A year of not working

A lot has changed since I last reflected on my professional situation. It’s now been over a year since I last did any client work and my time since then has been spent tinkering with personal projects, religiously going to the gym and reading.

Financially independently

My singular goal since 2008 had been to escape the rat race and have complete freedom in how I spend my time. Previous efforts at working less and having a better work-life balance ended in anxiety as I’d watch my cash balance steadily decrease and the usual concern of being able to get a new contract after time off would rear it’s head.

I’d exceeded my originally modest milestones only to push the goalposts further out but when 2020 saw equities and cryptocurrencies get pumped from all-time highs to all-time highs I no longer had any excuses: I’d a portfolio of assets sufficient to support an unostentatious lifestyle and with enough margin of error to withstand a substantial drawdown. I’d also turned 40 which in itself was a strong enough narrative to prompt change.

The worst case scenario is having to get a job again. The horrors.

The big mango

The flat I shared for most of my years in London is gone now and the house in Belfast is in the final stages of being sold. The pandemic accelerated everything.

For just over 4 years the bulk of my time has been spent in Bangkok with the last 2 years being spent here exclusively due to the international situation.

The cost of living is affordable, the weather never gets cold and there’s an abundance of spicy food at every turn. I acquired a long-term visa, have endeavoured to learn the language and the largest gym in Thailand is within walking distance of my building so all in all not a bad setup for a post-work life.

Wether or not this is my final stop is uncertain, especially seeing as I’m not on a path for permanent residency or citizenship but it suits my needs for the time being and I’m looking forward to exploring other possibilities in the near future.

Big wheel keep on turning

Apart from retirees, most people I speak to are concerned to some extent about money and jobs. The world I’ve left behind keeps moving forwards which makes for a strange sense of disconnection.

Will I ever work again though? I’m not ruling it out completely but neither am I enamoured at the prospect of either having a job or repeating what I was doing before verbatim. Until a new vision for the future presents itself I’ll be taking life one day at a time, responding to incidents as they arise and keeping things as simple as possible.