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Ever thought about spinning the globe and stopping it with your finger, deciding to go wherever your finger landed?

That’s basically how we travel.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are travel hubs in the Middle East – airports where many airlines stop and route flights through. That, combined with its central location with easy access to Europe, Africa and Asia makes traveling from Abu Dhabi a dream.

We look up flights leaving from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, with flexible dates and flexible locations. That’s how we ended up in Bulgaria

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“Hey honey, we can fly roundtrip to Bulgaria nonstop for $300. Wanna go for a week?”

“What’s there?”

“I don’t know, I’ll do some research.” Ten minutes of typing and “hmm” sounds pass. “Looks like there are ancient Roman ruins, surprisingly good wine regions, delicious food, and the remains of a fortified medieval capital. Oh, and the exchange rate is fantastic. Thoughts?”

“Yeah okay let’s go.”

We’ve visited 14 countries since leaving the US, including mainstream destinations (e.g. Amsterdam), paradise islands at the ends of the earth (e.g. The Maldives), and a few unexpected gems.

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How many people are willing to just say “Okay, that sounds kinda interesting, let’s do it” when planning trips?

But that’s how our best travel experiences have happened.

We went camping in Oman on a remote beach accessible only by boat. A local company took us on a dhow cruise where we snorkeled, watched dolphins swim alongside the boat, and dropped us off with equipment and a local guide at this beach. Our guide built a fire, cooked dinner for us, and pretended not to notice that we had smuggled bourbon into the country.

At night, we had stars. Real stars. The kind of stars people write poetry about.

Then around 1:00 in the morning our friends woke us up and dragged us down to the shoreline. With each wave, the water would spark. We splashed around, and the water sparked some more.

Bioluminescence wasn’t even on our list of things to see in Oman, but that’s what happens when you just go do.

  Open Yourself to Pleasant Surprises Commit Now, Figure Out “How” Later

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You don’t need to have all the answers. We have friends who quit their jobs in the US one day and moved to Australia with whatever they could carry. They spent a delightful 18 months there, working and living. Eventually they moved back to the States, and on to Abu Dhabi, where they met us.

Katie and I subleased an apartment in northern Italy last summer for a month. Why not? We even learned a little Italian.

If you commit to a remote life, you’ll figure out the details as you need to. Yes, it’s scary, and you won’t know what to expect. But you won’t starve or end up on the street.

I promise.

About the Author

Brian Davis is a rental investor who offers free training on how to create passive income from rental properties at Snap Landlord. He’s an avid traveler and passive income evangelist, whose goal is to help others create the same passive income that’s made his own life so much richer. His current project is a rent automation service, that deducts rent directly from renters’ paychecks to help lower-credit renters get approved for housing.

2 replies on “Spin the Globe & Live Like Locals, Wherever The Finger Lands

    • Shrestha satpathy

      Yeah how challenging it sound, just wake up, close your eyes, and throw the dart on the world map. The place it lands is your next travel destination. Pack your bag and rush..
      Practically impossible it sounds. But no, people like dis have the guts to do it and this blog do show how completely satisfied this couple is.
      Sitting in front of the laptop, watching movie in a multiplex with flavored popcorn and reading experiences written by the travellers will not give you the real crisp, pack up and go out life lies in the greens

      Reply

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