Digital nomads Mish and Rob hit the road over a year ago and have never looked back. During this time they have built a successful online business and blog about their location independent adventures. In this episode, they talk about a range of subjects such as their motivation to quit corporate life, finding ways to fund their Location Independent lifestyle and what it’s really like to be a Digital Nomad.
Other Digital Nomad and Location Independent articles:
Location Independent entrepreneur Sinead Macmanus Podcast: speaking to the London Career Breakers Meetup
Author, Free Range Human and Location Independent entrepreneur Marianne Cantwell Podcast speaking to the London Career Breakers Meetup
Transcript of our Digital Nomads
Hi, we’re Mish and Rob and we write a blog called MakingItAnywhere.com about our independent location lifestyle.
Just to explain a bit about where we are now, we’re in Sofia which is in Bulgaria. We’ve been location independent for just over a year; because we quit our jobs about a year ago and decided to go to New York for six months just to figure out what to do with our lives and while we were there we decided that we’re going to start up our own business and live like this forever if we can.
Yes, it’s a career break that went wrong, it just carried on. We started doing this purely because we wanted a bit of a break from corporate life I suppose. I was actually running my own business at the time so we thought OK, lets just do it.
We just really thought it was a six month career break and so we stuffed everything at my parents’ house and told them that we would come back to pick it up in six months time.
Our initial plans when we left for New York were really just to figure out what we liked doing and what we wanted to do. We didn’t really know much beyond that. So we had a years worth of savings I think at least, and we also had two properties in the UK so we had rent coming in from those, so we knew we’d be OK until we figured it out. We didn’t know it was going to go this way, but we started writing a blog and then we started getting work through our blog. It turned out that lots of people were reading it and actually liked our writing style and started hiring us because of what we’d written. We just kept getting referral after referral and it just carried on from there really.
As long as you’ve got enough to support yourself and you know you’ve got a period of time to figure it out, and lots of people still seem to have several things on the go rather than just that one business that they knew from the start was going to be the one, they’ll dabble with a few different things and we write about it a lot on the blog because it is the big question, “how can I make money out of this?”. And we’ve tried to give lots of practical advice on different ways how you can get closer to figuring it all out. But there is a lot of trial and error and you never quiet know where its going to go, so we were just lucky that we had got ourselves into a position where we could take the time we needed to figure it out.
We work all the time but it doesn’t feel like work and I think that’s the secret.
Living the life of a digital nomad is probably not something that everyone can do. You need to be willing to be independent. You need to be comfortable with people thinking you’re a bit weird because although lots and lots more people are doing it these days; your still in the minority if you’re going to be doing it.
The thing that we love about being location independent is that we’ll meet other digital nomads in Chiang mai and then we won’t see them for months and we’ll hang out with them again in Berlin; and that’s fantastic for us.
I suppose you need to be more self-motivated because no-ones going to tell you what to do or how to do it, you just have to do it yourself.
Also I think you’ve got to be comfortable with a lot of uncertainty. There’s the uncertainty of your income because whatever your business is it’s not going to be the same as getting a pay cheque every month. And there’s also the uncertainty that comes from moving all the time. You know some location independent people will stay in the same place for six months or a year or more. We just happen to travel more often and that means that there’s a lot of uncertainty because you know we’ve lived in about twenty odd different places in that last year: you never quite know what you’re going to encounter or what its going to be like, but I think you do have to have a really good reason to want to do it because you have to really make an effort to get comfortable with these things.
So for a person who wants to become a digital nomad, when it comes to actually getting started I think, that the main thing is getting into the right mind set about it. Sort of realising that you’re not going to be able to take all your possessions with you and that’s something I’ve told my parents recently because there actually going to become digital nomads towards the end of this year; they’re going to be trying it out for three months.
It’s easier than you think to become location independent. The biggest difficulty is getting over the mental barrier really. I think the other thing I would say, if you want to get started is make friends and become part of the community of people who are doing it because you’ve got people online who you can just email or talk to over Skype or whatever; all the time; who understand what you’re doing and it means that any problems you’ve got there’s probably someone who you know whose solved that or can give you advice. It makes everything a whole lot easier to have that support network; especially because the people, who are your support network at home; suddenly won’t have a clue what you’re doing and will think your totally mad.
If we were to start this whole location independent thing again, I think the one thing we would do differently is to freak out less. Because we did a hell of a lot of freaking out over money, over everything, especially when it came to travel, you know we would pack our suitcases days in advance, we’d plan everything, we’d work out how to get to the airport; that sort of thing, and if you’re going to be living as a digital nomad; this is your life, this is your life style, you can’t be freaking out over the odd plane trip.
Yes you know I think I’d freak out less over money as well. I think, when we were, for the first few months we just, because we knew that we had to sort of figure something out and make it work, we were working all the time, but not in a very productive way and not really on stuff that mattered but we just felt that as long as we were working, we were kind of doing something so maybe it would all be ok. But what we should have done was just enjoy it, enjoy the time that we had in a new country and have faith that it would all be OK in the end.
Over the next six months I think we’re just going to carry on doing what we’re doing. We’re absolutely loving it and we’ve got a few other little sort of web projects that we’re working on.
We’re in Europe and the moment, we’re going to be for the next little while, bouncing around, seeing some new places, then we’re going to do a stint in the US, we’re going to go to the west coast and then towards the end of the year we’re going to go back to Asia, where we started this year. We’re going to go to a conference in Thailand and hopefully get time while we’re there to go to Vietnam and Bali as well because we’ve never been there before as well.
Career Break 360 would like to that Mish and Rob from ‘Making it Anywhere’ for taking the time out to be interviewed.
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