2020 Plans & Life Thoughts

Hey! Welcome to 2020 and the new decade. In today’s post I’ll be sharing my 2020 travel plans with friends, what’s been on my mind, and what I’ve been working on.

I haven’t been writing so much recently as I’ve just been enjoying life or focused on other projects. Some of you may have noticed that I started posting things related to “loneliness,” as one of my projects is now to improve symptoms of loneliness for others.

However, I may consider writing more. Something really interesting happened recently.

A couple weeks ago I flew from Phoenix to Montreal (more on that later). On the plane to Montreal from Washington D.C., I received an interesting text on my messenger from an unknown contact.

A woman had found my blog, gotten really inspired, and received a ton of benefit from my writing about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, psychosomatic pain, Dr. John Sarno, and Dr. Steve Ozanich.

I do NOT publish or edit my posts to Google, meaning that they are not SEO-optimized. For you non-tech folk, that means that typically my posts don’t show on Google search, not because I block it but because I don’t put in the extra work to make it show.

What’s funny is that this woman LIVED IN MONTREAL! I responded to her text telling her I was on a flight LITERALLY THEN to Montreal.

We ended up meeting up for a quick healthy smoothie between our busy schedules. It was a ton of fun.

Apparently, I have “online fans.” Not many. But some.

It was really strange meeting a “fan” of my content. Well, I wouldn’t call her a fan- she’s a friend, now.

All the years of writing have been primarily for me and my friends. I’ve always published posts publicly just because I like that, and because perhaps some day in the future I’d optimize them to show on Google.

It’s a great reminder of just how fulfilling it is to CREATE things. I’ve been hella addicted to YouTube, social media, video games, and other distractions recently.

While indulging in some pleasure is fine, it’s not what makes anyone fulfilled long-term.

Creating- whether it be through your work, helping others, writing blog posts, creating videos, etc. is deeply fulfilling.

I may be more seriously writing, especially with my new business projects. I am re-inspired to revisit some of the things that I actually wanted to do in business, but got side-tracked from.

Now I’m going through Sam Ovens “Consulting Accelerator” course, which I highly recommend, however I don’t see myself going through that process exactly long-term.

Consulting one on one with people is a bit emotionally taxing for me, and to be quite honest timing & schedules aren’t my forte. I’m working on improving that, but with other business models available, I can’t imagine that being a long-term project.

For now I’m choosing to “put my hands in the mud” by working directly with people so I can better understand them before I create online programs…

Having someone randomly find me and message me on the exact day I was flying to her city is really fascinating, and I was SO joyed that my post could help someone and guide them on their path.

If you’re curious about the post she found, it was THIS ONE. If you Google “cptsd tms sarno” my post is #1 on Google! It’s quite impressive considering I never did any optimization!

If there’s anything that I’ve learned about work, it’s that it pays compound interest. In fact, Einstein was famously quoted saying something about compound interest.

Compound interest allows for an exponential growth curve.

For example, pretend that your income is $1 per month, and it doubles every month.

Doesn’t sound like a great idea, right? Wrong. I’d take that deal. Here’s why:

For the first year, you wouldn’t make hardly anything. You’d make $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, $512, $1024, $2,048.

That’s a grand total of $4,095 in year 1.

BUT… In year 2… Well, I probably don’t have to write it out. Month 1 of year 2 and you make $4,096, the next month over $8k, and so on it grows to insane proportions.

This is exactly what happens when you’re pursuing ANYTHING in life.

The first period of time (not necessarily year) SUCKS. You put in a TON of energy, and get very little returns.

However at a certain point it just EXPLODES. This is why we see people become “overnight millionaires.” It’s because they’ve been scraping by for the first year, but in year 2 they blow up because suddenly their skill goes up.

That is compound interest, and you will reap great benefits by committing to anything (ie. your YouTube channel will follow a similar pattern, skill in piano player, so on and so forth).

I wrote that post March 19, 2018. Here we are, almost 2 years later, and I am receiving “interest” on the very simple investment of writing a single post!

It’s a super inspiring fact to realize that your posts stay there forever, and they build up traction.

It makes me feel excited & re-inspired to keep pursuing business, as the initial period is very difficult.

I had mentioned that I’d like to get into “another form of business.” That’s something that I’m highly planning in 2020.

I’d like to start making online courses or creating online products. I know in my heart it’s what I want to do.

For now I’m doing 1 on 1 coaching and other stuff like that to get more experience in the fields that I’m working in, but after that I’d like to create online courses.

You can help more people, grow the business easier, etc. It’s simply something I’d like to do!

When I first started in business, I was much more creative & expansive. I would try anything. At one point I sold a knife to a guy in Israel, and then some funny cat shirts.

Eventually I got side-tracked with taking care of my health, focusing on relationships, girls, and other stuff like that.

It’s all good- now it’s just time to revisit priorities, which brings me to the 2020 plan. And, why I’m planning more.

Why I Went To Montreal

Now I’m in Montreal, Canada. I was feeling foggy, distracted, and sad in Phoenix. I realize that Phoenix may not be the city for me, or at least the setup that I have there.

The family home is SUPER far away from all social things, so I have to drive a LONG time to get anywhere. I’d estimate I was spending at least a couple hours per day in traffic in Phoenix, just for minimal amounts of fun social time.

Also, Phoenix just doesn’t seem to be a social city. The population of the greater Phoenix area is something like 10 million people. The weather is perfect. Yet the “party streets” are completely dead! The fuck?

I’ve got a business trip to Texas, and before that I decided to go to Montreal for a couple weeks despite it being freezing cold (think: -10C).

It’s been amazing. It’s bloody cold, the population is like 1 million, yet STILL this is a MORE SOCIAL CITY on Tuesday fucking night than Phoenix (with great weather and more population) on a Friday night.

Suburban America is disgusting. I’m not saying the USA as a whole sucks, just that the suburbs bloody suck.

It’s filthy: sure you get a big home, but at what cost? Congrats, you get to be all alone in the middle of a ton of other homes that look exactly like yours, spend hours of your life in a car, pay for a car, ugh.

I’m not one of those people that ignorantly shouts “I’d rather live in a 3-world country than be in the suburbs.” I’ve ALREADY LIVED in VERY 3rd-worldly places, and let me tell you, they’re 10x better that the disgusting American suburbs and the countless hours of your life that you waste in traffic.

One day I’d be curious to check out downtown San Diego (motorcycle-friendly), Boston (walkable), or New York (also walkable).

For now, I’m perfectly content abroad. I have no intentions to spend a significant amount of time in Phoenix ever again.

The mistake I made before traveling back to Phoenix (to visit family for the holidays) was not buying a ticket out BEFORE I got there.

I fell back into a depressing routine, felt sad/unclear, and lost time… And then because I lost time the timing of how I would’ve ideally liked things to go was thrown off, setting 2020 off to a weird start for me.

Anyways, it’s all good.

I’m in Montreal, much happier, living it up, and I’ve got some exciting plans for 2020. Lesson learned? The suburbs suck 1,000x more than you could ever imagine. Please, don’t go to the American suburbs. It’s not a dream: it’s a fucking nightmare of loneliness & road rage.

Official 2020 Travel Plans

Now I’m in Montreal. In a few days, I’ll go Texas on business. After that I’ll be back in Phoenix for just a week.

After that, I’m headed to Amsterdam on February 16. I’ll be there for two days.

On February 18 afternoon I’ll arrive back in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In May 2020 (after my visa expires for Bulgaria) I’ll visit Bangkok, then move to Chiang Mai.

During my stay in Chiang Mai I will take a visit to Da Nang, Vietnam and scope it out as a potential place to live.

If I love Bulgaria, I’ll go back to Bulgaria for a 3-month stay (or move permanently and go through all the crazy bullshit visa stuff this country requires).

If I love Thailand, I’ll stay there. If I love Da Nang, I’ll move there.

Otherwise, I’ll just continue half Bulgaria half Thailand. And if I’m jaded to everything, well fuck it I’m moving to Montreal permanently then.

It is my goal to get a “main base” in 2020, and by “main base,” I mean “home for 1 year.”

I’ve completely mapped out my travel plan, if/then flows, as well as contingency plans in case unexpected situations, feelings, or thoughts arise.

It feels great having a clear-cut if/then plan that extends all the way into the beginning of 2021.

I have learned in this last visit to North America just how much jet lag + sad environments can mess with your head. As soon as you lose direction and get a foggy brain, it becomes very hard to find direction again.

This plan gives me a path, and I won’t deviate from the plan unless there is substantial, overwhelming evidence that doing so would be significantly greater in terms of pleasure than sticking to the plan (short-term and long-term).

I’ve literally mapped out contingencies for things small like feeling cloudy/sad, and bigger things like losing all my money, business failure, disaster, war, death of a loved one, and other extreme situations.

Those things (ie. War, lol) are unlikely to happen, but I feel great to finally have a plan. My plan will always extend minimum 6 months out from current time period, and ideally up to a year.

Why I’m Obsessively Planning

I’m finding that life is much easier to plan in 3-6 month bursts (up to a year) than by the day, or by doing the ridiculous “10-year plan” that school requires you to do (according to my high school 10-year plan I’d still be studying in Omaha, now I’ve been to around 15 countries, lol).

To most people planning for contingencies as best you can might be a bit extreme, but I’ve lived without a plan for too long and I always felt best when I had some sort of plan.

It’s much easier to ask the heart “what do you want in 3 months” than “what do you want now,” because the heart can want all kinds of things now, but that doesn’t mean you can have it all now.

Across a greater time period, you’re able to manifest more!

I want to scope out Chiang Mai as a place to live, and also give Vietnam another chance. Now my heart gets it all, in an order that makes logical sense.

Also, my biggest financial cost was always losing money because I was acting too short-term without long-term thinking.

For example, in 2018 I lost a ton when I had to leave Bulgaria due to my visa expiring. I became a mess and didn’t create a plan for what to do in the meantime, instead I opted to “wing it.”

Of course, I ended up losing a ton, feeling awfully stressed, and burning out! I had no plan to survive it! The cost would’ve been SO much less had I mapped out a plan of action beforehand.

This plan ensures flights get bought far in advance, and I have a clear value system in case different situations arise. I even have a “what if I fall in love” contingency…

I feel much more relaxed knowing I’ve got a plan I feel good about, and I encourage you to do the same. Now I can see how work fits into the plan, social life, dating, and a clear value system to weigh decisions.

One of the ways that people struggle with decision-making is that they don’t have a clear value-system or proper goals to make the decision!

Two paths may be equally “good” objectively speaking, but subjectively there is often a certain path which is more in line with your values or what you actually want.

Humbly Observing Growth + Reflection

It’s cool to see how far I’ve come, as well as many of my friends, and society at large.

I remember in a piano class waiting for my brother to finish. I was fascinated with the “Gameboy.” Tetris was so cool!

Here I am, a decade later, typing away on my GS65 Stealth (9th gen Core i7-9750H), 16GB RAM (DDR4), 144hz screen, and other fancy epic tech stuff.

This is tech-way of saying “a really, really powerful laptop.”

Sometimes I would feel annoyed that something wouldn’t react lightning-fast. Or get frustrated because I lost a match.

However, I am humbled by these memories that I have. I hope I never lose them for as long as I live.

There was a time that I was a lost kid. I wouldn’t say I’ve got things exactly figured out now, but I’ve got a much better concept of reality, and society as a whole has made incredible products widely available at an exceptional price.

Do you remember being a kid, and having to call to schedule meetings? And everyone had to be on time, as there was no way to contact each other otherwise?

Or perhaps you were like me, and sometimes you had to go to someone’s doorstep, ring their doorbell, and wait to see if they want to “play” by asking in person?

Now I swipe right on Tinder, send a few texts, or whatever… The difference is astonishing.

We’ve progressed really fast in the past decade, yet still with the “fast pace” of technology we still adjust faster than we could ever imagine!

Maintaining Awe & Wonder

So I think it’s important to maintain that sense of awe & wonder at the world. Did I feel that way because I was a kid, or because the word “technology” was a new concept to me?

It doesn’t matter! We must not let our egos & minds get in the way of this beautiful dance of life!

I’d like to keep my mind clear, and keep that sense of awe that comes with the beauty of the world!

I casually write this in Montreal, knowing in a week’s time I will complete a business trip in Texas and then visit Phoenix. And a week later, I’ll be in the Netherlands and then Sofia.

Such a life I couldn’t imagine as a kid, yet here it is now, for me, so normal.

Just gratitude.

Have an awesome day. What’s up with you?

-Michael