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Digital Nomad

7 Awesome Places To Be A Digital Nomad Right Now

best places to live as digital nomads

Being a digital nomad gives you the freedom to work wherever you like: all you need is Wi-Fi access and a workspace. Once you’ve got these things sorted, you can just sit back and take full advantage of the beautiful scenery, history, and culture around you.   

Below I’ve looked at seven awesome digital nomad destinations that are trending right now. Whether you’re into adventure, community, or sight-seeing, you’ll find a destination perfect for you.

Recommended reading: 4 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Travel After a Breakup

Seoul, South Korea

Home to Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, Seoul is a digital hotbed. It’s one of the most advanced cities on the planet with a great quality of life. This makes it a perfect destination for nomads. Online accessibility is essential for digital nomads. Without it, you can’t move fluidly — which undermines the whole point of being a nomad.

Seoul South Korea digital nomad

Seoul is unrivaled for Wi-Fi speed. It has the quickest internet on the planet and it’s getting faster. Today it’s at 2.5 gigabits per second. Tomorrow? Who knows. And how quick is Wi-Fi in the US? 18.7 megabits per second.

What about co-working spaces? Seoul has plenty of them. Check out InstantOffices and you’ll see what the city has to offer. They’re spacious, energetic, and beautiful.

The nearby countryside is among the prettiest you’ll find anywhere in Asia. There are plenty of peaceful spots in the city too. While you’re never far from a temple. And if you want nightlife, you’ll get it: Seoul fizzes and throbs with energy.

Porto, Portugal

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city. It’s famous for a delightful river: the Douro, fine port, and cheap beer. If your nomad requirements are good drinks and great cruises, you’ll adore Porto.

That’s not all, though. While Porto is a city of 1.8 million people, it doesn’t have the hustle of bigger destinations. There’s a gentle vibe that lets you set your own pace, rather than having someone else force the tempo.

You’ll find a great digital nomad community there (unsurprisingly). It’s been growing in popularity in recent years and has great interaction between nomads. Have a look at Porto Digital Nomads Meetup before you head out. It’ll give you a chance to build connections before you head out.

Admire the Douro below:

Porto Portugal digital nomadCredit: Max Pixel

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Favored by gap year kids for generations, this Asian jewel is one of the places for nomads to be. And why not? It has cheap food and accommodation, and plenty of co-working spaces. It’s a picturesque bargain.

It’s a destination of choice for Americans, with over a million having visited in 2017 alone. Expect even more to have visited by the end of 2018. With such a strong community of nomads around you, there will be plenty of like-minded people to learn from.

This is perfect if you’re a nomad novice because you can always find someone with tips on the nomad lifestyle in your native tongue. If you’re aspiring to handle your income through on-the-go income streams (many nomads create affiliate sites or pick up businesses to run remotely), then you’ll benefit hugely from the tech-savvy community.

Whatever your status, there’ll be a nomad near who’s been there before can help you take the next step. And if you’re an experienced nomad with a taste for the party life, then there are few better places for you than Chiang Mai. It’s a city that barely sleeps and loves tourists.

Budapest, Hungary

One of Europe’s historic cities, Budapest is the place to go nomad if you love great architecture. Just have a look at the image below and you’ll see:

digital nomad in budapest hungaryCredit: Ian Hoyt

Told you. It’s wonderful.

But great sites aren’t the only reason it’s a great place for an unbound worker. There are few capital cities in Europe more affordable than this one. (You’ll pay a lot less to live here than Paris, that’s for sure). It’s also filled with co-working spaces, many of which are frequented by digital nomads.

Oh, and it’s got the Sziget Festival.

Prague, Czech Republic

If Budapest sounds great, you won’t need to be sold on Prague. The two cities are European capital cousins. And they mirror each other’s benefits.

So what didn’t I cover about Prague? The fine arts. Sure, it has the same great community nomad vibe. And it’s got a global festival. But Prague has the State Opera House, a plaything for Zemlinsky, Gigli, Caruso, Mahler, and R. Strauss.

prague czech republic digital nomadCredit: Unsplash

It has a history of producing genius artists. Adolf Born, Josef Manes, Josef Vaclav Myslbek, and Antonin Braun, all were Czech. Visit the National Gallery and you’ll be overloaded with art.

Berlin, Germany

I’ve visited Berlin more times than I have fingers and toes. I’ve drunk in its bars. I’ve cycled its streets. And I’ve soaked in the rich graffiti. If I had to pick one place to be a nomad it would be this city.

But I know that’s not enough for you. So here’s more.

berlin germany digital nomadIt’s got enough hostels and Airbnbs to house the Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice. It’s not just anumbers by beds game, though. These places are cheap and they’re clean – I can vouch for them. The wi-fi facilities are great too.  

That’s not why it’s the place to be. It’s the hip culture. It has a long history of artistic rebelliousness.

Punk music made a home here in the 70’s and it spat its spirit of independence across the city. But it did so without making a hostile environment. Then there’s the techno. Nowhere in the world loves techno more than Berlin. It’s why the hippest club you’ll ever visit is there. Which club? Go there and you’ll find out.

Medellin, Colombia

It’s almost unfair to tell you how great Medellin is now. But don’t be fooled. This Colombian city is a rare flower – it’s why people call it the City of Eternal Spring.

digital nomad in medellin colombia

Credit: Flickr

Like many of the other options, it’s got a great digital nomad community. And it’s growing. That’s not the reason you’ll love to go there. The scenery is worthy of a prolonged stay. You’re a stone’s throw from great hiking spots and there’s greenery everywhere.

There’s a reason for this. Medellin’s located in the Aburrá Valley in the Andes mountains. Now you’re sold. If you want to build your nomad empire surrounded by panoramic views, choose Medellin.  

Honestly, these seven awesome places are just the start. Add a zero to the end and you still won’t have a list of everywhere it’s great to be a nomad. It’s exciting, right? So go ahead and take the plunge. Become a nomad today!

Feeling Low Just Isn’t Happening

Feeling good | Ian Hoyt

Usually articles on here stem from a mistake or a mishap I had that caused me to learn something and then in turn write about it in great detail for you to potentially learn from.

But lately, I just haven’t been having really any major “downs” or “lows”. In fact, I have been having what I now consider as highs! That’s why I wanted to reflect on it for anyone else that may be feeling the same way or is looking for someone who has been through the rollercoaster of business building/work emotions.

So recently I made the decision to turn my freelance branding and marketing into a full fledge big boy pants agency (I even have a name and everything now). Sort of crazy, very scary, but really really fun. I will elaborate on it more in an official article in a few short weeks so keep an eye out for that.

But anyway, usually in the past when I start a new venture it’s highly stressful and comes with a lot of difficulties that can get any normal Joe Smo down. But currently… I feel really good. Like almost too good. I’m certainly not comfortable (will never be possible), not “successful”, not “accomplished”, but just really in a good place. Things are growing, our clients are happy with the work we do, and my personal and professional lives seem to be fostered better than ever.

This weird state of “good” got me wondering. I began to reflect on how I manage my life, and how I have been able to keep a more positive and happier state during this growth and start of a new business.

After many 2 mile runs in the morning and a few bowls of ice cream, I realized it really came down to a few key things that I have fundamentally changed in my life…

1. I stopped reading “self-help” business blog articles

The biggest thing for me was cutting out my content consumption. While websites like Entrepreneur.com and the likes are good for some things, they hurt my perspectives in most aspects. I realized consuming all of this information was actually making me subconsciously feel inadequate and unproductive. I would read articles like “5 Ways to be as Productive as a Millionaire” and think that it was almost like it was the correct answer to “success”. Which is anything short of the truth.

By the way, I also turn off my newsfeed on Facebook and only allow myself really 30 minutes of consumption in the morning while in bed to “catchup” with social media for the day. All else is usually just me posting during the day. #consumptionHack

2. I made a schedule that worked for ME

I am terrible when it comes to long term concentration. I can’t justify it in my head, and if that is considered a bit A.D.D. so be it. For me, I work well in small stints with personal breaks in-between. Although I may work from around 7AM – 9PM most nights, you can usually find me taking an hour or two here and there for breaks that include practicing the guitar, going flying for an hour, going to the store, and just being away from the computer and phone.

This is crucial for me personally.

As you read this you may already be thinking that this way of working kills productivity and wastes time. That’s your predetermined definition, and I would challenge you to reflect on if your hours of work are REALLY conducive to your personality. For me, I believe that my hyper focused small stints of work end up being more productive than wasting billable hours at the computer for clients when I can’t be at my peak perfomance during the day.

3. I began investing in myself again

Like a good friend of mine told me recently…

Don’t let the money creep in and take over your entire mind, it will eat you alive and burn you out too quick

What he meant by this is, as a business owner its almost impossible to stop yourself from constantly crunching numbers in your head about potential deals and projections for growing your businesses revenue. Its just something innate in business owners. Trust me, my white board is filled with numbers.

But when this happens, you quickly lose sight of spending time crunching your own personal life revenue goals. What does this mean? Well, for me I realized I needed to start crunching more things in my head like taking time to workout and eat healthy, perhaps be fortunate enough to take an awesome girl on a date or two sometime, oh and also to just have pure relaxation time alone or with friends. These were “crunchings” that were very hard to fathom prioritizing in my previous state of workaholism.

Now I am proud to say I am getting better at most of this, I can say that I am happier and more creative for my business in result. Care about you and your community of friends, family, and significant others and it really will help in all aspects of your growth.

Lows are often what people that start businesses tend to have the easiest time feeling in the beginning.

Certainly I have them all the time, but this article is intended to help remind everyone that in your ventures through life, there really are highs.

However if you aren’t trained to appreciate them, the highs are usually the toughest to find and experience. This is because highs are often when you aren’t experiencing a low. To most this would be considered just a middle of the road moment. But I challenge you to see how the little things, the monotony, the self improvement, and even the routine sometimes can just be a small reminder that you actually are experiencing a life high.

I’m so fortunate to be able to sustain myself through my ventures, and even help other creatives get a bit more work too. Those are highs for me, and it may take more training to appreciate them more over time, but trust me I’m working hard at it.

If you feel like you’re experiencing a good time in life, don’t be afraid to admit it. You don’t need to be wealthy, famous, or goal achieved to experience a high you just need to accept that you are working towards something.

I think Caisey Neistat said it best in his video:

So at the end of the day, I’m experiencing this state of “good”, its not great and its certainly not a low. But I am realizing that it certainly is it’s own state of being. I have no comfort but I have happiness, I have health, and I have a balance that allows me to grow my business but most importantly grow myself and my relationships with people.

Prioritize, set standards for yourself and not for anyone else, and live a life that keeps you fighting for more but allows for happiness during the fight.

Done. 😉 Oh… and side note, I hate the word good so this article was a challenge for me.

How to Land Your First Paying Client

Land Your First Client

So it may be a surprise to most, but this blog doesn’t generate a sustainable income yet. Okay, probably most of you could have guessed that but I just wanted to clarify first.

To be honest, the way I sustain my lifestyle is as a freelancer.

What is a freelancer you may ask?

Freelancer, noun; a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.

To be more specific I focus on marketing and social media freelance work.

If you want to begin a road towards remote working and continual travel, freelancing is usually the very first step you should take towards this goal.

So how do you freelance when you have worked at a job job for so long? Great question.

This is the question most people have at first and for good reason. You have likely spent one, two, five, maybe twenty years at a job you hate and you don’t know where to turn to during this transition and especially who to sell your services to.

That is why I am laying this all out for you. After you are done reading this article, you will have the tools you need to land your first paid client.

Let’s get to it

So you are sitting in your cubicle, and you don’t know where to begin. Well first we need to figure out what service you want to offer to others. The obvious key here being that you have experience in whatever service you choose.

Here are just a few example positions that are highly sought out after in the freelance and consulting space:

  • Graphic Designers
  • Website Developers
  • Copywriters
  • Marketers
  • Business Intelligence
  • Videographers
  • Animators
  • Speakers
  • Social Media Managers
  • Clerical work

These are just a few examples. You can literally freelance anything! Yes, even those weird cat videos.

If that list didn’t spark your fancy I would suggest asking yourself what you are good at. Think of anything, even if it really is making badass cat videos (although that will be hard I will admit).

Make a list of five things you are good at and then compare that to what you think you can market the best as a professional expertise.

For me I got my start in freelancing as a website “developer”, barely knowing how to do websites but knowing just enough to get paid to get it done. Then, I got out of the space to focus on more creative stuff like photography and videography. Now, I have moved into offering more marketing and social media freelance. So as you can see, I have spent time dipping my toes in different sectors.

Being a jack of all trades isn’t always a bad thing!

So you have thought about it, and you have finally figured out the very first service you want to freelance. Now it’s time to find that first client.

How to find the client

This is the scary part. You are yelling at me right now as you read this, “Ian, just tell me the answer to finding clients!”

Okay okay… so you want to know the secret?

Ask your family, friends and friends of friends?

Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me. I am serious. The freelance work that pays my bills comes from clients that I have built friendships with before they even became my clients. It may sound weird that I am recommending you reachout to you close knit network for work, but seriously this is where all freelance businesses begin. It usually has a very high success rate for getting a first client.

So how do you get them to become a client? ASK.

Hey there [their name],

I hope all is well, I just wanted to give you a heads up that I am looking to fill out my freelance work for the year and wanted to see if you or your business was looking for any [YOUR SERVICE] work and consulting.

I know you’re extremely busy, but if you have just even ten minutes this week sometime I would love to chat on the phone and catch up.

Best,
[your name]

Remember, you are writing a friend or someone you know really well. This template above isn’t meant to be copied, I just wanted you to see that you should NEVER be hard selling your friends. There’s no need. They want to help you just as much as you want to help them. Just give them a heads up that you are looking for work. Likely they will have something or know someone who could be a potential lead.

Have no friends?

So sorry to hear that. Have no fear, if your personality isn’t what’s keeping the friends away, then we have hope for you. See there is this funny thing called hustling that many freelancers just don’t want to do. They think that offering their services on their website will magically bring them business.

For some, that works.

For most, that’s laughable.

So if you have no friends to reach out to it’s time to do a little cold emailing, calling, and walk-ins.

“Cold” selling is the act of reaching out to a potential lead offering your services without them having had contact with you before hand. It requires you make introductions, establish a rapport, yadayadayada.

You can do this in really three ways as a freelancer (all of which I have done and have been successful at)

Email:

For the newb freelancer, I suggest emailing your potential leads starting out. Practice how you phrase the email and continually test different wordings etc. The key here is to get them to respond. So establish a sense of urgency in the email and at the end re-establish what you would like them to do in a way that makes them feel compelled to do so (without sounding bossy).

P.S… the goal of an email should be to get them on the phone.

Call:

Cold calling is an art form. Cold calling is when you call someone instead of emailing them. It can be scary and honestly it’s where we all fail multiple times. If you don’t have a thick skin for people denying you, you will have a tough time here. If you want to make money and gain clients you will have to practice this and get good at guiding a phone call.

The goal on a cold call is not to sell them on your services, it’s to sell them on meeting with (virtually or in-person) them about your services. Don’t forget that.

Walk-In:

This is my favorite. Just walk into mom and pop shops in your town or city and just have fun talking to the owners. See where you can help them and casually offer those services. Don’t forget to ask to speak with the manager or owner of the establishment, someone who has decision making power.

But Ian, how do you first find the leads in which to cold call etc?

Man, you are asking the best questions today. This is obviously the part where people get hung up. For me, I like to stick to my local area at first. If I were to freelance for website development and design, I would simply Google or Yelp restaurants in the area and begin finding their contact information and reach out to them if I saw that their website had an error or was not up to snuff.

It’s that simple. Google’s your best friend.

Follow up

So now you have some new exciting leads that you never thought you would have. Whether it be from your friends or from reaching out to people you don’t know that could really benefit from your services, the critical step is to follow up.

This is where I would say I see 90% of freelancers lose. They get a great relationship going with potential clients, they meet with them in person to talk about their expertise and offerings, and then they part ways only to be lazy and never follow through.

I’m not sure what it is about this step. I am guilty of it every now and then, but that just means I lost out on business that could have been mine had I just sent a simple follow-up email.

Moral of the story, send a follow-up email the same day to the potential client you met with thanking them for meeting and then asking them when they would like to meet again to get the project started.

This keeps the conversation going and thus begins to fill your pocket with rent money.

The ethics of this

You could take a whole class in college on the ethics of selling etc…, or just remember this:

Above all else, care that your service will actually benefit the potential client. Care about them as people first, build relationships not empires.

This is what will ultimately help you in the long run. Being an old school salesman will make you money, but also make you look like an asshole, and no one likes assholes.

Final thoughts

As you can see finding your first client is easy if you actually want to find them. Finding the third, fourth, fifth client is where you need to really dig deep in these different strategies and work hard to secure them.

Remember, ask your friends and also ask them if they know of anyone looking for your services. I can almost guarantee you will find work via this strategy.

 

 

How To Make Your Own Blog Website During Lunch

How to create a blog | Life Nomading

We all have exciting insights and ideas to share with the world. Odds are that some of you actually want to share these things with the world. But the problem is that you’re usually overwhelmed by how to make your own blog website to share your thoughts. There are tons of different avenues in which to share your wealth (information and expertise) with the world. Whether its via social media, YouTube, blogs, or forums, there are endless ways to share.

How ever you decide to share your information, there is one thing you must have in place to have the best chance at making actual income from your pursuits. That being a blog, just like the one you are reading right now!

I know how overwhelming it can be to start your own website. Trust me, we have all been in your shoes. That is why this post will be a simple step-by-step process that will take you from zero to a full fledged blog in as little as 10 minutes.

So let’s get started!

Before we start, you will need:

  • A credit card
  • Domain name idea

That’s it.

Craft a Brand Name and Purchase a Domain Name

To begin, every blog or general website starts with a domain name. For this website, I chose www.Lifenomading.com and you knew this because that is how you accessed this article in the first place. 😉 When it comes to domain name creation you must first think if you want to create it under your own personal name or it’s own brand name.

As you can see, Life Nomading is a brand name that I created and my IanHoyt.com website is for my personal portfolio of work un related to what I talk about on this blog. Once you have a name idea down, you can purchase your domain name.

Usually at this point, I would recommend that you purchase your domain name on a separate domain name platform from your hosting. However, the hosting service I am about to recommend gives you one free domain when you register for hosting. So obviously, you should use that for making your first website.

Buy Hosting

There are thousands of different website hosting companies out there. All of which provide similar services. When it comes to very competitive pricing and the best customer service in the industry, I lean on Bluehost as my go-to hosting service.

Bluehost, in my opinion is the best hosting service to date for someone like you and I to host our websites on. They keep their servers (the computers that house our websites in the cloud), clean, and up-to-date. This ensures that your website is always up and running.

So, if you don’t have hosting yet, be sure to quickly sign-up for their service to get started. This is also where you will get to pick your free domain name! This is also where the credit card portion of this how to will be needed. But have no fear, their low price of only $3.49/month is a small price to pay for unlimited hosting.

Install WordPress

Okay, so you have your Bluehost account all set up now and you chose an awesome domain name to rock the world with.

Now it’s time for the critical step in this whole ordeal, loading the WordPress platform up!

This is simple.

First, on your Bluehost dashboard you will see a ton of grey bars which are all likely all expanded. I first recommend collapsing them all or searching for the WordPress icon under the “Website Builders” section. Then click it.

How To Make Your Own Blog Website | Life Nomading

You will be taken to this screen where you want to click the big fat “Install” button.

install wordpress with bluehost| Life Nomading

Then from the drop down you will see your domain name listed. Be sure to select it and then click “Check Domain“.

Download wordpress on website | Life Nomading

You will then be taken to this page where you want to check both boxes shown below.

select advanced options on wordpress install

Here is the important part.

You want to make sure to remember what you enter in the “advanced options” area, especially the “admin username” and “admin password”. These credentials will be used for your log-in once the WordPress platform is fully downloaded on your domain name.

Remember your admin username and admin password for future use.

Once you have selected your login information, press the “Install Now” button.

Create a Blog Quickly | Life Nomading

 

You will then see in the upper bar the progress of your download. Be patient this may take a few minutes.

Downloading WordPress | Life Nomading

 

Wooohooo! It’s done when you see this.

Wordpress download complete | LIfe Nomading

Purchase an awesome Theme

When it comes to how to make your own blog website one of the most important aspects about creating a quality blog that readers will want to hang out on is having an awesome theme that makes your content look great and function well. When it comes to finding a theme that is easy to manage, I always use ThemeForest

It’s sometimes scary to think about all of the money I have spent on so many great themes throughout the years, but I am never disappointed when I buy a theme via ThemeForest.

It’s super easy to find themes. Just go to Themeforest.net. Once you are there, search for WordPress Themes and be prepared to get sucked into looking at so many different ones. Take your time, and find a theme that fits your style best.

Themeforest wordpress themes | Life Nomading

If you like the theme that I use for Life Nomading, it is called “SimpleMag“. Feel free to check it out and use it, it’s one of my favorites that I have ever owned.

Theme sorting hack: When you are sifting through the thousands of WordPress themes on Themeforest, sort by most popular or most downloads. It will make new themes not come up, since these typically are too new to be fully functioning. Get a theme with high ratings and sales. 

Install Theme & Begin!

Now that you have your WordPress platform successfully downloaded, it’s time for the fun part!

First, to log-in to your blog you simply type in your web address with this ending added: www.YOURDOMAIN.com/wp-admin

Remember when I told you to remember your credentials that you entered in the advanced settings? Well now it’s time to use those. When your page loads, you will be prompted to put in your Username and Password that you had assigned when downloading WordPress.

ps… Your username should be the email address you chose.

Wordpress Login Tutorial | Life Nomading

 

Once you have successfully logged in for the first time, you may be overwhelmed on where to begin. Have no fear, first we need to install the stunning theme you purchased on ThemeForest.

To do this, you need to click on the “Appearance” button on the left hand side and then select “Theme

Then you will see the “Add New” button, click it!

Once this is done, it will have you upload your theme’s .zip file.

**NOTE** Make sure to upload the .zip file you downloaded directly from ThemForest. Don’t unzip any files. It will not accept them.

Build a blog quickly | Life Nomading

Then click “Install Now

Now wait for a minute or so as the theme uploads to your WordPress.

You will then be prompted with this screen…

Start a Blog | Life Nomading

To make the theme you just uploaded active, you must click the “Activate” button on this page.

That’s it! You now have an active blog. Now all you need to do is go into your specific theme’s options and customize anything you want to fit your brand image and voice.

Or, you could get started creating content by going to the “Posts” page and creating a new post.

How to make your own blog website is really not that hard.

As you can see, creating a blog is extremely easy and cheap. The crazy thing is, this small investment can reap a ton of passive nomadic income for you if you put in the work, learn about SEO and create useful content. Although creating a blog is cheap and easy, it takes REAL dedication to keep new articles published and the site looking great for your readers.

Life Nomading has been around for about five months (from when I posted this article), and I will tell you that I have put full time effort into everything I produce here. So being successful is more than you see on the surface!

If you are looking to make a blog to just document your personal journey, that is absolutely great! But if you are looking to create a sustainable business/income from your content be prepared for a long road ahead. It will happen, you just have to work hard and be patient.

I’m excited that you are now on your way to a new journey in your nomadic life. Be sure to comment below with your website link so I can keep tabs on your progress!

If you want more information about the products I recommended in this article you can visit my Nomad Toolbox.