Healthier, happier & in love: How 1 year in Latin America changed my life

TL;DR — A lot can change in a year. I went from a gray Midwest city in the United States to the healthiest, happiest and most in love I’ve ever been. If I can do it, you can too.

I was living in Indianapolis, USA. Working for the “man.” Set to make $70k a year at the bottom of the food chain in a local consulting company.

What was I doing? What was the goal?

As a naturally happy, optimistic person (thanks to Peter Diamandis), I was content. I made the most of my opportunities. I had a good job. I had great friends.

So why did I choose to light it all on fire, quit my job and move out of the United States?

In short, I wasn’t living my dream. And chances are, you’re not either.

These are the benefits of finally taking control and flipping your life 180 degrees:


This is something I didn’t quite realize until I moved out of the United States. But my ability to scale my business and move around the world is entirely tied to my health.

The more physically healthy I am = The more mentally productive I am = The more money I make

So how did I double down on my health when I moved out of the U.S.?

1. Sun is abundant

The map below indicates Earth’s “blue zones,” where people live the longest, healthiest, most fulfilling lives.

 How 1 year in Latin America changed my life

What do you immediately notice about the location of these blue zones? Yep, they all hover just north of the equator.

Sun is correlated with longevity and happiness. Much more than you may think.

Do I notice any difference? Yes.

2. Food is less processed and more accessible

You don’t realize how bad American food is until you venture out of local grocery stores and to Latin America.

Sure, Colombians cook with more seed oil (🤮) than I’m comfortable with. But I now have more access to …

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Farm-to-butcher meats
  • Less processed foods
 How 1 year in Latin America changed my life

In the United States, you pay a premium for healthy food. It’s the same reason why you see such horrible obesity rates in low-income areas.

Healthy food is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be.

Venture south and you’ll realize eating right is a lot easier when you’re in an environment that actually values health.

3. My fitness regimen

I have a bit more time on my hands in Latin America. So I’ve been working out twice a day for the last year.

  • Cardio in the morning to wake up my brain and body
  • Weight training mid-day to energize my afternoon

There’s nothing a tough shirtless workout on a sunny day in the mountains can’t solve for your mood, productivity and fitness.

It’s been a combination of all these things that have led me to my healthiest form in my life. It’s just easier and more accessible to be fit in Latin America than it is in the United States.


1. Family structure in Latin America

I’ve touched on this before, but I’ll hammer it home.

(To truly experience family relationships, you have to take a trip to Latin America and stay with a family or meet someone who’s willing to share.)

Immediately when I arrived in November 2021, the owners of my apartment welcomed me with open arms. Now just a year and a half later, they’re like my second family.

A grandmother, daughter, two sons and a grandson all smashed into a 3-bedroom apartment.

But you know what? They wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Walkability of Colombian cities

One thing I love about living in Latin America – and Medellín particularly – is the walkability of its cities.

Because few people own cars, they need their daily goods at a walking distance.

So throughout the day, I walk a lot. Sometimes 20k steps. This means I’m always within a ten-minute walk from …

  • Green space like a park
  • Fresh fruit and veggies
  • Café and coworking
  • A few restaurants
  • Food market
  • Butcher
  • Gym
  • Mall

When you’re zooming by going 60 mph on a concrete highway surrounded by concrete walls, you aren’t focused on anything but the podcast in your stereo system.

An added bonus of walking a lot is your ability to notice things:

“Every day is filled with opportunities to be amazed, surprised, enthralled — to experience the enchanting everyday. To stay eager. To be, in a word, alive.”

— Rob Walker, The Art of Noticing

Day-to-day is easy. No commute. No noise. No stress.

 How 1 year in Latin America changed my life

3. More free than ever

More time to yourself means more alignment with your goals.

Living in Latin America allows me to slow down and reflect on what I truly want in life. Seriously big life questions come up every day…

  • Do you really want to work with other people?
  • Where are you most happy and most fulfilled with life?
  • How can you provide the most impact to the people you most want to help?

I opted out of the rat race. And man, does that feel good.

Instead of growing someone else’s business, I’m focused entirely on achieving my own. This newfound clarity and direction makes me endlessly happy.

In love

1. Learned language immediately

One of my first priorities upon landing in Latin America was to learn Spanish, so I didn’t feel like an alien.

To fully immerse yourself in the local culture, to learn their ways, to share their customs, to connect with people beyond superficial topics, to adopt their ideals and share yours too, you have to learn their language.

As an American, I always expected foreigners in our country to learn our language but also encouraged them to maintain their customs, culture and norms.

I’m doing the same now in Latin America.

So how’d I learn? Conversation. Sorry, there’s no other way.

Give Duolingo all your money, and an app still won’t teach you a language.

Talk about real stuff with real people in real settings. That is how you will learn.

(Shoutout to Twitter friend August for launching Language Blend)

2. Connected with nature & the people around me

Latin America is a region of breathtaking natural beauty – both in its nature and people.

From lush Amazonian jungle to breathtaking Ecuadorian Andes to pristine Panamanian beaches, I’ve fallen in love with each place I’ve gone.

But there’s one thing that was missing from all my travels: A sense of home.

That’s why I’m investing in residency in Colombia and permanently moving to Medellín.

  • My girlfriend is here
  • My second family is here
  • I love the Paisa culture and weather

But more than all, I need a home to be at my best self. To be my most productive, most spontaneous and in-the-moment, most connected with the world and people around me.

Constantly looking toward your next flight is a tough way to live. It was great to explore and understand where I wanted to spend more time, but I’m set for a while.

So yes, I’m the healthiest, happiest and most in love I’ve ever been. Thanks to one short year in some of the most beautiful places on the planet – alongside the most beautiful face on the planet.

My journey to Latin America has been transformative. And I know it could be for you too.

Questions for me? DM or email me.

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If I were to dedicate the next Freedom Files YouTube video to you and one challenge you’re facing right now, what would that issue be?

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I started an online business, lived in 10 countries, learned a new language, bought international real estate, and got residency in Latin America – all within 2 years.

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