Learning to live your life on your own terms.

While in Florence, we saw a Uniform/T-shirt from a stylists that says “Hair is like Sex…Both need a lot of Passion.” Anyway…

Europe stole my heart many years ago. It’s what excites my heart and fills my soul. It’s hard getting back into life in the States when you’ve been overseas for a while. It’s hard re-adjusting to the American way of life. This eating dinner before 8pm, fast paced, goal oriented and never stopping to smell the roses, American life. I love America and I love being an American, but I just wish we adopted more than espresso and a few foreign actors. I wish we adopted their passion for life, the ability to truly admire beauty and the desire for life-enrichment without materialism. That last part probably sounds like bullshit coming from a girl who’s blog is titled “My Jet Set Life”, but it’s not. I’ll take family, friends and culture over Prada and I’ll choose  traveling 10 times a year over the big suburban house with a giant mortgage any day.

A few days ago I went to see the new Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which describes this difference between American and European cultures amazingly. Without ruining the movie, let me just say you’ll watch a dance between the two cultures through a typically Woody Allen love-octagon. You can feel the passion of the foreign born actors, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, cut through you like a knife. The American actors such as Scarlet Johnasson were wonderful, but couldn’t get to the same depth as their European counterparts. Watching this film made me miss Europe. It made me miss the deep culture and fiery passion that is just innate on the other side of the pond. It made me miss their desire to truly live each and every day filled with passion.

Sadly, the closest thing we have to Europe in the States is Starbucks. It’s one of the only places that’ll give you even a slight feel of the European culture on a day to day basis. I’m not fooled by the Italian drink names and thought of a Barista making my tea; it’s still very American with it’s sugary venti frappa-whatevers. (Did you ever notice the people drinking a venti anything are usually a little on the venti-side themselves?) But I do enjoy the sudo-relaxed culture that Starbucks creates. I’m actually in Starbucks now as I type this blog. I’m wishing it was filled with the lovely sounds of ceramic cups and saucers clinging and locals chatting passionately over the topic du jour. Instead, I’m overhearing the latest Multi-Level Marketing presentation at the next table, watching a frustrated man type feverishly on his laptop and the Barista pushing the latest “no sugar added, no fructose but still full of fat muffin”. I want to just scream, “Hey people, there’s more to life than working non-stop and satisfying a sweet tooth”. I want to walk around handing out Tim Ferriss’s 4HWW to everyone in hopes that they’ll develop a muse to fill their bank accounts, so they can stop living the deferred life plan. But, instead of being the crazy lady in Starbucks, I choose to vent (not to be confused with venti) through my blog. I just wish that more Americans would forget chasing the typical American dream (which usually ends in high debt and preventable illnesses) and start living their life now.

Here are my 5 favorite life lessons that will truly help you LIVE:

1. Steve Jobs: If you wake up and don’t love what you’re doing on that particular day and that happens too many days in a row, then you are doing the wrong thing.

2. Will Smith: The Key to Life is Running & Reading. Running – because learning to defeat the little voice inside that is telling you to stop, will teach you that you can overcome anything. Reading – because any problem you have has been had, solved and written about by someone else.

3. Tim Ferriss: Find a muse to earn the income you need to do what you really love to do and get off the deferred life plan. (You’ll know you’re on the deferred life plan if you find yourself saying this sentence to yourself “I will finally be happy when ______”.)

4. David Deida: Masculine & Feminine energy have a place in each of us. Learn to balance them in yourself and stay true to your core (example: women stay feminine) and learn to understand this energy in others (example: allow your man his time in the cave).

5. Tony Robbins: Gratitude & Laughter. The first thing you should do when your feet hit the floor each morning is give gratitude. You get one life, how you live it is your choice. Learn to laugh in the face of adversity. Know that everything happens just the way it’s supposed to, so learn to enjoy it. Be grateful for the gifts you are given, especially the bad ones because they always come with a good lesson and a silver lining.

I look forward to your comments. Ciao!



  • Reply
    John - Mormon Foodie
    September 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    That’s amazing. Thank you so much for reminding me of the difference between “success” as most of America defines, and real success. I’m reading 4-hr Work Week right now. As I’m doing the exercises everything is becoming so “real” that I’m starting to get scared. Any suggestions for overcoming fear?

  • Reply
    Sean Stoner
    September 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm


    This is an excellent post and you have nailed it 100%. Keep up the great writing and posts!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Fear is “an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”

    There are always going to be what ifs, and there will always be problems. The goal is to minimize the bad and enhance the good.

    Here’s an excerpt the the master Tim Ferriss himself:
    “Will “bad” things happen? Small problems will crop up, yes. A few people will complain and quickly get over it. BUT, the bigger picture items you complete will let you see these for what they are–minutiae and repairable hiccups.”

    You can find the entire blog post at:


    Hope this helps:)

  • Reply
    September 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Kim its great to read your articles – you reinforce the new lifestyles that are available to us all.

    Tims 4HWW really clicked with me, and I’ve decided to do a massive lifestyle change and take a mini/large-retirement overseas. I look forward to hearing more from you guys.

    p.s. What’s your main muse that supports your lifestyle? Is it the JetSetLife blog & products?

  • Reply
    Chris @ LifestyleProject.net
    September 5, 2008 at 6:30 am


    Nice post. As a European I like the thoughts. Mind you as an Englishmen I see a lot of differences between Brits and Europeans. The Brits have a more American culture probably.

    That’s why we’re moving to Barcelona…



  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 9:43 am

    I just came across your blog a few weeks ago. I love your outlook on life and I really think that all your travels have helped shape that.
    The first time that I went overseas, I was in college, and spent a semester in Sydney, Australia. I came back completely changed. They totally have the Europe mentality- while work is necessary, and they all wanted to do well, they could certainly balance their life and knew that there was more to life than houses and cars. We spent so much time just being there… it was an intense feeling I got. It helped me as an art student immensely.

    I haven’t read 4HWW but I will pick it up now. Thank you for your posts!!!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    well said, kim! your 5 life lessons are ones i also subscribe too – just finishing up deida’s way of the superior man and it’s excellent. i’m going to enjoy my final month in vancouver before i head for more exotic parts of the world to continue building my muse.

  • Reply
    Darren White
    September 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Awesome Kim!

    Your five lessons hit me hard today…great wake up calls to make sure you are ON the path!

    Thanks for your inspiration and tools to keep me living in the moment!


  • Reply
    Erik Shear
    September 8, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Really Great Post Kim,

    As much as I love Being American and the opportunities that affords me. I have to agree that there is something special about European culture that seduces us; makes us more passionate about life, and rejuvenates our souls from the the constant leeching that most Americans endure on a daily basis. Learning to live life, take risks, and push past our comfort zones is a rare but learnable skill that every one yearning for for freedom should embrace.


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