The last four years have brought about major change in my life:
In the last two years, I’ve obtained certifications changing the course of my career path and leading a more sustainable, healthy and location-varying journey. Teaching English and yoga allow me to work in many countries, easily obtaining a work visa. Options to start small businesses in these fields are not out of reach either. Along side these changes my level of awareness for creative activities, such as painting and writing, has flourished. The writing has manifested into this blog and a bi-weekly email called Solo Trip Report. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be on the mailing list.
China provided opportunities to pay off debt and build up financial reserves. This became the launchpad to travel and exploration in South East Asia. Starting in Vietnam, while working on the Solo Trip Reports, I’ve come to sample a new way of life, the way of a digital nomad. Working anywhere with an internet connection and exploring in between bursts of productivity. Interestingly, the travel provides more frequent opportunity to reflect, observe and grow; a state of half-living-half-traveling at the same time. Being exposed to such an environment, I’m surprised and frustrated more isn’t being done to encourage young people to take up this way of life in post-secondary education, and throughout society in general.
However, I am now at a crossroads. I’d like to further pursue this kind of lifestyle, yet I am not experienced, nor aware of, how to earn my income solely online, or any percentage online. Like many others, the primary means of income generation was trading time for money at a specific location. There’s no other way I can see but to throw myself in, study, practice and put forth all efforts.
For starters, while exploring Vietnam, I could further develop control over my spending habits. Even though I’ve cut the fat from some areas, there is still opportunity to tighten my belt further. Taking advantage of currency exchange and cost of living has really helped, but my patience and effort to come up with new, and more alternative, options for extending my finances is an area of opportunity. Creative budgeting will prolong the use of my funds, enabling more time to build and implement a plan of transition.
This point of my life is a little frightening. It’s hard to look at the typical path everyone claims to be the one way to a happy life (even though many of them aren’t), and say it’s not for me. Resisting such a widely accepted and culturally engrained route requires standing firm against a strong current. With no experience in this new world, I’m still trying to get my bearings. What if it doesn’t pan out? How will I handle the new learning curve? What kinds of resources are available to those in the same position?
To build skills in this new arena, I can take related online courses, network with more digital nomads and design a system allowing for the methodical experimentation of earning income online. It’s not easy, there are many pitfalls; at the end of the day if it doesn’t work out, I can teach yoga and English while building the next approach. The probability of a misstep the first time is high, but, the permanence of not succeeding will be short lived. At minimum it will provide an opportunity to learn what not to do. In which case, simply try again. If plenty of other people can do it, surely I can as well.