These days, I spend most of my time traveling the world while running my businesses. For the last few years, I’ve travelled extensively through Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. It’s been a blast! Many will look at my life and only see the glamour, but what most people don’t know is that it took years of hustle and planning to get here. Let me walk you through this 5-year journey.
The turning point
It all started with my weight loss (read Tameika’s weight loss transformation story here). When I lost 90lbs, and realized I was able to keep it off for many years, I became a personal trainer. I saw so many issues with this industry that I was determined to show people how to lose weight the right and sustainable way. I became obsessed with showing people a more balanced lifestyle approach in a world of fad diets, weight loss pills, waist trainers, and extreme measures.
At the time (about 5 years ago), I was so thankful I had personal training as my side hustle. My full-time job in HR wasn’t fulfilling me and I was going through a lot personally – I was getting a divorce and swimming in 50K worth of debt. I needed a change – a big change. I couldn’t live this life anymore as I always wanted to travel but didn’t even know how to begin.
Making things happen
I did a lot of research and realized the best way for me to travel extensively was to move abroad … and being in HR, I knew the safest way to move abroad was to have a company move me. Being risk-adverse at the time, it seemed like the best approach. I hustled hard and after many interviews, and finally landed a HR job in a global corporation that supported international moves. It was a contract position, but I desired a change so badly that I left my full-time job for that potential. I had a mortgage and crazy debt, but I knew even the possibility of moving abroad was worth the risk.
Taking a dive
After putting in a year there, I was made full time. During that time, I was also expressing extreme interest at every global opportunity that came up – and then I finally got the chance to move abroad. To Hong Kong! It was the perfect country to help fulfil my wanderlust desires and financial obligations. I moved to Hong Kong without ever seeing it. I was that eager to go! I got the offer in July and was out by September. Growing up in Canada, I had barely travelled or lived abroad so this was the largest risk I had ever taken.
As I was gearing up to move, all of my personal training clients from my side hustle (I was juggling about 20 at the time) were wondering how they were going to survive without me there. I saw this as an opportunity to start helping virtually (providing meal plans, fitness plans, and accountability to them). This was the beginning of my online training business – 4 years ago, before it was a “thing”.
While working in Hong Kong and juggling my new side hustle, I began seizing every day and found a new zest for life. I started traveling monthly visiting Thailand, Bali, Philippines, India, Taiwan, Japan, Korea… basically every country in Asia! My love affair with travel officially took off and every long weekend I was out exploring.
This time of my life lasted for about 3 years – working in Hong Kong, jugging my side hustle, and traveling extensively. Sadly, it was no longer rewarding. The fact that I wasn’t fulfilled in HR hadn’t changed – the 3 years had been a bit of a band aid solution, but the root issues still existed. I began having dreams of traveling without limits and working full time in my passion for health and wellness. Living a life of freedom, flexibility, and purpose was my goal. My online business continued to boom, and I began planning for my departure from corporate. By this time, I was out of debt, so I was able to live minimally, downsize, and save!
Save, save, save!
I saved for about a year and a half before I decided it was time to leave. I’d saved about 110K. Now, before you think this is a lot of money, Hong Kong is extremely lucrative. It’s a cash cow as taxes are extremely low. Because of this, I could have been living like a complete baller (like most of my peers), but I was living like a student. Making sandwiches every day for lunch, taking transit everywhere, and being extremely frugal. No shopping. No Nails. No Hair Appointments. No Nothing. This is how badly I wanted this dream.
My savings gave me the confidence to eventually leave my job. When I left, I travelled for 4 months to do some dreaming, planning, and deep reflection on what it was that I really wanted out of life. After my travels, I decided to set up shop in Bali and begin to execute. I chose Bali because it’s extremely cheap – cost of living is about $1200 USD all-in a month for a lavish life of: healthy living, massages 2-3x a week, daily housekeeping, a motorbike, and beautiful accommodations with a pool – walking distance to the beach. I lived there for a year, building my business of online products, online coaching, and my retreats.
This is summarized of course, but know that it took a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot risk taking, and a lot of confidence to get here. It hasn’t been easy. Many times, I wonder if I’m cut out for this life, because it’s hard. But being able to live the life I’ve dreamed of keeps me going.
Financially I’ve been really blessed. Being successful for me has not come from chasing money but fuelling my purpose.
Naturally I’m an aggressive saver and money savvy. I’ve never even had to touch my savings mainly because I decided to sell everything and live in Bali where expenses are so low. I live out of a suitcase and the only physical thing in this world that I own is a rental property back in Canada that sustains itself.
I’m fortunate to now make enough money to sustain my lifestyle, save, and travel at my leisure. Nowadays, my biggest source of income comes from my online coaching business, my digital products, speaking engagements, and my latest venture – The Whole Experience Retreat. The Whole Experience Retreat is where the bulk of my time is spent as it’s my biggest passion project yet. It’s a week-long traveling health retreat, where we host 14 women and help them achieve their health and wellness goals while experiencing beautiful countries around the world.
At our retreat, we have Bootcamps, Yoga, Health Seminars, Healthy Eating, Luxury Accommodations, and the Experiences of a lifetime! We had our first retreat in Bali this past April and are hosting 2 more in the fall in Bali and Thailand. Next year, we intend to scale big time and host them all over the world. We currently have our eye on South America, Africa, and Europe!
Being able to tangibly blend my passion of health & wellness and travel has been my biggest dream come true thus far!
Looking to the future
This past June, I left Bali. While bittersweet, it served its purpose and I’m now gearing up for a year of official nomad life – traveling each month to a new country as I work my online business and run retreats! It’ll be just me and my suitcase on the road continuing to hustle hard to sustain this dream! The world is my oyster, and I’m thrilled to explore every nook and cranny!
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