Living Abroad When You’re Younger
A reader (I don’t remember who, sorry!) recently asked this question:
Caleb, you said in one of your podcasts that your biggest life regret was that you didn’t live in Asia for 2 years when you were in your 20s. Could you make a post about traveling on another part of the globe and doing what you wanted to do, but you didn’t do it?
I am in a similar position and I think that a lot of men have the same desire to go to another part of the globe and live there for a while. If you have gone to Asia, how would you sustain yourself? What would you do there?
That wasn’t exactly my biggest life regret (since I travel the world whenever I want now), but it is the biggest regret I have about my twenties, yes.
What he’s referring to is what I should have done in my twenties. I did a lot right in my twenties, but my two biggest errors as a young man was A) getting legally, monogamously married (and doing it way too young) and B) not moving to Asia for a year or two, coming back to the USA if I still wanted to.
As I’ve talked about before, it is in your early twenties when men tend to be the most mobile and the most free.
When you are young enough to not be married, have any kids, or have a lot of debt or expensive life infrastructure, but old enough to be able to pay your own bills and not live with your parents, this is the best time, at least for most men, to go out and really see the world. You have maximum freedom with minimum expenses and responsibilities.
If you try to do this stuff in your forties, this will be much harder, since you’ll have responsibilities (wife, kids, debts, bills, businesses, etc) that will keep you more rooted. The Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle alleviates some or all of this, but you get my point.
I should have, when I was about 23, packed my shit and spent a year or two in China or Japan. While there, I could learn about the culture, the superior Asian work ethic, make some great business contacts, and even perhaps pick up some basic Japanese or Chinese languages.
All of these would have been vastly important to my long-term business success and motivation in life. I could have really benefited from doing this on multiple levels.
How would I have supported myself over there? That’s easy, since my expenses were so low. I had no kids, no wife, no debts, no nothing. Young guys can afford to live very low, and this is a huge advantage.
The easiest way to support yourself over there is to teach English as a second language. There are many programs you can sign up for where they will even provide you housing. It’s hugely needed over there, especially in China.
However, I would have hustled and just gotten a job in a growth industry, just like I did here. I would have saved up enough money to survive for about two months with no income, and this would have been more than enough time to scrounge up a job, especially for a White American, even if I didn’t speak the language.
Once at that job, I would learn everything I could about that industry in Asia. I would have gone out of my way to make as many business friends and business contacts as I possibly could. I would have taken copious notes. I would have monkey-branched to better jobs if I could (and I probably would). I would also probably take language classes at night to get the language down (maybe; there are arguments to be made against this).
In other words, I would maximize my time over there and take it very seriously, like I was going to college (only this would be far better than fucking college, which has now become a scam).
Armed with all of this business knowledge and contacts, I would have gone back to the Untied States and perhaps started a company that sold US products or services to that country, which would have been a no-brainer at that point.
I think living abroad for 1-2 years when you’re in your twenties is a hugely valuable thing to do. I don’t think you should wait 20 years like I did.
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