By- Rick A. Griffith
Photo Credit- Kevindooley
This will serve as the first "Primer" post for initiating your first voyage overseas and setting you up to work remotely from anywhere in the world. The topics covered in this post are basic and general, but trust that in the posts throughout the next two weeks, I will provide you with real world, "boots on the ground" insight on how you can live anywhere in the world and work on your own terms. In this series which I am calling the "Knowledgeable Nomads" series, I'll be providing you with no BS, no general mindset crap, but instead with real world, actionable steps you can take to do exactly what I am doing.
In less than one month I will be leaving for Dusseldorf, Germany, en route to Sicily, where I will live on an Olive grove a short walk from the beach. Here I will work remotely, while staying for FREE. This is just the beginning of my second Mini-retirement which will span the next 5 months. If you are interested in learning how you can do the same, read on...
Photo Credit- ignazio.gallo
I decided to do something a bit different today. I like to share in depth psychological stories on how one can break free from the daily grind to enjoy a higher quality of life, however not everyone has time to read mindset articles, when there mindset is simply to get to Friday. Am I right? After all, I forget that most people actually have those things called 9-5's, well at least most people did before the economy tanked it big time that is.
But lets get to the point for those hard workers who may have stumbled upon this post from Facebook, Stumble Upon or Twitter and are interested in a few quick, hard hitting tips that really can change your life and improve the path through it.
The following is a list is in chronological order of execution, and is for those looking to begin the process of quitting their job and hitting the road to their dream destinations. I have personally done this and now have the great advantage of working from wherever I'd like to throughout the world, while seeing beautiful places, learning new languages and making lifelong friends.
So here is your first lesson in World Nomad 101, enjoy!
Photo Credit- Robert Couse-Baker
1. Figure out what it is that you want- If there is one thing that bothers me the most in people, it is the complete absence of knowing what you want in your life. I think that most people neglect truly figuring this fact out and stating it aloud, simply because they are actually scared of the reality that lies within.
To examplify this here are a few quotes from people I've talked to over the past year about this exact topic. See if you can pick out a common theme here:
"I don't know what I want, I'm not a traveler like you. I would be so scared that I didn't speak the language or that I'd get lost."
What I really want to say, but just grin and nod instead-
"You do know what you want, I wasn't born a jet setting, world nomad either. Eustress is a good thing, this is precisely what makes this proposition so exciting. You make it a journey, like a game. Not knowing the language and the city and being scared produces a massive adrenaline rush and teaches you quite a bit about the good will of other people, most of who are more than willing to help if you simply ASK. Most of all, you will learn a tremendous amount about yourself and achive more personal growth than any weekend convention center meeting at the airport hilton could ever provide (southpark reference)"
Nameless Victim #2-
"I could never do that, I'm scared of flying. Plus isn't it dangerous over there?"
My frustration mounts, as I grit my teeth squeeze out a polite smile and nod, while thinking-
"Your scared of what? Death in a plane crash? So instead you are willing to live a long unfulfilled life?
"Dangerous? I'm not selling American Flags in Libya, I'm going to Buenos Aires. You know someone was shot a block from your house this week right?"
My point is that there are two kinds of people, those who make excuses for why they can't reach their dreams and those who say fuck it and just go get shit done. Pardon my French, I'm going there soon as well and needed to practice.
2. Devise a master plan- I honestly don't care if you are planning a heist, it is a better starting point than most will reach. You must take an honest look at your situation and see how difficult this process is going to be. If you are young, single and in a dead end job, obviously this decision should be pretty simple. Remember that the lack of money is not an excuse, we'll get to that in a second. If you are married and have a family, you also cannot create an excuse for not hitting the road. For examples of how to travel while raising children, just see these two nomadic families for some inspiration, SoulTravelers3, Maya Frost both of whom have achieve amazing and lives overseas.
Whether young or old, why wait until some unforeseen date until it is the "right time" to take the leap? Guess what? IT WILL NEVER BE THE RIGHT TIME. Sorry to break it too you, but with all of the complications life throws at us daily, the magical "right time" will never simply fall into your lap. Book a $1,000 in plane tickets and then see if your little problems are still deal breakers.
In devising your plan take into account all the things that are necessary in hitting the road. My best advise is to read Rolf Potts's book Vagabonding, as there are far too many things to consider to put into this post. Another great book for quitting the rat race and setting out on a long term voyage abroad is the bestselling hit The 4 Hour Workweek. If you don't have a copy yet, just go buy it. This book provided the first motivation to figure out what I wanted in my own life and plan my first Mini-Retirement in South America. Tim is one of the good guys and provides the reader with the perfect mindset needed to quit the bullshit mindtricks and go after what you really want. Highly recommended. These two books should provide you with a great base for your master plan and move you to the next step.
Photo Credit- AlanCleaver_2000
3. Quitting your job- Not everyone will need to quit their job as with the advances in technology, it is now possible to do almost anything via the internet. Still many non-progressive thinking bosses simply are not going to let their employees work from the cafes' of Rome. Also, many service based jobs are not able to be done virtually. If you want to transition your job into a virtual job that you can complete while traveling, definitely follow the steps in the previously mentioned 4 Hour Workweek to go about making this big change. Arranging remote work trials with your boss in particular and showing how much more productive you can be when not being bludgeon with useless employee banter will go a long way in arranging your first long term out of office work trial.
So that is all fine, but what about those people who cannot arrange a remote agreement with their boss?
What about the newly unemployed all around the country who are all seeking opportunities in a tough job market with no luck?
What about those 9-5ers who simply hate what they are doing and need a change?
I got you guys covered as well...
4. Creating mobile income- This is far easier than we all make it out to be. Sure we can all play out what if scenarios, while continuously participating in constant self loathing, that usually helps quite a bit. Where the true rubber meets the road is when we stop making excuses and simply go out and get shit done. I know this as fact, as I did what many of us do for over 2 years after initially designing my getaway plan. Finding my mobile income muse was the most difficult part of the process for me personally. The urgings from friends and family to leave your dreams behind and just "live in the real world" will likely hinder your progress at some point. In this time, it is important to note that you do not want their lives, you want something more. Having a supreme sense of confidence in what I was doing and knowing I was destined for more, was the only thing that brought me through the fire and to my eventual mobile income muse.
So what should I do to make money while traveling?
This could be an entire post on its own. My advice is to look at the many success stories who have done just this. Not everyone succeeds in the same way. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses here is essential. I started 5 unsuccessful companies to figure this out the hard way before analyzing what I was truly great at and avoiding the things that I simply thought I could make money in. Some people are not built to be business owners. I personally lack the organizational skills and ability to complete brainless tasks that is essential in running the day to day businesses that I undertook.
I found my muse by writing this blog for over a year an a half. In the process, I took a mind clearing journey through South America which reaffirmed what I was doing and my love for travel. I learned that I loved writing and began poking around for freelance writing opportunities. What I also learned is that being successful in this field was about finding the right clients. I meddled for months with projects paying disguisingly low rates for content production that a 3rd grader could complete, before deciding that I should stop wasting my time and simply go after better projects.
Spending the 15 extra hours per week going after quality clients as opposed to banging out boring SEO articles did wonders for not only my sanity, but for my income which increased tenfold. This has now turned into the muse that is funding all my journeys.
Quality over quantity.
Again, if you are the entrepreneur type, you will get a good primer from the 4HWW on finding your muse, but I'd also suggest checking out fellow nomads who have achieved their independence and already begun their journeys. I've featured many here on the site in the Game Changers section, but do a bit of research and find those entrepreneurs who inspire you and that you can easily relate too. Reach out to them, most will be more than willing to help you on your journey.
More than anything make sure you are entering a business that you are at least knowledgeable about. I failed in creating two clothing companies simply because I knew nothing about fashion other than what I thought looked "dope". Know your product and know your market.
5. Taking the leap- Whether you have negotiated a remote work agreement with your boss, created a product and began online sales, or begun freelance work to support your adventures, you are now ready to take the leap. This is by far the most important step of the process. If you have substantial savings and haven't quite figured out what you are going to do for income, you may find taking an early leap an extremely effective way to finding your muse. It is much easier to identify a need when you are in a foreign place and cannot find what you are looking for. This lead me to the idea of starting a shop selling protein shaker bottles and peanut butter in Buenos Aires, but shhhh that is on the dl. On a more serious note however, there are remarkable opportunities overseas in places where there are growing expat communities and in developing economies whose needs are changing.
One of the best resources I have found for locating potential opportunities abroad is the daily letter put out by Simon Black at SovereignMan.com. He has been featured on this blog in the Game Changers section and provides great commentary on opportunities abroad on a daily basis through his free daily e-mail letter. Looking for a second passport? Curious about forming a corporate structure in Hong Kong? His site is a great place to start your search.
The best thing to do is plan your location of your first 1-3 month voyage and book the ticket. When there is an impending deadline, people seem to work much more diligently in creating their getaway plan. I did this in late 2009 when I sporadically booked a $400 plane ticket to Lima, Peru, knowing basically nothing about Lima, except for the fact that it was on the same continent as my mini retirement destination, Buenos Aires. This turned out to be a great experience and although 160 hours of bus travel might have been a bit much for my first trip, I had a blast seeing Peru, Chile and Argentina while Salsa dancing with 70 year old Bolivian women in the aisle ways. Sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming.
This is just a primer for you to give you a few actionable steps to get started in leaving your everyday, mundane existence behind (no offense) and yes it is ok that I said that because I said no offense :)
I will be posting a series of articles over the next few weeks that will go into much more depth in this process and help you in creating a customized plan for your next escape abroad. In my next post, I will show you the common mistakes that are made in trying to realize your new nomadic lifestyle. Trust me if anyone can teach this section of the plan it is me, I've made nearly every mistake one could have made in my journey to this point. Stay tuned...