Work Anywhere

Location Independent Work Ideas

Interview with Karen van der Zee – Long-Term Expat and Author of 34 Books

Author Karen van der Zee - AKA Miss Footloose

Every thought of writing a book? Karen van der Zee has 34 published books now with more on the way. She has a gift for telling great stories, which most bloggers, including myself can learn a lot from. Karen talks about how the publishing industry has changed over the years, living around the world and gives some writing advice in this fantastic interview.

Please tell us about yourself?

Hello dear readers, I am Miss Footloose, aka Karen van der Zee. I hail from the Netherlands, land of wooden shoes, dikes, bikes, windmills, and cheese, aka Holland. I never owned a pair of wooden shoes, but I did possess a bike or two and I ate and eat plenty of cheese. I am a writer and my husband is an agricultural development economist and works on foreign aid projects in developing countries. Right now we live in Moldova, Eastern Europe.

Please tell us about your travel background?

My first expat experience was as a foreign exchange student to the US where I lived with a family for a year and was introduced to life as a teenager in an American high school. Talk about culture shock. Later I met my American …

Can I Afford to Stop Being Location Independent?

Location Independent in CalgaryI have written previously about how my wife and I need routine in our lives. While it is great to live in new countries, constant travel is very time-consuming and stressful. We have been consider setting up roots again and having a more stable lifestyle.

The big problem with settling down is that it costs a lot of money. It actually costs a huge amount of money to have a normal western lifestyle.

Here is a rough breakdown of monthly expenses that we would expect to incur if we permanently relocated to my home city of Calgary.

  • Mortgage on an average starter home: $1800
  • Property taxes: $200
  • Utilities: $350
  • Telephone, Internet: $150
  • Cell Phones: $200
  • Car Payments: $300
  • Car Insurance: $100
  • Car Maintenance and Gas: $200
  • Furniture and Household Items: $500
  • Clothing: $200
  • Food: $500
  • Entertainment: $500

Total $5000

The North American Idea of a Normal Lifestyle

We don’t have to spend that much money of course, but it is hard not to when all of your peer group does. Expenses of $5,000 per month are normal for a professional couple in Calgary.  It doesn’t matter how independently minded you think you are, we are all influenced by society, …

Interview with Location Independent Entrepreneur, Michael Bodekaer

Michael Bodekaer of Project Getaway
A key success factor, both personally and in business, is the ability to connect with like minded people.  It is great to virtually interact with and support our peers but nothing compares to real world meet ups. To bring lifestyle design focused entrepreneurs together,  Michael Bodekaer has created Project Getaway, a tropical paradise retreat in Bali, Indonesia. He talks about his lifestyle and businesses in this interview.

Please tell us a little about your background?

I’m a tech-geek, adrenaline junkie and entrepreneur who got tired of 9-5 day-jobs and decided to be my own boss. I love kite-surfing, wakeboarding and world travel, and have managed to start/run a few online businesses that allow me to live life how it is supposed to be lived 🙂

While traveling around the world I often missed the community feel and creativity that comes from working with fun, inspirational and like-minded people, but what I didn’t miss were the timesheets, managers and meetings.

So instead of going back into an office, I decided to try to bring inspirational people out of offices and into exotic environments by starting Project Getaway.

How long have you been living in Indonesia?

I’ve been living in beautiful …

Interview with Successful Nomadic Entrepreneur, Dan Andrews

Dan Andrews Digital Nomad from  TropicalMBA.comI am a huge fan of great, simple ideas. When I first heard of the TropicalMBA, I thought it was a brilliant concept with lots of potential. Just the name alone, conveys all the information you need to know. What better way to learn about business, then interning with a successful entrepreneur in an exotic country? In this interview, Dan Andrew talks about how he started the TropicalMBA, how he makes money and gives advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Please tell us about yourself

After studying philosophy in college, I sort of blindly jumped in to business because I assumed that business guys had a lot of freedom in terms of how they spent their time and where they can be located. I didn’t really have a plan, but in retrospect I think I was right about the business thing. Being an entrepreneur allows me a great deal of freedom in how I spend my time and I also get to be creative, which is really important to me.

It took me a little while to figure out how to get the kind of freedom I was looking for. I started my business in 2007, basically the day after …

Want to Visit Japan for Cheap?

Nara House for Rent - Digital Nomad NetworkI have a house in Japan that is currently empty. I am still debating renting it out or possibly making it available for travelers and digital nomads. It would be a completely set up house, with high-speed internet, a proper kitchen, furniture and bedding, etc. for up to about 6 people comfortably. The rent would be relatively inexpensive as I am just looking to cover costs.

I would like to keep my house in Japan as a place to return every year, but I don’t want to pay for a full year to only stay there for two or three months. If I can rent it out for at least an additional 3 or 4 months per year, then I will re-furnish the house and get it ready for others to stay there.

Japan is actually not that expensive, particularly if you have reasonably priced accommodations and don’t live in a major center like Tokyo.

The Idea

In a previous post I mentioned the difficulties in getting set up in a new apartments in new countries. Dealing with shady real estate agents is a big pain and apartments are often dirty, poorly equipped and/or have lousy Internet connections. It …

Travel on $500 per month, Interview with Digital Nomad Raam Dev

Interview with Long Term Traveler, Raam Dev

Don’t have enough money to travel? Raam Dev went on a six month trip after bankruptcy, living on about $500 per month. He then went on to coordinate an ebook, Small Ways to Make a Big Difference, with 40 contributing authors that has been downloaded 27,000 times. He is another great example of what can be accomplished with the right mindset, talent and hardwork. Raam Dev is a fantastic writer with thoughtful and inspiring blog posts. I highly recommend subscribing to his blog at raamdev.com.

Please tell us about yourself.

In my late teens I decided to skip college and focus on building a career in the IT industry. Self-directed education wasn’t new to me: I had been home-schooled my entire childhood and began teaching myself at the 8th grade when my parents became too busy with the growing family business.

Technology has always come naturally for me so a career in the IT industry seemed like the best opportunity. I have since held titles like Lead Support Engineer and Software Developer. Although technology is what I’m good at, what I truly love is spending time outdoors, exploring the natural world, and traveling.

For most of my life, …

14 Reasons Why I Hate Travel

14 Reasons I hate Travel

14 Reasons I hate Travel

I love living in new countries but I am really getting tired of the constant moving. I have been living abroad for about 14 years now and I don’t plan to stop. However, moving around all the time is way too much.

When you don’t travel much, going on a two week vacation seems like paradise. Every step of the process from the anticipation, arrival at the airport, checking in at the hotel are exciting and new. However, when you travel regularly most of those novel experiences quickly become boring and often dreadful.

Here are 14 reasons why I hate travel.

1. Customs

Customs in some countries, especially the US and UK have become draconian. From power hungry customs officers to stupid security procedures that fail to deliver even basic levels of respect, arriving in a new country can be a royal pain. It is not like this in every country, however. Travelling through Japan and many other countries can be quite pleasant. I understand the need for security but I wish every customs officer was forced to fly through Japan to see how they should behave.

2. Environmental Footprint

Air travel is hugely devastating …

Interview with Perpetual Traveller Craig Martin of IndieTravelPodcast

Today’s interview is with Craig Martin of IndieTravelPodast.com. Craig and his wife Linda have been travelling full-time for more than 5 years now and are funding their adventure through their websites, podcasts and the occasional English teaching. Craig talks about how they got started and how they have bulit their location independent lifestyle.

0:22 Tell us about your travels, where are you now and where have you been?

(Currently in Vietnam, their first time in S.E. Asia. They have been to 22 countries this year including South America, Europe and New York. Craig shares how he and his wife funded their travels by working hard to save money and then teaching English around the world. )

1:48 Do you have a homebase?

(Only a P.O Box where Linda’s father collects mail. “Home is where the backpack is.” He talks about why they started their travels in Malta. )

3:26 What did you do in Malta?

(They taught English. They got into English teaching in order to work around the world.)

4:24 Is Malta a good country to teach English?

(“Not if you want to earn any money.” Two weeks teaching in Italy earned the same amount of savings as …

8 Months in to Our Anywhere Lifestyle

We are in Istanbul!

We are in Istanbul!

It has been 8 months now that Motoko and I left Japan. We are having a great time with our lives but this is also not an idyllic lifestyle. It is great to be able to see the world and have complete freedom, but we are really starting to miss having a regular routine in our lives. Here is a short summary of our current situation.

We  are in Istanbul

We are currently in Istanbul and loving it here. The hospitality of Turkish people has been amazing. Turkey is very unique in that it is a bridge between European and Middle Eastern cultures.  It is so different then anywhere else we have been but I will write more about the country later.

Our Financial Situation

We haven’t been able to sell our house in Japan because of the terrible real estate market there, so we have been paying bills and a mortgage for an empty house. It would have been nice to get rid of that obligation, but such is life. We are now thinking of spending a few months every year in Japan. Unfortunately, we got rid of all of our furniture so it will …

Interview with Location Independent Irish Polyglot, Benny Lewis

Benny Lewis of Fluentin3Months.com

Benny Lewis of Fluentin3Months.com

I had an opportunity to meet up with and interview the charismatic Benny Lewis from Fluentin3Months.com in Budapest recently. Those of you following the location independent and travel blogger crowd will likely already be well acquainted with Benny. His blog and recent language hacking guides have been extremely popular. Currently fluent in 8 languages and proficient in many others, Benny definitely knows what he is talking about. What I admire most about him is the intense focus of his blog and language missions in different countries. Travel, lifestyle design and location independence are all very saturated topics, Benny managed to find an unique angle and he sticks with it. He is the Language Hacker Polyglot.

Here  is a very brief summary of the video.

00:20 Start off by introducing yourself.

(He studied electronic engineering. Has been travelling for 8 years. Started his blog 1.5 years ago with a language focus. Every three months or so travels to a new country to learn the language.)

1:45 Why three months?

(It is not a magic number. It depends on the person. Three months is good for him.)

2:01 What is your job?

(He has had over 40 jobs …