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White collar nomads
Old 07-31-2007, 08:07 AM   #1
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White collar nomads

Another interesting article about unconventional working environments: Extreme telecommuting - August 1, 2007
People who live this lifestyle must like to travel but the same benefits can be enjoyed from just moving to another country. Instead they travel from place to place and never really settle down and develop a social life.
Other than that I admire people that have an optomistic outlook on life to sell everything and head to the ends of the earth in search of freedom. I'm sure many of them don't have a million dollars in the bank but I imagine they probably live like they do in these foreign countries.



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There's one big advantage of taking your job on the road: You can feel rich, even if you're not. With no mortgage or rent, and given the low cost of living in many countries, a little money can go a long way. "I've managed to save a lot because I'm not living in London," Page says. Taxes, of course, must still be paid. Professional wanderers file in their country of citizenship.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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With so many white collar jobs requiring more and more travel as part of the job, why telecommute at all?

I despise traveling and frequently have to travel for work. Oh, goodie. :confused: Houston is practically my second home at this point, and you will often find me in places like Monterey, San Francisco, Miami Beach, and coastal New Jersey (to name a few from the past two years). I'd rather be telecommuting at home in comfort, but it will never happen.

It is beyond me why so many of us are required to drag ourselves half way across the country to attend face to face meetings, when technology is as advanced as it is.
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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There is a sub-class of contract software/engineers that don't have a real home and just go to where the work is. They get work for a few months and either negotiate temporary housing/hotels or live cheaply as as someones roommate. The best of them specialize in an in-demand skill such as database software. They stay connected with friends and family through the Internet and text messaging.

These people (mostly 20-somethings) can collect very high (even outrageous) pay often with very large bonuses upon project completion. They can stash away and invest vast quantities of cash. Some have been known to retire very young, as early as 30-something.

However this lifestyle is not for everyone.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:21 PM   #4
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I have been living "on the road" and working for 2 years. I have been to 5 continents & 17 countries during this time. For me it was both a financial and lifestyle decision. I qualified for Expat status because I was out of the country for 330 days in a calendar year so I was able to invest those savings into my business. The ability to live in places where the cost of living was low also allowed me to save more.

I adapt pretty well and have my lifestyle reflected the situations I was in. I spent a month in Back Packers (like hostels) in Australia, rented a 5 bedroom villa in Brazil, nice apartments in Buenos Aires, Bungalows on the beach in Thailand, tiny hotel rooms in Singapore, a decent hotel in Nice & Cannes, high fashion boutique hotels in Barcelona and Copenhagen, a comfortable budget hotel in Malmo, Sweden, my Mom's friends apartment in Stockholm (while she was at their summer home in the country), etc. I like to find bargains and quickly learned that I wanted to be in these places in "shoulder season" when the prices are low but the weather is nice. I am currently in Argentina and experiencing my first winter since 2005 (I kept switching across the equator following the sun).

Life on the road is better with a VoIP phone (I use Vonage, it works great), IPTV (I use Slingbox connected to a Tivo at my Dad's house), and with email, Skype, wifi, you can stay connected anywhere. Knowing about technology helps as you have to figure out connections sometimes, like in Thailand where I bought 40 hours of internet service via EDGE on my cellphone and it was tricky to setup, but it did work in very remote places.

I have met amazing people along the way who will be lifelong friends and a wonderful girlfriend in Brazil who is now traveling with me. I have learned an immense amount about the economies, cultures, and politics of the countries I have visited and the ability to form my opinions from first hand information is amazing since it is not washed out through the media. There are some tremendous business opportunities out there!

The things I missed the most were my family (Mom, Dad, Sister, her Husband and their kids), my friends, and food (I know they have good steaks here but I want some BBQ). Another thing that is interesting is the fact that traveling like this is kind of like one loooong vacation, I can't relax/party very much and continue to be productive. My friends that have come to visit me want to go out and live a more indulgent life that week they are on vacation, that is not what life on the road is like (unless you are a rock star or have better tolerance for hang overs). I have to stay focused and there have been plenty of times when my friends wanted to go out and I had to work through the weekend. So it's not drinks at the hula hut on the beach every night...

My favorite places so far (in no particular order) are:
  • Ilha Grande, Brasil
  • Queensland, Australia
  • Normandie, France
  • Antibes & Monaco (amazing to see those Yachts)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Malmo & Stockholm, Sweden
I will finish my 2nd year in a few weeks and head back to Dallas. Then I will take some time to determine my next move. I miss having tools and being able to build or restore things. My sister's kids are also growing up (1 and 3) while I am gone but they will be more fun to play with in a couple years anyway.

There are still many corners of the world that I want to visit. So much to learn, so many people to meet and cultures to understand. I don't know how to sum up all my experiences but I certainly think I broadened my vision in these travels. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is able to work remotely and likes to learn.

Here are some photos from my trip, if you click on the image it will take you to more photos from that location:


Nyköping, Sweden 2006



Copenhagen 2006


France & Spain 2006



Thailand 2006



Australia 2006



Brazil 2006



Chile 2005


Buenos Aires 2005
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:01 AM   #5
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I totally get why these people live this lifestyle.

We have always moved a lot, I have lived in 7 countries and moved 23 times. DH and I were talking on the weekend about how bored we are living here in SoCal. We are counting down the days until we leave, only thing holding us here is we are on really good money. That money stream would probably continue for years to come, but we are so over it and look forward to the life of a nomad. At this time we are planning on living in 3 months blocks going wherever our budget will allow us to accommodate what we fancy.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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Nice pics Andy. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Houston is practically my second home at this point,
And you should give thanks every night for that blessing.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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It is beyond me why so many of us are required to drag ourselves half way across the country to attend face to face meetings, when technology is as advanced as it is.
I sense this has hindered my business because some people cannot get business done without that bullshit face to face meeting which is a lot harder to setup when you are 6,000 miles away. I don't like the act of traveling that much (carrying luggage, long flights, etc) but once I arrive I settle for 3 months and work from the couch or dining room table.

I still have to decide what to do for 2008. Do I go for a third year abroad or stay home. One major factor in hitting the road is to get away from all the political media in 2008. It sure would be nice to get my dose on the internet and not have to have some campaign slogan pounded into my head. Let's not divert this thread about politics, I was just stating that is going to be a big factor in my decision to keep going or not.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:01 PM   #9
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Houston is practically my second home at this point
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And you should give thanks every night for that blessing.
Oh, I do....

Nothing like the crowds at good ol' Hobby or battling the worse/fastest/rudest rush hour traffic in the entire universe through the downtown area while driving a gutless rental car, to brighten MY day. Yep. Traffic is terrible at ANY hour on ANY size of street in Houston, and there is seldom any place to pull over and check a map to find out where you are going. Also, no matter what you order in the hotel restaurants, it's fixed Mexican style. Even steak. Oh, and speaking of Hobby, they have different rules about what you can put in your carryon than any other airport in the country does. You would not believe the stuff they have scolded me about and then let me take on anyway, like they were doing me a big favor.

Actually, Houston is very nice, and I like Houstonians - - it's just that traveling there on business is an experience I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Usually the only saving grace is the one What-a-burger per trip that I allow myself, to compensate for the torture of being there in the first place. Love those What-a-Burgers.
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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You forgot the rattlesnakes, scorpions and killer cockroaches.
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:54 PM   #11
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...and the chiggers.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:06 PM   #12
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We need like a giant pics thread, where everyone can post their photos from traveling, always enjoy looking at those.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:14 PM   #13
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I sense this has hindered my business because some people cannot get business done without that bullshit face to face meeting which is a lot harder to setup when you are 6,000 miles away. I don't like the act of traveling that much (carrying luggage, long flights, etc) but once I arrive I settle for 3 months and work from the couch or dining room table.

I still have to decide what to do for 2008. Do I go for a third year abroad or stay home. One major factor in hitting the road is to get away from all the political media in 2008. It sure would be nice to get my dose on the internet and not have to have some campaign slogan pounded into my head. Let's not divert this thread about politics, I was just stating that is going to be a big factor in my decision to keep going or not.
Can I ask what it is that you do that requires/allows you to move around so much?

BTW, thanks for the pics from Brazil. My classmates' Brazil trip pics that they have put on Picasa are of the highly PC variety, not like yours. Thank you for your appreciation of the women's, ahem, harder to fake parts.
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Old 08-13-2007, 10:31 PM   #14
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Can I ask what it is that you do that requires/allows you to move around so much?
Online forum management like this community.
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BTW, thanks for the pics from Brazil. My classmates' Brazil trip pics that they have put on Picasa are of the highly PC variety, not like yours. Thank you for your appreciation of the women's, ahem, harder to fake parts.
They are simply for cultural purposes
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