The Digital Nomad Lifestyle:
Digital Nomad part 1 - Introduction.
Living the dream.
We all have dreams about how we want our lives to be. We all have a vision for our lives, and that vision is different for all of us. Some young people go on a journey shortly after high school to find themselves, and travel the world. There are others who go to college to get an education so they can get a good job working for a large company, so they can have a good life, and be a productive member of society.
Most people in the end join the masses, and get a job working for somebody else, and doing what is required of them because they have been taught since childhood that, that is what they are suppose to do. There is a small percentage of people out there who are willing to take more risk, and become entrepreneurs. There is a small percentage of those who chose the Digital Nomad lifestyle.
What is a Digital Nomad?
The infamous Digital Nomad is a person who earns a living online, and can live pretty much anywhere in the world while doing so. The internet is available nearly everywhere, even so called third world countries have internet access, and WIFI is readily available for you to use. When you earn your income online, the world is your playground. Go explore!
Timothy Ferris wrote a book called, The 4 hour Work Week. It is known as the bible of Digital Nomads. It has inspired more people to become Digital Nomads than any other source. If you haven't already read it you should check it out. You can order it from Amazon, and have it shipped right to your front door quick, and easy. Check it out... The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
incidentally, did you know that you can buy many books used on Amazon? There is usually a link on the Amazon page that allows you to buy a copy of the book you are looking for in New, or Used condition. You can purchase a used copy for far less than a new copy. The condition of the book, Like New - Acceptable will be disclosed in the listing. Start saving money now for your Digital Nomad journey, buy used books that you think will empower and enlighten you on Amazon.
My best friend had the adventure of a lifetime that he readily shares with people who are close to him, and even with some people that he just met to strike up an interesting conversation. Long before I ever met him my friend had just graduated from college with a degree in Business, and Marketing. He was an old school kind of guy, and worked his way through school. He actually worked two jobs to support himself while he was going to school.
The one job he had that influenced his future direction in life the most was a part time job that he worked at in a hostel near where he lived in Southern California. The normal clientele of this hostel was of course young people who were traveling on a budget. These are the kind of people who are not only adventurous, but quite outgoing, and extroverted as well.
The guests at the hostel, some of whom were not American citizens would tell him intriguing stories of their travels all over the world. He always said that he especially enjoyed hearing about the exotic adventures of those who traveled around Asia. The adventurers who stayed at the hostel always had amazing pictures, and interesting stories to tell. This was way before anybody even knew what a Digital Nomad was, or before anybody ever thought of putting those two words together for that matter.
Let's be honest, for an American to travel to Europe, other than driving on different sides of the road, and some of the words / lingo used being different, it is pretty much the same there as in the U.S.A. Asian countries on the other hand are a whole new game. The culture, and customs are far different there, than in Western countries.
You would be well advised to do some research into the culture, and customs of the countries that you plan to visit to avoid committing any faux pas that would be both embarrassing, and difficult to recover from. Like they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This applies to Digital Nomads who are off on their journey to experience the adventure of a lifetime as well.
Is it really better somewhere else?
We have all been there, we have all thought that we wanted a change in life. We all want something different in our lives than the same old same old life that we have been living, it's only human nature. I understand this way of thinking, and have been down the same road as you, and many others. I spent many years refusing to act on these desires, until life, or the universe, whatever you chose to call it opened the door for me and showed me a whole new path in my life's journey.
There are many Westerners who want to live in Thailand because the cost of living is much cheaper there. Likewise there are many people in Thailand who want to live in America because they can earn much more money working in the United States. They, Thai people I mean, don't seem to understand that the cost of living is much greater in America as well. The single serving bottle of water that cost .30 in Thailand cost over $1.00 in America for instance.
Another example to share with you is, I had to take a taxi to the airport from my residence in America. The taxi ride cost me $70. The taxi driver engaged me in conversation as we rode to the airport. He told me about a previous customer who was cheap, and only gave him a $20 tip, implying that he expected more than that from me. I gave him $100 for the ride when we arrived at the airport.
The taxi ride from my hotel in Bangkok, Thailand to the airport was the same distance, but the price wasn't. The taxi to the airport in Bangkok cost me $15, and I gave the driver a $3.00 tip. Considering his body language, and the big smile on his face, he was as happy as pigs in... well he was grateful, and happy with the tip I gave to him. The same taxi service cost me $18 in Thailand, and $100 in America, that's a big difference.
Almost everybody believes that things are better someplace else based on their beliefs. I was in a taxi in Bangkok one time having a conversation with the driver, and between my broken Thai, and his broken English I managed to tell him that I wanted to move to Thailand. He symbolically handed me a folded up piece of paper, and said, "Switch passport, switch passport." ha ha ha Little did he know... People everywhere tend to think that the grass is greener on the other side.
Is the Digital Nomad Lifestyle a Scam?
There has been much talk out there about the Digital Nomad lifestyle being a scam. This ideology makes no sense to me. People who believe that the Digital Nomad lifestyle is a scam do not seem to understand just what a Digital Nomad is.
The first part of the phrase is Digital. This refers to earning a living online. There are many different ways to earn an income online, and as many different business plans for the laptop lifestyle as there are Digital Nomads to create them. Some of these include affiliate marketing, freelancing, selling Ebooks ect...
The second part of this phrase is Nomad. This refers to traveling to other locations in this global world that we live in, where the cost of living is significantly cheaper than what people are use to in western societies.
The most popular place for digital nomads to relocate to is Chiang Mai, Thailand. The cost of living there is extremely inexpensive, and gives you the most bang for your buck of anywhere here on Earth.
Most Westerners have never ventured too far from their own backyard. They are so use to paying overly inflated Western prices for housing, and living expenses that they have no idea that you can rent an apartment, and live very inexpensively in other parts of the world.
Is it really cheaper to live in Thailand?
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, and my preferred address for living abroad. I was looking at apartments near the BTS Sky train with the help of a Thai friend, and found a complex that had apartments for 6000, and 8000 baht. At the time of this writing that comes out to $170, and $227 respectively. Yes that is per month for a studio apartment with a small balcony.
Every place that I have stayed in Thailand had many street vendors selling food just a short walk away, and there are many different culinary options to chose from. You can honestly get a plate of fresh cooked food, and a bottle of water for under $2.00. I have tried many different foods from different vendors, and have enjoyed it all. I have never gotten sick from any of it either, knock on wood, but I am cautious of my choices as well.
Taxis are cheap as mentioned earlier, and start at 35 baht which is about $1 at current exchange rates. Getting around Bangkok is easily done, there are motorcycle taxis if you are brave enough, Tuk Tuks - basically a 3 wheeled motor cycle, taxis, river boat taxis, the subway, and finally the skytrain. Commuting around Bangkok is inexpensive compared to Western prices.
I use a TrueMove prepaid sim card in my phone. The first thing you do is select a voice / text plan to suit your needs. You can then add data service by typing a code into your phone. There are many different data plans available to you from just enough to check your Email for an hour, to month long plans with various total MB's of download options. I spend about $15 per month for my data service. There is an app called IService for trueMove that shows the money left on your account, and the service days left as well. It is a good idea to download the iservice app if you use TrueMove sim cards.
You can add more money to your account by going to a TrueMove store, and using their electronic touch screen machine to easily add money to your account. You can also add money to your account at a 7 11 store, which is my preferred method. I tell the cashier, "TrueMove top up, 50 baht." The cashier hands me a slip of paper with a multi digit number on it, and I enter it into my phone, and add 50 baht credit, and 30 days to my service plan. I like to add Top ups to my phone until I reach 365 days for my service plan. Then when I return to Thailand, my phone works as soon as I get off the plane in Bangkok.