How long have you been a digital nomad?
8 years, since 2013
Tell us about your current work, and how it's impacting the digital nomad community or lifestyle
I'm the founder of the Nomad Summit (https://www.nomadsummit.com/), where we've had thousands of digital nomads from around the world meet in person at our live events in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Cancun, Mexico, and Las Vegas, Nevada. I've also published over 250 episodes of the Travel Like a Boss Podcast (https://www.travellikeabosspodcast.com/) where I've interviewed hundreds of successful digital nomads about their journeys and businesses. Now I am the co-host of the Invest Like a Boss Podcast which helps already successful digital nomads invest their hard earned money. (https://www.johnnyfd.com/)
Where was the first international place you started your nomad journey and what was the experience like for you?
Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the time there were only around 20 of us back in 2013, but it was a fun experience being one of the first members of the first ever coworking space there, and helping create the community by blogging about it.
How did friends react to your decision to start nomading? Have reactions about your lifestyle as a nomad changed or mostly been the same?
They told me I should go see a Psychologist and ask for antidepressants. They worried about me. But I knew I was making the right move. Now I've seen over 50+ countries, made new deeper friendships, had great experiences, adventures, and have also earned and saved more money than any of them back home. Now that they see how happy I am, and that I've been able to grow my net worth from living paycheck to paycheck to now having over $1 million in savings and investments, they are happy for me and think I made the right choice.
What's your typical remote work atmosphere preference when nomading and why: work from your living space during the day; work from cafes; work at a coworking office; or something else?
If I want to be productive, then I join a co-working space. Cafes are great for 1-2 hours a day of casual work, and working at home can be good for a few hours as well, but there's nothing better than a well laid out coworking space with real office chairs, not one that just looks nice in photos, but one that is designed for productivity.
What are some of your favorite remote work tools (aside from zoom & google meet, ha!)
You need a VPN if you're going to work remotely as some websites simply don't work if you are in another country. But aside from that, I like copy and paste managers, and time out apps to keep me productive and in a good flow.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the digital nomad life
People think it's easy, but running a successful business requires the same amount of time and energy regardless of where you are in the world. The benefit of being a digital nomad however, is once you're done with work for the day or week, you're already somewhere amazing instead of needing to then travel somewhere.
The entire world went remote in a flash last year, and many people are considering taking their remote work on the road as a nomad. What would be your top 3 pieces of Advice to a new nomad?
Try somewhere for a test, don't bring too many things, then figure it out from there. Go to in person meetups and events, and make real connections.
What's your hope for the digital nomad lifestyle and community at large as it evolves?
My biggest hope is that large, founding digital nomad in person events such as the Nomad Summit and Nomad Cruise are able to continue after the travel bans end, and that digital nomads will witness the value of in person events like these.
Last but not least - your favorite memory ever as a nomad (that you're comfy to share!) We dare you to pick one!
Without question, it's being on stage at the Nomad Summit in front of 400+ digital nomads from around the world and wrapping up the conference, seeing everyone in person, hugging, smiling, and making connections, friendships, and partnerships.