Digital Nomad Guide Never Normal Newsletter

5 Reasons to Become a Digital Nomad in 2022

The world is reopening for travel, and there are more opportunities to work online than ever before. Here are five great reasons to take advantage and become a digital nomad now:

Explore the World and Experience it All First Hand

Never Normal Newsletter

Turning Passion into Business

This week I’ve got a brand new episode of the Never Normal show for you, plus 36 ways to be Never Normal, and my advice for Digital Nomads.

Vikram Seth is back to talk about turning your passion into a business. You might remember Vikram from episode 018, where we discussed his sabbatical – How to Take a Year Off and Balance Your Life.

In this new episode, Vikram shares how he approached making money without a job, and the process and struggles of turning something you love doing into a business.

Never Normal Newsletter

Your Alternate Reality, What I’m Building, and 0% Tax

Most of what I write in this newsletter is about how to break free from the default plan and create a life you love. And on the Never Normal podcast, I share examples and stories of people who have done just that.

But the truth is, as much as I love thinking and writing about bending the rules and changing the world, the most important changes are always in our own minds.

That’s why the first line of my journal every single day — before I get to the goals and to do lists and notes about what I’m learning — is gratitude.

“Creating a life you love” requires taking the time and making the effort to love your life.

And it’s in that spirit that I want to share this…

Never Normal Newsletter

Startup Cities and Loving Where You Live

Hola from sunny Valencia 🌞

Last week I wrote about home-as-a-service and living in Airbnbs full-time.

This week I’ve got a new episode of my Never Normal podcast with guest Jonathan Hillis, founder of Creator Cabins and the Cabin DAO.

Prior to founding Creator Cabins, Jon was Director of Product, Shoppers, and Marketplace at Instacart, where during the pandemic, he grew their workforce of shoppers 500%. 🤯

All of this gives Jon some unique insights into both the creator and gig economies, crypto, and where are all of this is heading.

He also recently published an excellent essay on the history of centralization and decentralization cycles in Western Civilization that we discuss in detail in the episode.

You can find this episode of Never Normal, plus show notes, links to everything we discussed, and a transcript here.

After we recorded, Jon and the Cabin DAO were featured in a New Yorker article about DAO’s:

The group created a token, which it sold to crowdfund a budget, and allowed the token holders to vote on who would be granted residencies. One attendee, Julian Weisser, later helped create ConstitutionDAO while staying at the cabin.

There are now around two hundred and eighty token holders able to vote on Cabin’s future. Hillis described the organization as a “decentralized city,” aiming to build spaces around the world and connect them through digital tools.

Jon and the Cabin DAO are not the only ones building a new city…

Startup Cities

I’ve mentioned startup cities like Telosa before. Now it looks like tech entrepreneurs building new cities is becoming a trend:

Silicon Valley is now in the business of building cities. Everywhere you look, founders are launching efforts to build new communities and entirely new cities.

Culdesac, a company building a1,000 resident walkable community in Tempe, Arizona, co-founded by Y Combinator alumnus Ryan Johnson, just announced a $30 million Series A raise. founder and Walmart eCommerce executive Marc Lore is planning to build Telosa, a 5 million resident city of the future somewhere in the American West.

Before he builds a city on Mars, Elon Musk is building a city in Texas around the SpaceX launch site. Silicon Valley is enthralled with Próspera, a new city focused partly on the remote work economy, located on the Honduran island of Roatán.

I find all of this exciting and inspiring, but realistically, building a new city is a huge, ambitious project and it’s going to take a long time. Fortunately, if you don’t like the place you live, you don’t have to build a new city…

Just Find a Place You Love

Spending time in a place that you love — a place the gives you energy instead of draining it —has to be one of the most underrated “life hacks”.

I just got off the phone with a friend and fellow digital nomad who is based in Phuket, Thailand at the moment. He was telling me that his company is thriving and he’s in the process of raising capital for a new venture.

“It’s all happening at once” and he’s “working non-stop”, but he said he doesn’t feel stressed.

“Why not?”, I asked.

“Because I’m staring at the ocean while I work. And whenever I want I can take break and go for a walk on the beach for 20 minutes with my girlfriend” (also helps that he’s doing work he loves and finds meaningful).

Want to Become a Digital Nomad Too?

I’m planning to offer a live, online course on becoming a digital nomad soon. I’ll be teaching how to take your life on the road and experience the best the world has to offer.

What questions do you have about becoming a digital nomad? I want to make sure I address them all in the course.

Take a moment now and send me any questions you have and I’ll send you a private discount when the course goes live as a special ‘thank you’.

Lightning Round ⚡

A few quick posts from social media that I want to share with you.

I love this post from Visualize Value on Instagram – clever and concise as always:

And a related thought from me on Twitter:

That’s all for this week. More soon!

Not a subscriber?

I write occasional emails to share what I’m thinking, learning, and doing. It’s all related to the idea of breaking free from the “default plan” in life.

Want to learn along with me? Join my Never Normal Newsletter:

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Home-as-a-Service? Living in Airbnb vs Buying a House for 1 Euro

Airbnb co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, tweeted: “Starting today, I’m living on Airbnb. I’ll be staying in a different town or city every couple weeks.”

As longtime readers know, this is something that I started doing in 2012. Since then, I’ve lived in Airbnbs (as well as other short-term rental apartments and the occasional hotel room) in hundreds of cities across 50 countries.

Never Normal Newsletter

Creator Cabins, Charisma, and Carving Your Own Path 🪓

Last week I shared my latest Never Normal podcast episode, How to Take a Year Off and Balance Your Life with Vikram Seth.

We got some great feedback and questions (“how do you afford to take an unpaid sabbatical?”, “what happened after the one year ended?”), so Vikram and I just recorded a follow-up episode.

A decentralized city built by creators, for creators

I also recorded a new episode with Jonathan Hillis. Jon is at the forefront of so many interesting areas in technology right now.

He’s the founder of Creator Cabins, which started as a single cabin in the Texas Hill Country, a place to gather face-to-face with friends from the internet. But it’s morphing into something much bigger…

Never Normal Newsletter

Taking a Year Off, 10 Days of Silence, and a Very Long Walk

This week I’ve got a new Never Normal podcast episode to share!

How to Take a Year Off and Balance Your Life with Vikram Seth

By day, Vikram Seth is a Senior Economist working on renewable energy at Shell. By night, he is the co-founder of Bounce Bhangra, an award winning combination of high energy cardio and Indian dance.

At heart, Vikram is a philosopher. Someone who spends much of his time thinking deeply about life and the meaning of it all.

In this episode we talk about how Vikram has cultivated balance between a demanding career, his personal passions, and his spiritual side.

In this episode we discuss:

Never Normal Newsletter

New Year’s Resolutions and Annual Reviews

Happy New Year! 🎉

Last week I shared 21 Super Interesting Things I Learned in 2021.

Thanks for all of the feedback, shares, and replies. It looks like I’m going to have to do another list like that again soon, but not just yet…

For the past week I’ve been busy reflecting on the last year and thinking a lot about goals and plans for the year ahead.

My New Year’s Resolution

I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s too hard to pick just one thing for a whole year.

But this past weekend, I was taking a break from all the thinking and planning. I was in the park, being silly and climbing trees, playing with my daughter, and dancing with my wife.

Suddenly, it hit me. This is it!

Never Normal Newsletter

21 Super Interesting Things I Learned in 2021

1. Let’s Start with Hello 👋

The word “Hello” dates back to around 1820, and it only came into common usage in English after the invention of the telephone. Before that, people greeted each other with phrases like “Good Day”.

It was Thomas Edison who suggested “Hello” as the word to say when you answer a phone. Alexander Graham Bell (and Mr. Burns) preferred “Ahoy!”

That’s not the only common word that’s pretty new…

Never Normal Newsletter

Climbing Hills, Setting Goals, and Learning to Read

Last week I wrote about finding yourself and whether it’s a “success killer” to travel in your youth (instead of going all-in on career early on).

Reader Lukas replied to say:

This is great! Thanks for writing it!

I also enjoyed the McAskill quote about “spending 5% of your time deciding how to spend the 95%”.

I’m now wondering about the different ways on where to place those 5% … most of it at the beginning of your career (= the travel and finding yourself) or sprinkled throughout your life (= short sabbaticals)? I assume the latter is better because plans and goals keep changing.

Here’s my take:

Never Normal Newsletter

Should you spend time finding yourself? Is travel a “success killer”?

Last week I wrote about what it’s like to become a digital nomad these days and shared a few recent podcast interviews.

This week I planned to write about Web3 and some of the interesting projects I’ve come across recently, but then my little corner of the internet blew up a few days ago, thanks to this tweet:

Needless to say, I couldn’t disagree more (I finally understand what the phrase “triggered” means). I feel so strongly, that I decided to make this the topic of this week’s Never Normal newsletter instead.

Never Normal Newsletter

Become a Digital Nomad, Pursue your Dreams, and Connect with More People

Last week I wrote about the self-tenured class, the pursuit of wealth, and working on what you love.

This week I’ve got a three new podcast interviews related to becoming a digital nomad and launching new ventures to share with you (plus a crazy love story).

What’s it like becoming a digital nomad these days?

In the past, one of the biggest challenges of becoming a digital nomad was finding a way to make money without being tied to a single location.

Now, since the pandemic hit and remote work has become much more common, there are new challenges and opportunities for those who want to go nomadic.

But at least one thing remains the same…