Just in case that you are still doubting whether to take part in the events, read our digital nomad interview with Mike to get to know him better.
10 Questions to Mike Kaindl
1.) Why did you decide to begin a nomadic life and what does it mean to you?
I didn’t really ‘decide’ to begin a nomadic life. It was more of a set of dreams that I had that complemented one another:
Number one was the dream of earning money regardless of my location, thus getting rid of the rat race and 9-to-5 jobs (which in my case were 8-to-8 jobs), in order to facilitate dream Number two, which was being able to travel and keep on earning money while doing so.
Like for so many DNs, it was Tim Ferriss’ 4HWW, that opened my eyes. I read the book in 2009, when I was a well-paid startup CEO, earning good money but feeling a bit ‘imprisoned’. Two years and a lot of really significant changes later, I was on my first one-way-flight.
Today, first and foremost, this lifestyle means ‘freedom’ to me. The freedom to go wherever I want, to stay as long as I would like to, to work / earn just as much money as I need, etc.
I came down a bit from ‘traveling a lot’ to ‘slow travelling’ in the last year (which I spent in Asia). Maybe I will settle for a while in the future, but the benefits of ‘being a digital nomad’ are still there, even if you don’t travel.
2.) How do you earn an income now?
There are two main sources of income:
- My SEO-Agency (www.syncron-marketing.de), where we offer a holistic approach to German SEO for clients in (at the moment) D-A-CH, Canada, Australia, UK and the US.
- Books – our own books as well as books that we write as ghostwriters. We also coach other writers and offer book-making-workshops (writing, publishing and marketing your own book)
3.) What is your approximate travel budget for a year? Any tips on how to lower it?
It depends on where I am. Costs usually vary between 10.000 EUR per year in Asia and > 30.000 in western countries.
To be honest, I am not very good at lowering my costs of traveling / living. If you hope to do so however, maybe should take note of these two tips:
- Try Asian countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos etc., which offer quite low costs of living (although you might find that their standards are also quite low).
- Don’t travel too much (or travel very slowly) because travelling frequently is expensive and lowers your productivity.
4.) What would you consider to be one of the best tools for becoming a digital nomad?
If we are talking about technical or software-tools, there is no ‘best’ or ‘one of the best’ tools. Other than maybe the internet 😉
I need (and use daily) features like skype, evernote, email etc., and for specific jobs, like SEO or writing / producing books, I need other specific tools. It would be a long list and again – it’s quite different from nomad to nomad.
5.) Do you have any advice for those starting a digital nomad life?
If I was to do it again, there are tw things that I’d do in a different, faster way because of how essential they are:
Downsizing (getting rid of any kind of ballast – personal, things, costs, etc.) thus lowering, especially, the amount of money you need. If I had done that faster and more consequent, it might have saved me ½, maybe a whole year, of expenditure.
Trying to make my income not only location-independent but also more passive, before I start travelling. Travelling can be fun when you only have to work 1 hour or less a day, but it’s quite stressful when you try, or have to work, let’s say 4-6 hours a day ‘on the road,’ especially when doing clients-work, having to acquire new clients, communicate with them, meet deadlines and so on
6.) How long have you been travelling and where have you been? Do you have a favourite place in the planet?
I had my first one-way-flight in December 2011 after 2 years of preparation (downsizing my business and my life to become location independent). This flight was going to Spain for “a couple of weeks” but I ended up staying for around 2 years. Up until now, there is nothing like a “favourite place” yet. Chances are that doesn’t exist (for me).
7.) What is your travel frequency? How often do you change the place you stay and do you have a home base?
I started with a very low frequency (months, years), then started traveling a bit more in 2014 (1-2 week-stays) and now I’ve calm down a bit again. My perfect time to stay in one place is about 2-3 months.
It’s long enough to really dive into a place, but not too long (so it doesn’t get sticky). There is a place I call my ‘homebase’ (Munich, Germany), and that’s because of family and friends. I don’t have a flat or a house there any more.
8.) How many hours do you work at an average on a usual day?
Good question. I don’t count them, but it’s around 4-6 hours on an average day, I think. To answer it in a more philosophical way: What is work? 😉
9.) How did you gain all the experience in your field? Why and when did you decide to write books?
In my former 9-to-5-life, I was working in publishing houses like “Markt&Technik” and “Holzmann-Verlag”, where I learned everything around publishing newspapers, books, software, later websites etc. I can’t remember if or when there was a ‘decision’ to write books, but for as long as I can remember, I was reading and writing a lot. And when print-on-demand and self-publishing grew, I jumped on it.
10) Could you imagine keeping up the digital nomad lifestyle for the rest of your life?
You never know, but I think yes. There might be times when I slow or even settle down, but what I will never give up again is my location-independent lifestyle and way of earning income, even if I stay somewhere for a longer time.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done: A few weeks before I decided to go to Asia, I got a midsized 6-digit job-offer in Germany, but I said no, because it wasn’t location-independent.
Sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it?
So, if you have been struggling for months with finishing your book, and if you would like to learn something useful for your future or if you’d would just like to meet a digital nomad personally – this is your opportunity!
We are looking forward to seeing you in the sun!