Have you ever had something big you've always wanted to do? Something that seems improbable but undeniably alluring? Something that you could look back upon much later in life and smile deeply knowing you didn't let chances pass you by?

For me, it's been the idea of traveling while working part-time in a location independent career. I taught myself how to be a front end web developer and have emphasized learning how to do it in a way that the where does not matter. Most of the time that just means being able to enjoy working at my house part of the week and being able to make visits back home easier to swing. After reading the world altering 4 Hour Work Week and seeing that many concepts about work and life were outdated and unnecessary, and seeing that other people, like Sean Ogle and Cody McKibben, were pulling this off, I've realized that it could be taken so much further. I realized that I could outsource myself and save money if I could be in a country where the cost of living was less than in US cities, while still earning US city wages by working on a laptop abroad, a form of Geo-Arbitrage. Research of places that fit that description while having solid internet access, cross-sectioned with my own travel destination voids (namely islands and beaches), led me to looking closely at Thailand as a place to hang out.

Next step: upgrade ability to work at home some days of the week to working wherever all the time. Bringing this all up to my amazing boss, Martín Rio, resulted in a response I couldn't have accounted for: "Well, if you want to travel and work, you should just come down to Argentina and stay with me when I go back home to Buenos Aires next January and February!" WHAT?!? Um, OK! I'll go to a country I've wanted to visit for about 5 years and hang with an awesome local. I'd love nothing more than to hang out and drink Yerba Maté in Argentina. Turns out another stellar key member of our team at OMBU Web, Jon Glick, was also very interested in living and working in Argentina for two months this winter, so he's coming too. So, basically, more than half our company will be working from a different hemisphere this winter :) So the 2 or 3 months I want to spend in Thailand will go right before Argentina, nicely fitting into their peak season away from monsoons. However, that left me with another month void to fill as I wanted to leave at the end of the summer (wouldn't want to miss the amazing Pacific NorthWest summer). Since the monsoons were affecting Thailand during September, I looked across the equator to see if they'd flip and sure enough: Bali was in prime during that time. Elated, excited, and barely able to contain myself, I set off planning and preparing as much as possible. Well, not too much planning: I'm really trying to avoid guidebook's list of places to see: I'll let word of mouth suggestions guide those actions. One day, I ended up sharing my plans with my friend Flavio in Switzerland, who's quick reaction was to demand a visit. After checking plane tickets, I discovered that by adding a few hundred bucks to the Thailand > Argentina flight, I could make it happen with a side trip to Belgium (love their beer!). So I'm hitting up Europe for about 10 days in January before going to Argentina.

The Overall Plan

I've booked a one-way ticket to Bali, Indonesia leaving from Portland, Oregon on August 29, 2010 and plan on heading up to Thailand around October 16th. I plan on doing some quick side trips to Laos & Cambodia, then leaving Thailand for Switzerland around January 4th. After about 10-ish days in Switzerland & Belgium, I'll fly down to Buenos Aires, Argentina to live and work for the next 2 months. A side trip to Brazil is definitely in the plans. Then its back up to Portland, Oregon sometime in March 2012 to crack open my dusty storage unit containing my apartment starter kit and restart life. I'd love to answer any questions you have about location independence, working remotely, learning web development, traveling South East Asia, or anything else you have on your mind in the comments below. You can sign in with your Facebook. Thanks for reading!!

Massive Thanks

  • Martín Rio - My Stellar Boss & Good Friend
  • Tim Ferriss - Author of the 4 Hour Work Week and breaker of false constructs of reality
  • Sean Ogle - Inspiring location independent worker and fellow Portlander
  • Cody McKibben - Free thinking, enthusiastic digital nomad
  • Rolf Potts - Author of Vagabonding
  • My Mom & Dad - You've got to thank your parents, right? They've always supported me following my instincts. I often think of a magnet on my Mom's fridge:
    "Leap and the net will appear."