Its weird to start writing a travel blog before I even leave but in the narcissistic spirit of the age, I thought I’d kick things off with a little about me, where I’m planning on going and why you should care.
Who are you?
Hey, i’m Seb, a 26-year-old mess with good intentions, big ambitions and a reckless streak. After a recent life event, i paused a promising career working in a major London e-commerce team, boxed up my things and left the country to reassess.
I needed to find a bit of meaning in the wider world, I wanted to travel and I had to find a way to earn money as I did it. This was all rather ominous and confusing like that 3am post kebab burp or when your Uber driver swerves up smelling of Sambuca at 11am. Fortunately, upon these realisations I did (kind of) have a goal.
Go Digital Nomad: Live the dream, earn the bank and explore the world. 😁
If the hype was legit and I played my cards right all i’d need was my laptop, my phone and a bucket load of tenacity. Right?
Step 1 – Money
So, this particular life event left me down several thousand pounds across different credit cards and in a pretty terrible physical and emotional state. It felt like I was starting back at square one. This life that I’d built over the past 4 years was in tatters. I was depressed and spent a month getting my head together, watching the debt pile up as I defaulted on repayments and continued to spiral out.
I had to pay off that debt but I didn’t want to go back to the old job, so I started doing anything I could to earn money and try new things. Gardening, DIY, pub shifts, cleaning, ANYTHING. It sucked and at first I was barely scraping together enough for repayments let alone working down the debt. But it was also quite liberating, I was doing things I’d never done before, learning useful skills, and paying my way bit by bit.
It didn’t take long for me to drift back to one of my key passions for inspiration: The internetz. ❤
I tried loads of different ideas which required 0 capital. User testing, (really sporadic), surveys (awful), VA work, (too competitive, poor pay) affiliate marketing and dropshipping via shopify amongst other things. The dropshipping in particular was a useful learning experience but ultimately it still required money to advertise (SEO being a slow burner) and unfortunately, i was impatient and had been hoping for a short term play.
I decided that I needed to educate myself more so bought a few udemy.com courses to sharpen my digital marketing and financial skills and this was when my mum suggested taking a TEFL qualification. I looked into this and realised there were jobs where you could teach English online from anywhere in the world and earn an ok paycheck. I had a starting point.
I got a distinction in my TEFL qualification in about a month, tailored my CV and started applying. Another month later and i was teaching 3+ hours a day and the pay was double what i’d been getting in pub / gardening work etc.
Step 2 – More money
Square 2 was to step further away from the ‘take anything i can get’ mentality. I found real joy in teaching and this gave me the boost I needed to get take the next step. I started offering my services to small companies to improve their digital offerings – this meant an hourly rate slightly better than the teaching. (I charged a low rate initially to build up a client base through case studies)
Now i had two revenue streams and had managed to get myself to a position where i was debt free AND had money in the bank.
Step 3 – Full Nomad
Square 3 is the shift into full nomad and it’s still ongoing. There’s the kit, the route, the people, the writing. the different projects and the beautiful locations all still being worked through. This is where both the adventure and the blog begin.
Cool story bro, but why?
This is my first proper stab at blogging. I know there’s nothing new about the idea and my biz head winces at the idea of diving into such a heavily saturated market. Fuck that though. I want to do it, it makes me happy to have a creative outlet and i like the idea of connecting with people and spreading some positivity.
Where you go, bro?
The rough plan is to explore Europe working my way through Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungry, Austria, Croatia, Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and then briefly back to the UK through France to explore Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I’ll be doing this in the winter because this is how not to travel not a place in the sun ffs.
Then in early 2019 the real fun begins, NZ, Aus and as much of Asia and America as I can fit in.
Ok, but why?
This project is fundamentally about two things: Freedom (Be it financial, physical or spiritual) and fun.
Every week i’ll bring you lucky sausages:
– An update on what i’ve learned and seen on my own nomadic adventures. Including Tips, tricks and pitfalls for you to avoid on your own journey.
– The latest cock up – what went wrong and why?
– I also want to get a short interview with someone from a different part of the world with their take on life, love, music and/or business… But we’ll see if I can convince people to buy in to a random interview with a quirky British bloke.
Who are you writing for?
I’m writing for people who want to escape the 9-5 and people who want evidence that this ‘digital nomad’ thing is actually workable. I’m writing for the trapped, the hopeless and the unprepared.
I’m also writing for myself. The project is a creative outlet, a way to document my development and a way to give back after years of passive content consumption. In the spirit of transparency If the unthinkable happens and this project takes off then I do plan on monetising at some point down the line, but it will only ever be with affiliate links and ads that are relevant.
But what about us, bruh?
It’d be jokes to hear about your own adventures and get your take on mine – please join me for the ride in whichever medium you prefer, Instagram: (how_not_to_travel), YouTube: (Coming soon) or of course the blog here.
Tomorrow i leave on my adventure. Loads will go tits up, but that’s part of the fun.
Stay groovy, stay tuned and observe how not to travel.