adventure

2019: YEAR OF DIVINE

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“The problem is not in your being. The problem is in your seeing.” ~ Hareesh

Every year I chose an intention that defines the year. It began with Year of Courage in 2016. Year of Lotus in 2017. And Year of Surrender in 2018.

 And finally this year has revealed itself as Year of Divine.

This clarity came from a personal experience that led me to see that there is no greater power.

Something happened that showed me the power of the Human Spirit…the power of the Divine, the unrelenting, unstoppable power of Love.

It begins with a simple story, for the third time in the last two years, I lost my passport traveling in a foreign country. Not once, not twice, but THREE times I’ve lost my passport!

First in Mexico, then in Vietnam and today in Thailand.

Each of these are developing countries that many people from my own country have told me are unsafe to travel in. And yet each time, without fail, it has been ordinary people, like you and me, who went through extraordinary feats to bring it back, just in time, so I could go fly back home.

One shipped it from Costa Rica after finding it in a seat back pocket.

Another expedited it from a hotel in Hanoi through busy city streets to the airport.

And finally, today, the cabin crew discovered it in a seat back pocket in Bangkok before my flight home.

While part of me shakes my head and says “Pay Attention. Be more responsible!” I also see the beauty of each of these moments.

Each time, it was returned with haste, not for a reward or for any kind of fame and definitely not out of convenience but out of the pureness of their hearts.  

This isn’t the only mishap I’ve had while traveling. I nearly missed my flight from South Korea to Vietnam and they held the plane for me. I lost my iPhone in Prague and a family went out of their way to find the only Czech number in my phone and contacted them before I planned to leave for Spain the next day.

Time after time the generosity of the human spirit and our divine nature prevails!

But it’s not just these individuals who have offered me their love. Country after country I have visited has welcomed me with open arms. I’ve always been greeted with kindness, generosity, understanding, respect, and love.

When I gratefully received my passport back today I looked more deeply at its contents…

Issued by the United States of America…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosperity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

“We have a great dream. It started way back in 1776 and God grant that America will be true to her dream. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, or a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity. ~ Anna Julia Cooper

“Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generations.” ~ Ellison S. Onizuka

 Have you ever looked in detail at your passport? The tributes that line the pages of the USA passport speak to a vision that goes beyond individual gain, they speak in reverence towards the Greater Good.

And while I have some resistance towards and I acknowledge the pain of many people particularly indigenous and immigrants who have suffered under the oppression of this countries past and present leaders, in this moment, I feel proud.

I feel proud to be an American. I feel grateful for my great grandparents who braved dark times and rough seas to start a new life in this country. For better or for worse, without clear certainty, they journeyed forth and I am the living manifestation of the future they could only dream of.

I see that I have enormous privilege and that I am the fruit of their labor.  

And from all of that hard work and sacrifice comes a little booklet that gives me access to the whole world.  

As I flipped through the pages of my passport, I saw stamps and stamps and stamps, almost all from Asia.

  • Thailand

  • Vietnam

  • Cambodia

  • Malaysia

  • China

  • Taiwan

  • Phillipines

  • Indonesia

Seeking, searching, exploring, trying desperately to find my roots. To belong.

Looking at my passport in full, I saw myself.

Western on the inside.

Eastern on the outside.

Eastern on the inside.

Western on the inside.

 In that moment, I no longer saw Asian or American. I saw both and neither and both.

 All I saw was Divine Union. Completeness. Whole.

 I felt I could finally integrate the parts of me that seemed at war with each other.

What does it even mean to be Asian American? What’s our story? With two years of traveling outside the U.S., I’m only beginning to find out. 

But I just want to say…these divisions we create between ourselves, between others, between country, culture , and creed,  between sexual orientation, gender, class, and everything else, I believe that God doesn’t make mistakes.

The way I see it is we all come from and dissolve into the same source. And it is from that eternal source that we come to exist in infinite forms.

You are not simply a human having a (spiritual) life. Or a spirit having a human life.

 You are both.

 And it is only the confusion of separateness that creates our suffering.

 Separation from others is separation from ourselves. Division within is division without.

In the tantric view, the core of the teachings is to see the world through the eyes of non-duality and to see the Divine in all beings.

“The problem is not in your being. The problem is in your seeing.”

And it is only when you can align your seeing with your being that you can truly cut through the veils of separation and come into the fullness of your own Humanity and your own Godliness.

Final words that my Soul Godmother and Coach said to me after I got my passport back.

“In my life, I have found walking in the Divine is probably the most mysterious journey in life. Safe travels and don’t forget to say thank you to the Divine. Stay in gratitude and I will do the same.” ~ Sally 

So what better way to honor this year than with that.

With divine love and gratitude,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

WHERE ONCE THERE WAS GREY THERE IS COLOR.

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I’ve been working on a rebrand project for  DSIL Global trying to conjure and call in its brand essence.

Something that rings true to every multitude at the table.

  • Something that speaks as clearly to the wise old sage as the 5th grade adventurer
  • Something that represents the world of the rebel revolutionary and the architect
  • Something that embodies the heart and spirit of the olympian from the ghetto, the riser
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What we’re talking about here is something that can’t be quantified or qualified but only felt.

  • Business people will call it the UVP.
  • Spiritual junkies will call it the soul.
  • And everyone else who can’t quite put a finger on it will call it magic.

For me, I can only attest to how DSIL has radically rerouted and reframed my life and it all started four years ago with the girl who cried, “Southeast Asia.”

Four years ago, I was highly considering leaving my job to seek adventure. I had seen photos of a friend’s travels in Southeast Asia and something about the vibrancy of the aquamarine waters and the pungent hues of street side delicacies drew me in.

I had to go.

I was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time and Southeast Asia seemed like a far off and not commonly visited destination. Nevertheless, without a plan or a budget, I put my thirty days notice in with the intention of getting out there as soon as possible.

Long story short, I didn’t end up making it. I postponed that dream for another. I moved to my dream city, San Francisco, California.

Rooftop dance parties at Sunrise beneath San Francisco's infinite sky.

Rooftop dance parties at Sunrise beneath San Francisco's infinite sky.

Fast forward three years later, after living happily in San Francisco, I still had the Southeast Asia itch. When I wasn’t working I’d spend my free time pursuing personal growth at social innovation institutes, global leadership programs, and changemaker intensives.

Often at these types of things there’s an opportunity to introduce yourself and make a pitch or an ask. My ask was always the same, “Hi I’m Kelsey Wong. I’m passionate about people, culture, and community. If you know of any fellowship programs or courses in Southeast Asia, please send them my way.”

While many people sent me ideas or places to visit, the only program that was sent to me consistently was the DSIL Course. This globally certified executive leadership course includes a ten-day field immersion in Thailand/Cambodia or Indonesia and a virtual classroom setting for teaching design thinking, conscious leadership, and inclusive development applied to social innovation.

After receiving knock after knock, I finally looked up the site. To my surprise, I recognized the course, when I was living in Phoenix and first considering going to Southeast Asia, a social entrepreneur friend, Courtney Klein had taken the course and had encouraged me to check it out. At the time, I had read “Executive Leader” and been too intimidated to pursue it. But by this time, I had honed more of my leadership skills and creative capacities and could see myself doing something like this. Then, to my even greater surprise, as I was scrolling through photos of the current cohort, I saw a former mentor and dear friend, Tom.

The stars aligned.

Tom put me in touch with the two partners, Courtney and Katy. It took a bit of time coordinating schedules but Katy and I finally had a chance to Skype. After just a twenty-minute call, I was hooked. Katy was so real, down-to-earth and yet for all intensive purposes, such a badass. Her extensive design and teaching background, the complex problems she was working on and the countries she was working in really amazed me and I was eager to learn more.

The badass that is Katy Grennier, Partner at  DSIL Global.

The badass that is Katy Grennier, Partner at DSIL Global.

It felt like synchrodestiny. I expressed my enthusiasm and said as soon as the course application came up I would apply.

When applications opened I didn’t think I could be more stoked and then I read the application itself. Never have I ever loved applying for anything so much. The questions felt different. I felt different. Never had I applied for something where I felt I could be my whole self and breathe into my fullest possibilities. 

On top of that, I had manifested an opportunity to travel to Thailand and Vietnam six months before the course with two friends. I mentioned to Katy I would be in Thailand and she instantly volunteered her apartment to us. Remember, I had only ever spoken to Katy on Skype for 20 minutes and yet she offered me her house. WHO ARE YOU?! I thought. 

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In December, I did stay at her house. While I was there, I knew she was my people when I saw on the inside of her door that you see as you walk out, a hand-written note that said, “How are you contributing today?”

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Fast forward, not only was I accepted to the course but after spending the month in Southeast Asia I knew I had to be here full-time. So I made it happen. Katy and I had kept in touch along the journey and in May she started a dialogue about capacity gaps DSIL had and asked if I was interested in collaborating more with their consulting team.

I was simultaneously flattered and floored. I signed up for THEIR course, why would they hire me if I’m trying to learn from them?

We talked and she asked if I was interested in working together and even co-facilitating on an upcoming project to test it out we could. To say I was keen is an understatement; I was thrilled.

A week later she sent me an invitation to join her in co-facilitating a leadership development program with the Australia Asia Organization Combating Human Trafficking in Bangkok the following month. I was in Bali at the time and was so ecstatic receiving the invitation I let out a full-bodied YES.

Katy also let me know she’d be in Bali the following week and invited me to meet her local team.

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So this is where it gets interesting.

The day before I met Katy in person I had a life-changing tarot card reading.

After a series of wild events, I found myself frazzled as I checked into the White Lotus Meditation Center. After sensing how disoriented I was, Sandee, the owner asked, “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

After I flooded her with neurosis she made me some tea and asked if I would you like to do a tarot reading. She thought it would be good for me.

I nodded and so we did.

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I’ve only done a few tarot card readings in my life but the times I have were spot on.

Sandee had me shuffle the deck, lay out the cards and take a deep breath.

The first card she asked, “Which card represents you?”

I closed my eyes and sensed for the light. Wherever a golden light beamed in my minds eye is where I chose.

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XIII 

TRANSFORMATION

in the Major Arcana, depicting Shiva sitting in a flaming lotus with a phoenix rising above his head. 

Fitting.

The next card she asked, “Which card represents your current work?”

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SORROW

I felt into it and pulled a card. I flipped it around only to see the card of Sorrow staring into my face. When I saw that card, I felt like the wind got knocked out of me.

 

My gut tightened. My face paled. I didn’t want to believe it but I knew exactly what it meant. I saw the hunched over monk in the darkness crying and I saw myself working late on my computer in the dark unhappy.

Sandee shook her head, “if you stay working for this company, this will be your life.”

I didn’t like hearing her say that but I knew deep down as much as I loved my team, that she was right. I had been working remote with a U.S. based company for the last four years and while it was an amazing ride and wonderful place to practice my skills, now that I was living in Southeast Asia, the time difference wasn’t healthy and the opportunities to grow were limited.

She asked me, “What other possibilities are opening for you?”

I told her I was meeting someone tomorrow that was a partner at another consulting firm I was very interested in working with.

She said, “What’s the name of this person you are meeting?”

“Katy.”

“And what’s the company?”

“D/O consulting."

“Pull a card that represents Katy and D/O.”

Again, I closed my eyes and sensed for light.

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XIV

 

INTEGRATION

The light shined on a card right in the middle. I picked it up and turned it around to see the card of Integration, XIV in the Major Arcana.

Looking at the two cards next to each other. Sorrow and Integration was like night and day. The card of Integration represented a world of color where the card of Sorrow was all grey. Furthermore, the card of Transformation, which represented me, was 13 in the Major Arcana and Integration was 14, a natural progression, the next step.

“The next card is the most important,” Sandee said, “It represents what you need to do now.”

Again, I paused and took a deep breath, looked for the light and then…boom.

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4

POSTPONEMENT

At first, I thought that meant postpone meaning the D/O opportunity is not going to happen. The card showed a woman in grey looking into a frame of color.

But Sandee said, “No, what this means is that if you don’t act soon this opportunity for color will be gone and you’ll be stuck living in the grey. This is the most important card for you. If I were you, I’d resign today.”

My heart stopped.

Was she serious? That’s crazy. I can’t do that. I’ve been with this company for four years; I’m not just going to throw it away after some tarot card reading.

Yet even after thinking that, I knew she was right. Agh. She was really right. The writing was on the wall.

I wrote my letter of resignation that afternoon and though it took me two weeks to have the conversation, eventually I did. And to my surprise I received so much love and support.

Today, I write this blog post from my room at Prado Farms. It’s a biodynamic farm, eco-resort, and inspirational sanctuary that DSIL is living in and working out of for the next two months. I’m on the new team of four core staff leaning into the business as it undergoes a [r]evolution.

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Not only did I complete the DSIL course in Thailand and Cambodia in September, but I’m working with the very team I was so intimidated by years before.

In short, I can’t believe I’m here.

And as I dive deep into this [re]brand and organizational transformation I can’t help but see what’s real and true.

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This company, this course, these people have given me the lens of possibility. I’ve been equipped with new tools for designing, building, and doing. Together, we practice new ways of living, being, listening, and seeing. Creativity is streaming out of me like never before.

So I say again…

  • Where once there were roadblocks there are rivers.
  • Where once there were walls there are worlds.
  • Where once there was grey there is color.

With love x light,

Kelsey Lotus

ABOVE EVERY SKY IS ANOTHER SKY.

Above White Lotus Meditation Center in Ubud, Bali

Above White Lotus Meditation Center in Ubud, Bali

Above every sky is another sky.

Agus, the Balinese palm reader said to me.

You've got to be willing to let go of this Sky trusting the next will come. To me, this is not the same as the grass is always greener. It's not about comparison or ego. It's trusting that spirit is calling you forward. It's trusting that the Universe has got you, that you got you, that the energy that brought you to this special place, person, or moment will carry you to the next.

It's trusting that there is a greater plan being orchestrated and you must follow the notes of your heart song towards your next symphony. It's a reminder that playing the same tune on repeat, even if you love it more than you've loved anything before, is to stop yourself from growing.

Evolution is inevitable.

Nature knows this. Seasons change. Leaves fall. Fires blaze. Rivers flow.

This isn't some mystical poetic bs, this is that real real. To deny Mother Nature is to deny gravity. To deny Father Sky is to deny the wonder of our very existence. To deny your soul's urge is to insult the gift.

What are you afraid of that you can't overcome? Are you afraid of falling? of failing? of flying? of going too far? Yes, me too! It's fucking scary but we'll be okay and whoever and whatever we’re leaving in this Sky, will be okay too. Life has plans for them.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

Let's trust ourselves. Know ourselves. Liberate ourselves.

Accept our truth. Our whole unreasonable sometimes hard-to-look-at but powerfully beautiful honest truth.

Look in and ask yourself, if I loved myself truly and deeply, what would I do next?

FLY.

With love x flight,

Lotus 

#freebird #openheart #heroinesjourney

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia 

Virgin Beach, Bali, Indonesia 

BURNING MAN STARTER KIT

Dearest Newly Sparked First Time Burners,

Congratulations on saying YES to this life-changing adventure. I am ecstatic to share with you something I love so much. If you haven’t already, start getting really really excited for the RIDE OF YOUR LIFE.

You’ve got some work to do in order to get yourself ready (BM is August 28th-September 4th), but it’s part of the journey and in my experience, worth every second / penny / ounce of energy!

I’ve organized this Starter Kit into three parts:

1.     INTRODUCTION – what is Burning Man? and what’s your why?

2.     INSPIRATION – what others have discovered on the playa 

3.     PREPARATION – what to do and how to get there

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

What is Burning Man?

Burning Man is many things…it’s a blank canvas of infinite possibilities, it’s a catalyst for never-before-seen creativity, and it’s a sacred container of radical self-expression and wholeness. Every Burner will have their own unique experience and different reasons for WHY they come (or don’t come back) every year.

The way I like to describe Burning Man is this: Imagine a call was put out to the most creative tribes on the planet, a call to build your dream civilization for a week in the desert. No government, no capitalism, no constraints. Now imagine 60,000 people answered that call and gathered all their most treasured gifts and potent energy to share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience that happens every year.

And finally, imagine one of those magical, wonderful, beautiful, lit-up and fully alive people is YOU.

Now before you get down and dirty with the details, start with clarity on your WHY.

  • Ask yourself WHY am I going to Burning Man?

  • What is my intention?
  • What is my desire?
  • What within me is asking to be revealed or ignited?
  • What am I willing to let burn away?
  • Who am I willing to be or let go of?
  • Why spend all of this insane time, energy, and money to willingly roll around in the blazing hot and freezing cold barren desert for a week of my precious life?

Only you can answer these questions so before you get into the thick of planning, take the time to clarify your vision and your why. Everything is energy and if yours is pure and true, it will make the manifestation and preparation process so much smoother and more enjoyable.

Now it’s time to soak in more of the Burner culture and get inspired by other’s why’s.

PART 2: INSPIRATION

OFFICIAL

Spark Trailer - "The portraits here offer West Coast idealism and conviction coupled with an extravagant aesthetic vision. Since we can't all attend Burning Man, we can be thankful for "Spark," which is probably the next best thing."

PERSONAL

PART 3: PREPARATION

INTERNAL PREP:

EXTERNAL PREP:

  1. TICKET – There are multiple ways to get a ticket. Directly from Burning Man Ticket Sale is always best but you can also get lucky and manifest tickets through friends or friends of friends. I haven’t been able to get tickets directly from the BM Sale. The first year I didn’t decide I was going until 2 weeks before and the tickets came. The key here is COMMITMENT to going as well as a willingness to SURRENDER to that which is not in your control. Create a vision, set an intention, put out your feelers, and then let it go! Note: typically people start to bail 1-2 months out of BM and there are often a FLURRY of extra tickets and Vehicle Passes. Trust and hold true!
  2. CAMP – There are hundreds of camps at BM and while you can go on your own, I recommend joining one. Every camp has a unique offering and different requirements. Ask Burners you know who they camp with and see if you can join one of their camps. You can also go rogue and get your own parking pass and post up in an open spot. I know many self-sufficient people who prefer this. In the past I've camped with IDEATE out of SF and now CAMP WALTER based out of Phoenix. 
  3. ACCOMMODATIONS – There are so many ways to live out there and I’ve tried a few, I’ve stayed in an air-conditioned shipping container (NICE!), an airstream (also NICE!), and I’ve pitched my own tent (not as nice but much easier!). Other people build yurts, rent ice-fishing tents, or take RV’s. I have some research on this in my packing list.
  4. TRANSPORTATION - I’ve gone up a few different ways, I’ve caught a ride in an RV, caravanned in an airstream, and taken the Burner Express. If you’re self-sufficient, low-maintenance and coming from San Francisco or Reno, the easiest and fairly inexpensive route is the Burner Express. If you decide to drive in via an RV or otherwise, you'll need a Vehicle Pass.
  5. FOOD & WATER – For me, I don’t go for a foodie 5-star experience. I take the essentials and some favorite goodies. Your meal possibilities also depend on your access to electricity and power. I don’t fuss with a generator, I bring a pop up stove, lots of soups, and then things like hummus, salsa, chips, avocados, apples, oranges, etc (see my full packing list for details). Water! Important. Bring 1-1.5 liters/day and YOU MUST MUST have a Camelpack. That is your lifeline out there, stay hydrated with electrolytes.
  6. BIKES - In Black Rock City, people get around primarily by bike or art car. Many Super Burners (experienced burners) have other cool means like segways dressed as sea horses but bikes are the norm. I recommend an inexpensive bike with big tires, a mountain bike or beach cruiser will do. I got mine at a Bike CO-OP, it's a used kids mountain bike for $40 - can't beat that! I recommend you also get some kind of horn, squeeky toy or noise maker of some sort (great when you can't see during dust storms but you can hear!) also a lock to keep it safe and a golf ball to put on your kick stand so it stands up easily. 
  7. PACKING – BIG note about packing, I always seem to overpack and over-prepare, which later feels like a waste of time and money. What I’ve learned out on the playa is you don’t really need much. Yes, you need to survive but it’s amazing how little is TRULY necessary. Also, in the moment, I usually forget that I even brought half of what I have. KEEP IT SIMPLE. That said, I’ve put together an extensive list over the years that I’ve adopted from another Master Pack list. This is my Updated Pack List (same one I've listed previously).
  8. GIFTING - Gifting is a huge part what makes Burning Man amazing. This is an opportunity to get creative with a meaningful gift that you'd like to share with the community. I've made hand-stamped intention bracelets and received mini Burning Man dust globes. This article has some good information about gifting. 
  9. OVERALL COST - This will be dependent on your needs but I suggest putting aside about $2,000 for your first go. $400 for the ticket, $1000 for transportation and accommodations. $600 for food, water and supplies. I've seen people spend upwards of $10,000 and others on a minimal low end of $1,000. Though you won't be spending any $ when you arrive, the cost to get there is another story. This may trigger you and feel like a bunch of privileged bs and I would say you're right but BM has also activated in me more power and energy than I could possibly describe. And if it's calling you and you can afford it or even if you can't, figure it out, GO!
  10. POST-BURN DECOMPRESSION - Here is an amazing Post-Playa tips list from BM. For your decompression, if you can take 5-7 days off after the Burn, you'll thank yourself for it. I've not given myself this time and space in the past and really regretted it. Be kind to yourself and allow for a smooth and gentle integration. The culture shock is real. A lot of people go to Tahoe or Reno after the burn. There are also a number of post-burn events, like the Dust-Off and official BM Decompression in SF.

Having just inhaled all of that, take a moment to breathe...

I imagine you’re feeling a range of emotions from ECSTATIC to OVERWHELMED. I get it. You don’t need to read all of this or do all of this. I’ve put this together after three burns and I don’t follow it all. But it’s there to support you and so is the entire Burning Man community.

So be kind and gentle with yourself.

Remember your WHY.

Have a little faith and trust in the process. After all, we’re not in control, the Universe is the master orchestrator and it supports us in all ways.

Final note and special shout out of gratitude to the majestic Jeremy Watson who assembled the original welcome email that turned into this Starter Kit. Thank you to Jeremy and many other Burner friends who have contributed to my experience year after year. Your generosity has been unbelievable, THANK YOU 🙏🏽❤️🙏🏽

Big love x light and see you all in the dust!

LOTUS 

BIG TRIP TRAVEL TIPS

'The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page.' — St. Augustine

While preparing for the unknown, it is impossible to know exactly what one may need.

The road less traveled is unpredictable and I have often found myself at the crossroads of should and must asking, “do I really need this?”.  

At the tail end of every big trip, I discover my needs are very little. That said, it's good to be prepared. 

I've been on the road 50% of the time for the last three years and full-time for the past 6 months. This is a list of my travel essentials for big trips (1 month or more). 
 
HEALTH ESSENTIALS
½ of what I pack is clothing and the other ½ of what I pack is my own holistic pharmacy.
 
    1.    Vitamins & Supplements – Every Body is different so these will depend on you. I have a holistic health specialist who helps assess my needs (let me know if you need a recommendation). I am a high energy person with an adventurous palate and I often wear out my immune system. I use:

    2.    Vaccines – Look up the recommended vaccines for the area you're traveling to. I used One Medical to complete my vaccines. The One Medical staff were very helpful, straightforward and designed for the modern professional who loathes long wait times and is tech savvy.
    3.    Health Insurance – Check your Coverage and Eligibility & Benefits. I was required to cancel my plan if I was out of state for more than 90 days. I did not qualify for an Exemption and will have to pay a Penalty. Check to see what is available to you.
    4.    Travel Insurance – I went with World Nomads “Explorer” option – it was about $400 for 5 months of coverage that included every kind of activity I could possibly get myself into.
 
FINANCIAL ESSENTIALS
    1.    Budget – Start a spreadsheet or another more sophisticated tool (if you have a recommendation, please let me know!) and do the math.

  • What’s the cost of living on a low end and a high end?
  • Approximately how much are practical things like visas, transportation, and accommodations? And then what about experiences, will you be taking any workshops or courses, attending any festivals or events?
  • How does this compare with your current cost of living?
  • Does it make sense from a financial perspective?
  • Living in Southeast Asia was cost effective for me in comparison to San Francisco at about ⅓ or ¼ the cost. This allows me to work less and travel more.

    2.    Financial Advisor - Meet with an Advisor to help you review your goals and determine what you can afford to do. I have been fortunate to work with Daisy and Jeff at Titanium Advisors who help me build my financial strategy around my unique lifestyle.
    3.    Taxes - Take into consideration how you’re doing business and what this means for filing your taxes later. I also work with Daisy at Titanium Advisors for my taxes, she charges $250 and is so worth it! 
    
TECH ESSENTIALS

  1. Cell Phone Coverage – Talk to your provider about your options for suspending, upgrading, or canceling your plan. Different providers have different policies and options for international travelers. It’s also easy to get SIM cards for each country while traveling. They usually sell these at the airports and you can load up via phone or at convenient stores. 
  2. Back up your computer – Get an external hard drive and back back back it up! Leave the hard drive at home so in case anything happens to your computer, you have a back up.
  3.  Favorite App’s
  • Communication – Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and Skype.
  • Maps – Maps.Me (offline mapping tool, like Google Maps but available offline)
  • Transportation – Grab Taxi, Uber, Lyft
  • Accommodations – Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Hostelworld.com
  • Flights – G Flights, Google Flights, Bunnyhop (tracks flight prices for you)
  • Translation tool – Google Translate
  • Currency converter – Units Plus
Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Pho Temple, Bangkok, Thailand

While embarking on the road less traveled it's easy to get caught up in doubts, fears, worries, and insecurities along the way. Remember, the mind lies. Subconsciously and consciously, often and much. Sometimes innocently, sometimes in ways that really hold you back. 

Listen to the callings of your soul. Be courageous in your intuition. And above all, trust yourself, know yourself, and love yourself so wildly and deeply that you are willing to fly around the world chasing some unknown adventure to show it.

There is magic in a life in motion. Believe in yourself and know you are guided and protected, wherever you go, wherever you grow.

Godspeed and safe travels,

Kelsey Lotus Wong

p.s. For more insight + support, read NO MUD NO LOTUS: Getting Through the Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Mud When Taking a Leap of Faith.

TRAVEL IS EDUCATION FOR LIFE.

Grand Canal | Venice, Italy

Grand Canal | Venice, Italy

People often ask, why do you travel so much? 

TWO WHY's:

  1. Travel is education for life. It exhilarates, liberates, feeds, challenges, and teaches me.

  2. I am an explorer and it allows me to learn about myself and connect with others.

But how do you do it? How do you sustain work and travel?

TWO HOW'S:

  1. First, you have to consciously CHOSE this life. It’s not for everyone and it’s not all glamorous, it can be ridiculously frustrating and exhausting. You must tune into yourself and really get clear on your vision for your life's journey. My end game is to live a life rich in life experience and so for me, the juice is worth the squeeze. Take the time to determine what's right for you. 

  2. Second, look for companies that value Freedom. Seek forward-thinking organizations that are designed to give you the autonomy, flexibility, and trust to do the work.  More and more organizations are getting that the best employees live full, whole lives and aren’t robots. They want people who are passionate and purpose-driven. They get that Go-Getters who are also Go-Givers are the real future. If you can’t find a like-minded team, keep putting it out there, it will come. If all else fails, build it. To learn more from on how many organizations are rethinking work and wellbeing check out Arianna Huffington's post here.

An important thing to note is this way of life didn’t open itself up yesterday. Three years ago, this was not my reality. Three years ago, Phoenix was my city, my community, and I was hellbent on seeing it flourish.

That said, I had a vision beyond my known world.

I believed I could be a Global Citizen and a part of many communities. I believed I could design a life where I was paid to be myself. I believed I could work with an organization that would see my passionate curiosities and personal interests as assets rather than distractions. For me, it wasn't about "Millennial entitlement", I knew if I couldn't pour my whole self into something, I would be disengaged and average at best. Centered in this vision, I've been designing my life ever since and while it certainly wasn't clear looking forward, the dots have miraculously connected looking back. 

The key I have found is unlocking your vision, listening to your callings, and building your own personal curriculum from there.

Aegean Sea | Hydra Island, Greece

Aegean Sea | Hydra Island, Greece

It feels good to be lost in the right direction. — Unknown

A few resources to support:

VALUES

  • Values are a tool for helping you make decisions big and small. Once you can clearly articulate your values, you can determine what LIVING those values looks like. For example, one of my top values is Freedom and one way I live Freedom is by traveling :]

  • Knowing your values will also help you direct your energy more towards what's important and redirect your energy from what is not.  (Email me for the Delivering Happiness Personal Values Exercise: kelsey@deliveringhappiness.com).

VISION

  • The Vision Conversation - This organization hosts workshops and writes about manifesting your vision. Founder, Kristin Hayden is a true Visionary who speaks all over the world (read her blog).
  • Ideal Day Vision Exercise by Martha Beck - Very useful visualization meditation to help you picture your ideal day, which allows you to see it, feel it, and then plan backwards.

TRUE COMMUNITY

  • HIVE Global Leaders Program - This was a really powerful program that includes workshops on Designing Your Life and Finding Your Purpose. I've written about my experience here. If you're interested in going I am happy to connect you with their Community Team. For a discount, use HIVEALUM for $200 off tuition.
  • StartingBloc - For social innovators and changemakers, this is an amazing global community of people who want to dedicate their lives to doing good and also want to be able to support themselves financially. At present, they have four institutes a year in the U.S. - New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. 
  • Under30Experiences - I am new to this community but WOW, this group is full of digital nomads, adventurers, and life enthusiasts. They see travel as a vehicle for transformation and meaningful connection. They facilitate group travel excursions worldwide from Costa Rica to Iceland, Bali to Peru. 

Much love on your journey. Safe travels and happy learning!

With gratitude,

Kelsey Lotus Wong