Hi, my name is Johannes Volkner. The only reason I got into freelance online marketing was because it is one of those jobs you can do from anywhere in the world without beeing bound to local economies. I have been travelling and working online from all continents in the last few years and during that time I realised, while many people could easily freelance from pretty much anywhere they’d like, only very few people actually do it. So I thought I’d put together this guide to show you what you are missing out on and to give you some advice on where to start and what you need to know if you want to do the same.
Check out the short interview to learn a bit more about me:
Who are you and where are you from?
Originally I am from small town near Hannover in the North Western part of Germany. I haven’t really lived there since I finished high school though. Since then I have spent my time living for long periods in places like Sydney, Dusseldorf, Cape Town, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
After studying business administration I started working in Online Marketing for local businesses and promoting niche products on the Internet, which I am still doing until this day. When I am not working I love to go kite surfing – and travelling of course.
Where have you travelled to in the past?
As you can imagine from the mixed home locations I mentioned above, I have travelled quite a bit. In total I have been to over 40+ countries on every continent. I have pretty much travelled all over Australia, South America, Western US and Southern Africa with some short vacations in Europe thrown in for good measure. Finding out and exploring new destinations has always been on the top of my list.
How did you start to live a location independent lifestyle?
To be honest with you it first happened through necessity. I spent a year studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa and totally fell in love with the country and people. I wanted to stay longer but wasn’t happy with my lousy salary and just 15 days of vacations per year, which is all that was on offer to me. This meant saving for an entire year just to visit family and friends in Germany for a few days. I looked for better options and figured that the best thing I could do would be to learn Online Marketing and help local German businesses while living in South Africa. I studied hard and once things started to work out I quit my job and have been location independent ever since.
For how long have you worked & travelled as a Digital Nomad?
Cape Town should be at the top of the list for every aspiring Digital Nomad, although my life there wasn’t entirely nomadic since I was already pretty well established and had many home comforts around me. My real Digital Nomading started when I left South Africa after the World Cup in 2010.
Since then I have travelled and worked from beautiful islands like Boracay in the Philippines, cities such as Buenos Aires in Argentina and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Bali, Sri Lanka and plenty more amazing places that you will find in the book.
What is your advice to aspiring Digital Nomads?
The internet enables us to stay in touch, communicate and do amazing things these days. There are so many opportunities to see the world and have amazing experiences and this is now easier than ever before. The only problem for many people wanting to achieve a lifestyle of living and working from anywhere is that we tend to focus on too many things at once. Pick one project, learn everything you can about it and do it right – and you will be able to quit your job and be location independent within a year or two. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!!
Why did you decide to write this guide?
When travelling and working online in the past few years I was surprised how few people actually take their work with them when travelling the world. In fact, I only met a couple of location independent freelancers doing web design, search engine optimization or consulting but was expecting to meet far more. There are so many web designers, programmers and freelance writers who could organize everything to run their business from some of the most fantastic places on earth within a month. I hope this book inspires at least some of you to do so.
Why work from home if you can work from anywhere?
Another problem I had was that for me it was sometimes very difficult to decide on where to go next. If you need to get some work done you generally travel a bit slower than long-term travelers. You are constantly looking for places that have a decent infrastructure and a good community of travelers who stay in a location for longer than just a couple of days. I have personally visited almost all the locations featured in the book, and the few I have not are reviewed based on the recommendations of fellow travellers and friends. I hope this guide will make it a lot easier to decide in advance whether a place is worth going to for a few days or a month and that it will give you some new ideas about destinations you never heard of before. Decision making can be tough once you have the freedom to go anywhere .
What are your future plans writing this guidebook?
I will continue to improve this book and continue to add new places. I keep hearing about cool, fantastic new destinations all the time from my readers and travelling friends. I weave this information into the guide with regular updates to give you new ideas on some of the best budget destinations for travelling freelancers. Destinations are changing continuously; more and more co-working spaces and cafes where Digital Nomads can meet pop up every month. Adding the best new places and creating one of the best destination guides on the net for an affordable work-anywhere lifestyle is my goal.
Can I ask you questions?
Sure. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your future travel ideas. Should you know a great and affordable Nomad destination that is not in the book yet, let me know so we can think about adding it in the future. Simply chat to me on facebook or by using the contact form. I look forward hearing from you!