The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?

Slowly our friends and family are beginning to take notice. Back in 2012 when we started talking about moving to the Philippines we got a lot of “let’s just humour them” nods. I think most thought it was just a novel idea that would pass like a highschool crush. Now as we get ready for our next visit to Palawan we get another type of look, the slightly surprised “Oh, they’re serious” look.

I don’t blame them. It’s a pretty big lifestyle change we’re proposing. We’ll be going from Executive Chef and Designer to organic farmers. We’ve already begun to simplify our lives and shift our way of thinking.

‘The Chef’s’ cousin and wife dropped by the other day and as we talked about our ideas for the farm they told us we had to watch this TEDxTalk.

The speaker, Jon Jandai, talks about his journey from the rice fields of northeastern Thailand to the big city of Bangkok and back again to the rice fields. He talks about his hardship in the pursuit of success. What he concludes is so simple but so provocative.

It reminds me of ‘the tourist and fisherman parable’ a story about how an enterprising tourist tells a local fisherman how to improve his life (you can read the story here). The only difference is Jandai’s story is real. To watch his talk just click on the video above.

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9 thoughts on “Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard?

  1. I dream of being the fisherman!! 😉

  2. What an exciting life change. 🙂

  3. Your story is an inspiration and in many ways I see part of myself. People I considered friends thought I was crazy when my wife and I decided to downgrade our house in Texas for a one bedroom apartment. Is it crazy to choose to live a simple life? For the 5 years, we kept the house but the last three years we lived in it, we get more trapped and miserable. We are simply trying to catch up with mortgage and lost so much life. I remember how I used to feel when I barely got anything in Boracay Island between 2001-2002. I was at my happiest and got nothing to do with material wealth or procession. So many people I know in the U.S. thinks that happiness is having a huge house, a fancy car, having the latest gadgets…perhaps it does make them happy…or so it seems from the outside. Finally my wife and I listened to our own inner voice…and we are much, much happier and at peace…perhaps still crazy in the eyes of those who belong to the material world but that doesn’t bother me anymore. All the best to you and your husband for the many exciting adventures ahead in Palawan. You guys are very lucky to have seen what true happiness is this very early. God bless.

    • I think we share similar ideals. That’s why I’m drawn to your words. I don’t think it’s crazy at all to move from a house to a smaller place. You have already recognized what is important in your life and it’s not about material things. It’s about the things we experience, the relationships we develop. The most simple of things can be the most glorious. My brother and his wife have also moved from a house to an apartment. Their friends thought they were crazy too. He had the same concerns as you – losing out on life to pay for a mortgage.

  4. When the student is ready…
    Thank you for this gift.

  5. How exciting that you are closer to your dream… Will be going to the Philippines soon as well 🙂

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