Seth Barham Design
Minimal and effective design, inspired by culture.

spartan wanderer

My New Year

Chinese New Year quickly approaches, and as with every Spring Festival holiday, I’m not in China to be assaulted by the near constant pyrotechnic displays that are initially festive, then annoying, and finally, alarming, as my neighbor’s mortars explode right beside my apartment window. I’m back in the States again, only this time I don’t have a return ticket.

It feels very, very strange.

I told my best friends of 3.5 years goodbye, left the subzero temperatures of a place that is the polar opposite of my home country in almost every way for a 65°F winter in North Carolina, and I watched Donald J. Trump be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States a few days ago. I’m starting to wonder if someone slipped a large amount of LSD into my coffee.

The trip’s just getting started. I’m no longer a teacher and I no longer have a boss, nor do I intend to have one for as long as it’s realistic. My departure from China marks a completely new chapter of my life. I am finally in the process of achieving my ultimate goal as a location-independent freelancer. It’s a little terrifying as I feel like I’m on a tightrope watching the safety net of my teaching income being cut down below me, but I needed that. And I’m doing it. I have clients, I’m meeting my income goals, it’s happening. 

I’m no longer in China as the year of the rooster cock-a-doodle-doos, but America is not my final destination. I’m still working toward immigrating to the UK to be with my girlfriend in London, and that piece of paper is more within reach than ever. Let’s just say that we might have a very big announcement soon, and I’ll leave it at that for now. 

In Spartan Wanderer news… Yeah, I’ve been quiet for a while, mainly because I’ve been working on the things I discussed above. As of next week, I will be back on my once a week posting schedule, probably every Wednesday or Thursday. Also, I'm about to finish something that's about 3 years in the making, an ebook that everyone probably forgot that I was writing because it's been taking me so long. The book is called Uprooting: A Beginner's Guide to Extended Travel, and it's exactly as it sounds. If you've ever considered moving abroad to work or travel long term but have been too afraid to pull the trigger, then this is the book for you. I have tried to encapsulate everything I've learned about travel in the last 6 years into this relatively short book. I am planning to put it on Amazon sometime in February, so keep an eye out for that. 

All of these things are positive changes in my life that I (and Kate) have been working toward for a very long time. And now they’re here. I guess this is what self-actualization feels like. At the same time, I’m asking myself what do I do now? But that’s the beauty of it. Achieving a goal is simply the beginning of a new goal. While I'm sad about leaving such a big chapter of my life behind, it's the right thing to do, and these positive changes are proof of that. A single positive change can lead to positive momentum, which in turn yields more positive results...which, incidentally, is going to be next week's topic.