Leaving We-Roam, Atlanta Speaking Gig, Mokrin House

I’ve been traveling with groups for a while now and felt like I needed a break. Being on a travel program and having someone take care of all the logistics is excellent but it gets expensive because I also travel for conferences, volunteering, and work.

Most of the time would need to fork out additional expenses for flights and accommodations. It just didn’t make sense financially anymore. Travelling with We Roam was excellent but I needed to be more flexible, so I can pursue new opportunities while also being mindful financially.

What Happened?

While I was in Berlin, I flew to Seattle for MozCon for a few days. Then in Croatia, I flew to Toronto for a week-long Zapier retreat and also went on a week-long sailing trip with Contiki after the company retreat. So you see, I could’ve saved at least $1000 (2 weeks) on accommodations if I was traveling alone.

Also while I was in Berlin (July), I was introduced to an opportunity to speak at Growth Marketing Conference (GMC) Atlanta. There was no confirmation from the conference organizers yet, but I was already thinking that if I had pay for my flights and accommodation, I would not be financially able to continue paying We Roam. That’s when I finally pulled the trigger. I decided to leave Polaris 2017 and travel on my own for September in Serbia just in case GMC Atlanta gives the green light.

Financial Doom, Averted!

I still had a problem financially. I was paying We Roam about 3-4 weeks earlier than their schedule which meant that I maxed out my credit card and couldn’t use it until my next salary comes in. I was nowhere near Malaysia, so I emailed my bank requesting to increase my limit. A week later, they doubled my limit!

Side note: I max out my credit card every month but also pay them in full every month. There’s always no outstanding balance and no interest. I do this to collect points for air miles.

Persistence Pays Off

I stayed persistent with the GMC organizers and let them know I will be in Atlanta no matter what and willing to pay for my flights and accommodation. They finally gave the OK for me to speak, and I immediately booked the trip. I appreciate them for giving me (an unknown speaker from Asia) the opportunity to speak at their prestigious conference and stand amongst industry experts. Even better news, a week before I was scheduled to fly in, Zapier decided to reimburse my flight cost, and GMC Atlanta would cover two nights of accommodation!

Finding Peace at Mokrin House

With all the weekly nightlife for the past few months on We Roam, I was ready to shut off the rest of the world and just enjoy some peace and quiet. I was looking at several co-living spaces around Europe but my Schengen days was limited, and there are not many options outside of Schengen.

It came down to Mokrin House, and it seems that they’re available and the perfect full-service co-living space. Mokrin House is a private compound in a tiny township called Mokrin, and you have everything you need there. Three meals a day cooked by a world-class chef, swimming pool, hot tub, gym, spacious coworking space, green grass and beautifully designed buildings with equally modern rooms.

The place is so peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect place to be inspired and get work done. It’s just what I needed to finish writing the speech and deck for GMC Atlanta. The staff is super friendly, and their attention to detail and level of responsiveness rivals most Michelin restaurants. For the first time in many months, I felt ‘free’ as everything else apart from work being was taken care of by someone else.

The participants are from all over the world with diverse backgrounds. We connected and clicked quite well, and I’m hopeful that we’ll meet each other again pretty soon.

Lessons Learned

  1. Sometimes you have to go solo to move forward.
  2. Be persistent and go all in for success no matter what.
  3. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life can free your mind, body & soul.

 

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