The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Aspiring to become a Digital Nomad?

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

RazorCut

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,854
6,355
1,496
England UK
I recently watched this film that focused on several digital nomads.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXGtx-hroKE


A lot of it was about the stereotypical nomad working in Asia or Eastern Europe, spending their time doing lower paid gigs to sustain them in their cheap rooms and low cost lifestyle.

Basically most are just modern day backpackers getting work off the internet to sustain them instead of the traditional bar work and labouring of old.

For many the lifestyle doesn't seem sustainable as, on such low incomes (often less than $1000 per month) it only takes one mishap and everything can go pear shaped. The whole premise seems flawed. If they had only spent a little time building a geo-dependant business before they left then they could have a much better lifestyle.

Instead of working 8 hours a day in a rented co-working space they could be enjoying the freedom of better earnings and much lower hours. Instead of living in poor accommodation they could be living in a decent apartment. I get the drive to live a free lifestyle but a lot are actually trapped. Supi is the only one that seems to have built a decent life for herself but she has been a DN for 7 years.

So for our Digital Nomad members I would love to know your experiences, the difficulties you faced and how you overcame them.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Last edited:

Longinus

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 28, 2014
1,134
4,778
1,146
34
Poland / Belgium
"She has branched out into coaching. She advises other digital nomads who are just getting started."

Here's a bit of her advice to digital nomad who is heavily dabbling:

"You already have your podcast, so your work is already completely online. Your main problem is your fear."

:rofl:

Oh Digital Nomad Coach, share your Wisdom!
 

WinYourself

Bronze Contributor
Aug 11, 2013
50
146
125
No such thing as location independent unless one is financial independent.

All those nomads are highly location dependent, they can only live in the cheapest places on earth.

It's a flawed model, especially since being a digital nomad gets old very fast. And suddenly that 1k/month doesn't go a long way anymore when back home.

Solve problems, make money, become financial independent, then start traveling.

Not the other way around.
 

MTF

Never give up
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 1, 2011
3,108
15,399
3,254
Few digital nomads are willing to admit that a lifestyle of a digital nomad is often lonely (hard to have normal relationships when you constantly move from one place to another) and spent in places with bad infrastructure, crazy traffic, and pollution (but hey, beer is just $1!). Living costs might be low, but the cost of unreliable Internet and lower productivity (due to constantly changing your location) might not be worth it in the end.

I understand why people want to be location independent. Unfortunately, many wannabe digital nomads waste their youth partying on some Thai island rather than spending a few years building a business so that later on they don't have to limit their travels to the cheapest destinations.
 

Patrick Jones

growing
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 9, 2018
136
405
212
Berlin
I was a digital nomad as a web developer for three years.

Covering my cost of living required less than half an hour of work per day. I was charging my clients by western standards but only had to pay Southeast-Asian costs. It's actually a great way to save up money.

Most DN live in a bubble and spend their days surrounded by other western DN. Total waste in regards to what they could take from the local cultures.

Being a digital nomad is challenging, daunting and very often not comfortable. But it's one of the most interesting experiences you can ever have.

What made me stop in the end is the point @MTF mentions:

hard to have normal relationships when you constantly move from one place to another
 

Sander

When in doubt, dare.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Mar 19, 2014
273
844
321
Basically most are just modern day backpackers getting work off the internet to sustain them instead of the traditional bar work and labouring of old.
Anything wrong with that?
 
OP
OP
RazorCut

RazorCut

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,854
6,355
1,496
England UK
Anything wrong with that?
It's a very romantic, almost glamorous term compared to backpacking which is pretty much what it boils down to don't you think?

It's becoming the modern way to see the world and pay for it. I'm just curious as to other peoples experiences who have lived the life. Are you actually immersing yourself in the culture or just living in a bubble with a load of other DN's in a more appealing environment (weather and costs)?
 

Xeon

All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2017
1,391
2,910
666
Singapore
Most DN live in a bubble and spend their days surrounded by other western DN.
For some reason, I laughed so hard at this.
:rofl:

Idea: A company that provides services/tools to DNs.
 
Last edited:

LuckyPup

Done Dicking Around
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2012
507
782
316
Midwest USA
I recently watched this film that focused on several digital nomads.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXGtx-hroKE


A lot of it was about the stereotypical nomad working in Asia or Eastern Europe, spending their time doing lower paid gigs to sustain them in their cheap rooms and low cost lifestyle.

Basically most are just modern day backpackers getting work off the internet to sustain them instead of the traditional bar work and labouring of old.

For many the lifestyle doesn't seem sustainable as, on such low incomes (often less than $1000 per month) it only takes one mishap and everything can go pear shaped. The whole premise seems flawed. If they had only spent a little time building a geo-dependant business before they left then they could have a much better lifestyle.

Instead of working 8 hours a day in a rented co-working space they could be enjoying the freedom of better earnings and much lower hours. Instead of living in poor accommodation they could be living in a decent apartment. I get the drive to live a free lifestyle but a lot are actually trapped. Supi is the only one that seems to have built a decent life for herself but she has been a DN for 7 years.

So for our Digital Nomad members I would love to know your experiences, the difficulties you faced and how you overcame them.
I love the idea of geo-independence, but I agree it's unsustainable and I would also prefer to have a real biz that enables that freedom. I do think it's a decent way to live if you're an unfettered Gen Y-Z and want to see the world on a shoestring, though. Beats working at some big box store.
 

G-Man

Cantankerous Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jan 13, 2014
1,996
10,595
2,436
"She has branched out into coaching. She advises other digital nomads who are just getting started."

Here's a bit of her advice to digital nomad who is heavily dabbling:

"You already have your podcast, so your work is already completely online. Your main problem is your fear."

:rofl:

Oh Digital Nomad Coach, share your Wisdom!
What's totally perplexing is that there are people out there willing to pay for money making advice from people they know are only making a few k a month.

Is it wrong to part a fool from his money?
 

Longinus

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 28, 2014
1,134
4,778
1,146
34
Poland / Belgium
What's totally perplexing is that there are people out there willing to pay for money making advice from people they know are only making a few k a month.

Is it wrong to part a fool from his money?
Actually if you look a bit further, you see she owns a co-working space where she rents places to digital nomads.

Selling shovels. The coaching is probably part of the funnel.
 

.B.

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 18, 2016
76
149
132
Belgium, Europe
Few digital nomads are willing to admit that a lifestyle of a digital nomad is often lonely (hard to have normal relationships when you constantly move from one place to another) and spent in places with bad infrastructure, crazy traffic, and pollution (but hey, beer is just $1!). Living costs might be low, but the cost of unreliable Internet and lower productivity (due to constantly changing your location) might not be worth it in the end.

I understand why people want to be location independent. Unfortunately, many wannabe digital nomads waste their youth partying on some Thai island rather than spending a few years building a business so that later on they don't have to limit their travels to the cheapest destinations.
Agreed: comes a time when we all want to settle. Maybe on a nice island, but not keep traveling / moving house, etc

I met dozens of them the last 2 years

Apart from experienced web developers (and some lucky EMPLOYEES in web marketing), all the others I met indeed don't make a proper living

If you are not a web developer, or if your current employer doesn't allow you to work remotely, then best develop a money system first before adding the constraints of moving house often...


Sent from my POCOPHONE F1 using Tapatalk
 

Azure

Perpetual Motion
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 12, 2016
428
792
299
28
For some reason, I laughed so hard at this.
:rofl:

Idea: A company that provides services/tools to DNs.
The problem with that is 90% of your target market can barely afford much more than their next bowl of noodles.

It's actually scary how many people idolize living in Chiang Mai or Canggu simply due to the low cost of living being sympathetic to their low earnings.

If you're a blogger making 1400 a month, and your cost of living in Chiang Mai is 1000, you cannot afford to live there.

Anyone moving to a foreign country with no support systems, friends in order to barely scrape by is a moron.
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 27, 2017
1,344
2,779
662
Desert of Desertion
"She has branched out into coaching. She advises other digital nomads who are just getting started."

Here's a bit of her advice to digital nomad who is heavily dabbling:

"You already have your podcast, so your work is already completely online. Your main problem is your fear."

:rofl:

Oh Digital Nomad Coach, share your Wisdom!
Bullshit so thick it spreads like butter
 

Jello

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 1, 2018
103
226
164
51
NL
What most people aspiring to become a digital nomad forget is that's just to hard to stay focused on your business.

When you travel a lot an every time you arrive in a new place, meet new people, new environment, new language, new cultural traditions you cannot stay focused on your business.

New place to rent, new internet connection, figure out where to eat, what places to avoid and which people to trust...

It's just to hard to stay focused.
 

Musashi

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Nov 27, 2017
51
148
137
The World
What most people aspiring to become a digital nomad forget is that's just too hard to stay focused on your business.
That's not true. Of course, you can travel every month to a new location - but who says you have to do that? I live a location-independent life and most of the times I move places every 4-6 months. Thus I have 2-3 moves per year. When I move, I take the weekend off and on Monday I'm right back on track.

It's a question of priorities. If your business is the biggest one (and not traveling), you can be a "digital nomad" and still be 99,9% as productive as at home.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Jello

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 1, 2018
103
226
164
51
NL
That's not true. Of course, you can travel every month to a new location - but who says you have to do that? I live a location-independent life and most of the times I move places every 4-6 months. Thus I have 2-3 moves per year. When I move, I take the weekend off and on Monday I'm right back on track.

It's a question of priorities. If your business is the biggest one (and not traveling), you can be a "digital nomad" and still be 99,9% as productive as at home.
Maybe that's not true for you and I can see you have things figured out. That's nice and I respect that.

But the topic started with gurus promising a certain lifestyle about traveling where you want and when you want. Paying for it with a business.

How many people you think who want to become a digital nomad, because of the cheap traveling have their priorities straight?
 

Patrick Jones

growing
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 9, 2018
136
405
212
Berlin
When you travel a lot an every time you arrive in a new place, meet new people, new environment, new language, new cultural traditions you cannot stay focused on your business.

New place to rent, new internet connection, figure out where to eat, what places to avoid and which people to trust...
You get good at it after a while. First time it takes all your headspace, after the tenth time you casually write a client email while your suicidal cab driver honks his way through Bangkok rush hour.

The positive side of it is also that it breaks up your daily routine. You get new influences around you and with that usually a boost of energy as well.

How many people you think who want to become a digital nomad, because of the cheap traveling have their priorities straight?
About the same percentage as those still living in their home countries. You don't become an awesome person overnight just because you pack your bags and leave to foreign places. Most DN start off in the track they were in at home and for most people that's sidewalk or slowlane.

Those who read this forum have figured out that the commonly accepted lifestyle is a horrible waste of precious lifetime. But we are a miniscule part of the population, most people just do business as usual and never take the opportunity to grow.

It's the same when you look at who lives in the same country all their lives and who ventures out to live somewhere else for six months, a year, or three. Majority of the population vs. a tiny minority.

But just as running your own business is a tremendous opportunity for growth and learning, so is living abroad, living outside the comforts of home. When backpacking or DN-ing you will have a very unique opportunity to see how people in other cultures live, what they value, what they strive for and struggle with.

Live out of a backpack for a year and you will realise that you need very little in life and that a new car/TV/yacht will never bring you lasting satisfaction.

Call it soul, heart or spirituality. But for that stuff too there is a fastlane. And it too requires taking risks and leaving the comfort zone. It's an opportunity.
 
OP
OP
RazorCut

RazorCut

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,854
6,355
1,496
England UK
@Patrick Jones Some very poignant points there. Sometimes I think we forget how small a group of people we are compared with the rest of humanity. It really is red or blue pill.

red-pill-blue-pill-750x400.jpg


The whole lifestyle seems to just aspire to make enough for low budget travels. It is not about being successful. If not they would not label themselves nomads.
I just did a google and it estimates that there are 30–40 million nomads in the world. That's a lot of people.

I met dozens of them the last 2 years

Apart from experienced web developers (and some lucky EMPLOYEES in web marketing), all the others I met indeed don't make a proper living

If you are not a web developer, or if your current employer doesn't allow you to work remotely, then best develop a money system first before adding the constraints of moving house often...

As you rightly say there are those who buck that trend but most seem to be blinkered to opportunities so have low expectations. It's why I compared them to the traditional backpacker who makes money waitressing or working bar etc. wherever possible. Seems very few are business orientated just standard 9-5ers who want to travel.
 
OP
OP
RazorCut

RazorCut

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,854
6,355
1,496
England UK
It's actually scary how many people idolize living in Chiang Mai or Canggu simply due to the low cost of living being sympathetic to their low earnings.

If you're a blogger making 1400 a month, and your cost of living in Chiang Mai is 1000, you cannot afford to live there.

Anyone moving to a foreign country with no support systems, friends in order to barely scrape by is a moron.
:rofl: That is a lot of morons then. Imagine living in Bali on 10k or more a month. Now that would make sense if you love the culture. You could live like a king/queen and still squirrel away a lot of $$$ over time. Now that makes sense to me.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox's Web Design Guide: Earn $100K this year (Yes, 2020!) and Go Fastlane
Thanks @Juan Pimentel and @Fox for the kind words. This project was really fun to work on and...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE How To Create A 100K-1M+ Sales Funnel
@LynX You know, this is a "Marketplace" Thread. Completely appropriate to offer goods and...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Dropping a quick note in here to say... if you are on TFL, you are part of an elite group of...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE KAK’s “Kill Bigger” Incubation Program- With DAILY personal attention.
I joined @Kak's business incubator in the first week of May. During our daily chats we uncovered...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
This is your May reminder that you can do this. I'll keep it short. These are the May promos...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Grow Your Business With a Book (An Unorthodox Marketing Strategy That Built One of the Largest...
Thanks! This is a cool idea, actually. I would like to use your experience as I heard that these...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
would this be available in paper version? I know it's short, but most of my family is...


Visit A Forum Sponsor
sponsor

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected - Please Disable

Yes, ads can be annoying. But please...

...to support the Unscripted/Fastlane mission (and to respect the immense amount of time needed to manage this forum) please DISABLE your ad-block. Thank you.

I've Disabled AdBlock