The most common question posed to us throughout Instagram and this blog is pretty straightforward. “How do you afford to do this?” It’s a very fair question, and no our parents did not give us money for this trip (although, Mom feel free to send us some!). As mentioned in previous posts, we definitely had to save up for this, but we’ve also had money coming in while we travel.
From the time we left in July, Casey has been working on a couple of businesses he owns, and I’ve been helping out where I can. Since many of you are asking specifically how you can do the same, I thought it would be appropriate to do an interview with Casey and answer some of the most common questions that we get.
Let us know if you have any specific questions for Casey in the comments 🙂
- How do you define the term “digital nomad”:
“The term digital nomad gets thrown around loosely these days to describe people who make money while traveling, outside of their home country. These people are typically in Southeast Asia, because of how inexpensive it is to live there. I would say it’s anyone traveling and who doesn’t need a physical location in order to make money.”
- How are you a digital nomad?:
“I am a digital nomad because I currently run my own businesses from anywhere with a strong WiFi connection. Today, for instance, I am working from a coffee shop in Seminyak, Bali”.
- You mentioned businesses? What kinds of businesses are we talking about?:
“Rather than make this a self-promotion of my companies, I’ll just say that they are all internet companies. I currently have an e-commerce consulting company and run a social media software platform. In addition, I am in the process of launching a graphic design company as well as a sales enablement software.”
- Sounds like you have a lot going on! How do you manage all of those while also traveling?:
“Time management and delegation are crucial for success. You need to be dedicated to your craft. This means waking up early to respond to emails, establishing a diverse team around the world who can work even when you can’t, and not always treating traveling like a vacation. While it’s important to enjoy your surroundings, if you want this to be a sustainable lifestyle, you need to make some sacrifices. And by “sacrifices”, I mean working for a few hours at a coffee shop in Greece or Thailand instead of spending all day on the beach. Not exactly a sacrifice in most definitions and in my opinion, it’s still better than the alternative (an office job).”
- How did you come up with the ideas for your businesses?:
“To be honest, the way I think about a business idea is kind of weird. It relates back to the Gold Rush in 1849.”
- Haha what? Go on:
“During the California Gold Rush, the companies that profited the most weren’t the companies that were finding the gold, it was the companies that helped provide the means to find the gold. For example, the companies that sold shovels, picks, mining cars, clothing, housing, etc. How does this relates back to present day you might ask? When I see a market trend, I look to create products and ideas that have a direct influence on that trend. Look at Amazon for example. This is a business that didn’t even exist five years ago, the way it does today. Rather than trying to build a competing marketplace, hundreds of companies have profited by providing the means for a seller on Amazon to be successful.”
- What is the best part of being a digital nomad?:
“It’s being able to set my own schedule and not have any confines to where I can run my businesses.”
- What is the worst part about being a digital nomad?:
“Time zones, definitely. For instance, I’ve missed a meeting or two because I miscalculated the time difference between Bali and Chicago.”
- What advice would you give to someone who is considering the Digital Nomad lifestyle?:
“I would tell them that before they quit their job or begin traveling, to work on creating their business, or at least have a very firm idea of what kind of operation they are planning to build. You may even change your ideas once you start traveling, but having some sort of foundation to build upon will set your mind at ease when thinking about walking away from that steady paycheck.”
- Anything else?:
“Digital nomad’ing isn’t for everyone. There is nothing wrong with stepping away from work (if you can afford it) to just enjoy traveling. For me, after working in Corporate America for a number of years, I realized that it is not what I want to do with my life. So, this trip has not only been for me to see the World, but it’s also about setting myself up to be financially independent in the future.” (*editor’s note: I am not a ‘digital nomad’ by definition & I 100% plan to return to a “normal” job when we return to the States. I’m just taking this time to enjoy traveling and support Casey. What works for Casey might not work for you and that is perfectly fine!)
Any questions for Casey? Leave him a comment below!