Digital Nomadism is a new lifestyle that embraces an adventurous approach to working, empowered by technology to eliminate our bondage to the physical workspace. This trend is on the rise and, according to Upwork, roughly two-thirds of those who make such change became freelancers, while the rest create a virtual business or team.
Here, digital nomad Jacob Laukaitis, a member of Talent Garden, shares his story of turning his work life upside down and running a fast-growing online business while traveling to more than a dozen countries a year.
MAKING MONEY WHILE TRAVELING... HOW? TELL US MORE ABOUT WHERE, WHEN AND HOW IT ALL STARTED.
I established my first company at the age of 15 and have been running my own online ventures ever since. I became an active digital nomad about two years ago when I started a small, but very profitable social media marketing agency. Eventually I worked three to five hours a week and could travel anywhere, so I went to 12 countries that year. I'm currently a co-founder of an online coupons company, ChameleonJohn.com. Even though this is a much bigger project, I'm still completely location independent since I can complete all of my work tasks online.
WHAT DO YOU CALL YOUR HOME AND WHAT DO YOU NAME AS OFFICE?
My perception of what is a "home" has changed dramatically in the past two years. Right now, home is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Which, in my opinion, is awesome. Speaking of an office, it's any table in the world as long as I have my computer and a Wi-Fi connection. I'm also a frequent user of co-working spaces. Currently, I am a member of Talent Garden network, which is very convenient for the travelers in Europe, especially the South, as with one membership you work from all of the campuses. Co-working is the best office because I can meet so many interesting entrepreneurs, professionals and digital nomads. Hopefully, TAG will locate some campuses around Asia soon as it would make working travelers life easier there.
ANY TIPS FOR THOSE WHO ARE ABOUT TO START THEIR JOURNEY?
Of course! For every starting digital nomad, I'd recommend never settling for too long. Keep on moving and exploring cultures (if you have the time, start learning languages), and always finish your work tasks before going diving, surfing, hiking or doing all the other super exciting stuff. Whenever traveling, try to get hosted... that's the best way to meet new friends and explore the place's culture. For everyone who would like to become a digital nomad, I've just created a free newsletter "3 Tips To Become A Digital Nomad".
WHAT IS YOUR HOTTEST RECENT WORK-LIFE ACHIEVEMENT?
In the past 2 years I've traveled to more than 30 countries, helped grow ChameleonJohn.com from a startup to an established company and some of my digital nomad articles got super popular, such as "Why I Will Never Live 9 to 5" on Medium with 160,000+ views.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY PERSONAL TRAVELING STATS AND THE BIGGEST OR CRAZIEST ADVENTURES YOU HAD?
I currently spend most of my time in Asia, since I'm really interested in the continent's history, numerous cultures and online business opportunities. I've been to 11 thus far, some of them many times. I've spent a month traveling all around Japan; got my scuba diver's license in the Gili Islands; trekked volcanoes in Bali; explored hundreds of temples in Myanmar and Cambodia; snorkeled with whale sharks in the Philippines; and motorbiked across dozens of islands, towns and cities. I've also just finished motorbiking across the Balkan states. I drove 8,000 kilometers across 15 countries in just four weeks, completely alone.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR PLANS. DO YOU MAKE ANY? WHAT ARE THE NEXT DESTINATION POINT?
I don't usually make fixed plans, but I have quite a few ideas where I want to go and what I want to do. Starting from the 1st of September I'll spend a week relaxing in Thailand, a month having an awesome team get-away with my colleagues in Bali, a month traveling around Indonesia and learning their official language, two months traveling around India (which includes one or two weeks living in the slums of Mumbai), three months in Taiwan learning Mandarin and connecting with the local startup community and three month-long trip around China, among a few other potential destinations.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT LIFE IN FIVE WORDS?
Wouldn't change it for anything.
Rasa Strumskyte is CMO at Talent Garden, the largest European co-working network. Follow her on Twitter @Rasa_Ona