I’m happily writing this post from a very shitty hotel in Lombok (an island just east of Bali in Indonesia).

This is as simple of a place as you can find: single story, no pool, 8 rooms, paper-thin walls, no hot water, barely any water pressure, hold the showerhead with your hands. Yes, it’s that kind of place :).

I love shitty hotels because they bring me back to my freedom roots. While I live in a nicer place now, I started my traveling journey three years ago in a cockroach and ant filled room in Bali.

Shitty hotels are stark reminders that I value the freedom to spend my time however the hell I want much more than I value any physical things in this world.

I value being able to decide last minute to fly to a nearby island and spend Thursday and Friday surfing and hanging out.

And while I had to make money to support this lifestyle, the most important lesson was first learning to love life without needing to spend money.

If I had made money before learning this lesson, I would’ve been trapped within society’s hamster wheel: constantly chasing more money to finance an increasingly expensive lifestyle.

If I made a billion dollars tomorrow, I would live the same simple life that I’m living now.

The lesson is that if you’re happy living a lifestyle that doesn’t require much money, it’s exponentially easier to be happy and financially retire early.

If you want to break free from requiring nice accommodations or things, then figure out a barebones, cheap trip where the happiness odds are stacked in your favor.

If you’re able to disconnect happiness from physical things then it will change your perspective on everything in life.