2022- a year of two lives

2022 will go down as the year that I dramatically transformed my life. The first half of the year I spent in Cape Town, South Africa – my country of birth. The second half of the year I would be spending in Lombok, Indonesia – the country of my forefathers.

In January 2022 I was still consulting with a few clients in South Africa. Everything was on track for my move to Indonesia and I was focused on delivering the greatest value for my clients before my departure. And then in February, we ran into a problem with my biggest client. All work was abruptly stopped and we got caught up in classic organizational politics.

This was problematic for many reasons.

  • I was responsible for a team of creatives and they were dependent on this work.
  • I was dependent on this income over the next five months to fund my move to Indonesia.
  • The department we were working for was very happy with our work as they did not have our skillsets. And now they were left hanging with no handover plan.

My careful planning over the last year was suddenly thrown into chaos. A large chunk of my relocation budget had evaporated. How long before work started again? Would work start again? How do I fund my relocation? Do I postpone my move? I do not have any other work lined up.

This scenario is typical in the business world. You become collateral damage to other people’s agendas. Lives get destroyed and the person pulling the strings feels triumphant. I spent the next few months fighting to get paid for the work we had completed.

This low point, so close to my move, made me even more resilient. I needed to get out of this toxic environment. No matter what I did as a solo entrepreneur, I would still be exposed to personal politics within these large organizations. I felt sorry for the internal people affected by this decision, as they had no option but to suck it up. Decisions were being made above their pay grade.

I ran the numbers, played out some scenarios, and then made a decision that we were moving regardless. It was a close call. But this is how I have been living my whole life.

The radical visionary. My gift is imagination and I’m driven by the WOW factor. I desire transcendence and I get there through experimentation. I know my weakness is paying attention to detail and risks. But right now I needed my Artist vision to guide us on this new venture. I trusted that my engineering mind would sort out the detail… later.

Over the next few months, I started selling off all my “stuff” and by the time we left, we had burnt the boats on the beach. Everything I owned was packed into one large suitcase. This process of decluttering was a liberating experience and a necessary part of my personal journey to a simpler life.

The day we boarded the plane our outstanding account had still not been paid.

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One of the many bays in Lombok

Waking up on a tropical island in the Indonesian archipelago still feels surreal to me. Almost like I’m living in a movie. Like an out-of-body experience. I often find myself swimming in the ocean or walking in the forest and thinking: How did this happen? Why me?

The island of Lombok is a place of serenity, spirituality, and sustainability. It is a place where you can disconnect from the busyness of the outside world and concentrate on your inner self. I have managed to find peace with nature, while surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. I have made friends with the locals and tried my best to immerse myself in the local culture. This includes learning the local language in our area. There are many dialects spoken across the island.

So people ask me all the time: “What do you do every day?”

I start my day with my early morning prayer followed by some meditation.

After sunrise, I will prepare a simple breakfast.

Having breakfast with my wife overlooking the Lombok strait with Mt Agung, Bali as a backdrop is the best part of my day. Peace, tranquillity, and stillness. All we can hear are the birds and insect sounds from the forest. We don’t have to say much.

“Us in nature being appreciative of this moment in our lives.”

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Lombok strait with Mt Agung, Bali in the background

Keeping healthy is an important part of my routine. I try to walk or take a swim every day. Taking a walk on a tropical island is a treat for me because the environment is so different. The area where I stay is very green. That lush tropical green with lots of huge leaved foliage and tall palm trees. Every walk is an adventure. Even when I go for a swim in the ocean I see the white sand beach sandwiched between turquoise water and lush greenery. So my exercise is not only about keeping fit. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with nature and my inner soul.

I always wanted to do more writing. I had a lot of stories in my head but I never knew how to get them out. I always thought I was not creative enough, or maybe it was that I didn’t have the time.

Now that we have moved to Lombok I have started reading and writing much more. I now immerse myself in studying different styles, reading and writing. It’s not only about creative writing – it is also about storytelling. Capturing my thoughts and sharing my experiences on paper is very fulfilling and relaxing. Who knows, someone might actually be interested to read about some of my escapades.

In the last six months that we have lived in Lombok, there has never been a day that I have felt bored. My journey of reconnection through serenity, spirituality, and sustainability means that I have so much to still learn. I have only just started my journey and the experience has been liberating, and rewarding. It has also given me a very different perspective on the world.

The year is 2022. I am 57.

I have chosen a simpler life.

I am starting to get a better sense of my purpose in this world.

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Gili Meno

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  1. What an astounding and uplifting tale of strength and pursuing one’s aspirations! You have taken the remarkable step of simplifying your life and finding solace in a fresh environment – a true feat. Personally, I believe that immersing oneself into different cultures can be quite transformative. Your ritual of devotion, contemplation and nature also strikes a chord with me as it mirrors my views on the importance of mindfulness and calming the mind. Absolutely riveting read, and I eagerly await to follow your journey through your newsletter!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for visiting my website and for those kind words.  Yes, the journey of living a simple life has led me to a life of abundance.  It has been a true blessing and immersing ourselves in the local life has just made it extra special.  Thanks for following my newsletter.

  2. Starting the simplicity and calm sceneries that you have shown in the photos on this page is very soothing to the senses! Then the explaining of your journey as well as your sacrifices…that it was a decision that you consciously made to leave the “modern industrial world” behind….Congratulations and I am so happy for you and your family that you are living your dreams!

    My question to you, is What is the purpose of your content? Is this just to be a “life journal” with inspirational thoughts only?  In my reading your main page, I did not see one product offer about travel or how to get to where you are, or even a product promotion to provide online.

    But the reason I mentioned it is because as the website owner, you have the right to be able to develop your content as you see fit, and therefore, since many of us will not make it to the Bali region, what you offer, the pictures of heaven on earth, may create a desire for more to come there.

    Like me, I’m sure there would be many people very interested in a framework in the form of a book or online course that would help us achieve a similar journey.  I see you do have an online course coming, please keep us posted.

    Best Wishes to you and your family 

    Angela M Working


    1. Author

      Thank you Angela for visiting my site and for the wonderful feedback, it is really appreciated.  At this stage, I am just capturing my thoughts and experiences and sharing them as they are fresh.  These are unfiltered and not yet in the form that I want to sell.  The intention is to build up a following of people that share my sentiment and that want to pursue a similar journey.  I have started with a book that will be the frame for my online course.  Hoping to have this out by June this year.  Please subscribe to my newsletter as I will be keeping people updated through that channel.  Once again thanks for your feedback.

  3. Wow, awesome story and adventure! I would love to travel to Lombok in Indonesia. I am a huge fan of the tropics because of the green foliage with the blue-green ocean waters. I am a big swimmer who likes to also surf, fish, snorkel, and scuba dive so I think that place would be most excellent for me. I am jealous of your lifestyle, living here in New York State for most of my life. Winters are long and cold here. Someday I will get out of here and travel to Indonesia:)) I also need to find my higher-order purpose and out of NYS might be the best way.

    1. Author

      Thanks for visiting my website and for your positive feedback.  Yes, Lombok is a very beautiful place especially if you enjoy water sports and outdoor life.  I still have to pinch myself when I wake up in the morning, its really like a dream for me.  But we can all embark on this journey.  Follow my newsletter and I will be showing you how you can start your own journey of simple living.

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