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Ervin Ling followed the default path as an actuary, passing test after test. After passing all the tests, he found himself working harder than he was ever working. As he stared at the television and saw his friends on TV during a weekend trip to the Final Four, he realized he didn’t want to keep doing this. He declared (after a few drinks, nonetheless) to his friends, “If UConn wins the national championship, I’m going to quit my job.”

As any good number-driven actuary would, he didn’t quit his job immediately. He took about 18 months to plot his escape from the corporate world. During this time, he re-thought his relationship with money, his possessions and his relationships with friends and family.  He ended up traveling around the world for 12 months.  Here are some stats from his trip:

  • Total USD spent: $24,740
  • Total days on the road: 338
  • Total countries visited: 38 (including the USA)
  • Most days in a single country: 30 (Vietnam)
  • Total number of miles traveled: 68,307 (109,925 km) – equivalent to circling the earth 2.7 times
  • Air Travel: 51,044 mi (82,143 km)

After this trip, he still felt a pull towards living abroad and now lives and teaches English in Taiwan. This journey has helped him discover and invest a life he could be proud of.

Check out Erv’s site, which includes travel hacking tips, travel suggestions in Taiwan and pictures of food from around the world => ErvTravels.com

This podcast was filmed and we had a great spread of local Taiwanese food:

You can watch the full video version of the podcast here:


Just published! The Pathless Path is Paul's book about walking away from a "perfect" job with a promising future and starting over again. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries, and a deep dive into the history of our work beliefs, Paul pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to what he calls "the pathless path" - a new story for thinking about work in our lives. Learn More & Buy The Book Here



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