Thanks for all the support!

i’m in the Philippines!! i actually made it!!

being back out traveling has been a goal of mine for the last year. after the software startup I worked on ended in March of 2012 I’ve been working my way to this point (sitting poolside in Cebu City at the moment) for the rest of the year.

the experiment begins

first there were a few experimental trips. i went to Nicaragua for 6 weeks and had a blast. i chose Nicaragua for a few reasons…

1. i had never been there or to central america in general

2. it seemed to be pretty exotic while still fairly close to home and in the same time zone

3. if being back out of the country long term again didn’t work for me again i could be back in SF in no time

i wanted to see if i could manage a dream i’ve had for a long time which was to live and work from anywhere. i figured if i could do it from nicaragua i could do it from anywhere and it was a big success. it turns out that i am completely content to plug away on my computer earning a living from a hammock. i dont need to know anyone wherever i go because i make friends with the people around me. in nicaragua i connected with the other people living in the condo complex and the staff. they invited me to join them for dinners and conversations and we shared a lot of laughs.


the experiment continues

next i went to live in the mountains of colorado with an old friend of mine. each day was filled with breathtaking views and nature. i rode my mountain bike almost everyday, spent time in boulder, and reconnect with a good buddy. it was epic.

as i was driving back to san francisco i had a lot of time to think and it turns out that i did not miss SF. not that its not a great place and i’m grateful for all my friends and experiences there but i simply was never homesick. i still wanted more.

another success!

and even more experimenting to come

i got home from colorado and immediately went into action to prolong the experiment. i sold everything i owned. i let go of the beautiful loft i lived in for the last 9 years. i bought a one way ticket and now am writing this from the previously mentioned poolside in Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines!

so much gratitude

i did not do this alone as i had a TON of support from friends and family. as i unfolded my plans and ideas to the people i love i got nothing but love and support back. people helped me decide where to go, helped me sell my stuff, brought me travel gifts, took me out for dinners, gave advice, let me store a few things at their houses and 1 gave me a ride to the airport and a final hug in the US!

to all of you i want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

i especially want to thank mom and dad and my sister cynthia who listened to this idea and NEVER discouraged me from doing it. in fact i have no memory of anything but complete support and encouragement. i’m a lucky guy to have such a great family :)

and now for the credits

thank you to: bob, james, carol, chris, courtney, jonathon, dave, anja, anya, melanie, dave, rachel, greg, mike, andre, joseph, quinn, nick, chris, bob, bob, everyone at hotel xalteva, ali, tyler, heidi, cheryn, benjamin, ylva, art, debra, linda, karl, heather, sean, brian, robert, and erich just to name a few.

stay tuned

stay tuned for more photos and stories from the philippines :)


  1. Gilda Harger says:

    Feliz Año Nuevo Mark!
    Congrats on pursuing your dreams and aspirations. My friend Cristina is Filipina, perhaps she can provide you with some recommendations?

    Enjoy and take a nice long swim in that gorgeous warm water for me!

  2. You did it! Did you take that picture??? Looks amazing! I like! Can’t wait to hear more adventures…very inspiring!

  3. Been working on WP and finally published the new hotel site. Please be nice for I still have a ways to go but I’m enjoying every minute of the learning process. My Virgo mind loves the necessary right and left side brain work. You are living my dream so keep at it for I will be living vicariously through you. The Universe has given you an amazing opportunity and it’s wonderful that you are aware enough to grab hold and ride the wave. Very few will experience life like you. Cheers to you my friend!

    • mark brenwall says:

      hi heidi. please stay in touch as you work both sides of your brain. i welcome the opportunity to be a resource for you. also please share my appreciation with the staff of the best hotel in granada nicaragua :)

  4. AWESOME! We are so excited for you Mark. What an exciting new adventure you have ahead of you. I can’t wait to hear all the stories! Make every day count. Live Deliberately. Reach Upward.

    • mark brenwall says:

      thanks greg. you guys have been and continue to be a big part of making this dream into reality. i appreciate you and rachel and your prodding to find whats meaningful!

  5. Yeah!! How awesome. The only thing, is that I wish we could join you there at your poolside :) Hopeful we’ll meet in person sooner than Brazil in 2016 :)

  6. Bob Gower says:

    Great news man. So glad to see you making this happen and I can’t wait to watch it develop. Heck I may need to come visit you in February—NYC is damn cold.


  7. Mark, You’re living my dream! Now to catch up to you! Thanks for your inspiration! You’ve done it!

    • mark brenwall says:

      J. if you guys make it to NZ for a while im coming to visit. make it happen sir. your already on your way!

  8. Sounds amazing mark. I hope to go to the Philippines in the next couple years to learn to scuba and spear fish.
    As usual I’m obsessed about finances. Are you earning enough passive income to be self-sufficient doing this? or will you have to work while there?

    • mark brenwall says:

      Hi Josh, there’s a secret about passive income and its that it still takes work. But I love what I do so I think of it as getting to work and not having to work. I am earning enough passive income to easily afford living here and I’m still doing some consulting because I like it. I also like to keep all my bases covered. I’ll continue to consult for the clients that I like. I’ll also continue to build passive income as well.

  9. what. what?! i couldn’t be prouder.

  10. Hammocks and flip flops rule! Good for you, Mark.

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