How to Travel for Free While Being a Digital Nomad

David 0:00
Are you looking to grow your sales on Amazon? Chances are if you’re not selling on Amazon’s international marketplaces, you are leaving some serious money on the table. What keeps a lot of people from selling internationally are all the confusing hoops you have to jump through to get started. That is why we worked with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing ecommerce on our international expansion. Kevin and his team take care of the details and guide you through the process of expanding so that you can grow your sales and reach new customers. If you’d like to find out if working with Kevin and his team is right for you head over to https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire once again that is https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire. Isn’t that a shame that that for adults, that there are people that need to bring a slip of paper from a doctor’s that saying hey, I was sick? You know, I think as an employer, you have to ask yourself, what kind of environment have I created, in which people are one skipping work saying that they’re sick, or to requiring a grown ass man or woman to bring a slip of paper like you’re an elementary school.

Ken 1:10
If someone steals your laptop, if you drop it in a coffee shop and it breaks, if you have everything locally on your laptop, you’re pretty much screwed if you save everything to you know, Dropbox or Google Drive if all of your stuff is web based. And all you have to do is go get another laptop log into your Google Chrome and everything is there.

Intro 1:30
Welcome, everyone to the firing the man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us. This show will help you build a business and grow your passive income stream in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

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David 1:54
Welcome everyone to the firingtheman podcast on today’s episode we talk about life after the cubicle. As Ken and I have traveled the world and managed our businesses over the last 18 months. Be sure to stay tuned to see how we paid for overflights using reward points from our business credit card. Ken, what’s going on

Ken 2:11
man? David, what’s up? I’m excited to be in the studio today. It’s been a while and yeah, kind of share our story with the audience on testing out being a digital nomad and kind of what that looks like and everything. So yeah, excited to share today. We’ve got some special bonuses towards the end on how we did this. And so yeah, excited to share. David, what is a digital nomad, by definition,

David 2:31
this is a person who earns a living working online in various locations of their choosing rather than a fixed business. And you know, I first heard about digital nomadism, probably like seven or eight years ago. And I can almost guarantee it was probably one of those Lambros on Facebook, targeting me for a course. And I remember having a discussion with my wife about being a digital nomad, and that it just seems so appealing, right? And so we started, I was working at an accounting firm, and my wife was working at a counseling agency in the morning, we both get her morning cup of coffee, and drive to work. And then we’d come home at five or six. And we had to do that Monday through Friday. And we just kind of longed for this idea of being a digital nomad. And so curious, like, when was the first time you heard that phrase?

Ken 3:21
Yeah, so probably the same thing where, you know, probably seven or eight years ago, I’m looking at like, you know, I was kind of at a lull in my career, you know, looking around, Okay, what else is out there? And I’m peeking out on YouTube. And it’s there’s, you know, digital nomads. Oh, hey, I’m living in Thailand. I know, Chiang Mai, I think is the home for digital nomads. And so I began watching, you know, following some people, some influencers on YouTube and kind of looking that and, you know, and so it’s been about seven or eight years. And, you know, just like with everything else with influencers on YouTube, they’re gonna make it look like oh, hey, this is the I’m living the life, you know, follow me click here. And but yeah, so I, it’s, it was really exciting to me to see that visually, like, oh, I want to be on the beach all day long. And I want to, you know, not have any cares in the world. And so, you know, on this episode, we’re going to kind of share our experiences with we’ve tested the waters on this and what does that look like? And how realistic is that? And so, David, for you, like, what does it look like for you for Digilent to being a digital nomad?

David 4:20
Yeah, absolutely. So I would say from the time I learned about it until the time, both my wife and I were digital nomads was probably three and a half years. We started with her first we started a in really, she did a lion’s share of the work, but started an online counseling agency, which one, in my opinion, is just a better way to receive therapy, especially living in a small town. It’s excellent. It also allows you to, you know, reach out to people that maybe live in rural areas and don’t have that available. And so that was a great move for her in that she could serve the clients that she wanted to serve. And again, be a digital nomad. She could do this online counseling from anywhere in the world and did that As the audience knows, I fired the man and have been, you know, without a day job for coming up on on two years now. And so that was our path to becoming digital nomads. Now when we were working the nine to five, so we had this idea of maybe getting an RV, traveling all over the place, and you know, working out of the back of a van, or in coffee shops all around the world. And what I can tell you, we spend a lot of time at home. That seems crazy, you know, we, for the longest time kind of longed for, to be able to go anywhere. And now that we are able to go anywhere, what we’ve realized is we really like being at home, we live on an acreage, we have a pretty sweet house and two young boys to enjoy that acreage with. And so as a result, we spent a lot of time at home, I would still say I’m a digital nomad, I still identify as that, even though I’m not you know, working from a laptop, you know, in a coffee shop in Thailand, I would also say that we flex that muscle, sometimes we do a lot of trips, where I’ll bring my laptop and work and and so anyway, that’s kind of what it looks like in my life can What about you?

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Brand Identity Breakthrough: How to Craft Your Company's Unique Story to Make Your Products Irresistible
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Ken 6:06
Yeah, so I want to share a story. And this is one of the influencers that I followed on YouTube for a while, there was a couple and they had a small baby, an infant still crawling, and this couple, they were digital nomads, and they sail around the world. And so they share their life with their followers. And it was really, I was like, Holy crap, like, really? Do they do that? And so yeah, they do. And so it was kind of interesting, following them, you know, and their source of income is their influencers, they have a YouTube channel. And so that’s how they make their money. And but just that lifestyle of like, free lit, like they’re sailing all around the world, living their life. And they’re able to do that just by having a YouTube channel and online business, essentially. Yeah, it’s, it was it’s very interesting to me. And also, like, it’s just kind of cool, you know, like, you think of your day to day life of going into a cubicle or to a job and to physical space and coming back. And sometimes it gets monotonous. And so anyway, I for me, it was it’s really like, like I have, you know, in for all the listeners, everybody’s like, personal life is different. And so you may have children, you may not you may have young children, you may have older children, it’s going to really dictate how you’re going to be, you know, how much of a digital nomad Are you going to be? How far on the spectrum. And so for me, you know, my son is a teenager now. And so, you know, although I don’t need, you know, I don’t have to take care of him as much as I used to. And so I can flex that, that muscle a little bit more with traveling more. And so it’s for me, it’s more or less like, I work 300% remote, and I really can like, go and travel anytime I want to. And so having that flexibility of not being able to put a request into my boss, Hey, can I take a week off? No, there’s no there is nice, like, hey, next week, I’m gonna be here next week, I’m gonna be here and having that flexibility to me at this stage of my life. That’s kind of what I’m flexing in terms of being a digital nomad?

David 7:59
Absolutely. You know, I think from you know what both you and I said, when we were on one side of the fence when we were employed, we looked on the other side of the fence and thought travel. That’s what digital nomad means. It means travel. But what I think at least I know I have found is it’s really more about flexibility. And in you know, as you mentioned, it looks a little bit different for everybody. You know, another area that I like to flex this muscle is I work in mornings, and then at 830. I usually go jump in bed with my two sons, and we have some snuggle time, and then we get up and we make breakfast. And that that hour is one of the best hours fitted. It is the best hour of my day. I love that. And I it would be so hard for me to think about giving that up leaving the house at 630 doing a one hour commute in the car and not eating breakfast with my kids. Like I live in a tent before I’d go back. I really wouldn’t. And so we’re like doctor’s appointments or permissions. You know, this hit me the other day, I got sick, actually pretty sick and I needed to go get an IV. And when I was leaving, they said do you need a doctor’s note? And I just thought, No, I don’t. But isn’t that a shame that that for adults, that there are people that need to bring a slip of paper from a doctor’s that saying, Hey, I was sick? You know, I think as an employer, you have to ask yourself, what kind of environment have I created? In which people are one skipping work saying that they’re sick, or to requiring a grown ass man or woman to bring a slip of paper? Like you’re in elementary school? And so anyway, yeah, flexibility. So anyway, anything else on this before we turn the corner?

Ken 9:36
Now? Let’s see. Yeah, let’s talk about tips and tricks for traveling while we’re working.

David 9:42
Absolutely. So I would say one thing is having a solid laptop. You know, if you look at what it takes to start this business, really not a lot. You need money for inventory and you need a computer. And so I’ve got a brother that builds custom computers and they’re just absolute tanks. Like, they’re awesome, they’re super, I don’t know a lot about him. But when you look at him, you’re like, that looks sweet. However, you can’t throw that in a bag and go to a coffee shop or travel very easy. And so I run my business off a MacBook Pro. And about every two and a half years, I will have something go wrong, and I’ll get pissed off and I’ll go to the Mac store and buy a new one. That’s kind of my rhythm. But yeah, I think having a laptop is number one here. And I like monitors in I run two, I run 220 sevens off of my MacBook. And that’s a great setup.

Ken 10:32
Nice. Yeah, I totally agree. And one thing to add on to that on the laptop, while traveling, it’s something that I’ve done over the last several years. I also not to brag, but I also used to build computers that were tanks. And I and that is ancient history now because I cannot take my tank with me to a coffee shop. So but yeah, I so solid laptop, and then also using try to use all of your tools online. And so like having like remote storage remote, you know, just try as much as you can having a line because at the end of the day, if something happens to your laptop, if someone steals your laptop, if you drop it in a coffee shop, and it breaks, if you have everything locally on your laptop, you’re pretty much screwed if you save everything to you know, Dropbox or Google Drive, if all of your stuff is web based. And all you have to do is go get another laptop, log into your Google Chrome and everything is there. And so it’d be it’s, it’s almost like a quick recovery, you know if something happens, so that’s huge if you can move to that direction.

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Amazon Ads Unleashed: Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors (Self-Publishing Guide)
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David 11:35
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Ken 12:28
Next thing on the list here is this is a must as kind of funny to noise cancelling headphones. And so if you’re in a coffee shop, if you’re in an internet café, wherever, you know, busy place, working and being able to be on a meeting with noise cancelling headphones is huge. We’ve got a link in the show notes here to the ones that we use, or the ones that we recommend. But definitely those are a must have.

David 12:51
Absolutely, absolutely. I would add that if you have young children in the house noise cancelling headphones are also a must. It’s something that when I get into my office, I kind of think about like when a football player puts on a jersey he’s like alright, here we go. This is time when I walk into my office, the first thing I do is put on my noise cancelling headphones. And when I leave for the day, I take them off, and I where I’m at 10 hours that day. And if I’m running Bose q 30, fives quiet comforts and that’s been my headphone of choice for the last couple of years. So nice. Anyway, I would say one other thing from a technology standpoint, a power bank is a must. And you know, I would say this is for probably more extreme circumstances where maybe you are living the RV Life or you’re doing somewhere where electricity may be out I haven’t a power bank I think is critical.

Ken 13:39
Absolutely. And yeah, if you’re traveling on a train or on a plane or whatever, and you know, depending on your device, how much power it has, there’s a link in the show notes here it’s a power bank that I use when I travel extensively and it has enough juice on it to last like I think I can charge my laptop three times and I could charge my phone 10 times like That’s how powerful this is and you know throw it on the charger before you leave grab it boom and then you have enough that you can be productive if you got an eight hour flight or 12 hour flight you know you know you’re gonna have like power the last year one more lesson on here is this is something that that hit me up over the summer is always be aware of your time zone you know and so if you’re traveling extensively, Europe, Asia, whatever, and you’re you know you’re communicating with your team or your suppliers and stuff and you know, the time change will catch up. And so just be aware of that as well. You can change your code if you use like Google Calendar or something you can change it to your to wherever you are traveling to if you’re say you’re in Chiang Mai, Thailand for two weeks, you once you get there, you can just alter your calendar and say hey, I’m in this time zone and it’ll switch all of your meetings, you know, to your local time zone. So you’re aware that hey, you’re meeting might be at one aim now instead of, you know, nine in the morning or whatever. pretty huge tip there.

David 14:53
Absolutely. The last thing I have on my list is having a business partner and a well functioning team with so Pease is huge. And Ken, this is something that we’ve experienced, you know, we’ve been officially working together for 18 months. But in that time, I’ve done one month sabbatical, you did a month in Europe. And then we’ve had like miscellaneous vacations throughout this time. And this is something that has been huge, where we’re able to go and completely unplug, and we have somebody covering for us. And I would also add that in this is where the team comes in, is, if you have a well functioning team, they should be able to work without you, if you are an entrepreneur and you think yourself, if I leave, the wheels are gonna fall off, then you need to develop better SOPs and invest in your team, because that’s something that’s critical. And as we’ve grown our team, one thing we’ve added as an operations manager, and I think that will further allow us to take a step back from our business, and which as we know, is huge. That’s where a lot of the good ideas come. And generally, my best ideas don’t come when I’m sitting at my desk,

Ken 16:02
you know, absolutely. A couple things to add on that one is one, you know, if you’re listening to this, and you’re a solopreneur, you know, hey, just these are like tips and tricks as you build out your team. And as you get going and get some traction, things to think of, you know, and if you do have a team, it’s definitely time to think about, you know, getting these SOPs in place and having backups a shout out to my friend read do he gave me some advice a few years ago, and that he forced himself to take a vacation every year for a month. And then he would come back and see what was broken in his business. And then he knew those are things that he needs to fix new SOPs, new, you know, new hires, and things like that. And then year over year, you know, or more that you do that, the more you find out what’s going to function well without you. And so awesome. So David, let’s cover some of our trips we took and kind of what that looks like in terms of working remote and things like that.

David 16:54
Yeah, absolutely. So first trip I took was a sabbatical. And this is when I left my day job and was transitioning into working for myself full time. This was awesome. I mean, we had been working really hard to fire the man. And when I finally accomplished that I kind of wanted you know, give myself a pat on the back and go on a nice vacation. And so went down to the Florida Keys and went tarpon fishing, which was awesome. And I’d love to fish in this had been like a bucket list item. And so we went down to the Florida Keys and spent about two weeks down there and love it definitely gonna go back. So that was my first trip. What about you can

Ken 17:31
Yeah, so I’ve always been interested, I don’t know if any of the listeners are, you know, give me a shout or not. But I’ve always been interested in tiny houses, tiny homes, I think it’s a really efficient way to live. I think we’re very wasteful with our McMansions and all of this stuff. And so anyway, I’ve always been attracted to tiny homes. And so I found one, it was in remote Pennsylvania out in the woods. And so I rented it on Airbnb, and I went out there and stayed for a week. And so this was kind of like a twofold one, I was really backed up with work stuff. And this was completely remote. And so I literally work like 1012 hour days, and nothing bothered me. And then I was able to see how I could function in a tiny home to see if I really liked it. You know, like I said, my son is a teenager now. And so pretty soon, he’s going to be off in college and doing his own thing. And so I’m gonna be able to kind of flex that muscle of traveling a little bit. Do I want to do I want to live in a tiny home or not or, and so no, it was really cool. And the answer is yes, I’ve really liked that tiny home, my brain like I like to catalogue everything I own. And whereas everything and it’s very stressful if you have a lot of things, right? What’s a tiny home, I can literally scan around and like that’s everything in there, boom. And so it was much more efficient. And yeah, personally, I really enjoyed it. And I could see myself doing that again in the future. I don’t know full time or not, or maybe having one to go to for a specific period of time. But yeah, I enjoyed it.

David 18:54
Very nice. Next thing on my list, and I’m very excited to announce this this year accomplished a lifelong dream. This goes back to when I was 19 years old. I love to fish. That’s one of my biggest hobbies and was up in Canada with some buddies I went to high school with and there’s a brand of boat called London, l und and they’re awesome. It’s like it’s a fishing boat, but it’s just an awesome brand. And dice specifically remember this moment, we were sitting smoking cigars. It was at dusk, and there was a black Lund boat that was pulling into the docks. And I said gentlemen, someday I’m going to own a black wand, quote. And this year, I bought one I did it and then check that off the list. And so we have taken that to Minnesota, and the West constant fishing and also went on some local adventures here. My little boy Henry, he loves fishing. And it is my favorite thing to just go fishing with him. And anyway so that that’s one thing that we’ve done going up to Minnesota and Wisconsin was a ton of fun with this, this new boat.

Ken 19:56
Awesome. Absolutely. And it’s great to you know to be able to Pull the trigger on those things that you’ve wanted for a long time. And yeah, that’s a huge win. That’s awesome. Next one on my list. This one was kind of an impromptu. This was last March. It’s been a while it was kind of impromptu. I didn’t realize it, but my son was on spring break. And it was like a week away, or might have been two weeks away. And he was like, Hey, Dad, this is spring, you know, I’m on spring break in a couple of weeks. And I was like, Oh, wow, crap. So I thought, let’s just like he told me that I said, Let’s go somewhere, you know, I don’t have to like, stay here. Let’s go. And so we grabbed him and two of his buddies, and we went to Florida for a week for spring break. And this was a, this was like a partial work trip. And so I worked about two to four hours a day, every morning, and then spent the rest of the day hanging out and going to the beach and doing those things. And so that was a, it was a kind of good test of like only working enough to be involved, but not, you know, overloaded with meetings and stuff. And so it was really cool. And also something I got for myself after I fired the man, my gift to myself was purchasing a Tesla. I’ve always wanted a Tesla. I’m a huge Tesla fan. And so I recently purchased a Tesla was just a few months old. And so this was also a way for me to test how it would work on a long road trip, you know, where I live close to St. Louis. And so we’re driving from St. Louis down to southern Florida with the Tesla. And so it was a really cool experience and got to test a bunch of stuff out there. Lessons Learned brought those back. And so that was a it was an awesome trip. David, what’s your next one?

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Becoming A Digital Marketer: Gaining the Hard & Soft Skills for a Tech-Driven Marketing Career
  • Gildner, Gil (Author)
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  • 205 Pages - 03/28/2019 (Publication Date) - Baltika Press (Publisher)

David 21:24
Absolutely. It was going up to Manitoba on a bear hunt. And again, this goes back to my early 20s. I was in a fishing camp. And someone gave me some someone had cooked up some meat and they gave it to me. And it was the sweetest best tasting meat I’ve ever had. And I found out it was bear meat. And this particular area in Manitoba is like the blueberry capital of Canada. And the bears eat so much blueberries that they have purple fat, and so I was able to go up there and and see a ton of bears. And it was it was awesome trip.

Ken 21:57
Excellent. All right.

David 21:59
So Ken, what has been another trip that you’ve taken while being a digital nomad? Yeah, absolutely.

Ken 22:04
So the trip that I’ve recently taken that was the most memorable was I did I what I call euro 2022. So I took a month off and traveled Europe this past summer. So the whole month of June, we did six countries in 30 days, we went to Holland or the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Switzerland. It was absolutely amazing. You know, COVID has been kind of locking me down for a while and hadn’t been out traveling for a number of years. I haven’t been to Germany, or I hadn’t been to Europe in over 10 years. So it was really nice to get out and do that trip took some family with us. We you know, it was a family trip slash vacation slash exploring Europe was an excellent trip. This one here it was kind of like a I was called like a 9010 It was more like 90% Personal Travel and 10% work. And so you know, David you and I probably had the whole month I was gone we might have only had two or three meeting and I was responding to emails and fires but that’s really about it. Like I wasn’t attending daily meetings and it was really nice to disconnect. And so this was one of those trips were separate and kind of see if anything breaks and you know, testament to you and the team like there wasn’t any fires when I came back there you know, there were projects that I worked on that were sitting but like everything in the company, it was kind of nice to see everything moving forward or like you know, made progress when I was gone so it was really cool. I learned a lot about you know, traveling Europe and I learned about you know the like the stuff we talked about earlier in the podcast, you know tips and tricks on working and traveling abroad or remote and digital being a digital nomad and so I learned a lot power supplies what to bring laptop, Wi Fi, your phone, do you what do you do with your phone if you’re traveling Europe or Asia and so it was really cool to get all those skills and you know, and be on the road literally for 30 days straight. I learned a lot. You know, it was a great experience. David’s we met we you know, we told him we some listeners early on that, you know we wanted to share with him about our digital nomad experience some of our recent trips and in us using that, you know, and so now how so the way we paid for all this was very simple, very easy, David, you want to share with the audience?

David 24:08
Absolutely. So I would I am proud to say I have not paid for a flight in probably three years because of this particular credit card. It is called the chase Inc business preferred. And I’m going to post a link down in the show notes. If you sign up with that link, you get 20,000 Extra points which equates to about a free flight. And the reason this particular card is awesome is because it has a lot of different cashback perks, you know 1% For these categories 2% for these in the 3% category is digital marketing, which PVC expenses fall underneath this and so if you have an Amazon business and you are using PPC one, you should go into your settings and select actually I have it written down here go to Amazon settings account info, charge methods for advertising and you can add a credit card So if you don’t have this credit card, just add a credit card. So you’re getting essentially 30 day terms on all your PPC spend, and then sign up for this link. And, and it has been amazing how many points we’ve racked up due to PPC spend. And you can look at it two ways. One, you get one or two really nice trips a year, you can use the points at a bunch of different places, different airlines, different hotel chains, or you can think of it as Okay, the cost of my PVC just became 3% less. And on competitive keywords, that’s huge. And so anyway, that is pro tip can’t say enough good things about this card. And for all of our accounts, we have a card hooked up to it and it is this chase Inc. Business preferred. So posted it down in the show notes, go sign up and get your 20,000 free points. Thank you everyone for tuning in this week, and we’ll talk to you next week. Thank you everyone for tuning into today’s firing the man podcast. If you liked this episode, head on over to firingtheman.com And check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular ecommerce subscription services that is firingtheman.com/resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, or that head on over to www.firingtheman.com/library Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man in on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer and Ken

Ken 26:33
Wilson. We’re out

David 26:49
before you go fun fact for all you Amazon sellers out there when you start selling in international marketplaces, all of your reviews come with you. At the beginning of this year, Ken and I sat down and talked of ways that we could double our businesses in size and landed on international expansion as our number one initiative this year. We partnered up with Kevin Sanderson from maximizing ecommerce and he has made the process an absolute breeze walking us step by step through the process. If you want to grow your revenue and reach new customers head on over to https://maximizingecommerce.com/fire and connect with Kevin Sanderson today. Now back to the show.