As the sun set over the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng, a riverside village in northern Laos, I sipped on my ice-cold cocktail and contemplated just how lucky I've been.
If you could wake up tomorrow any place on earth, where would you choose? Could you see yourself in Eze, a picturesque medieval village high above the Mediterranean along the French Riviera?
A few years ago, I made a life-changing decision. I knew there were happy people in the world, pursuing their dreams, working "jobs" that were more like passions, and enjoying every moment.
I've had a few "careers" over the years. For a while, I did layout and design for the publishing arm of a major accounting firm (I was lucky enough to get fired from that job during the early 1990s recession).
Continuous advances in technology are enabling more and more folks to work outside of the confines of a traditional office. Remote working has taken off, and there are no signs that it will be slowing down in the future.
"I've always wanted to travel the world. I love visiting new places, tasting new food, experiencing new cultures. The ability to go ahead and just do it is a dream come true," says Erica Ridley.
Despite the fact that work can be one of life's greatest sources of satisfaction, too many of us believe the opposite: that work is an inevitable joyless slog. It's not our fault. It's what we were conditioned to believe.
I’ve been writing for International Living for about five years. At seminars, attendees often tell me they’d love to have my job. But anyone who enjoys writing can take a stab at it.
"I'm no world adventurer," says Richard Marazzi. "I'm just a guy with a laptop who can run my company from anywhere there's an internet connection...and has had some incredible experiences because of it.
Crowdfunding has become popular in the last few years. It works by raising capital from the general public via specialized websites. You launch a campaign for a set time, outlining your project, and setting a target for how much you want to raise.