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OFF-TOPIC Location-independent/digital nomad lifestyle - ask me anything

eliquid

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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.
This.

As an INTJ, I am very very analytical and curious. I looked into a lot of these digital nomads and its the same thing I came up with.

I see these affiliate guru's, travel miles guru's, and other digital nomads preaching about their life and come to find out they are pretty much set up in 3rd world countries mostly in Asia living where $1k a month gets them anything they want.

Sure, I could sling a couple ebooks and a uDemy course and up and move there too as a single person ( Ever notice how these guru types never talk about their family? It's because they don't have one ). It's easy to just uproot your life, pick any city in the world, and live off $1k from paypal earnings every few months when you're a single person. Same with traveling 1st class on all those miles they pick up.

Have you ever tried to live off $1k in a 3rd world country with 4 other people, 3 of which are children?

Have you ever tried to use those points for a nice 1st class flight or hotel suite when it's 5 people total?

Yeah, it's not happening.

Most of these people are ONLY digital nomads because:
  1. They're single and have absolutely no commitments or other people to worry about.
  2. Because of #1, they can get by living like a king for $700 a month while doing passport runs on just themselves. ( 1 $3500 web design job could last you for months in SE Asia )
  3. Don't have to spread their points amongst other people so they can obtain that 1st class flight internationally for free.
  4. Only have to pack for themselves and travel by themselves

I know there are some people that travel with a "spouse" but it's still not the same really.

I know some people travel as a whole family, but its super rare to see them talking about themselves compared to "every other guru" out there.

All these nomads want to teach you how to make money by looking at their "dream lifestyle", however the dream they push is really only possible mainly because they are single and living somewhere where they can get by dirt cheap in life for most of the year.

And no, it's not a narrow point of view. It's what is true for 90% of the digital nomads preaching this lifestyle today because I've looked into it.

The digital nomads I want to hear from are the ones that have a real business and travel with their spouse and 2-3 children and how they deal with it while not living entirely in Vietnam, Thailand, or Bali.

What these people don't say is just as important as what they do say.

I remember one famous affiliate guru stating he has traveled the world and his dream trip is to go to Japan. He brags about how he has million dollar companies and can pay for whatever he wants.

So why doesn't he just go to Japan since it's his dream trip? Looking back on his prior trips, they are all Columbia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.

It's because he's bogus, that's why.. and most of the people hyping this up are bogus too.

.
 
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MattR82

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Or.. they want something different. I don't live in Asia just because it's cheap, and I actually never befriended a single person that does the blogging/course thing. There are tonnes of them out there, but a bit of a stretch to say all of them. To be honest most of them are bloody freelance web developers I found.

Never seen it done with a family though, that's true.

Edit: I think I misunderstood your post. Not ALL people working remotely or DN/whatever, but 90% of those actively advertising it for some kind of gain. Fair enough. I just don't follow any of them :p
 
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Driven28

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I looked into a lot of these digital nomads and its the same thing I came up with.
And no, it's not a narrow point of view. It's what is true for 90% of the digital nomads preaching this lifestyle today because I've looked into it.
It's because he's bogus, that's why.. and most of the people hyping this up are bogus too.
.
Ugh... It's difficult to sit down and take on the task of responding to posts like these.
Your viewpoints sound awfully pessimistic, but worse, it seems like they come from a place of inexperience being passed off as inside knowledge.
Any with what basis? Because you looked into a lot of these types of people?

Let's not forget that you can "look into" whatever you want to look into, but you don't know jack shit until you actually do it -- EXPERIENCE IT for yourself.
Live it for years and network with the community in various countries.
Go physically MEET real people who reluctantly or otherwise identify themselves as DNs.

Here's the issue with your post.. just like @biophase post that you're quoting before it:

It's sweeping, generalized, narrow-minded, and simply untrue.
It's output coming from a highly selective and narrow set of input.
And it's definitely not coming from significant real-world experience of your own.

Just because YOU read/watch/listen into all the hype and DNs out there selling the dream, doesn't mean that those "gurus" or loudspeakers represent the movement as a whole. Quite the contrary.

It's super-easy to identify as a DN, simply because it's an efficient term that has no better/easier substitute to describe a great variety of people on the planet right now. The variety of DN that you're describing is a very small sample of the whole of the people that would identify themselves as such.

There ARE families that identify as DNs.
I know several. They don't post online about it beyond their sphere of influence on FB.

There ARE many married couples that identify as DNs. Tons actually.
Most of the DN couples I know don't post outside of their inner circle, unless MAYBE they have a travel blog or YT as a fun side-project.

There ARE many DNs that are NOT gurus, aren't trying to become gurus, and do NOT YouTube or Instagram every 5 seconds about their lifestyle.

Digital Nomads come in many varieties.. and can all be linked to other/older labels that were less efficient:

Entrepreneurs not living in their home country, or whom simply travel very often.
Minimalists who enjoy a simple lifestyle without ties to a particular location.
Freelancers who realized they could work from outside the bubble.
Families and married couples who tired of the status quo and decided that seeing the world is more important than keeping up with the Joneses.

There are only two factors that lead someone to labeling themselves a DN...
  1. A desire for location independence
  2. An income that is derived digitally, or in a way that provides said location independence.
Basically anyone who travels often or perpetually and earns an income digitally, or free from location requirements.
That's a large pool of people, doing a wide variety of things for a living.

But it's always easy as an outsider to judge... to roll with your viewpoint about DNs because you have YouTube and Instagram installed on your phone, and love Internet bulletin boards...

Between those two apps and a general downturn for the Digital Nomad label/brand lately -- it's easy to just jump on the bandwagon and poo poo the whole movement... re-labeling it as a bunch of broke-a$$ fake-it-till-you-make-it traveling guru wannabes.

Just remember - for every ONE of those loudspeakers you're "looking into"...
There are many quiet people (who at some point have identified as DNs), who put their heads down, do their thing, and enjoy their life without seeking the fame/ego/money that comes with somehow landing themselves on your computer screen.
And they come in every shape, size, profession, and net-worth.
 

eliquid

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Ugh... It's difficult to sit down and take on the task of responding to posts like these.
Your viewpoints sound awfully pessimistic, but worse, it seems like they come from a place of inexperience being passed off as inside knowledge.
Any with what basis? Because you looked into a lot of these types of people?

Let's not forget that you can "look into" whatever you want to look into, but you don't know jack shit until you actually do it -- EXPERIENCE IT for yourself.
Live it for years and network with the community in various countries.
Go physically MEET real people who reluctantly or otherwise identify themselves as DNs.

Here's the issue with your post.. just like @biophase post that you're quoting before it:

It's sweeping, generalized, narrow-minded, and simply untrue.
It's output coming from a highly selective and narrow set of input.
And it's definitely not coming from significant real-world experience of your own.

Just because YOU read/watch/listen into all the hype and DNs out there selling the dream, doesn't mean that those "gurus" or loudspeakers represent the movement as a whole. Quite the contrary.

It's super-easy to identify as a DN, simply because it's an efficient term that has no better/easier substitute to describe a great variety of people on the planet right now. The variety of DN that you're describing is a very small sample of the whole of the people that would identify themselves as such.

There ARE families that identify as DNs.
I know several. They don't post online about it beyond their sphere of influence on FB.

There ARE many married couples that identify as DNs. Tons actually.
Most of the DN couples I know don't post outside of their inner circle, unless MAYBE they have a travel blog or YT as a fun side-project.

There ARE many DNs that are NOT gurus, aren't trying to become gurus, and do NOT YouTube or Instagram every 5 seconds about their lifestyle.

Digital Nomads come in many varieties.. and can all be linked to other/older labels that were less efficient:

Entrepreneurs not living in their home country, or whom simply travel very often.
Minimalists who enjoy a simple lifestyle without ties to a particular location.
Freelancers who realized they could work from outside the bubble.
Families and married couples who tired of the status quo and decided that seeing the world is more important than keeping up with the Joneses.

There are only two factors that lead someone to labeling themselves a DN...
  1. A desire for location independence
  2. An income that is derived digitally, or in a way that provides said location independence.
Basically anyone who travels often or perpetually and earns an income digitally, or free from location requirements.
That's a large pool of people, doing a wide variety of things for a living.

But it's always easy as an outsider to judge... to roll with your viewpoint about DNs because you have YouTube and Instagram installed on your phone, and love Internet bulletin boards...

Between those two apps and a general downturn for the Digital Nomad label/brand lately -- it's easy to just jump on the bandwagon and poo poo the whole movement... re-labeling it as a bunch of broke-a$$ fake-it-till-you-make-it traveling guru wannabes.

Just remember - for every ONE of those loudspeakers you're "looking into"...
There are many quiet people (who at some point have identified as DNs), who put their heads down, do their thing, and enjoy their life without seeking the fame/ego/money that comes with somehow landing themselves on your computer screen.
And they come in every shape, size, profession, and net-worth.

Funny.... you make a generalized, sweeping, and narrow minded view I'm an outsider. I'm sorry, but do you know me? Do you live with me daily and know what I do and how I do it daily?

That I by looking into it, I don't know these people personally and haven't talked/interviewed them personally and I'm just judging them.

That I have no experience whatsoever into this topic of any kind.

You also didn't take enough initiative to actually read my post where I specifically talked about all the "guru's" talking about the DN lifestyle. Did I talk about the ones not posting? Did I say everyone that is a DN? No. I talked about the gurus and the people pushing the HYPE.

I specifically talked up the loudspeaker guru's. I never said 100% of the people doing DN'ing.

It looks like you're "looking" into mine and @biophase post and trying to convince yourself more than me.

Otherwise, I stand by what I said because I have looked into it myself about how most of these guru's pull it off.

.
 

Driven28

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Funny.... you make a generalized, sweeping, and narrow minded view I'm an outsider.
Generalized and sweeping? No.
Those accusations are literal words to describe the terminology you chose to use, such as "ALL these nomads", "ALL these people", "Most of these people", etc.
That's generalized, and sweeping.

I simply called two specific people out on the fact that they were doing it.

And if you want to prove me wrong about being narrow minded on the topic and not speaking from experience, go ahead.
State your experiences that give you so much confidence in your opinions.

I'm not here to get into a pissing contest or anything.
I just have a personal pet peeve about people on forums & social media spreading misinformation and overly-biased opinions, regardless of the topic.
So I call it out when I see it, if I have time.

I specifically talked up the loudspeaker guru's. I never said 100% of the people doing DN'ing.

It looks like you're "looking" into mine and @biophase post and trying to convince yourself more than me.
Ok... whatever.
You're backpedaling and you know it.

You started your thread and your great proclamations about DN gurus by quoting @biophase -- and then saying -->

Which is forum speak for "ditto" or "I agree, and I'm going to quote you instead of typing the same thing".

Did you even read his post that you quoted before you declared your alignment with it?
If your intent was to exclude the majority of DNs who don't guru, your choice of language and alignment from the start through to the end was poorly considered.

Anyway, listen...

If you're being straight up and actually believe that most DNs (whether they want to be called that or not) aren't loud-mouthed gurus, running around poor countries broke, spewing a bunch of lies on the Internet for profit -- then we're actually in agreement.

So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and take your word for it.

It's come to the point where I hate using the label "digital nomad" to describe anything I do or believe in anymore, mostly due to the exact crap you described in your post... the few idiots that come in and ruin good things for the many. And I know swaths of DNs who are feeling the same right now.

Which sucks.. because the lifestyle itself and core values associated with it are solid, and make amazing additions to many people's lives.

The label has been tarnished, but is still the easiest most effective way to communicate the ideals... unfortunately.
 

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The digital nomads I want to hear from are the ones that have a real business and travel with their spouse and 2-3 children and how they deal with it while not living entirely in Vietnam, Thailand, or Bali.
I'm probably one of the few (only?) on here that fall into that category, so if you have any specific questions ask away. The short answer is the way you do it without (requiring) living in SEA is by making (and spending) more money. Real business, real business income, without the location ties.

There are only two factors that lead someone to labeling themselves a DN...
  1. A desire for location independence
  2. An income that is derived digitally, or in a way that provides said location independence.
Basically anyone who travels often or perpetually and earns an income digitally, or free from location requirements.
That's a large pool of people, doing a wide variety of things for a living.
This sums it up pretty well. I think a lot of this argument comes down to semantics as you've got a huge variety of lifestyles among people that are "Location Free". You've got expats with a home base that travel a lot (@GlobalWealth), those without a permanent home base (@JasonR), some who travel when and where they want but still have a home base (@biophase), and of course you've got the backpacker with a bunch of adwords niche sites living in Thailand on $800/month. Trying to fit all these people into one box with one label is kind of pointless.

Also, I've noticed that there is a pretty similar path people tend to take.

1. Location freedom: This could be employees who work remotely, freelancers, early stage businesses where a lot of time input is needed. Still trading time for money, but location based limitations have been removed.

2. Time freedom: Running a real business with employees, outsourcing, etc. You no longer have to make that 8am conference call Monday morning. Take a week long African safari and you are still making money.

3. Money freedom: Where you go and what you do is no longer restricted by the cost. You want to spend the whole summer in the South of France? You do it. You might still be in SEA, but not because it's the only place you can afford.

One major pitfall for anyone who has the goal of being a digital nomad is equating that goal with #1 above. Speaking from experience simple location freedom is far too easy to achieve and you run a serious risk of stagnation at that point. Set the goal as #3, breeze through #1 and move straight on to #2. Otherwise you risk spending years stuck at #1 thinking you've made it.
 

eliquid

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I simply called two specific people out on the fact that they were doing it.
Again, do you know either me or @biophase? If not, you're make a sweeping generalized statement that is narrow minded.


And if you want to prove me wrong about being narrow minded on the topic and not speaking from experience, go ahead.
State your experiences that give you so much confidence in your opinions.
I have a family of 5 that travels. Most of these guru's don't have a family that travels. It's easily seen in their videos and blogs, however I have also talked to, know personally, or have interviewed a lot more and this is how I know about them specifically.

I also make my revenue location independent. Im on my 5th SaaS, I do PPC for large select clients, I have ran some of the largest affiliate campaigns ever for networks as the top affiliate in their network, and I have been doing this type of location independent revenue stuff for over a decade now.

I think I personally fit the model pretty well for what I speak about.



I'm not here to get into a pissing contest or anything.
I just have a personal pet peeve about people on forums & social media spreading misinformation and overly-biased opinions, regardless of the topic.
So I call it out when I see it, if I have time.
You're just trying to prove it to yourself is all. You took it personally when @biophase spoke out and when I confirmed it, you got bent out of shape. You don't know either of us, but you assume your misinformation and overly-biased opinion about us. I call it like I see it too.


Ok... whatever.
You're backpedaling and you know it.
No, I think it's pretty easy to see which DN's I was talking about in my posts. You just chose to be butt hurt about it. I guess you thought I lumped you into the group I was talking about, but if you actually read the post you would make pretty clear who and which DN's I was talking about.. I mention affiliate guru's, miles gurus, and the ones that HYPE it up, the ones living in Thailand on $700 a month and doing 1 web design job at $3500 and nothing else, etc. Unless you are one of these, then no need to get butt hurt. If you are, and you have a blog or youtube video HYPEing this life to people, then yeah I can see why your upset now.

You started your thread and your great proclamations about DN gurus by quoting @biophase -- and then saying -->



Which is forum speak for "ditto" or "I agree, and I'm going to quote you instead of typing the same thing".
That's right, because we both agree on the same thing about this.

Did you even read his post that you quoted before you declared your alignment with it?
If your intent was to exclude the majority of DNs who don't guru, your choice of language and alignment from the start through to the end was poorly considered.
Question is, did YOU read it. More importantly, did you even read mine. Seems like you just wanted to get your inner rage out because someone didn't agree with you.

Anyway, listen...

If you're being straight up and actually believe that most DNs (whether they want to be called that or not) aren't loud-mouthed gurus, running around poor countries broke, spewing a bunch of lies on the Internet for profit -- then we're actually in agreement.
I never said all DN's were this. Again you didn't read my post

So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and take your word for it.
OK

It's come to the point where I hate using the label "digital nomad" to describe anything I do or believe in anymore, mostly due to the exact crap you described in your post... the few idiots that come in and ruin good things for the many. And I know swaths of DNs who are feeling the same right now.
How does what I or @biophase say ruin anything good for the many? Does what I say and @biophase say stop you or 10 other people on this forum from being a DN if they are one now? Do we prevent others from being new DN's? If you believe so, that is crazy dude.

If what I or @biophase say stops someone from doing something, that's not on us... that's on the other person for being a sheep and not taking life by the balls and doing as they please. That person doesn't have the drive to live their own life.

Which sucks.. because the lifestyle itself and core values associated with it are solid, and make amazing additions to many people's lives.

The label has been tarnished, but is still the easiest most effective way to communicate the ideals... unfortunately.
If the other person doesn't become a DN because of something posted on the internet swayed them, they didn't have the lifestyle and core values needed to become a DN anyways. You aren't going to sale them on the idea if they are so easily swayed from a forum article.
 
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eliquid

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I'm probably one of the few (only?) on here that fall into that category, so if you have any specific questions ask away. The short answer is the way you do it without (requiring) living in SEA is by making (and spending) more money. Real business, real business income, without the location ties.
This.

Real business, real business income.

Didn't have any questions. I already travel enough as it is and have been doing so for a while. Would just like to read material from people who are in your situation and mine instead of the ones who are not in our situation which is most ( if not almost all ) of the printed and available info ( blogs, YT videos ) online.

I have a home base and just travel as I want with family right now. Not sure I would give up the home base at this point yet.

.
 

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Real business, real business income.
This. Business comes first over location independency. I put my business over my lifestyle "wants" - if it's better for me to be based in Asia while sourcing products that's where I'll go. Do I need a warehouse in the states? I'll post up there until I figure it out.

I have a home base and just travel as I want with family right now. Not sure I would give up the home base at this point yet.
Having not had a "home base" for a little over 2 years, I'm ready to have one. While I've stayed in certain countries for longer periods of time, constantly traveling and packing everything in a backpack and suitcase is limiting in some aspects. I have a ton of respect for the "nomads" that have moved around for 6-7 years, but it does wear on you after a while.

My plan is to have a couple places in the world I consider home base, and live there for the majority of the year. Maybe it's 6 months in Medellin, 6 months in Asia or Europe, etc. I don't foresee moving back to the US though, life, for me, is so much better (quality of life, cost of living, taxes, etc.) outside the US.

Certainly, if I had a family, I wouldn't give up having a home base and go completely nomadic.
 
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GlobalWealth

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I also prefer having a homebase. In fact I have a couple of them.

I tend to bounce between them with side trips interspersed between them.

This year I have been to several places in the US, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Georgia, the Netherlands, Colombia and a couple of others I am forgetting at the moment.

This is definitely a slow year of travel for me, but I do cross the Atlantic at least twice a month.

I have also lived this lifestyle with a family (divorce now) and my kids have been to many places. Last count my 10 year old has visited 25 countries total.
 

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I've been traveling all year and can't agree with some of you guys on the dating aspect. It's a lot easier to get girls, but at a much higher emotional cost.

There's nothing worse than finding a girl you really like and having to leave her because you're on your way to the next place. What attracted me to this lifestyle was the freedom that came with it. No geographic attachments. Just be where you want to be when you want to be. Starting a relationship takes away from that because it's most often limited geographically.

This lifestyle is amazing if you're just looking for one night stands, but if you want to have something serious then it's emotionally taxing.

Let me give you some examples:

Let's say you start your trip in Thailand and meet a great girl. Are you going to cancel the rest of your travels because you want to stay with her? Do you invite her to travel with you, effectively doubling the cost of your lifestyle and significantly altering the foundation of the relationship? Can you trust her? Or do you assume that she's just using you for money, status, etc.?

What if you meet a Chinese girl who has money, is smart, and has a relative amount of freedom... but you want to travel to HK or Japan? She can't go because she's been to HK twice this year (can't get a visa for a third time), and can't go to Japan because they make it incredibly difficult for Chinese people to get Visas.

What if you meet the perfect girl in London and fall in love? She has a life in London but you hate the city. She doesn't want to leave because the city gives her meaning. Do you settle down in a place that you hate? She didn't ask for these problems. She was going about her life. You came to her city and created these questions for her.

Happened to my friend: Let's say you meet a beautiful Russian girl, fall in love, get married, bring her to the States, apply for a green card, but can't get it since it takes years to get. What do you do? Do you have her live in the U.S. illegally and risk the green card process, change to a long distance relationship, or do you move to Shanghai, China because it's the only place the two of you are allowed to live together and can tolerate?

Happened to me: Let's say you meet an amazing girl that's nice, smart, beautiful, and has a great personality. Then as you're dating she gets diagnosed with leukemia at 24. Do you stay in her city and support her emotionally? Do you tell her 'sorry, I know we acted like we're dating, but you knew I was moving on', and then move on like an a**hole while hating yourself? If this was back home, then you'd have no problems taking her to the hospital or visiting her. But now you're in a place that you only planned to be for a month. Are you going to stay here as long as it takes and uproot your entire life? Stay here for years? Are you going to continue on but question yourself the rest of your life? You really like this girl but it's been too short to know if you love her.

This lifestyle takes away closure.

99.9% of people are closely tied to a location. Location-independence on the other hand is about freedom to be where you want to be when you want to be. Romantic relationships are about being with a person you love in close proximity.

All of the issues described above are workable, but definitely harder to deal with than falling in love back home where geography is eliminated from the equation.
Agree with you here a lot, but it comes down to hierarchy of needs, and acceptance at a deep guttural level that you can't have everything.

Years ago, I broke it off with a great girl to live abroad. She said in the most accusatory tone possible: "You love what you do more than you love me". As much as I wanted to think of myself as a nicer guy than that, the decision I made was pretty clear evidence that, whether I admitted it or not, that was precisely the case. Given the choice between her and my life, I chose my life.

Fast forward 5 or so years, and I moved from my favorite city in the world to one I don't care for to marry my wife. There are days I wish I was in Bangkok, but I want to be with my wife and son every day. I loved this girl more than I loved my lifestyle, unlike said previous girl. I hope one day to take my family and move to a city I love. Until then, it's tradeoff.

As an aside, I don't think "falling in love" is even a thing, so it probably pretty heavily influences the way I view these situations.
 

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Don't think this is hijacking the thread, but can you guys describe your 'mobile office' setup? How are you getting work done from the road?

I've got a Tumi briefcase (ballistic nylon) for years and it's still going strong. My Dell XPS15 (SSD is a must) is pretty quick to fire-up with solid battery life. And I love Red & Black notebooks.

My big challenge, as I posted in my own thread, is the need for connectivity. I'd like to have my own over 4G from iPhone or Mifi. Any thoughts?

Anyway - please share how you work on the road.

Thanks!
 

Longinus

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Don't think this is hijacking the thread, but can you guys describe your 'mobile office' setup? How are you getting work done from the road?

I've got a Tumi briefcase (ballistic nylon) for years and it's still going strong. My Dell XPS15 (SSD is a must) is pretty quick to fire-up with solid battery life. And I love Red & Black notebooks.

My big challenge, as I posted in my own thread, is the need for connectivity. I'd like to have my own over 4G from iPhone or Mifi. Any thoughts?

Anyway - please share how you work on the road.

Thanks!
There's a lot of info in this thread: What laptop should a starting online entrepreneur buy?
 

GlobalWealth

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Don't think this is hijacking the thread, but can you guys describe your 'mobile office' setup? How are you getting work done from the road?

I've got a Tumi briefcase (ballistic nylon) for years and it's still going strong. My Dell XPS15 (SSD is a must) is pretty quick to fire-up with solid battery life. And I love Red & Black notebooks.

My big challenge, as I posted in my own thread, is the need for connectivity. I'd like to have my own over 4G from iPhone or Mifi. Any thoughts?

Anyway - please share how you work on the road.

Thanks!
My mobile office is quit simple. I use a Lenova yoga pro 2 laptop (very lightweight), wireless mouse, beats headphones, Huawei p10 dual SIM phone, and a notebook.

Typically I can find WiFi wherever I'm working (I use ghostvpn), if not I hotspot my phone.

I spend most of my time in Europe and my carrier has unlimited data roaming in all Europe so I have 4g speed internet thru my phone almost always.

I also keep a US T-Mobile SIM in my phone since I have free 2/3g roaming all over the world. Plus it helps with all the 2 factor authentication sms messages.

My team is also 100% remote. We use a few cloud services for various data sharing.

Sent from my VTR-L29 using Tapatalk
 

ddzc

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For the internet marketers, have you ever had any issues with facebook ads when jumping from country to country? I've heard of a few people who had their accounts disabled as soon as they left their home base and connected in a foreign country. Proxies are caught also if attempted. Thx
 

Olimac21

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This might be a silly question but normally which set of skills do you need to become a digital nomad? Both in terms of job skills and survival ones.
 

GlobalWealth

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For the internet marketers, have you ever had any issues with facebook ads when jumping from country to country? I've heard of a few people who had their accounts disabled as soon as they left their home base and connected in a foreign country. Proxies are caught also if attempted. Thx
I don't have that issue with fb since I have someone who manages all my ads.

But I do have that issue occasionally with other services due to ip tracking, usually financial service providers.

For example, my US merchant services provider will only allow me to log in from a US ip. So I need to make sure I am routing a US server for this.

It's a small price to pay for location independence.

Sent from my VTR-L29 using Tapatalk
 

Mckenzie

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***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 a$$ 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 a**hole.
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 a$$ 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...
sh*t, 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 f*ck yourself... this isn't Asia you dip-sh*t 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 f*ck-ton of newbie nomads that got sold the dream and don't know the first thing about what the f*ck 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 sh*t 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 f*cking 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)
Thank you very much for sharing your extensive personal experiences on the subject @Driven28 . I found it very helpful. Do you know anyone either in your inner circle or ones you seen while going around the world travelling with small children? What are their experiences like? the cons & pros?...etc...regardless of the all reasons why they're doing it, for money or lifestyle.

thanks
 

SquatchMan

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How do you handle the language barrier?
Everyone always asks this. This is the thing you have to worry about the least as a long term traveler. Sure it gets annoying sometimes, but there are bigger issues to worry about.

Language is just an agreed upon standard to communicate between a group of people. There are other ways to communicate (sign language, pointing, drawing, etc.) that will often work. Point being, you can always get your message across. Not to mention that you can usually find someone that speaks English.

An example, I was motorbiking northern Laos and got lost on some extremely rural dirt road near the Mekong River. I pulled into some tiny village in the middle of nowhere to ask for directions to the main road. The villagers gave me directions by drawing a map in the dirt. Then a guy that spoke decent English came out and explained the map to me.
 

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ecommercewolf

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Serious value being dropped in this thread.

I have always wanted to travel to many different countries and be location independent like some of you guys.
Currently improving my processes in business to get to that point.

Thought I'd bump this up to the top of the forum posts for anybody that needs to see it.
 

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