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I turned 30 last November, a milestone year in one’s life.

In that 30 years I’ve lived through a few recessions: the dot-com bubble in the early 2000’s and the ‘Great Recession’ from 2007–2009.

Being 11 years old in 2000, I didn’t really feel the impact of that recession.

And while the Great Recession came during my freshman year of college, I didn’t really feel that one either. I can, however, remember hearing about how peoples mutual funds had crashed or their retirements were delayed.

This time is different. It’s different because I have a bit of money in the stock market, am planning to buy a house in the next couple of years, and have learned more about investing in the past two years than ever before. Friends getting married and having children, talk about student loan debt, and watching loved ones lose jobs or get sick will do that to you. …

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I try to be a very objective person these days. Practices like meditation and mindfulness have given me the ability to look at my incoming thoughts and think “that’s funny, I wonder where that particular thought is coming from?”

I think about why I’ve become so much of a ‘hippie’ in the past couple of years. Why have I become obsessed with van lifers, tiny home builders, and ashram dwellers?

What happened to the Jersey boy who went to any Ivy League school and was destined to become an investment banker or management consultant?

What happened to the kid who wanted to own a big house and desperately wanted to buy a Beemer? …

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This post is coming to you from the jungle town of Ubud, Bali.

I’m currently at a writers workshop at one of the most popular coworking spaces on the island.

Looking around you will find bean bags, a mix of “digital nomads”, and craft beer. The speakers are cranking some chill lofi music that muffles out the sounds of motorbikes driving on the road outside.

The town of Ubud has seen an increase in tourism in the past five years which many attribute to the popularity of “Eat Pray Love” (amongst other things). …

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