Living by Experience - Travel and Photography Lifestyle Magazine
Living Abroad For 13 Years: What I Promised Myself Living Abroad For 13 Years: What I Promised Myself
Because everyone talks about goals, goals can lose their meaning. They end up being just another thing on a todo list. Instead – I make... Living Abroad For 13 Years: What I Promised Myself

Because everyone talks about goals, goals can lose their meaning. They end up being just another thing on a todo list. Instead – I make promises to myself from time to time. Things I want to keep and stick with. This week I’m celebrating my 13th “Canaversary”. It’s been a hell of a ride ever since I left Europe, and long story short I would do it all again. To mark living abroad for 13 years, and coming near to the end of the Covid19 pandemic, I promised myself these things.

Making yourself a promise is like a writing a letter to your future self. I’ve done this a few times in conferences and trainings where the letter is actually mailed to you a few months following the event. You know that when that letter is coming 3 months, or a year, from the date you wrote it. When it arrives, you realize you may be in trouble with yourself as you didn’t do what you promised yourself. Accountability is the best way to help make goals a reality.

This list is not about the fluffy stuff like taking better care of myself mentally and physically. That stuff is important – but you could have done that all along while being at home. Same with writing a book, or doing something new. Even planning for travel is something you can do with the borders closed… so let’s get real. To keep myself accountable, here’s my list of promises – things to achieve – in my 14th year living abroad.

Go somewhere warm

Not being able to travel during the Covid19 pandemic turned out to be particularly hard for this frequent flyer. I can’t wait to book a nice vacation to somewhere warm when this is all over – literally anywhere they have a beach will do. I’m thinking Bahamas, Hawai’i, and Mexico. Not necessarily in that order… but for now, Canada is a little behind in their travel re-opening strategy. Until all my 4 requirements to travel again are met, I’m staying safely at home.

Find new friends.

I often say I made more friends spending a few weeks in South America versus many years in North America. I’ve done the meet ups and group events hoping to meet new people. Indeed, I’ve made lots of new acquaintances, but in all honesty: little real friends. You can tell by amount of times someone checked in with you during the pandemic. As a natural introvert (but trained extrovert) the group setting usually doesn’t do it for me unless it’s a highly curated group of people with similar interests and goals to talk about. By the way, in my Break Free Xperience I teach a very fun way to meet new friends no matter where you are. It does require Covid restrictions to be lifted though. I can’t wait to start socializing again…

Go to the dentist.

This one is not as much fun, and especially in Canada it can be an expensive undertaking depending on your insurance plan. Even with insurance going to the dentist can be very pricey here! To make matters worse, I hate going to the dentist due to traumatizing experiences. After moving here, I even took a long hiatus and couldn’t get myself to schedule a regular check-up or cleaning appointment. That changed when I actually needed to fix a tooth. I discovered the experience can be not-fun but also not-traumatizing with the right provider.

Impact more people.

My training business has definitely slowed down during covid. I’m not one to share big stories about how amazing everything is going, because at times it wasn’t. Partially due to the economy just being different. Everyone, including my clients, had to figure things out again. “Pivoting“, we called it in early pandemic days. I’ve lost some consulting clients during the pandemic and have shifted entirely to building a dedicated learning community.

I’ve also become pickier on the kind of clients I want to work with. What I teach is not for everyone, and one of my most important values is seeing my clients achieve real results with what they have learned. That requires working with some mission-driven people who don’t mind doing the work required to see the real results they were after. Outsourcing may be a Canadian thing as you can hire anyone to do anything for you here, but if you want the results you have to do the push-ups.

Drive to the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve enjoyed swimming in both ends of the Pacific Ocean, but that was after getting there by plane. After upgrading my motorcycle in 2020, it’s time to drive there. When I bought my first motorcycle I broke it in by driving all the way to Canada’s west coast. My fine art photography book “A View To Take Home” shares some of the photography and stories from that trip. Now that I’ve upgraded that first love to something (much) bigger it’s time to do that journey again.

When I first bought my Harley during the pandemic, I couldn’t venture too far from home, even though I clocked a lot of kilometres in that first year. For my second year, I had booked the Pacific Ocean road trip but had to cancel it due to Canada’s slow approach to vaccinations and reopening. So this may become a 2022 thing – but it’ll happen one way or another once we can travel and enjoy destinations more easily.

Connect more one-to-one.

In a way, my Break Free Xperience is the high-powered summary of everything I’ve learned over the last 13 years in terms of self-actualization and building the life you really want. For me, that’s still a work in progress, but the journey has been worth it. My goal is to make the barrier to enter a potentially life-changing program like this one much lower by offering free-to-you preview access so you can see what you get yourself into before committing to it. To celebrate real results, I’m also building a closer support community where you can reach out to me directly as you start on the curriculum.

This one is somewhat related to the find-new-friends one, except I’m starting this one now. Social media is a tool that each person has to use on their own terms, or not at all. But the key to a happy life is building strong communities. Humans connecting with other humans. For me, it’s all about connecting the old-fashioned way, not controlled by some social media algorithm, but controlled by you. More on that to follow, but if you’d like to join my inner circle simply drop me a line and say hello via good-old text messaging. I look forward in hearing from you!

 

Wilko van de Kamp Author | Artist | Advisor

Hi, I’m Wilko van de Kamp, creator of Liberty Training Academy and author of the Freedom Project book series. For more than 15 years, I have helped people and their companies achieve their own results beyond their goals. I work with authors, coaches and experts to build their brand to become a #1 industry influencer and increase their impact on the communities they serve. We focus on every aspect of personal brand building through technology and storytelling, with a relentless focus on accelerating the achievement of their personal, professional and financial goals. And I would love to do the same for you! To get a conversation started, please text me directly at 587-417-2697.