IN CONVERSATION WITH Cultural nomad, JACK MORRIS
JACK MORRIS, full-time nomad entrepreneur, is an all-or-nothing kinda guy. Traveling the world following his passion for the unknown he visits the most magical places while his loyal following shy of 2.5 million people tune in to see where he is going next.
Showcasing his atypical lifestyle via beautiful pictures of his home base Bali, south-East Asia, Europe, Africa, and many other places you can come up with. However, JACK MORRIS started young once too. After watching the movie The Beach he booked a one-way ticket to Bangkok, just as LEONARDO DICAPRIO’s character did. With all of his savings and a light backpack, he went on his way to find out the rest of his life.
Can you tell us more about yourself and your atypical daily life?
Sure! Originally I’m from a town called Bolton right by Manchester in the UK. It’s not the most glamorous-looking town, to say the least, haha, and I always knew I wanted to live elsewhere. When I left high school at 17 l got a dead- end job as a carpet cleaner (which I hated) and did this up until I turned 21. It was at this point in my life I knew I had to change something up or I’ll be on this hamster wheel forever. Quite spontaneously — after getting inspired by the movie The Beach — I booked a one-way flight to Bangkok.
No planning, just one night booked in a hostel and 3000 pounds to my name. I didn’t really have a goal, I just wanted to do something different and see what happened I guess. Fast forward ten years later and here I am, still traveling and never returned to live in my hometown.
I guess I don’t really have a typical day as such, but my time is spent split between either being home in Bali or traveling. When I’m in Bali I put in more work hours behind my laptop, and when I travel I’m either taking time off or shooting content, for fun or for campaigns and brand deals.
I try to start every morning no matter where I am with a fasted morning walk, whether that’s walking my dog in Bali, walking to a coffee shop, followed by a one-hour workout at the gym. Starting my day this way sets the tone for the rest of my day. If I have a slow morning, a slow day usually follows. If I’m active, it sets me up in the right direction into having a productive day.
If I’m home in Bali my afternoon usually consists of working in my home office, followed by catching the sunset with friends at the beach. When I’m traveling there’s no typical afternoon, it’s always a mix of shooting content, exploring a new place, catching up with friends, trying local foods, and whatnot.
What was the stimulus of living in the UK and why did you choose Bangkok?
I chose the one-way flight to Bangkok literally because that’s what LEONARDO DICAPRIO did in the movie, haha. I figured Thailand is a cheap place to start, and I heard Bangkok is the gateway to South East Asia, so why not. I chose South East Asia as a destination because it’s the complete opposite of what I’m used to and also because my savings would last much longer as opposed to traveling somewhere like Europe.
You’re a nomadic traveler and entrepreneur, can you give us three words to define yourself?
Spontaneous, creative, motivated.
Would you recommend the nomadic life to everyone and if not, what type of person is compatible with this way of living in your opinion?
I’d recommend everyone to do it at least once in their life. Of course, it’s not sustainable for everyone, and not everyone would enjoy it as a full-time lifestyle. However, when someone travels, especially solo, it really does broaden their horizon, as cliche as that sounds. Meeting people with completely different points of view on life will change the way one thinks. It gets you out of your comfort zone at full speed, and that’s always a good thing!
What are the essentials you never travel without?
Other than the obvious passport, phone, wallet, etc, I’d really struggle without headphones, especially during transit.
Photography has huge importance in your life. Have you always liked it or did it come with traveling and seeing amazing things?
I’ve actually been shooting content way before I started traveling. I started skateboarding when I was 9 years old. I did that for eight years and my friends and I would spend all day filming each other skating, taking photos, etc. During my first solo trip, I didn’t bring a camera, I traveled as light as possible without any expensive items. I enjoyed capturing and documenting my travels using my iPhone but by year two on the road, I bought a DSLR.
What do you like the most about Instagram?
It’s a fun way to document my lifestyle in the form of images and videos. I use it as a place for inspiration too, and of course, catching up on what friends are up to.
How do you take a perfect picture?
I guess the perfect picture is subjective since it’s a form of art, but two of the most important things for me are, #1, good light (one hour before sunset, one hour after sunrise) to keep the photo looking soft. And, #2, create a moment inspired off the back end of a candid moment. What I mean by that is I try not to shoot stuff that isn’t authentic to what I’m actually doing. I usually live a moment before shooting it.
What would you advise yourself when you were still working as a carpet cleaner?
Haha, I’d say everything is gonna be ok, and to go take some chances. You’re still young, you have time to mess up, you have time to enjoy yourself without worrying about the future, go have fun!
What did you learn about yourself while visiting the world?
That I actually enjoy- and need — alone time frequently. Being forced into some days alone, especially on my first trip was a bit daunting but as time went on I actually enjoyed it. Now I usually aim for a few days of alone time every couple of weeks.
What made you choose Bali compared to all the other countries you have visited?
Honestly, it could have been anywhere in South East Asia. It just so happened I was in Bali when deciding I needed a base. I needed somewhere cheap to rent for a year as I’d started to accumulate too many belongings from my travels, and it was around that time that brands were starting to reach out to me for travel jobs. When brands are booking me months in advance I needed to let them know where I’m flying from. Without a base, it wasn’t easy to know where I’d be, so having a base in Bali helped with that too. This forced me into spending more time in Bali, and I fell in love with the island. I ended up renting a nicer place for the year, then building my own house. I’m now finishing up my second house there.
Have you ever thought about coming back to Manchester and settling down?
Up until this year, I’ve always said I’ll never live in the UK. I spent more time than expected in London in 2021 and it gave me a new outlook on the UK. I don’t think I could ever see myself living there full time but I’m definitely considering getting a place in London and doing a few months there each year.
What are three things you would most like to accomplish in the future?
I’m always pushing forward and working on myself, mentally, physically, and aiming to just be the best and most happy version of myself. In terms of work over the next few years, I’d like to build out a property portfolio, invest more in companies, and start a few passion projects too.
And finally, what does balance mean to you?
Balance is key, and something I learned a lot about in 2021. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy, which isn’t the best for balance. Sometimes I get lazy and unmotivated as quickly as I get motivated. Balance is so important for mental clarity though, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with lazy days or full-speed workdays, I now aim to do a bit of both.
Words by: THELMA PAILHOUX- TALAMANDIER & WIES KUIJPERS