My Freedom Story: Sacha of Eight Miles From Home

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If there were 2 things that I chased after most in life it would be: Freedom + Passion. Or simply, the freedom to live my passions. 

It had taken me years to achieve my idea of freedom or something pretty close. Some of you are already familiar with my story: I quit my job in Manila in 2006 to live in the US. After a year, I lived for a few months in Europe. After running out of money and job options, I came back to the Philippines and went back to my old job for a year. Before I started to get comfortable, I quit again to travel for 6 months all over India and Southeast Asia. 

That was in 2011. Upon coming back, I thought I would have to join the workforce again. But in the last 4 years, I've used all my skills, experience and smarts to avoid just that. I started blogging, got into social media, dabbled in motivational speaking and organised workshops and retreats. All in the name of Freedom and Passion. 

If you could live life on your own terms, would you ever want to quit?

That's the same question I asked a handful of people who believe in what I believe. These people have searched for their own version of freedom and were able to craft a life based on it and have surrounded themselves with the things and people they love. I've asked them questions in order to learn from them and we're starting a new series called "My Freedom Story" to share that with all of you.

Let's begin with Sacha whom I met in a lovely town of Pai, Thailand. She's been traveling along with her husband Jmayel and their dog Eden and creating cinematic videos wherever they go.

Sacha Freedom Story2

What's your idea of freedom?

To me, freedom looks like a full tank of gas, an open road and nowhere to be at a specific time. To wake up in the morning faced with a blank day ahead of you - a day free for you to make out of it what you want, to have no time constraints or anyone to answer to, a day full of your own choices.

Share your back story.

It was after a round the world trip 10 years ago at age 20, that my love for travel was ignited. On returning home, I had this feeling that there should be something 'more' and I just couldn't shake it. I couldn't settle into anything as nothing felt right for me anymore. I went through a few different jobs in a variety of occupations and locations, before deciding enough was enough and I had to make a big change.

My husband and I were married in a sunset ceremony in Morocco in 2011 and it was after that we decided to create our own unique life together. We began making plans to leave England for a move to Asia with our dog Eden and less than a year later we found ourselves standing at London Heathrow airport, not knowing in the slightest what lay ahead of us.

Sacha Freedom Story3

What steps did you take to achieve freedom?

Ultimately the first step I took to freedom was leaving my corporate city job 5 years ago. I started a wedding photography business which then kept me busy for 2.5 years. At the same time I began contributing images to stock photo libraries with the intention of accumulating an online income. When the stock photography began to generate an almost passive income, I realized that I was earning enough money to start a new life in Thailand.

When my husband and I stepped off the plane in Chiang Mai we started to explore video production by creating a mini web series of our new life in Thailand called "8 Miles From Home". The name came from a book about my life that I was intending to write and not long after it began, it gained popularity among the expat and Thai communities in Chiang Mai. Over time, the videos became my husband's focus and I started to document our journey in a blog under the same name:

Those were the steps towards carving out my own freedom with my partner and creating a location independent income that we can nurture together.

How long did it take for you to live freely?

The short term answer for this would be 10 months. That's how long it took from making the decision to leave England and move to Thailand, with my husband and I heading off to the airport with our bags packed. I guess for a long term answer, you could say it took 25 years before I realised there were other ways to live and had the courage to break away from my former life and left my city job.

Though it is these last 2 years living in Thailand that I have really felt I am able to live free and am able to design and discover a life truly of my own choosing. I am still bound by some limitations that I set on myself and so I honestly don't yet feel totally free, but I know I am well on the way.

Sacha Freedom Story4

What was the biggest challenge you've faced?

Initially the biggest challenge would be leaving behind everything I knew and stepping out of my comfort zone. However, I think the biggest challenge for me now is an ongoing one, which is the fear of the unknown. Ironically, freedom can bring with it its own fears, the fear of solely earning my own money, my entire future being based on decisions I make and not knowing if what I am doing at any given time is the 'right thing'.

Because you are on your own path its sometimes difficult to find people to fall back on or even understand your choices. Since we have left England our responsibilities have grown, they are just different responsibilities from what we used to have. The things that make freedom so great, for me, are also what make it a bit scary too! But it is these feelings that make you feel alive and make you realise you are living your own life!

What advice can you give others who want to have the freedom to live life on their own terms?

Everyone can live a life of their own choosing. It's having the courage to break away from what you are used to and trying something. Everything is scary until you actually start making steps towards the goal, then you will realise it probably isn't as scary as you first thought it would be. Looking at the big picture in the beginning will be enough to turn most people off as it will seem too difficult and people will naturally always want to go for the easy and safest option. Breaking it down into smaller challenges and tasks to set yourself on the right path to freedom, rather than trying to do everything at once and overwhelm yourself, will make everything suddenly seem do-able.

Nothing is impossible, but it can often seem that way until you begin to try.

Sacha Freedom Story5

Can you tell us of other people who are on the same path?

Angela Scott from TielandtoThailand, a friend and fellow blogger in Chiang Mai. She left the USA to start a new life in Thailand with her husband Chris and their gorgeous cat Mooshu.

Lourika Reinders, owner of Lourika Reinders Photography. She spent 2 years living and travelling in Thailand before returning home to her native Namibia to listen to her passions and set up and create her own thriving photography company. Along with her 2 stunning puppies she adopted and brought back from Thailand.

More Freedom Stories here

Sacha is the female part of the 'Man, Woman and Dog' trio traveling Thailand in a classic Ford Escort Mk 1. Sacha, along with her husband and dog, left the UK to digitally capture the world in their own unique style 2.5 years ago. They are now based in Thailand and Create Cinematic Travel Videos about their experiences. They have no plans to return to England as yet. Follow their journey on 8 Miles From Home.

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