Finally, someone has said it: lifestyle design is a load of rubbish.
The video below comes from Chris over at My Egg Noodles and the phrase used is actually BS. While his language is pretty strong, I completely agree with Chris on calling this out.
There are so many 'digital nomads', 'lifestyle designers', 'global citizens', 'location independent entrepreneurs' and countless other phrases for people who work online and live overseas (typically Asia, especially Thailand) perhaps in more than one location, or travelling.
I do respect and like some bloggers that fall in this category, like Chris for example, however the overwhelming majority are self-righteous, self-important and not all that special at all.
The internet allows anyone to be anything they like, or at least to be perceived to be whatsoever they desire...being an entrepreneur is as easy and publishing the word in a Twitter profile or at the top of a blog. Those who trumpet their victory over a post-collegiate office-cubical lifestyle at home are seriously deluded if they think they have done anything special as it really isn't that difficult.
Pack up your stuff and buy a ticket, as Chris says, and then go from there...most expats in Thailand arrive with nothing and build themselves up from scratch as teachers, programmers, writers and so on...it is just these lifestyle gurus who talk it up like it is comparable to moving to the moon.
Take myself, there's nothing particularly special about me I'm just an example. I arrived with nothing and have, in a fairly ordinary way, build a life and found a routine here in Thailand with enough money to support a small (but growing) family.
Earlier this year I was in a position that, were I without responsibilities, I could have 'gone location independent' whilst working freelance here in Thailand. And yet I had managed to get into the position, including government accreditation and (legal) working visa, with little difficulty proving that it simply about perseverance and a little bit of luck, of course.
The online work life is not the dark art or rocket science that lifestyle experts would have you believe it to be. Once you find your bearings after arriving in a new country, opportunities will be there it is simply a case of taking them.
Then there is the issue of transparency, what do they actually do to make money?
Only a handful give any kind of clarity on what they do, and crucially what they make... because a little money goes a long(er) way in Thailand (a low bar of entry to entrepreneur status) so realistically a sufficient online empire doesn't need to match the Spanish Armada, and can be anything from $800/900 upwards per month.
As for the location independent element - travel is clearly a hugely attractive prospect. However a permanent job, with a decent pay packet and a home to base oneself in a country like Thailand, can mean travelling every weekend, getting a taste of local culture all whilst collecting credible work experience to ensure your career progresses overseas.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with working online and enjoying the benefits of living abroad, far from it as I wish it was something I did earlier in my life...however to claim it is a complicated science, which requires those interested to buy an e-book, subscribe to a blog or anything else, is just not true in my mind.
The one thing you need is the desire to be abroad...and that truly comes from within. Reading about it makes it appealing but that is almost certainly not enough to get someone off their seat and onto an aeroplane. As I well know because it took a major event to finally put my wanderlust into action and get me out to Thailand.