Here’s a really neat infographic I came across on the Get Ambassador blog, it clearly shows the difference between affiliates and referrals, and why they are both important. I hadn’t really thought of the ‘referral’ concept before, and always categorized any type of recommendation into the ‘affiliate’ box.
Let me reveal to you the most powerful attraction that long term travel has for me: its amazing power to make me think.
Not the kind of everyday thoughts that run through all our minds, but thoughts on a deeper, more challenging, horizon-widening level.
I’m sitting in the balcony of my apartment in Chiang Mai, basking in the glory of the gentle, late Sunday afternoon sun. For the most part, it’s been perfect weather since we got here in December, but this is perhaps my favourite time of the day. Birds are chirping in the nearby trees, and I’m feeling relaxed after enjoying a good swim at the pool. A pretty idyllic setting I must say, just the perfect occasion to sit down and put pen to paper on same thoughts that have been brewing in my mind for the last few weeks.
I’m actually not too sure what the contents of this post will be, I guess its just an outpouring of sorts. I’ve been worrying that this blog does not yet seem to have a very defined scope, today I’m thankful for this as it’s only due to this fact that I’m able to write this post here without feeling like I’ve gone completely out of topic.
Back to what I started off with, the awesome effects on my inner world that result from long term wandering. Short 2-3 week holidays are so jam packed that they often result in my going back home more agitated mentally and spiritually than I was before. On the contrary, a long term trip of 2 months plus tends to challenge me in new ways and offer true moments of growth that stay with me for the rest of my life.
By default, the greater the difference between my new surroundings and my own home/country, the more opportunities for learning there will be. The latest proof to that idea is my current trip to South East Asia, a continent which I had never been to before.
I had read about travel to Thailand being a culture shock and assault on the senses, and it sure hasn’t disappointed in that area. Not in a negative way, but in a very pleasant way that was just what I needed.
Rather than answers, so far this trip has been more about questions. Which is not a bad thing, as finding an answer to a lingering question is one of the best ways to learn something in a convincing manner.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is my attachment to material possessions. Back home I tend to worry about my car, what I’m going to wear, and myriad other things. Long term travel necessitates traveling light and having as few possessions as possible, and its so great to be free from any attachment. Looking at how few possessions most of the locals have, and how wide their smiles are has definitely made me ponder what makes us look better. Is it the latest fashion jeans and shirt, or that radiant, genuine smile on our face?
These are all questions that arise when you travel to a place where the culture is radically different from the one back home. I believe it makes you see things more clearly. It helps you realise that no place is perfect, and many of us are leading highly unbalanced lives.
That is a key realisation I’ve made here, that living a good life is all about balance. One might argue that this is very obvious, but its the realisation of the concept at a deeper, conviction level that I’m talking about here.
It’s logical that we need to take care of our spiritual and mental state as well as our physical state, right? Yet so many neglect the spiritual level, and many even neglect their physical well being in favour of more hours at work, or in front of their televisions. It’s mind boggling how we miss the most obvious things, yet this stems, in my opinion, by living a type of life where we are encouraged to fit into the system. In the modern Western life there is not much emphasis on finding a quiet time for meditation, rather the emphasis seems to lie with working as hard as possible, while fuelled by increasing doses of caffeine. Success is measured by the growth of your bank account.
This can’t be right, and I for one am making a commitment to seek a different way of life.
Another related thought I’ve been having is that we’re truly living in an age of overload, and I’m not only referring to the famous information overload here. I’m talking about an overload of opportunities that we ‘must’ take advantage of, new products that promise to improve our life, new teachings to boost our happiness, and new work opportunities to boost our income. I’m making another commitment to try and do less things, being less of jack-of-all-trades and truly concentrating on those 20% of things that give the 80% of results. Haven’t heard of the 80/20 rule? Well, read about it here, it makes a lot of sense.
One final thing I want to note is that there is a not-so-obvious truth in the ‘just do it’ concept. Sure, we hear about it many times, if you want to make a change in your life, if you want to start a new business, if you want to become fitter, just do it. But the truth is that it’s not so easy to just do it, especially when you’re stuck in a situation which makes it look very risky to go after that something which you secretly want. It’s very easy to convince yourself that it would be crazy to break the current status quo. Looking back at all the decisions of this type that I have made in my life, my only regret is that I’ve waited too long to take some of them.
Uprooting yourself and going to a new place has the effect of making you search for new friends, and most likely you will attract people who share the same beliefs. Now imagine how good it is if you surround yourself with people who are either seeking the same thing as yourself, or others who have already found/achieved whatever it is you want, and can help you get there. This is what I experienced when I came to Chiang Mai. I’ve been into blogging and internet marketing for quite a few years now, but I was always felt as if people thought I was the ‘crazy guy’ back home. You know, that guy who refuses to build a career for himself, and thinks that he can get money doing some stuff on the internet. Well, here I’ve met dozens of others who are not only doing similar things, but also ones who have been wildly successful at this. I can’t tell you much of an inspiration that is.
Still with me? Well, thanks for sticking it out while I rambled on, it feels good to have finally sat down and typed out my thoughts. I hope to have the inspiration/courage/inclination to write again at a later stage, hopefully being able to offer more conclusive realisations rather than thoughts and questions.
I must also say that travel is not a pre requisite for thought, contemplation and meditation. Probably one of the most profound experiences in my life to date was a 4 day silent retreat I did less than a kilometer from my house back in my country, it’s just that travel has an inherent facility to force you to think, which is something many of us are in dire need of, in the busy Western rat race society that we have built.
Does anyone share any of these feelings? Would love to know your thoughts!
There are loads of ways you can make money online. The moment you start taking things seriously, and believing that you can indeed earn your living from online ventures, many doors will open in front of you.
A very good opportunity I’ve found is that of earning money online by creating video tutorials. Virtually anyone has expertise about something, and there are probably many people out there who would like to learn about that topic which you know inside out.
Here are some websites which act as online video training marketplaces. On these websites you can create courses and sell them. The websites will typically take a commission and you will get the rest of the cash.
Udemy is one of my favourite video tutorial marketplaces. It is very well designed and there are already authors who have racked up some massive sales numbers. It has been around since 2010 and has experienced very strong growth.
It gives a lot of freedom to the content creators, giving you the ability to release free or paid courses, and the ability to choose exactly what your course will be about. If you are charging for the course you keep 70% of the income from the course, and if you are promoting your own course via affiliate links, you can get 85% of the full price of the course.
What’s the benefit of joining Udemy as a trainer? You get a full marketing platform behind you, plus the infrastructure to not only show videos, but also have a question and answer facility and much more. It’s very hard for anyone to build up the features of such a platform for your yourself. The most popular tutorials are those in the technology and business niches, with top authors earning 5 or 6 figures a year with their videos.
Check out the video below to learn a bit more about Udemy.
The nice thing about this marketplace is that you can create and sell very niche tutorials, so you don’t have to commit to create a long course that would take you lots of time to complete. It’s a nice place to test the waters and see if creating online video tutorials is a thing for you.
Udemy is, in my opinion, the most modern and open marketplace from all these, so I would recommend that you use it as your starting point. There’s a great earning potential on Udemy if you deliver the right course with the right content.
If you already own a blog and have a good number of followers, it will be easier for you to promote your course and make money.
Lately I’ve been doing quite a number of video reviews of WordPress plugins, and with each video I record I try to improve my technique. Here are some really nice tutorials and guides I’ve found along the way.
- Tips from Chris McQueen at TechSmith
- SuchaVoice – Voice over training and demo production
Do you have any other favourite resources? Let me know in the comments section.
While I was researching new destinations for my digital nomad lifestyle, Chiang Mai kept coming up, and so in the end I decided that it fit the bill perfectly. I could escape Malta for the winter and continue living the summer lifestyle in Thailand. I had never been to Asia so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Me and Alyona flew from Malta to Bangkok via Cyprus and Dubai with Emirates Airways. We stayed in Bangkok for a few days as we got accustomed to the totally different culture. While I found Bangkok to be way too hectic for my tastes, I still enjoyed our days there and the hot weather was just what I needed.
A one hour plane trip with Bangkok Airways and we were in Chiang Mai. My first impression was that the weather was even better here, less humid and a few degrees less than in Bangkok. I immediately felt the laid-back atmosphere that pervades this Northern city. Good start.
When embarking on the journey to become a digital nomad, one of the first things we search for is a great place to relocate to. Deciding to become a digital nomad is, often, a direct consequence of a wish to travel and discover the world, and get a break from your familiar surroundings.
As working as a digital nomad becomes more fashionable, we can see a certain list of countries establishing themselves as ideal locations, due to various factors.
Here are some of the cities/countries most cited by bloggers and digital nomads:
- Chiang Mai – Thailand
- Berlin – Germany
- Buenos Aires – Argentina
- Medellin – Colombia
- Davao City – Philippines
- Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam
- Barcelona – Spain
The clear trend is that of moving to places which give you better value for money and an immersion into a new culture. You will seldom find cities in the US or Europe mentioned as ideal choices for a location independent lifestyle, largely because they are too expensive, or they are not deemed to be exotic enough.
Today I am going to bring you one more destination, a place which has been largely overlooked by digital nomads and location independent workers. I strongly believe that Malta is an almost perfect location and has been a well-guarded secret for far too long.