I’ve always felt privileged to live in what people would consider nice places. My current homebase is in Quebec City, in one of the most popular streets of the city, next to houses valued at $8 millions. I’ve always been proud of being lucky enough to grab this condo while it was in more than bad condition and made it my own, now more valuable than ever.
That, until I had a view.
The view really changed it all. My place, which I loved so much for so long and just wanted to renovate and make it “perfect” now has become more of a liability than an asset.
I feel like I’ve been brainwashed.
I never should have done it. Living the high life. But it happened and that was a total game changer for me.
Enough of mystery sentences, let me explain what happened:
Last year was a terrible year for me (blog post to follow soon). A lot of things happened. But also, on the other side, I’ve experienced a life that most would probably envy. I was travelling almost 50% of the year. I did not cheap out on expenses, it was costly, but also pretty cool in some way.
Business was booming, and I thought that being in Japan would be an investment since I could talk directly with companies I deal with, see faces, build stronger relationships and enjoy living in Japan.
I was mostly wrong, except for the positive with companies.
What happened here is that I was used to living in cheap AirBNB places in Tokyo. I was aiming for “fun” and “hyped” locations where I could live fully, enjoy nightlife and meet people. For the past 4 trips, I’ve lived in Shinjuku, Roppongi & twice in Shibuya. Those are pretty much the most “alive” places in Tokyo. On my 5th trip, I decided to try booking my place while I was in Japan (and not prior to my trip).
I made a terrible mistake.
I was having a few drinks with one of my friends and saw a cool AirBNB ad in a place called Yoyogi. My friend explained me that Yoyogi is pretty cool because it’s in a neighbor of Tokyo, but easy to access all the cool places I’ve enjoyed going to in the past. Price of the apartment was also pretty good.
This was the ad:
Pictures did not show much :
I asked some stupid questions to the owner because I was wondering if there was a catch :
-Is there a bathroom and shower ?
-Is there a kitchen at all ?
Everything was confirmed to be there by the owner, so I decided to rent it. One thing he forgot to mention to me was how fucking beautiful his place was.
When I first arrived in the apartment, my jaw dropped on the floor. I was used to live in crappy places in Tokyo, because I was on some sort of self-limiting budget and always ended up in very “normal” places. This seemed like a very expensive, new and modern building. Not something I’m used to, especially in Japan. The other thing was that this was actually the least expensive AirBNB I’ve ever rented in Japan. The owner offered me a 40% discount if I booked a month and this made the whole thing about $42 per day, which is insanely cheap in Tokyo.
I arrived at night and was so amazed to be on 9th floor of a building and see all the beautiful lights of Tokyo :
(After re-checking the images, they don’t look as great as in real life…)
Then, when I woke up the next day, I discovered that I really did hit Jackpot. The place was just amazing, it had a beautiful modern kitchen, nice and comfy bed on a mezannine, some training equipment, a huge shower and this very shower had speakers in it so I could play music while cleaning myself.
But on top of that, and most importantly, it had a view. Even from my bed.
The view changed it all.
I felt like I was living on top of the world. Who can say that they have uncluttered view in Tokyo, or in New York City? That only happens if you score a 75th floor penthouse or live next to a park.
I happened to live next to the biggest park in Tokyo : Yoyogi Park.
I noticed that the apartment cleared every other building in the area, was next to a park and this gave it an amazing view. Having a view means that every day you can enjoy sunshine and sunrise. Seeing that in a big city is impossible for most. I enjoyed it so much that I did two timelapses to show you :
The place even had a freaking rooftop. The view from there was even nicer than the one in the apartment.
During my trip, I called my mother and told her how positive effect living in this beautiful place had on me. I felt refreshed, happy and just enjoyed living in Tokyo more than usually. I was cooking for the first time during my many Tokyo trips (and it was really fun to discover and try food I couldn’t even read labels).
I was healthier and happier.
I also learned to live with less. The minimalist lifestyle just made so much sense. No need for unnecessary, buy top quality items that you need instead of lower quality stuff that will fill up space.
It was a big mindset change that affected me on so many points that I started doing it back home (more on that on a future blog post).
And since all good things come to an end, I had to come back to my place in Canada at one point. I gotta say that it first felt good to be back in my bed, have my stuff around and see my friends again.
However, I was not happy anymore with the place (homebase) I lived at.
I live next to a crowded street, I’m lucky enough to have a corner unit that brings lots of sun, but the windows are small and my view is either on a street or on a tree.
I started to look around for a new place, in Quebec City (homebase), but all places had always two issues for me :
- Too expensive
- No view
I kind of abandoned looking for something and decided to live the dream and went back to Japan for another month.
Luckily enough I was able to rent the place again and enjoyed it fully for a month. I started asking the owner how much approx. was his apartment and he told me it was valued $750 000 USD. And being only about 400 square feet (tiny), it makes it one hell of an expensive place that I cannot afford at the moment.
I came back home after that and decided that I’d rent this place in Tokyo as much as I could. The owner lives there partially and usually go on business trips for 1+ month. He gave me dibs and I was super happy that I could basically live multiple months of the year in a dream place at a really good price versus what it’s worth.
My dream was cut short because the owner called me and told me he was relocated to Amsterdam and “let go” the apartment. That meant for me that I probably will never be able to be in this very location.
It got me pretty sad to be honest. As I knew I had to go back to Japan from time to time and I’d be back in crappy places, most likely.
That’s when I decided to search for places with views, outside of my country. I don’t just look for a view, but also look for a nice lifestyle, security (really important, I hate being stressed) and, while at it, nice weather.
All my researches ended up showing places I couldn’t afford, but one magic thing happened.
This caused many places in Europe to be sold (still not 100% sure of the reason), but thousands of homes were on sale and this drove the price down in many nice places in Europe.
I then discovered that ocean view can be bought/rented for much cheaper than I anticipated in Spain. I’ve never been to Spain, but for me, it sounds like a cheap, fun, safe country with probably a bunch of nice people (no one says Spain people are bad). Also, seems like a great place for Digital Nomads, so I think this may be a sign.
Started reading some books about how waiting for ever will bring nothing good in life, so I decided that this year I’ll be travelling Spain for a few weeks to find where my next relaxing haven will be, unless I find something better in the meanwhile.
I was not expecting to be back in real estate shopping for a while, but the budget I had to renovate my homebase just might be enough to put a cash down in a dream place.
To be continued…