Whether you are just starting out or scaling to 7-figures, we have a variety of masterclasses, templates & more for FREE to help you grow!
snag some of our free resources
7-figure business coach & course creator helping you build a profitable online biz & become OBSESSED with your life. I'm an Enneagram 3 & love ClickUp, color coded calendars & design. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali.
After 18 months in paradise, I headed stateside. Here are my 10 takeaways and a reflection on the lucky little life I lead!
After 18 blissful months in serene Asia, the time came to take a trip home. I was super excited, whilse also being a little sad to leave my sandy-toes and salty-hair look behind. What I didn’t expect was the huge amount of clarity the trip gave me.
Any seasoned traveler will tell you that brief spurts at home are somewhat surreal… and I agree! So, for a little bit of fun, I thought I might reflect on my stateside soiree and share my 10 takeaways with you.
I don’t know why I thought that my old life would be exactly like it was before, like stepping into some sort of time capsule. What weirdly surprised me was how people’s lives had moved on and changed without me there – how bizarre is that? Friends had moved, got married, had kids. Shop fronts had changed and people had aged (I’m sure they were far more upset by this than I was, lmao). But, of course, my life has changed too… Being in Asia I, of course, kept up on social media but was so far away from everyone’s day to day lives and even the cultural progressions of peoples lives in America. From popular songs, Truly Seltzer trends, to buying a first house – life kept going with or without me.
2. My life is cool but totally unrelatable
After 1.5 years away, my beach-bum lifestyle is no longer a super fun vacation that people want to hear everything about. Torn between whether it’s jealousy or complete disconnection, I was surprised that no one asked me about the culture or what my daily life entailed. Perhaps it’s just so distant from their norm that it doesn’t even compute (or it’s because they watched my IG stories everyday). Excitingly, it kind of felt like I held a special secret that only my fellow Laptop Lifestylers understood – we getchu girl!
AKA this is my normal daily life ⬇️ (for more of my daily life and travels come follow me on Instagram)
3. No one understands what I do for a living
“So, you run a business by telling people how they could run their business?”… Yes. “So you make money on Instagram and it’s not a scam?”. It felt like I was speaking Clingon half the time! I think we all forget that our little online world is totally alien to those who don’t live in it! We have our own little private economy where we all exchange services for money, so we can make more money! I guess… yeah, ok maybe it is a bit weird to get your head around.
4. America is a bubble that I don’t fit in anymore
Either because the people I spoke to aren’t entrepreneurs, or because they don’t travel as a lifestyle, my world just doesn’t make sense. Suddenly, the place I spent 23 years of my life in, didn’t have a mold for me to slot into anymore. I realized I had grown as a person, adjusted to new ways of thinking, new cultural norms and different ways of living, and I felt more aligned with those new ways than the traditional American lifestyle I had known before.
5. People don’t want what I want… and that’s ok
Entrepreneurs are so ambitious. We often forget that not everyone wants the life that we’ve created. There’s nothing wrong with them, and there’s nothing wrong with us. We’re just that… different. I learned quickly that forcing my idea of the perfect life on people was not going to work. Instead, I accepted their choices and welcomed their inquisitiveness about mine.
6. Life in America is simple
Now, I don’t mean this in a derogatory way at all. I just mean that it’s quite routine – something that doesn’t suit me anymore. Everything has a place, a formula, a time set-aside. Everyone drives their car to work in the morning, grabs their Starbucks, goes to the gym, cooks dinner, goes to sleep and does it again. Life in Asia is a bit more reactive, a bit more of a daily adventure. There’s an element of unpredictability that I’ve grown to kind of love.
7. I don’t want things as badly as I used to
You know that feeling when you’re craving ice cream or tacos from that specific place… Turns out, I was more attached to the memory than the actual thing. The experiences I was anticipating just weren’t the same a second time around. Except for queso… queso did live up to the memory. (thank you Fuzzy’s)!
8. I find it easier to say ‘no’ now
Without the crazy consumerism of the US, I found that saying ‘no’ to things is so much easier. Acquiring things is not something that’s shared in the whole “living-out-of-a-suitcase-and-moving-from-country-to-country” lifestyle. I don’t feel the need to update my wardrobe with the season or have the latest fashion ‘must-have’. If it doesn’t fit in my backpack and it can’t be wrung out on a beach, do I even need it?
9. I don’t need much to live happily
Ornaments, decorations, storage boxes… it all seemed so unnecessary to me! Other than my clothes and my electronics, I really don’t need much else. Traveling turns you into an unwitting minimalist – to the point that my family home felt crazy full. These days, I’m quite detached from my belongings – if something breaks, rips or gets lost… ‘oh well!’. I’m mostly just focused on how many activities I can afford and cram into my next weekend trip to the Thai islands.
10. The culture is mind-bogglingly different!
The US is perfectly laid out, organized, simple to navigate and fast. Asia is hectic, sporadic, creative and vibrant. I noticed how personal space is a real thing in the US and groceries stores are MASSIVE! There’s not a lot of charm, when you compare it with the little shops and crazy colors of Bali or Thailand.
I’m grateful for the fact that I grew up where I did. I’m also grateful that I had the luxury and the opportunity to leave of my own free will. That’s one of the reasons I’m so crazy passionate about what I do – I give people the same choices I was able to make. The freedom to work and live anywhere, the freedom to make money easily, the freedom to impact others and the world around them in a positive way.
Before I get all Bieber on you (#blessed), maybe we could all take a second to say ‘thank you’ for what we have – and the opportunities this digital world gives us to make an impact.
Hey, thanks for coming to my TED talk 😉
➡️ What’s one thing you’ve noticed that’s different after coming home to your home country? Comment below or DM me on Instagram and let me know!
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
hi, i'm Amanda
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
Every day you get to choose again as to how you will live your life - and every defining moment will come down to just that, a choice.
Here’s the thing - your past story, knowledge, and experiences may have shaped you to be where you are now, but they don’t have to define where you go next.
Hey there, I’m Amanda Kolbye. I’m on a mission to help female entrepreneurs acquire business tools & knowledge so they can create generational wealth and a life where you never think “is this it?” In our world, women become unstoppable. In our world, limitless is the only boundary we adhere to.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.