My Freedom Story: Kach of Two Monkeys TravelWednesday, January 28, 2015
Last year, Kach, the Filipina half of Two Monkeys Travel emailed me to introduce herself and share a blog she had just started. Today, she is traveling and working in South America, has been featured in several well-known blogs and has even been nominated for a blog award- talk about a rising star!
Now I'm learning from her as she shares her freedom story:
Freedom is doing whatever- whenever and wherever you want. When you don’t conform to what society or the cultural expectations say. Freedom is inner happiness, where what you say and how you act is the same as what you feel inside.
After graduating from university in 2009, I worked in Kuwait, the Middle East, for 4 years where I worked up to the position of Quality Assurance Supervisor.
I had a good job, my own car, a rented apartment and an expensive gym membership. I went on holidays to 15 different countries and even bought property in the Philippines.
People who knew me saw me as successful and my parents were happy. I was winning…or at least I thought I was.
It wasn't until I moved to Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, for a new job that I began to question things. I had a higher salary, more benefits and most importantly, great friends. But there was something missing inside that couldn't be filled by any of those things.
I began to realize that what I really wanted was to travel, to be completely free of work and schedules. To know that I could go anywhere in the world and not just survive, but thrive.
What steps did you take to achieve freedom?
I’ve started living frugally in Kuwait around 2012. I travelled to 15 different countries while I was based in the Middle East by limiting my shopping, eating out and other stuff that felt like a waste of money. I was cooking my own food and decided to send money to my bank account in the Philippines (10% of it every month) to build up a backpacking fund.
How long did it take for you to live free?
I was travelling for 3 months on my own before I met Jonathan, and we’ve been travelling together for 15 months now. Just this year, we took certifications so we could work while travelling – so we are now certified TEFL teachers, certified Tantra Yoga teachers and Ayurveda Massage Therapists- we work wherever and whenever we like. We are financially free from any commercial debts and are earning enough money from what we are doing to live well and save too.
Last May, we published our first article in our old blog account and finally this November we decided to take blogging to the next level. Luckily, Rappler picked up our articles and they’ve gone viral:
Now we have more readers and are hoping to start generating passive income, but for now our main focus is to inspire people with our sustainable travelling lifestyle.
Biggest challenge? Maybe the time I decided to move to Kurdistan, Iraq, as I thought starting a new career in Oil and Gas would make me happier. I didn’t know anyone there and I arrived without a job- just a leap of faith! I was able to land a good paying job, but then after 5 months it made me finally realize that money is not the only source of happiness.
What advice can you give others who want to have the freedom to live life in their own terms?
The most common question I get from people is, ‘What is the right time for me to travel? Should I wait until I finish this stage in my life, or achieve this goal before I travel?’ I always say the same thing – There will never be one perfect time. Life does not happen in stages, it flows continuously. Stop thinking about all reasons not to go and write down all the reasons to go instead. The only thing stopping you is you.
How to earn money while travelling? Invest in skills and read this article about 10 Practical Travel Jobs that we wrote a while back.
Thirsty for freedom? More Freedom Stories here
Want to share your freedom story? Send it to solesisters.weare [at] gmail.com or leave a comment below.
Kach is originally from the stunning Philippines but been backpacking around the world for 18 months now. She grew up in Manila and proud to be Iskolar ng Bayan, before moving to Kuwait for work and eventually scoring a job in Kurdistan. Yep, that’s right. Iraq! After a while though, even this wasn’t exciting enough for her, so she quit everything for a life of travel, new experiences and adventure. She loves beautiful beaches, electronic music, yoga, mayonnaise, Nutella, 5 star hotels and haggling! Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.