The concept of traveling by yourself can sometimes be uncomfortable because of our fear of the unknown and being out of our element. However, saying yes to an adventure and all the experiences can be life-changing moments. You will learn that traveling by yourself is truly an amazing journey of self-discovery. Just trust your instincts and go. Believe in yourself and believe you know what you’re doing, and let your mind be free and explore the edges that you don’t normally explore.
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Traveling? Me? Part 2/2
This show is part two of “Traveling? Me?” which tells my adventure of going to Costa Rica mostly by myself, Morgan was at a certification without a plan, and the effect and lessons and the incredible time I had on the show going traveling. For all you control freaks out there, this is a show that says, “You too can live in a place of unknown and have an incredible time.” Then we’d go off to talk to Jessie, who’s in a transition and a transition from a traveler to a non-traveler. Basically, a man who has his party around his life, his work, his relationship, building a future, and handling his money. We talk about his transition and what happened.
There is a new way to support the show. I’ve set up a Patreon account. That’s Patreon.com/TuffLove. It’s a way to support the show. You can give me $5 a month to help with the operating costs, or there are some different levels. There’s a $99 coaching instead of my $225 per hour. Also, there’s a VIP day. If you’d like to support the show, I’m grateful. Send me a little loving. Go to Patreon.com/TuffLove. Finally, I’ve redone my website and included a mailing list. If you want to get on the mailing list, please check out TuffLove.Live.
Hopefully, everyone can see us in and hear us with my new setup. I’m very excited. Life is in expansion, so life is feeling awesome. It’s only been weeks since my last of the show and my last on the air, but it has felt a lifetime and I think traveling will do that for you. This is part two of “Travelling? Me?” For those who missed the first one, the concept was I went on a trip. I went on a vacation to Costa Rica with my partner, Morgan. She was in a week-long training. The original plan was for me to hang out during the day and hang out with her at night, but then the people at the training said, “No, you got to go,” which I was told not to take personally. I was ended up a week in Costa Rica by myself. I was nervous. I have a lot of feelings around it. I felt like this was out of my element.
I was uncomfortable with the concept of traveling, and the reason is the fear of the unknown. How often do we live in the fear of the unknown? For some travelers and gypsies, jumping into a country without a plan is heaven. It’s like pure ecstasy. It is like magic, the warm water out their excitement. For people like me, control freaks who like order and like schedules and like structures, the concept of a week by myself without a plan was a scary. It was scary, and it’s scary for Morgan too in a way because she was nervous that I would not be happy, and I would have a bad time.
There was this agitation going in. I thought maybe I should go, forgo the ticket, leave the $600 ticket and stay in the States. Maybe that was one idea, but then I said, “No, this is one of those experiences that have been placed in for you. This is a challenge, and who you are and what you do is going to define you.” From that I said, “Hell yes to this trip.” My common thing in the world is to say, “Hell yes” whenever I can. I jumped on a plane at midnight actually around 1:30 AM. It was late. We got to Costa Rica around 7:00 AM. Nothing as enlightening as a red-eye in a small seat to store up your inner fortitude.
We got into Costa Rica. We ran to the car, which I quickly named Little Babe. My current car in LA is called Babe. My car in Costa Rica was Little Babe. This little SUV that ended up being a rock star in my trips. We went to this place called the Peace Lodge for the first night. The Peace Lodge was a present from my parents, this beautiful resort. Spending $500 for a night in a hotel is worth it, especially after a red-eye in a small seat. I know for some that is out of balance spending that much money, but if you have the means, I highly recommend it. If you’re in Costa Rica and looking for quite the most beautiful place I’ve seen, try the Peace Lodge. It is fabulous. We ended up in this gorgeous room with this deck and the view of the mountain, the clouds are drifting. We would snuggle and sleep and fall asleep and wake up to the clouds and were together. There was a Jacuzzi on the deck. It was totally romantic.
That was the first night, a good landing. Then we went to a town called Atenas, where Morgan went to her lodge, her retreat center. I kissed her goodbye and she went off on her adventure. By that point, I was in my little Airbnb on Sunday night by myself and I felt this new feeling, this feeling of silence. For those who know me, I’m private. I’m not quite the expert in silence. I’m loud. I’m effusive. I move around a lot. I don’t stand still very often. I spent ten years building OneTaste. I don’t know if I was in silence very much because I was always dynamic, and I liked that. I liked traveling from town to town and doing something and finishing a cycle and opening another cycle. The moment there’s silence, I’m texting someone, “What’s up? How are you? What’s going on?”
Silence is a very unusual thing for me. I’ve done meditation retreats. I’ve done a few in this place called Green Gulchup in San Francisco. I do have some experience with silence, but it’s 0.001% of my life. There is sleep, which on some levels, is loud and moving. Then there’s 0.1% where I’m actually in silence and then the other 90% of my life, 80% of my life I’m not sleeping, I’m in motion and creation, which I love. There was this silence that I felt in the first night and the storm then came in. I’m staying at this nice little commune with my very small room with this glass sliding door. I opened up the door and this wind storm was coming in. It was night so I couldn’t see the clouds, but there was no moon. It was like the whistling sound, and it totally matched that feeling of silence. Maybe for the first time, even though I’m enjoying meditation retreats, the silence was nurturing and it felt so good inside my body to lay in this little bed in silence listening to the wind storm outside. That’s how I fell asleep. I fell asleep listening to that bristle. I was cold at night. I had to find a blanket. I woke up at one or two in the morning. It was cold. The storm had brought in some cool air in which I was happy to be as well.
The next morning, I get up, I have the breakfast, I jump in Little Babe, and then I head down south to a place called Rivas where my friend, Ben Rhode, lives. Ben Rhode and I have known each other for probably about six, seven years. I would never call us very close friends, but he took some courses about a million years ago. I was his teacher, and we stayed in touch. He’s done well for himself. He’s quite impressive, him and his wife, Jen. They made a name for themselves. They decided to move down to Costa Rica. I was in touch with him and I said, “I’m coming to Costa Rica.” He’s like, “Come hang.” I said, “All right.”I jumped in Little Babe and drove the four and half hours from Atenasto Rivas.
It’s only about a hundred miles at the most, maybe 80 miles from Atenasto Rivas. Why does it take four hours to get 80 to a hundred miles? On the California freeways without traffic, that could take like an hour. You can drive a hundred miles an hour. You’re going from LA to Vegas, you’re on the tent, you’re speeding along. I learned in my stay in Costa Rica that roads are single lane and most roads go up a hill and most roads have trucks that don’t go very fast, anywhere from twenty to 30 miles in kilometers in Costa Rica, really slow. Then you end up in this long caravan line. My hyper LA driver is always on the move. It wants to pass. It wants to get up that mountain quickly. It wants to make it efficient. Like Henry Rollins says, “I’m not efficient, I’m efficiency. I want to be as fast as possible,” but we’re on these long, crazy rides with Little Babe with not that much power, you can’t pass and you get stuck in these fifteen to twenty-car caravans behind this one big truck. All you could do is slow down and enjoy the ride.
Here’s the thing I learned. When you drive slower, you get to see more, you get to take in the beauty. I got to take in the beauty of this mountain right up and I got to see the beauty of the trees and the greens and the little details of life. Then on this ride up, it started to rain. It wasn’t like normal rain, no north-south or top-down. It was sideways rain, because as we got to the top of the hill, with the winds, it looked like the rain was 45 degrees. It looked like it was slanted. I was marveling the rain, so I turned off the music, I turn off my book on tape. I’m driving this long, windy road behind this big truck and enjoying the slow ride and the beauty of the rain and I thought, “This is extremely different from the Rob Kendall we all know and love.” That silence I felt the previous night, that patience I felt on the ride up, this different part of me, and I almost felt like I didn’t want the ride to end.
How many of us had long car rides and think we don’t want the car ride to end? If you’re in a car with a great person or great conversation or you’re dropping him off at school and you’re about to turn around and maybe you don’t want the car ride to end, but I was by myself and I was enjoying the experience. I get to the top of the hill. The truck goes. I pulled then to get gas and go to the bathroom and got some Café Negro, black coffee, from the little store on top, and then I came out. The rain has passed and this beautiful blue sky had arisen and these white clouds come in. We live in Los Angeles and there are some days that are nice in Los Angeles, blue skies, but this was like the bluest sky I’ve seen in a long time. I felt this weight off my body. I just relaxed. I jump back on Little Babe and finished the car ride, hang out with Ben, had a good time, and went to see his place, RISE, which is truly amazing. There will probably be some conversation about RISE in the future. I spent a day with him and his kids and his dogs and enjoyed it.
That was Monday in Rivas, then I’m deciding where I want to go next. I look on the map and I’m thinking there’s this town called Nosara. Nosara from Rivas is a good seven and a half miles. My original plan when I left Ben was to hang out with him on Monday night and jump in the car early 8:00 AM, 7:30 AM, and then drive to Nosara for seven and a half hours. What happened is we went to RISE and that half an hour to hour tour. It took three hours, as I was sitting in a waterfall and skinny dipping in a waterfall and enjoying. He’s showing me all those places I’m getting totally hooked on. It’s another story that’s coming down the line.
I don’t want to go drive seven and a half hours starting at noon, what am I going to do? I’m sitting in this café and I open my little book and look at my map and there’s this place called Playa Hermosa. Hermosa Beach, that one’s in LA that I liked a lot, so I’m like, “I got to go to Playa Hermosa.” I jumped into Little Babe and I drove to Playa Hermosa. I ended up there and I didn’t like it. I don’t know what it was. It was a very nice beach town. I looked at a couple hotels, I checked out the rooms, and there was something that wasn’t quite right. I trusted myself and went one town to the north, which is Playa Jaco. I end up there and there’s so much more energy buzzing. I’m looking from hotel to hotel, and all of them are awful, $125 bucks for a scummy little room. I’m like, “Not going to do it.”
I’m leaving town and I see a billboard for Oceano Jaco and I’m like, “That’s interesting. I like the way that billboard looks like.”I find that in my little GPS, I get back in Little Babe, and I go and I register. I visit Oceano Jaco and register and picked the room, and I’m happy. I’m in this hotel, which is a step up, not as nice as the Peace Lodge. I learned this other thing about myself. I learned that I like decadence. I’m at this point in my life, I’m making good money where I can afford it. There wasn’t always like this. There are times where I was struggling, where an $80, $90 room would be more appropriate. I have credit cards, I have cash, I have money coming in, I have successful businesses. I said to myself, “I want to treat myself, I want to take care of myself,” and that was a beautiful moment.
I ended up in the room. I even got to massage that was quite good. I had room service, and I watched Eight Cents on Netflix because I was tired from the drive. There was this thrill that I was taking care of myself, because I don’t know if I take good care of myself in my life. There’s another level of taking care of myself. The struggles of 2016, losing my business, and the getting through all these things has taken an effect on me. I haven’t been fully taking care of myself. I saw that without a schedule, when I had the choice, the chance to fully take care of myself, I did it and it felt good. I enjoyed Jaco and then jumped back to Little Babe. Besides hanging out with Morgan, this is the best part of the story. I ended up in Nosara. I have my friend, Amy, who lived there. My friend, Jenny, told me I should go visit it. It looked pretty cool, it looked cool on the book. I drive the extra four hours from the Jaco to Nosara and I’m and I’m driving in and it’s little rinky dink town, but it’s got this cool vibe.
I’m checking out places and nothing’s working to sleep. I looked at my little guidebook. Always get the guidebook. There’s a lodge on top of this hill. I jumped back Little Babe and I drive up. In the guidebook, it says $85, $95, $125 per room. I’m like, “That’s pretty cool. I can do that.” I ended up and I parked in front of the lodge and I walk in. I’m like, “This is not an $85 to $125. They revamped this thing.” What happened is the hotel shutdown, they totally revamped it. The guidebook didn’t update it, and I end up and I walked to the front desk, and was like, “Do you got any rooms?” He’s like, “Yes, that’s $375, $450, and $550.” I say, “That’s a little outside of my budget.”It’s like 4:30 PM. You can always say that. You can always negotiate with hotel clerks. He looked at me up and down and says, “I can probably do $275 for you for this one room.” I’m like, “Let me see it.”
We walk to this room and I got into the room and I was sold. It was fantastic. I pay the $275 and I’m in my classy room. The sun setting, and I got these great shots of it setting and they have these infinity pools. Here’s the best moment of my time alone in Costa Rica. I’m in this warm infinity pool where it’s 180-degree view of the water, and the sun is setting. You spend that 30 to 45 minutes as the sun’s light slowly dies and it’s almost like you can feel like that God’s got his finger or her finger on the dimmer and he’s bringing it down little bit by little bit creating this grand show. I’m in this warm infinity pool. My whole body, the light 180-degree view. I had what’s called a spiritual moment. I don’t want to call it a spiritual awakening, but it was a spiritual moment because what happened is I felt this joy that I had not felt in the longest time. I felt this joy from my toes up to my head. Then I felt some trauma that I’ve been holding around my past businesses wash away in the warm infinity pool.
I felt my body relax and the smile came across my face and I was in ecstasy. Totally straight, no drugs, no alcohol, totally straight by myself in an infinity pool in Nosara with a 180-degree view. I felt like my life is amazing. My life is amazing, and that’s the thing that I got. I said yes to this adventure. I said yes to this $275. I said yes to all these experiences, and the reward when I actually do that, the thing I learned is when I follow and say yes to what my desire has through my fear is these life changing moments. I will never forget that one brief moment as the light died in front of me and I felt that feeling of freedom and it was almost like the best poop. Have you ever had a great poop and your body is like, “So good.” It felt clean and soft and heavenly and there was a moment to change the rest of my life. That is where I learned traveling by myself in Costa Rica that my life is truly amazing.
I’ll give you some few little lessons. If you end up in Costa Rica, you’re traveling in a country of that genre. Here’s a few things I’ve learned for the tips, the Tuff Love tips. Number one, get a car with power, especially if you’re on a road behind big trucks or you’re in rocky dirt roads. Ben’s place was this ridiculous angle and Little Babe made it up the hill well. Always get a GPS, an extra $9 a day, but truly a wonderful thing to have. Always get a GPS because your phone doesn’t always work. Pick a place, read about it, don’t think about it, don’t judge it. Just go. Trust your instincts. Believe in yourself and believe you know what you’re doing. Whenever possible, don’t listen to the radio or books. Sit in the silence and let your mind explore the edges that you don’t normally explore. Let your mind be free. Let your mind see what it wants to see, because in that silence, I recounted many things I wanted to do, got inspired to come back and create many things, and in that I’m truly grateful.
Thank you so much for being with me on my show. Jessie, I’m going to bring you on the line. How are you?
I’m doing good. How are you doing?
Good. Where are you?
I am outside of San Jose, outside of a 24-hour fitness. I’m going to go in there and get a nice little sauna after this before meeting up with somebody, coaching and training.
What would make this time optimal?
First of all, the last thing that you said hit me when you have that spiritual moment and you realized that your life was amazing. I had a very similar moment myself in the Death Valley. We were camping out there on an off-road trip and we had a four-wheel drive trip, but I’ve never had the opportunity to actually drive my own four-wheel drive off-road. My friend had an extra vehicle to drive. I woke up on Sunday morning and had a spiritual moment like yourself, where I looked out at this gorgeous sunrise and it was cold, but I was wrapped up in a sleeping bag and still feel comfortable. I had this small moment that I got everything that I came to California for. I came in to be around more like-minded people to have new experiences, to improve my work, to improve my focus, to date again, and be around women that are more on my same level. I got everything I came for, and it was like yourself. I felt how amazing my life was, and I had an extreme amount of gratitude for it.
What do you think brought you to that success? What do you think brought you to that level of awareness? How did you do that?
2016 was a heck of a year and it was a bipolar year for me, but it was awesome. Looking back on it, I had so much gratitude for it. I learned so much in 2016 and I had such high highs and such lows when for most of my life, I’ve been steady and not high, not low, living day to day, and nothing much going on. I’ve been doing hypnotherapy for the past month and a half. I’ll have my last session in a couple of weeks. That’s played a large factor to help me realize I have so much I have to be grateful for and to not think about the negative things. It was wonderful, but as far as exactly what happened to get me to that point of realization, I’m not sure. I’m similar to you and then very different to you. I grew up very structured and my life was nothing but school and some sports all the way until I was sixteen. Then I graduate high school eighteen, went to college in my same hometown. I graduated at 22.Then I was super structured at that point. I started my first job and they had laid off and then I made a huge switch and I moved to London, England for a year and my whole world opened up. It wasn’t quite like your Burning Man experience.
I realized what was out there. Before moving there, I’d never been more than ten days out of Alabama. The financial crisis there completely change my life. Instead of staying in the banking and finance and accounting world, I ended up becoming a traveler. I’m like you in Costa Rica from the age of 24 and up until last year. I have always been the travel guy that did exactly what you did. Costa Rica, going out there with no plan. Some travel there for moments like that, and I do. I’ve come to realize that I still have moments like that, and I’m focusing my life not on travel right now, more on creating the life. I’ve also learned that as much as I still love that life of traveling, I hate that life when I’m living in the town that I live in, which is currently Los Angeles, California.
You hate the life? Why do you hate it?
I hate my life being that way. In Los Angeles where I live, I’ve learned that I love my life most in Los Angeles when it’s structured, when I have been planned, when my whole calendar is booked. That’s when I’m most productive. That’s when I get things done, that’s when I’m happy. When I’m in motion, I’m happiest. It’s the opposite of the traveling lifestyle I’m used to, which is get out there, no plans, you could do whatever. I’ve learned the value of commitment before 2016, and I never committed to anything on a job, on a woman, on a lifestyle. It’s the opposite of your traveling experience where you had to learn to give in to a travel and not be structured I have learned to structure myself and to commit to things and know that it’s okay to turn things down. I have always kept my life open in case this happened and if this happened at the end of the day, I had a lot of experiences because I didn’t commit to things. I very much learn the value of commitment. My story was I was doing taxes during tax season and I’ve got a passion project, a travel TV show. My roommate was my business partner with the passion project and my other roommate, his girlfriend, they’re both in Miami pitching the TV show and then they’re going to Washington DC to pitch the show.
It caused a lot of animosity between us because I wasn’t able to go this year largely due to the time that we realized that we could go to these conferences and volunteer. I had already booked an entirely full January with my work life and other commitments that I’ve made to further my career. I had so much plan, Death Valley trip and everything, but I’ve been happy with myself. I’ve made a lot of good decisions lately, and as much as I wish I could be down there helping pitch the show, I know I made the best decision to not do that and to focus more on being structured, pursuing my career, and money. I want to graduate myself from making good decisions, because being indecisive has been a huge issue that I’ve worked on a lot lately.
I’m about to start working some crazy hours now that tax season’s coming up. I work random events throughout the year to go along with taxes and I’m trying to make this journey. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with for the rest of my life. It’s a fascinating journey. I love it. It’s difficult times. I’m not making the money that I would have made because of having to spend so much time figuring myself out and learning, which is amazing. It’s an amazing journey when it works out and when I’m doing new stuff and I’m learning things, but I love it when things don’t work out.
What’s your question?
My question is more how to not get overwhelmed when I’m trying to do so many different things. I’m about to start trying to manage a tax firm. I’m doing brand ambassador work, I’m doing a pro bono brand ambassador work for a company and I’ve got this travel TV show. How do I best manage life and not get overwhelmed?
The main thing I always do is to figure out what your top goals. That’s a hard thing for a lot of people to do, because their goal shift or they think one goal is something and not goals. I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast that I enjoyed, and he was interviewing this woman. This woman was a highly successful graphic designer and top of her line. She said in the middle of the podcast, “I lied to myself when I was younger. I said that I want to be an artist and a writer, but the real truth was my top goal was I wanted to live in New York City. I wanted to live in Manhattan. I could have been an artist or a writer anywhere and I could have lived at 1/10th or 1/20th of the cost of living in New York, but instead I chose to live in New York, which actually facilitated me being a better writer and a better artist.”
My point is that it’s you and your goals. It’s you looking into your heart and figuring out what’s your top goal. Is your top goal to travel? Is your top goal your relationship? Is your top goal to be successful? Do you want to be a movie star? What is that thing that drives you the most? Then what’s your secondary goal? What’s your tertiary goal? To be honest with yourself around it is most important. Once you have your top goals, then you can see when you look at your list of items you need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, are these projects to where I’m putting my energy in line with my goals? You do a reconciliation of activity versus goals. Sometimes your goal is to make money, and that’s not so much fun, but you got to do it to pay the rent, pay off your student loans. That’s the first thing I would say.
Those goals are going to change from time to time. Is there a certain time that you think is minimum to definitely keeping the same?
It depends. For very dynamic people, you might want to revisit those goals once a week. For most people I would say set such goals in a month. Start off on the first of the month with the goal at the fifteenth of the month or January twentieth, do it tomorrow. Start off with your list of goals and see where you want to bring your life. I’ve been doing this a lot recently. 2016 was challenging for me as well, losing my businesses and then ended up by myself in Woodland Hills. The cool part is I’m going to reassess my goals and do it by myself and I have time to look at it. I’m constantly looking at my goals and trying to tweak what I want to do, and a lot of stuff that’s coming because now my actions are aligned with my goals.
I feel like I started on the right path. I believe what you say, top goals. I put my priorities in line maybe for something that I haven’t always done. It’s like you were saying, health is always number one. I don’t know if you’re referring more to physical and mental health, I’m assuming you’re referring more to physical when you say that, but for me, my mental health is my number one priority.
My rule was always mental health, physical health, everything else. That has always been my modus operandi since I lost my business. For the last two plus years, mental health, physical health, everything else.
I’m right there at the same place. I couldn’t agree more. For a large part of my time, it was my passion project to travel and travel itself. They’re not my priority, but they are my top goals right now. My top goals are my mental health, physical health, and then there’s my name, and then it depends on relationship or passion project. It depends on what’s next on that list. I don’t have huge goals where I live right now. Honestly I could live anywhere as long as there are awesome people and cool things to do. I have done a good job of getting my goals in line. Something I haven’t thought about doing is reviewing that once every month.
Here’s a challenge. Every once in a while, you look at your goals and go, “That goal is so nerdy. That goal is boring. That goal is so adult. I can’t believe I’m thinking about that. A savings account. A retirement account. That’s what old people do. No.” Sometimes that happens, but it’s important to be realistic and honest with yourself.
I thought about that when I was helping a lady out in her accounting firm while my friends are flying and pitching my show in Miami. I got to do what I got to do. Money is first, and I’ve realized to truly grow as I want to grow as a person and to be what I want to be in life, I’ve got to put a bigger focus on money. What I have the past three years in a row, I’m seeing my money tip down low and it hit me every time. I don’t want to be scrappy anymore. I’m always going to be thrifty. I want to be a money coach. I’m amazing at spending money and the absolute life is possible.
If you flew to Miami, it’d be hard for you to have a good time because you knew, on some level, that your goal is not this Miami trip. It’s to make money. When you’re in line with your goals, you feel it. You feel the energy, feel like the waves are behind you. When you’re going against your goals, that’s where things get challenging.
Doing what I’m doing, I’m living my own life. If I were to go down to Miami, I was going to be live in someone else’s life. I’ve done that before and it doesn’t align. If it does align with my own passion, that’s great, but this time it wouldn’t have. Thank you for that.
Thanks so much for being on the show.
I have some announcements that I’m very proud of. The first is the Tuff Love website has been updated. I found some new code and I made the podcast re-listed. I’ve put it on the front page of break. I’m excited. I have a mailing list. You’d be proud. It’s me growing up. I have a mailing list. You can go to the front page and put your name and email address in there. I will only be doing one email a week. I will not take advantage of emails. You join the mailing list and I promise nothing but fun cool things and not being annoying mailing list person. Lastly, I have something called a Patreon account.
Patreon is a way to support the podcast. No more Paypal.Me/KandellConsulting. You can now go to Patreon.com/TuffLove. I have a Patreon page where you can support the show. Send me five bucks a month just because you like me and like what I’m doing. There’s a $99 and you get 45 minutes coaching for me. My rates are $225 an hour for my life coaching. Be a patron of the show and get some coaching on the cheap. If you want a full day with me for me to kick your ass, I have a VIP option that’s on there as well.Patreon.com/TuffLove. Who’s going to be my first patron? Who’s going to be the first person to send me a little loving on Patreon.com/TuffLove. Have Fun. Go forth, get some nookie, face the day, and always remember I love you. Take care.