by Niall Doherty


It’s about a year now since I decided to quit that passive income biz, to give up $4k a month easy money. Not long before that I announced my goal of banking $100k before the end of 2014. Right now, with only $2k to my name, I still feel fine about the former and a little embarrassed by the latter. Indeed, long is the way, and hard…


As the story goes, he was drunk, might have been spiked, brought some random chick back to his private room at the hostel. He passed out, but came to in time to see her trying to leave with his shit. He tried to stop her, knife came out, arm got slashed. A struggle ensued, the cops were called, but somehow she managed to get away clean.


It’s an art. You want to be approachable and allow for serendipity, but at the same time you need to set and enforce strong boundaries. I go through this every time someone starts chatting to me here at the hostel while I’m working. I’d like to be friendly and explore new friendships, new opportunities. But sometimes I gotta say, “Sorry man, I really need to get this done.”


Few people seem eager to understand others. We’d rather find something to disagree with, jump to conclusions, unleash criticisms. It’s telling that arguments rarely end with someone saying, “Ah okay, I understand where you’re coming from now.” It’s easier to blame, and more tempting to try prove ourselves right, despite the cost.


Flakiness in full effect, this stunner who’s been flirting with me outrageously all week via ones and zeroes bails out on our rendezvous at the last minute. But I’m not mad. Frolics would have been nice this afternoon, especially in the new pad with the skyline view, but I’ll still mark the day a nine on the contentedness scale. Loving what is, not what coulda been.

My Danish flatmate plays online poker for a living, up to eight tables at a time!

My Danish flatmate plays online poker for a living, up to eight tables at a time!


Hit a patch of burnout today. Still got some work done, but there were also a couple of hours of youtubing in there. That time would have been put to better use if I’d grabbed a good nap, rested properly. Obvious what I need to do to get right, yet often resistance blocking the path. Why the self-sabotage? What purpose does it serve?


Half my life ago, I went to NYC. For all intents and purposes, my first real trip abroad. My cousin and I ate at McDonalds, bought baggy shorts, and flipped quick from over-cautious to over-trusting. I’ll never forget the man with one tooth we met at the Garden, said he could get us Knicks tickets. We handed over $150 and lost him in the crowd.


Giant. I like his style. Whether we’re walking down the street, through the supermarket, or across the bar, he’ll throw out a calm and confident, “Hola, cómo estás?”, to any girl who takes his fancy. Depending on the response, he might stop and interact a bit more. Makes me realize how simple the game can be; complications mostly in my head.


Wager and myself thinking we’ve done pretty well bringing two girls back (though my lady says she has a boyfriend) until we walk in the door and find Giant with a pair on the couch and another in the kitchen, no big deal. Looks like the two roomies are sorted for the night, but no telling how it will unfold for me.


Evening intercambio after a long work day. My Spanish is improving slowly but surely. Even though I’m living here in the thick of it, I keep the bar fairly low: a half hour of practice cada día is all I need accomplish. Anything beyond that is a bonus. Better the small goal you stick with than the big one you quit.

Intercambio meetup in Medellín

Intercambio meetup in Medellín


Grinding it out, another long day at the home office, earned about $300 for my efforts. Which ain’t much given that I’ve been staring at a screen for most of these past twelve hours. Between paid work sessions I spend chunks of time looking for new gigs, writing proposals, and, of course, procrastinating like a mofo.


Eleven months and eleven countries later, here we are, together again. The needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before… or so I expected. But it’s not like that. Part of me wants things to be like they were, to jump right back in, while another part is comfortable with this distance between us, even as we sleep in the same bed.


I’m sitting in a warm room with a hundred Colombians. There’s an American dude up front showing pictures of himself driving fast cars and hanging out with Owen Wilson. It’s a pitch for a pyramid scheme. I came here for a girl, thought she was digging me, thought it was a date. Apparently she was thinking something different.


We’re still sharing a bed. It got awkward, but we talked it out last night, after I got back from my non-date. Tim Ferriss once wrote: “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” I don’t expect it to be easy going forward, but as long as we keep talking, we should be fine.


Now there’s a competitive aspect. She’s going to get hit on a lot here (I’ve already seen it first-hand) and she’ll end up dating some alpha dudes. I’m not sure my ego can handle that unless I’ve got some plates spinning, too. So here I am, hanging out in Parque Lleras on a Saturday night, ready for a rampage.

Meeting Pablo Escobar's brother in Medellín

Meeting Pablo Escobar’s brother in Medellín

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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