Chiwi Journal #13: Vipassana Meditation, Global Natives, Tech Founders Shows, Derek Sivers and Moving to Portugal
Greeting from Lisbon!
I moved back to Portugal this month after getting my residency visa sorted. Thanks to Pieter Levels who built up the Rebase.co that helped me with the immigration process (here is the road map of my application). Lisbon will be my temporary base for now. Say Hi when you’re here, and let’s meet IRL!
This month I ticked a box of a decade long dream — visited Camp Nou and watched Barca’s victory at the home ground! Nothing can compare with the joy of a childhood dream coming true. Més Que Un Club! Barca represents Catalonia’s rebellious spirit and Cruyff’s philosophy, which had a massive impact on me throughout my teenage years to now.
Thanks for the invitation from the Talent Protocol team so I can fly to Barcelona to attend the Celo Connect conference and tour this amazing city! I’ve learnt so many tools and knowledge in web3 and Packy McCormick (one of the speakers) wrote a detailed blog post about Celo and ReFi, a highly recommended read.
OK, let’s get into this month’s content.
Course of the Month
No mobile phone, no talking, no reading or writing, no listening to songs or watching shows, no physical contact with others, no killing, no drinking or eating meat… plus getting up at 4 am every morning and sitting in meditation for 12 hours. This has been my life for the past 10 days.
When I first heard about the Vipassana Meditation course from a friend and read the rules above, my first impression was, ‘WTF… who’d like to go to this meditation prison? Especially for someone like me who heavily depends on digital devices for work. But out of curiosity, I decided to give it a go. So I enrolled in a course at one of the Vipassana Centres in England to learn this thousand-year-old Buddhist meditation technique.
I can’t exaggerate that these 10 days were a life-changing experience but provided me with a brilliant tool to deal with my emotional burdens. To look at thoughts and emotions objectively, rather than be led by them or avoid their existence. To know everything will pass, whether happiness or sadness, pleasure or pain, rather than attach “I” to those sensations. We realise impermanent is the true nature of life.
An unexamined life is not worth living. We need to observe and experience reality with consciousness. If we are lucky, we’ll be able to achieve a state of oneness and live a peaceful and harmonious life.
Read the detailed reflection HERE.
Show of the Month
Recommend two hyper-fast-paced and top-notch shows that focus on the tech world.
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber
First of all, if you could guess who did the voiceover in this show without Googling, you are my people LOL! American showrunner Brian Koppelman (his podcast The Moment is my frequent-listened show) co-created this limited series that revealed the rise and fall of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Uma Thurman’s performance as Ariana Huffington is perhaps the most eye-catching part of the series. According to Brian, Season 2 will feature Mark Zuckerberg’s story. Something to look forward to!
This miniseries is based on the podcast WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork, featuring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway as Adam Neumann and Rebekah Neumann. The biggest takeaway from this show is no matter in high or low, it’s extremely important to have someone who shares the same values, deep trust and faith along your side. Adam and Rebekah are full of charismatic (cult-leader like) and have a strong ambition in their life. Though ordinary people might not understand their lifestyle and vision, I can see many great people in history who shared the same path.
Remember this is a LOVE story. Love what you do and may y'all find someone who can look at you in the eyes and tell you ‘You are a Supernova’.
Book of the Month
Many people (especially from China) are curious about my digital nomad life. Now, there is a book to help us understand the history of nomads, global mobility and borderless living. Lauren Razavi, an early adopter of remote work who has lived as a digital nomad since 2013, recently launched a comprehensive book, Global Natives in this domain. She documents her insights from living and working across 40+ countries and advises policymakers to establish nomad hubs based on the increasing need for global mobility.
When I searched the history of digital nomads, Lauren’s tweetstorm popped up and helped me understand the origin of this concept. Her newsletter Counterflows focused on borderless living and featured the six best links on the topics to enhance people’s knowledge of digital nomads every week. Next month, I’ve scheduled an interview with Lauren to talk more details about her book. Stay tuned if you are interested in this topic :)
MY BOOK/PODCAST/NEWSLETTER RECOMMENDATION
Mentor of the Month
In 2018, I read every single article on Derek Sivers’s website after listening to some of his podcast interviews. His soothing voice and easy-to-understand life advice helped me to get out of the dark moment in my life. From Hell Year or No to Move to Big City, from NOW page movement to being a solitary socialite… While indulging myself in Derek’s pearls of wisdom, I found out he lived in New Zealand! So I reached out to him and met him in Wellington just before he was about to leave New Zealand for good (now he happily lives in NZ again).
Consuming Derek’s content and meeting him in person was eye-opening because I resonated with his thinking in many ways, but I found it hard to put them into words. His sharp writing unchained my abstractive thought onto paper so I could see myself clearly. Plus, that was the first time I was brave enough to meet my online mentor IRL and his kindness and friend attitude comforted my nerves and encouraged me to reach out to more like-minded online friends in the future.
I volunteered to translate many of Derek Sivers’ articles into Chinese and participated in his book project Your Music and People. I couldn’t express more gratitude for life. While I was lost, the universe sent him to help me walk through the darkness toward light. Derek’s previous decision to move to Portugal also planted a seed in my mind, and now I made it happen. Thanks, Derek!
Highly recommend anyone who feels stuck in life read his brilliant book collections.
Question from people interested in Rebase.co service to move to Portugal.
How helpful does Rebase in your process? What’s the whole process look like?
I documented my journey with Rebase with the price on a Notion page.
In the beginning, I was planning to run the whole immigration process myself since I could find everything I needed to know online. Out of curiosity, I booked the call with Rebase. I was impressed by the lawyer’s customised solution to my complicated situation as a non-EU citizen who had a UK residency with an NZ company and had already temporarily worked in Aveiro, Portugal.
So I paid for her service since it would save me tons of time and flew back to England to submit my application at the Portuguese Embassy in London. It usually takes 60 -120 days to get the D visa. Still, since my UK residency is expiring soon and I have to make international travel during the application period, I got my visa within a month (just a day before my Barcelona trip LOL).
Whether you choose to use Rebase, other immigration services, or DIY really depends on your OWN situation. I can only say this service has helped me a lot because my goal is to save time and have someone to consult with whenever I have questions about the process, so I don’t mind paying money. I DIYed my NZ permanent residency and citizenship application by myself because back then, I had just started my career and didn’t have much money to spend, plus people speak English in NZ so I could ask the bureau directly.
That’s it. Check out my process if you’re interested in immigrating to Portugal. Hope to see you at nomads meet-ups sometime soon!