Voyager Log — Preface

This is where you’ll find my logs of travels past present future, with intermittent bursts of visuals, sound and thought.

Jie Gao
Jie Gao
Jul 7, 2017 · 4 min read

I’m in the midst of a life experiment: living a semi-nomadic life. It will include many months of slow travel to various countries. I’ve started to call it the 60/40 life.

The 60/40 Life: The idea of living the majority of your year in different cities, spending months instead of days in a city, and then living the rest of the year in a city you’ve identified as “home”.

Image for post
Image for post
It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.” — Osho

I think I knew a long time ago that I had to do this. There were always things that held me back though. Worries mainly, almost all made up in my own head. But, I decided it was time to change that. Here’s 3 reasons why I decided to pack my bags.

1. Airbnb — I was there for 2 years as an Experience Designer. It was most definitely one of the most creative places I’ve worked at, and a place in which I observed the possibilities for redefining the meaning of home. There, I crafted experiences with a talented team and learned a lot about myself in the process.

At work, I realized that the open-office way of working didn’t suit me. Instead, I would scope out different corners of our beautiful office space and “work remotely”. Being away from my desk enabled me the space to get in the zone and work productively without distraction and each meeting thereafter felt rejuvenating and useful. I was most productive and happy when I found those pockets of alone work time, and had separate fun social time with coworkers. To summarize: I was looking for balance and wanted to live a lifestyle that allowed me mobility & the ability to be anywhere while working and learning.

Inspiration: Rework — DHH & Jason Fried

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
When we planted succulents for the Growth Garden & that time we surprised Keens with a plate of Meats&Cheez
Image for post
Image for post
When the crew sent me off with a Mcdonalds Happy Meal & Boba :’)

I will really miss the people there. They are passionate, intelligent, goofy, inspiring, creative, and a joy to be around. This is the part about leaving that’s always bittersweet.

2. The idea of home — I had many conversations with people from all walks of life regarding the balance between work & life, travel, the idea of home, life choices, relationships, and such. Each time illuminating patterns and questions to which the answers I seek. How does the concept of home change when you’re on the road? Is home where you’re from, where you’re most comfortable, a set of people? Is home a constant? Is it not an illusion that it will be constant? How does one reconcile with that fact? Or do you create it?

3. Zen & my teachers — I have been fortunate to have found teachers, quite serendipitously, whom have illuminated paths unknown to me. One of them, Greg, my Zen teacher & friend, is kind, patient, and full of life! He’s shared so many books and stories with me over tea. What fond memories I have of this friendship. All this because I walked into Forest books one day! I seek spiritual growth on this journey. For this reason, I am going to be in Japan for a while, and then in China and Taiwan. It all makes a lot of sense to me.

Here’s to the wandering days. This is the start of the voyager logs.

Jie is a product designer currently traveling around 🇯🇵. Previously Experience Design at Airbnb and RISD Alum. Has a particular fondness for Evergreens, Surfing, and travel. Follow my travels and subscribe to Voyagerlog.

Voyager Log

This is where you’ll find my logs of travels past present…

Jie Gao

Written by

Jie Gao

Nomadic, currently in Mexico City. Part designer, part entrepreneur, part surfer. Previously @airbnb.

Voyager Log

This is where you’ll find my logs of travels past present future, with intermittent bursts of visuals, sound and thought. An ode to the semi-nomadic life.

Jie Gao

Written by

Jie Gao

Nomadic, currently in Mexico City. Part designer, part entrepreneur, part surfer. Previously @airbnb.

Voyager Log

This is where you’ll find my logs of travels past present future, with intermittent bursts of visuals, sound and thought. An ode to the semi-nomadic life.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store