Guest Post by Biorn Tjallen
Paraphrasing Thomas Kohnstamm and the great succèss de scandale of 2008 – Do Travel Writers Go To Hell – seemed an apt introduction to a few lines about the moral hazards and entertainment value of a job that ought to attract more travelling entrepreneurs: content writing.
Kohnstamm – who had worked for Lonely Planet – chronicled his gradual fall from the ethical standards most travel publishers claim to embrace. The result was hugely entertaining gonzo, and a treasure trove of broken professional taboos. My favorite is a picturesque example of Kohnstamm neglecting the travel writer’s first rule of integrity: never trade positive reviews for favors! Surveying restaurants for a guidebook update in Brazil, Kohnstamm is still at his post after closing hours and gets laid with a waitress on a table. The updated entry exudes full customer satisfaction, noting how “the table service is friendly”.
Guest Post by Biorn Tjallen
Make professional virtue your habit!
Perhaps it was the subtle swells of the Ionian Sea – gently rocking the ferry back from Greece – that inspired me to read about Aristotle’s disagreement with Socrates. My heartfelt accord with his point, however, was simply the result of painful personal experience. I had been unforgivably lazy, lying there in the Peleponesian sun. It had cost me a great assignment, damaged an important professional contact and broken the back of my already reeling finances. I could have screamed to the waves that Aristotle was right: The fact that you know what you ought to does not mean that you will actually do it!
As a TravelTrep, you know one thing for sure….
Having money come in on auto-pilot is what allows you to have a more care-free life and gives you the FREEDOM to explore the world.
One of the best ways to do this is to sell digital information. Sometimes it can be a tough sell if you aren’t able to properly explain or “show” a prospect what they will be getting. This online program that makes info product graphics is what I (JSE) have used to dramatically increase my sales. It lets you tell your story in a much more compelling way.
Guest Post by Cameron Conaway
My fiancée Maggie and I were at a Thai restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were two burnt out teachers and we were only in our mid-twenties. She was finishing her second year working at a boarding school for kids with learning disabilities – a job that was often twenty-four hours a day for five or six days a week – and I’d been teaching for several years all over the place – from Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to high schools in Tucson, Arizona and, most recently, for several online universities. The tipping point occurred as we dove into our spring rolls and pad Thai.
Maggie’s eyes filled with tears. Her face was angelic; these were not tears of stress.
“Are you okay, babe?” I asked.
“Yeah. I just…I know what’s next for me. I know what I need.”
She looked around and I followed her eyes into the Buddha and temple relics. Her eyes came back to mine:
“I need to move abroad and teach. Are you joining me?”
Europe and the US are not that different, despite, of course, the obvious social, political and linguistic comparisons. Europeans’ love affair with technology rivals our own here in the USA, and so technologically speaking; you won’t be in for any major surprises. However, there are some important considerations worth knowing, whether you’re a traveling entrepreneur, a digital nomad or a summer backpacker.
Power Sockets and Plugs
In the US, we are all used to our 2-pronged electricity socket, serving out 120 volts of glorious electricity. However, in Europe, that serving increases from between 220 to 240 volts, and so, as you can imagine, an adaptor is wholly necessary. Even for trivial items, such as a phone charger, iPod docking station or a hair dryer, an adaptor should always be used as they are not simply a means of being able to fit the prongs into the odd shaped holes. Should you plug in a device without an appropriate adaptor to regulate the electricity flow, the result will most likely be the complete short-circuiting of the supply to the room/building, and even in some cases rendering the device you plugged in completely inoperable – something you definitely don’t want to happen to your MacBook Pro, right?
International travel always requires a certain amount of deliberation: where you are going, how to get there, what to see etc. However, when traveling as a digital nomad, with a business to uphold whilst abroad, it can be especially confusing to know where to start. With that in mind, based on personal experience, here is your top 10 most important need-to-knows about traveling to Europe.
1. English is Commonly Spoken, but it pays to try the Local Language
With a complicated melting pot of dozens of different languages, Europeans naturally require some sort of lingua franca. Thankfully, English has taken hold in Europe as the language of diplomacy, and so most people (especially in Western Europe) will speak both their native language and English. However, it is considered rude in most countries to not at least try and communicate in the native tongue, so it is certainly worth trying to learn choice phrases, or trying to achieve a comfortable level of another European language; Europe will reward you for the effort.
Lessons are plenty when following a nomadic lifestyle. Every day can present new horizons; stripping away the realities of yesterday and presenting you with a lovely new set of rules from which to learn from. Unlike in a standard nine to five job, intertwining your job with your lifestyle opens up whole new possibilities for personal growth, and here’s 10 things we have learned from our time as digital nomads.
1. The world isn’t as big as you think
Wherever we have lived, friends, family and the comforts of home have only ever been a click away. Through the speed in which international travel can be conducted, these days, to the variety of social apps and websites on the market today, no matter where you are you’re connected with those who matter.
Guest post by Nick Hilden
The first time I ever went to Europe, I was a college student going to Paris for several months of study. I had not traveled all that much, and I ended up packing foolishly. When I decided take a break from my studies to visit Barcelona, the recollection of dragging my overstuffed suitcase through the streets caused me to reassess my situation. I threw out full sized bottles of shampoo, gave away most of my books (especially the 3,000 page volume of Proust), left behind my heavy coat (It was the middle of June. Why had I brought a down jacket?), and cut my towel in half. This was a rather extreme, on-the-fly learning situation, but over the years and many more travels, I have come to be something of a expert at packing.
Guest Post By Nick Hilden
Over the course of the past six years, I have lived in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Paris, Barcelona, Granada, and a great many small towns in between. I’ve roamed up and down the United States, have driven all over Spain, and have buzzed to a number of tropical locations. I have slept in houses, apartments, hotels, hostels, on couches, under bridges, in parks, and more than once have spent periods of months on end living in a tent in the middle of nowhere. I have become almost too accustomed to sitting in airports, bus stations, and on train platforms, and have been in two near plane crashes.
Guest post by Nick Hilden
When I initially made the leap into full-time freelance writing three years ago, I was living under the wet-blanket sky of Portland, Oregon, providing web descriptions of washing machines, updating resumes, and occasionally producing smutty short stories at a rate of half-a-cent per word. Today I am sitting in the sun on my balcony overlooking Granada, Spain’s Gran Via, and after I finish this article I will be writing a piece about Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, followed by a guide to driving along the southern coast, then a story about a man I met in Paris whose lips and ears had been cut off while he was working as a prison guard in Turkey. Later—beer and tapas.