Since I came back to Penang after living overseas for almost 25 years, I have started a new pilot project to see if it will take off and to decide if this is something I would enjoy doing. And, most importantly is to earn a living.
I am sure that I am not alone here. Having worked 9-5 most of my life and made a lifestyle choice to stop work mid of last year, I had to search deep in my heart and mind what I would like to do next. It wasn’t easy as my heart and my mind are not necessary in sync on what I should do next. There are key factors to consider; such as:
- money – how much can I earn, will it be sufficient to sustain my current financial obligation and lifestyle
- relationship – I am currently split between two places – Penang and Melbourne, but my long-time and life-time partner lives in Melbourne. It is not easy to live 6,650 km away from each other. When two people made the special vow and commitment to live together forever, there is that shared responsibility. This is important for a continuing sustainable and healthy relationship
- passion – this is not an easy thing to decide. One can search and keep searching for the meaning of passion in life. But, I believe it comes with years of experience in a person’s life after experiencing that special moment of finding happiness and joy that put a big smile on the face. And, the happiness, joy and fulfillment happens again and again over time with the same kind of personal experience, but may not be in the same kind of situation within the same environment. It is a common question to ask as a person nears a retirement age or intends to stop a 9-5 job and wondering what to do next. This happened to me last year as I made a conscious decision of stopping work to follow my passion. It does not necessary means making a lot of money. It is to follow my heart and do what I enjoy most and feel the little joy and happiness in people’s life that I have make a difference. I had this wonderful experience in 2 previous occasions, which not necessary made me wealthier, but certainly made me feel happier. The first time, I was studying in the United States working as an orientation leader and resident assistant. The second time, I was cooking in my own boutique restaurant in Tasmania. They were the happiest time of my work life, knowing that I could share my experience and knowledge with someone and getting positive feedback from a happy customer.
However, following one’s passion may not necessary be the right and best thing to do if there is a conflict on the first two points – money and relationship. In my situation, I’ve found what brings me joy and happiness; ie my passion, is to continue to learn about my culture and tradition, and to offer visitors to my hometown Penang through food and local experience through my pilot project, penanginsights.com. This decision conflicts with my current relationship and it is not making money to sustain my financial commitments. In the next few weeks, I would need to find the right balance between money-relationship-passion. What is most important in life.
I know that I have digressed from the main subject of this post, which is “My Kitchen, My Instant Restaurant”. There is a reason for it. That is, my passion for food and for cooking. One of my dream is to provide an instant restaurant for visitors who are interested to experience eating at a local’s home when they are travelling. It is a different experience from attending a local cooking class, which I am already offering to visitors, and have been getting positive reviews on TripAdvisor.
Last week I had the pleasure to host and entertain my family and relatives to a sumptous homecooked dinner in my own apartment in Penang. This could be your experience in future when you are in Penang looking for an instant restaurant in someone’s home. You can stay in touch with us by liking our Facebook Page for future announcement on the launch of Penang Insights’s My Instant Restaurant.