"Some of the coolest dreams that ever came true weren’t dreams at all, but standards that simply weren’t compromised!"
--Notes from the Universe (tut.com)
[One of my favorites!—W]
A Special Note
I wrote the following note to Winston Wu of HappierAbroad
after he requested some photos of my lifestyle to inspire his forum members:
You mentioned that I should show the photo of me and my car because it makes me look "successful." Just for the record, my objective in sharing these photos of my lifestyle is NOT to convey images of success in a material/financial sense.
The goal is to portray images of FREEDOM; freedom from corporate confinement, freedom from stereotypical notions of how one should live his/her life. Freedom is the most important thing to me. I will choose freedom over money every time. In fact, I'm quite the cheapskate. For 10 years, I didn't have a car--by choice--and walked to the market, post office, etc. here on Saipan. I only got this car a few months ago because I got a great deal from someone who was leaving island, and I was their only option to get rid of it before they left.
My travel adventures in Macau, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Singapore, Laos that you see on the Jamaicaninchina.com blog are not about wealth. I travel cheaply. I stay in hostels when I can, I seek out budget airlines and deals and search for the cheapest routes every time and I am absolutely proud of it.
Years ago, one of your members said about me that he doesn't consider someone who stays in hostels "successful." Fortunately, I have nothing to prove to anyone. I travel around the world, I live the life I want and I have fond memories of bungee jumping off Macau Tower, meeting friendly folks in Thailand, being invited by hostel owners to stay in their homes and I spent 6 months in China and had the time of my life--all while staying in hostels and cheap hotels. Of course, everyone is free to decide how they measure success, but my question to those who aspire to freedom is "Would you rather work a job and/or delay your escape for years and years and years just so you can afford a 5-star hotel when you travel, or would you like to experience that joy NOW?" I chose the latter. 5-star hotels and expensive restaurants mean absolutely nothing to me! (I'm a minimalist and a vegan so I cook for myself.) The regular folks I met in the Stingray Hostel in Vietnam and the Amarin Inn in Thailand (the owners even invited me into their homes to meet their families) are friendships and memories I'll cherish forever!
So, when you look at these photos, just know that these represent what I call "achievable freedom." This does not require wealth. I make a modest living selling my books on Amazon, doing occasional coaching sessions, giving high-end tours on Saipan and Tinian and creating multiple streams of income. I set my own schedule. I answer to no one and I pick, choose and refuse whom I work with whom I coach and whom I let into my life. I've refused huge sums of money to do workshops and I've refunded clients and refused to give them tours because they didn't show the appropriate level of respect or courtesy. That, to me, is the freedom I aspire to. I'm not a slave to money. I won't compromise my standards for money or for anyone trying to use it as leverage. But, I digress.
However, on the topic of compromise, I'll end my rant with one my favorite quotes "Sometimes, the greatest dreams that ever came true weren't dreams at all, but standards that weren't compromised." Walt p.s. I know your members would probably like to see photos of the girls I've met during my travels, but I wouldn't share those without permission. 🙂
Bonus: A Gallery of “Firsts!”
plus a few major milestones!
1992- Walt creates the first series of books to show Hip Hop Entrepreneurs how to start their own record label, advertising it in the Source™ magazine at a time when most marketers were only selling gold jewelry and sneakers to the hip hop market. He owns the HIPHOPENTREPRENEUR.com domain.
Walt establishes one of the first online communities (poetsniche.com) and publishes the first paperback compilation of poetry from an online community ("Come into Our Whirl") available in limited quantities on Amazon.com.
Walt coins the phrase 'passionpreneur" and publishes Turn Your Passion into Profit, starting a trend of similar books, sparking a host of imitators who even named their books exactly the same title! Passion reaches #37 in Amazon's Business Books. He owns PASSIONPRENEUR.com, PASSIONPROFIT.com, PASSIONPROPHET.com and TURNYOURPASSIONINTOPROFIT.com domains.
Walt coins the phrase "nomadpreneur" and lives the lifestyle after his Escape from America to live on the US Commonwealth island of Saipan, He owns the NOMADPRENEUR.com and VAGABONDPRENEUR domains.
Walt launches the WeloveSaipan.com site, and with Angelo Villagomez, launches the We Love Saipan movement in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, for which, among other accomplishments, he receives a Senate Resolution acknowledging his contributions to Saipan society.
Walt conceives of and co-authors the only first-hand account of Saipan garment worker conditions in Chicken Feathers & Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan by Chun Yu Wang, for which both Chun and Walt were interviewed for (PRI) Public Radio International's "The World" show
Walt's books have been used by universities for various types of course (Business: Turn Your Passion Into Profit, Women's Studies: Chicken Feathers), which has also been excerpted in a French textbook for a chapter on "The American Dream."
2011- Walt, is arguably, the first Jamaican to cross from Laos to Xishuangbanna, China.... a first you can read about in the award-nominated "Jamaican in China" blog! :-)