In my last blog post, I discussed how life is a work of art. The natural progression is to determine what to do with your life canvas based on this realization. I decided I want to be a digital nomad entrepreneur. While I can’t do this indefinitely until I finish my schooling, I did try this out while I was out of school. I had graduated undergrad 2 years early (June 2014) and had 2 years to work solely on learningdollars.com before returning to Stanford for an MS in Computer Science in September 2016.
Toptal, a company in the same space as learningdollars.com, is what put this idea in my head: https://www.toptal.com/freelance/a-digital-nomad-adventure-traveling-with-hacker-paradise.
These are other inspiring resources:
I believe it’s important to acknowledge how quickly time flies and take advantage of one’s youth to travel. When young, travel is cheap and making friends in youth hostels is easy. That being said you don’t have to jeopardize your career if your work is online. The concept of a digital nomad is what has inspired this blog, but this is my personal blog and will stay with me past my nomadic years.
I was initially planning to go to 100 countries in 1 year (Sep 2015 – Sep 2016). However due to growing business opportunities for learningdollars.com, and also due to certain other reasons which I’ll discuss later, I decided to return to California on December 30. Dates are on my travel map for the places I did visit. The places I’m yet to visit (country 35 and onward) do not have dates as I will go there in the future!
Details from my travel map:
Digital Nomad Work Schedule: S-M-T-W-Th – 8am – wake up – 9am – work – 1pm – explore – 8pm – work – 12am sleep
– Visit > 100 countries to qualify for the century traveller’s club (country as defined by the club —http://travelerscenturyclub.org/countries-and-territories).
– Attend as many important festivals as possible (https://www.fest300.com/worlds-best-festivals).
– Live as a digital nomad and explore outside of the silicon valley echo chamber (http://www.toptal.com/freelance/a-digital-nomad-adventure-traveling-with-hacker-paradise).
– Run a Social Entrepreneurship Company (learningdollars.com)
– Start Digital Nomad Blog
– Spend around 3 – 4 days in each youth hostel (time to make friends)*
– BOA no foreign transaction fees (and tell bank you are travelling)
– international plug adapter
– all clothes, microlight towel, toiletries, and laptop in one big backpack
– travel insurance (laptop and phone) [see https://www.reviews.com/travel-insurance/ for a more detailed analysis]
– international sim card
Lessons from travel:
– choose hostels near a bunch of less crowded wifi hotspots
– choose hostels close to city center
– choose hostels with good internet reviews
– choose bottom bunk if possible (and if no level slot to keep stuff for top bunk — otherwise pick top)
– restart computer if can’t connect to wifi
– use vpn to avoid firewall
– post and label pics on same day
Now, after the trip all the notes above are valid EXCEPT *. I certainly think that 3-4 days IS NOT enough at all.
The next time I go on a digital nomad trek I think 3-4 months per place is much better. After I finish my schooling and assuming learningdollars.com is still going well, I hope to join hackerparadise.org (if they accept me) or some equivalent. The benefits of this kind of program is:
- reliable wifi
- a private bedroom
- a desk in a co-working space
- I can make sure I have an ergonomic setup.
- Amazingly, they have an article about this too: https://www.toptal.com/remote/ergonomics-for-digital-nomads-working-on-the-road-without-killing-yourself
- a tightly knit community of digital nomad peers
- planned trips with peers
Wow, they clearly know what they are doing. I wish I knew this when I went on my first trek. Because they have clearly learned all the lessons that I learned.
I really look forward to discussing my Trek 1, despite it’s imperfections. It was a terrific learning experience and a big part of my life as a work of art.