Chiang Mai for Digital Nomads – An Alternative view?

Chiang Mai really is the darling location of globe trotting Digital Nomads and it’s not hard to see why. Plentiful cheap accommodation (and I mean seriously good value) is pretty much available year around. The dining scene on the face of it is broad and is the night-life.

The café scene is also hopping with apparently many good places for the Digital Nomad to hang out and connect. Shopping is also wide ranging and the climate, well for half a year anyway is pretty good if you like hot days and cool enough to turn your air conditioning off nights.

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The airport has frequent connections all over Thailand and some international destinations too. There is transport in the city but as you will read later this is it’s real undoing though.

There is an ex-pat scene as well as a traveller scene of course, in fact the city has a very international feel and many parts of the Old Town and basically an extension of Bangkok’s tourist ghetto, Koh San Road.

WHEN TO GO

Best time weather wise is November through to March. March / April you have to put up with the smog from fires that are burned around the city by farmers. May through to October is too hot and you’ll be glad of your air-con.

GETTING TO CHIANG MAI

Couldn’t be easier, there are many flights from Bangkok and other Thai cities and the airport is well served by a number of airlines. There are some international flights too mainly to South-east Asian hubs like KL and Singapore. Increasingly China is a direct destination.

The train station is well served with trains from Bangkok and the overnighter ones are particularly good value when you consider a night spent on the train is a night not spent paying for a hotel.

I am not going in to specifics too much as there are heaps of resources online to help you plan your trip to Chiang Mai.

GETTING AROUND CHIANG MAI

This is my biggest problem with Chiang Mai. If you are not prepared to risk your life using the roads on a motorbike or bicycle then be prepared to walk everywhere or be ripped off by the transport mafia that rules the city.

There is basically no public transport to speak of, the red sangtheuws that splutter along filling the air with poison all day are perhaps as close as you will get to a public service but if you are not Thai you will certainly be over charged by them. Any ex-pat who thinks otherwise is deluded.

Tuk-tuks are everywhere but they are very choosy who they pick up and again as a fa-rang you will be paying a whole lot more than a local will. Most of the time they are sitting asleep in the back of their Tuk-tuks rather than providing a transport service.

Other Options?

Well there aren’t any. Walking around has always been my preferred mode of transport but Chiang Mai which is very spread out is a nightmare to walk around.

Firstly you have uneven side-walks everywhere and in many cases no side-walk at all. So expect to be watching where you put your feet all the time unless you want to turn your ankle.

Secondly crossing roads in Chiang Mai is a challenge and is probably as unsafe as riding motorbikes without helmets. Traffic will not stop for you at any crossing apart from one or two in the Old Town, and even then it’s not guaranteed as I was almost run over by three local girls on a motorbike despite the little green man said it was safe to cross.

So in my opinion Chiang Mai has some serious transport issues but I guess while the nation remains at the wrong end of the corruption index these issues will probably remain around  longer than your average older ex-pats living out their twilight years in a changoholic haze.

CHIANG MAI ACCOMMODATION

Simply put I cannot fault the accommodation situation in Chiang Mai other than to say there is probably too much choice! Obviously this topic has been extensively covered elsewhere so cannot add too much apart from these random tips.

No need to book ahead, in fact there is little need to book ahead anywhere in Thailand unless you are travelling for a short duration between Xmas and New Years. Just because a booking website says a hotel is full doesn’t mean it is so.

Most hotels only allocate a small proportion of their rooms to online bookings. In Chiang Mai, having not pre-booked means you can have a good look around inside the rooms and then negotiate which should always be done in Chiang Mai where supply exceeds demand.

In relation to the dire transport issues it would be worth staying somewhere near to where you’d like to be unless you are of course happy to risk your life on a motorbike like many fa-rang who believe they are above the law by not wearing helmets.

In terms of areas then I guess this is personal choice. Many nomads seem to like it around the Nimmanhaemin Road area but as far as I could see it’s only an area for Thai students.

The old town is tourist central, in fact I’d say it’s pretty much the same deal as Koh San Road.

As for other areas I guess you can refer to to the countless Chiang Mai guides out there.

CHIANG MAI COFFEE SHOPS / WORK SPACES

Chiang Mai’s other perceived advantage as a digital nomad hotspot is the cafe scene which is exploded in the last few years.

SOME TYPICAL DIGITAL NOMADS…

 

Firstly the coffee is very good, which is kind of important if you like your coffee.

So there are a few online guides to coffee shops online but this one http://www.nomadicnotes.com/travel-blog/chiang-mai-cafes/ is particularly extensive although a little out of date now, in fact half the problem with writing guides to places in Asia is that local businesses close down so often, particularly cafes and bars.

Anything owned by an ex-pat in Thailand is bound to have closed down by the time your Lonely Planet is starting to look anything less than pristine.

Anyway I digress! So I investigated a good few of the coffee shops listed above and from the ones that are actually still there I found universally the following to be true.

Many of the coffee shops are very small. Maybe it’s me but I hate small confined work spaces and can no way be productive in them. Also sitting outside is a big no no for me when I am working.

Part of the reason I don’t like small coffee shops is due to being under the constant gaze of the owner or overly enthusiastic staff who unless you buy the entire stock of the stale food on display won’t leave you alone. I have found this to be true everywhere not just Chiang Mai.

So that leaves me only feeling comfortable in larger coffee shops that are more impersonal. If I am in a coffee shop not to work then I love the small places but the reality is I want to be productive.

Sadly I end up in places like Starbucks because once you have collected your coffee and batted away the up-selling then you are generally left in peace. Occasionally the staff may come around and offer you a sample which is fine by me.

So there are shared work spaces in Chiang Mai. I did have a look around some of the more well known ones but similar to my experience in other countries they are generally filled by overly sociable digital nomads who sit around and do nothing other than chat all day.

CHIANG MAI DRINKING AND DINING

There is a wide range of food places but I find the drinking scene pretty dull after a few weeks. You have at one end traveller type places filled with 20 something Scandinavians or the seedier areas designated for the 50 plus early retired gentleman.

Chiang Mai seems not to offer too much in-between and remember this is the second city of a nation of 70 million plus people. Yes the too cool for school nomads may go on about Nimmanhaemin Road as the place to be seen but unless they are under 18 then they’ve probably missed that boat.

ANOTHER POOR NIGHTSPOT

The dining scene, well it’s not bad but again it’s easy to tire of it after a few weeks. Trying to find food in Thailand that isn’t fried to within an inch of it’s life is a challenge at the best of times and Chiang Mai is no different unless you are prepared to pay for supposedly organic fare at some of the yoga style restaurants.

IN CONCLUSION

I guess the majority of the Chiang Mai Nomad crowd will be in some disagreement to what I have written. Possibly this is the first time anyone has offered a different view of the Chiang Mai Nomad scene so for that reason I should probably be applauded a little and yes we are all different.

P.S. You are not obliged to take this post too seriously 😉

MORE RESOURCES

1 Year & 12 Destinations for the Sun Seeking Nomad – Part Two

As promised here is Part Two of our 12 month / 12 destination guide for the sun seeking nomad following the best weather around the globe.

So lets get straight back into the year as a digital nomad starting off in the month of July.

JULY

BRISTOL, UK – July average temp 21C

Without doubt the best month to be in the United Kingdom as it’s continental neighbours are frying, the UK is at it’s most pleasant although it can actually get above 30C, particularly around London.

Bristol however has a slightly milder climate and the city really comes alive in the summer months. There are festivals pretty much every weekend from May through August and the long hours of daylight (typically 5am – 9pm in June) make it a great place to be. You are also a stones throw away from national parks and the splendour of Devon and Cornwall, just 2 hours down the M5 motorway.

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AUGUST

BARCELONA, SPAIN – August average temp 29C

Barcelona is a great destination for the nomadic worker any time of the year. August may not seem like the best month to go but it’s not quite as hot as you’d imagine and if you are wanting to cool down you have access to some of the best city beaches in Europe.

Because many Spanish take their holidays in August the city will not seem as crowded as you’d might expect as the Spanish Costas are more appealing as holiday destinations.

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SEPTEMBER 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – September average temp 22C

The capital of the Czech Republic and tourist mecca Prague is a great place to be in September with lovely temperatures and lots of outdoor action.

The city hosts a number of festivals at this time of the year and of course you have the World famous beer halls and beer! If you want a quick city escape you could head down to Berlin for the famous oktoberfest for more great beer!

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OCTOBER 

MIAMI – October average temp 29C

So leaving Europe Behind we scoot over the Atlantic to the East coast of the USA to the grand city of Miami, more specifically Miami Beach.

 

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Miami has an enviable year around climate but comes into it’s own in October just as the rest of the United States is cooling down. Miami beach is an extensive built up area that acts as a beach front for Miami itself.

There are so many cafes and bars to choose from in the Miami beach area and you’re not far from major airport hubs in order to move on to your next monthly destination.

NOVEMBER 

MERIDA, MEXICO – November average temp 29C

We leave the United States and a short hop via the numerous Florida airports can take you down to Mexico. Our base of choice for November is the main city of the Yucatan peninsular, Merida.

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In order to get to Merida you are best off going via Cancun airport where a direct bus can take you straight to Merida leaving the party resort behind.

Merida itself is a delightful Spanish colonial city blessed with great weather year around and some awesome choice of places to eat, drink and be merry.

There is also a thriving cafe scene in the old town which makes finding a wifi hotspot and catching up on work very easy indeed.

DECEMBER 

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA – November average temp 28C

So finally we are into December and this month we head further South to the beautiful colonial town of Antigua.

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The city is a great destination for Digital Nomads and indeed one could spend the whole year and never visit the same coffee shop twice!

There is a very healthy expat and English speaking student population in the town due to the huge number of language schools in residence.

With this large expat population is some world class restaurants and places to stay at very affordable rates.

 

Destination Bristol UK for the location independent

bristol-englandThe UK might not be the first destination you think of for someone who can work from anywhere to locate to. It’s expensive and the weather generally sucks, which are usually the two key things many laptop warriors look for when deciding on a remote location.

That’s only part of the truth though and  for around half the year (Apr – Sept) the weather doesn’t always suck and the cost of living isn’t quite as bad as it once was, particularly compared to up and coming regions in the world. Indeed I have on many occasions paid more for a beer in Bangkok than I have in Bristol!

Being from Britain I feel duty bound to put forward it’s case as a great European nomadic hot spot focusing particularly on my home city Bristol, located in the South-west of the UK (approximately 2 hours west of London).

Bristol has been transformed in the last few years and is unrecognisable from the place I once came to for a meeting back in the late 90s. I remember stepping out of the mainline railway station and already dreaming of the 1h 40 mins train back to the civilisation of London.

Bristol is awash with places to work, coffee shops, libraries, bars and some reasonably priced shared work space. I am going to focus on ‘free’ places to work rather than renting space. I did rent a desk a few years ago hoping to mingle with other freelancers and creative people but no one was ever there and I spent most of my time in isolation! I would have been just as better off working from home (for free).

Working from home is something I generally avoid. I am much more productive when I am away from the fridge, kettle, TV and other distractions.

So here is my list of my favourite places to go and work, meet friends for coffee/beer, sit about reading or generally hang out.

BRISTOL CENTRAL LIBRARY
College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL

My go to place to work and from where I have written this piece. It has free wifi, it’s peaceful and there is always somewhere to sit. Even though the students have flooded in this time of year I have always found a desk. Slightly annoying that they leave their work out on the desks and go for long lunches, in the same way people leave towels on sunbeds!

It’s in a grand old building bang in the centre of the City, it has toilets and a cafe too! You are not allowed to eat or drink in the main library but you can bring in water. It has everything including long opening hours e.g. 7.30pm most nights.

WATERSHED
1 Canon’s Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX

The Watershed opened all the way back in 1982 and was the United Kingdom’s first dedicated media centre. Based in former warehouses on the harbourside distric at Bristol, it hosts three cinemas, a café/bar, events/conferencing and fast wifi 🙂

This is not a free space as such so you should buy a drink or food and there are sometimes some annoying restrictions on where you can sit if you are there with a laptop but generally this is not an issue. A great place to hang out and my second favourite go to place.

TOBACCO FACTORY
Raleigh Rd, Bristol, Avon BS3 1TF

The Tobacco Factory is the last remaining part of the old Wills Tobacco site located in Southville which is just south of the City Centre. It houses a theatre, shared spaces, a huge bar/dining/coffee shop area and holds a weekly farmers market on a Sunday.

Things I like; it’s spacious and there is always a table free in the daytime. Coffee is one of the cheapest in Bristol (£1.60 for a latte!) and the wifi is good and fast. It’s often frequented by Mums and their screaming precious little ones but a good pair of earphones cuts them out of the equation. Breast-feeding is common!

THE LOUNGE NORTH ST
227 North Street, Bristol BS3

Part of a small chain of ‘lounge’ type bars these places are good spots for working from. They have a very reasonably price menu including a great Tapas deal and fair priced coffee. They can be very busy in the evening but no problem finding a desk in the daytime. Free wifi but bring the ear phones for protection from the screaming brats. Sells beer too.

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
75 Park St, Bristol, BS1 5PF & 97 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol, BS8 2NT (two locations)

Again part of a small chain of coffee shops the BTPs are a great place for nomadic workers. They offer a great value menu at a number locations across the city and wifi is available.

They can be very busy though and would be the first place mentioned in this list where finding a table is not always possible so I tend to only frequent occasionally.

GROUNDED BEDMINSTER
66-68 Bedminster Parade, Bristol, Avon BS3 4HL

Grounded are another small chain of cafe bars in Bristol and the surrounding area. This one in Bedminster which is walking distance from the centre is a huge place.

One major drawback is lack of free wifi, you would need to be signed up a national mobile network. However if you have work to do that can be done offline this is a great place to go due to lots of space and lovely vibe. Their pizza is amazing too but their coffee is too weak for me (in fact a problem throughout the UK!).

COFFEE NUMBER ONE
Gloucester Road, Bristol

I use to live near Gloucester Rd and it’s a great part of the city, full of independent shops and cafes. Coffee number one is a small chain of cafes around Bristol and they do the best flat whites outside of New Zealand!

They do have wifi but always a bit iffy to be honest but a good place to do some offline work or get your dongle out.

BOCABAR
Paintworks Central Trading Estate, Bath Rd, Paintworks, Bristol BS4 3EH

Bocabar is a really cool place, just one mile from the mainline railway station near the suburb of Brislington. It is by the river and has a real ‘you could be somewhere more exotic than Bristol’ vibe about it.

Wifi is free and fast, you are competing for space with yummy mummy types but there is always enough space to go around in the daytime.

At night it’s a cool bar that does great pizza!

BRISTOL IN CONCLUSION

Bristol is often being voted number one place in the UK to live and is a great place to be based. It is a smallish city of half a million people but has a good enough international vibe of a second-tier city.

It certainly doesn’t have the same digital nomad vibe that somewhere like Chiang Mai would have due to sheer cost and relatively poor weather but there is lots going in Bristol and culturally it beats many other cities hands down.

 

 

 

Downsizing to a Nomad

It’s truly amazing how much you can downsize when you put your mind to it. Going away on a nomadic trip for a few months provides a good reason to get rid of stuff you don’t really need or use.

I have recently come back from a five month trip away and moved out of my flat lock stock and barrel. The charity shops near where I lived certainly benefited from this move as I offloaded much of my stuff.

I managed to get everything into a my medium sized car apart from my surfboard on the roof. I then drove across my city and parked my car in a friend’s garage for the northern winter.

From there I left carrying a mere 12 kg in a main pack and about 3 kg in a smaller pack, and even then I felt like I had too much stuff!

It makes you wonder how little you actually need to exist. Even with a mere 15 kg of gear I felt I had more than I needed.

Here is a list of some of my gear to illustrate I didn’t go without…

– Laptop, for work and entertainment
– Kindle / Ebook reader, the only book I carried
– Samsung S Galaxy smart phone and local simcards for all countries I travelled through providing me with mobile internet, a decent camera, entertainment, communications etc
– More than enough clothing for tropical and summer climates
– All required toiletries
– Spare pillow (I have a thing about poor quality hotel/guesthouses pillows offering no support!)
– Flip flops and converse sneakers
– Rain proof jacket and poncho
– Softball glove!

This is not the full list but you get the idea.

The biggest change has been in technology and it’s now possible to pretty much work and travel with a small laptop or even a large smart phone, if you are just updating blogs for instance.

Gone are the days of carrying around ipods, lonely planet and other books, cameras. Perhaps in the future a smartphone, the shirt on your back and passport will be enough.

 

Four global hot-spots for real estate investment

The world has experienced a huge property bubble and in many cases this house price inflation has eased or in some cases crashed. If you have money to invest then real estate is still a great bet compared to other asset classes such as gold or stocks.

As a global citizen owning property can enhance your passive income and add further security for your advanced years but you must be careful where you choose.

To invest in countries like the UK, Australia, France you would be completely nuts as rental yields are generally under 5% and any income will be swallowed up by fees, maintenance and voids.

I am no expert but those that are suggest a minimum of 7% yield. My top four global hotspots are all up around 10%.

1. Indonesia (Southeast Asia)

Indonesia, the giant of SE Asia comes in at a nice 10% rental yield. This huge country of a thousand plus islands is well placed to succeed in the new world order, being placed well for India, China and Australia.

Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, is also a huge holiday vacation destination for people around the world.

Jakarta can offer yields up to 13% but ownership is not straight forward and one should approach Indonesia with a lot of research before diving in. Bali is also a good option as it has a well established expat scene.

2. Moldova (Europe)

Moldova is a small country with high rental yields. The capital, Chisinau, has very steady prices and offers up to a huge 13% yield on small apartments which is better than anywhere else in Europe!

If Moldova ever becomes EU members then there is the real possibility of capital growth too in the future.

3. Jordon (Middle East)

Apartments in Amman are good, at around 7.5% – 10%, with the expectation that this will grow along with the economy of the country.

There are some minor buying issues with Jordon but this is out-weighed by the low taxes available.

4. Jamaica (Americas)

Yields remain very strong, especially on apartments in Kngston, the capital. The year round sunny tropical climate also makes it a good bet for investment.

There are a couple of downsides to Jamaica with security and taxes being an issue so it would be quite a risky venture but with yields up and around %10 then it might just be worth.

If visiting any of the above locations then you should be looking at cheap airline tickets to keep your expenses down.

Young People of Britain – Look Overseas!

I promise not to allow this post to descend into a ‘lets have a go at the UK’ but I have been thinking a lot about how many young people in the UK (those not from a priviledged background) are faced with a pretty bleak financial future compared to their parents / grand parents and surprised no one has written much about this

So I have listed a few very good reasons why young people should think about spreading their wings.

EDUCATION

I was very lucky to come out of University with  small debts in the 90s and to have fees paid for by the local authority but this will possibly never be the same again now the government have allowed the Universities (and Old Polys) to hike fees to a staggering £9000 a year!

As expected many of the universities have indeed chosen to max out their fees demand. Why pay £9000 here when all over Europe courses are being offered in English for less than a third of the cost. Add in the opportunity to escape the UK’s relatively high living costs and the challenge to experience new culture and a language.

HOUSING

Young people are the priced out generation and unless there is a huge drop in house prices then some may never own their own home. In London this is unlikely to ever happen mainly due to masses of overseas money propping up prices in the capital.

They are already being labelled ‘generation rent’ by the mainstream media. The good news is that most countries around the world have governments that have allowed their housing bubble to deflate naturally and perhaps with the exception of Australia, affordable housing is usually available, not just in depressed areas with little work.

The double edged sword is that rents have gone up to due to general lack of new supply and the wealthy hoarding portfolios of property.

SOCIAL MOBILITY

According to the OECD the UK has the worst social mobility of all western countries. Highlighting the UK’s lack of social mobility, the OECD said chances of a young person from a less well-off family enjoying higher wages or getting a higher level of education than their parents was “relatively low”.

From my experience of living abroad I have found countries like the USA, Australia, NZ to have much less of a class driven society where anyone can get on in life, not just those who were born to the right family.

PUSH AND PULL FCATORS

I have always believed that for anyone to go abroad there should be pull factors as well as push. People that leave the UK just because of immigration, over-crowding, tescos etc are often the ones that end up back where they start (1/3 of all Brits return from Australia).

I believe if the destination has pull factors, perhaps a little more than just a ‘nicer climate’, then there is a much better chance of it working out.

People from English speaking countries in particular are very lucky as there is a wealth of opportunities abroad for Englsih speakers due to the promotion of English as the business language of the world.

I think young Brits should take an advantage of this and will be richly rewarded for their skills if they get out into the big wide world.

Casinos in Kenya

The continent of Africa is a terrific place to choose to take a holiday. The continent offers a wide range of landscapes and cultures. Many different sites can be visited as well as entertainment options enjoyed. The nation of Kenya is one particular country that is well-travelled. When visiting Kenya, many tourists find they enjoy trying out the casinos found here.

One of the major cities of Kenya is Mombasa, which is located close to the coast. With several casino options, one of the top choices is the Casino Rico. Associated with the Royal Court Hotel, the casino opens its doors for business every day at 11 and stays open until 5 the following morning. If you want to play their table games, you will have to wait until noon when these officially open. Expect to find many of the popular casino games here at the Casino Rico. Among them are several kinds of poker including 3 card poker, Oasis poker and Texas Hold ‘Em. Many people are not used to all these variations of poker, but you will be if you have played at online casinos like www.gamingclub.com/au. Other table games like roulette and blackjack are also offered. High rollers will find the Casino Rico appealing with its special high roller section which opens at midnight and remains open until the casino closes.

A second casino gambling option in Mombasa is the Casino Max. Don’t expect to find this casino as a standalone. Actually, it is built within a large shopping mall known as the Nyali Cinemax Shopping Complex. Many visitors to Mombasa like the convenience of having so many entertainment and shopping options in one place. One gaming option found here that is not offered at the Casino Rico is bingo. A popular game at this casino, many people from the area as well as tourists enjoy the game. Much of the table games found here are similar to those found within the Casino Rico.

You’re never too young to retire

Why do we work our butts off for 40 yrs straight to enjoy just one retirement? Doesn’t it make more sense to enjoy some of your retirement time when you are younger and generally more healthy? Similar to career breaks, mini-retirements are generally longer and will often be spent doing interesting things such as learning new skills, volunteering or simply living in a new country.

There are many ways of spending your mini-retirement, some of which may even uncover an economic alternative to returning to life as a stressed out rodent.

Mini-retirements may only last a few months but are more likely to span a couple of years. Shorter periods tend to be career breaks.

So how do you fill in your days when you are retired?

One area is to learn new skills. in fact thats pretty much what I did back in 2005. My online marketing skills were pretty raw back in the day but by embarking on a mini retirement meant that I could teach myself the skills to ensure I would not have to go back to working for other people.

A classic is to learn a language. Why not take off to a French speaking part of Africa or Latin America and live like a local and end up talking like a local. Having a second language is huge asset in this globalised world now.

Language learning can be combined with teaching English which again can equip you with new skills that will be useful back home.

Mini retirements can also be cheap. You don’t have to live in a hotel if you plan on spending three months in Buenos Airies learning Spanish. There are plenty of apartments which can be very affordable in cheaper countries and it’s even possible to have a more expensive lifestyle than you would expect at home.

Volunteering is another way to take a mini retirement providing you avoid the many companies offering short term volunteering holidays. Some volunteer posts will even pay for your food and lodging too. A good place to look at volunteering is idealist.

Finance is obviously an issue and mini retirements do need to be financed. I financed mine by working online in affiliate marketing making a modest amount and choosing to live in places with low cost of living.

Mini retirements do not need to eat too much into your savings though. Consider the money you would save by temporarily cutting your ties with your home country. No rent to pay, no council taxes, no car to run…If you own a house then why not rent it out for one year?

Doesn’t it make more sense to enjoy some of your retirement time when you are young and healthy?

The concept of the mini retirement might be new now but I predict the next generation will be taking them regularly.

Check out the book below for more on mini-retirements…

If you are interested then check out San Jose Costa Rica Hotels website.

Five reasons to quit your job

Am I serious? You bet ya! There are many others out there quitting their jobs, downsizing, starting new businesses, living the dream, so why can’t you? Do you realise that one of the dumbest things is only getting paid for the time you work? So here are five reasons to escape the rat race.

1. Freedom, or loss of it

The office of the 21st century is no different to the factories of the 19th century. We are beckoned in with promises and are then systematically broken by the organisation by a number of methods including dress codes, behaviour training and the dreaded company manual full of ridiculous rules and regulations.

The employee is further stripped of their freedom by being told where to be and when, what to say and when and what to do and when.

After the individual’s spirit has been totally crushed the company can then rule by fear which keeps the workers in line and allows for unfair expectations such as working long hours unpaid, taking on other people’s workloads when downsizing departments and having salaries frozen because the business only made £400 million that year.

2. A social life that’s inbred at best

It would be unfair of me to say that I have not made good friends from work colleagues, but when I line up everyone that I ever worked with and then pick out the ones that were good friend, I am basically looking at a handful. Is that because of me or the places I worked at?

The problem with this is that many peoples’s social life revolves around their work mates and this seemed particularly the case when I worked in London. Would I really choose to spend an evening in the pub with a moron who’s weekend involved building network servers at home (that was our day job!) and who kicked his girlfriend out only so he could spend more time fiddling with his computers!

No I wouldn’t!

Have a got a better social life than the average person who works in an office?

Perhaps because working on your own forces you out there.

3. Commuting

I think it is no conicidence that I rarely suffer from colds these days compared to when I use to be crammed into the creaking public transport of London.

The aroma of some sweaty stressed out executive next to me smelling of stale beer, curry and berrocca is something I do not miss. Neither the lack of seating, personal space or being held hostage by striking tube drivers or above inflation fare rises.

4. Working for someone else is way too risky

So you are working for one company like many people do. That equates to one income stream that you are wholly dependent on. That income stream can be turned off in the time it takes your HR dept to say, ‘you’re sacked’.

By working for yourself you have far more ways of diversifying your income streams which will offer you more security than a regular job.

Committing yourself to one income stream is a taking huge risk, however good you are at your job or however healthy your company is.

5. Time

Your time is the most precious thing on this planet. You might not realise that when you are starting out as a fresh faced graduate on a corporate career path but as you become older and wiser you learn to put a greater value on time.

It has been said that working for someone else in a regular job is pretty dumb as you only get paid for the time you work, worse still, sometimes you don’t get paid for your time! Why do you think so many successful people work few hours and get paid more?

Its because they put systems in place to ensure they receive income when they are not actually working. Running websites, investing, property management, there are lots of ways to move to a more passive income.

So as long as your system continues delivering value to others, you will still be paid whether you’re working or not.

I will blog more about these systems soon.

So there we have it, five reasons to quit your job. I can already hear people saying thats easy for you to say, you don’t have a mortgage, family to support etc etc excuses etc more excuses etc.

Well that might be true but I decided to take that first step away from what society expects and I believe many people could do the same if they really wanted to. I still have bills and taxes to pay, car to run, pension to save for, food to put on the table like everyone else so I am no different.

If I have inspired just one person that there is another way then the time writing this will be time well spent.

South Florida as a destination for a working nomad?

Why not? If you are already living in Florida or in the States for that matter Southern Florida as a destination may not be as appealing to you, as someone living in the UK. If you coming from Europe like I did the idea of winters in the sun and all those other attractive things we see on the TV may make Miami’s South Beach look like paradise. If you live in a cold northern climate South Florida could definitely be described as somewhat exotic and attractive when faced with another harsh winter.

For all those setting out on their first nomadic venture with the tight budget that normally accompanies one’s first attempt at making a living from the web whilst traveling, South Florida may not be the best of choices, on the other hand if you’re a seasoned nomad. And you have a better sense of your likely monthly earnings staying consistent and been more than just enough to just scrape by, Florida has a lot to offer to the working nomad.

Contrary to your first probable reaction the United States is not an expensive destination add to that you could throw in Safe, Cheap Flights, Fast Internet, Easy to find accommodation, I nearly forgot the electric hardly ever goes down and we have a wonderful climate year-round.

I was first introduced to this website back in 2006. I had already made a start and had a small website that was just sitting there and doing nothing I had all the ideas but was doing nothing with them, traveling has always been something high on my list and the idea that I could travel and support myself from the web was already on my mind. Not knowing where to start I did the next best thing and typed something like “travel and work” in to Google and found this website intrigued, I dug a little deeper. Here was a guy doing exactly what I had been thinking about. I quickly found his first post and started to read, a few hours later I was up to date with all the old posts. I was hooked instantly.

I need to say here and now webby.  Thank you!

Three years on, I’m still stuck in Florida, but have a decent residual income each month from the web. I could also say stuck in Florida by choice, I could leave tomorrow and hop on over to Asia or any other Country I choose. At present though I have a multitude of reasons to stay here, the most important is that after careful consideration, I realized South Florida is an excellent destination / home base for a working nomad.

This is my first post on here, and as you can see I will be focusing on why you may want to consider South Florida as a destination where you can hunker down for a few months and do some serious work on your websites. I will cover topics like Visa’s, Accommodation and the different local areas and what they have to offer. I will also touch on some of my own experiences as they relate to building a truly residual income from the web.