TRAVEL INTERVIEW: TAL OF TAL-GUR.COM
Recently an outgoing guy by the name of Tal somehow found this travel blog and contacting me about doing a guest post. Although I don’t bring guest posts on my site, once I looked at Tal’s website, I knew I wanted to get to know him. I promptly asked him to do an interview instead, and here we are.
Several things caught my attention about Tal and his site Tal-Gur, most dramatically that he has achieved financial freedom for himself at the young age of 30-something. With financial independence, he can (and does) do whatever he wants. So, he recently made an 18-month RTW trip. The year before that he completed an Ironman Triathalon. The guy is all about personal challenges, personal growth, and freedom. That’s what his website is about too. Today we find out all about this remarkable young man.
Q1: Could you please tell us about your website Tal-Gur:
When and why did you create it? What’s it all about / what do you write about?
I created Tal-gur.com sometime in 2007 as a way to keep connected with my family and friends. As the site grew in popularity, its purpose has changed to encourage others to live out their dreams through the sharing of my personal journeys, and in the pursuit of my own dreams.
The topics I write about are:
- Designing your life
- Knowing yourself better
- Reaching Peak Fitness
- Gaining Financial Freedom
- Building Meaningful Relationships
- Exploring The World
- Making A Difference
Q2. When you first started traveling the world, you went to Australia and fell in love with it. Why are you crazy about Australia?
In short: beautiful people, great weather, strong economy, rich culture and amazing landscape. It’s hard not to fall in love with such endearing qualities. I still remember my first day in Australia… I felt like I belonged from the first moment I walked out of the airport!
Q3. You moved to Melbourne several years ago. Aside from loving Australia, were there things you disliked about Israel that made you want to live in a different country?
In many ways Australia is the opposite of Israel. It is spacious, stable and extremely relaxed. Besides, I always loved the English language, so living there just made sense in my case. In genera,l I would say that both countries have their own unique qualities. Israel was great but Australia fits my current personality a bit more.
Q4. Do you think you’ll live in Australia forever?
I like to keep my future unknown so I can’t really answer your question with absolute certainty. I just feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to live in such great country.
Q5. In 2009-2010, you made an 18-month RTW trip. What regions of the world did you visit during that journey?
I began in Southeast Asia. From there I went on to explore Europe, South America and then up to North America.
Q6. What were 2-3 of your best experiences during that trip?
One of my favorite experiences was trekking through the Himalayas in Nepal. Beside the amazing scenery, I saw some of the happiest people I’ve ever met. Although the locals might be labeled as poor by Western standards, many of them had such a joyous spark in their eyes. They really know how to appreciate the simple things in life – things we often take for granted.
My Vipassana experience was another memorable chapter of that trip. It was quite extreme but had its own benefits. In Vipassana you are not allowed to speak, read, or write. It is a complete withdrawal from the outside world, physically and mentally. You have to spend all day in total silence, sitting with your eyes closed and focus on one object of attention. For two days I had to focus on the air coming out of my nostrils… Now there’s a challenging experience for you.
Q7. What are the most important insights/lessons you learned from traveling nomadically for 18 months?
Firstly, to slow down… Allowing enough time in one place, taking the time to get to know people, appreciating the depth and richness of one place instead of rushing from one tourist site to another. For instance, I spent more than a month in Buenos Aires, an experience that allowed me not only to learn Spanish, but also to feel the vibe of the city and sense the rhythm of Argentinean people.
Secondly, to turn off my mobile and be fully present to the travelling experience. While being connected to Facebook and Skype has its own benefits, the downside is that we’re not fully engaged in where we are and in what we do. From my perspective, focused attention is quality – The more focus we bring to something, the fuller our experience will be.
Thirdly, to fully embrace the unknown, which is one of the reasons I decided to throw away my lonely planet at some point of the trip . I personally find it more exciting to receive advice from locals than finding them in a book. The way I see it, the more we know about a place, the less adventure we’ll experience.
Last, to incorporate simplicity and minimalism into my life. I recently wrote about the benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle in my blog. A Minimalist Lifestyle
Q8. A few years ago, you attended a Tony Robbins seminar which apparently had a great impact on you. What are 2-3 most important concepts / perspectives you learned at that seminar?
Well, one perspective had, by far, the greatest impact on me. As I sat through Tony Robbins seminar I realized that freedom is one of my most deeply-held values. As a result of this, I decided to start focusing on wealth creation and financial independence so I could quit my job and travel the world. I did not want to set an ending date for my trip. I wanted to experience freedom on a whole new level, freedom which seems more difficult and rare to attain these days.
Q9. Your life seems to be all about personal growth and making profound personal challenges and ‘journeys’. You’ve already completed several impressive challenges, including an Ironman Triathlon, your RTW trip, and creating financial freedom for yourself. Do you have any new challenges lined up or in mind to do next?
My current challenge is to diversify my financial wealth so I can move forward with future dreams. Next challenge will probably be in the area of relationship and well being. I usually have one focus per year. It allows me to immerse myself within the chosen area of focus and spur more growth as a result of it.
Q10. So, at the ripe young age of 30-something, you’ve already created financial freedom for yourself. That’s awesome! What do you like best about being financially independent?
That’s really easy to answer. One word: freedom. Waking up every morning knowing that I am completely free to choose what I want to do. Being able to spend time with my loved ones whenever I need to. Being able to go anywhere I want. Contribute to the world in whatever way I choose. Total Freedom is really priceless.
Q12. What can you recommend to others, like myself, who would also like to achieve financial freedom?
The key lies in two vital components: Creating passive income and minimize expenses. If you want to achieve financial freedom, then you’ll have to take massive action in both areas. In fact, I’ve just started a blog called Passively Free containing strategies and interviews around the topic, you might want to check it out. One important thing to remember is that the road to financial freedom is a journey, an ongoing process, that takes time, hard work, and mostly, sacrifice!
Thanks so much, Tal, for sharing your travels, insights, and life experiences. It’s always great to meet a fellow freedom seeker!
Tw: Tal Gur