Maverick Traveler

Location Independence, Geo Arbitrage, Individual Freedom

Category: Location Independence

One Man’s Escape From American Corporate Bullshit For A Happy And Meaningful Life in Eastern Europe

There’s nothing I enjoy more than to connect with other like-minded people. Those who were never content with the status quo, the corporate drone bullshit, the whole “work until you retire at 65” crap that our society happily shoves down our throats from the time when we’re born until, well…, it’s too late to do anything. I admire people who’ve managed to carve out their own path in life and do something meaningful.

Meet Kyle, a young former-corporate wage slave who escaped his comfortable but super boring life in California for a much more meaningful and satisfied life in Eastern Europe.

To be honest, this is easily one of my favorite podcasts that I’ve ever done. In this podcast, we covered pretty much everything: location-independence, travel, favorite countries and cities, business, dropshipping/ecommerce, building products and services and much more.

There’s definitely something for everyone.

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • (1:24) Kyle’s background, where he’s from and where he’s now.
  • (3:30) Why Kyle moved to Czech Republic over other countries
  • (5:05) Pros and Cons of living in Eastern Europe over West
  • (6:13) The lack of “hustle mentality” in Eastern Europe; The New York City hustle mentality
  • (10:13) The challenges of working hard in during the Eastern Europe summers
  • (11:00) My friend’s weird 5-12 work schedule
  • (12:05) Kyle’s typical day routine
  • (13:33) The “truth” about the Location-Independent lifestyle
  • (14:30) Kyle’s future travel plans
  • (16:05) The challenges of traveling and working at the same time
  • (19:09) How I booked location accommodation in Bali and Thailand
  • (19:45) The cost of renting an apartment in Kiev, Ukraine
  • (21:48) Kiev vs. Odessa vs. Other Ukrainian cities
  • (24:00) Why Kyle is not interested in moving around too much
  • (25:00) The importance of building solid relationships vs. random friends here and there
  • (27:40) Comfortable salary for living in Eastern Europe
  • (28:00) $2-3/mo vs. $1M vs. $1B
  • (29:10) The importance of time – enjoying your life during your 20s, 30s, and beyond
  • (29:45) Going to Brazil at 29 vs. Going to Brazil at 55. Does it matter?
  • (30:22) Club in Rio de Janeiro where you’ll have fun whether you’re 25 years old or 55 years old.
  • (37:15) The myth of “overnight success.”
  • (40:44) The challenges of writing a book
  • (42:35) How to validate an idea
  • (44:45) The power of building a strong brand
  • (47:00) What’s better: blog or twitter?
  • (48:30) Ecommerce/Dropshipping
  • (52:25) Making free money with drop shipping (Credit card points)
  • (58:40) The biggest business epiphanies/failures
  • (1:03:00) The parallels of business / personal relationships
  • (1:04:00) How to start from nothing
  • (1:07:10) Starting a business on the side vs. Quitting your job and terrorizing yourself
  • (1:08:45) Final thoughts

For more information about Kyle and what he’s doing now, visit Kyle’s website.

Enjoy!

How I Broke Free Of Corporate Slavery And Discovered Freedom The Maverick Way

This is a guest post by Kyle from ThisIsTrouble.com.

Freedom.

The word thrown around so often to American men. The thing we’re supposed to have more than anything of, but in reality – we have almost none of it.

From a young age, we’re forced into a school system that shackles us to a desk and deprives us of our ability to run and use our energy. That continues all the way to adulthood, where we’re chained to a cubicle, given a package of human resource rules to follow, and told that this is the only path we have in life.

“It is what it is.”

The above is the favorite phrase that all companies and managers use to keep you around the office, reporting to work like a slave so that you can never break free. And while you’re at it, make sure you buy that expensive house, car, TV, boat, blender and the granite countertops – preferably on credit. Credit that will haunt you until you die.

I’ve decided I’ve had enough.

I’ve gone the way of the Maverick, and never plan to look back.

My Story

On paper, I’m Corporate America’s dream worker bee. And for the longest time, I was also every American woman’s dream guy.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted in several aspects of life, especially technology. I was ripping apart computers at ten years old, graduated college early, and took my first steps into the Corporate America world as a bright-eyed, barely able to drink 21 year old kid.

I was always the “nice guy” throughout high school and college. Girls always told me that I’d make the perfect husband – someday. Not surprisingly, I didn’t kiss a girl until I was 19, and was still a virgin at 21. This was despite the fact that I’d gone through a pretty big transformation:

The funny thing is that I started the corporate life at about the same time I lost my virginity. All of a sudden, two new realities were thrown in my face. All of a sudden, I became free.

Those two realizations were:

  1. Corporate America is a soul-sucking experience.
  2. Nearly everything I’d been told about women was wrong.

The above are the main two reasons I have now walked away from my job, my life in Los Angeles, and everything about the American lifestyle. They’re the reasons I have my bags packed and a one way ticket to Poland.

And to be clear – it’s not that I’m leaving a dead-end career or a bad situation. I’m clearing six figures and I’m not quite 25 years old, my game is sharp enough that my main girl in Los Angeles is a Disneyland princess, and I have a good group of male friends I can turn to for companionship and support. I’m not saying these things to brag, but I hope that it passes this message along: even though things seem great – something still feels amiss in my life.

To discover that something is my next goal.

When I’m on my deathbed, I don’t want to have the “what-ifs” that so many people take with them to the grave. I don’t want to ask myself what could have been, but rather have beautiful memories of what was. Would I rather have memories of grey walls, fluorescent lights, and American attitude, or the alternative: an office at the beach, mountains, or wherever I please, fresh air, and radiating feminine charm from beautiful women?

I’m not naive enough to think that it’s all going to be roses on my journey, but I’m also enough of a dreamer to see a vision and the possibilities.

It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to leave my family, friends, career, and the gorgeous Los Angeles weather behind. I hemmed and hawed about it for days, weeks, and months. It became a lot easier when I thought of the worst case scenario though, because:

  • I can always go back to my dreary career.
  • I have well over a year of living expenses stocked away, so I plan to build my business. But if it fails, it’s not hard to come up with $1,500 a month in freelance work (provided you put in the hours finding it).
  • Even if I fail…failure makes you stronger as a man.

I’ve come to the realization that the greatest risks in life also carry the greatest rewards.

This is why I’m becoming a Maverick Traveler.

Corporate America

Like James’ background, I come from the tech world. My career in tech began on February 18th, 2013 – and comes to it’s final conclusion on February 23, 2016. Just over three years of commutes, office junk food, office politics, and more. How James made it for nearly ten years is astounding, and he deserves a medal of honor for his service.

I suspect the likely reason he held out for so long is because resources like Maverick Traveler weren’t around for him in his early years. Men like me, who are in our early or mid twenties, are blessed beyond belief. Sites like this exist for a reason – they shed light on the problems that young men face.

There are so many things wrong with the Corporate America environment.

Many of you are probably of above-average intelligence, yet are still forced to work the typical 40 hour a week workweek. I’ve never understood this method. If someone can get the work done in half the time – they should only have to work half the time! Corporate America doesn’t pay you to get the job done, because if that was the case I’d only be working one day a week. Instead, they pay you for your time. Time is the only thing on the planet that you cannot simply buy more of. It is a finite resource, and Corporate America milks you for all you’re worth in this regard.

This is especially true in the IT world. I fully agree that young men shouldn’t become programmers, but I’ll add more to that.

No young men should aim for IT as a career.

You do not want to be an administrator – you will get calls at any time of day and night and be expected to save the day.

You do not want to be in any sort of support – even though it’s often hourly pay, the stress of dealing with shitty customers is not worth it.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t want a career that can’t scale.

You want to be paid fairly for your time. Careers in IT simply don’t do that. Corporate America as a whole doesn’t do that. Now, don’t run out and quit your job just because this blog post says so. But have a plan of escape, lay your own future down and figure out what you want. Maybe you want to be a Maverick Traveler and jump to exotic locale to exotic locale. Or maybe you want a brick and mortar bike shop.

Whatever it is, just know that as an above-average-intelligence man – eventually, you are going to get a desire to get more out of life than long commutes, cubicles, and office politics. You just have to summon the courage and take the plunge.

The Girls

On the radio the other day, I heard a special called “War of the Roses”. Essentially, it’s a game where people have the radio station call someone they are dating, or went on a date with – and the poor person on the receiving end of the call gets put on the spot and grilled about the relationship. Most often, it’s a man getting this phone call from the DJ.

The girl who asked the radio station to call in was wondering why the man didn’t call her for a second date. She told the story about how he ended the date after half an hour – he paid the bill, wished her well, and walked out. Obviously, he didn’t like something about her and chose to not waste his valuable time on her, but he was very classy about it.

This girl couldn’t handle the rejection.

She attempted to shame him by having the radio station call and interrogate him about their date. While he tried to dance around the questions and keep it peaceful, she attacked him so viciously he told the truth.

His response was as follows:

“The reason I left and never called you was because you had your phone out the entire date. You never put it away, and you sat there and read me your Instagram and Facebook comments. You’re cute, and I’m sure no one has told you this – but you have a major attitude problem, you’re vapid, and you have absolutely no social skills. I’m not interested.”

The girl nearly burst into tears on live radio. She gathered herself and began defending her conversational skills, saying that reading Instagram and Facebook comments was her way of talking about her day and making conversation.

Read that again: A girl truly thought that reading her social media comments from thirsty men, while on a date, was acceptable and stimulating conversation to the man she was on a date with.

Props to this man for having the balls to call her out.

While this example is on the extreme end of the spectrum, it does provide some insight into how most American women are these days. If you have traveled abroad and dated foreign women, you know exactly what I mean. Their feminine energy and charm is just so irresistible – the games fall to the wayside, and you find you actually genuinely enjoy spending time with these women both in and out of the bedroom. Game becomes less about manipulative asshole tactics, and more about simply being a strong and confident man with a dose of healthy masculinity.

American girls not only have the attitude, but insist on trying to run your life regardless of their relationship to you.

Do not let them shame you into marrying and committing to an American girl who wasted her prime years partying and turning men down for sport. There is no shame in walking away to another country, and dating beautiful and feminine women who make you immensely happy. Relationships should be about happiness, not competition. American women will shame you, saying that foreign girls are just submissive and want you for money – they’ll claim you need someone to “challenge you”.

It’s a lie.

A man faces enough challenge in his day to day life. While a pretty 18 year old girl has the world at her fingertips with millionaires wanting to wife her up, the 18 year old man has absolutely nothing. Life is a complete uphill fight for us from the time we are born.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. This struggle defines you as a man.

But that doesn’t mean I want my woman to challenge me. I’ve had plenty of challenges in my life already, and will continue to face them in regards to building a business, making money, and other aspects of life.

I want my woman to compliment me, not challenge. If I wanted competition, I’d go play sports with other men.

The reality of the situation is that American women phrase the “challenge” issue as a way of defending their abrasive and horrible attitude. Which is fine, they can continue to do so, and (unfortunately) plenty of men will continue to accept it.

They can continue having “conversations” about Instagram comments, I’ll take the beautiful foreign girls who support me in my life goals.

What Do You Want From Life?

Many of you reading this blog are probably quite successful yourselves – both in career, women, and life overall. At the same time, while you maybe aren’t unhappy with your current situation – something just feels a bit “off”. It’s nearly impossible to put into words; I’ve been writing my blog for three years and still struggle to describe it properly. The best advice I can give is this: listen to your gut. Your gut is almost always right. For example, when I ended up in the ghetto of Barranquilla, Colombia, and knew I needed to get out of there ASAP or I’d likely be robbed and/or killed. How I felt a gnawing feeling in my stomach everyday when I showed up at the office, disgusted at myself to put money in another man’s wallet. The disappointment when I would go on perfectly nice dates with American girls, but something just felt off.

Your gut instinct is a powerful tool. If something is telling you that something is “wrong” with your life, it’s because it’s the truth. And I’m here telling you that there is merit behind that truth. You may not be able to articulate it, but myself and countless other members of this online community can understand your pain.

You are not alone.

American society is no longer the land of opportunity it once was for young men. If you get out and see the world, you will see this. You’ll have your lightbulb moment, and from there – it’s up to you what to do with it.

That moment is a freeing feeling, and I’ve never felt more free than I do now.

This is a guest post from Kyle at ThisIsTrouble.com. Kyle is a former corporate wage slave who, through sheer struggle and determination, broke free of his corporate shackles and is about to embark on his first ever location-independent lifestyle.

The Pros And Cons Of A Long Term Nomadic Lifestyle

My nomadic lifestyle started back in 2007 with a random trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. A year before that I took a month off from work in order to explore Central America. As of now, I’ve been fortunate enough to step foot into over 75 countries and live in around 15 (depending how you count).

In this article, I want to take you inside the mind of long term nomad and explain what’s it like to travel the world for so long by sharing some of my thoughts and experiences. Hopefully this will help perspective maverick travelers decide if that’s something they’d like to do or not.

Freedom and Minimalism

Constant traveling forces you to develop a minimalistic lifestyle. There’s really no other way: you can’t take with you your car, your home stereo system, your 20 pairs of shoes, your 5 pairs of jeans, your tennis racquet and your rare knife set.

When I had a comfortable job in Silicon Valley, I probably went out every weekend to the mall and bought random stuff. Sometimes I bought new t-shirts, shirts and other clothes. My big closets were always full of random stuff; I’ve probably had enough clothes to not wash them for a few weeks or even months and still not smell like a homeless guy. If I wasn’t at the mall, I was most likely on Amazon ordering some new and shiny gadget.

Now, all my possessions fit into a medium-sized suitcase. I can land in a new place, take an airport bus and arrive to my furnished apartment knowing that everything I need is right there beside my bed.

This is true freedom right here. There’s simply no other word to describe this. Unlike most of my peers back home, I’m not in financial slavery to some banks or credit card companies. I don’t have car payments. I don’t have a 30-year house mortgage. Actually, guys like me who don’t mortgage their future in exchange for some status symbol are bankers’ worst nightmare.

There’s also the freedom of mobility. If I don’t like something about the city or country, I can get up, pack back my suitcase and in less than 10 minutes be on my way to some other destination. This is why I live for this stuff.

Gives you a very unique perspective

The writer Mark Twain once said that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” That’s been absolutely true in my experience. 

Travel gives you a strong perspective, something that most people unfortunately lack. For instance, I write a lot about masculinity and what it means to be a man in today’s world, but what defines being a man is actually very different depending on where you are in the world: in Eastern Europe, being a man means something entirely different than what it means to be a man in America, Brazil or Kenya. This doesn’t just apply to male/female relations, but to pretty much everything.

The flip-side of that is you have a hard time finding allegiance to a particular group of people and their causes because they don’t strike as particularly special or unique. This made me more nonchalant, and I rarely get into arguments with others about whose country is better or whether ideology A is better than ideology B. I find these kinds of discussions absolutely pointless.

Makes you more resourceful

As a result of having a richer perspective, you automatically become more resourceful. When you live your whole life in one place, you become extremely comfortable. After all, you don’t need to struggle or hustle: you know the language, you have lots of friends, you even have a favorite store to buy a particular item. All of that changes when you transport yourself to a completely different  country like Brazil or Russia.

Not only will the language be different, but the mentality of the people will be different. The way people do things will be different. You’ll have to step deep outside your comfort level just to do the same things that you could automatically do before without much thinking.

The end result of this shock to your system is called growth. Period.

Makes you more outgoing

While I’d never consider myself to be an introvert, (a friend who used to work on cruise ships told me that I can be a great host/entertainer), I was never comfortable approaching and starting conversations with new people. Traveling alone for many years changed all that.

When you’re traveling alone, you simply have no choice but to approach new people and make friends. Over time, I’ve learned to make friends pretty much anywhere. I’ve also gotten really good at initiating small talk.

I now have absolutely no problems starting random conversations with a waitress, a bartender, a guy on the metro. I also always join a local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school and immediately make new friends. And I didn’t need “motivation” to do that; I simply have no other choice and talking to myself or Skyping my mom every day isn’t something I want to do.

Makes you more of a recluse

The flip-side of always being alone is that you learn to become comfortable in solitude. I actually think this is extremely important for growth and development to any man.

Whereas before I was scared of being alone, I now love being a lone wolf. I love living alone. I love going out alone. I love coming back to an empty apartment. I’m a night person, and there’s no better feeling than to open my laptop, sit at my desktop and begin writing late at night with no one bothering me.

When I lived with a girlfriend, I always looked forward to those rare moments when she went out of town for the weekend. It gave me time to pause and reflect—and accomplish some of my most productive work.

Allows you to reinvent yourself

If you’ve lived all your life (or many years) in one place, you’ve undoubtedly formed a certain level of identity. You have a certain job. You have certain hobbies. You’ve also gotten rejected or shamed by various people. People know your strengths and weaknesses. Whether you realize this or not (probably not), most people have formed a certain image of yourself in their minds that you must conform to.

But when you get on a plane and land in a country, none of that matters any longer: you can start over. When I went to Brazil some years ago, I started over. When I went to Colombia after that, I started over. When I went to Russia and Ukraine, last and this year, respectively, I started over. All the pain and rejections that happened during my time in New York no longer mattered. The moment I stepped off the plane in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Rio’s Galeao Airport, or Kiev’s Boryspil airport, I began life as a brand new person—a person without a past and future.

That’s called living in the moment. And, if you haven’t experienced this, you simply haven’t lived.

Makes you more complacent

Most people don’t know this, but most of the world has a relatively low cost of living. In fact, there’s only a handful of very expensive cities (and countries) that will really destroy your budget: some of the cities where I’ve extensively lived include New York (cheap credit to banks), San Francisco (permanent tech bubble), Moscow (capital of a very rich resource country in the world) and Copenhagen (hard working people with fair redistribution of wealth, but the city becomes cheap if you earn money there).

The rest of the world is relatively cheap. When I lived in Medellin, Colombia, a pretty cool and developed city, my budget was around $500/mo including everything. My budget in Kiev, Ukraine, a city where I’ve just spent 3 months living, was around $600 per month.

Here’s the kicker: since I work for myself, I control how much I work and, consequently, how much I earn. In places where I only needed $500/mo to live a comfortable life, and I easily made that, I lost the drive and became complacent with my work. I had no reason to hustle more in order to earn more.

Right now I’m back in New York, and not only am I experiencing a reverse culture shock, I’m also priced out. Everything is just too fucking expensive. I have many friends here who’re hustling with all kinds of online businesses and they’re easily making up to 10x (and much more) than me. It’s forcing me to re-evaluate my business plans and hustle more.

The good news is that New York’s energy has rubbed off on me and created a new hunger to work more. The bad news is that I’m worried that this drive will disappear, and I’ll return to my complacent ways once I leave the super expensive New York and head back to cheap Eastern Europe. Although, I do think I’m becoming hungrier and more motivated to work harder and make more money. Let’s see if this holds.

Discourages strong/long-term relationships

I’ve had great girlfriends in almost every country where I’ve lived. Fantastic, amazing women who eventually didn’t mind settling down and getting married. But for some reason or another, I’ve always found a reason to break up the relationship, before or after moving to a new country. A similar thing happened with many of the guys I’ve met (though, it’s always been easier to stay in touch with men than women).

There’s something called the “abundance mentality” and there’s also something called “super abundance mentality.” Abundance mentality is fantastic and many people try very hard to adopt and internalize it, but my problem is actually the reverse: I have such high super abundance mentality that I wish it can be a bit lower.

It’s a vicious cycle: the more people you meet, the less you value each particular relationship. Each relationship becomes shallow as a sheer consequence of your abundant lifestyle: since you can’t establish a strong relationship with each person, so you develop a 100 shallow ones.

For instance, I’ve met so many amazing women in my life that I know there’s even more waiting for me around the corner; I know that once I get sick and tired of one relationship, I can always pack up and find an even more amazing woman in the next city and country.

For better or worse, I’ve become a man of the world with absolutely zero attachments to any place or person.