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How to live in any city like a local

August 21, 2016

For a really long time, I’ve wanted to operate my businesses remotely and explore living in another city… somewhere around the world.

Except I couldn’t’ figure out how to crack the code until, I think, tonight I stumbled on it in waves.

I met a feisty Australian lady named Sheryn.  She lives in Bali, she runs a ridiculously gorgeous B&B I stayed at for $50/night.  See pictures to see what I mean about ridiculous.

We got to talking and she told me about her blog.  Then she took and friend and I out to dinner and introduced me to her ex-pat friends.  It felt like hanging out with 60 year olds who talked, joked, and sassed like 35 year olds.  It was fun!  Apparently in Bali/Indo, there are 150,000 ex-pats living here.  150k!  Like a buffet of cool people to meet.

Tonight I read her blog.  It was amazing!  Extremely eye opening as someone with questions about living here:

Need a good masseur?  Need a hair dresser?  A mechanic?  Where to do laundry?  Or buy organic X/Y/Z?  Good inexpensive alcohol (impossible to find)?  Fake driver’s license?  Medical.  Dental.  Taxi’s.  Pet-sitting.  Tour guides.  Best ice cream, fish, meat, you name it.  Plumber?  Tailor?

Basically, it got clear: what you need is one Sheryn in each city you’re interested in.  Someone who spent a year or two figuring everything out, and who can brain dump it for you-  Blah, after all my struggles and failures here, this is everything I know that’s best.

And what dinner showed me every Sheryn knows a ton of other ex-pats who have ex-pat friends… who have more ex-pat friends of friends.  This vast network of very dialed in world travelers.

I got to thinking.  I’m betting that with this one launch point, I could successfully meet someone who could introduce me to my own Sheryn for another city, say, BA.  With her knowledge, I’d be wired and hit the ground running like – like a professional local.

I want the compressed knowledge of someone who is living in the city  – best places to rent, fair pricing, best times to visit.  What they love, what they hate.

Know what it costs labor only to hire a full time personal chef in Bali?  $250-$300 A MONTH.  What?!  I learned what it costs to get a suit hand made from some of the nicest material (where the top suit makers buy their fabrics).  What it costs to rent a place for a month in a great area of town.  And I learned it all within 2 hours of landing in this city because I had Sheryn as my connection.  It’s like a cross between an Amazon Echo and Apple Siri.

Give me 3-4 Sheryns in this city and I could live here as if I’ve been here for years within a week, with a fraction of the energy it normally would take to enjoy that life.

Introduce me to their friends in other cities, and quite possibly, the world just opened up.  Not just to visit, but to live truly like a local – cheaper, less stressful, and way more fun.

While we were at dinner, another sassy Australian told me they had a strawberry farm.  What they call strawberry farm, turned out to be a multi-home villa in the mountains.  Now I have that connection/option.

What does this cost?  That’s the crazy thing!  With the right connections – you’re going to the best places, with the most fun people, and at the best price! It’s amazing.  It’s like pixxy dust.

In summary:

What I needed isn’t to work my ass off to research every city, try to optimize which is best, etc etc (which in my experience is both miserable and fails and makes one want to punch a baby in frustration).

I just need one fun, sassy, communicative, Sheryn in whatever city I am interested in – a person who has figured the best things out in her city, organized their thoughts, and is happy to share.  I want to suck her brain dry.

A Sheryn in each town solves all the mechanical aspects of life and is a social launch pad to meet all of her friends, and their connections/experiences all over the world.  Then the rest is up to me.


I’m betting that within a month, with Sheryn, all the mechanics of life and the emotionally connecting with other like minded individuals will be solid.  Then the question will be, does this foreign city feel like a place I could call home?

And after meeting and talking with all of these ex-pats I’m told are here, the next question will be, what’s the next place that sounds like it might home?

Ideally, maybe develop different homes all over the world.

But first things first, let’s see what making this a home away from home feels like.


From → Travel

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