Hey guys, a quick thanks for checking out this interview. I hope I can either inspire you or provide you with some valuable information. Let’s get this show on the road.
1. How and why did you choose to go nomadic?
I have wanted to travel the world for as long as I can remember. I had no intention of entering the “real world” before seeing what else was out there. It turns out, after seeing the world, I couldn’t go back to the way life was before. I saw how much this world had to offer and quickly realized, why stay in one place when you can make money from your laptop? I mean come on… How freaking cool is that?!
After a year of working full time on Adventure In You, an adventure travel blog with my better half (who yep you guessed it, I met while traveling), we got a small round of funding to take it to the next level. Now, the whole team works online and are collectively based in three different countries.
Because I chose this nomadic lifestyle, I have lived in the Philippines where I first got into the whole “internet and tech” scene, Indonesia where I tried to get better at surfing, Ecuador, and now have been based in Chiang Mai for the last 5 months. I have also traveled across 4 continents and through multiple countries. Usually I spend anywhere between 2-6 months in a place but this time it’s different, as I see Chiang Mai as the central hub of our company.
Note: If you want to know more about why I decided to travel you can read my very personal post titled Why I decided to Travel the World in my 20s.
2. What was it like leaving your home country?
Nerve racking… for my mum. I was stoked! I had money which I had been saving for 4 years and a one way ticket.
I miss family and friends from back home of course, but for me traveling is the best thing you can do. The quote “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine strongly resonates with me and what I believe in.
3. What are your biggest struggles? Fears?
Today, I would say my main struggle is staying focused on one thing at a time. As most “Digital Nomads” will tell you, it is not easy. You set your own goals and standards, therefore a lot of the time you never feel like you are doing enough. There is always something new you feel you need to learn or someone you feel is doing 10 times more than you.
I have two fears. The first is that my baby bro is going to grow up and I will regret being away for a big part of his life. Everytime I see him in person or on skype, I feel like he is growing up so fast and I am missing out. The second is a fear of letting my team down. I have such a great team of individuals who trust and follow my leadership, letting them down would truly suck. Not letting them down is one of the things that drives me everyday.
4. How are you funding your lifestyle and what projects are you working on?
I get paid to answer interviews like this…. Oh wait, sh*t you guys aren’t paying me are you?
When I am not getting conned to answer interviews, I make my living from running my company Adventure In You Pte Ltd. The corporation is made up of Adventure In You, an adventure travel website, and GetStoked, a new lifestyle app which is currently in beta testing here in Chiang Mai.
Adventure In You focuses on providing valuable adventure content aimed to inspire people to do more. Our revenue mainly comes from working with adventure companies (we only pick the best of course) and advertising. We are still working out the best revenue models for our brand but we will get there.
GetStoked is going to disrupt the “Things to do” or “Experience” market. The app will focus on providing the best outdoor activities around you but also include events that will get you stoked. First in Thailand and then the rest of Asia (that’s just the start). We have a great investor behind us, a kickass adventure website and like I already said, an awesome team. So I really believe we can crush this.
Quick question – when you want to find something to do around you what app do you use ? You will be saying GetStoked very soon.
5. What is the estimated monthly cost of living for one of your favorite locations? What lifestyle does that afford?
I have seen a few interviews here talking about living costs in Chiang Mai so I will talk about living in Ecuador (currency is usd).
We lived in Olon, Ecuador near the coast for around 2 months. Rent was around $400 for a place pretty much on the beach or at least with a beach view (with ac). For a month there, surfing everyday and eating out pretty much all the time, the rough cost was $800 bucks (for one person and even cheaper if you are splitting the rent with your partner or friend).
6. What is your top tip for someone who aspires to earn money online and travel?
Do it. Like one of my favourite entrepreneurs Gary V says, “Seriously guys, just f*cking do it”. A lot of people try to learn everything or spend their time talking about the next big project they are going to do. When we first bought the adventureinyou.com domain I knew nothing about websites. Nothing. I first set it up on wordpress.com and did it all wrong. It was going to be a shop and then it turned into a blog, even though at the time, I didn’t even know what a blog was.
From then on we kept working and learning from our mistakes. I would suggest picking a niche that you are passionate about. Focus on your strengths. For example I am terrible at marketing and I’m not a great writer (you guys are probably like “we knew that already”). So I leave that to my partner/team while I focus on our business strategy, operations, costs and product.
Any final thoughts?
If you take one thing away from this interview take this:
“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
If you want to be a digital nomad, surround yourself with digital nomads. Let others who are hustling inspire you to do the same.