If you thought you had life all figured out and life suddenly decided to go another way, you might have been disappointed, upset, angry at the world, sucked into “why-me” pity mode…
But maybe you decided to look at that “detour” in your journey as an opportunity to discover a new way through.
If you life took an unexpected turn, and you kept traveling it anyway, then you’re a Detourist.
Don’t get it yet? Or just want to watch a really fun super-quick video about it?
Meet Julian, The Detourist
My name is Julian Hosp and I’m a Detourist.
When I meet with people and they ask me about what I do and where I come from, I already know the people’s next questions – depending on which part of my life I dig a bit deeper into, they go something like:
- What makes someone leave their home at the age of 16 to move to another country all by himself?
- What drove you to pursue a professional kitesurfing career even though there is no sea where you are from?
- Why would you study 6 years of medicine, just to not work as a medical doctor after graduation?
- How did you go from near bankruptcy to financial independence in just a few years?
- Why move to Hong Kong?
And so on… Many of the answers did not make any sense at the time when I took those decisions and detours but they make absolute sense today looking backwards. I recently wrote a book called “25 Stories I would tell my Younger Self” that is targeting Millennials, where I tell many of these stories with the thinking processes that went on at that time.
I wrote in hope that many other people at my age would pick it up, to be inspired by the detours I took and the wonderful results I got from them. I believe that many more people would be a Detourist, would they know how many others are actually out there taking seemingly crazy decisions, that do make a lot of sense however after all. Many are just too scared to take a detour, and since there is not enough social proof, they stay on a seemingly straight path – without much of the excitement, fun and mind-blowing results a detour could bring. Today I want to talk about a detour I took – literally speaking – By flying from Europe to Lima, just to change my mind on the plane and head straight back after landing. Sounds nuts? Probably, but wait until you see the results I got from that little detour.
It was the fall of 2011 and I had just come out of a mental leapfrog conference. My friends and family had strongly advised me not to go to such a “brainwashing event”. Strong-minded as I had always been, I still went. I had just quit being a doctor after over 6 years of studying medicine, and anyone around me thought I was out of my mind. Going to that seminar seemed to fit perfectly with my behavior. The event was great and truly mind opening. Some might call it brainwashing, but I would call it “freeing”. The main topic was about how important making a firm decision was. I had made a lot of firm decisions in my life already, and therefore I could identify myself with the speaker and the topics he was discussing. I wrote dozens of pages of notes, and couldn’t sleep all night during the seminar. I was thinking about how to apply the lessons into my life. I had just quit working as a surgeon in hope for starting my own business and becoming “free” again. Free, as I had been when I was a professional kitesurfer, travelling the world non-stop. When I started working in the hospital, that freedom to travel was gone within an instant. Now, that I had quit my job however, I could not come up with a good plan on how to execute my dreams, and that had been the main reason why I had gone to this event in the first place. I wanted to find answers.
After the weekend the plan was to celebrate not working at the hospital anymore by flying to Lima in Peru and trek up to the Machu Picchu together with a doctor colleague from Sweden. On the one hand I was slightly disappointed that I did not have a “mental breakthrough” during the seminar by coming up with a clear plan about what to do, but on the other hand I was really fired up to get stuff done. I guess, that is why “they” call it brainwashing – I was as motivated as I had hardly ever been before in my life. The thought of flying to Peru and trekking through the jungle for days without any electricity or Internet connection was not a good one. I wanted to execute my business ideas. Not climb rocks up and down. The 14-hour flight was agonizing. With every hour more, I had the urge to turn around and get down to work on some of the ideas ranging from ecommerce to websites to import businesses and many more. Suddenly they all started to make sense and it seemed as if solutions to the problems just kept solving themselves in my mind. Three hours before landing I had made up my mind: I had to go back. If I trek for 10 days in Peru, I will lose the energy and drive, and I would not be able to capitalize on my energy burst. It was as firm of a decision as I had never made one before. It was more than rock solid. I knew my friend was going to be upset, and I knew no one would understand why I had spent thousands of dollars to pay for flights, travel, gear and guides in advance, just to cancel everything now – for a seemingly stupid idea to act upon my dreams.
As soon as we touched down, I told my friend that he would have to go without me. He was devastated on one hand, but he saw the fire in my eyes, and the passion for what I wanted to do. As he was a very experienced climber he was not scared to trek alone and I knew that. I hugged him good-bye, while I called my travel agent in Austria to book my flight straight back. He could not believe what I was saying and my friends at home replied after hearing my message: “See, that is this brainwashing we were talking about. You are totally mental!” Eventually my detour cost me almost 10,000 US$ taking all expenses into account. Yes, that is what many detours are… A seemingly longer way to get to your goal.
But what happened afterwards was something that hardly anyone could have foreseen: The decision to get my business started straight away with full speed was firmer than anything I have done before. I could work laser focused, without feeling distracted by anything else. When something popped up and tried to grab my attention, I reminded myself why I spent those 10K and turned around straight away. It was for a clear reason and that reason gave me the power and energy to keep going. This eventually brought me to Hong Kong, made me financially free by the age of 29 and inspired me to write my book.
Whenever I talk to people today and talk about their or my detours, I remind them how important such detours are as long as you believe in it all making sense after all. Steve Jobs once said “Points in life do not connect looking forward – only when looking backwards” – and that is so true. So, whenever you find yourself on a “detour”, understand that it is up to you to make such a detour actually become a shortcut to your goals and dreams.
And that’s why…I #LoveMyDetour and every single one I ever took!
About Julian Hosp
Dr. Julian Hosp is an author, entrepreneur, and leapfrog high performer. Julian was born in 1986 in Austria. In his teens he played professional basketball in Austria and then went on to become a professional kitesurfer for almost ten years. There he wrote his first book, “Kitesurfing Tricktionary”. He graduated from Innsbruck Medical University in 2011, but later he decided to employ his hard-earned skills and discipline in the business world, rather than in medicine. Looking back, he describes that decision as one of the hardest ones in his life, as both his family and friends expected him to develop a career as a medical doctor. In 2012 Julian moved to Hong Kong, together with his partner Bettina, to expand his business ventures in Asia. Today he is not only a successful author and entrepreneur, but has become a much sought-after public speaker, coach, and motivational trainer for individuals and companies all over the world. His life motto is “work-life-balance is all about doing that one thing 100%” and his favorite food is the fastest food available to save time. Currently Julian is still based in Hong Kong and when not pursuing his next venture is out playing basketball or rocking the waves, kitesurfing. The best ways to connect with Julian are on 25 Stories, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Wow! Thank you so much Julian! What a force to be reckoned with! Following your dreams ican be scary – especially when you aren’t quite sure how your detour will end. But I think Julian will tell you himself, it’s worth it!
Instagram #LoveMyDetour Challenge
There’re more than one way to share your detour. Sing it, dance it, walk it. Take a picture of your detour and share it with me on Instagram with #LoveMyDetour – anything goes! I’ll be featuring your pictures every week in my #LoveMyDetour Gallery – or start a Detourist Chapter on your college campus!
Hold up a sign, draw a picture, snap a photo of your path. It could be the very road in front of you…you never really know where it leads, do you?
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