Eleven Rants and Lessons from Four Years as a Digital Nomad

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Are you ready for a location independent life? If you are, I tell you, it’s not all about booking a one-way ticket to another country, sitting in front of your laptop, doing some digital work. It’s a lot more than that. Having the chance to live as a nomad allows you to experience various cultures, languages, traditions, currencies and more. And as you go through this journey, you get to realize that there’s more to the world than what we read in the books or on the internet. As they say, “Experience is the best teacher”.

Today, I bring to you another 5-minute Friday episode where I give you a peek into my four-year quest as a Digital Nomad.

If you are thinking about escaping your corporate life and join me in this digital world, here are some lessons I learned that I will be sharing with you today. And if you already have a location independent job, then listen in and let me know about your own lessons, as well.

1. We don’t need borders anymore. It is the most annoying thing in the world to have them, and people find a way to migrate one way or the other. With an increasing number of war and climate related refugees, we have to be prepared for massive human migration.
2. The people in developing countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Ukraine, and Hungary have more optimism about their future than in established economies like the US or the UK. Up to 60% of people in Vietnam are entrepreneurs with their own business or a side gig – anything from selling pineapples to creating apps.
3. Smaller governmental entities are better at serving the needs of their people than national governments. Neighborhoods, city governments, and mayors can enact change much more quickly than a large central government. In the Banjar system in Bali for example, the village reaches a consensus and building on a new temple can begin the same day. In structures like the canton system in Switzerland, and the city-state system of the ancient Mediterranean, ore autonomy led to creating solutions that work the best for that particular area.
4. Cities can effectively compete for the best talent to live thereby creating the space for location independent workers and treating them the best. If you can live and work anywhere, move to the place that has the most number of things you value whether it is mountains or community or restaurants or sunshine or safety or the ocean. “Go here you are treated best,” is the motto of the Nomad Capitalist, Andrew Henderson”
5. Some people gain the ability to work from anywhere and they choose to stay at home because they have a community at home, are scared of other cultures, or are simply uncomfortable with any real change.
6. When you compete in the global marketplace it is impossible to understand hierarchy. Instead of the traditional ability to compare yourself to your competition in your local town, you have millions of competitors around the world – there is no way to effectively rank who is the best and have it be understandable. You need to reduce the size of your market by defining your niche so that you become the best in your particular area.
7. The amount of control and autonomy that people feel in their work lives is one of the main keys to happiness. When people complain to me that they can’t find a job or they work long hours or are stuck inside, it’s likely they don’t have the skills or experience to control their own work destiny. There s always someone somewhere willing to work harder for less money than you – don’t compete with them. I recommend getting more rare and valuable skills that can’t be outsourced or automated. (And if you are thinking of starting your own location independent business and want a free strategy session with me, you can book one here)
8. Existing currencies don’t work – when it doesn’t matter what currency I am paid in, I can just choose the strongest to set prices. In the last four months, I have seen the buying power of my US dollars in Europe drop by 30% – why should some government’s management of currency effect my buying power? And what about inflation in some countries? You could be a millionaire now and by the time your kids inherit, you leave them with nothing. The answer appears to be cryptocurrencies and perhaps the re-establishment of an effective barter system.
9. You really don’t need many possessions. I have been known to wear the same outfit for a week straight if I am not leaving my house much to interact with people. I lived out of a 40 liter carry-on bag for two years (now I have 130 liters total luggage) If you love all of your outfits, five changes of clothes is plenty.
10. It takes nearly a month to feel comfortable with moving to a new location and have your happiness and satisfaction levels rebound to their set point. When you are just “traveling” this doesn’t become a factor. When you “Move”, you are looking for housing, friends, restaurants, transportation, buying food staples, and more, so there is a large startup cost to changing locations, which is why three months seems to be an ideal length of stay in a country.
11. I still get annoyed that the whole world doesn’t speak my language. Sure, I can learn a language quickly, and that greatly enhances my experience and ability to connect and understand a new culture. But that learning comes at the cost of learning other important skills. There are some translation apps that are moderately effective, but I haven’t seen someone truly solve the universal communication problem yet.

The post Eleven Rants and Lessons from Four Years as a Digital Nomad appeared first on The Art Of Adventure.

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