I thought traveling around was pretty amazing and I said: "Why couldn't this become my lifestyle?". And so, it became my life.
DIGITAL NOMAD PROFILE
NAME: Jeremy Noronha
TYPE OF DIGITAL NOMAD: Business Owner + Consultant
NAME OF THE COMPANY: Think Travel Lift Grow, SEO Consulting
SECTOR: Content creator (blogging and vlogging) and marketing
CURRENT LOCATION: Vientiane, Laos
NEXT LOCATION: Danang, Vietnam
FAVORITE LOCATION: Too many to pick a single one
TRAVELING: Most of the time alone but also travel with friends sometimes
AVERAGE MONTHLY SALARY: 4000$ between my consulting and blog, but it’s rising as my businesses are expanding
When did you decide to become a Digital Nomad and why? What did you do before?
I decided that I wanted to travel full time in January 2016 after going backpacking across India. I just thought it was pretty amazing and I was always amazed and inspired by all the stories I used to read about people traveling the world and I thought: "Why couldn't I do it too?".
I began traveling and working full time in April 2016, I was 18 years old then. I was studying engineering, but I dropped out when I realized that my degree wouldn’t help me towards the goals I wanted to achieve in my life.
Tell me more about your current job. How did you start?
Currently I run a travel blog called Think Travel Lift Grow (www.thinktravelliftgrow.com) where I write about my adventures around the world, like climbing the world 3rd highest mountain with everything I own and meeting the Dalai Lama! I started the blog in March 2016 and I put a lot of effort in growing it and eventually it grew to cover my expenses.
I also do SEO consulting for businesses. My blog is only 13 months old, but it comes on the first page of Google for most queries and on the second page for high competition ones like “how to make money traveling”!
As my blog grew to cover my expenses, I have a lot of free time now and hence started a new project called The #CoffeeWithJeremy Show where I go around the world for the next couple of years, visiting the best cafes and coffee farms and vlogging about coffee!
What kind of tools do you use to be productive? How many hours per week do you usually work? How do you find your clients?
I use the app (OFFTIME) on my phone to block non-work related apps when working! I don’t really work a fixed number of hours, most of my time is spent backpacking and traveling. I usually spend a month in a single city, do a bit of high intensity work, i.e. 5-6 hours/day, and then spend a couple of weeks backpacking. Most of my work is doing stuff I like, such as drinking coffee, writing about traveling and engaging with my community! I absolutely love doing that so it doesn’t really feel like work. I leave money on the table by not working more, but I’d rather just do what I love.
On the consulting side, I just started it with a few clients, but I get most of my them by networking and referrals. Networking in real life as well as online.
The first time I ever made money was by learning to build websites from Youtube and Google and building websites for cafes and hotels. I got my first clients not thanks to some “secret” or a “hack”, but actual hard work. I typed cafe *city name* into Google and made a list of all the cafes, then filtered down to the ones which were active on social media, e.g. Facebook. Checked off the ones that had a website and finally I was left with a list of cafes that understood the benefits of marketing on the Internet and would benefit from a website. Now that I had a list, I then went to the cafes and tried to convey about how having a website would benefit them. At the end of the day, I had a client. At the same time, my friends and fans of my blog who have 10X-100X the level of skill I did are complaining about not being able to get clients.
It's about doing the things most people aren't willing to do, to live a life most people won't ever get to live. I don’t believe there is a “secret” to success, it's only correlated to hard work.
How do you choose the next locations?
I don’t really plan, I am going to Danang, in Vietnam, however that was planned yesterday. I just travel around and if I come to a place that I like, I usually decide to live there for a while. Having an Indian passport, I do have to occasionally worry about the visa issues but other than I rarely do any planning.
Which are your passions? What do you do in your free time?
I like lifting weights, when I was 17 I used to powerlift and I won a state level powerlifting competition and used to deadlift around 4X my body weight. As I travel around I rarely get to workout but I do like getting a good session in the gym when I live in a place for a while.
I like trekking and surfing, I’m thinking of climbing the world’s highest mountain pass with everything I own on my back. Practicing mindfulness and reading are also huge passions.
What’s the worst part of being a Digital Nomad?
There are a lot of bad things: visas, relationships, loneliness! However, I used to think about the positive things, which made answering this question very hard for me. But if I had to give a single answer I would say relationships. It’s a little hard (not impossible) to always be in contact with old friends and also form new deep long lasting relationships while on the road.
What’s your advice to somebody who wants to become a Digital Nomad?
The advice I would give is based on my own personal experience. Pick a skill that you like or at least one you are interested in and use Internet to become very good at the said skill and then start doing it for other people that will benefit from it. Start with the mindset of providing value instead of just lining your pockets and you will succeed.
Also take care as you explore the waters, there are a lot of bullshits about sitting on a beach, making millions in your sleep without doing anything, stuff like that is extremely prevalent however it doesn’t really exist. Provide value to other people, that’s what it’s all about!