Getting ready for the next big WN trip overseas

Winter is fast approaching, there is a chill in the air and the clocks are about to go back robbing us in the UK of another hour of afternoon light. This can only mean one thing to the Working Nomad. I’ll soon be off to lower latitudes.

I have actually been away three of the last four northern hemisphere winters so it is no surprise that I’ll be taking off again. At this stage the destinations are not fully known but I will be following the sunrise to the East.

I don’t know what it is about Southeast Asia that keeps me coming back but the network of contacts and friends I have out there is certainly one key factor. It surely has nothing to do with the cheap living, warm climate, laid back beach lifestyle and widely available Internet 🙂

I might do a full circle and come back via the Americas this time which will add a different twist to my usual winter escape. We will see.

Who was it who said ‘Wherever the wind take me I will be’? Me, just then.

So you wanna know if some place is cosmopolitan (in Europe)?

I am currently in Chamonix-Mont Blanc in the French Alps and I have discovered a new way of seeking out cosmopolitan places in the Euro Zone. Simply take a handful of your Euro coins and see where they originate from.

When I was in San Sebastian many of the coins were Spanish which reflects it’s status as a holiday town geared to locals. I remember handing a few French ones over to a Spanish shop keeper who looked slightly bemused when he discovered their origin!

In Chamonix today I picked up a handful of coins to pay for my cafe au lait and they were from Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy and Ireland – not one originated from France!

I am guessing if the UK ever joined the Euro currency then the make up of small change in Chamonix would very much reflect the number of Brits here. There is even a British section in the supermarket here with Marmite priced at €5 a go! I think I’ll wait until I get home to decorate my toast with the evil black stuff… 🙂

So it ain’t all bad. I must try and sort my posture out though!

Today is a http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5368190.stm which is an annual celebration of the World Wide Web and how it is changing our lives.

They suggest bloggers write a post today about how the WWW has changed their life. I am guessing any of you who follow me regularly can see the evidence of how it’s changed my life.

So here are a few ways the web has changed my life, perhaps not for the better…

– I think the WWW has help contributed to a neck problem that I seem to have due to hours upon hours of sitting at a computer.

– The WWW probably cost me contract work in the past as it enabled programming to be sent offshore for a cheaper price.

– The WWW probably kept me indoors alone too much when I could have been out doing more sociable things with people.

Well I am going to end on a positive. The web has enabled me to start my own business and travel more. As a consequence of this I have managed to meet a very broad spectrum of people and try lots of new things.

Ok, I’ll admit it! I’m a Southern softy

For those who are not familiar with the regional stereotypes in the UK I am about to give you a quick overview. People in Scotland and to some extent the North of England view Southerners (geographically anyone south of Birmingham) as softies.

This perception has been continually reinforced over 2000 years of British history. Why do you think the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Roman Empire only got as far as the Scottish border?

Well I am having to concede to the Scots as well, not a rugged army of crazy red-haired Highlanders but the Scottish weather. Yes I have already paid £20 for my train fare but the forecast of torrential rain and gales has blown my course due South.

Yep I am back off to the Alps, this time to the French side to undertake the http://www.grfive.com from Lake Geneva to as far as my little English legs will carry me in a week. The weather forecast looks kinder and it will give me a chance to get close to the highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc.

By the way, I still have my passport because I have had a change of mind about getting a NZ work visa. I am still planning to go early next year but I have decided not to work there.

My Niche Experiment

Well Ive started yet another project. I know Id said I would focus on finishing my current sites and adding affiliate programs to them but, lets face it, Im crap. And thats boring stuff anyways!

My latest project will be interesting in more ways than just how much money it might make me. Its an extremely niche idea that focuses on a particular event, in a particular city, aimed at a particular nationality of a particular age range probably with pretty similar interests.

The event is only one day out of the year which has me wondering if it will be worth it so itll be interesting to see if it pays off. Id guess that a minimum of 10,000 people would actually participate in the event with lots of other interest generated and another general audience than isn’t targeted beyond being in the same city but there would be possible interest from them year round depending on how I structure the site.

There are currently no other sites dealing with this event and my a www.travoholic.com site comes up first for Google in the major keywords so Id be able to For more information see type link at the bottom which would pretty much ensure that most people who search on Google will eventually make it to the site, whether it ranks high itself or not.

So after this long-winded load of bollocks I guess what Im trying to say is that Ive got a really niche market and I wont have an problems attracting them to my new site and am excited to see what can really be done with a niche market.

This is the type of thing where merchandise would hopefully sell well so I will be pushing some http://www.cafepress.com stuff and will spend some time coming up with clever designs and slogans. A guy from work is on board and says he has some cracking ideas so I will probably flog his designs as well and go 50/50 on the profits. But you rarely hear about Café Press when people talk about making money online so I’m pretty curious to see how it goes.

I have my doubts as well about whether I’d be able to attract any advertisers (that aren’t non-Adsense or affiliate related). I think that because the market is very targeted there would normally be some interest in reaching it but because the event is only for a day and there’d be a huge peak and drop in traffic I just don’t know.

So Im looking at this as my little niche experiment. I know that the site will be useful, will generate a decent amount of traffic (the related page on my site had around 300 visits per day over a short period of time), and will reach a pretty targeted audience. What Ill be able to do with this is anybodys guess.

Anybody have any guesses about what the event might be? Once I get the site up and running in a couple of weeks Ill post a link and will be in search of plenty of feedback!

Earnings graph of the Working Nomad

Graph Web EarningsHere is a little something I created earlier. It is a graph of my web earnings since I started to earn over £100 a month.

It is interesting to note from the graph that my income increase coincides with me starting my trip last year and there is a steep incline until I arrive in New Zealand when I more or less stopped working on my sites.

June was poor due to me being more interested in surfing and the World Cup in Bali than the web. No surprise there.

I started working hard again in July when I first got home and again there has been a steep increase. So the moral of the story is if you put in the effort you should be rewarded!

Of course it’s going to rain next week

rainI have booked my train up to bonny Scotland for Thursday and winter is eagerly waiting in the wings to make a Scottish appearance next week according to the Sunday Times. This means 95 miles of wet walking.

The good thing is that my expectations have been lowered and I’ll be happy with one clear day out of the six, or even one hour would be nice. I am still well up for it though and it will be another one of my goals for the year completed (to walk a long distance footpath in Britain).

My newest website has been created yesterday for the people I did the Spanish week with. If you are interested in some amusing photos from the week at Valdelavilla then the link is below.

So I have three more days working from home and getting things back on track and I am hoping to wake up tomorrow full of motivation.

New look Working Nomad homepage

I am currently working on a new homepage for this site. It is not likely to be flash or anything but it will be easier to navigate around and more user friendly.

This month’s earnings are going pretty well so far. Definetly seen an increase in traffic now September has arrived.

Despite all this I am still suffering a bit from lack of motivation but I’ll get over it!

Two of the WN Forum members have reached the magic 100 posts so here is a mention of their sites.

Overland Asia has a site called http://www.retireyoungandwealthy.com Retire Young and Wealthy that is well worth a scan over and Matty has a sports related site about http://www.cricket-shirts.co.uk Cricket Shirts so check them out!

One month and no passport

I am now a imprisoned in my own country! My passport is about to be sent off to New Zealand House in London for my http://www.bunac.com/uk/worknewzealand/ Bunac Working Holiday application. This means I will be in the UK for the next few weeks.

This gives me the opportunity to focus on my own country. Luckily I don’t need a passport to visit Scotland so I am planning on heading up there in a couple of weeks to tackle the http://www.west-highland-way.co.uk West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William.

As some of you will know I love hiking but have not done much in my own country. I think I tend to overlook things that are close to home but Scotland offers some wonderful hiking and mountain scenary.

Until then it’s back to work!

The working nomad lifestyle is good for you health

Group ValdelavillaI have to confess that when I used to work in the office I used to get quite stressed. I remember one place I worked, a recruitment company, where everyday I would leave feeling very stressed out.

This http://news.bbc.co.uk BBC article on work related stress highlights the health issues associated with the modern workplace. Like many of my former colleagues we used to happily turn to drink after a days work to relax and unwind.

My point is that since I have changed my lifestyle I no longer get stressed. I even think that the lack of work related stress helps me in other areas as well. For instance I don’t get stressed about non-work related issues now. I am an altogether more mellow person.

So it is official, being a Working Nomad is good for your health!