Anybody here a "digital nomad"?
I've been a junior programmer at a startup for about a 1.5 year and been thinking about trying it out. The idea of freelancing while travelling around Asia sounds amazing to me.
Its relatively easy to do, but you won't live like a king as a code monkey unless you go somewhere phenomenally poor. You're best diversifying as much as possible (stocks, PPC, SAAS.. etc), and making sure your finances are good before you embark, so that you're able to be more flexible where you live/travel.
I'm a programmer. I've done this for the last 2 1/2 years, since the gig got steady after working at it for half a year. It works well and I only work 2 hours a day on average. Probably closer to 1 1/2 hours. Traveled around Europe, hitting the UK, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Germany. Much nicer doing it in the cheaper countries such as Bulgaria, as I could work for a couple of hours and pay for a week in a hotel.
Has anyone done it from a writing and marketing point of view? Using people per hour and equivalents?
I'm saving this year to go away the next, in that time I hope to get some freelance contacts and such, so come next year I can at least add some pocket money on the road and weigh up the possibility of staying out more permanently.
It is possible. I met a guy once in Istanbul who was traveling all across the world and was a programer. He was mostly traveling with his bike.
I intend to find contacts before this summer and get to live this kind of life with my writings and translations.
>Mfw being French is awesome, but for some reason, I'm terribly depressed when I stay here more than two weeks. And I work less.
>Mfw no face.
Went for about 2 1/2 years on an average of $1.5k a month. This is traveling about 3/4 of the time, I believe. At one point, I dipped about $2k into my savings. I started the trip staying in places for a month at a time or so, which cuts down on the airfare and accommodation costs. Plus, you can get some great deals monthly prices through Airbnb that way. Germany and the UK are the most expensive places I was in for accommodation, but I stayed with friends while there and did some house sitting (about a month between the two, I think). Stayed in a mix of hotels, hostels, and private accommodation.
What kind of programming do you do? What's your average hourly rate? Do you work on odesk/elance or directly with some companies you know?
I'm going to try this out in a month, starting in China. Right now I have two pretty good contracts on odesk, but I'm still not sure if I can be lucky enough to get such contracts regularly.
$30/hour, which is kind of low for programming, though I haven't asked for a raise since I started. More money per hour would likely mean I'd just have less incentive to work more hours. I do PHP programming with some JS/jQuery/HTML and MySQL as the need arises. It's steady work for the same business, but I'm freelance. No contract. I just send them an invoice at the end of the month and they transfer me the money. I was recommended for the job by a friend who had to pass it up due to scheduling conflicts.
I guess I count.
Currently working in Starbucks in Changsha because the local girl I hooked up with doesn't quite like the idea of my staying in her apartment all day mooching her wifi.
I had my contract before I left, I just converted a secure job into a client of my consultancy firm that I set up in Hong Kong. Took a month to do all the paperwork etc but now I'm set. Got a one year business visa (90 day stay) for China and I'm set for the next 15 months or so.
Being paid western currency and spending rmb (via HK$) is a sweet deal even with the middle-men. Still, it wasn't easy to swing.
OP, I have two degrees, niche skills and am the sole holder of a bunch of institutional knowledge for my client/employer.
Ask yourself, why should they let you do it? They instead could just fire you and hire an on-shore person they can supervise and who won't take unscheduled breaks because their hostel wifi dropped out or they had to change hotels.
What makes you worth the trouble? I didn't just have an answer to that question before I made my move, I knew that they wouldn't even ask it. There was literally no question of them not letting me do this. The only negotiation was about converting my salary to a daily rate and how I'd handle charging them, receiving payments and assuring them that they wouldn't get asked to pay for any tax I dodged (a registered company with a bank account answers most of those questions).
>mostly traveling with his bike
Bikes are amazing to travel with. Opens up so many possibilities. I recommend a good folding bike.
Six month, depending on how much of a programming background you have. I learned what I know over two years of college, though only 1/4 of the classes were related to programming or PHP. You don't want regular freelance jobs though, you'll be hunting down too many short gigs and that will be difficult or impossible in other countries. Meet other programmers, that's where I've picked up most of my work from.
>what are the risks
It's a risk that a hotel will have shitty internet and I can't work but I just go to starbucks when that happens.
The other risk is that I'll be replaced by someone on-shore who can be supervised. I think it's unlikely in my specific situation though.
I've been thinking about going nomad myself, I'm a /p/hotographer and have been working as a retoucher for a product photography company most recently.
I know it won't pay as much as coding, and I'll have to scrounge harder for freelance jobs, but damn the 9 to 5 office routine is killing my soul.