The Greatest Show
I like poetic moments.
I like that I ended Nomad MBA six months since I thought about quitting my job in Halong Bay. I like that I visited my old office for my mate’s farewell a year after I had left the office. I love that I spent the one-year anniversary of the Nomad MBA with one of my greatest - Chayce - off on another adventure.
And even with these six months in Europe, there has been a fantastic cyclical nature to the whole thing, flying in and out of London.
It makes sense that London bookended this trip.
It was the first place I became enamoured with the idea of living here and building a life. And I know that I will be back to live out this lifelong dream.
But not quite yet. I’ve still got a lot more to explore in this remote work and nomadic life.
So during the fourth repeat of the film during my 20+ hour journey back to Sydney, it dawned on my that what best bookended this trip was, in fact, The Greatest Showman.
Like let’s just hold up, it is an amazing movie. The music, the spectacle, Hugh Jackman? What more could you want?
But it’s the idea that we should follow our dreams - even as strange and unconventional as they might seem - that really struck a chord when I first watched the movie just before I left for Europe.
PSA: this will make a lot more sense if you’ve seen the movie but seriously, why haven’t you seen it yet?
1. Sometimes it’s about faking it till you make it.
If anything, PT Barnum’s story is a lesson in personal branding and giving a bit of poetic license to your claims.
Being a freelancer, trying to build a business on my skills and myself takes a lot of confidence and then a little more. The rejection becomes so normal and deflating.
Figuring out what I offer - and how that’s different from the over-saturation of everyone doing some sort of ‘social media’ work - and trying to define the value for your time and making other people see it too… yeah it’s exhausting just thinking about it.
But it’s taken bucketloads of confidence that I didn’t have, and still are in deficit for, to get me to this point where I can say with any certainty that I am a social storyteller working from anywhere.
2. This journey has felt a lot like running off to the circus.
People still often think I’ve just run off, jobless, to go travel with no consequence. No; there’s only so many times I can say that working remotely is not that easy.
It’s still new and misunderstood and maybe even looked down on but somehow it’s still this life of spectacle around the world and a chance to pursue something that matters to me.
And while Barnum thrived on the controversy his circus generated, pursuing this remote path has been more about thriving on disruption.
I wouldn’t be quite as excited about being a digital nomad if it wasn’t something new and different and, in my eyes, the way of the future.
3. It is about being unapologetically me.
Living a life of nomadism never seemed like what I would end up doing. I was the good kid, resigned to climb the corporate ladder.
But this journey has awakened that spirit for disruption and excitement. It’s made me realise that I am not limited to previous labels I had resigned myself. It’s given me the license to claim my creativity, my courage, my love for travel.
I have never felt more sure about who I am and where I’m going - and the need for that self-confidence in building up my own business has propelled this further.
While people may still misunderstand, I care less and less - or at least hope that sharing my story here can help to demystify this whole circus.
4. Success is empty without the people to share it with
It’s easy to keep chasing Instagram likes, clients or success in whatever form and forget what really matters. We get blinded by the excitement of the next step, without remembering where we’ve come from.
And strangely, as many sunsets as I’ve been able to chase, I have been so starkly reminded that I would not be here without the people who have helped me get here.
As much as I know myself and have put myself first in designing a life that I want, the importance of having people with whom to share it has become more and more apparent.
Amidst the chorus of “we will come home” in the song ‘From Now On,’ I’ve realised that my home really is about the people, even with them scattered all around the world. And no matter how far I go, they will always be at the root of it all.
5. I’ve felt alive.
Life is in technicolour right now. I’m excited to explore the world around me. I’m restless, inspired and energetic about what I can do next.
I refuse to be a zombie through a life that I’m supposed to lead. And while this may seem like a dream, it is my reality and there is no turning back now.
So was this whole blog post just a way of me justifying my love for this movie? Maybe.
But any time we can be reminded that we should own our differences, accept others, back yourself and find your family, I’ll take it.