Those of you who are somewhere in the vicinity of my age might remember a TV commercial from the 80s, or maybe it was the 70s? for Remington shavers. Victor Kiam was the guy you saw holding up the shaver and proclaiming, “I liked it so much, I bought the company!” I always felt that to be a little arrogant and self-promotional (yet obviously catchy, as here I am x number of years later still remembering), but now I think Victor was actually alright.
See, all he was saying was, he loved and believed in something so much that he wanted to be a part of it. He wanted some stake in what happened to it. I like that. So Vic, I apologize for my prior thoughts about you (even though you’re 8 years dead).
To show you just how sorry I am, I decided to follow in your footsteps. I liked Gili Air so much, I bought a piece of it. Yep! It’s not much – just 1500 square metres of scrub and a couple of coconut trees – but it’s mine. What am I going to do with it, you might ask? Dunno, really. It took every last dime of savings I had just to buy it, so it’s not like I can afford to actually build something on it, like a house, or even a lean-to. Not yet. For now, it will just sit there. Cows will continue to graze on it and coconuts will continue to grow. Sam, my Indonesian business partner (it’s a long and complicated transaction) will plant a few fruit trees on it and clean it up a bit. And it will be the foundation for my dreams. A house one day, or maybe a few bungalows for travellers to crash in; an Internet cafe and a cappuccino shop?
I’ve come this far in going with my gut, following my heart, doing what feels right. Why stop now? I’ve seen where life can lead, and I don’t mean in a good way. I’ve seen people with dead eyes trapped in their careers and in their lives (I was one of them), and I’ve seen wonderful, vibrant lives suddenly cut short – even while on this journey. I’ve seen people save money and put off having fun their whole lives only to have it all disappear in the economic crisis. Buying a chunk of an island in Indonesia might seem a little crazy to some, but as you might have sensed, I’m starting to like crazy.
Crazy works for me. And when stacked up against some of those unsavoury options I just mentioned above – it seems right sane to me. Bravery, living on the edge, insanity, recklessness, riding it ’til the wheels fall off – whatever you want to call it – is like a set of dominoes stacked up. Deciding to knock over the first one (quitting work a year ago) is the hardest part – but once they start falling, you just sit back and go, “Wheeee!! Isn’t it pretty!?”
Just like in “Thelma and Louise”—my favourite movie reference for this adventure I’m on—one day you’re holding up a variety store and stealing mini bottles of Wild Turkey, and the next thing you know you’re laughing hysterically as you blow up an oil tanker in the desert.
When you’ve got nothing left to lose, that’s the moment when you realize you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted. It might all be crazy, but it sure as hell is fun.