The key to a wonderful life is a fascination with something
In the summer of 2007 I read a review of a little known book (at that time) The 4-hour Work Week. I was fascinated with the concept espoused in the book and ordered it through Amazon and read it in one seating.
Then came an opportunity for me to get an early retirement from my company where I was working for 10 years. I took the early retirement package.
I cashed on a few more opportunities that I was pursuing as an independent business operator and realized close to 300K in my checking account. I had a valuable skill set through an MS degree in Computer Science, 10 years of work experience and a few independent projects.
For the first time I realized that I could create salable assets using my skills. I truly realized financial freedom . I felt like, at last, I broke free from the chain that was holding me to a location and 9-5 jobs.
My stroy about how I broke free using the five lessons of the 4-hour work week are detailed in a post.
After working for 10 years in a fortune 50 corporation, at the age of 45, I quit my job to start a journey that will lead me to discover how to live anywhere in the world, avoid 9-5 jobs, and work whenever I want.
I seldom identify myself as a digital nomad but feel like free soul not bound by any geographical locations, routine jobs, or earning money like a regular guy. The real freedom for me is to keep all options open, not to worry about where I want to sleep tonight, when I have to go to a job, when I will finish my work, or how I am going to earn money to pay my bills tomorrow.
The journey was not easy as I did not plan when I was 26 years old and a new immigrant to the USA. But sometimes I wish there were a book (no blog in those days) in the library to guide me to plan ahead for this journey.
If anyone wants to free themselves, I can assure you that it is simple, requires discipline, and if you are professional you can achieve it in ten years. If you are married non-professional and both spouses are working, you can also make yourself free in a decade.
Here is my story.
The first computer I used was a RadioShack’s TRS-80 Micro Computer to develop an Expert System shell using Turbo Prolog. A few MS students used the shell to in their MS thesis. I then moved to the USA from India. It was before IBM introduced their PS2 system.
I had access to a main frame computer in the state university I was enrolled in and was working part time as a surveyor for US Steel. For the first few years I did not study and spent most of my free time developing and perfecting a neural network model to predict dog race outcomes. The process was painfully frustrating.
I would travel to Wheeling Greyhound Track on Saturday afternoon to buy Sunday’s program. On Sunday morning I would create a comma separated input file with each dog’s past race history and submit the job to mainframe. After a few hours I would get the result of the job ranking each dog with their predicted race time.
In the afternoon I would drive to Wheeling for wagering. After all the expenses I was making a meager 10% from my investment of a few hundred dollars. In frustration I quit after a few months.
I then did sundry businesses selling in flea markets, opening a used book stores, a lunch joint etc. I ended up in California.