Wandering Aimlessly? Or Finding Clarity? More Like Partying…

Brian Huy Mac
10 min readDec 15, 2021


Original Post: January 14, 2020

So my last day of work was Aug 16th… as of today will be almost 5 months into my sabbatical trip. It’s been a bit of surreal whirlwind of excitement, discovery, decisions and even more questions then I began with. I originally set out with the intention of pushing pause to explore both places and myself yet I’ve found myself pulled into this vortex that is Bali. It has been in the best way possible that things worked out and really has made me proud of having a direction but not being afraid to zig and zag as needed.

Bali Family Adventures in Ubud

A lot of people have been reaching out to me about my sabbatical/trip so far and I’ll do my best to shed some light into the logistics / thought process as it has unfolded to this point.

  • I had saved about $20,000 USD with the intention of traveling around Central America on my points learning Spanish, then heading to SE Asia to join Axel Moreau surfing, then some Australia/NZ bucket check over 4 months after Burning Man (recap at end).
  • Went into the journey with some goals like learn Spanish, ukulele, surf, however the real challenge of leaving myself open to changes. Forcing myself to gravitate towards where my mind wandered, maybe find a volunteer thing that I decide to do for 2 months, fall in love, be a digital nomad for a year starting a business, etc. Just being open to the adventure and rediscovering purpose (what moves me).
  • 10 Days into Costa Rica after 2 days straight of rain I wasn’t in the groove. I thought rainy season was like rain for an hour or 2 with less tourists around, nope wasn’t the case (ALL DAY/NIGHT) and the surf was a mess at that time. I really toiled as I had this grand plan to be Spanish speaking Latin Lover BMac, but Costa Rica was definitely not cheap (don’t do shared dorms anymore), and I was just sitting in a coworking space watching shows.

I feel you buddy…

  • With planning to meet Axel Moreau to surf in SE Asia in a few weeks anyways, I reached out to my friend Leannah Lumauig in Bali, where I had been twice before, and was like how’s the weather? She’s like it’s good… 15mins later the tickets were booked and I was on my way! Costa Rica → Dallas → Vancouver (layover) → Taipei → Bali
  • Funny how the world works out… I had an unintentional layover in Austin, TX because of flooding in Dallas. 1) I ended up sitting next to a person working at a company I’ve been following for a year because I love their mission/challenge (Finding Purpose). 2) Let me catch up w. an old colleague Johnny Cope and get to meet his wonderful family (Ana Maria Fuentes + kiddos teaching them how to breakdance). As we sat in the garden drinking wine catching up on life, sharing stories, a shift occurred in my mind… the idea of “prioritizing” love/intimacy roles in a relationship and how maybe it’s actually pretty nice that your partner doesn’t do all the same things you do (ie. surfing). Something about being in the right place for something → I have been trying to read The Way of the Superior Man for years, and 5 months later devoured it in a few days / highlighting entire passages. Masculine vs Feminine Energy.
  • Got to stop in Vancouver for a few days. Had a blast Goddess Tarot Card pre-drinking laughs with Michelle Wong + @Jamie — yet at the same time, the cards really resonated with me lol. Catching up with old friends Danielle Natasha and Kelsey Wolff — which has been a recurring wonderful theme on this adventure.

Van City in the House

Bali and Beyond (3.5 Months on and off)

So immediately landing in Canggu I felt I was in the right place…

  • Got to catch up with my inspiring friend Leannah Lumauig who first introduced me to Bali 2 years ago. Felt alive getting back into Crossfit, Surfing, and eating all the delicious food in town.

What a life!

  • Met new friends I immediately felt connected with (Krs Joseph / Joshua Scott / Evgeniya Chernyshkova / Stephanie Redman / Andrew Pearce/ Nicole Horak / some not on FB) and in only a few days whirlwind of excitement unfolded..
  • Toastmasters Speaking
  • Anderson Paak @ the Lawn
  • Mrs. Sippy extravaganza
  • Day trip to Ubud — Pyramids of Chi Sound Healing
  • Diplo @ Finns for charity event
  • I knew after 2 weeks of the people I met, activities explored, I wanted MORE, more time to spend in Bali, that and everyone was like you are moving here… DAMN YOU! So after a 2 week surf trip to the Philippines I decided to come back and spend at least a month.
  • Well that month has turned into 3 months… with visa runs (30 days or 60 days max stay) in between to Singapore, and upcoming trip to Thailand.
  • Decided to make Canggu my basecamp for my trip and dive back into the things that bring me joy while taking mini trips to explore (Ubud, Uluwatu, Nusa P, Singapore, Thailand). I let go of going to Australia/NZ so my budget for 4 months was able to be stretched to 7+ months with SE Asia travel only ($2000–2500 / month all in — travel, accommodations, food, training, and entertainment — biggest cost).
  • Making Space for Joy:
  • Music → DJing a Halloween party at friend’s villa, going out to DJs / venues in Canggu — made me realize how much I missed making time for it and how I love making the “party”. Thanks Oscar Santiago for bringing my mixer to Bali.

Freddy Mac on the 1’s and 2's

  • Moving the Body Fitness → From surfing to Crossfit, to Muy Thay, to Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, there’s so much to do to move your body let alone new stuff to explore (Nirvana Strength Gymnastics I am coming for you!)
  • Dancing → Udara Ecstatic dancing on Sunday’s is my happy place, going out dancing with friends as well. Opening myself to learn some new stuff like “Contact Dancing” thanks Vinix Vee

Being my “Energizer” tribal dance machine

Who let this animals out of the jungle?? IF YOU WANT TO DANCE… TAKE OF YOUR PANTS!

Needless to say Bali has been a wonderful basecamp for me to really do more of the things I enjoy in life. That and it’s been a great place to reflect and find clarity for what I want to do next. Hence, I decided to build a place here to have as a rental but also as a home surf base when I need it. Keep you posted on it more as things unfold but should be done by Nov. So throwing it out there now for people to clear your calendar BALI NYE my place!

See you in BALI NYE!

My Bali Exploring Google Pin Lists

Any questions on traveling / exploring Bali always here to help!

Burning Man Recap

I kicked things off in Black Rock City with the OKNOTOK family. I can’t express how grateful I am for all the souls I met there and for David Jeremy Higdon for bringing me into this band of misfits. I talked a little bit in my last post and the video recap below brings me happiness every time I look at it. It really re-affirmed my wonder at how people can give and create for others along with the joy that brings without needing anything back (coming from a place of abundance vs scarcity). That and how grateful I am for how connected our souls are like a spiderweb… even now I run into people on this trip where Burning Man becomes this great sharing session. I am 100% going back next year (more on this later), however I will say it definitely is not for everyone. I really believe you need to be willing to give/contribute to building something, and not just a passive participant who shows up to “party” for 3 days. It will push your boundaries, inspire, and more, IF you are ready to let go and give.


Burning Man Recap Video

Trust me the cliche of quitting your job, going to burning Man and then off to travel the world is not lost on me (mid life crisis right??). I said it before as I began this process years ago it wasn’t a matter of running away from anything, more like wanting to create the “unstructured space” to wander.

Siargao, Philippines Recap

Got to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends and surf amigo Axel Moreau. Was some beautiful surf, lazying around, and putting some “Crucial Conversations” skills to work with Nicolas Bancel the last 2 days lol ♥ A big realization for me was it was nice to be remote/nature, however when there’s no surf, my preference is to be in a place with more access to things. Able to do more stuff like Crossfit, Jiu-Jitsu, variety in food, and how much an impact decent wifi speed makes! At least they had Karaoke!


Sarfs Up Bros!

Singapore Recap

Sure you can have everything!

What’s Next — Thailand + Vietnam PHO YES + Beyond Eh!

Going to Thailand (Jan 20–25) for a week visa run (every 30 or 60 days) to meet up with the worldly adventurer Kinga Budakowska + 8hr layover in Bangkok on way back let’s so how that plays out haha

Then it’s back to Bali for 3 weeks before heading to Vietnam for the last leg of trip (mid Feb — Mar). I am super excited to finally explore my parents roots and eat all the food. Planning on volunteering for 2 weeks in Saigon then taking a 3 week motorcycle ride from the South to North exploring the heart of Vietnam.

After that it is either going to be:

A) New start up in Bay Area, LA, or NYC that aligns with really tackling a problem I believe in my core about (governance, health, uplifting access) with the right people and potential OR

B) Back home to Toronto for a few months (haven’t lived there in over 12+ years) to spend time with my family and friends while finding some consulting/contracting work. With Barcelona wedding July, Burning Man end of August.

Sharing the Wandering Mind

Think one of the best things has been having time to read and watch things without restriction. It’s funny how I’ve been knocking a few more off the https://personalmba.com/best-business-books/ and just silly science fiction as usual. Also, going down YouTube blackholes on topics like DJing, bouldering, surfing, etc. However, here are my curated lists of all time reading / YouTube if you are looking for inspiration / skill development:

Thank you #PushPause2019 Sabbatical for all the magical new souls I’ve met and strengthening existing ones. I feel like I am in a very good place and excited for 2020.

Here’s to continuing to #MAKESPACE2020 for the things I love and building purpose!