Euvie: Today we want to talk about the digital nomad lifestyle and how it relates to the tribal nomads that humans existed [00:00:30] as for thousands and thousands of years before we invented agriculture. I wanted to prompt you to maybe start with your own experience of how being a nomad changed your life and your perspective.
Mike: Okay. For me, it became apparent when I was living in Vancouver, one of the more expensive cities in North America, that [00:01:00] working my day job and trying to make my business grow was going to be extremely difficult if not impossible with all of the demands of such a high expense city. I was looking for other alternatives. I picked up this book called the Four Hour Work Week and it really inspired me to what was possible and how you could leverage other types of things in your life, like location, where you hire, [00:01:30] the type of work that you look for, to increase your time freedom, your location freedom, and your financial freedom.
This book really inspired me and I ended up reading it quite a number of times. Listened to it in audio form, as well. Eventually, after you and I met, we started an online business where we were doing website design. Got our first client and then took off to Thailand, [00:02:00] bought a one-way ticket with very little money in the bank.
Euvie: Sold everything we owned.
Mike: Yeah, that’s right. Sold mostly everything, gave her parents a little bit of stuff to keep, but mostly everything. Took off. That was back in 2012. We basically never stopped doing that. I think what was really interesting along the way is how many people we met who are doing the same thing. [00:02:30] That was super surprising to me, that there were people all over the world our age, at the time, in many cases younger, who were going to these cheaper places to live where the lifestyle was actually much better, where they get a higher chance of meeting other likeminded people because it’s a self-selecting thing. If you are living in a place like Thailand or Vietnam you’re already of a mentality of going against the grain or doing something different, thinking differently.[00:03:00] You also, in most cases, have to be working online. If you meet another foreigner in a place like Thailand or Vietnam, you know right away that they already have more in common with you than the average person you might meet back home.
Euvie: This was a lifestyle decision at first but what did you find was different in terms of how your mindset changed or how [00:03:30] your experience of the world or of yourself changed when you started doing this?
Mike: Right, good question. After a while, we got some semi-stable income, recurring income. A lot of it came from the people we had met in Thailand, just other business owners, people like us. Once we started to get a little more income and stability and security, we started to hire a little bit more and then we started [00:04:00] to work on getting our time back. What happened when we got our time back was, instead of working 50, 60 hour work weeks to make ends meet, like I would’ve been doing back in Vancouver, I was able to hire, automate, outsource and step a little bit further back and think big picture about the business. What that also did was allow me the time freedom to be able to read a bunch of books. [00:04:30] After cutting the work back and reading so many books over the years, that’s really been the number one catalyst for a big mental shift for me has been taking that time and dedicating it to what my passions are, which is learning.
Euvie: Other than learning, how did you notice your world view shift, if at all, of a result of this kind of [00:05:00] lifestyle?
Mike: Right. I noticed a very distinct difference between the east and west ways of thinking. Looking back into the US and in Canada, I had a different view about the way things worked, because I basically escaped what I had thought and other people had thought were just status quo, the way life is, the way life has to be, [00:05:30] living outside of that and really living outside of it – not just vacationing, not just visiting the place, but really… Your day to day for years is a different, very foreign experience and you get used to the foreign. Then when you look back at home, everything… It’s home that is foreign suddenly. Looking back at the west and the way people assumed certain things about the [00:06:00] world and had this self-centric, country-centric… Within their own borders they tend to act as if the whole world is like that.
One thing I really started paying a lot more attention to was the fact that the problems that people think they have and that are important on a global scale are really not very important. When you see [00:06:30] people on a daily basis who have nowhere near the luxuries that we do in the west, not just in terms of material things or wealth or ability to have a nice place and get the food that you want but just rights and freedoms, ability to choose having a good passport, a passport that allows you to travel – all of these things we in the west take for granted and we assume it’s like that all [00:07:00] over the world and it’s really not. When I look back at the west, I think there’s a lot of babies and complainers. That’s really what woke me up.
I used to complain about a lot of the same things, like, “It’s unfair that my professor gave me this mark. It’s unfair that I’m not getting as many hours this week at work. It’s unfair that my landlord wants to do renovations and is [00:07:30] evicting me. It’s not far that so and so died in a car accident.” Any number of things. Yeah, in any other context though in most other places in the world those are daily occurrences, if not privileges that people would love to have. Oh my God, you have a job to lose?
Euvie: I think also, on the flip side, people in the west often assume that everywhere else in the world, [00:08:00] or at least in the third world and developing countries, things are just horrible and people are just suffering all the time, there’s murder in the streets, corrupt governments. They just imagine that their life in the west is perfect. It’s paradoxical because on one hand they complain a lot but, on the other hand, they’re like, “Those poor people over there in Africa, in developing countries.”
Mike: [00:08:30] I know exactly what you’re saying. It works in reverse, too, because a lot of people in the countries that we’ve visited have looked at America as this land opportunity, or Canada, “It’s all rich people there.” That’s a super, super common perspective. That’s actually not the case, there’s a lot of poverty, there’s a lot of people falling through the cracks of civilization and society.
Euvie: In western countries, like in Canada and the states.
Mike: Exactly. There’s a lot of drug problems [00:09:00] that doesn’t exist in a lot of other countries that we visited.
Euvie: Yeah and vice versa, there’s a lot of opportunity in development and happiness and fulfilment in so-called developing countries that people don’t think exists, because people are incredibly adaptable creatures. We just adapt to the environment that we’re in. It becomes the new baseline. People are able to find happiness and fulfilment everywhere in the world.
Mike: I think what the west really does successfully – [00:09:30] and I’m fairly critical of this – is it makes people focus on material wealth, accounting for their lives, “What do I have? How do I compare to other people?” There’s also this sort of boxing in of people, even the way residential areas are built. Everything’s a grid and everyone’s got their own space, their own castle where they hoard all their stuff. It’s not any kind of communal, there’s no shared spaces. We’ve talked about this before. [00:10:00] It’s probably one of the most isolating things is to live in a western city. In many cases, the way western cities are built, it’s just nowhere near the communal feeling as Europe or Asia.
Euvie: I also wanted to differentiate between western, saying north America and Europe, because the cities in Europe, at least the old ones, were built in a more organic way and in a more communal way where there’s a lot of [00:10:30] public squares or hidden squares in between buildings where people can hang out and see their neighbours. It’s a very different feeling, living in a city like that than in a grid-like city that just is devoid of any kind of humanness.
Mike: Yeah, right. Still though, I find this problem of isolation and bubble thinking where [00:11:00] people especially in western Europe get easily offended. There’s still this north American or western attitude of censorship, “You can’t say that.” People are very sensitive about anything to do with race or gender. That’s something that just simply doesn’t exist in eastern Europe and in Asia. You would really struggle to find that. I don’t know what you say is better, because there’s a lot of other [00:11:30] issues in eastern Europe and where we’re living. There’s a lot of poor people, there’s a lot of struggle, there’s a lot of attitude problems, there’s sometimes problems with education and healthcare and these sort of things. I would say, in my experience, people are generally pretty happy – young people who are aware and have moved around are happy.
Euvie: That brings me back to the point of [00:12:00] people who have moved around. I think it’s difficult to say what is natural and we’ve talked about this before, because humans are very adaptable and if we do something – we are obviously biological creatures – if we do something therefore it’s natural. We are nature doing something, we’re not separate from nature as we like to imagine ourselves to be. It’s hard to say what’s natural, but if we look [00:12:30] at our evolutionary history and if, at least, the consensus among anthropologists and as Yuval Harrari talks about in Sapiens for a lot of the time in our history we were nomadic tribes. Agriculture only comes around maybe 10,000 years ago. Up until that point, we moved around a lot. That was our normal daily experience.
Mike: Yeah. The book also mentioned how much more varied people’s diets [00:13:00] and ability to think – there’s a lot more different tasks and there’s a lot more variation of tasks. That’s where most of the evolution of our species took place, the rapid growth of our brains. It wasn’t after agriculture, it was before. It was due to that nomadic adaptable human that we used to be and no longer are.
Euvie: Yeah, there’s actually some [00:13:30] evidence that shows that our brains have shrunk since the invention of agriculture.
Mike: Yup, I believe that.
Euvie: It’s a very unsavoury thing that people don’t like to think about.
Mike: I believe that. Back to the nomadism thing, I think since we became nomadic…
Euvie: Personally, you and I.
Mike: Yeah. The variation in our lives is just insane. There’s just so much more challenge and opportunity and more interesting [00:14:00] things to see. Every day is this new… Depends on how long you stay in a place. Bulgaria’s not feeling too new at the moment, but you know what I mean.
Euvie: We’re definitely itching for a new adventure.
Mike: Yeah. I would say the variation is what keeps you on your toes, the novelty and variation in your life is what keeps you adapting, keeps your brain working. When you get stagnant in a single place, that’s when everything seems to [00:14:30] atrophy and feel worse.
Euvie: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s really easy, also, to get into habitual ways of thinking where you’re not thinking outside of the box because everything is safe and familiar. Basically, you don’t need to exercise that creative muscle anymore, so you don’t. Or you start exercising it in more abstract ways that don’t really mean anything – weird art… [00:15:00] Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I think that’s a perfectly normal expression of human creativity. Your whole life could be a creative exercise, challenging and interesting and fluid, all of it.
Mike: There’s a lot of other things that I think make me extremely excited for the future when it comes to nomadism and the potential for people to be nomadic. More and more work is moving online. [00:15:30] There’s more of a, I would say, a very, very early stage movement towards being able to pick the state that you pay your taxes in, that you get your healthcare from. There’s a lot more optionality and a lot more, I would say, in the future it will probably a lot more competition between services of countries because [00:16:00] they want to attract intelligent people who bring value to the country. They have to do certain things and they have to double down on what they’re doing well.
For example, there’s a reason we’re in Bulgaria, right? The food is great, the people are interesting and different, the walkability of the city that we live in is awesome, it’s one of the biggest walking streets in Europe.
Euvie: Nature is just mind blowing.
Mike: [00:16:30] Yeah.
Euvie: And the tax rate is low, which is good.
Mike: Yeah. Then there’s a lot of economic reasons to be here, as well, the cost of living is very low. You spend $5 at a dinner out, it’s nothing.
Euvie: Yeah, at a restaurant.
Mike: Yeah, at a fancy dinner, too.
Mike: There’s a lot of economic reasons to be here.
Euvie: Yeah. A lot of other countries are starting to compete, they’re starting to understand that they need to have [00:17:00] an edge. States have done this for a long time, it’s not a new thing. Switzerland obviously positioned itself as the banking destination a long time ago. Before that, states would attract people for different reasons. Now, Singapore has some very attractive benefits for people wanting to start a business there and they’re attracting a lot of intellectuals, as well. I think that will increase even more in the future. [00:17:30] The city state will become a more attractive option for people rather than countries. Countries are big and clunky and not very agile, they can’t adapt to change very quickly but our world is changing very, very quickly. The smaller entities might become…
Mike: They really prove themselves not to get it either. Remember when that [00:18:00] visa thing kicked in in Thailand. When there were so many entrepreneurs from western countries hanging out in Chiang Mai and, all of a sudden, this happened while we were there, one of the big coworking spaces got raided by the police because they had the understanding that people were there illegally, syphoning money somehow out of the economy and basically living like kings and stealing from the locals, instead of realizing how much value is actually being [00:18:30] syphoned into the country. Most of us don’t have clients or customers in the country, in Thailand.
All of our income comes from external places. We hire locally sometimes, quite a few actually do hire locally. We want our lifestyle to improve locally, so if there are services that we know of back home that aren’t present then we help locals to start those new businesses. [00:19:00] There’s so many examples of that in Thailand.
Euvie: And people spend a lot of money, a lot more than locals.
Mike: For sure.
Euvie: They actually bring money into the economy.
Mike: They’re syphoning money from their country into the country they live in.
Mike: My point was Thailand was just so slow to clue into this and had such a wrong idea about it, then they raided all of these coworking spaces and tried [00:19:30] to kick people out and realize, “Actually, everyone is legitimately here, there’s nothing false about what they’re doing at all.”
Euvie: They actually couldn’t wrap their head around the concept of a coworking space, they thought that it was an office that was hiring foreigners to work for the company illegally.
Mike: That’s right.
Euvie: They were like, “What? People pay to work here? They pay to come to this office?” I was getting a play by play from a friend posting about [00:20:00] this in real time as they were held up there by the police. He’s like, “They just don’t understand why we would pay to be here.”
Mike: Yeah. There’s some other issues, too. I don’t know, there’s definitely give and take in being nomadic.
Euvie: Of course. There’s so much risk, there’s unpredictability. You never know what kind of challenges you’re going to run into. Visa problems are definitely a thing.
Mike: [00:20:30] Yeah, there’s problems with corruption and police. I think there’s a lot of corruption in western countries but it’s more institutionalized in places in the east. It’s like there’s an understanding, especially if you’re there long-term. You probably get pulled over by the cops several times per month. I call it driving while white, because they just spot me out as a foreigner and they pull me over and say, “Something’s wrong with your bike,” and I’m like, “No, nothing’s wrong with the bike, you just stopped me because you thought you [00:21:00] can get a bribe.” I know the drill, I just annoy the hell out of them until they send me on my way. A friend of ours actually pretended he had diarrhoea. Shout out to you Joan.
Euvie: Yeah, to get out of paying cops a bribe. They’re like, “Get out of my face.”
Mike: Yeah, he was just holding his stomach and then he started undoing his belt and pull it down. They were like, “Oh my God, send this guy away, go. We do not need this guy shitting all over the street.” That was a good pro tip.
Euvie: [00:21:30] Yeah.
Mike: Travel pro tip. Yeah, you face a lot of different problems but I would say the cost benefit ratio is very much in our favour. Building this studio, building a podcast, having actual opportunity to work on it because we’re not living a life…
Euvie: In the rat race, in a nine to five.
Mike: Exactly. We don’t have to work a part-time job to make this work.
Euvie: [00:22:00] Yeah.
Mike: It’s an amazing thing.
Euvie: It’s definitely a completely different mindset. You just have to break your conditioning and rebuild from scratch on so many different levels.
Mike: Yeah. What kind of conditioning would you say?
Euvie: First of all, the expectation that somebody owes you something, whether it’s an employer that owes you a job or owes you benefits or owes you payment on time, or if it’s [00:22:30] the government that owes you security or healthcare.
Mike: Yeah, radical self-responsibility.
Euvie: Anything. It is totally a mindset of radical self-responsibility. It can go wrong in so many more ways, because we’re all human, we forget stuff. Sometimes we’re tired and don’t feel like doing something and nobody’s there to hold your hand.
Mike: Yeah. When you have no schedule and the alarm clock [00:23:00] doesn’t need to even exist. Yeah, you can waste a lot of time for sure.
Euvie: You have to learn how to motivate yourself and how to meet your own needs, because you’re not plugged into a system that meets those needs for you.
Euvie: You don’t go out to a local pub every Friday night because that’s a routine. You have to actually go out and seek out the people that you want to hang out with and make that effort, otherwise your social life is not going to happen.
Mike: Yeah. I think probably the bigger leap [00:23:30] is just going from having a job to being a freelancer or being an entrepreneur. That’s a complete change in thinking for most people. When people ask us about what we do, that’s the number one thing they seem to be most confused about or most shocked by. “You just run your own business and travel?”
Euvie: Yeah, or when we say we do a podcast, they’re like, “Do you work at a studio that hires you to do these podcasts?” No, we [00:24:00] just do our own thing.
Mike: Yeah. What are we trying to do here, convince people to do this or what? I think the nomadism thing is the real shiny object here, especially after reading the book Sapiens and the variation of lifestyle and diet and culture and all this stuff being so stimulating for the brain and then the other element of getting time back. [00:24:30] If we could all collectively move in that direction in the future, I would say it would have a huge cascading effect on government, on policy, on lifestyle, on conflict, on so many different things because people would be more globally minded, global citizens, instead of stuck in their borders. They would probably pay a lot more attention to what’s going on.
Euvie: My argument would be this, that the reason why we became [00:25:00] sedentary, where we started living in one location, was because we had to care of crops. Now, the majority of people are not farmers, so we just seem to have this inertia of where we built these cities around agriculture and then it turned into industry and it snowballed on itself. Now, there’s no reason for us to live in the same location all the time [00:25:30] because jobs are moving online, we’re not farmers… We don’t have to do this anymore. As the book Sapiens talks about, there are actually quite a lot of both physical and mental health problems that people get from living in the same place.
Euvie: And living indoors. First of all, [00:26:00] living indoors all the time, spending all your time sitting is horrible for your back, it’s bad for your eyes, it’s bad for your breathing, it’s bad for your skin. There are just so many health problems from living indoors. Then, of course, there’s the food that we eat because of our lifestyle, where we don’t get variety, we get food…
Mike: You’ve got to specify by who you mean by ‘we’ here.
Euvie: Yeah, fair enough.
Mike: [00:26:30] Not us, basically.
Euvie: Yeah, right. The status quo of a western life.
Euvie: Basically, there are so many things in the way that westerners live that are really, really unhealthy. Now, there’s the compounding problems with technology where people are addicted to social media, to porn, to being online all the time. Basically, [00:27:00] it’s not even a controversial opinion that I think our whole society is sick. Something has to give. I’m not even talking about the existential risks and the problems of overconsumption that are causing climate catastrophe. All this overconsumption is being driven by the kind of inertia of the industrial revolution and all the businesses that are trying to get profit, [00:27:30] they’re not actually interested in keeping the population healthy or keeping the planet sustainable. Something has to change.
Mike: Another interesting thing that I picked up from that book is the attitudes towards child rearing in a nomad society versus an agricultural society. I can’t remember exactly why, maybe you remember, but [00:28:00] there’s definitely a lot more of a push towards having a lot of kids all at once in an agricultural society, and when you’re nomadic maybe it’s simply because the option is there.
Euvie: Because they could, yeah.
Mike: Yeah, because they could. When you’re nomadic, you can’t spread out your energy towards multiple kids. You can’t be nomadic and have four kids in tow and be able to provide for them. They space their kids out over a lot of years, [00:28:30] every four years they might have a child. It gave them an opportunity to put a lot of attention into one child and then that child could become moderately self-sufficient by the time they had the second child and then the first child could help raise the second child and the family unit just got stronger over time. Whereas now, I can’t tell you how many of my friends back home just feel that rush to have all the kids right now and I think it’s partially [00:29:00] because of the level of isolation in the west with our boxed homes and everything and scheduled playdates and everything that you know, as a parent, that your child is going to have most of their time either by themselves indoors or with siblings.
There’s not going to be a lot of real opportunity to go out with a whole bunch of kids, aside from regimented school situation. [00:29:30] I think there’s a bit of a rush to have them all at once, you want the kids to be the same or close to the same age so they can play with each other. That’s one thing I thought about more recently since we are really trying to figure out what we want to do in the long-term, where we want to be based and where we want to have kids and stuff. It’s really difficult to sort this stuff out in our kind of lifestyle when you have the same expectations of having all the kids at once, [00:30:00] but after reading that book Sapiens I have redefined what I want out of raising kids and it’s more now about spacing them out and letting them interact as much as possible, get them outside.
Mike: Go play, go meet some other people, some other kids and play. All of a sudden, the pressure is way off of us, right? We don’t have to just have all of our shit sorted out immediately, [00:30:30] we don’t have to have a home base necessarily perfectly sorted out because every child is going to get a four-year span of attention from us.
Euvie: Then there’s the problem with the education system, which we’ve talked about before that it prepares people to be little robots and to succeed in the corporate ladder rather than be self-sufficient or think of themselves or anything like that. [00:31:00] If we’re not living in the same location all the time, then how does schooling happen? Well, if the traditional school system isn’t really suitable to get people to be creative and to self-actualize and to hone their gifts rather than just fit into a box, then what does an education system of the future look like?
Mike: Yeah, [00:31:30] this is another standard way of thinking an assumption about education that I can’t help but challenge now after traveling. My post-high-school life of education has only had to do with music and audio production. It wasn’t like I went to university and studied something deep and got into a profession. I started my own business. Anything I studied officially [00:32:00] could have been left behind – I could have taken it or leaven it. On the other hand, my desire to learn and the willingness to take courses and read books and really set my own curriculum and graciously learn has been critical to our success over the years.
That’s something that I just can’t help but think about the standard education systems as being detrimental rather than helpful, [00:32:30] setting people up for that kind of factory line of work that doesn’t exist anymore, memorization of facts, getting good at beating test scores and not really focusing on results or real application of what you’re learning in real life. How many young people today don’t know how to cook a meal, don’t know how to do their taxes, don’t know how to buy a plane ticket properly and plan a travel schedule. Just so many practical life things the school never bothered to teach them any of that.
Euvie: Not to mention how to run your own [00:33:00] business.
Euvie: Think for yourself.
Mike: I’ve taken one single two or three week course on entrepreneurship and it was so irrelevant and unhelpful. Everything is just on the go, learn as you go. I guess my point really is the education system’s another thing that gets… the assumptions about the education system is another thing that gets turned on its head. When you’ve been traveling around, you realize the skills we’ve [00:33:30] had to learn have nothing to do with standard education.
Euvie: Yeah. It’s really interesting, I’ve been thinking about how long-term travel, being a digital nomad, is a form of initiation because an initiation breaks your current worldview and assumptions and pushes your limits, then creates something new where you’re transformed as a result. Long-term travel does [00:34:00] the same thing where it just flips all your assumptions on their head and, over time, through struggle and trial and error you figure out how to do it differently. It’s definitely an initiation type experience.
Mike: Yeah, I suppose. As for its usefulness, it really depends on the type of travel. That’s critical I think. [00:34:30] Vacation does not count – living is what counts. It’s not really a common opportunity.
Euvie: No, it’s not. It isn’t. It’s something that has to be chosen at every point of the path it seems, and it has to be chosen over and over and over because we know lots of people who did a stint of living in Vietnam or Thailand for a year and then they went back.
Euvie: Or, maybe they go to Bali every winter for a few months but then they’re still based [00:35:00] in the US. That’s not the same thing. A lot of people definitely can’t handle it in the long run. There are downsides to it. I think one of them is loneliness, not having a stable community where everybody is transient and then you don’t have a whole lot in common with the locals. It can definitely get pretty lonely.
Mike: On the other hand, I keep thinking and I keep remembering [00:35:30] every time how much I have in common with young people. We have more in common in younger generations because of the internet and because of global culture and shared memes and shared jokes. Anyone can be on Reddit or YouTube and see the same things no matter where they are in the planet and everyone, for the most part, most people have a cell phone and have access to the internet out there. I find we have a lot more in common with people anywhere in the world if they’re just [00:36:00] of that generation who’s born into the internet and actively using it.
The what-we-have-in-common gap between people in the countries that we visit who are of a certain age is vast. It’s what people I think expect travel to be. The cultural difference is huge but it’s just simply not [00:36:30] the case with young people. I’m making friends lately with people who speak very little English but know all the same jokes. Lately, I’ve just been making one friend and we just joke around every day. There’s such a struggle to try and understand each other but when you get it it’s a lot of fun, because all the same references are understood. If you tried to do that with my parents [00:37:00] or I tried to do that with his parents, it wouldn’t work at all.
Euvie: Yeah. It seems that there’s an emergence of a global hive mind with young people.
Mike: Yeah, totally. Exactly. This is what gets me mostly excited about the future is this is a complete paradigm shift that’s just a time bomb, it’s just waiting to go off. The older generations die and get older and the younger generations takeover [00:37:30] and we just haven’t had… They’re not old enough yet to really make much of a difference.
Euvie: Or I would say that it’s partially that the older generation has still quite a stronghold on the power structures, because they own a lot of those structures. The young generation, I do think they have a lot of power but they just don’t realize it yet. [00:38:00] Because who controls the narrative controls the power a lot of the time.
Mike: Yeah, but no one controls the narrative anymore, that’s the funny thing. Do you think people who are spending… What kind of media do young people consume the most of? They’re not on TV, they’re not on CNN, they’re not on BBC, they’re not on Fox News. They’re on YouTube, they’re on Reddit, they’re on Twitch. They’re getting [00:38:30] their information from much more varied sources, although they do have the possibility of creating echo chambers, but it’s nothing like what happens in broadcast media.
Euvie: But the old power structures do have their tentacles in the new media formats for sure, with all the fake news and the twitter bots and the Facebook viral articles that are obviously propaganda. [00:39:00] It’s getting infiltrated and it’s getting very, very difficult to understand what is true and what isn’t. I don’t think we’ve reached a technological singularity yet, but I do think we’re living through a social singularity right now because nobody really understands what’s going on.
Mike: Right. Yeah, very true. I think we should probably wrap it up here. Anything else you wanted to say?
Euvie: I think my main interest in talking about this was just [00:39:30] to present a different version of reality or a different narrative that we have been living that exists, not to say that it’s better or perfect or without its challenges, but I remember before I became a digital nomad I didn’t realize that this kind of thing was possible. Then only by reading the Four Hour Work Week [00:40:00] did I realize that actually there are other people doing it. I can’t really say enough about what has happened from the time freedom that has come with this and the ability to just reflect. That’s been the most critical thing. If you can just figure out a way to get a little bit of your time back and then be taken out of your cultural context – family, friends, the environment that you’re in – and exist somewhere else and study something [00:40:30] important to you. That’s where all this really takes off, that’s where all of this is most interesting.
You don’t have to do what we do necessarily to get that. You could get that locally. You don’t necessarily have to travel but I’m just saying, to me, the most valuable thing has been the time to reflect. That’s number one. If I could give anything to everyone else, to anyone listening to this, that would be the thing – [00:41:00] not necessarily the variation of culture and the plane tickets and whatever, it would be figure out how to get some time away from your normal life, extended amount of time and take some courses, read some e-books and audio books.
Euvie: Yeah. I would say that, for me, the two most valuable things have been flipping what I thought [00:41:30] was the status quo on its head and it happened when I moved from Russia to Canada, but then it happened again when we left Canada to be digital nomads. How it’s not just one thing, because when one kind of narrative or status quo aspect of your life gets flipped on its head it makes you reflect on everything else. You’re like, “Oh, what other things am I assuming are true that aren’t?” It just makes you think about everything in your life, then you start noticing it everywhere that [00:42:00] there’s just all these assumptions that people are operating on that are just fairy-tales, they don’t exist. That’s the first thing. The second thing is learning to live with uncertainty.
Euvie: This is actually a huge, hugely important skill that I think is going to be really important going forward into the future, because the world is changing so fast and nobody really understands what’s going on, that I think being comfortable with uncertainty and being able to function in it [00:42:30] is going to be a really, really important skill going forward.
Mike: I agree. I take for granted how scared people are and how normalised this has become for us but how the risk taking behaviour that has been required to do any of this stuff has probably been a lot higher than average. I don’t know really what to say about that, it’s so normalised now. There’s very little… [00:43:00] I think one thing you realize, there are definitely downsides but things are never as bad as you think they’re going to be. With uncertainty doesn’t mean everything will fail and collapse and be the worst it could possibly be, the worst outcome. You can steer whether or not you know something is going to work perfectly, you can still steer it along the way. [00:43:30] Trusting a bit in your willingness and ability to adapt and do what is necessary and fix problems as they pop up and move toward where you want to go. Relying on yourself to do that has been such a fulfilling and growth activity for me, yeah. There’s no going back, there’s nothing that could possibly entice me to go back.
In this episode, we talk about our experiences with the digital nomad lifestyle and how it has shifted our perspectives on the world over the past six years.
This modern-day nomadism also relates to the tribal nomadic lifestyle that humans led for thousand of years before agriculture was invented. We discuss the benefits and downsides of this kind of life, and how our relationship to time, location, finances, education, future, different cultures, politics, and society have changed with the experience of being digital nomads.In the future there will be a lot more competition between the services of countries, because they want to attract intelligent people who bring value to a country. - @MikeGilliland Click To Tweet
In this Episode of Future Thinkers:
- How and why we became digital nomads
- The journey of attaining time freedom, financial freedom and location freedom
- Cultural differences between the East and West, and the relativity of global problems
- Ancient roots and causes of nomadic lifestyle
- Being adaptive as the crucial capacity of nomadic life
- Fostering variation, novelty, and making your life a creative exercise
- The future of states and services they provide for digital nomads
- Pros and cons of a nomadic lifestyle
- What is a radical self-responsibility mindset
- Implications of a nomadic lifestyle for child-rearing and education
- Long-term travel as a form of initiation
- Learning to live with uncertainty as a key skill for the future
- The Four-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join The New Rich, a book by Tim Ferris
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, a book by Yuval Noah Harari
More From Future Thinkers:
- FTP067: Becoming More Adaptive
- FTP064: Developing and Praciticing Your Self-Sovereignty
- FTP051: Vít Jedlička – Liberland: A Prototype for A Decentralized State
This Episode is Sponsored By: