Getting out of the rat race

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2 years ago

Getting out of the rat race

If you are a Digital Nomad, like me, This text will be really good for you.

When faced with this new mold of life and work, the first excuse 90% of people use is: “I don't have the money to travel. Traveling is expensive.” This is reasonable reasoning at first glance, but one that can easily be disproven. People using this argument haven't realized that they've been spending a lot more money being stationary than if they were traveling. Living in the traditional mold of big cities is expensive, very expensive. And traveling can be surprisingly cheaper if you're smart. Digital Nomads use the exchange in their favor and thus become “rich” without having to work harder. How do they manage? One of the most effective ways is to travel and live in countries where the currency is worth less than the currency in which they receive their money. And with globalization, places that were once dangerous for travelers now welcome tourists from all over the world and are probably as safe or safer than where you live.

To prove to you that traveling doesn't necessarily have to be more expensive than staying in one place, we made some calculations. We consider the average expenses of an executive, who has his own popular car that is used every day to get to and from work, and who lives for rent in a central area of ​​a large city like São Paulo. 5000R$ or 1000USD (Of course, this is an approximate calculation, and the amounts can change upwards or downwards depending on one's personal expenses).

Now, we compare the expenses with those of a person who lives in one of the most visited cities in Thailand – Chiang Mai. The values ​​were calculated according to this website.

(In addition to these expenses, it is also worth considering the price of a one-way ticket from Brazil to Chiang Mai, which is an average of R$ 3,742.00 or 750USD. You theoretically only pay once, and if it is not feasible, you can always choose places closer to Brazil with cheaper tickets or 12 installments)

If you don't agree with the values ​​used in the calculations we made in the example above, there is an addictive website called Expatistan, on which you can compare the cost of living in cities around the world all with one click. We made a comparison between São Paulo and Chiang Mai, and the result is alarming: according to the website, living in the city of São Paulo is 86% more expensive than living in Chiang Mai. Living in São Paulo is also 72% more expensive than in Buenos Aires; 49% more expensive than living in Florianópolis, 32% more expensive than in Santiago, Chile; and approximately the same as living in the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA (considering that it is a first-world country, it is an interesting fact).


In other words, you can see that traveling doesn't always have to be expensive. And if you can keep working via the internet and getting paid in a more valued currency, then – BINGO! – the difference increases even more. That means if your best argument for not having a Digital Nomad life was money, now you're going to have to come up with a new excuse.

Okay, but how do I get there?

Now that you know that you don't want to live a life in the way that society expects from everyone, and that you've proven that living in a big city in Brazil can be much more expensive than living in other fantastic destinations in the world whose currency is less valued, it's time to think about the next steps to having the life you've always thought only rich or special people could have.

To be a Digital Nomad, you first need to adapt your work so that it can be done virtually. In many cases, only a few adjustments are needed. Tools such as smartphones, tablets, Kindle, Google Drive, Dropbox, Notebooks, Skype, Bankline, 4G, email, Paypal, among others, allow several functions to be done online. That means you don't have to be inside an office to be productive.

If you have a job and you know it could be done virtually, talk to your boss with the argument that it will be less costly and more productive in this change. If even though you agree that your presence at the office is just a luxury, he won't let you work from home, then change jobs. This is concrete proof that you are not valued in your current job.

If your current job requires you to be present at the office or other physical environment, then quit, change jobs, or create a new job, project, or way to earn money.

If you're running out of ideas, here's a list of professions that allow you to take a traveler's lifestyle and earn money working for companies and people around the world. There are opportunities both for those who want to undertake and create their business, as well as for those who prefer to be an employee. See some of them:

  • - Freelance writer, for newspapers, magazines, websites; (ex: if you are very good at writing, Portuguese or languages)

  • - Proofreader;

  • - Writer of ebooks on subjects you understand;

  • - Counter;

  • - Online language teacher; (eg if you are very good in English or another language)

  • - Translator;

  • - Web designer;

  • - Programmer;

  • - Online photo seller in image banks; (ex: if the best thing you can do is take fantastic pictures)

  • - Consultant in different areas such as online marketing, finance, health, fitness, decoration, business and hundreds of other possibilities;

  • - Seller of online courses of the subjects you understand, whatever they are;

  • - Online store seller (ex: go selling things you buy in nice places during the trip!);

  • - Stock investor; (eg if you already have good money)

  • - Event organizer/Promoter;

  • - Travel agent / Guide for foreigners;

  • - Digital press advisor for global companies and personalities;

  • - Elementary and high school teacher for children of couples who travel a lot or who do not like the traditional educational system;

  • - Teacher/Consultant for young people who are taking entrance exams (ex: charge monthly fees and package hours/class via Skype);

  • - Remote technical support. (ex: If what you do best is to fix computers, remove viruses and increase the performance of a hardware, there are millions of people who would calmly pay a few reais a month for someone else to solve this for them via VPN);

These are a few examples, but there are thousands more. And if there isn't a job that suits your passions yet, then it's up to you to invent it. Life is a countdown and you can't waste time on things that don't make you happy. It's not as difficult as most people think. You'll be amazed at how many people have managed to do this in the most creative, fun and unexpected ways possible [visit our entrepreneurship category for inspiration].

If you've spent too much time giving your life away to do something that doesn't complete you, now is the time to redesign your days around the things that make you truly happy. Of course, it's impossible to work 100% of the time happily. Work is work, regardless of whether you like it or not. Even people who work with what they want, have to perform repetitive functions, and tasks they don't enjoy. The story of doing what you love so that you don't have to work anymore is a bit of an illusion. To be good at something and gain recognition, both financially and personally, takes a lot of effort. We really believe in that theory that success is the result of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. So doing what you love won't make you work less. In fact, in many cases, it can even make you work harder, it's true. But, the rewards are huge. When you do things that few people do (or dare to do), you reap fruits that few people do. And in the end it comes down to this: since we can't stop working, then let's at least make this activity as pleasurable and fulfilling as possible.

Getting Rid of the Moorings

One of the frequent questions that arise when people think about this model of life adopted by Digital Nomads is: how do I pack everything I have in my suitcase? What do I do with my stuff?

To be a Digital Nomad, you need to get rid of the useless things that you accumulate during your life. Everything you belong to enslaves you, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's emblematic phrase said: “You become eternally responsible for what you captivate”. Things like a plasma TV, a leather sofa, a bookcase full of books, a variety of furniture, a car, a dishwasher, a closet with 54 pairs of shoes, among other things society has led us to believe that they would be necessary for happiness, they end up being our prison.

We have to admit that having these things is actually pretty cool, but after a while of use, they just become objects. The happiness generated by acquiring these things is momentary and volatile. After you've set up your entire house, chances are you'll realize that those things don't bring you happiness. He doubts? So think about it this way: if you had to choose between giving up your freedom or your balcony grill, which would you choose? Or even better – when imagining yourself on your deathbed, what would you like to have done more? Bought a new leather sofa and changed my car, or traveled more, experienced new cultures, eaten different foods, visited heavenly places and amazing cities, met memorable people, among other things we can only do when traveling? I can guess the answer.

To be a Digital Nomad, you might have to give up some of your belongings and make some smart trades. For example, paper books are great but not practical. Invest in a kindle and you can read as many books as you want in your backpack, without carrying any weight, and on top of that, pay less, generating more savings. Working with your huge computer can be comfortable, but a notebook will allow you to work with views you would never get from your living room or home office. Having a landline can be economical, but services like Skype also allow you to make all kinds of calls around the world for a very affordable price. To be a Digital Nomad you need to use all the technological resources so that you are as free as possible and have fewer things that hold you in one place.

If you want to contain expenses, you may also have to leave your house and choose a smaller place as a fixed base. If you have your own home, you can choose to sell it and buy a more modest property, or rent it (with long contracts or with temporary options, such as those offered by sites like Airbnb) and reinvest the money in your accommodation around the world. . If you pay rent and are keen to continue to have a base, you can choose a cheaper home. If your things do not fit in a smaller property, there is the possibility of leaving them in storage. This is a less radical and more comfortable option for those who want to be a Digital Nomad, but it does not rule out the possibility of returning to a fixed base in the future.

For the bravest, the option is obvious – sell everything and keep only what can be carried in your backpack, putting the money in solid investments. Despite requiring greater detachment, this is a well-suited option as it avoids extra expenses that can be invested in travel.

For many Digital Nomads it doesn't make sense to leave a house closed with furniture, as they only return there once a year. These people then decide to exchange a fixed address for a house with a much larger backyard – the world.

Breaking away from material possessions (or are they prisons?) may be a painful process at first, but it is liberating. What do you get in return? Amsterdam. Bali. Florianopolis. Buenos Aires. Cartagena. Tokyo. Budapest. Fernando de Noronha. Berlin. San Francisco. New York. The world. In short – your freedom. And a memorable life.


Who are we and is it really worth redesigning your life in search of happiness?

Scholars and scholars from all areas have tried for centuries to unravel the meaning of life, however, no one has been able to come up with a concrete answer to this question. Therefore, we can only think that the main objective of all this is to be happy. And happiness is not a definitive state – happiness is a sum of good times. So it's up to us to collect as many happy moments as we can.

We once heard what stuck in our memory as the best definition of happiness – being happy is being where you would like to be, doing what you would like to be doing. Everything else is a waste of time.

That concept has been hammering around in our heads for some time. Our story, by the way, is very similar to that of a lot of people. I (Jaque Barbosa) was an English teacher and Eme Viegas was advertising in the biggest agencies in São Paulo. We both had nice jobs, with decent salaries, and a clear professional growth projection. Basically, we had to continue to do what we were doing, so that each day we had better jobs, a promising career and a guaranteed retirement. Still, we had a hole in our chest. A strange feeling of waste and of losing something took hold of us every day. In the beginning, we tried to ignore it, let it go, take the easy way out. But if it takes courage to fulfill your dreams, it takes perhaps even greater courage to remain static and ignore the calls of life that nudge you every time you realize you're not doing the best you could with it. Our life was great, apart from the fact that the best of it happened during breaks. The moments when we felt truly alive and inspired were the ones that happened after hours. On weekends. In the holidays. On vacation. It was then that we concluded that life was too short to be happy just in between. We wanted to be completely happy.

We scraped together a little money, quit our job, and immersed ourselves in personal projects that we truly believed in. Thus was born “Casal Sem Vergonha“, which today is the largest Brazilian website focused on relationships, and “Hypeness“, the first and largest website in Brazil focused on innovation and creativity. Of course, both projects didn't get 7.5 million visitors a month together out of the blue. It took a lot of perseverance, hard work and determination to make it happen. And, above all, it took courage to leave the trail already traced by other people, to open ours with a machete, facing all the dangers of an unexplored terrain, but also reaping fruits that most people are unable to harvest.

From the beginning, the main objective of creating the projects was to conquer our freedom and be able to work from anywhere in the world. We dreamed of the day when we could work both from a café in Amsterdam and from a waterfall in Chapada Diamantina. That was one of the main goals from the beginning.

So, when we managed to keep ourselves only with the projects, approximately 1 year and a half after they were created, we moved from São Paulo to a house in an agrovila in Ilhabela, surrounded by nature in every corner.

Our co-workers were toucans and parrots, and our brainstorm room was on the balcony with a panoramic view of the ocean. The initial idea was to spend only 2 months there – we stayed for a year and a half. We felt the call to leave again, and this time we went to Europe. We spent 4 months working and living in cities like Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Our daily workday was the same as when we were based in São Paulo, but the view from the office and free time was surreally more fun. Life then made sense again.

With the certainty that we never wanted to see the same view from the window every day again, and that we didn't just want to travel on vacation, we packed our bags and adopted a new lifestyle. If work is necessary and if traveling is the thing that makes us most happy, then we were determined to follow that call. Thus was born our third project, Digital Nomads, dedicated to showing fantastic places around the world that deserve to be visited and inspiring people by showing new possibilities to earn money and live a real life.

Perhaps one of the curses of discovering that life can be so much more fun when you have the freedom to be wherever you want is that it's a one-way street. Once the portal is opened, it is hardly possible to adapt again to an apathetic life. Buddhists believe that we live our lives as if we live inside an eggshell. Just as a chick that hasn't hatched has few clues about the meaning of life, most of us have only a vague sense of the huge world we live in and all the possibilities that surround us. Deciding to go in search of happiness is to break the eggshell and be reborn. The past, confined and limited, is left behind, making room for a universe of discoveries. The shell exists for everyone, but only those who are aware of its existence can break it and free themselves.

Before closing, a parenthesis, in case you're thinking: "But living this easy, you must be "Daddy's little children!"

When we share our story, many people argue that it's easy for us, as we probably come from wealthy families that support us. A mistake. We were both born into middle-class families. We never lacked anything, but we had financial limitations. Everything we built was through our daily grating.

When we started our company, we had nothing. We didn't have investment, we didn't have the support of influential people, we didn't have experience, we didn't have Dad's allowance. When the dream came about, and when we saw the possibility of making it come true, we started to raise money so that we had a resource, in case things took longer to work out than we thought. We leave wages and stable careers, to bet on a dream, without any guarantee. The only thing we were sure of was that we wanted it so badly, that we would find a way to get it.

Maybe for cosmic help (or from God, or from the universe, or whatever you want to call it), whenever we were on the verge of hanging, when we knew that money we had would not be enough for the next month, something came up (an action, a invitation, a hire) that got us out of the red, and allowed us to keep going longer, without having to go back to our old jobs to pay the bills. That's where we understand that concept that when you're following what makes you happy, you connect with the flow of the universe, and things in an inexplicable way, work out.

During this period of uncertainty, we had to deal daily with insecurity, fear, family pressure, people's judgment, financial limitations, among other challenges. By not bowing down to them, we grow stronger. And that allowed us to get where we are today.

This is just the beginning

There is still a lot more to talk about this new model of life and work, and this blog was created precisely to inspire people and show that if so many people did it, so can you. Having an incredible life working, traveling and fulfilling your dreams in the most fantastic places on the planet is no longer a utopia. The first, and perhaps most important, step in the process is recognizing that you want to change. It's accepting the fact that you've spent your entire existence to this day living as people expect you to live – without even asking you if this model would make you happy – and wanting to get out of that cycle. It's thinking of you first and reminding yourself daily that you can and deserve to have a fantastic life.


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2 years ago


This is an eye-opener. Once we discover that we deserve a better chance at life, then we can live above where we are.

Thanks for this enlightening post. I gained a lot

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