What feelings made you drop everything and move to Thailand?
The feeling that somehow I was not making my own choices, that I was not really living according to my principles, and priorities. Important resources like Time, Money and Energy were being spent in random ways:
TIME - I was dedicating much more time to my career, than to my family and things I like to do. I was not even sure anymore which were the things I like to do… but I was sure I did not like to spent more than 750 hours/year in the traffic, 120 hours/year in international flights, 120 days in Hotels, no matter how fancy they were
MONEY - I used to spend quite a lot of money with things that didn’t really matter to me, like expensive clothes, shoes and handbags. Also, as a Private Banker, and in order to do my job well, I kind of needed to go to expensive places and surround myself with wealthy people, which not necessarily would be my choice otherwise…
ENERGY - I don’t know for you, but for me living in a big city, is already draining by default. Starting by the fact that I didn’t feel as safe as one deserves, there is also too much energy, pollution, light, noise.
Also because of my job, I needed to be constantly up to date with stressful things such as global stock markets, currency & commodities prices, and International Tax Agreements.
How was your life before you "Dropped Everything”?
My life was financially stable since I was 21, and most of the “must do” were ticked on my to do list by the time I turned 28.
- University - done
- Marriage - done
- Baby - done
- Career - done
By the time I dropped everything, at age 36, I was in a relationship for almost 7 years, with full support of my partner and his family. We were living in Rome, in a beautiful house, and I was working for a Boutique Private Bank based in Geneva, as Private Banker Vice President, with a good salary and career perspective.
I used to travel every two months from Europe to Brazil, to visit my clients and advise them in their investment portfolios, and bring new clients in. At that time, I actually enjoyed the glamour, as well as most connections I had with clients and colleagues.
On a less positive note, I used to sleep with the phone under my pillow, in case something urgent happened on the other side of the world, and I needed to take any action on behalf of my clients.
I was constantly reachable, and available to answer any sort of client’s request, 24/7, including weekends, and holidays too.
Due to all the travelling, I could not allow myself or my boy to have a pet, because even my cactuses were dying....
Why did you decide to quit your old life?
I think the main reason I decided to quit, was my realisation that there were other ways to live my life. That we can make anything work, if we really want to.
Being born and raised in a middle class family in Brazil, does not leave much space to dream. You got to be pragmatic, and simply choose a life that will provide you with basic Brazilian middle class financial needs:
- Private Health Care
- Car and Car Insurance
- Private Education for your children
- Traveling once a year
- Save money for when you are retired
Coming from a country where social support barely exists, and competition is hard, at 17 years old, I chose to study Economics, and short after that, chose to work in a Bank. Not because it was my dream, or because I love it. Even though I liked my job, the decision was based on financials, not passions, or purpose.
After 18 years surrounded with what I can certainly classify as the wealthiest people in my country, I slowly realised that money is a very important resource, but does not bring you freedom, or happiness.
In fact, I observed that if you get too attached to it, money can deprive you of freedom. Depending how you handle it, having too much money can bring you more fear than if you didn't have any. Of course, money is not evil, if you bear in mind what truly matters.
So I asked, if money does not bring you happiness, what does? The answer that came to me at that time was: Freedom, (Self) Love and Alignment. So I decided to quit my old life, and search for that...
What did you take with you, to your new life?
Hahaha, that’s funny. I brought around 200 Kilos of stuff that I absolutely did not need at all....
- About 1/3 of my clothes, shoes, and handbags…. that are still stuck in the guest room’s wardrobe in my current house
- Loads of children books, DVDs and unnecessary toys.
- And a few objects that make me feel home wherever I go, and which I brought with no regrets: a carnival mask from Venice, little jewellery boxes from India, candle holders, a few paintings, and my favourite duvet.
How did you feel when you were sitting in the airplane?
I remember this moment as if it was yesterday, August 3rd, 2014. It was only me and my 7 year old boy, in our last Business Class Flight... And I felt like, I was taking one of the most amazing decision of my life.
At that moment, I was totally done with my life in Europe.
I was not as scared as you imagine, even being a single mom moving to a foreign country, 24 hours flight away from home. I guess the happiness overtook fear, just because I was having the courage to turn that page, and close that chapter of my life. I felt indeed…. quite powerful!
In 2008 I visited Thailand for the first time, actually I visited Asia for the first time. Something happened back then, not sure what, or why…
- Maybe because I am half Japanese, and felt closer to my other half.
- Maybe because I was just coming out of a 7 year marriage, and did not recall to have had so much fun in a very long time.
- Maybe I was just touched by the kindness, tolerance, Buddhist temples and smiles.
Probably, for all the above reasons, I loved Thailand! And came back on that same year, to spend my 30st birthday here.
It was 08.08.08, I was travelling with one of my favourite friends, which happens to be one of the funniest too. After a couple of parties in Samui, a ferry trip crowded with people going to the Full Moon Party, and a long tail boat ride, we accidentally ended up in a truly magical place. Three beautiful bays in the Gulf of Thailand, with not much more than wooden bungalows with cold showers and cool jungle parties, with the craziest dancing freaks I've ever seen.
The simplicity of that place, the healthy food, the openness of the people, made me feel a different sort of freedom, that I never felt before, the freedom of being who I am. I never forgot that feeling, and came back for more every year after that… It was my official annual battery recharging place, as a Private Banker, for the next 6 years, until I finally had the courage to drop everything and move to Thailand.
The rational reasons I took into consideration, as a pragmatic person, and a mother, were the following:
- Access to International Schools, Hospitals and Airport
- Living Costs: because the savings supporting the decision were limited. And at that time, Thailand was more affordable, than it currently is.
- Weather and Nature: I am a tropical being… I prefer humid than dry, hot than cold. Love the jungle, & the beach
Thailand, here we come!!!!!
Have you found what you were looking for?
Yes I did. I found inspiration, diversity, connection with myself, and a healthier lifestyle, closer to nature.
Remember I said at the beginning, I was not sure what I liked anymore. Well, I started doing Yoga as soon as I moved here, and completely fell in love with the practice. It became more than a passion and a hobby, it became a tool to keep my mind, body & soul together.
The love for Yoga, and the Yoga connections, is what later gave birth to the coolest business project, I've ever done: Gypsy Amazon #bestleggingsever which became a very exciting part of my life.
Would you say you started or restarted? Why?
I would definitely say I restarted. I always enjoyed my life, I enjoyed almost every move & change… For me, new beginnings do not make the previous conditions irrelevant, or negative, they only reflect the changes that you went through, giving you the opportunity to address whatever needs adjustment. It doesn't mean that whatever happened before was not valuable, necessary, or beautiful, it just means you learned what you needed to learn, so you are ready to move on… to a new beginning.
Are you capable of dropping everything again?
I think and wish I will be always ready to drop everything that no longer suits me.
And now, who are you?
I am the same person I used to be, just more experienced, more open, less attached, and hopefully more evolved and aware than before.