Barcelona beckons for Theirry and WN

What has Thierry Henry (French footy player) and me got in common? We’re both off to Barcelona very soon!

Next week, assuming my little car gets through it’s service, I will be heading across the English Channel and down to Spain stopping off at various places in France.

There a new chapter of my life will unfold. I am intially going to take language lessons and continue working on my sites with a view of doing something else, perhaps teaching, in a couple of months.

I am also looking for people in Barcelona to work with me on a new project and have already had a great response and dialogue with potential partners.

I chose Barcelona in the end for the climate, proximity to sea and mountains, the exciting vibe and cosmpolitan flavour.

So I guess I’ll be no longer a ‘working nomad’ as such but I hope to continue to prove that you can earn a living from the Internet and live pretty much anywhere!

Earnings report for May 2007

I have been away with my family on holiday the last few days and completely forgot about the earnings report!

May was an OK month with an income of around USD $4900. This is slightly down on previous months but I am quite happy as my income is becoming more diversified now.

June is going well and I am on course to break the $5000. I still dream of making $10k and I am hoping that a move and some outside help might push me up there!

Finding the perfect location to live – its all in the weight!

I am asking for your help here to help me produce a tool to help the analysis of finding a great location to live. I myself have been agonising over all the options I have and have decided to start looking at this in a more analytical way.

One thing about being a working nomad means that you can in affect live anywhere. The problem this has thrown up for me is that one can be left with too many options! Some people can spend their entire lives looking for the ideal place to live and never find it!

So what I plan to do is to get together a list of important things to consider when choosing a location. This list is going to be extensive as possible and cover as many things as people feel important.

The next part, and indeed the tricky part, is to weigh and score these individual requirements to help build up a true representation of needs. For instance some things will be important to some people and not so to others. Here is a quick list of things that are important to me when looking for a location with a rough weighting index.

1. Social life, active expat scene & Weighting: 5/5 – important to me as I am single and not moving with a partner or family. I would not want to move anywhere that would be hard to integrate or lacking in like-minded individuals.

2. Healthcare, access to free healthcare- Weighting: 3/5 – As I am still relatively young and healthy so this would not be as important to me as it would in 30 years.

3. Work opportunities -Weighting: 4/5 – Surprisingly this is important to me because although I am self employed I would like to be somewhere where I could do other things. I don’t want to be working on my own for ever!

4. Easy access to beach & mountains – Weighting: 5/5 – As many of you who follow me knows I am very keen on outdoor activities, both winter and summer and feel it would add considerably to my quality of life.

5. Year round climate</strong> – Weighting: 4/5 – Important to me as I love the outdoors when I am away from the computer!

6. Cost of living</strong> – Weighting: 3/5 – Again this is important but I would not give it top marks as I would be happy to pay for somwhere decent to live and work there to enjoy it.

7. Access to family and friends</strong> – Weighting: 5/5 – Undeniably important to me, possibly more so than in the last few years.

Ok there are lots of other factors. Access to family and friends, transport links, cost of real estate, kids education, culture, language, ability to learn a new language, environment, distance from home etc

So taking in to account my needs I am now going to compare three places where I am considering living for a while. Prague, Auckland and Barcelona. The way I score the cities maybe up for some debate but this represents my current perceptions.

Prague, CZ;

1. Great expat and social scene, lots of web resources, clubs etc – 9/10 (with weighting x5 = 45)
2. Healthcare, modern and free for EU pp, – 10/10 (with weighting x3 = 30)
3. Work opps exist but only for teaching English – 6/10 (with weighting x4 = 24)
4. Near mountains for skiiing, hiking but not beach! – 5/10 (with weighting x5 = 25)
5. Climate, great in the summer, too cold in winter – 5/10 (with weighting x4= 20)
6. Cheap compared to much of Europe (not so for tourists) – 8/10 (with weighting x3= 24)
7. Only 2 hours flight to London Stanstead – 8/10 (with weighting x5= 40)

Auckland, NZ

1. Good scene, lively groups, easy to meet people etc – 9/10 (with weighting x5 = 45)
2. Healthcare, modern and free for UK pp (emergencies only) – 7/10 (with weighting x3 = 21)
3. English speaking, lots of work – 9/10 (with weighting x4 = 36)
4. Near mountains and beaches – 9/10 (with weighting x5 = 45)
5. Climate, good year round but not perfect – 8/10 (with weighting x4= 30)
6. Cheap compared to much of Europe – 9/10 (with weighting x3= 28)
7. 24 hours and $1000 min airfares – 1/10 (with weighting x5= 10)

Barcelona, ES

1. Great expat and social scene, lots of web resources, clubs etc – 9/10 (with weighting x5 = 45)
2. Healthcare, modern and free for EU pp, – 10/10 (with weighting x3 = 30)
3. Work opps exist, mainly teaching English – 7/10 (with weighting x4 = 28)
4. Has many beaches and near Pyranees – 10/10 (with weighting x5 = 50)
5. Great Med climate, not too hot or cold – 9/10 (with weighting x4= 36)
6. Expensive. – 2/10 (with weighting x2 = 4)
7. Only 2 hours flight to London Stanstead – 8/10 (with weighting x5= 40)

1. Barcelona, 233 points
2. Auckland, 215 points
3. Prague, 208 points

So there we go. Based on these three cities I would be heading off to Espana (which is something I am seriously considering, particularly as there is Mediterranean surf which I did not know about before 🙂 )

It is interesting to consider that if cost of living was a real factor for me Barcelona would not be top of my list. Shows you the importance of weight!

There are of course lots of other factors to build in. For me anywhere in the EU would have the advantage as I have the right to work there where as NZ I would have to apply for a one year visa (at a cost of GBP450) and then face the possibility of having to leave after the visa ran out if I could not get a work permit.

So what I am interested in is for other people to leave comments about what is important to them and how much weight you would give to it. <strong>The weight thing is the most important aspect of making this analysis relevant to the individual!

I will then make some sort of tool that will calculate the best locations for you based on your needs.

Earning Report for May – Cleared $1000!

I had a fantastic month in May and my earnings totally exceeding my expectations. I never thought I’b be able to earn this much this early but I’m pretty sure this great month is more of a blip than something that can be sustained yet.

Here’s the rough breakdown:

Adsense – $180
Linkworth – $40
Text Link Ads – $10
Affiliate Sales – $400
Direct Ad Sale – £200

One of my Linkworth advertisers pulled out for June but I gained 3 Text Link Ads to replace it. I’m a bit disappointed though with the TLA price. At $15/month per ad it’s hardly going to break the bank. Plus I thought that the $15 was what would be paid to me and it turns out that’s the price before TLA gets their cut. But it’s a start.

I’m happy to see my Adsense steadily creeping up. It seems from what other people say (WN included) that the money is in affilaite sales, but at the moment those fluxuate far too much so I like having Adsense and Linkworth as my steady base to grow on. I always have this fear that affiliate sales will drop to $0 so I guess it’ll take a few months of steady(ish) income before I trust that revenue stream a bit more. I probably said the same thing about Adsense when I first started with it.

For my affiliate sales, World Nomads came through again. One afiliate sale was a van rental which is an arrangement I’ve come to myself with a company. It earned me £50 and it’s not tracked by an affiliate program though so here’s hoping the company is honest! Hostelworld earned some lowly sum yet again and I had a few other van and travel insurance sales here and there.

June is off to a great start Adsense-wise but has been terrible so far for affiliate sales. If I can clear $500 I’ll be very happy. My hope is to be steadily earning at least $500/month by the end of the year. $1000 months will be more than appreciated but I’m not counting on them just yet.

That’s it I guess! Here’s hoping for a good June for us all! How’d you do in May?

Laptops can be a pain in the neck (and back)

The laptop or notebook computer is an essential tool for the working nomad but comes with it’s own health price. Two years of poor posture and being hunched over a table has take it’s toll on my neck and shoulders.

I think many people in offices also have this issue with laptops as they are fast replacing desktop PCs. Indeed this happened in my last corporate job.

So what is the solution? I have recently purchased a seperate keyboard and now sit my laptop on a number of books to make it level with my eyes so I am not constantly looking down. This has certainly helped me as I do not get stiffness in my neck and shoulder area now.

Having said that if you are on the road you don’t want to have to carry a keyboard and books around.

So does anyone have any other advice or tips to help with growing issue? What have you done to improve your ‘laptop’ posture?