It can’t all be smooth sailing and calm waters. Where are the folks that washed up on the rocks?

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Now, I don’t like to be cynical (that’s a total lie, I’m British, moaning is in our blood) but there’s something that doesn’t quite sit right with me about all these success stories that I see posted on Medium and just about everywhere else online.

You know the ones I mean. “How I quit my job overnight through my blog about goldfish bowl maintenance ” and “How I turned over $1k in my first month on Upwork.”

No doubt there are success stories out there, and I’m not trying to tear anyone down or rain on any parades, but I…


Getting back to a reality in a world that is increasingly digital

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Photo by PHOUNIUS on Unsplash

At the tender age of 34, I’m just about old enough to remember a time before smartphones.

When I was at school, the most fashionable pieces of status-enhancing tech were Nokia’s iconic and indestructible 3210, and the Sony Walkman; the cumbersome, easily-breakable device responsible for the ripped seams of a thousand and one trouser pockets.

Maybe if you were right at the top of the social sphere, and your parents were rich enough, you possibly spent many a wasted hour converting your entire CD collection to the now obsolete mini-disk format (remember those?).

Now, we are living the future that…


One month in a Goan dream

Why it’s better to ride the wave rather than swim against the stream

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The Unforgettable Goan Sunset — @toltinova

If you’ve read my previous blogs on Medium you’ll know why I left the UK in 2019 and never looked back.

I had thrown some clothes in a backpack, said goodbye to my friends, and sold nearly everything that I possessed (save a few items too precious to my heart; the complete Star Wars and extended edition Lord of the Rings box sets, which I stashed away in my parent's attic).

You’ll also know that within a month of leaving home I had had a life-changing experience at a yoga retreat in the tropical jungles of southern India.

What you…


I didn’t go to India with the intention of finding myself. But the self snuck up on me anyway

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Fire, Drums, Chanting, and Singing. The Art of Kirtan

Instagram is well known for promoting unhealthy body image expectations.

When I click the explore tab, my personalised algorithm throws up a cacophony of beautifully muscular men in designer gear, hanging around grimy-but-cool gratified urban settings, and toned and tanned women usually wearing as little as the community standards policy will allow them to.

It knows me.

Or at least it knows — despite my best interests — what my eye unwittingly lingers upon, even though I know these images don’t portray reality and I don’t like to consume this kind of material on a daily basis. …


There were many factors but this was the strongest

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Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Booking a one-way ticket out of the UK was the best decision I’ve ever made, hands down. It opened up many opportunities I would have missed had I remained trudging through life, wondering what the greener grass felt like.

Granted, almost exactly one year after I left home I’m in a rented house with zero furniture, sitting on the hard floor, eating dry cereal out of the box, Googling “how to make money online.” But that’s another story for another blog.

I always wanted to leave the UK. That niggling feeling of restlessness bugged me as far back as my…


It’s almost too easy

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Photo by Margaret Whiston on Unsplash

Picture the scene: you have spent the last three years of your life saving up every penny you can scrape together in order to embark upon what you hope to be a life-changing, no-going-back tour of our beautiful planet Earth; only to find that a few short minutes after landing on foreign soil you’re slumped on the side of the road, your passport has disappeared without a trace and a semi-automatic assault rifle is being held inches from your face.

Yes, my friends, that was me.

‘It can only get better,’ I told myself. I had already ticked off the…

Colby J Smith

In November 2019 I took a one-way flight out of the UK to find a new life out in the world. Little did I know a global pandemic was around the corner.

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