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Ep. 267: How This Travel Blogger Was Able To Leave The Daily Hell with Robert Schrader

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In this week’s episode, I speak with Robert who is one of the web’s original travel bloggers.

Robert has spent more than a decade visiting nearly 100 countries on all six inhabited continents. 

And has lived in Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan, and is now back in the US plotting ways to ride the post-pandemic travel tsunami.

Listen on to find out how Robert has been able to leave the daily hell and live a freedom lifestyle


Listen below:

RELATED EPISODES:

Ep. 266: How This Long Term Traveler Seeks Out Epic Adventures with Sherry Ott
Ep. 265: How This Writer Turned Her Love for Travel Into a Career with Jordi Lippe-McGraw
Ep. 264: How This Nomad Turned A Backpacking Trip Into Lifelong Freedom with Paula Carvalho

Transcription:

Debbie:

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for being here. 

I am so excited for my guest today. I’m here with Robert. 

Hi Robert. How are you? 

Robert:

How are you? I’m great.

Debbie:

I am so excited to have you here because first of all, I could already feel your energy before we even started our interview. And I’m like, “oh my God, he’s going to be so amazing to talk to”. So, can you tell us more about you and why you live an offbeat life?

Robert:

Yeah, so my name is Robert Schrader. I am 37 years old, I feel much older sometimes and I was actually one of the web’s first travel bloggers. 

So, I started my website, well, my main website; I have several now, but I started my main website, ‘Leave Your Daily Hell’ in  2009, before travel  blogging was really a thing. And to be honest, I started it before I really knew that I was going to be able to make a living on this, and it was more for my own entertainment and to tell others about my life in Shanghai, where I was living at the time, than it was to make money, but I learned very quickly that people were starting to monetize travel blogs and I got in on it very easily. 

And so since then I have not ever been full-time employed. I’ve been self-employed ever since then, making money based on my own writing, photography services and brand and I live an offbeat life because I’ve lived life on my own terms, since then, you know.

I haven’t always lived nomadic, I haven’t always chosen to live overseas, but I like the fact that I have the freedom to do so if I want and then other times I have the freedom to go live near my family or live wherever else I want. 

So, I think to me an offbeat life is escaping the 9 to 5 and you know the title of my website says, ‘leave your daily hell’, leaving your daily hell behind and I think that I have more than done that many times over.

Debbie:

Which is really interesting. And I, I was looking at your website and I was even thinking to myself, “Oh, my gosh, his domain name is so awesome!”. That is – I love your domain name, by the way, Robert. 

So we can all relate to that. But how did you get to that point where you thought about, finally, like, “I need to transition out of this. I need to leave my daily hell.”.

Was there a specific moment in your life, or was it like a combination of specific events that led you there?

Robert:

Well, it was definitely a combination of specific events. And I think the ironic thing is, I actually kind of failed my way to success. 

So to go back in time a little bit for that, I graduated college in 2006. And I sort of, although I had been a top student throughout school, I emerged into the real world, without a real idea of what I wanted to do. 

So after college, I bounced around from a couple crappy jobs to another couple crappy jobs. I kind of think about it like the image of Homer Simpson falling down the stairs. That’s how I felt professionally. And I ended up, believe it or not, after about two years, going back to waiting tables, which is what I had done during college. 

And then at the beginning of 2009, when the recession, the Great Recession was really kicking in, in the United States. I actually lost my job waiting tables, and then spent that entire summer on unemployment and  feeling really like a loser, because again, I had gone from being this top student, thought I was going to be a doctor. Graduated college, couldn’t find my way, and as I was browsing jobs in Austin, Texas, where I was living at the time, I saw ads for teaching English in China. 

Now, I have never personally thought to do this because as much as I respect teachers, I didn’t think I really had what it took and I didn’t really have any interest in it. But lo and behold that ended up being an opportunity for me, because what I realized is that if I was going to go overseas and do that, I would be making much more than my local cost of living and then I could save that money and travel within Asia. 

Now, what happened when I got there is, as suspected, I wasn’t really very suited for teaching. I mean, I did my best and my students liked me, but it just wasn’t really my jam. But the crazy thing is that when I was over there, and that you have to understand China was a very different place at this time, you didn’t have Shenzhen things and all his incursions into the South China Sea and being really combative against the west. At this time, it was right after the Beijing Olympics and China, I think really wanted to play nice with the rest of the world. So you have a lot of English language applications in Shanghai, not a lot of English speakers and they were all looking for people to write for them. So that’s actually, even though I’d majored in writing in college, that was actually my first paid experience, writing articles online. 

And so I got into online content writing then. So, then when I decided the next summer in 2010, that I was going to quit my job teaching English, right before that, literally days before that, I happened into a more regular online content writing gig that allowed me for the first time in my life to become location-independent. So instead of leaving China and going back to the states, I actually ended up traveling the other way around the world for several months and working remotely back in 2010, which you have to understand back in 2010, this was a really a novel thing, everybody does it these days, but very few people were able to do it back then.

And then what happened over the years, is that as my own website, which again I had started more for fun, as that started to get more and more Google traffic, and more people aware and interested of it, I learned how to monetize my website to display ads, to sponsored posts, press trips. And then a couple years later by offering a service that I called travel coaching, where I actually use my travel expertise to plan custom itineraries for other travelers. 

Debbie:

Well, that is definitely a journey that took you from a totally different life course than you thought it would, right? It’s like, it’s pretty interesting when we go to school, we expect the real world to be completely different, then you actually go into it and you’re not prepared most of the time. 

And that’s exactly, you know, what happens to most of us, because we’re taught these ideas and, you know, the idea of what the real world is going to be like and then once you go into it, it’s completely different and then you’re shookt because you’re it’s a lot scarier than we think it is. 

But it’s also very incredible because it can lead you, a lot of these things when you talked about this Robert, failing into success because you did, you failed your way into it and that’s what got you here. And I think that’s one of the things that people are afraid of, but it’s the one thing that you need to do in order to succeed. You have to keep failing over and over and over again.

Robert:

You do, and I think ironically two things on that; Number one, I think it’s sort of a full-circle moment because, you know, in the states, we grew up with this idea or at least we did in the 80s and 90s, that if you get good grades in school, you’ll go to college, it’ll be paid for, that was a lie. You’ll get a scholarship, then you graduate college and you do well, and you can do anything you want, that was a lie. 

But then you get to the real world and you think, “okay, actually, I had all this promise when I was growing up and now I’m destined for a life of mediocrity”, but then you fail at the mediocrity and you get back to the greatness that you thought you were initially going to achieving. 

The thing that I think back on is, in that summer of 2009, when I was debating whether or not I should teach English in China and when I was feeling like a failure and not knowing what I was going to do, what I tried to remind myself, as I struggled with my decision. Is that, look, the best case scenario, which, by the way, what I actually ended up achieving, was so much better than my best case scenario. I thought I was just going to go over there and save a few thousand dollars and then come back and do whatever. 

The thing I try to remind myself is, particularly when you’re young, but not only when you’re young, cause that’s a relative term but  you can always take the easy path, right? I could have always gone to another restaurant and been a server. I could always go work in an office and be anonymous. Like, you can always do the easy thing, but like, if you don’t risk the hard thing, then you have no chance of reaping those great rewards. And I think people don’t understand that if you fail at something you don’t die. I mean you don’t usually, unless you’re jumping off a cliff, and you fail and you fall the wrong way, you don’t die. 

But the thing is, like, if you don’t risk that failure, if you don’t make yourself vulnerable in that way, then you have no chance of achieving greatness and you know, for some people, that’s fine, like, many of my friends and family members, all they ever wanted to do was own a house down the street from their parents, have the same number kids their parents had. And that’s fine. I don’t judge people like that. But my advice to anybody who has ever dreamed of greatness is just do it, just do it, because the worst that can happen is, you’re going to be exactly where you are right now. 

Debbie:

I absolutely love that. And I also see this from, you know, you and I are around the same age Robert and I see this all the time from people who are, even right now, they’re in their thirties, they’re like shells of themselves because they keep thinking about, “oh, what if I had done this?”, and then I’m like, you’re still really young. You could still do this and then they have this mentality that, it’s too late, but it’s too late, like, no, you’re not 89 years old and you’re on your deathbed. There’s always a time for you to turn around and do something with your life.

And I think when you don’t do what you feel like, is your purpose, that’s when all of these things start to really stock up on you and you have all of these regrets because like you had mentioned, there’s nothing wrong with wanting something that is quote-unquote, you know, the typical, right? Like the typical American dream, if that’s what you want, then that’s what you should have. But I think it’s when you have to get outside of that, that’s really outside of the norm that most people just kind of reel themselves back in because they’re so afraid to do and then all of a sudden, you see people in their forties and fifties all miserable and even younger than that because they feel like they wasted their life and they’re looking at somebody like you, Robert, who did take a risk and they have all of these thoughts in their heads. 

So it does take also, I do have to say, what you did takes courage, in a lot of ways, especially when you were just starting out and nobody else was really doing this, and you had to figure most of these things out yourself, so.

Robert:

Yes, I did, there was a lot and as I said, I made it seem like I only failed once, but I failed many times, and it’s just again, I just failed in the right way, I guess. I don’t know. 

Debbie:

But you know what? I do have to say when you fail and you fail, a lot of times. It doesn’t bother you as much anymore. You know? I mean, obviously, it does, it still hurts, but you do, you get used to it and then it turns into a lesson, right? It’s not, it’s no longer, it’s like, it doesn’t bother you as much as obviously, it still hurts, it leaves a little dent in you, but you’re just like, “okay, it’s another one, what’s another one?”. It doesn’t kill me, right?

Robert:

Well, when I think back on my life and all the times I failed, I realize, you know, it’s like that Katy Perry court. I hate to be cheesy but, maybe the reason why all the doors are closed is so that one can open and lead you to the perfect roads. 

That’s really true, I mean, that’s not always true in every case, but I always think about, “well, maybe the reason I failed at this is because I need to be taking off in this other direction.”. 

The thing is also, I mean, I think, one of the things you highlighted is that, we’re, even if you’re in your thirties, your forties, your fifties, even if you have kids, even if you have all these obligations, you are not on your deathbed, the only end is when you die. 

So I’m going to tell a little too personal story. So during covid, obviously as you can imagine, the travel industry suffered immensely. A lot of people who are doing the same thing that I’m doing weren’t able to continue doing it. The only reason I was just because I had, I thought there would be a recession coming in 2020, so I saved a bunch of money and it ended up saving my career. 

But anyway, I was really depressed because my entire life had been based upon the freedom of movement, being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want to really create my life and I couldn’t do that for almost a year. So, I was really down in the dumps. I was feeling sorry for myself. But then last summer or I guess last spring, around this time last year, my Mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. 

And the good news, of course, spoiler alert, she’s fine now and she has two more treatments and after that she will find out if she’s in remission. We have our fingers crossed that she will be. 

But I was sort of feeling sorry for myself with her at lunch, one day, and, like the November or December last year, and looking back, it’s so stupid, of course, cause here’s a woman with breast cancer, who has lost all of her hair because of chemo and I, a healthy 37 year old who, you know, covid notwithstanding, nothing is wrong in my life. I’m sitting here complaining, looks ridiculous looking back, but, she reminded me, she said, “Robert, you know, I’m 60 years old, almost 61 years old. I thought my own life was over before I got cancer” and she said, “ironically now that I’m in the process of beating cancer, I feel like I have another chance to write another chapter, and so I think that, that whether it’s in your career, whether you face health struggles, this self-defeating attitude, that so many of us have because of XYZ reason, we can’t do more. If my mom, my 61 year old mom with cancer, can say that she’s going to write another chapter, anyone else can, until you take your last breath. It’s never too late. 

Debbie:

And you know what, I’m sorry that happened to your mom and it’s kind of crazy as human beings that we don’t wake up until something like that sometimes happens, right? Or somebody that we love is going through that because it allows you to really take stock of your own life.

Like if I die tomorrow, am I going to be happy with how I’m living today? If you can say yes to that, then you keep going and you keep moving forward. And, you know, obviously, you want to reach other things in your life. But if you can say no to that, then there’s changes there that has to be made, because I’ve seen people die in their nineties and hundreds. And I’ve seen people die in their twenties and even teens so, we are not guaranteed the next day. You can get hit by a bus tomorrow or you can live until your 110.

You just don’t know, but I don’t know, for me. I think about it this way, like we don’t know what’s going to happen after we die. We don’t know if there’s reincarnation or we’re just going to be dirt and I’m like we have to live the best life that we can, that we’re given cause I’m like, it’s so freaking precious and if you’re unhappy everyday living this, change it. You can always do something. 

Obviously, there’s certain situations and circumstances that you can just up and leave and do whatever, but you can do something every single day and just, I don’t know for me, just being thankful with what you have right now and that keeps you going for another day and making changes and it’s sometimes it’s just the simplest things that you change.

Even just the way you think about things that can really get you to a different level in your life and you don’t need to be like making an x amount of money or having this amount of whatever. And really, honestly, is, as I grow older, I don’t know if this is something that you’ve felt too, Robert, it’s like sometimes it’s like the simplest things in life, in the people that we have that really matter to you.

When you are given situations where, you know, either it’s you, that you’ve experienced like a life-and-death situation or somebody that you absolutely love that you’re like, what the hell am I doing? Why am I so stressed about this? When you know, like everything else, it’s really great or whatever it is that you think about in your life. 

Robert:

Well, and I totally agree with that because I actually think another reason that I, I try to maintain a bit of a can-do attitude, is not only for myself, but for people who, for whatever reason can’t, you know, there are people who because of their life circumstances, can’t even take the chances I do. 

So right before, going even further back in time, right before I lost my job, serving, waiting tables and then moved to China. I’ve taken a trip to India. And this was a really important trip for me, cause it was my first trip to a developing country, I’ve been to Europe and stuff, but, you know, it’s basically older America.

And going to India was really eye-opening for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons is that I feel like as a person from a rich country, particularly a white person, when you go to a place like this, like India, the first instinct, I think some people have is this weird guilt and shame which maybe some of that is justified, maybe it’s not, it’s not productive. And what, someone reminded me, I met a group of Indian guys at this beach and, you know, they were relatively well-off, they were starting tech companies. They had call centers and whatever, but I was sort of, I was just being really guilty and weird and unproductive and saying, “I’m a privileged American here in India, blah, blah, blah.”, just really kind of crying over my own circumstances, and they said, “you know what, Robert, you should not feel guilty about the fact that you have an American passport, and you have this, and you have that. If you gave that to any single poor Indian person, they would get on the plane and they would never look back. They would do everything they can with the privilege that you were handed in life, stop feeling sorry for yourself and live your life. Do your thing and don’t apologize for it.”. 

And I think it’s interesting because of course in the years since then, you know, obviously society has had a lot of discussions about privilege, white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, whatever. And I’m not going to comment on those individually because I think that discussion is really important and people have a right to talk through however they feel about things and then eventually we reach a consensus as a society. 

But I think one thing that we don’t talk about enough, is that it is your one life, you have to do what you can and most people if, whether or not it’s right that they have a big advantage in life, human nature is to take advantage of whatever you have and do the most you can with it. And I think that whether it’s apparent having cancer, or whether it’s being faced with poverty and realizing how lucky you are in life. Your job as a human being is to make the most of your circumstances. Go as far as you can cause a lot of people can’t.

Debbie:

Yeah, I a hundred and thousand percent agree with that. And I say this all the time, you know, I come from the Philippines. I came here when I was 9 years old and my family lived in complete poverty, you know, you see those people sometimes in late-night evenings, where they’re, like, “help these children.”. Like, that’s literally the shacks that my family might’ve lived in. And now, we have engineers, doctors, nurses, like, in my family, and they came from nothing. 

And one of the things that I learned from them is to never feel sorry for yourself because you can always do something about it. And I see a lot of that, where it’s like, “oh, it’s my circumstance.’. And I’m like, “yeah, but I literally came from a family who had nothing.”. There was like, there was no, like, government assistance in the Philippines. Like, there is no, don’t like there is none of that. Like they literally lived in, like wooden shacks. There was no running water or, you know, like the bathroom or holes in on the ground, so I’m like, and every time I talk to people about this, Robert, I’m like if I don’t do something with my life, it’s like wasting the hard work that my family had gone through to literally come from nothing. So I’m like, unless you’re using your privilege, to do bad or to do all these things, like if you’re enjoying your life, there is nothing wrong with that. I’m like, “you live your life. This is your one life.”. I’m like, you shouldn’t feel bad because you’re doing something that other people can’t do. If you can help them, that would be great. But like, there is no shame in living your life, the best way possible. And I hate that sometimes when people talk about that cause I’m like, yeah, but you’re judging them for, like, living their life. 

Now, if they’re doing it, you know, like in a pretty bad way, they’re taking advantage, then that’s one thing, but just to see somebody living their life and doing these things. Like there’s a difference to that, you know?

Robert:

No, because I think that there’s a tendency for people to oversimplify things and see them as a zero-sum game, and to see it, “oh if I’m living my best life, that means someone else can’t live theirs”, but actually that’s living a good life for yourself and securing, a good life for yourself and your family, is not at all the same as deliberately oppressing another person. 

Debbie:

Exactly.

Robert:

And in fact, living in this sort of belief system, that in order for you to have something, you have to be taking it away from something else, I mean, it’s sort of flies in the face of the entirety of human history, which is that humans have been able to create abundance, where there was nothing, you know, you have in Israel and Saudi Arabia, people growing food in the middle of the desert with crazy irrigation systems and sea water filtration. 

You don’t have to push someone down in order to lift yourself up. And in fact, what I think to do with my blog, you know, beyond the fact that it’s like a very useful travel resource, I think, my overall message is to inspire others to follow in my footsteps to whatever extent they can, you know, not everybody can drop everything and move to China and start a travel blog, but most people are capable of achieving greater things than they’re currently achieving and most people are held back at least as much by mental blocks as they are by circumstances. 

Debbie:

Yeah, absolutely.

Robert:

And so my goal is to inspire people to get over the barriers they put in their own ways, you know, you can’t help the hand that the world dealt you, that society dealt you, your skin color, your passport, but you can make decisions every day and I think that empowerment is the key. 

Debbie:

Well, it’s also interesting to me is that a lot of this discussion happens, where there are a lot of privilege too, when I go to the Philippines, or in other countries that are, developing countries, I don’t really hear a lot of this because there’s so much more that’s happening that you have to, to think about. And I do love that there is a discussion to it. And obviously now, especially in the United States and other Western cultures, you know, we do have that privilege that we can talk about this, because we don’t have to think about running water –, you know?

Robert:

or working seven days a week. 

Debbie:

Yeah, like where your next meal is coming from and I do love that. But yeah, I mean and honestly for me I’m like, it’s not really your job to go out there and change somebody’s life. You cannot do that unless they want to do it themselves, at the end of the day if they don’t want to take that step or if they’re not ready, you just can’t do that.

I mean, and it may sound selfish but in a lot of ways as humans, it’s to each their own, right? You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of the person next to you. I mean, that’s what they do in the airplanes, right? You have to put your oxygen mask first,

Robert:

Right.

Debbie:

Before you can do it for the next person. Otherwise, you know, you’re done too, so, it’s very interesting. I love that. 

So, Robert, with you, that you’ve been doing this and you’ve been doing this for quite some time. You’ve been a travel blogger. You’ve seen all of these different places. What is your next step? Like, what would you like to do? What’s another thing that you would like to accomplish for yourself? 

Robert:

You know, it’s really interesting because, of course, if you would have asked me this 2 years ago, I would have had a lot of different answers. But as I talked about earlier, the travel industry is really still digging itself out from covid that, you know, a lot of borders have only recently just opened, some borders are still close, you know, Japan and China, Taiwan Hong Kong are also closed to foreigners, you know, your ancestral country, the Philippines, just opened a few weeks ago. 

And so, my immediate goal, I would say probably the next year or two is really getting my business back to where it was before covid. And then beyond that, I don’t really know. You know, I always said that I would like to write a book of some kind. I’ve actually written a few manuscripts that I haven’t sought publication for, because you know, the problem when you write hundreds of pages, is that, then going back and molding that clay into something that people actually want to use. 

It’s actually the going back and editing and fixing. It’s actually more difficult and time-consuming than writing and I just haven’t had the chance to get it. So, I guess I’d like to write some kind of book. I don’t know whether I would write more of a nonfiction thing, a novel and something like that. 

I started youtubing briefly during covid because, you know, I have a second website devoted to Japan, it’s called ‘Japan Starts Here’ and before covid, Japan was actually my biggest, the biggest part of my business, people went crazy over Japan, but Japan is still closed, and so I made a series of videos explaining the government’s crazy racist order policy and when I thought it might end, of course, I kind of gave up at that because they’re not following any logical science, the just don’t want foreigners in their country. And I, so I thought about maybe getting more into video making. You know, I’m a writer in my core and so, my business has always been about using my writing to market myself to draw people to my website, so and so forth, and then secondarily my photography, but I don’t know, I’d like to maybe get into vlogging and then I think beyond that, you know, ironically, even though I started this journey by sort of being nomadic; I am 37 years old and I do think that by the time I’m 40, I’d like to buy a property somewhere. 

I’d like to have a, like a home because I sort of happily have been bouncing around the world and around the country for the past 13 years, but I think I’m looking forward to my future. I kind of don’t want to keep paying rent, just wasting it. I’d like to have a place. Like a very modest place, because one of the things that I will say, overtime and moving around a lot, I’ve realized, I don’t actually need a lot of possessions and I don’t want a lot of possessions, but it would be nice just to have a little cute house and do it up the way I want to. And I think more than anything to have a sanctuary where I can come back between my travels and sort of reflect and recharge.

Debbie:

Yeah, it’s interesting because when you do travel quite often, like somebody, like you, Robert, it’s great to see all these fancy things and you can stay in these places then you’re like, yeah, but if I try to consume all of this and try to achieve all of this, it becomes like a prison, right? Because then you constantly have to work to get to that point and then you know, you’re not enjoying life anymore.

So, and then you realize what really matters in life when you see people who have way less than us and they’re perfectly happy with what they have because there’s other things, you know, and they may not be happy with everything but they see and they have gratitude with simpler things in life and in a lot of ways, so.

Which I love. I think we should all like, have that mentality.

Robert:

Attitude with gratitude, right? 

Debbie:

Yeah. Absolutely!

So, let’s maybe move forward to around 30 to 40 years from now and you’re looking back at your life, what legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for? 

Robert:

Oh, God, well, first of all, I hope I’m still alive in 30 or 40 years.

Debbie:

You will be, you will be. Like, traveling still.

Robert:

I don’t know. I mean, I think that the most important legacy I would like to have is actually not with the general public, but more with the people that I really care about. I think that I need to go back into my past a little bit, I was kind of a difficult child growing up. I was gifted in school, but I also, as you can see, I have the gift of gab and I talked back a lot. I created a lot of problems because I was just sort of a really big fish in a really small tank. And I think that for a long time, my, my family, and a lot of my close friends, they loved me, but they didn’t really get me. 

So, I think by the end of my life, I would like the people I really care about and love to really understand me. Who I am, what I meant to do, the journey that I was on and really see, “wow, we didn’t get this guy in the beginning, but he showed us who he is.”. And so, I think the most important legacy for me, would be on the people that I really care about and that they really finally understand me. And then I think, then on my side, that I have sort of progressed to a place of understanding of myself, less anger, less judgment, and, you know, understanding and accepting the world because I think being a high achiever, one of the things you always try to do is change and improve things and, and acceptance really isn’t an hour handbook, but I hope that by the end of my life, I’ve learned to accept things. And then in terms of my career and my legacy, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t even know if travel blogs will still be around then. But, you know, so far in my career, I’ve received so many, hundreds, maybe thousands of emails from people telling them that I inspired them to take a trip or to go somewhere or to work overseas or to live overseas. I plan hundreds of trips for people through my travel coaching service and created memories that I hope will last a lifetime. 

And so, I guess I want my legacy more than anything more than fame or fortune, or notoriety, to be the impact that I had an individuals, people’s lives, you know, the idea that I have inspired people in that I’ve empowered people and that less than my progression through my career being about, look at me, look how fabulous I am that someone saw me and they thought they could do better, and they did do better. Because really, someone’s life is judged not just by looking at it, that person’s life, but on the way they impacted other people’s lives and how that rippled out, and I would like my ripple effect to be as far as possible. 

Debbie:

I love that. And I love how your thoughts are with that because it’s, especially when it’s the people that are closest to you, right? Because when you’re gone, you’re gone. The people who don’t know you, may never know you. You know, but your legacy is the people that you leave behind and how they feel about you and how they remember you and how they talk about you to future generations who are and you know, and in that circle and that is pretty, yeah, it’s so important to have that, cause who was it? Like a, there’s a quote, it’s like, you know, the most important thing is how you make people feel when you know, where,

Robert:

Oh, yeah yeah yeah, Maya Angelou, 

Debbie:

Maya Angelou, yeah, so,

Robert:

People will forget what you said, and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. 

Debbie:

Yup and it’s so important. And well, that’s what you’re doing now. And I think as, as we go, it’s so crazy to me cause I’m like, you know, people told me this when I was like a teenager and you’re like, “yeah, whatever.”, and then as you get older, you tend to understand more and more like how life is in your, you know, when you think about it and you really start to understand how important relationships are. With, like the people that you have around you and how much less important it is to impress people you don’t even know, you know, especially with social media culture right now. If it’s not, you know, on social media, it didn’t happen and it’s so crazy.

Robert:

And you know, really, satisfaction in life, I think, is about, can I wake up feeling good about myself? And can I go to bed feeling good about myself? That’s really what it is. It’s so simple. It’s so simple and I think that if you can’t find happiness and satisfaction within yourself and within your very inner circle then what is it for? You know? There’s always going to be someone richer than you, someone hotter than you, someone taller than you, someone with a bigger house than you. There’s no point in even going to that. But yeah, satisfaction has to come from within. It has to.

Debbie:

Yeah, and unfortunately, we don’t learn this stuff until we’re, like older and we go through all the hurt.

Robert:

No, right? No, but I think if we knew it, if we knew it from the moment we were born, I don’t know what the purpose of the journey of life would be, you know?

Debbie:

That’s true, I love that.

Robert:

We have to take this journey, each of us. And that’s the other thing though, I do wish that in the education system, we relate to say the old cliche, the Tolkien quote, we really talked more about the journey than the destination because I think, again, going back to where we started this conversation with the myth of college and, you know, you do well in school, you go to college for free, you get your degree and you’ll be successful.

We need to speak less about what the result is. Because of course, the result for every living thing is that if you really want to be morbid about it and more about the journey and the value of the journey in the transformation, because that’s really what it is. It’s not, it’s not about going through life and being the same person and just having these external and extraneous circumstances affect you. It’s about going through life and allowing yourself to be transformed and indeed to seek transformation.

Debbie:

Yeah, it’s so true. And I, I heard this from somebody at one of my friends and I think it was actually my husband, he said, you know, if our life was perfect and just great all the time, like, you know, it wouldn’t be a life worth living because you wouldn’t have anything exciting, you know, like everything was just great. Everything was just fine. And also like, if you were to write a book about your life, like these things that happened to you good and bad is what makes every chapter different and what makes them exciting because then it will just be like, you know, this is Robert, he led a really great life, he did this, the end. 

Robert:

Yeah, no, there has to be more drama.

Debbie:

Yeah, it is. It’s all about the drama. I love that. 

Well, thank you so much Robert, for being here with us, I so enjoyed this conversation with you. 

Thank you for talking to us, telling us about your journey, if our listeners want to get to know you better, where can they find you?

Robert:

So, they can go to my main website, which is leaveyourdailyhell.com. As I said, I have secondary websites, japanstartshere.com,  thailandstartshere.com. 

You know, on my website, you can search for different destinations and be informed, inspired about travel. You can just look at the pretty pictures and enjoy them. You can hire me as your travel coach, and I’ll plan a custom itinerary for you to dozens of countries around the world.

I am on social media, although I’ve never been as much of a social media person, as I am on my own platform person. So I am on Instagram, @leaveyourdailyhell and @japanstartshere, and then I’m on Twitter, @japanstartshere, but I think that my websites are really where you should go, because we all spend too much time on social media anyway. 

Debbie:

I love that. Thank you, Robert! We really appreciate you. 

Robert:

Alright, thank you very much!


Listen to Robert’s extended interview where he talks about how to plan an epic world adventure and finding love while on the road.

What you’ll find:

In this extended interview, Robert talks about what to do to plan an epic world adventure and what’s it like finding love on the road.

 


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Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith

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