Category Archives: Location Independence

Featured in Forbes: Remote Control (Running Your Business From Anywhere)

Featured in Forbes

Noel, Featured in Forbes

I am humbled and thrilled to have been featured in a Forbes article about running my company remotely. I’ll save the specifics for the article itself, which can be found here, but suffice it to say that our move to Costa Rica has been wonderful on so many levels. Coupled with the fact that the year before our move was one of the most stressful and difficult in my life (except for the birth of my son, which was amazing), I now have a better work/life balance, literally everything is better, even through a family tragedy that took place while we were here.

My company, struggling through growing pains the year before we left, is thriving, showing 25% growth last year and on schedule to grow 50% this year. We’re approaching 2 years as a 4 day work week company, with a happy and hard working team.

Whatever move you’re looking to make in your life, whether it’s making your company remote, keeping your company in the same place, but working remotely yourself, or some other version of living the life you want, take additional steps in making that happen. In the words of the late, great, Wayne Dyer:

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

 

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Filed under Digital Nomads, Expats, Location Independence, Motivation, Working Remotely

Enjoying the Antifragility of a Location Independent Lifestyle

Ian-Location-Independence

I suffer from a deep seeded, subconscious, feeling that tells me that I should be doing something that sucks to make money. I often feel guilty about the amazing life I’ve created through a location independent business that finds me walking down a beautiful Gold Coast foot path on a sunny tuesday afternoon checking out the bikini-clad ladies cruising by on roller-skates and skateboards. Totally, 100% first rate problems… but problems none the less.
 
Growing up I was instilled with a work ethic that involved getting up at 6:30 am and working outside in the cold dirt all day. We build houses and this intense work ethic still lays the foundation for the way I see the world. It’s taken lots of leadership courses and business success to get me to the point now where I can say to myself, “It’s ok to be here. Keep going.”
 
It’s not like I work less. To be honest, I work all the time… but work is like play to me now. My company makes internet radio programs. We’re not millionaires yet, but we live lifestyles that I imagine many millionaires would be envious of.
 
So when I’m walking down a beautiful Australian on a tuesday afternoon, watching girls in bikinis; I’m also listening and taking notes for important books that will improve my decision making in the future. Books like Antifragile by Nicholas Nassim Taleb.
 
Antifragile is exactly what a location independent life is all about. It’s answering the question, “how do I build a life that improves with chaos?” If I were kicked out of Australia tomorrow, my business wouldn’t be effected. If the US economy collapsed tomorrow, my business would hurt, but because I have clients all over the world, I would simply have to restructure things.
 
We’re moving from the Gold Coast to Costa Rica soon and I see no impact on business. I’ll be able to cut down on expenses and the time zone will be better for working with a few clients in New York. But aside from that, there will be no impact on the business. That’s the anti-fragility of a location independent business.
 
Ian Robinson is a entrepreneur world traveler. You can listen to his podcast at LoveAffairTravel.com or learn more about self improvement at IanRobinson.net.

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Tips for Digital Nomads: Find the Perfect Place to Stay

Bangkok

Being a digital nomad is a lot more than sitting at the beach with a laptop and a cocktail all day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it a number of times, but you’re going to be a lot more productive in a space that’s set up for work. For one, there’s not usually power or an internet connection at the beach, and you have a constant battle to keep your laptop from filling with sand! Your friends all envy your digital nomad lifestyle, but to become awesome you need planning –  especially if you want to simply up and change cities whenever you feel the inkling to move.

I’ve had so many friends tell me

“You get to work wherever you want, that’s freaking awesome!”

but there’s so much going on behind the scenes they never see. You need an iron clad will to balance work and travel, and personally I just want to get my work done, so I’m free to go out and enjoy the city I’m in. After a year and a half
as a remote freelancer, I’ve discovered a certain art in finding the right place to stay.

First you need to decide what you’re looking for. Do you want a fun social environment or peace and quiet to knock out a ton of work?

Hostels

Enjoy a party atmosphere and an unbeatable price on a dorm bed, and the best time to work is while everyone is out sightseeing. Combine this with a fun and social vibe as the evening kicks on, and you’ve got an ideal place to stay in almost every city. Check Hostelworld for the best deals or if you’re feeling adventurous Couchsurfing is another budget-friendly option.

Hotels

Perfect when you need to focus without any distractions and knock out massive work days. Combined with room service, a gym and even a swimming pool, and you’re all set. Agoda is a great site for hotels in Asia, or Booking.com for everywhere else in the world.

Apartments

This is my favourite because it’s more comfortable than a hotel when you’re staying somewhere for more than a week, and can be even better for your budget. Check out AirBnB to see your choices.

Must have

For the room there are basic necessities you need to get your work done effectively. Make sure that wherever you stay there is:

  • Internet. It’s impossible to work remotely without it, so double check there’s WiFi available.
  • Work space. A desk or table is essential, and saves your back from hunching over on the bed or the sofa.
  • Power points. Hard to judge, but conveniently located power points are vital for a remote office. Check the pictures and see if you can spot lamps (which mean power) on the desk, or on any bedside tables.
  • Kitchen. I don’t like eating out everyday, and cooking is a great downtime after 12 hours staring at my laptop.
  • Laundry. Being able to throw a load of washing on is a godsend, and saves you time that would otherwise be wasted sitting at a laundromat.
  • Size. The bigger the better, so find somewhere at least 40 square meters and you won’t mind being cooped up all day with your laptop.
  • A Separate Bedroom. Having a separate bedroom is fantastic if you’re travelling with your partner. It let’s you both have different areas to work, so you can get in the zone without being right on top of each other.
  • Location. Find a place with a large supermarket nearby to stock up on groceries, as well as being close to an internet cafe so you can change scenery whenever you need it. I like to be a little bit removed from the tourist centers to avoid all the commotion, so long as there are a couple of nice restaurants nearby.
  • Cleaning gear. Not the most exciting item on the list, but if you’re anywhere for more than a week it’s nice to be able to give the floors a sweep and keep your temporary home fresh.
  • Reviews. Read through what the others who stayed here have said. You don’t want to be stuck in a dark little apartment with dingy furniture and a shaky WiFi connection, so do your homework before you book!

If you follow this advice you’ll find the perfect place to get your work done, so you can get out and enjoy the best attractions in the city once you’re on down time.

The life of a digital nomad is unique, so set yourself up to work effectively and you’ll be out enjoying the local sights before you know it – as you live a lifestyle many others only ever dream about!

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Filed under Digital Nomads, Finances and Budgeting, Life Hacks, Location Independence, Travel Tips

Can Families Be Digital Nomads? (Resources for Information and Inspiration)

Location independence isn’t for the young and single only, although if you are, what have you got to lose?

I saw someone on a Digital Nomad forum ask this a couple of weeks ago. It seems a natural question as so many nomads appear to be single (or just a couple). I will be doing a video about this soon, but wanted to comment on this question, provide some resources and hopefully inspiration to anyone who currently has a family and is looking to go remote or is on their way to location independence and interested in starting a family in the future.

The short answer is ABSOLUTELY, my wife and I are living proof of successful remote professionals (we have two children, both under the age of 4). The speed of which you get things done and your flexibility to do things changes a little bit when you have children, but I sincerely believe it is a mindset. For some inspiration, I urge you to watch this wonderful, short video called The Only Road about a family traveling the world.

“You’re so lucky to be able to do this…”

Inevitably, when you make the decision to find a way to travel more or live in different places, you find a lot of people telling you how lucky you are. I always agree, knowing luck doesn’t play as big as a role as sure will to make it happen. That said, even among traveling families there are varying degrees of “I wish we could do that” and admittedly, when I first watched The Only Road, I literally said the same thing. You have to do what is best for you.

For my wife and I, what we’ve decided is best is to travel as much as possible, but also to live in different places while our children are young. Our daughter flew on 24 flights before her first birthday, she’s a traveling professional. Our choice, however, is not necessarily to be constantly nomadic, always on the move. We like having a home base and have had one in Tucson for the past two years, close to family. In March we’ll be living in Palm Springs, CA with some friends on a similar (same-same, but different) path, then we’re headed to Costa Rica on an open-ended trip. We think it may be 2 years and we’ve already discussed 1-2 month “jumps” to other countries while having Costa Rica as our home base during that time.

Additional Resources

One of the biggest motivators for me has been reading and exchanging stories with other people who have lived or are living this way. Here is a list of 10 sites/blogs to check out for great information and inspiration. If you have any questions, please feel free to use the contact page and ask. I’ll respond to emails as quickly as possible with any information or experiences I have.

Vagabond Family
MY LITTLE NOMADS
The Nomadic Family
World Travel Family
Travel with Bender
y Travel Blog
Bohemian Travelers
Going Anyway
Living Outside of the Box
Snaps and Blabs
With 2 Kids on Tow
Wagoners Abroad
Family on Bikes

If I’m missing any that should be added to the list, send an email or post a comment. 🙂

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Filed under Digital Nomads, Location Independence, Motivation, Tips and Tricks

10 Alternative Nurse Careers that Allow You to Travel or Work Remotely

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Australian Nurses Serving in Malaya/State Library of Victoria Collections/http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

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Nursing allows you to work anywhere in the world. With so many options, the destination and length of commitment to a job is really up to you. Here are the top ten careers that will give you freedom to travel and work remotely.

Telehealth Nursing: As a telephone triage nurse, you can work from home or remotely assisting patients with health related phone calls and directing them to appropriate services. Pay is equivalent to hospital salary. Usually, a minimum of three years in acute care is required.

Travel Nursing (USA): As long as you receive a license for each state you want to go, you should be able to be placed there if you have had at least two years recent acute care experience. Most travel nurse contracts last three months. Agencies typically will reimburse for state licenses, moving costs, certifications, a furnished apartment, and health/dental insurance costs once you are placed in a hospital. Until you have an official job with a hospital, you are in no way bound to the agency you work through. It is beneficial to apply to several travel nurse agencies at the same time for this reason.

Travel Nursing (Developed Countries Outside of USA): Australia and New Zealand are the best bets for travel nursing outside of the states. Like travel agencies in the US, they will cover all costs once you have been placed in a hospital. Payment for nurses is equivalent to hospital nurses in the states. Other Western countries do not have as much of a demand for foreign nurses, and Europeans will typically hire within the European Union. Even spouses of native Europeans find it difficult to sift through all the visa and license paperwork required. After being in Australia or New Zealand, your chances of working in one of these countries will increase.

Travel Nursing (Other Countries): There are several organizations that work in other countries, but most are volunteer brigades. You will need to work with some of these first to put on your resume, but for paid work, Doctors Without Borders is one of the most respected. Contracts usually range from 6-9 months. The pay is descent, but much less than what you would make working in a developed country. Before applying, you should have travel nursing and acute hospital experience along with foreign language skills. Idealist.org lists several volunteer and paid international nurse opportunities through other organizations.

Medical Transcriptionist: Nurses are coveted in the transcriptionist world because they have had first hand experience with medical terms. Salaries vary and will possibly be half what you would make in a hospital, but this may be balanced by the ability to work from home or remotely.

Cruise Ship Nursing: As a contract nurse on a cruise, you receive free room and board and have set shifts allowing free time to be a tourist yourself. Contracts usually go for a few months, and then you will have the opportunity to renew. The pay is good and similar to what you would receive in a hospital setting.

Legal Nurse Consultant: This will require a Legal Nurse Consultant Certification (LNCC) and at least five years of hospital experience, but the pay is excellent, and consultations for medically related legal issues can be made via telephone or computer.

Medical Writer: Medical websites are searching for nurse experts to contribute to their blogs on health related topics to draw people to their sites. Pay will be poor in comparison to traditional nursing, but freedom may outweigh the loss.

Medical Sales Representative: Sales reps for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals make good money and often have the option to travel all over the world.

Full-time Nurse: There are several hospitals that will be willing to work with you if you have shown yourself of value. If you have been at your hospital several years, ask your manager if you can take a three or six month leave of absence to travel. They are more likely to accept if you are wanting to do some volunteer travel nursing in a third world country. While they may not be able to guarantee you a job on the same unit when you return, usually they will be happy to place you somewhere else within their hospital system knowing you are an experienced nurse who is familiar with their system. Training new personal can often be more expensive than just filling your position with on-call staff until you return.

Nurses are in high demand and make comfortable salaries making it easier to work from home or remotely, travel while working as a nurse, or work for a short period and save up to spend the rest of the year doing what you love. Contract nursing especially gives you incredible freedom to work where and when you want.

Written by Beth Ann Nyssen

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Filed under Digital Nomads, Location Independence, Preparing to Breakaway, Technology, Travel Tips, Work and Business, Working Remotely

The Advantages of Wearing Many Hats: Nurse, Writer, and Question Mark

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Antigua, Guatemala

So what happens if you trade in your regular every day job for a digital nomad life and find having a computer or cell phone chained to you at the beach was not exactly what you had in mind?

First of all, you are not the only one. You might think being a digital nomad (in my case, doing freelance writing through oDesk in Honduras) is your ticket to freedom, but once you find yourself sitting in a cafe surrounded by tropical plants, so engrossed in your computer or cell phone you are not spending time with real people or enjoying your setting, you might need a reality check. As a freelance writer, it is difficult to make a livable wage in a western country. Several writers often are expected to do free work for the privilege of being published. A recent article in The Guardian highlighted this issue when author, Philip Hensher, brought to the public’s attention that he was asked to write an introduction to a book for free and refused to do so. This is why I do my writing from Honduras where my budget for living expenses, food, and adventures is $300-$400/month. That way, I do not feel I have to be a slave to my work, and I make enough to get by and have some fun while working only part-time. However, my current financial state doesn’t give me much cushion in case of an emergency or if I want to take a spontaneous trip with friends. While I could sit in front of a computer full time and definitely make enough to continue my travel life style and still live in Honduras, the truth is I do not want to be in front of a computer for more than 20 hours. I love writing, but the computer part is torture especially when you take those jobs you really despise just to make a few extra dollars.

So this is where my solution comes in. Be a digital nomad with many hats. Know that being a digital nomad is only a part of your ticket to freedom and having lots of skills that have nothing to do with computers is the other part. In my case, I have a nurse’s license, and I have recently decided to return to the states to work as a travel nurse for three months and fill up my bank account. I can make in one week as a nurse the money I make as a writer working full time for a month. You do the math.

Being a published writer has always been my dream, but now that I am a writer, I am finding I want to start focusing on my own work not on doing freelance work for others. While all my oDesk and other freelance jobs have given me great experience and put a long list of published items in my portfolio, somewhere along the way I stopped writing what I want to write and for less than what I believe my work is worth. So now I am taking a step back and working as a nurse to put a significant chunk of money in my account allowing me the freedom over the next year to only take freelance jobs I want and focus on taking the time to do my own writing, the kind that is not dictated by word count, money, and deadlines.

You don’t have to get lost in the making money part of your digital nomad lifestyle. You can take breaks and find other skills. Sometimes instead of working all year long, a little here, a little there, and trying to be your own boss (which trust me is complex), it is good to work in the system, live cheap, and save for a few months. This way you can dive back into the freelance world, but on your own terms, and to fund fun adventures as needed instead of to make ends meet.

Keep life interesting while adding to your skills. Learn a language if you are in a foreign country. Volunteer where you are at. In my case, I started volunteering with different organizations in Honduras, and before I knew it, I was learning new skills like fundraising, which helped my application jump out to a foundation in the UK I am currently working for. I love yoga, and the next skill on my list is to become a yoga instructor. The more skills you have, the more options you have. One of the best books I ever read to help me gain perspective and see myself as more than just a nurse was The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. This three month book (in my case, it took a year) helps you to release your creative energy and find new hats to wear so that when you talk with people and they ask you what you do, you can reply, “What don’t I do?”

For the nurses and freelancers, be sure to follow my upcoming Remote Control posts on the 10 Alternative Nurse Careers that Allow You to Travel or Work Remotely and The Dos and Don’ts of Freelancing.

Written by: Beth Ann Nyssen

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Filed under Digital Nomads, Finances and Budgeting, Location Independence, Technology, Work and Business, Working Remotely

10 Inspirational Quotes for Becoming Location Independent and Going Remote


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Build the courage and simply go for it.

It’s a difficult decision to make – relocating your entire life. Inside your head I am sure there are troublesome thoughts. Even if you don’t want to admit it, I know they are there. Taking the leap into a remote lifestyle is a huge change that defies the traditional way “normal people” think about work. You have every right to be concerned, in fact, if turning your life upside down doesn’t give you any grief you may need to worry!

In this post I’m going to give you inspiration. For anyone considering this lifestyle change, you need to let the experts guide you. Listen to their reassurance that you are making the right choice. As follows are my favorite quotes, that I regularly turn to when I need to reaffirm I have chosen the right path.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Forge your own path, and create your own destiny for yourself.

If a man would move the world, he must first move himself.
– Socrates
To affect any great change in the world, you yourself must be willing to change.

“Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce. One day offices will be a thing of the past.”
– Richard Branson
Probably the most famous and successful remote professional, Sir Richard speaks the truth about the future. This is the ultimate reason to take advantage of this lifestyle now: the world is headed that way.

In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.
– Mark Twain
Live with no regrets, and never wonder what might have been. Take charge and live the life you want to live.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
– Charles Darwin
You need to be ready for anything. The key to managing yourself remotely is becoming your own manager. It’s a new skill-set, and those that master it learn the true freedom of being your own boss.

Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve.
– Petryl Hsieh
Only by taking action towards your goals will you ever hope to achieve anything. Have the courage to try. The absolute worst case scenario is that you fail, but if you do you will never doubt your action.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.
– Bruce Lee
Similar to the quote above, I like this thought. Normal people over analyze everything they do. It’s much easier to argue and question than it is to actually do something. If you want to make progress, start by taking action, today.

We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limitations.
– Stephen Covey
It’s up to you to push your boundaries. No one else is going to do this for you.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
– Greg Anderson
I like this reminder that you need to enjoy every aspect of your day. Your experiences while working remotely will be unparalleled, don’t forget to enjoy them.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
– Steve Jobs

Anyone considering a change in lifestyle may hear negative feedback, possibly from friends and family, primarily because they don’t understand your choices. I like this as a last thought because it encourages you to drown out unnecessary noise, listen only to your inner heart and take action.

Life comes down to doing what you love, and living a life that makes you happy to be alive. This will mean different things to many people. Personally, I cannot imagine ever working in an office again. Take inspiration and courage from these quotes, and I look forward to the beginning of your own journey.

Author: Travis Bennett

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