Interview: How One Expat Relocated To Improve His Quality Of Life

I have been traveling and working online since August 2016.  During my travels, I always get lots of questions about my business and how to travel with it.  “What do you do?”  “How can you afford to travel so long”  “How can I work online and travel too?”  I get these questions both from other travelers as well as friends and family back home.  This got me thinking about how I can share my experience traveling and the lifestyle that so many others have taken an interest in.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a location independent business and work online from anywhere in the world?  This allows you to travel and experience new cultures, see amazing sights, try new foods, and partake in experiences you never imagined would be possible.  After all of the interest in this lifestyle,  I decided to start a monthly blog series in which I interview other digital nomads and entrepreneurs who are successful at traveling long-term and working online.

BrettDev.com

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Today I’m excited to be interviewing Brett Golding of Brettdev.com. Brett is an expat who is originally from England but lived in Ireland. He moved from England to Thailand in order to upgrade his quality of life after being impressed by what the country had to offer on a few vacations back in 2013. After seeing a few of his YouTube videos, I was really impressed by Brett. He’s got to be one of the few honest people publishing realistic data and actionable advice on his channel. This is especially true in terms of his cost of living video which I featured in my post on Chiang Mai.

Brett Moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2015 after transitioning from doing some freelance development and SEO work for clients when he was living in Essex. Unlike other expats and nomadic entrepreneurs I’ve met, he had already developed the skills necessary to establish his life as a digital entrepreneur before making the move to live abroad. Also, he was already being remote in his own city since he was working online from home. Brett has knowledge and expertise in Web Design & Development, Search Engine Optimization, and Digital Marketing. He’s been a freelancer for most of his career and has an optimistic outlook on life. Being a big advocate for skill building and self-education in an effort to gain long-term sustainability, I figured he’s someone that everyone can learn something from.

The Interview

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What’s the best part about being an expat and living abroad?

I like Living on my own terms. I can live anywhere in the world. The fact that I live here now is because this is what I like at the moment and I feel in complete control of my finances and my life.

What inspired you to start traveling?

Visiting Thailand really made me happy and there is always some kind of mental stimulation that always keeps me in a good mood. I really couldn’t resist moving here.

What fears did you have before traveling and how did you overcome them?

I wasn’t really sure how to transition my clients into a 100 percent digital capacity. I used to have some clients that I would see face-to-face or in my local community so that was something I’d have to figure out. In reality, it was a dumb fear because nobody really cared about my location.

How did you prepare to move your entire life from One country to the next? Was it Difficult?

It wasn’t too difficult. I had a good friend who was already interested in renting my apartment who also helped me sell it about a year later. I had to get rid of a lot of “stuff.” Some I stored at my parents home but most of it I threw away.

Once you decide you no longer want to live where you’re living, the process becomes quite easy. The motivation is there and I personally, by that stage, wasn’t too attached to anything that was holding me back.

What are you currently doing to provide an income in order to live the lifestyle that you have to come to enjoy?

WordPress Development and Marketing

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As an expat living in Chiang Mai, How often do you travel?

Whenever someone invites me, otherwise I don’t feel like leaving the comfort of Chiang Mai. I do sometimes travel around Thailand and show people around, but that’s about it.

Most online entrepreneurs have difficulty in centering themselves. How do you deal with work-life balance?

Not very well, I work way too much but it’s because I enjoy it.

What’s a typical day in the life like for you?

Wake up, drink coffee, do some work at a nearby cafe or coworking space. Come home and relax for about an hour and then hit the gym for a bit. Later on, I go to a coworking space for the remainder of my workday. At night, I watch a movie or do something fun.

The reality is, I work a lot of hours because that’s what it takes to build a substantial business. I can honestly get by on working 3 hours a day but that’s not my ambition. Being that I love what I do, it’s not a difficult task to put in the hours because it doesn’t feel like work.

How often do you go and visit friends and family back in England or Ireland?

About once a year I go to Ireland to visit family. I sold my place in England so I don’t really have a reason to go there anymore. My good friends do come here on vacation and visit me from time to time.

You’ve always worked remotely, what do you contribute to your success?

For me, it just makes more sense to work remotely and for myself. If you work a 9-5 job, you are producing enough to support yourself and send money up the ladder. So there is motivation in stepping away from that life.

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What is the best memory that you have since moving to Thailand?

I’m always making new memories all the time but bungee jumping does stand out.

You have a lot of knowledge in different fields of online business, what’s your best method for learning a new skill?

Books, videos, courses or whatever is required to give me advanced knowledge on the skill that I’m learning. If it’s something that I don’t need to do often, I’ll just cover the basics. I always apply what I learn and gain real life experience from it.

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What’s something you’re passionate about that you’re currently working on?

I just released a free freelancing course that I’ve been working on for about a year that will teach people how to freelance and I’m really hoping it will change the course of people’s lives. It has about 20 lessons and videos, in-depth tutorials and interviews with professionals. I wanted to offer a lot of value and teach people how to get into an industry that I’m so passionate about.

What advice do you have for people who want to become a location independent entrepreneur?

Anybody can do it if they want to do it. Work hard and be patient and most importantly, have self-belief and determination. Also, take lots of action!

 Resources

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