• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. Trading Life for a Weekend?
    Build a Business, Build a Life.
    Unleash the Dream.

    Become an UNSCRIPTED™Entrepreneur.

    UNSCRIPTED™ Entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurial business strategy that unleashes dreams, frees time, and explodes your incomes—but more importantly, it changes your life forever. Make no mistake; this isn’t something you “try”— this is something you live.

    FREE Download (Unscripted) FREE Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

Off-Topic Location-independent/digital nomad lifestyle - ask me anything

Discussion in 'Off Topic: Sports, Funnies, Pop-Culture' started by VentureVoyager, Aug 24, 2017.

FORUM SEARCH


Need answers about entrepreneurship? Search FIRST! More than likely your entrepreneurial topic has already been discussed.
Powered by Google Site Search.
  1. VentureVoyager
    Offline

    VentureVoyager Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bali
    Rep Bank:
    $579
    Hi,
    I was looking for a similiar topic on the forum and couldn't find anything.

    I've been living the location-independent lifestyle since December (almost 9 months now), traveled 9 countries in Asia and lived in 3 (Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia (Bali)), so if there's anything you'd like to ask, I'm here.

    While I'm not a fan of the term "digital nomad" and I'm not very much into the "scene", I believe there are many upsides to this lifestyle and that it has changed many lives for the better. Or maybe even saved them. It has surely brought me back to life and helped me stand back on my feet.

    And I know there are people on this forum who are much more experienced in this kind of lifestyle than I am, some of them legendary contributors ( @JasonR for example) and they were able to build fortunes while travelling the world and living in different amazing places.
    Would be great if you also joined the discussion (if there will be any) if you feel like :)

    So yeah, AMA if this topic sparks your interest.

    If any of you also live or used to lead this kind of life, please check-in and share your opinion. I wonder what do you think - did it help you feel better, become more successful, meet amazing people & network, what were the things you didn't like, do you think it is sustainable?, etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
    Aaron T, LPPC, Artemisia and 12 others like this.
  2. PersistentlyHungry
    Offline

    PersistentlyHungry Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    55
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Rep Bank:
    $332
    Hi @VentureVoyager !

    I'm very interested in this kind of lifestyle.
    Most of the people I know who live this way do not build Fastlane businesses, but instead, do freelance work.

    I have a few questions for you:
    1. How do you support yourself? Do you trade time for money, or do you build something that is able to survive on its own?
    2. How did you get started?
    3. Are there any communities about this subject that you recommend?
    4. Do you have any guides on how it can practically be done? Necessary equipment? Common pitfalls?

    Great contribution, looking forward to reading about your journey!
     
  3. eagleye101
    Offline

    eagleye101 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Rep Bank:
    $731
    Hello,

    Thank you for doing this AMA.
    I'd like to ask where are you from? Europe? USA? Other? Do you have a business?
    Do you have a base you go back to?
     
  4. JasonR
    Offline

    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    8,749
    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Traveling
    Rep Bank:
    $58,621
    I have an online business (duh). Some people do freelancing, remote work for their jobs, etc. Before I quit my job years ago I negotiated with my boss to not be in the office any more.

    A friend of mine gave me the travel bug and convinced me to go on a 3 month Thailand and Bali trip. Since then, I never came back other than to visit. There are usually two kinds of people: people who leave the US/home country and generally never come back, and others who travel out and then move back to the USA. you either love or hate the lifestyle - so it seems.

    Your best bet is to make friends with people doing the same thing as you. The best community I've joined for the "digital nomad" scene (although I hate the term 'nomad') has been the D.C. - dynamite circle. Honestly, the forums aren't that great, where you will get real value is going to the meet ups such as the one in Bangkok in October. See you there!

    What guides/information are you specifically looking for? Bare minimum you need a laptop, internet connection, and a passport. If you can elaborate a bit more I may be able to help you with #4.
     
  5. PersistentlyHungry
    Offline

    PersistentlyHungry Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    55
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Israel
    Rep Bank:
    $332
    What you've written is really valuable information in itself mate, thanks.
    My goal with question 4 was to understand whether there is a "blueprint" for living this kind of lifestyle.

    I imaging one has to be prepared to know the location to which he is traveling, to take care of cheap living arrangements, to know where he can join forces with like minded people, to figure out where more "digital nomad" friendly cities exist, and how to arrange my trip between those cities to save money, etc.
    If there isn't one - that actually sounds like an very cool website - one that helps your organize your movement around the world.
    I guess these kinds of questions sound very basic to you - but for a guy who's used to working statically, this journey sounds a little scary (while very exciting).
     
  6. SYK
    Offline

    SYK Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    624
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $4,033
    I lived life in south east asia last year. Loved it. Like you, I don't like the DN term and I stayed clear of the scene because I found it a bit cultish at times.

    Did meet some awesome, super smart people though that I learnt a ton from. Perfect way to give your business a financial runway too.

    Is it sustainable? Sure. Just depends what it is you want.

    Some people are happy to live the remote life for a decade earning <$1000 a month. But that leaves them in limbo where it's hard to return to the West.

    I think the goal should always be earning an income that'll get you by anywhere, not just in the cheap location you're currently in.

    I'd happily still be living the remote life but had to return to the Western world for biz reasons. The goal is to go remote again in the future.

    Where in Thailand were you?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  7. Colton
    Offline

    Colton Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Rep Bank:
    $419
    Hey Jason, thanks for that information! I just have one question for you if you don't mind.

    I'm really curious if you sell physical (shipped) products through your online business or if it's all on the computer (like digital products).

    The reason I ask is because I would love to travel around the world as well (it's what piqued my interest in online business in the first place) but I'm not quite sure how well that would realistically work with a business that ships physical products, unless there is a way to automate the whole process and ensure that you won't have to be there physically to solve any issues that come up.

    Of course I might be way off base, but it seems that one would able to travel more freely if they could find a way to still deliver excellent value to their customers through a digital medium.
     
    Sharun Kumar likes this.
  8. JasonR
    Offline

    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    8,749
    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Traveling
    Rep Bank:
    $58,621
    I sell physical products.

    I have plenty of friends who travel the world and sell physical products, some even on this forum.

    What you have is a self limiting belief.

    There are plenty of third party shippers, 3PLs, warehouses, Amazon fulfillment, etc. that will happily fulfill your product. I have one friend who packed up his warehouse and left the country, and saved money by outsourcing his shipping/warehousing needs.

    I also have another friend who runs his own warheouse and has an employee(s), and still manages to travel whenever he likes.

    You may have to start out of your garage, and even ship things yourself, but it's not hard to get big enough to hire people to do it for you.
     
  9. Colton
    Offline

    Colton Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Rep Bank:
    $419
    That's awesome! It's cool to hear that there are plenty of people doing this without cutting corners on their business. Thank you!
     
    PersistentlyHungry likes this.
  10. eagleye101
    Offline

    eagleye101 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Rep Bank:
    $731
    Hi JasonR,

    Thanks a lot for the info.
    Can you give some more details about the meeting in Bangkok in October?
     
    VentureVoyager likes this.
  11. Fox
    Offline

    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    1,268
    Likes Received:
    8,179
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Valletta, Malta
    Rep Bank:
    $43,242
    I met some of these guys in Kiev a few weeks ago and had a great time. Really cool guys and lots of great business talk.

    I am not in this but I would recommend it from what I seen.
     
  12. VentureVoyager
    Offline

    VentureVoyager Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bali
    Rep Bank:
    $579
    Hello? Police? JasonR has hijacked my thread! Please arrest this man! :D
    Seriously though, great to hear from you! It's one thing to build and sell a big business, and another to do it while traveling the world. A totally badass thing to do. This topic will be much more valuable and interesting as a mutual/multiple AMA or just a discussion.

    @JasonR I was wondering, of all the places you have been to, which turned out to be your favorites and why (life and business-wise, not for adventures/travelling) and where you felt you could be really produtive?

    And I'm also interested in this October event in BGK. It's very possible I will be there. I'm just wondering if we are thinking about the same one as BGK is a big biz hub with many things going on.

    Surprisingly, I found reddit to be the most useful and practical in this regard, if you filter out some unnecessary drama and stupid comments. But there's lots of great information.
    And good ole' Uncle Google, obviously. Also, I used to watch many Youtube channel before I made my decision.
    I would avoid most facebook groups though - they are full of bullshit, trolls, drama and strange frustrated people with problems.

    I am in many of them in case I need something and sometimes it's helpful, but I'm not active at all and I have filtered out all of their newsfeeds.

    When it comes to preparation, maybe it was easier for me because I had also travelled quite a lot before I even started my business and even before my first "proper" (shitty) job and it has always been my passion, since childhood.
    If you have any specific questions regarding the above mentioned doubts, I will be happy to help.

    I'm from Poland. Which doesn't exactly make the lifestyle a money-saving move for me like for many other people - I actually spend much more living this lifestyle, as I own an apartament in my country and so cooking for myself and living there would save me a lot (no rent to pay, only basic media bills and administration fees, etc). But the quality of life and the cheap "outsourcing" of many annoying things (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc :D) totally make up for it.
    The problem is that I theoretically have a base to back to, but it's my hometown (beautiful, but small and deadly boring place) and I don't want to live there. So that's one of my problems - I kind of feel homeless, I'm on a quest to find a new place to live, or at least have a list of my favorite places around the world to go back to.

    I traveled in many different places in Thailand, but have lived in Chiang Mai and Koh Phangan. Both of these places are awesome, but very different. CM is probably the most convenient destination and one of the cheapest.

    By the way, I've also lived in Nice in France for almost 9 months and in the UK (3 months), so my first move was actually to a place that is much more expensive than my small hometown in Poland. It put things into perspective for me and showed me that my income was still not enough (Nice is one of the most expensive cities in France as far as I know).
    I believe it gave me a big motivation to hustle like crazy (which helped a LOT).
    So I kind of did the opposite of what many people would do - go to a cheap place first and "live like a king for $300 a month" (<-bullshit).
    As for what I do, I'm in the self-publishing business since 2014.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    LPPC, Magneto C, Longinus and 3 others like this.
  13. eagleye101
    Offline

    eagleye101 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Rep Bank:
    $731
    Thank you @VentureVoyager.
    I'm based in Greece now, I know Balkans well and I understand Poland lifestyle. I also have friends living there. They're quite happy because living costs are very low in comparison to Greece, they have decent lives and they are enthousiasted with Polish girls... anyway.

    Could I ask you advice about business registration and jurisdiction, or is it not proper to ask in public?
     
    VentureVoyager likes this.
  14. Leo Hendrix
    Offline

    Leo Hendrix Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    248
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    WWW
    Rep Bank:
    $1,380
    Starting from scratch, no remote work arrangement, no clients, no portfolio, no business. Just starting from ground-zero, what would you do to start/survive?

    Besides living off savings and honing a skill, short of becoming slave labour on upwork etc, any tips on making cash fast (online) when your abroad and need to make bank to survive?
     
  15. MTF
    Offline

    MTF Never give up Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    7,163
    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Rep Bank:
    $45,768
    1. How do you deal with maintaining your everyday fitness/health routine? Whenever I travel, I find it extremely difficult to maintain my exercise routine and my diet. I can't imagine moving from one place to another every week or every month and staying in top shape. I'm not saying it can't be done, just saying it's probably much more difficult.

    2. How do you deal with a lack of real-world friends? I don't consider people with whom you hang out for a day or two as true friends. I mean people you've known for years who you can trust. I don't consider talking with them online to be particularly rewarding. I guess that's my main issue with this lifestyle. Ultimately you can't have normal relationships with people who aren't location-independent until you settle down (or at least don't move every few weeks).

    3. Why South East Asia? Perhaps I'm not objective here because this region of the world doesn't interest me at all, but why do all digital nomads seem to go there? Did you consider other countries? Do you plan to go to a different part of the world in the nearest future?
     
    Omni, Magneto C, SquatchMan and 8 others like this.
  16. Camilo Ardiles
    Offline

    Camilo Ardiles Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    124
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2015
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London
    Rep Bank:
    $679
    Very interesting, I would like to do this in the future. Some questions:

    1. What has been the biggest challenge in your journey?

    2. Did you develop the business before going abroad or during your time in SEA?

    Cheers.
     
  17. SYK
    Offline

    SYK Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    624
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $4,033
    @MTF

    1. Cheap, good quality gyms are just about everywhere. And if you pay a little extra your condo will have a good one too. I'm big into fitness. I got into better shape while away thanks to more freedom. It's less to do with access to facilities/good food, more to do with discipline.

    2. This is a challenge. Sucks really clicking with people then going separate ways. But I've stayed in touch with all the quality people I met.

    3. Cheap, favourable visas, good western infrastructure (eg internet), lots of comparable countries near to each other.
     
    LPPC, MattR82, Magneto C and 4 others like this.
  18. Xavier X
    Offline

    Xavier X Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    251
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Rep Bank:
    $1,922
    WARNING: Massive wall of text INCOMING!

    I have spent a significant amount of time looking into the crowd who actively call themselves "Digital Nomads," and unfortunately, it's been uninspiring. Like the OP, I'm not a fan of it.

    I was researching the scene because I wanted to set out on a similar lifestyle.
    In the years I waded through those crowds online, I soon realized it was largely made up of people who weren't attempting anything noteworthy.

    Too many in the business of selling the lifestyle. AKA bros who exclusively teach others how to live the dream nomadic lifestyle.
    I couldn't find one person who was either actively running or actively building a business completely unrelated to the lifestyle.

    There are the serious ones in the scene who invest real money into servicing nomads, i.e co-working spaces, co-living spaces etc.
    Then on the lower ebb are those who simply try to sustain the lifestyle by teaching/guiding others on how to live/navigate it.

    Very few are actually business people, or trying to be.
    The ones who don't fall into the above categories are typically low end freelancers, i.e Fiverr gigs etc.

    The reality that most in the Digital Nomad scene avoid coming to terms with is that most of them are economic migrants.
    Being unable to afford a life in the West, they hover around SE-Asia, South America or parts of Eastern Europe.

    On the other hand, are those who simply travel the world incognito, doing their thing and making real moves. <-- These are the people I'm looking for. Not necessarily people who have "made it," but who have a defined project and goal.

    The people who do not quickly respond "I'm a Digital Nomad" to the question "What do you do?"
    As though being a Digital Nomad was a profession or business in itself.

    On the bright side, most of the "Digital Nomads" seem like genuinely nice people. I believe social interaction with them would be great.
    It's the professional angle I'm in doubt about.

    At the end of last month, I gave away all my belongings and headed out. All I retained/left in safe keeping are my more expensive video production equipment.

    I have production contracts with clients whom I will have to fly in to produce for occasionally. Other than that, I'm free to focus on building the fastlane business I'm currently working on. Something I believe I can sell for 7 figures two to three years from now.


    @OP
    Would you say from the point you left home until now, you've moved closer to your primary goals in life?
     
    LPPC, MattR82, Magneto C and 8 others like this.
  19. biophase
    Offline

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    5,220
    Likes Received:
    18,136
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $116,195
    Here's is your problem. You want a certain lifestyle but haven't attained any skills to enable it. You talk about slave labor on upwork, which most people call a job or freelancing. What's wrong with living in Bali and working on your laptop? If you won't even do that, then what do you expect?

    Your mindset is keeping you from getting there because you haven't earned it or tried to earn it yet.

    So go get a skill that remote people will pay for. Once you do that, you don't need to live off savings or make cash fast online.
     
  20. biophase
    Offline

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    5,220
    Likes Received:
    18,136
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $116,195
    Exactly.

    I've found that many people I've met traveling have some sort of blogging or digital course business. Literally everyone is making money by telling people how to make money. I really don't know what they do in a co-working space all day. I went to one and half the people were playing video games.

    Like Xavier said, they are in SE Asia or 3rd world countries because they are cheap and they don't make bank.

    If you want to become a digital nomad, try starting a business and become profitable. Then grab your laptop and take off. It's not that hard. But work on your business first so that it actually makes money, and makes alot of money so you travel do some FU traveling, not some your rich because you are in a poor country traveling.
     
    mosquito, LPPC, arillera and 20 others like this.
  21. Andy Black
    Online

    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

    Messages:
    5,378
    Likes Received:
    21,962
    Joined:
    May 20, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Ireland
    Rep Bank:
    $126,497
    I was in the DC forum for about a month. Interesting stuff going on but too much emphasis on the digital nomad and travelling for my liking. I'm sure the people at meetups are top notch.

    Location independence for me means I don't work on client sites anymore. I work from home, or anywhere with a computer and decent internet connection. Heck, I can even work just on my mobile for a few days while I'm on holiday with my family.

    That's what location independence means to me.

    I'm not into the "laptop and hammock" blogs selling their digital nomad lifestyle. But then I'm 46, married with 3 kids, done my fair share of road trips, and never liked sand anyway.

    YMMV... just beware becoming someone else's consumer.
     
  22. JasonR
    Offline

    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    8,749
    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Traveling
    Rep Bank:
    $58,621
    https://dcbkk.com - all of the info is there.

    Like others have mentioned, some of the "digital nomads" are what I call "coconut cowboys" - guys living in Asia on $700 a month because it's a cheap, easy lifestyle. This is what drives me away from places like Chiang Mai (although it's not a bad place to be).

    However, I have found a lot of great people through the DC, many making 6-7 figures per year. You will find the wealthy and the coconut cowboys there - who you resonate with and network with is up to you.

    There are also many people NOT in the DC who do travel the world, and are making a killing.

    While I do love Bali and other parts of Asia, I don't love it because it's cheap. I recently visited a friend living in London, I could totally live there, even though it is an expensive city. Having ultimate freedom is being able to live anywhere you want regardless of price.

    F.U. money is enough money to never have to worry about what accommodations, flights, or meals cost. That's where I like to be, personally.

    If I was just starting out and didn't have much money, I would be in Bali, Saigon, Thailand, Colombia, etc. Why? You can live much cheaper there, and still have a great lifestyle, and put all your extra cash towards building your business. If you're wondering how to do it, you just haven't got enough balls to just book your flights and make it work.
     
    mosquito, lazaralex, LPPC and 19 others like this.
  23. Driven28
    Offline

    Driven28 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    56
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Citizen of the World
    Rep Bank:
    $375
    ***Warning... 3000 word post-reply incoming. ***
    ***Sorry in advance for making your eyes bleed.***

    Do It Yourself Method (Cheapest)
    Step 1: Subscribe to Beachbody (Or log into ThePirateBay...)
    Step 2: Wake up in your apartment/hotel anywhere in the world.
    Step 3: P90x or Insanity your ass off. (or do the cool hybrid method)
    Step 4: REPEAT! Don't be a lazy dick and skip days like the other 95% (most important)

    One of my "nomadic" acquaintances just successfully Kickstarted travel friendly folding pull up bar to help out with this. Or you can grab a TRX (or knock off), which are cake to travel with.

    Do It With Others Method (More Expensive)
    Step 1: Enroll in Crossfit gym (they're freaking everywhere)
    Step 1b: Enroll in Martial Arts / MMA gym (they're freaking everywhere)
    Step 2: GO TO CLASS you asshole.
    Step 3: See step 4 above. (most important)


    I've found through living in 10 different countries and 25 different cities in the past 3 years, that REALLY good friends can be made very quickly in communities of travelers (nomads, backpackers, expats, travelers)... especially if you're extroverted and/or not afraid to get out there.

    Just like your friendships at home, it usually boils down to the following equation:
    time spent together + chemistry + memories = quality or "truth" of friendship

    Of course, there are other factors, like begin there during tough times, not fighting, etc..
    But in general, you see where I'm going here.

    The cool thing about these communities of travelers, especially in business-centric circles, is that it's almost like cheating the system when it comes to making friends.
    • You start out with SO MUCH in common.
    • You're all in a new place together. And often there's a slight barrier between you and the locals, which makes it attractive to do things with each other often.
    • Everything is new or new-ish, so your activities lend themselves well to being high quality and highly memorable by default.
    For instance...

    On our last trip to Thailand, my girlfriend and I spent 9 months living in Chiang Mai.

    Two months in, we organized an island "working field trip" with TEN friends we met in CM.
    We rented a big ass villa on a tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand, with a private beach, a private pool, WiFi, etc.

    We got our scuba certifications together as a group, worked around the pool on our individual businesses and contracts during the day, went to yoga retreats and beach parties together, and generally had an AMAZING time... without spending a lot, or sacrificing much in the way of focus.

    And almost every one of those people truly feels like a close friend of ours now.

    That's not to say you can't make "better" friends if you stayed somewhere for a very long time...
    Sure you could. My absolute closest friends are the ones I grew up with or have known for 10+ years.

    But that doesn't exclude you from making great friends while traveling.
    And many "nomads" live in each place they visit for a good amount of time... slow travel.

    And the cherry on top?
    At any given time, we'd be hard pressed to find any region in the world now where we don't have a friend or two.


    SE Asia is nearly impossible to beat in terms of pure value.

    It's popular, not because it's "cheap" like everyone says...
    Shit, there are TONS of places that are cheaper!
    Go to some 3rd world shithole in Africa or S. America (or Asia!)

    Hell, I'll bet you $100 right now that you can find 1000 cheaper places to live than the popular nomad spots around the world. Go sleep in bush with a tribe on the Amazon... THAT's cheap living.

    Nope. It's not because it's cheap.

    SE Asia is popular for ONE reason: VALUE.
    It's what you get for your money that matters.

    Let's look at CM for instance...
    (and many other Thai cities actually)

    Wifi?
    Up to Gigabit speeds, and offered in too many amazing cafes and co-working spaces to count.
    Better than most towns I've lived in stateside.
    (I lived in Austin, San Diego, and Seattle prior to traveling... CM is every bit as good)

    The quality of the WiFi is only trumped by the quality of the coffee...

    Cell services?
    Multiple 4g providers with better networks in the country than Verizon, AT&T or TMobile have here in the states.
    My last speed test on DTAC prior to leaving Thailand was 80Mbps/120Mbps...
    Heck, one time I was 2 hours out in the middle of the ocean scuba diving, while Periscope live streaming on 3 bars of 4g.

    Can you hear me now?

    Living Options?
    Want to live adequately (think basic studio) for $185/mo USD? No problem.
    Want to live in an 8 bedroom mansion with a driver, a chef, a gardener, and a fluffer? Check.
    (and for less than the rent I'm currently paying for a nice 2 bedroom in Austin with few ammenities)

    Lifestyles Of The Smart & Unscripted

    Food?
    Literally the best in the world (depending on which ratings you go by... and I tend to agree)
    Specialized Diet? Consistently top 5 Vegan/Vegetarian city in the world.
    Oh wait, and you're paying between $1 to $3 USD for an average local meal..
    Up to $10 if you want to "ball out" fine dining style or eat amazing western food...

    Can I get a table for ten please? Oh, and 3 bottles of Sang Som.. thanks. Check is on me.

    People & Social Events?
    Super friendly and accommodating almost everywhere you go.
    Tons of expats and nomads everywhere so you don't feel totally displaced.
    Salsa Dancing? Check. Entrepreneur meetups? Check. Ladyboy Shows? Check.

    Can I get a sausage with my coconuts? Thanks.

    Proximity & Travel options?
    LOL! Sub $100 flights and train rides to so many interesting countries and cities I can't even begin to list them all. It's the ultimate region to make weekend side trips or mini vacations.
    Driving via motorbike or car will take you to incredible places as well.

    "Can I get a $19 flight to Houston please? It's only 45 min away..."
    "Go fuck yourself... this isn't Asia you dip-shit nomad..."
    "Ok. Thx."

    Anyway...
    The value proposition list could go on for pages.
    You get the point.

    That being said, many "location independent" folks DO go to many other countries outside of SE Asia, with similar value equations.

    • Medellin, Columbia is a super-hot spot right now.
    • Lisbon, Portugal is also super-popular.
    • Spots in the Balkans & E. Europe... Bulgaria, Croatia are heating up
    • PDC, Mexico (and some small beach towns near there)...
    • Shenzhen, China (and other parts).. but the firewall really sucks balls
    And many others...

    LEANDER, TEXAS costs more to live than most of these places...

    You know what's in Leander, Texas?
    Nothing. It would be complete and total bullshit for someone like me...
    and likely for someone like you too, if you're reading this.

    The higher net-worth nomads/travelers are absolutely found in the high-value places too.
    But you can find a higher density of them in places like Berlin, Prague, Bangkok (especially affiliates and DC folks), Singapore, KL, London, Austin, NYC, etc.

    Anyway, sorry for the loooong answer. Hopefully it was helpful in some way.


    This is an EXTREMELY narrow viewpoint, and a catch-all generality that's simply untrue.

    The co-working spaces and high-traffic cafes I've frequented while traveling the past 3 years, whether it was through SE Asia, Europe, or otherwise... were littered with professionals, nomads with real businesses, FBA & Ecomm guys/gals, authentic entrepreneurs and their teams, and others.

    Sure, there are a metric fuck-ton of newbie nomads that got sold the dream and don't know the first thing about what the fuck they're doing when they get on the plane, wallets empty, without a lick of value in their brain to provide anyone...

    And yes, it may SEEM like they're the only ones at the nomad meetups, in the forums, on the blogs and YouTubes, and at the co-working spaces... especially if you're looking at the world through a biased lens created by out-of-touch experiences.

    But the location independents we tend to find in SE Asia (and Europe / Middle East), were a lot more like us..

    They had both money, and real growing businesses.

    And they frequent the "3rd world" countries you speak of just like the lame ones of the bunch.
    Because value. Because smarts.

    Just in my own circle of nomad friends within the first couple months of leaving the US the first time:
    • Six-figure earner selling his own line of pre & post workout supplements to the French-Canadian market...
    • Seven-figure earner who helps companies and influencers build profitable courses...
    • Six & Seven figure affiliate marketers... Too many to count actually.
    • A drone operator who sells aerial stock footage and teaches others to do the same...
    • Legitimate coaches and influencers who run successful five-figure retreats and courses in too many niches to list... (they aren't ALL fakers)
    • An exporter who sources local Thai products that fill voids on FBA, as well as wholesale to hotels and retail stores in the US...
    • A fashion influencer with her own successful line of custom-manufactured travel shoes/sandals
    • Tons of Entrepreneurs in various stages with distributed teams, doing it the smart way (investing that extra money they're saving into their biz)
    Are they the norm?
    I dunno. They're less vocal, and more busy. So it's hard to say.

    But not every nomad sits around teaching others to make money by day, and playing Call of Duty by night...


    Eh... I'd reverse that advice completely, depending on WHO I was giving it to.

    Even in UNSCRIPTED, @MJ DeMarco in various places and through various concepts, talks about the power of investing as much as possible into your business.
    Both in time, and in money.

    This is bad advice because the concept of the type of travel we're discussing isn't just about saying FU and leisurely globetrotting without care.

    It can also be about traveling to places that treat you the best for what's going on in your life.
    It can be about strategically picking where you live in a new, wide-open world... just like you strategically plan your other expenditures and choices in life.

    The physical place you are right now isn't necessarily the best place for you to be... just because you're there.

    The thing is... Depending on WHERE they choose to live and work, tons of new business owners are completely handicapped from the start.

    They're working their asses off 40+ hrs a week, just to keep themselves alive and BARELY paying rent/bills. Much less investing anything significant into a new business.

    Even the ones with profitable businesses are literally shoveling cash into the garbage can at critical times, and for no reason other than to live in the "land of the free" and keep their lights on.

    Remember that chapter where @MJ DeMarco talks about his old company moving to SF and wasting ridiculous amounts of cash?

    That concept is relevant to this conversation, as a matter of scale.

    In the first few years of business, the amount of money and time (and reduction of stress) a new business owner COULD allocate to their venture is STAGGERING, if they moved their asses to somewhere like CM, and put their heads down and focused from there instead. And all without a major hit to lifestyle or living conditions, thanks to a better value equation.

    Actually, I'd be willing to bet that it's a decision of even greater magnitude for an early stage biz owner to waste her valuable resources by living in many average-cost US cities, over a late-stage company of MJ's size wasting resources by moving to ultra-expensive Silicon Valley. (not to discount the latter, I completely agree it's a shit move)

    I can't even express to you (or quantify) the drastic increase in resources across the board that I felt I had available to me and my business after making the simple decision to seek a higher-value location.

    And it rings especially true now that we're back in Austin running my business from here for the past several months, in stark contrast to the many places we've run it from in the recent past.

    Moral of the story?
    Where you choose to live is a HUGE and critical decision on so many levels.. and most people simply dismiss this fact. Don't be one of those people, ever.

    Stay blindly where your at and build your business before looking at other options ONLY IF your business absolutely requires you to sit in your little prison cell called "home".

    Otherwise, I'd be willing to bet that if you cared enough to read this far, you would probably serve your business a heck of a lot better in any number of other places in the world that treated you better.

    Strategically find the place in the world that works with you, instead of against you for where you are in your life right now. Treat it like a business decision AND a lifestyle decision.

    Then focus, and build your business from there...

    And perhaps if all goes well, you can tell the world FU a helluva lot faster.

    BY THE WAY... SIDE NOTE -- I'm sorry to keep picking on you here @biophase
    I can't tell you how much value I've gotten from your brilliant posts over the years.
    And I'm a nobody around here (despite being an OG)...
    So just know I have immense respect for you...
    It can be hard to judge intent and tone via written word, especially at my writing skill level :)


    AMEN - I tell people this who ask us about our lifestyle all the time!
    STFU and book your fucking flights. It's not permanent.
    "Home" will [most likely] always be there if you need to come running back for some reason.

    And here's one other AMAZING thing I like to share with biz-minded friends thinking about perpetual or semi-perpetual travel:

    Whether you're an experienced OR inexperienced entrepreneur --> AKA, someone looking for problems to solve and/or opportunities to expand your own biz...

    Traveling and living in new places is BY FAR one of the greatest ways to get your creative juices going.

    Opportunities smack you in the face like a giant dick on a Miami porn set when you're out there in the world seeing completely foreign cultures and economies.
    (Think MJ's "geo-arbitrage" concept, and beyond)
     
  24. biophase
    Offline

    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    5,220
    Likes Received:
    18,136
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $116,195
    I'm sure it's not the norm, but I think it depends on the type of co-working spaces you go to. I don't normally go to any when I travel. But every once in a while I'll pop into one when I've met someone who's working in one. I think most of the digital nomads that are posting on Instagram are probably the sell the lifestyle ones, hence why they keep posting about where they are all the time.

    I don't believe you should build a business just so you can afford to live somewhere else. I think that is a short term goal and I tend to think longer. I think you should build a long term real business so that you can live anywhere. I just think that if you use living abroad as your business goal, you will miss and discount opportunities because your first thought is, "Can I run this business while in XXX?" Personally, I tend to go in cycles of one year of hard work and then one year of 75/25 travel.

    When I first started out, I was dropshipping and I could work from anywhere. But for me, making $30-$40k a year dropshipping didn't allow me to do whatever I wanted. Yes, I could live pretty good in SE Asia for $1000/mo, but I couldn't go on a $5,000/week African safari or stay in a $150/night hotel. I hated having to budget and I wasn't satisfied with that lifestyle of just getting by. I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted even while abroad, so I decided to concentrate on growing the business even if it meant I had to put down roots. A few years later, I was able to hire my first employee and then the traveling lifestyle became available to me again. But now it was different, I didn't have to look at prices and be on any budget any more.
     
    Omni, LinorCG, MattR82 and 10 others like this.
  25. JasonR
    Offline

    JasonR Maverick Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

    Messages:
    1,931
    Likes Received:
    8,749
    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Traveling
    Rep Bank:
    $58,621
    100% this.

    I think the difference between a "digital nomad" and an "entrepreneur" is that the entrepreneur will do whatever it takes for his business - even if that means living somewhere you don't want to live (for now), or putting off travel/fun/etc. to focus on your business.

    Entrepreneurs do whatever it takes to build and grow his business, digital nomads are trying to fit their lifestyle into his business.
     
    mosquito, LPPC, FastNAwesome and 14 others like this.