Introduce yourself — who are you, where are you and what do you do?

Hi everyone! I’m Chris from Manila, Philippines. I work remotely as a support engineer / sysadmin at Engine Yard, which is based in San Francisco. I work mostly from Manila, but this year I’ve traveled almost 6 months without missing a lot of work. It’s awesome to be able to do that!

Since I’ve lived all my life in the Philippines, my travels this year were mostly to the US and Europe. My wife and I love Paris. It’s expensive especially compared to where I live!

I love Asia as well! Phuket is nice. Seoul is a favorite. Oh, and Israel has been a unique experience.

It’s almost 2am and I’m hopping on a call at work. One of the downsides of a remote team but I’d take this over a job at an office anytime :slight_smile:

If you find your way to Manila, let me know.

4 Likes

Hey @crigor, nice to run into you – fellow Filipino over here!

So yeah, hi, my name is Carlo. I run a house cleaning business in Canada, which I manage from my laptop and with an internet connection. SEO, PPC and copywriting are my bread and butter. Currently based in Manila, Philippines.

I hopped on the “digital nomad” train mostly because I was fed up of working a regular day job, and I didn’t like the idea of having someone else in control of my time and freedom. And to be honest, my main motivating factor was that I really just didn’t want to start my day getting woken up by my alarm clock anymore.

My day job consisted of 3+ hours every day commuting and it was killing me, so when our department got laid off I looked at it as a blessing in disguise. Had a decent amount of savings then, and since I was already dabbling in affiliate marketing and other methods of making money online I figured I’d have a go at making that work for me. That was in 2009, and I haven’t looked back ever since.

Early last year, I flew back to my hometown of Metro Manila in the Philippines because I had it up to here with the freezing Canadian weather (grew up in both Manila and Jakarta so I’m a tropical boy at heart). Plus I wanted the option of being able to go to the beach whenever I felt like doing so, of which the Philippines has PLENTY :smiley:.

This year wasn’t a very productive year for me as I spent the majority of my time really just coasting and never getting anything solid off the ground. Motivation (or the lack of it rather) was a huge factor, so I figured immersing myself in a community of like-minded people would help me be more consistent in working to increase my bottom line.

Looking forward to participating more in this forum!

4 Likes

wow. I can’t believe I read all of the 22 replies. Y’all are very inspiring. I’m impressed.

I’m Ahmed. I’m from Tunisia. I didn’t really know much about what a digital nomad is until this year maybe or perhaps last year. I’ve been read so much about the lives and experiences of other travelers that I don’t actually remember when I started thinking that I wanted to do this for myself as well

Anyway, I knew that in order to sport this lifestyle, I’ll have to find a remote job and I did. Booya! I’ve actually been working with remote companies since more than a year now. Writing unpublished reports for few companies and using my English skills in an over-francophone work environment such is Tunisia.

I’m not a digital nomad yet but I’m really planning it right now. Besides that geo-arbitrage doesn’t really work naturally for me or the fact that I don’t enjoy visa-free transplanting through any country, I’m really having a hard time getting a business of my own together which is what I ultimately want to do. I’m great at ideation, selling and talking to people (since this is exactly what I studied in college) but I lack the tech skills. So, I’m working right now (in a co-working space just for the mention) to save money and hone my technical skills (currently learning RoR).

Apart from the third world whining part, I’ve been to 17 countries since 2012. Three in the Middle East, America and mostly Europe. My next trip which is in February will be to Estonia and the rest of the Baltic countries. I suspect that I’ll be tempted into taking the ferry to Helsinki. And, Asia during the summer or would it be super super hot?

I work for a Dubai version of Carousell (Singapore) for those who are familiar with this app. Classifieds social app.

Does anybody want to start an online business to sustain their travels?

3 Likes

My name’s Brandon, I’m 25 and hail from western New York where I currently live. I work a decent 9-5 gig, and am funneling every free dollar I have towards my first online business.

I first came across the concept of location independent income and constant travel when I read the four hour work week back in '08. Since then I’ve spent an obscene amount of time researching every type of way to produce income online, and not enough of it actually trying any of them! I’ve been working full time office jobs for the past two and a half years, and after recently getting a new job that is no more fulfilling than the previous one I decided that I needed to make a more radical change if I really wanted to be happy.

A few months ago I found an idea I think is solid and am finally pulling the trigger! I’m going the ecommerce route, using FBA to house my product for both sales on Amazon and on my own website. I have some product shipping to my house right now for a final check, and I’m hoping to get this off the ground in early 2015!

As far as where I’m going, haven’t decided yet but right now the front runners are Berlin, Buenos Aires, Medellin, Chiang Mai and Phuket. This seems like a great community, and I’m looking forward to getting this off the ground and eventually meeting you all!

Side note: the nomad house concept seems incredible, really looking forward to seeing how that plays out!

2 Likes

Hi everyone! I’m Megan, I’m 26, and I’m only beginning my nomadic journey. Born and raised in Ohio and went to grad school in SW Virginia. After I rejected the ominous trajectory of academia, I up and moved to Medellin, Colombia in January 2014 with the vague plan of job searching in S.America. Knowing what I know now, the problem began with me ‘searching’ instead of ‘creating’. However, I met some successful and enthusiastic digital nomads, freelancers, and entrepreneurs in Medellin who exposed me to a world of digital possibility.

After several months, I came back to DC (where I am currently) to keep afloat financially while I develop my nomadic game plan :slight_smile: I’m working in my first and last 9-5 gig as a water & climate researcher. In 6 months Ill be back on the road, so I’m developing more concrete income ideas and building a base of resources and support to keep it going this time around. Take-two of nomad life: 2015 edition!

Excited I found this community and look forward to sharing stories.

1 Like

Hi, everyone. I’m glad to see this forum take off.

I’m a long-time consultant to big businesses. In about 2009 I decided to change my business structure to make it location independent, converting my advice into information products and otherwise productizing stuff. After some test trips to make sure travel didn’t hurt my business, I left the US in 2010.

I was based in southern Mexico for several years, with trips to other places, and then in April 2014 I sold everything again and have been traveling full time.

This year started with an Asian theme (Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea), but now I’m in Madrid. Next is the UK and Croatia. I’m considering getting Spanish residency, but I need to run around a bit more.

I’m older than most here but I like to think that just makes me wise. Or not. I’m a big advocate of choosing clients who pay well and treat you professionally, something that doesn’t always happen in nomad-land.

5 Likes

Hi all you wonderful nomads, I’m Keerthik Omanakuttan (that’s a mouthful, I know). I go by K to some people until they get used to the idea that Keerthik is actually not as hard to say as it looks. I have been following levels since I came across his post about bootstrapping from Thailand over a year ago. It was perfectly timed, because it had just been decided that I would leaving the states due it’s fuck-all immigration system, and suddenly this gave me something interesting to look forward to with my forced-upon-me freedom :slight_smile:

If you are ever in the same city as me, I would happily grab a drink/coffee/icecream/meal/all-of-the-above with you, and maybe even plan to give you company on one of your trips (we all know nomad-ery can be lonely when you do it for a while). If you’re ever visiting picturesque Cochin, in South India, hit me up and maybe I can put you up in my parents’ most-of-the-year unoccupied beach-house :wink:

This is a loaded question for me. I am ethnically Indian (and hold a passport for the same), grew up in the Middle East, studied at a weird school (link below) in Boston (and felt at home for the first time) and spent 2 years in the Bay Area founding BitGym before going digital nomad in Asia. The Bay Area was probably the first place I thought “I want this to be my home,” and started trying to settle there. Alas, US immigration is a nightmare and a half. I have no residence/visa status in any country other than India now, which kind of sucks to be honest (all you Europeans, Americans and Singaporeans count your blessings!). So I’m not sure where I’m from, home is where I feel like I belong the most, and that was probably the Bay Area. But given that I can’t stay there now (visa complications) it’s being on the road until I can return to my team in Berkeley, CA, US.

As I said (and like many others), I don’t really have any one place I can call home. I left Berkeley in November of 2013. I have been digital nomad since then, still working on BitGym. I visit my parents’ house in Kerala, India every 3-4 months, because I need to be in India to get visas for wherever else I want to go next (and hardly because it’s “home” – my folks don’t even live there, they’re still based in the Middle East). I have visited my parents in Oman twice this past year, which is actually quite great because I hardly saw them while I studied/worked in the States. That said, home is California and I haven’t been there in over a year, and I miss it :frowning:

I am cofounder, Android Lead, and Anything Else I Can Do guy at BitGym (4-person team). We make game-mechanic-inspired interactive experiences for indoor fitness. Install BitGym on your smart-device, place it on a treadmill/elliptical/whatever, and the front-facing camera uses computer vision (yes, it’s super accurate and runs on mobile and it’s hard to believe) to determine how fast you’re working out, which is used as an input into showing you first-person forward motion HD video through beautiful trails in the world. Maybe this video does a better job explaining it :smiley:

I also manage my site and blog where I talk about game design, transcending national political boundaries and feeling at home in different places (my take on nomad-ery), and running startups. Also working on an indie game studio nights and weekends, and am the creator of a soon-to-be-on-kickstarter boardgame that we’re just waiting on getting the team assembled in one place to shoot the video for :smile: (links at the end)

Singapore! I was in Seoul and Hong Kong the last few months before this.

I will be returning “home” to India, as it’s time to get the next round of visit visas (Taiwan, Japan, and possibly another one for S.Korea), as well as attend some weddings (wedding season) and to get pampered by my mom’s cooking.

Gosh, this entire year has been more happening than the rest of my life put together. I’m not much of a tourist-y nomad, I mostly spend time in cities making new friends when I’m not working. Probably getting to watch a StarCraft tournament finals as well as the League of Legends World Championship finals live (and showing up on the streams :smiley: ) within 2 months of each other, in the mecca of eSports, Seoul, will be most memorable for me so far. But it’s just part of a long stretch of really unforgettable times being a nomad.

To California? I don’t know, depends on my visa getting figured out. To India? Next week, to figure out my next travel visas. To Oman? I’m not sure, I may need to go get some stuff from my parents’ house.

A world of things. And there’s so much more to learn, about the things so far and others. So far, in no particular order: How to own and carry less stuff and feel good about it. How to increase productivity when working remote from your team with lower accountability.

How to communicate through language barriers. How to be happy as a lonely traveler, and learn about the things that you enjoy, that aren’t determined by a social circle. Related, how to find communities where you’re likely to make new friends because they share an interest fundamental to who you are. How to manage logistics of travel (cheap tickets, cheap accommodation, visa processes). How to keep in touch with people. How to relate to different cultural values. How to look past race, nationality, language, gender, when meeting new people.

How to easily bypass (some) public wifi hotspot payment walls. How to efficiently learn subway maps and bus routes, the basics of a new language, and the core culture around interacting with people in a certain place. How to procure a data plan/SIM card. How to find the local efficient and cheap fallback meal when you just need healthy, tasty food quickly and easily so you can get back to work.

There’s a surprising amount here. Having lasting connections with people. Forget long-term romantic relationships, even friendships that I hadn’t forged and secured many years ago, seem fleeting and hard to hold onto. I have met 10s of people who I got along with great and had a blast with, but I would probably never see again. It’s cool in a way to meet so many people, but sad that none of those connections will last. Falling in love and being like “well too bad I’m leaving in 10 days and it’d be a stupid idea to expect anything here” and moving on, whether it’s with a person, a city or a coffee shop. Dealing with logistics around visas (you’ll find nearly no Chinese national or Indian nationals as digital nomads, because our passports really suck), and having to be back in India every time I need to go somewhere else. And of course, people not understanding what I do, especially people not understanding that these difficulties I mentioned above (and that others among you have talked about) are real problems that they don’t have to deal with on a daily basis. Essentially, because there’s so few of us nomads, we don’t get much empathy, heh.

Links because link-cap:
levels post that got me started: levels.io/bootstrapping-startup-thailand/
college: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_W._Olin_College_of_Engineering
personal site: keerthik.github.io
indie studio: zoako.com
board game: facebook.com/dicestorm

4 Likes

Hi everyone!

I’m Bryce and I currently work for a ‘remote’ company called WooThemes on the open-source WooCommerce ecommerce plugin for WordPress.

At the moment I live in Bangkok, originally from Australia, but am constantly travelling around to new places!

My day-to-day focus is really on everything WordPress and WooCommerce. I write a lot about it on my blog (link through above) and enjoy meeting other digital nomads.

If you’ve ever coming through Bangkok, definitely hit me up on twitter.

I think a few of us from WooThemes are doing an ‘AUA’ in a few weeks too, so feel free to ask me questions then! :slight_smile:

3 Likes

what’s your name?
    Jon Brown, @jb510 and WanderingJon
where are you from?
    Born and raised Southern California, “home” is now Maui, Hawaii.
how long have you been away from home?
    Location indpendent since 2006/8 depending on how I measure
what do you do?
    Web Developer, owner 9seeds.
where are you currently?
    Home for the holidays
where are you going?
    staying home for a few months to get married
what has been memorable for you so far?
    8 years… hard to name just 100.
will you go home anytime soon?
    I spend 3-6 months a year at home.
what have you learnt during your time as a nomad?
    never book a roundtrip ticket, it’s the one thing you’ll always regret

3 Likes

Hey @Cathy, could you tell me a bit more about your switch from consultant to products? (if you prefer via DM) , I’m currently in the beginning phase of this transition and could use some consulting :smile:


Then about me: I’m Robert, Dutch, I’m not a web developer, not a designer and not a programmer. I’m currently helping 9 startups (apps/webshops) with user acquisition & retention, basically I get hired when the “product” is finished and people don’t understand why sales are so low. I’ll be moving towards Asia upcoming summer, probably to have a talk with the guys from www.tropicalmba.com. Hit me up if you want to talk in Amsterdam.

1 Like

Hey guys, I’m Melanie from NYC and left my job as a designer 3 months ago to start my company called Sunrise Project where I travel the world and watch sunrises to inspire people to live inspired lives.

I’m currently in Sydney, Australia and plan on staying in AU for another few months until I can save up enough to book it to SE Asia. No plans to go home anytime soon, just discovered how real the possibility of becoming a digital nomad is (currently not making any money) and the fire has been lit under my ass.

If you’re ever in Australia/interested in setting up a monthly google chat to help motivate/bounce ideas off of like minded folks, hit me up on twitter.

3 Likes

What’s your name?
Patrick Loonstra

Where are you from?
The Netherlands, Groningen to be precise.

How long have you been away from home?
The max is 6 weeks for now, to Costa Rica.

What do you do?
I am a designer, so stuff like logo’s, print, websites and stuff that needs to work better by design. My main focus is branding. So, the visual side of a brand.

Where are you currently?
Still in The Netherlands

Where are you going?
Right now, I am planning a trip of 6 months to South America. To work and live from. Starting from march 2015.

3 Likes

Hey everybody ! So I’m Bastien From Lille in France, I’m actually student in part time in a small startup which develop software for green building industry until I’ll finish my studies in next september.

I’m here to read about DN and get some informations about it, since I plan to move away from france on next september. My goal is idealy to find a remote job or starting a buisness.

Since I’m a tech guy, I have to continue to improve myself in my fav domains, including mobile, back end development and trying to find partners to collaborate with for the front part which is actually not my piece of cake.

Idealy I would like to build products to promote local shop and trying to change peoples minds about the way of consuming food. I have ideas about this, I just need time now.

My ideal lifestyle is to live like a Hobbit but with travel.

If some peoples plane to visit north of France this year, message me :smile:

1 Like

Hello All,

My name is Noam and I run CleanForest.co - a web and mobile development agency. In the winter time I live in Taiwan and the summer time I live in Toronto.

Taiwan is a fantastic place to run an online business. Clean, safe, beautiful, low cost, democratic, good food, good people, fast Internet. It is a convenient place to live with very easy access to amenities: food, transportation, laundry, etc.

One advantage of Taiwan is that it is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Since the majority of my clients are in North America, when I am working during my day, they are sleeping which helps to keep focused and productive with minimal interruptions.

The worst part of Taiwan is pollution - which is a problem across much of Asia and many other parts of the world. Hopefully this will start to improve…

If you ever want to visit Taiwan, drop me a message at [email protected] !

1 Like

Hello! My name is Maria Scarpello, I like to claim Lawrence, KS as where I am from even though we haven’t lived there for over 4.5 years. In 2008 my partner, Brian Devine and I purchased our first motorhome, affectionately named Stanley. In what we thought would be a 6 month adventure has turned into a new way of life for us. We had done some backpacking in Europe, but have 2 dogs so decided it was time to explore more of our own country, seeing as we hadn’t done much up until that point.

Currently we are in Vegas for New Years with plans to go over to the Southern CA coast for Jan, then cut across to FL by March as we will officially be switching our residency.

I work fulltime for a WordPress theme and plugin company called WooThemes. I started in Support and have grown into creating my own role in the company, Internal Community Manager. I absolutely love working for Woo and spending time throughout my day working with everyone on the team.

I’d say the most memorable aspect of our lifestyle is the complete life change we’ve gone thru. The typical things most nomads experience when they downsize their life and trade possessions for experiences. I know this lesson will carry me throughout the rest of my life and I will feel richer because of it.

We always get the same question from our travels, which tend to take us to some breweries. Okay… a lot of breweries. Actually 400+ in the last 4 years (but who’s counting? Brian).

What is your favorite ____?

Could be brewery, could be location. People that don’t get out much tend to think of this one end-all-be-all, fantasic, must-see, can’t miss destination. When the truth is, most travelers I know could never just name one favorite, there are simply too many good things to list them all!

Instead, I think travelers can be more intrigued by telling stories about their experiences, it is after all, what we long for. So a better question might be:

What has been one of your favorite traveling experiences.
I’m sure a whole bunch of stories just popped into all of your heads. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for taking time to learn a bit more about me. Looking forward to meeting more of you!

Cheers!
-Maria

1 Like

what’s your name? - I’m Zachary Strebeck, game lawyer and digital nomad
where are you from? - Born: Pittsburgh, PA; Grew up: South Jersey; Lived in SoCal for the past 11 years
how long have you been away from home? - Since January 2014, but I had a few months back home over the summer
what do you do? - I’m an attorney, a blogger and a freelance writer
where are you currently? - Tokyo, Japan
where are you going? - South Korea for a few weeks, then back to Tokyo until summer
what has been memorable for you so far? - I got to sit with and pet a live panda in China, I’ve met tons of amazing people and eaten amazing and crazy food (pig brains -_- ), and just had an overall amazing time!
will you go home anytime soon? - I will be home in the US for the summer, but for business, traveling to various gaming conventions to meet designers who may want to hire me as their lawyer.
what have you learnt during your time as a nomad? - Not to be afraid of the world. I’ve been more afraid on the streets of LA or NYC than I have in foreign cities like Bangkok and Saigon. Also, I’ve become more confident and more amazing over the past year.

My law firm blog is www.strebecklaw.com/blog, where I talk about gaming and internet legal issues.

My travel/nomad blog is www.alawyerabroad.com, where I talk about how to be a professional and grow your practice or business while traveling full time. This blog is relatively new, though, but I’m super excited about it!

I hope to learn a ton from the other nomads here on the forum!

2 Likes

Hi there! I’m Michael. Originally from New Jersey but been traveling for 6 years and moved to Seattle as a home base. I work for WooThemes on WooCommerce and co-founder of Travel Blog Success. Before WooThemes, I did web development and travel blogged my way around the world on Art of Adventuring. After traveling around the world for several years, I decided to make a home base in Seattle, WA. While Seattle is my new home, I’m never really here all that often. I’m always on the road. I love the flexibility of working from anywhere in the world and can’t imagine doing it any other way.

1 Like

Hi nomads! I’m Jason Cook, from the US (NYC and LA) and I just left! I’ve been out of the country for less than a month so I’m still trying to figure things out at this point — noob advice greatly appreciated!

By day I design software for businesses — “experience strategy, design and architecture for line of business products spanning desktop, mobile and web touchpoints” if were being formal. By night I write and (occasionally) perform electronic music.

I’m in London right now. I chose London as my first stop because I thought it would offer a “soft” introduction to nomadism, coming from the States. There’s no language barrier here, and I can establish something of a second base of operations to return to if needed, rather than returning all the way to the States if I feel like being “home” for a while. Truth is, I haven’t been “home” for four or five months, anyway — I rented out my house and was nomadic in LA before I finally got to Europe. And, anyway, I hadn’t felt “at home” in LA for a long time — all my friends left the city, as I had been trying to do for many, many years. I’ve mentally had one foot out the door for a while now.

I have some connections in Bulgaria so I imagine I may bounce back and forth between London and either Varna or Sofia for a bit. What’s nice is that bookends Europe nicely, so I have lots of incentive to see the places in between. I’m a big city guy, through and through, so the places I’d like to spend some time are all Europe’s great metropolises. I see myself spending time in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, as far as the Schengen Area goes, and UK, Bulgaria and Romania otherwise.

Glad to meet you all!

2 Likes

Howdy,

My name is Will and I am originally from Wyoming in the United States. Ten years ago I took what was supposed to be a 4-month leave-of-absence from my job to go work in Antarctica. I worked in Antarctica for five years on a rotating on/off schedule and explored the world during my off-time. Eventually I took a position with the same company in Taiwan and then the UAE, all with ample time-off between jobs.

During all of that time I learned a thing or two about WordPress and was doing freelance work to pay rent when I wasn’t employed. I found out very quickly that I didn’t have the knack for all of the ancillary things related to freelancing - I didn’t want to be hustling for clients, hounding people to pay invoices, accounting or any of it really so I looked for something else and found WooThemes. What an awesome company! 100% remote and full of very talented and inspiring individuals. I am truly privileged to be working with them!

At this very moment I am based in Panamá where I have been exceptionally happy for the past year.

About one month ago my wife asked one of her freelance clients if there might be a full-time, on-site position for her and they said yes so we’re going to Tulum, Mexico sometime in late February/early March.

With ten years more or less bouncing around the globe, a lot of memories have been made - far too many to list here.

I have no plans of returning “home” in the foreseeable future.

I’ve learned that no matter where you go, people want the same basic things that I want.

2 Likes

what’s your name? Peter, also known as GeoNomad
where are you from? It’s complicated. Brit who has lived all over. 114 countries visited. Lived for more than 3 months in a bunch of them.
how long have you been away from home? Home? I don’t know where that is now.
what do you do? Invent electronic products and write software.
where are you currently? Silicon Valley, CA, USA
where are you going? Las Vegas for CES next week.
what has been memorable for you so far? Living on a sailboat for a few years.
will you go home anytime soon? I am always at home, wherever I am.
what have you learnt during your time as a nomad? Relax and enjoy everything.

4 Likes