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When you need a winter

5th July 2019

“Work is not just an activity that generates funds and creates desire; it’s the vagabonding gestation period, wherein you earn your integrity, start making plans, and get your proverbial act together. Work is a time to dream about travel and write notes to yourself, but it’s also the time to tie up your loose ends. Work is when you confront the problems you might otherwise be tempted to run away from. Work is how you settle your financial and emotional debts—so that your travels are not an escape from your real life but a discovery of your real life.”

― Rolf Potts

There’s two sides to a life spent travelling and training.

There’s the blogable (might be a word?) side, the side to write about, take videos of and document. This is what I post about on Rolling Through, this is the side to create guides for, to write stories about and to share.

…This is summer.

Summer is the time to adventure, to be outside, to explore, to grow, and to expand your horizons, both literally on the map, and also mentally in what you’re doing.

However, every adventure starts at home, it starts with the planning, the saving, and the work to make the life you want to have a reality.

This is where I found myself towards the end of last year. Returning from Italy and with a clear vision of how to balance the work I do, and the life I loved built around jiu jitsu and travel. Yet my vision wasn’t fully lined up with my reality.

You can read about being location independent all you want, but the truth is until you’re waking up in a foreign land, to surf, to train, to eat new foods and to try and work while everyone around you is partying, you don’t know how your own version of this life will look.

Building the ‘setup’, is where i’ve been for the past few months, I needed a few more cogs in my machine before it ran how I need it to.

Making the vision I have for my business, my freelance practices, and how I generate income in a way that allows me to maintain the freedom to travel and train as much as I want, line up with my actual reality.

…This is winter.

Winter is a time to get your head down, it’s a time to take stock, plan, strategise and build without distraction. There’s no time for the beach, the water is way too cold anyway, it’s the hibernation, the rest, and the stockpiling before summer.

Last year, and the extra long summer I had by travelling to the southern hemisphere during the English winter, was an exploration phase. However it wasn’t just an exploration of physical countries, but of the opportunities and setup you need in order to travel, work, and train as much as I want.

This has led to the past few months, and a winter focused on making my vision, a reality. It’s why i’ve been quiet for the past few months as I had to be focused on my business and brands, ready to take the next step.

This is however is the not often talked about benefit of winter. It would of been impossible to do this kind of focused work with the distractions of summer. Summer is a time to explore, celebrate and be outdoors, all of these things distract you from your mission when you need to have your head down and focused.

Chasing the sun is a worthy goal, and it’s full of the site that life should be about. However, it’s hard to build and do the real grind that’s necessary when you never give yourself a ‘winter’ period.

Through what i’ve built this winter, I’m looking to make the next summer the longest ever, one that lasts years as I balance the work, with the adventure. In fact, the next summer, should never end, but it’s all made possible by what you do in the winter.

If you’re not seeing the kind of results you want in your life it might be time to asses when the last time you gave yourself a winter. Obviously I don’t mean when was the last time you went through a season of cold weather (although the kind of work i’m talking about is easier in this climate). I’m talking about doing the mental work, building the foundations, the savings, whatever you need to do to set you up for that endless summer.

Maybe it’s time to have one?

Hurry up though…The water’s getting warmer.

Richard Moody


I'm Rich, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt and freelancing creative. With no fixed plan or route i'm exploring a new country every few months, doing Jiu Jitsu, training my body, meeting new people, and finding new places. Rolling Through is a document of travel, training combat, improving the body and is both for and by myself and other explorers to inspire and share the secret details to help you do the same!

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