A New Journey
Starting this week, I will embark on an active learning adventure that will take me through various parts of Asia. My goals are to:
1) learn more about digital nomads and how they find success in remote work
2) Find a remote job for myself
3) share those experiences here on Globe Hacker
I've decided to focus on traveling around Asia for the next 4 months because of it's close proximity to my home base of Hawaii (I bought a one way ticket to Japan for $390!) and relative low cost of living. Southeast Asia is apparently the "Digital Nomad Capitol” of the world, so I’d like to see how true that is!
The purpose of meeting and interviewing other digital nomads will be to help me find my own niche in the remote working world. I plan to find and start a remote job in the next 3 weeks. I’ve already started the job hunt and it’s awesome to see how many available positions there are!
As far as what type of work I plan to do, I need to decide on a specific role that would be the best fit for me. Since I have experience in software sales, prospecting and lead generation roles would be an easy first step. However, traditional prospecting jobs usually require a strict time schedule based on US hours. Maybe something more unique like audio transcription or freelance copywriting would be a better fit for my current setup.
WeWorkRemotely is a great resource for finding remote jobs for English speakers in various roles like customer support, sales, and programming. Some jobs require being available during US working hours but others allow complete time zone flexibility. I’ll need a position that can accommodate for the time zone difference here in Asia but a digital nomad working in Central or South America could easily make these time requirements work.
Luckily, if I’m making US dollars while living Asia, I can take advantage of each country’s exchange rate in order to make ends meet. This is why working remotely is so cool: one doesn’t need the salary he is used to in his home country in order to live the lifestyle he wants! If you spend $1.50 on a bowl of Pad Thai in Bangkok instead of $12 on a sad office cubicle lunch, you don’t need to be slaving away as much in order to cover your expenses. For example, if I can live off of $30 a day in the Philippines (accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beer) that means I only have to make $210/week, $840/month, $10K/year in order to get by. That is absolutely do-able.
What else can I do to help keep my expenses down?
As a photographer, I also plan to exchange my aerial and portrait photography services for anything of equal trade (lodging, experiences, etc.) Check out my website to see some of my work :) I’m already scheduled to help with several digital media focused volunteer projects through Workaway.info. There are volunteer projects for all types of skill sets.
I plan to utilize my experience in sales and marketing, copywriting, blogging, and photography. If you haven’t used Workaway before, I highly recommend it. Besides being a great way to save money while traveling, there are some insanely unique opportunities: sailing and blogging on the great barrier reef, helping at a surf hostel in Bali, teaching English in a picturesque village in Vietnam. Why not meet and work with other inspiring, creative people around the world while doing incredible things?!
Last year was the first time I ever worked abroad. It was at an awesome software company called Contentools based in Brazil. It was a wonderful experience, but I was still at a full time desk job. This will be my first time actively pursuing independent digital nomad work and I couldn’t be more excited! What excites me the most is the flexibility of my plan: I'll be able to wake up in a new country every week if I want! But, I also need to be cost conscious and focused in order to keep traveling. Any tips you can recommend would be much appreciated!
So, if you're in Southeast Asia over the next couple of months, let's meetup! And if you know any entrepreneurs or generally exciting people I should meet, please feel free to leave a comment below this post or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My good friend from San Francisco, Tom Guzman, will also be joining me and will be documenting his travels. Check out his blog for a different perspective on travel and globe hacking.
Wish me luck and see you out there!