It’s nearly March and it seems that time has moved into the fast lane. Just a few months ago, I could not wait until we got to this place. Now, we are three months shy of ending our teaching contract and then…off we go! I’d be ok if we took it down to first gear, put it in neutral, or punctured a hole in the tire just to have more time to take it all in.
There isn’t really a guidebook on how to go from teacher to business owner. Thankfully, during our last visit in Luang Prabang, Craig and I made contacts with expats who had transported their lives to Laos, many having opened up businesses. We’ve been able to connect with them via Skype or email to discuss the logistics of starting something up and the reality of making Laos home.
Today, for example, we had a Skype conversation with Adri Berger, a Dutch photographer who moved to LP with his Korean wife, Mija, about five years ago. Their start began much like ours, falling for the town during their travels there. Last September, they graciously sat with us in their gallery/cafe called Big Tree Cafe to discuss the ins and outs of this type of move.
Adri shared more insights with us in today’s conversation.
- it is not as easy obtaining a business visa today as it was 5 years ago
- LP is getting more expensive
- renting a home or business space can run from $250-$700
- the nice months in LP are October-February; it’s important to be there March-November to get the full experience
- take things slowly; do not jump into a financial commitment too soon; let the place sink in
There is definitely much to consider. I think our challenge will be to just “be” with the uncertainty for a while and trust ourselves/life that action will happen when it needs to. What also has helped is surrounding ourselves with folks who are doing something similar to us in one capacity or another. Creating a community or tribe is extremely supportive, whether it is family and friends or blog colleagues and twitter acquaintances.
There are so many blogs and websites out there that promote life change in the way we’re looking. Among some of the publications we follow are:
The Art of Nonconformity: The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC) project chronicles Chris Guillebeau’s writing on how to change the world by achieving significant, personal goals while helping others at the same time. In the battle against conventional beliefs, their focus is on three areas: Life, Work, and Travel.
Leaving Work Behind: Tom Ewer is passionate about helping you to safely negotiate a path to rewarding self-employment. He has already started his journey, and wants you to join him.
Location Independent: The goal at Location Independent is to connect you with resources from across the internet, to inspire and empower you to create a “Live & Work Anywhere” lifestyle of your own design…
Let’s face it; in the planning of life change, logistics are not really that fun. It’s so much more pleasant to get caught up in the dreaminess of the vision. But, they’re a necessary component.
There’s no reverse in our vocabulary at the moment. Whether we like it or not, life is moving forward…it’s in drive. I guess it’s up to us on how that goes: gripping the wheel tight or foot on the accelerator in full gear and enjoying the ride.