The day you wake up to the sound of waves lapping at the sand steps away from your bungalow, a fresh breakfast of eggs and fruit waiting for you next to your laptop, with everything else you own stuffed in a small backpack that has been with you across the world – it might feel like you’ve made it. In this life, you might have less than 100 items to your name, trading in beautiful clothes, homes, and cars for access to incredible experiences on every continent. Your livelihood will depend on your access to good WiFi. You might think of it like a fundamental human right. Your now twice-extended passport might have more stamps than a post office, or you may have fallen in love with the first place you drop into.
The lifestyle of a digital nomad can seem like the stuff of fantasy. Our office is any flat surface. Our home is wherever we set our backpack. Our deepest friendships are sometimes with people we’ve never met in real life. “Where are you from?” becomes gradually more difficult to answer. But in many cities – from Las Vegas and Berlin, to Bangkok and Bali, and Buenos Aires to Medellin – you’ll find us in your cafes, your beaches, your hotel lounges, your coworking spaces doing the hard work to make this lifestyle a continued reality. Becoming a nomad is not leisure. As you just start out, it may feel like you’ve entered poverty compared to your past life. Your initial work weeks will be 60 or 80 hours, not 4 – and this will last for months or years.
A digital nomad is anyone who uses the advances in communication technology to create value regardless of location, freeing him or herself to work remotely. We use the Internet to scale and automate a business or provide services remotely, creating financial and time freedom to do the things a traditional work-life balance makes impossible to fit in.
But when you’ve built something that exists beyond you, that provides value to others for which they’re happy and willing to pay, and you’ve cut down on your anchors and expenses to create geographic independence and freedom of time – that is when you have made it, not into a life of idle relaxation, but one of choices.
That said, this is not the book on how to build your first online business. You’ll find hundreds of those. It’s the book about where to do it, how to make the most of it, and how to make a home for yourself on the road. Compiled from over 400 interviews with entrepreneurs, writers, consultants, and technologists living nomadically or far from home during a 2 year research quest by Derek Sivers’ Wood Egg project, the Go to Launch Nomad Guide is compiled from personal stories and expertise of those who have been in your shoes and have started moving forward on an adventure-rich lifestyle of their own design.
Overview: What to Expect
If you’re just preparing to explore Southeast Asia, this book will give you a clear impression of the culture, community, and quality of life of each destination. If you know exactly where you’re going and just want to know the specific steps for setting up, you’ll gain from jumping straight to the relevant country and city guides, described below.
Asia Culture Guide: The mindsets and business of the East are a world apart from North America and Europe. From avoiding bad manners to improving your mindset in business partnerships, the introduction gives a quick baseline for what to expect on the other side of the world.
Country Guide: If you’re one to wonder how Thailand became a popular destination, or which of the three countries incubates the most ruthless entrepreneurs, the country guides will give a historical and cultural perspective on Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Once you’ve made your decision, this section also covers the best ways to enter (and remain) in any of these three countries for most Western passport holders.
City Guides: Bangkok and HCMC are hubs for the urban explorer who thrives in chaos and variety, while Chiang Mai and Bali are serene retreats for mind and spirit. After reading the individual city guides, you’ll learn even more about the nuances of your potential getaway destination. You’ll know which neighborhoods have the best street food and what to order when you get there. You’ll have guidance on uncovering the best places to live, work, and play – on all points along the budget scale. We provide a map and transit tips to get you on your way, but this tip we can give now: rent a moped.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
- Asia Culture Guide
Chapter 2: Thailand
- Country Guide: Thailand
- Culture Guide: Thailand
- Visa Guide: Entering and Staying in Thailand
- City Guide: Bangkok
- City Guide: Chiang Mai
Chapter 3: Vietnam
- Country Guide: Vietnam
- Culture Guide: Vietnam
- Visa Guide: Entering and Staying in Vietnam
- City Guide: Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
Chapter 4: Indonesia
- Country Guide: Indonesia
- Culture Guide: (Bali) Indonesia
- Visa Guide: Entering and Staying in Indonesia
- City Guide: Bali