“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” – Lao Tzu
Working on the Road as a Digital Nomad
As some of you may know, next year me and my lovely wife will be starting our long-term traveling adventure. In brainstorming possible locations, I came across Johannes site webworktravel.com.
Johannes has written a great guide that is geared towards digital nomads. It offers many awesome low budget locations, where people who have managed to turn their skills into an online business can continue to work, provided they have an internet connection.
Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing him. I am excited to have him on my site, to share his insights and help people with similar aspirations of traveling and working from the road. Now let’s move onto our interview.
Johannes, could please tell everyone a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hey, I am an Online Marketer from Germany. For the last four years I’ve been working online while travelling the world. I think that there are a lot of people who want to do this, to and see and travel the world at the same time as working, but are unsure about how to start living this kind of lifestyle.
What I really want to do is to motivate and help more people to actually take that step, to get away from their offices and their computer screens, to take advantage of all the benefits that come with running a business from anywhere in the world.
Was there a tipping point for you, a moment where you decided to completely change what you were
After a studying abroad in Cape Town for a year I enjoyed the lifestyle so much that I wanted to move to South Africa but I had a problem. It wasn’t easy to make money. This was why I decided to move my career online. It allowed me to become location independent, to get paid in a stronger currency from my clients in Europe and to be able to travel between Germany and South Africa whenever I wanted to.
What are a few of the most valuable things you have learned on your journey of being an online entrepreneur?
The number one lesson that I have learnt working as an online entrepreneur is that focus is very important. If you try to do 20 things at the same time you will get nowhere. If you focus on one and take each step at a time, while keeping your big goals in mind, you will get what you want much faster, will be more successful… and be much less stressed out!
One of the things that you point out is that because of our current technology, we have the opportunity to turn many of our skills/passions into ethical online businesses.
Do you think this is a sustainable trend considering the great economic uncertainty we are living in? How do you see all this affecting the online world?
I try not to think about the economic uncertainty. Personally, I think it’s much better and secure if you have your own business and skills than working for a boss who could lay you off at any time. Both have their pros and cons though.
However, I wouldn’t necessarily advice everyone to turn their passions into an online business. The competition in most “passion areas” is tough. It is easier to start with projects that are not about passion but where you apply your skills to projects that are needed and helpful.
With the flexibility of your business, you have had the opportunity to pursue many of your hobbies. Could you share with us what they are and what have you learned by actively participating in them?
I like to try many different sports but if I could nail everything down to one hobby that would be kitesurfing. It helps me to switch off my mind after work. It’s a perfect sport to maintain a good work life balance plus I can practice it in so many beautiful destinations around the world. I’m actually heading to one of those spots in the Caribbean tomorrow and can’t wait ;-).
You have traveled a lot in the past. Tell us about some of your favorite countries in the World.
Every country is amazing for different reasons. If I had to name a few they would be:
- Brazil – It has a great beach culture and very friendly people.
- South Africa – It is fantastic because it is home to one of the most beautiful cities in the World, Cape Town. And of course it has amazing Safaris!
- Colombia -It has so much diversity and lots of beautiful places that are still not overrun by tourists.
- The Philippines and Indonesia – Both are dream destinations because they both offer an incredible amount of islands that still need to be discovered.
What books have had the biggest influence on your life? What would you recommend for anyone looking to start a business or find their creative passion?
The Four-Hour-Work-Week by Tim Ferriss changed my life. I read it in 2007 and it was the major reason why I decided to learn everything about Online Marketing – not necessarily to work as little as possible but to achieve location independence. It worked.
To me inner freedom along with external freedom is ultimate freedom, because without inner freedom you eventually will take whatever worldly success you attain for granted.
Since my site is all about discovering and creating both inner and outer freedom, could you please share with us what “freedom” means to you?
Freedom means to me that I can go where I want, whenever I want.
Last question, you have already accomplished many great projects, what do you have in store for the near future?
I have a many plans for the Webworktravel project. It’s all about simplifying the work and travel lifestyle, making it more fun and a lot easier by creating products and services that I wish would have existed when I started to work and travel. The destination guide is just the beginning – there’s a lot more to come in 2014.