Wanderlust Wendy

Simple Living

From Nomad Living to Ho Chi Minh City

We can read all about an experience, but until we’ve lived it ourselves, it’s just a story.  Nomad Envy I have wanted to travel full-time for years. I read blogs and watched vlogs of people who trot around with their life’s possessions in a backpack (or a suitcase), and call the world home. When I was trapped in the corporate grind, these stories served as an important mental escape. I … Read more

Redefine What It Means to Work

My parents grew up in Taiwan in the 1950s, the country was poor, and stories of their childhood without shoes or other basic necessities juxtaposed with my fortunate upbringing. In our household, education was the key to success, and success was defined solely by work that brings in money. This traditional belief had governed my path, but it’s time to redefine work in the changing world. Chasing Money I began … Read more

My Version of Financial Freedom

financial freedom

When I decided to get serious with this blog, I got back on Twitter, and tapped into the personal finance community. Boy, what a world. The conversations are equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. The most popular topic is the quest for financial independence and financial freedom. Some people look at these two terms as one and the same, but to me, they are vastly different. I define financial independence as: … Read more

Why I Don’t Budget

anti budget life

Budgeting, does this word make you cringe when you hear it? I definitely cringe. I get an image of envelopes labelled “grocery”, “gas”, “fun fund”, etc., and comes with them a sleuth of restrictions. I hate budgeting. I’ve told myself I should budget so I know how much money I spend on coffee every month. That has yet to happen, and it probably never will.  Expense Tracking Surely, there has … Read more

What I Learned One Year After Corporate Grind

As we grow older, the phrase, “time flies” is uttered often. For me, however, this past year did not fly by; the year progressed seemingly slowly in the best possible way. While 365 days have lapsed, I feel as though 5 years worth of experiences had taken placed since I unchained from the golden handcuff.  Did I figure out what I want to do with my life yet? Not exactly. … Read more

Minimalism Journey

Minimalist Game, Minimalist Life

8 months ago, Xav and I got serious about becoming more minimalistic in our lives. We were very far from it. Every drawer and shelf of our 110 squared-foot apartment was filled with stuff. We were organized hoarders. As such, discipline was necessary. I had read the Marie Kondo book and had been listening to The Minimalist podcast. The Konmari method was a good starting point, but it didn’t feel … Read more

1000 Days to Freedom

I’ve been chasing the dream of living a location independent life since my days in the Peace Corps. I’ve wanted the freedom to live and work in parts of the world where people wouldn’t even bother to go for vacation. I’ve dreamt of the freedom to do anything I want, and not have to worry about how much money it yields. In fact, people toss around the word PASSION all … Read more

Road to Positive Net Worth

During fall of 2012, just months after I finished a very expensive graduate degree, I took the plunge and moved to Shanghai, with nothing but negative $120k of net worth. It didn’t matter that I was coming without a job, the goal was to be rid of that massive student debt. My plan was to pay it off by my 30th birthday. Along the way, I’ve changed my strategy a bit. This month, just before turning 30, my net worth is positive for the first time since my 18th birthday, when I started college…

The Trouble of a Busy Life

West Lake Hangzhou China

It’s 9pm, and I am writing from my office. Somehow, and I am not sure how, there are only 12 days left of 2014. After putting in a 12+ hour day at the office, I wanted to stop and reflect, and think about where time has gone. Nearly two months ago, I came across a piece titled, “The Disease of Being Busy“. It resonated with me a great deal, and … Read more

30 Day Challenge: Social Media

Sometime toward the end of February, I suddenly had this idea to go on a social media purge for the month of March. If you know me at all, you know I tend to make impulsive decisions. I am one of those nutty people who say crazy things, and then actually go and do them. How my impulsiveness in life hasn’t led me astray is beyond me. I had decided … Read more