In August 2015 I lost a friend to hypocrisy. (It turned out he was a textbook psychopath, but let’s not make it the focus of this). He was a musician who never played next to me, a travel lover who spent years making a lot of road trip and adventure plans with me but would always come up with an excuse to not actually go travel with me (in psychospeak it’s called “future faking”), and ultimately, a “best friend” whose only contribution to my life was to daily criticize and show despise to all aspects of it.
In late 2013, in a classic manipulation maneuver, he mentioned making plans to go to South East Asia with me in February 2015. Which was later February 2016. Which not only never happened, but also came with some gaslighting accusations that “he never heard any concrete plans from me” (also not true), so it was “my fault” that he was secretly making other plans for 2 years.
What happened to him? He ended up going alone somewhere else, to a “hobo solo budget adventure”, to embrace a lifestyle he wouldn’t stop obnoxiously preaching about (“sleeping rough, going to soup kitchens, being in touch with *real problems*, not my “petty ones” (“problems” that he would insist I had every time I would call out on his terrible attitude)”, etc.) which only 3 months after I’d had enough and had stopped talking to him, I found out was actually an expensive, fully pre-planned and tourist-wrapped tour for 20 somethings in their university holidays or gap year. Sheer hypocrisy, laced with the pathological lies of writing me emails and postcards telling stories about sleeping in the streets and making friends with hobos, and jumping on random interstate night buses “to save on accommodation” from the comfort of pre-booked hostel rooms reserved to the tour party or from the air-con/wifi equipped tour van.
I didn’t decide to go alone just because I wasn’t going with him anymore (although I love Vicky FlipFlop’s story). I had always wanted to travel. Since according to my mum I was too young (probably at 14-15 I really was).
The point of this intro is to register how my idea of travelling the world concretely started. Many blogs and world travel books will start with “I got tired of the rat race, sold everything and hit the road”. I had gotten tired of it 9 years before, and sort of hit the road as well, but instead of travelling, I settled in a different country. Then 4 years later in another. And only after the psychopath episode I realized what I was actually missing: the travel element of it. And most importantly, the organization and mindset that would transform a hazy dream into a palpable goal.
From enduring a soul-crushing dead-end job and being happy in a cheap house share for about a year, to making the city you are the first adventure destination and seeing it with different eyes.
And yes, I sold things that I have no idea if I will need whenever I am back. It’s a great feeling. And I quit the job. Now I’m at the airport, on my way to Bangkok. It feels like a dream, but the weirdest (and best, and at the same time most daunting) sensation is that of being completely free.
And so was born Free2Exist.com
This is my journey.