Hey, I’m Biron. In August 2015 I quit my 9–5 job, bought a one way ticket to Chiang Mai and became a nomad. I found a passion in copywriting and online marketing and I’ve learned as much as possible about both this past year. I use this knowledge to help my clients as a freelancer, and I run a career advice blog with 40,000 monthly visitors. I sell a few information products and trainings as well, and I plan on offering more in the future!
1. How and why did you choose to go nomadic?
I love travel and I love tropical weather. I’ve always had this fascination with the tropics. And seeing it for seven days at a time on a typical vacation wasn’t enough. I wanted to fully adjust to it. Going nomadic was the way.
That was just one piece of the decision though. I’m a pretty logical guy most of the time. When you compare costs between Boston and a place like Chiang Mai, it’s a no-brainer. Then factor in the amount of time I save not having to cook, do laundry, clean my room or any of that. It can all be bought for a few dollars in Chiang Mai, which lets me focus on my business.
Being a nomad lets you stay flexible and choose locations that really work for your goals at the time. You’re never stuck or trapped with a situation that isn’t beneficial.
2. What was it like leaving your home country?
It was great. I enjoyed every minute of the experience, from getting on the plane at 2 AM in Boston to taking my first “songthaew” to my hotel in Chiang Mai when I arrived.
3. What are your biggest struggles? Fears?
My biggest fear before leaving were whether I’d make friends. This ended up being a non-factor and isn’t something anyone should worry about in my opinion. If you put in effort you’ll be fine. People are much more open to new friendships when they’re away from home and you’ll meet people every day.
The biggest struggle in the end was productivity and organization. With nobody telling you what to do, you’re the only person responsible for whether you succeed or fail. And that took a bit of an adjustment for me.
4. How are you funding your lifestyle and what projects are you working on?
I have a career advice blog where I sell information products. I used to offer one-on-one coaching through that site as well but stopped because it’s not scalable. I also do freelance marketing and copywriting and I got my start on Upwork. I know what you’re thinking… “That’s not scalable either!!” Well, I’d rather do consulting work for successful businesses than individual job seekers from my log. Why? Bigger projects and more repeat business. $3,000 is nothing to most profitable businesses. If you go ask a job seeker or reader from my blog for $3,000 they’ll look at me like I’m crazy.
5. What is the estimated monthly cost of living for one of your favorite locations? What lifestyle does that afford?
I’m guessing other people will talk about Chiang Mai so let me mix it up. I’ll talk about Cebu, Philippines. That’s the last place I was before flying home to visit friends in Boston.
The monthly cost was $1,000–1,100 USD if you want comfortable/semi-luxurious amenities.
Rent was $540. It’s a bit high compared to the rest of Southeast Asia because the Philippines doesn’t really have a developed middle class. Most people are either rich or poor. Anyway, my money got me a pool, small cardio room, roof deck, 24 hour guard, very fast DSL internet (in a country where internet is notoriously slow.. So this was huge to have!)
A meal out was $2–3 USD.
Taxis were $2–5 USD pretty much anywhere in the city.
A beer at a restaurant was less than $1.
6. What is your top tip for someone who aspires to earn money online and travel?
My best tip is set goals and plan your days. Don’t just sit down at the laptop and work on whatever you feel like. Be strategic. If not, you’re going to look up at the calendar after a month has passed and be pretty disappointed in the progress you’ve made.
Any final thoughts?
People say this all the time and I used to roll my eyes, but it’s true. When you’re traveling around, things work themselves out. It won’t always go exactly to plan but things do work. You’ll learn to solve problems and become more confident because of it. You can’t plan every little thing before arriving in a city. So plan the big stuff, set yourself up for a comfortable transition, and then take a small leap of faith and let the rest work itself out.
Also, come and check out my new blog, which I will be making an effort to post more on.