Everyone is familiar with the classic digital nomad tale- quit corporate job, start business, sell everything, move to paradise. The formula, although simple, comes with different multiples and results. That’s where we find the beauty. Each person’s interpretation of a dream shared my many can take us through unexpected roads.
Sal Mariano is here to tell us about what happens when you take control, full control, of your life. It’s safe to say he’s grabbing life by the horns.
"I usually do things differently and self mastery is mastering yourself, dominion and power over your thoughts and emotions"
How did you find out about Roam? What's your connection?
About eight months ago I decided to ditch the corporate job, pack everything into two suitcases and sell all my belongings. The quest was Southeast Asia. We had a “where do we go” moment and Bali, when you look at a map, has a good position globally.
We were researching for a couple weeks, I remember Laura was searching and Roam came up. When we were looking, we’re like, “there’s a yoga studio, there’s a co working space and you can live all at once”. The biggest thing for us was the bulletproof or battle tested internet. That is a really the big leap for Bali.
You haven't co-lived before. What do you think about this setup?
What I really enjoy about Roam is that … traveling as a couple, it’s hard to find friends outside of the couple. What we noticed is it’s really difficult to find friends and make relationships in the community, when we were in the Airbnb’s in downtown we couldn’t do that. The friends that we had were the hotel staff and they didn’t speak english so what’s really special to us about Roam is that we can walk up the stairs and we can converse with people and we see them the next day. We can actually make connections, which is really powerful. That’s the whole concept of community, which is why we do what we do.
What do you think the real meaning of community is?
Community is … My only community back home was family. It was my immediate family. I am more of the quiet type. I’m more of the don’t have too many friends because I had trust issues when I was growing up. I was scared to speak and to be myself in an authentic way within the community so community to me is new and exciting but it’s lost back home. So for me, I’m learning the importance of it. I had a breakdown and I was like, I need people. I need people.
Tell me a little bit about your business.
I ditched the corporate job. I was an alcohol salesman. I woke up, I had to make my own schedule. I had my own clients. It was really cool but it was Einstein’s definition of insanity. It was the same thing over and over but what hurt so bad was it was the wrong culture for me. There was a lot of vulgarity. There was a lot of bad language.
I woke up one day, I had a big breakthrough and I said to myself, “what’s the point”? What’s the point of life? Why do you live? Why do you have relationships? Why do you say things? Why do you do things? What is the point? So instead of looking out all the time, I started to look in and that’s when I started to find all this magic and I went from only reading one book in my life at 13 to reading over 40 books in eight months, about a year and a half ago. I realized that I could make my own decisions in life and I was in control of how I perceived the world.
What is your work like now?
I have turned into a life coach. The word that I use is “self mastery coach”. I usually do things differently and self mastery is mastering yourself, dominion and power over your thoughts and emotions. I do life coaching and I’m starting an academy called the Hustle Academy, that’s a group and accountability online boot camp that take you from where you are to where you want to be in a month, two months, three months.
What is something that you can comfortably lean on today that you couldn't a year ago?
Moving past fear. Not letting it hold you back. I spent over 15 years holding myself back, thinking that if I was scared of something, I’d walk the other way. The best version of myself is on the other side of that fear. Here is the switch for me. If I fear it, I do it. I turn distraction into action. That’s a big thing for me, fear, knowing that it’s right there and I tell people, I’m not saying stick your hand in a tarantula box and get bit by the tarantula. We’re smarter than that.
If you had enough money to never work again, what would you do?
I’d be on stage twice a month in front of 10,000 people and plus, motivating and igniting their lives. That’s something that I’ve been trying to address by extending the community aspect of it too. I think they just sometimes need a little guidance too to be like, okay, you’re here. Now what?
Since you've been doing this remote work with life balance, have you ever had a moment where you started to redefine what home means to you?
There’s nothing like home… Familiarity. Comfort. It’s my parents for me. It’s my mom and dad and I’ve noticed that over the last couple of months. I’ll breakdown once a week and cry thinking about them.
What advice you can give to someone looking to change their life?
Simply get a hobby. Devote more time into yourself outside of your job and you will find freedom almost instantaneously. You’ll release the confinement. Essentially, what’s going on in the mind is you’re stuck in this rat race and you’re losing control and once you give control to something else or someone else, is when the unhappiness sprouts. You can most definitely be in control in a corporate job. It doesn’t even matter what the titles are, it’s where you are in life.
How long has it been since you transitioned?
If you had the power, which you do, to teach one thing to humanity, what would it be?
Love but forgiveness. Forwardly giving and never stopping. There is a fuel that people get when they give that they take for granted far too many times. People think that if they give, they’re gonna lose something and it’s so strange, that we’ve become just computerized to not be one.
We’re engineered to feel good so our physical body is engineered to ride the little dopamine highs and feel safe all the time. If I look good in a certain light and I post a picture of a selfie, after you just asked me to do something, I’m gonna get some satisfaction out of posting that selfie because it’s gonna give me this little boost of excitement but that’s the problem nowadays. We all just choose this, all the time. I work on it every day. This is why this is so special for me because no matter how this turns out, I get the opportunity to converse with a new person, be authentic, open up, open my heart and say here I am and it’s profound.
What would you say about people that work in corporations and they actually love it but they still live life in this really shut down, fearful way?
Great question. Life is very subjective and I can tell you my side so maybe it gives you some answers and then I can tell you my thoughts on it. My top two needs are growth and loving connection. I need to be growing. In the corporate job, it wasn’t the corporate job that made me feel confined, it was the fact that I would look back and I would see how things would work and I kept saying, I have the ability to create this. I have the ability to do this. Then I said to myself, what happens if I spend as much time doing my own thing, working at that corporate job? It was a time thing. It was a time shift. I wanted to invest that time into myself because I didn’t create the alcohol job. I found it. You can still have an amazing life without feeling confined in a corporate job. I’m just very growth oriented so I go after that.