What The Nomadic Lifestyle is All About: How to Become Location Independent 86

nomadic lifestyle

The nomadic lifestyle means being location independent, moving from one place to another either all the time or at a certain period of time.

For me, it’s the ultimate escape from the comfort zone.

It hasn’t been a whole decade yet since this concept started getting attention, but now it’s something normal as so many passionate individuals have left their ordinary lifestyle and took an adventure to never settle in one place.

It’s about being independent, free of attachment, open-minded, willing to explore the world and actually enjoy every moment.

Once you begin a journey like that, you grow more than you can imagine. You see places, learn stuff, try new things, meet people, experience cultures, shape a new identity and are then ready to do that for the rest of your life. But even if you don’t, it leaves a mark in you that nothing else can.

Me? I’m not such a traveler. At least not yet.

(2017 Update: Now I am!)

That’s because the first step in order to live such a lifestyle of freedom and passion is to become financially independent. Once I do that, it will be an option. And I may decide to give it a try.

Probably not the option in which you travel the world for years and never settle in one place for more than a month.

I see myself living another version of this – something like being away for a month or 3 once every year and living on a tropical island (while still working on what I enjoy), plus a few little vacations every few weeks to other big destinations, exploring the beauties of the universe. Add to that the option to actually leave home at any moment and still knowing you’ll get paid.

Those who aren’t really familiar with this concept have one main question: What would you do for a living?

In my case, it all started with writing – my passion. But it turned into blogging, self-publishing, and learning all about creating sites, content marketing, eCommerce, etc. As, otherwise, no one would really read it.
What I’m currently working on is this blog, self-publishing, freelancing and experimenting with niche websites.

But no one really did it in a day, and it’s totally worth the time and effort considering how much I love it and how many opportunities that opens to me every day.

But most digital nomads (the cool people living the lifestyle we’re talking about) do this or other stuff online – SEO, building sites, software, programming, consulting on a niche they’re experts in, etc.
And they travel the world while doing it.

In this post I’ll talk about different aspects of the idea of being a world traveler making money doing what you love. And there will be some pretty amazing examples.

The following can serve you in 3 ways – it can either be informational, inspirational, or both.

I know that for me, reading such people’s life changing decisions and stories is one of the biggest motivators.

So let’s get started.

How Does One Become a Digital Nomad and What Does it Take?

location independent

It all begins with the realization that life is about much more than the mundane lifestyle we live every day, that we deserve to experience better things, and that it’s all a matter of choice.

Then comes the decision to change – some research is always needed as to where you’ll go first, what you need to get done before you leave, how long you need to keep working your current job so that you can save an amount that’s enough to sustain you for around 6 months once you leave, how you’re going to make your money, etc.
Then you simply hand in your notice, and never come back.

It’s not going to be easy, though.

Here’s what Mark Manson (a successful entrepreneur that started as a pick-up artist) says about that:

“When I left the bank that day, I had only a vague idea of what I would do. I had been writing a blog and posting on local forums about my dating life and adventures with women as a young bachelor. I developed a bit of a local following and actually made some money dishing out advice to men and speaking at a few singles’ groups around town. It wasn’t anything close to a full-time living, but I knew it was a new market that was growing quickly. And with some hard work combined with my savings, I (naively) believed I could have a full-time business up and running within a few months.

It turned out to take almost 18 months for me to earn a full-time steady income. I went broke a number of times, was supported by my ex-girlfriend for a time and then moved back home with my mother. For most of 2008-2009 I worked 10-16 hour days and the majority of my projects failed and made little or no money.”

Check out this post on his blog where he explains more about how he left his day job. There he talks about the actual escape plan: you should sell everything you own, figure out your source of income, calculate what you’ll need, and actually take action.

How Does Being Location Independent Work?

There are many, many stories about such people you can find out on the Web.

Many include struggles, but I haven’t really found one who didn’t eventually succeeded in becoming free from mediocrity and actually leaving home and traveling to whatever point in the world he feels like visiting.

But in most cases, it takes years. And there won’t really be anyone in your surroundings to support you as they just don’t have the same goal and may even consider you crazy for wanting to escape such a comfortable life.

But if you develop a powerful mindset with a definite desire and a vision of you doing what you love while on the beach in Bali, for example, you’ll make it.

Another famous figure in the digital entrepreneurship and location independence world is Sean Ogle.

Here’s his story.

He was an average person back in 2009 who admitted his life sucked. He knew university didn’t prepare him for real life and show him how to become successful, his job after that was a dreading experience with the long hours.

He wanted to live a completely different lifestyle so he did what he felt was right – quit his job, started his site to hold himself accountable, published his bucket list and started working on it, moved to Thailand and built a business.

In a few months he was making enough to have the lifestyle he had always dreamt about – to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

He’s lived on a tropical island, ran a marathon, climbed a mountain and much more.

Now his blog is all about helping others achieve the same. He shows people how to build a business they can run from anywhere and live their legend by doing whatever makes them happy.

Amazing, right?

And with today’s online opportunities, you can educate yourself to such an extent that you can be making a small income as a side project very soon.

There’s more to the nomadic lifestyle:

  • you don’t really need to be that adventurous and have a bucket list like Sean, you can just live on the beach, feel good and work hard;
  • digital nomadism goes together with living in a cheap country as a start – that’s why you won’t see someone who wants to become location independent move to Dubai. You’ll hear about places like Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Philippines, etc. Which are beautiful and exotic enough for you to completely change your way of thinking and approach to life and refind yourself.

But there’s one ingredient you can’t go without – hard work.

Hard Work as The Cornerstone of The Nomadic Lifestyle

location independent entrepreneurs
by Steven Zwerink

TropicalMBA is a super useful blog to those who are doing business at one of the places I mentioned above, or any other actually. It’s for creative individuals, entrepreneurs, hard working passionate guys looking forward to form relationships with like-minded people.

The guys from the blog write and talk about the best places to live in, what to do there, how to handle your business, how to manage employees and work with virtual assistants, how to scale, come up with ideas and all you need to know about location independence.

But there’s one thing they think is a must – the desire to work more than the average in order to achieve all that.

Many people have the misconception that the nomadic lifestyle means traveling all the time just sightseeing and communicating with the locals, or living near the ocean and actually sunbathing all the time.
That’s not true.

In fact, you always have the chance to do all that as you’re the one controlling your time. But it’s just that you choose to keep working on the stuff that got you there in the first place, simply because you’re a hustler and can’t just leave the business, even if it’s mostly passive income.

Here’s what Dan from TropicalMBA says about the actual amount of work such freedom requires:

“Many people I meet underestimate the incredible amount of effort required to get a business off the ground. If you aren’t clear on the effort required, me quoting you a figure would probably make you uncomfortable…

There are a million factors that stand between you and what you want. How much loot you have, where you were born, how good you are at Photoshop, how smart you are, what kind of family you grew up in.

The good news is that there is only one that you can do anything about:


Let people bicker about how much work is really required.
Let them gossip about how much work so and so *really* does versus what they say they do.
Let people sit around and run the odds. “If I do x work, what are my chances…” “Is it really possible to work 4 hours a week?” (BTW, of course it’s possible!)
Let them scoff. Let them “discuss.”

You’ll be busy.

If you aren’t where you want to be, for whatever reason, you are in the fantastic position of only having one question to answer.
How hard are you willing to work to get there?”


Here are some other examples to check out and places to stop by if you’re interested in seeing how people achieve location independence:

Making It Anywhere

Mish and Rob are this sweet coupe that left their jobs in London and have since then lived in 16 cities across 3 continents. On their blog they talk about every aspect of the location independent lifestyle and running a business from anywhere in the world making more money than in an ordinary job.

They do brand consultancy, copywriting, launched a property management company and published books.
Personally, I’ve learnt a lot from them.

Here’s what they say about all the people out there who are concerned that you should be able to code or create softwares and apps in order to live anywhere in the world and make a lot of money:

“A few years ago you might have needed to be a programmer or designer to have this sort of lifestyle, but not anymore.

Not only does technology now make almost anything possible, but people are increasingly comfortable buying services from those they’ve never met. If an accountant is the best at what she does, who cares if she’s in Iowa, Ipswich or India?

We know people living this lifestyle who are recruitment consultants, psychiatrists, finance brokers, language teachers and startup CEOs… and yes, OK, we know a fair few programmers too.”

Clayton from Spartan Traveler

He’s been traveling full-time since 2011 and for him that’s a dream he made a reality, which consists of first defining all the elements that create a satisfying life and then combining them into a system that works.

He’s not focused on money or property, and doesn’t think success is connected to them either. He then became a lifestyle business entrepreneur and joined a community of others like him.

And discovered something interesting – it was all easier and cheaper than he expected. And living the dream actually costs much less money that our current lifestyle, in terms of time and expenses.

That’s what his blog is all about – living life on your own terms, doing more with less and not taking things too seriously so that you can enjoy this life at the same time.

The Art of Non-Conformity

The person behind this big project is Chris Guillebeau, He visited every country in the world over the past 10 years while writing books and blogging.

The essence of his philosophy is this:

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect;
You can do good things for yourself and help other people at the same time;
If you don’t decide for yourself what you want to get out of life, someone else will end up deciding for you;
There is usually more than one way to accomplish something.
He’s a strategist, a believer and a successful entrepreneur. On the blog he writes about personal development, entrepreneurship, doing unconventional work, and traveling.

And here are two more adventurers that made it while traveling the world that are worth mentioning:

Nomadic Matt

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
Alan Keightley

I’d love to hear your opinion on all that. Maybe you disagree with what I’ve said, or want to add something.
Let me know in the comments below.

Featured photo by Steven Zwerink @Flickr

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

How to Increase Your Productivity No Matter Where You Are

In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

What It Really Takes to Write a Book [+Free Documentary]

Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.