Career vs Travel
#21
(02-27-2020, 09:15 AM)Blake2 Wrote: Agreed.

Do you have a job in tech? How hard was it to get a remote job?

Did you have to work in an office for many years before you went remote?

For years I made money from affiliate marketing and ecommerce and travelled thanks to that. I've never had a real job. Things have gotten difficult for me over the past year or 2 and I'm struggling to keep up with affiliate marketing. I'm still working on campaigns, but it's making peanuts.

Lately I've been putting lots of effort into learning computer programming. It's challenging, but so far I'm enjoying it (minus sitting in front of a computer all the time.. but I'm used to that already). Worst case I'll get a job in tech next year when my programming skills are good enough.
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#22
(02-28-2020, 11:46 AM)AirWaves Wrote: I don't know how hard the Irish one is, but my Italian-American buddy was doing the Italian one, and as you might guess, the paperwork can take years there.

I also knew and met an American from RvF who got Polish citizenship by ancestry. That one seemed pretty quick, probably less than a year.

As for Americans without ancestral connections, speaking from my own experience, getting transferred to Europe at a multinational company can be incredibly competitive. An American buddy of mine did get transferred to Europe though - the key possibly being that he worked for a company that transferred folks more often than mine, which tended to use local labor.

As an alternative, I did game regularly with an American in Poland who's first job out of a Dutch university was with an American multinational company in Poland. So a Western European degree might be an option, especially for the younger folks.

The Irish process is approx 6 months currently, apparently - surprisingly quick.

The Italian one moves significantly faster if you do it in-country, as opposed to via a foreign embassy, from what I know. As in down to a wait time in months rather than years. There was a Brazilian guy on RVF on the Travel forum who posted a big thread log about the process of going to Italy to get his Italian citizenship so he could have an EU passport a few years ago. If anyones interested it'd be worth looking for it on web archive, it was a fairly interesting/detailed report on it. Ringo I think his username was possibly? Something like that.

The competitiveness of internal company transfers depends a lot on your seniority within the company, and even more-so the field of work. I know quite a few Americans who were essentially begged to move to Europe by their MNC tech companies because the companies were setting up/expanding EMEA offices and didn't want to have to hire in the middle/senior management externally. Most big American firms are terrified of hiring in all external (particularly non-American) candidates for a foreign office and the resulting organizational drift. In finance the offices are more established, but its pretty easy too just because of the sheer quantity of jobs - Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc all have 5,000+ staff each in London alone, nevermind the satellite offices most have in Dublin or elsewhere in Europe as well, and nevermind the huge number of other companies in the field.

Its not something most Americans can do overnight, but essentially my point is if someone (like the OP) is an American in their mid 20s having a life crisis about their next 5/10/20 years and work life balance moving to Europe is the best compromise option between office wageslavery in the US, and living on a pittance in South-East Asia. It'll take anywhere from 6 months to 2 or 3 years to make happen depending on circumstances, but it is something most white collar workers (and some blue collar, depending on ancestry) can achieve with a bit of planning and effort.
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#23
^ I should add that the Polish-American guy did it in Poland, so I'm not sure how long it'd take if he did it in the US.
If you haven't met anyone, I'll assume you're lying (h/t to Teedub from the old forum)
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#24
The problem with traveling, like anything of pleasure in life, is the law of diminishing returns. I still travel regularly and enjoy it but less each time on average...just like bangs.

One way I've kept traveling exciting is I do it on a bare bones budget despite the fact I could afford a Marriott and a steak dinner. I don't go all the way down to hostel but I stay in family run hotels where they don't speak English. Theres always unique adventures to be found.

You can't travel forever... you're going to get old. You can't live abroad forever if you can't afford it. Concentrate on your career and financials first so you can enjoy the world and be prepared for your future. It doesn't mean you have to be a wage slave and not have fun in the meantime.
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#25
I chose to travel in my 20s over the corporate path. I was not doing it to bang, but to run away from problems (anxiety, depression, shit self-esteem, negative family). I began freelance writing when I was 25 just to facilitate travel, having worked in an office for 12 months and hated it.

I started off earning shit money from content mills, but I'm now in a position where I can command reasonably high rates to write about complex topics. The problem is I'm lazy as fuck so the ceiling to my self-employed income is quite low compared to a highly motivated self-starter work-horse who relentlessly sends out cold emails and markets himself to companies.

Do I have a marketable skill or did I waste my 20s freelance writing? I personally believe writing is a marketable skill but some people don't.

I ended up seeing some amazing places and definitely feel like a more interesting person as a result of my travels, but the trade-off is the sub-optimal financial position I find myself in. I'm in my early 30s now with only $20k worth of savings and $9k liquid cash. No debt thankfully, but still, I would be far better off financially if I stayed on the corporate path that was laid out for me.
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#26
(11-11-2020, 03:53 PM)irishguy Wrote: I chose to travel in my 20s over the corporate path. I was not doing it to bang, but to run away from problems (anxiety, depression, shit self-esteem, negative family). I began freelance writing when I was 25 just to facilitate travel, having worked in an office for 12 months and hated it.

I started off earning shit money from content mills, but I'm now in a position where I can command reasonably high rates to write about complex topics. The problem is I'm lazy as fuck so the ceiling to my self-employed income is quite low compared to a highly motivated self-starter work-horse who relentlessly sends out cold emails and markets himself to companies.

Do I have a marketable skill or did I waste my 20s freelance writing? I personally believe writing is a marketable skill but some people don't.  

I ended up seeing some amazing places and definitely feel like a more interesting person as a result of my travels, but the trade-off is the sub-optimal financial position I find myself in. I'm in my early 30s now with only $20k worth of savings and $9k liquid cash. No debt thankfully, but still, I would be far better off financially if I stayed on the corporate path that was laid out for me.

This: "I started off earning shit money from content mills, but I'm now in a position where I can command reasonably high rates to write about complex topics. The problem is I'm lazy as fuck so the ceiling to my self-employed income is quite low compared to a highly motivated self-starter work-horse who relentlessly sends out cold emails and markets himself to companies."

Outsource the part that you don't want to do.
Buy a self help book.
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#27
Or just do the part you just admitted you don't do due to laziness.
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#28
People think you need 10+ years of work experience in order to travel, in reality 4-5 years is more than enough and you don't need to give up your 20s.

22-26 - work hard corporate job and build resume
26 - pivot to fully remote or freelance work earning $5K+/month post tax
27+ - travel where ever you want

Easily doable.
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#29
^^ not sure how realistic that is for most people.
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#30
(11-14-2020, 01:00 AM)Dash Wrote:
(11-13-2020, 10:33 PM)finallyfree Wrote: People think you need 10+ years of work experience in order to travel, in reality 4-5 years is more than enough and you don't need to give up your 20s.

22-26 - work hard corporate job and build resume
26 - pivot to fully remote or freelance work earning $5K+/month post tax
27+ - travel where ever you want

Easily doable.

^^ not sure how realistic that is for most people.

Depends on the field you're in. If you choose a field with the goal of being able to work freelance after racking up five years of experience, it should be reasonably achievable if your skills are strong.

Just keep in mind that there may be multiple factors involved. For example, while accounting may seem like a job that could be done remotely, privacy laws in some places could potentially make it impossible to do this work from a different country than your client. Do your homework well in advance to avoid disappointment.
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#31
^^

The issue is there are many people that will not be able to secure a top flight job and or get the assignment or position or location they want.

Again, I just don't think this is as sure fire and as easy as simply saying I will do xyz and get abc. Many factors at play. Two people can get the same degree and same skills from the same university and end up with two completely different jobs life progressions.

I could be wrong, but that's my thoughts.
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#32
(02-25-2020, 02:53 PM)Blake2 Wrote:
(02-25-2020, 02:44 PM)el_hefe Wrote:
(02-25-2020, 11:34 AM)Blake2 Wrote: I know this has come up, but I'd like to get your opinions on Career vs Travel

I meet some guys who did no travelling except for 2 weeks a year and work on their career all the time.

I meet other guys who live as "digital nomads" all the time. But, even those with remote jobs are clearly sacrificing career opportunities for travel.


1) What do you guys think is a good balance? For example, spending 3 or 4 years focusing on career and then traveling? How about 10 years?

Are guys in their 40s still enjoying travelling and the swoop lifestyle after having established a solid financial base?

Why not find a career where you can do both at the same time?  That's why I chose aviation...

Hard to do.

I was thinking of changing careers and going into programming, but after research it looks pretty hard to land a remote coding job. Most people recommend working in an office for 5 years or so to get skills and then look for remote jobs.

Not hard to land a remote coding job anymore.  One bright spot in the pandemic.

That said, you have to really enjoy coding to be decent at it.  You're earning that money.  And keep in mind most of your colleagues will be male, it's still a male-dominated profession, so if you're used to meeting girls at work and work social events, as many Americans do, coding isn't an ideal field for that.
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#33
(02-26-2020, 07:34 PM)el_hefe Wrote:
(02-25-2020, 02:53 PM)Blake2 Wrote:
(02-25-2020, 02:44 PM)el_hefe Wrote:
(02-25-2020, 11:34 AM)Blake2 Wrote: I know this has come up, but I'd like to get your opinions on Career vs Travel

I meet some guys who did no travelling except for 2 weeks a year and work on their career all the time.

I meet other guys who live as "digital nomads" all the time. But, even those with remote jobs are clearly sacrificing career opportunities for travel.


1) What do you guys think is a good balance? For example, spending 3 or 4 years focusing on career and then traveling? How about 10 years?

Are guys in their 40s still enjoying travelling and the swoop lifestyle after having established a solid financial base?

Why not find a career where you can do both at the same time?  That's why I chose aviation...

Hard to do.

I was thinking of changing careers and going into programming, but after research it looks pretty hard to land a remote coding job. Most people recommend working in an office for 5 years or so to get skills and then look for remote jobs.

I changed to programming for a semester in college and absolutely hated it.  I was miserable sitting behind a computer.  I need to be out and about with a change of scenery.

What do you enjoy doing for a living?  Also where are you from?

Exactly.  A lot of folks don't have a real understanding of what life as a programmer entails.

Another thing, in many coding gigs you have to constantly learn new frameworks just to stay even.  This takes time outside of work, and once you have family obligations if you let this aspect slide you can find yourself with an obsolete knowledge base in your head and ten years older now facing age discrimination in the job market.

It can be a very pleasant, well paid gig that you enjoy, or it can be a constant grind that consumes every part of your life.  You just really have to click with it to make it work, and it can definitely work, just go in with eyes wide open.
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#34
(02-25-2020, 04:50 PM)Aero Wrote: I quit a good stable job over a year ago so I could travel, I'm still out of work currently and have less savings, but I'm glad I did it, because regardless of how much wealth I could have accumulated had I stayed there indefinitely or how high on the ladder I climbed, it wasn't an environment I was happy existing in or a life I was happy living.

I think it totally depends on your career path. Are you on the 40-50-60 hour a week clown world office worker path? Honestly, no amount of money could keep me in a position like that long term, that's a death sentence in my opinion. But if you're really in love with your line of work, or your career is something rewarding, masculine and well paying, it probably makes sense for you to not abandon ship.

I'm now, like everyone else, trying to figure something out that doesn't lock me into a miserable 9-5 wageslave existence. I don't give a shit if I end up earning 30k a year, there's plenty of great places to live that are affordable, but I'm done trading large chunks of my time for shekels.

Agree 100%.  Earning 30k remote, guaranteed, and you're set to live a very nice life in many parts of the world.  Ideally though you want $50k remote plus, because you want to run a solid surplus for investments.  But yeah, it beats $50k onsite in a 9 to 5 cubicle in the west with the commute and all that jazz.

A good middle ground to this is leveling up in a skillset that can land you at say $50/hr or more, remote, and is project based.  That way you can make cash for a couple of months, then chill a couple of months, like that.  Or work a consistent 20 hours a week or so regularly, but have the ability to ramp it up anytime you want and for as long as you want.
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#35
(02-27-2020, 08:09 PM)Contrarian Expatriate Wrote: Get your wealth in order FIRST.  Hit the grind, work your butt off and then think about generating a modest income online while you enjoy passive income from your holdings.

It is a process and doing it simultaneously while you're young is not the smartest strategy unless you are already wealthy.

A life of travel is a luxury that must be EARNED by most.  Don't do it too soon and sabotage your future.

^^ This.

A lot of guys do the digital nomad thing, then keep at it, then get to their 30's and realize they lost out on a lot of real estate appreciation and income.  And real estate appreciation is basically the largest chunk of most folk's wealth, so if you miss out on that, you can get behind, bigtime behind.

Ideally, I would recommend exactly what Contrarian Expatriate's recommending above, setting yourself up in your 20's by working your ass off to acquire passive-ish income from your investments, then start thinking about generating online income on top of that passive-ish income.  

That's where I'm at right now.

That said, remote work has become more common, and before you would be unlikely to get a loan for a property if your income came from a remote job and you wanted to get a mortgage on a property elsewhere.  Now, I'm thinking over the next few years lenders will start de-coupling that, so that you'll be able to live abroad or in another city in the same country and still get a mortgage in the place you want to make your real estate purchases.  Keep an eye on changes in that area as remote work becomes more common.
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#36
(02-27-2020, 08:24 PM)zatara Wrote:
(02-27-2020, 04:45 PM)SpecialEd Wrote: To Zataras point though, Western Europeans get far lower net salaries than the U.S and have more expensive property markets. So I don't what he's so chipper about. Also they have a pretty closed off labor market for non EU citizens so it's a moot point for most anyway.

Its a career move I recommend wholeheartedly to any Americans currently struggling between the dilemma of wasting their 20s/30s freedom-wise earning 80k a year as a wage slave in the US taking no holidays, or wasting their 20s/30s career-wise/financially earning 20k a year as a poverty stricken digital nomad/TEFL type. Split the difference, move to London/Amsterdam/Dublin instead and earn 60k a year, but with 6 weeks+ a year of leave. Once you're earning 50k+ p.a. taking a 25% pay cut is marginal to your lifestyle, but the difference in quality of life gained from the extra leave is phenomenal. You still earn enough to have a nice middle class lifestyle, but also have enough leave time to travel extensively (and probably more importantly, spend time with your family when you're older).

But how can you acquire land if you're only making $60k a year and your options are property in Europe?  I believe European property is much more expensive than property in much of America.  So it seems following this path would keep you financially crippled for life, as you would miss out on property appreciation and income?
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#37
(11-14-2020, 01:48 AM)Dash Wrote: ^^

The issue is there are many people that will not be able to secure a top flight job and or get the assignment or position or location they want.

Again, I just don't think this is as sure fire and as easy as simply saying I will do xyz and get abc. Many factors at play. Two people can get the same degree and same skills from the same university and end up with two completely different jobs life progressions.

I could be wrong, but that's my thoughts.

What is being suggested is that people build skills and experience in an area that lends itself to freelance or remote work and then choose their own location. If this is done, there's no need to worry about not getting a top flight job or an assignment to a preferred location. When working as a freelancer who communicates with clients 100% online/by phone, you can choose your own location.

The only variable here is whether you'll be able to successful secure enough freelance work to support your desired lifestyle or if you can get a remote job with an employer that is OK with you working from a location of your choice.

It's not a given that a person will be successful at this, but it's well within the range of possibility.

Much more likely than getting a job with a company and hoping that they'll give you an overseas posting in a location of your choice.
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#38
(02-28-2020, 01:52 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: Quitting means folding my hand and walking away from the table. Leaving behind a $200k/year job, and a submissive and supportive girlfriend who loves me. I'm troubled by the idea that i'd be walking away from the best situation i'll ever get, while the other part of me is screaming, "fuck it, let's see what happens". Bringing my girlfriend along for the next "phase" is not an option. 

Against that background, I feel confident that I can get on with a company in the industrial sector anywhere in the world and get paid. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and someone who can simultaneously write/speak eloquently, proficiently use computers, and work with their hands will get paid. I know i'm that guy, but do I really want that? Providing value to a corporation or building company of your own takes blood, sweat and tears. The days pass by with a blink of the eye and money becomes an abstract concept with lessening importance after you have enough to eat and keep a roof over your head. I'm not certain that I want to grind my days away earning money for unclear reasons. 

All of this is to say that I don't have the answer and I'm struggling to find it. Life is short and we're either going to die traumatically or peacefully; hungry, or well fed; alone, or in the company of people who appreciate our existence. I can't help but feel like none of it matters. At 29 years old with $250k cash savings in the bank, my gut is telling me to hit the road.

If I'm in your shoes, I use the job you have right now to buy as many income-producing properties as I could get my hands on.  Do your due diligence, buy properties with a wide margin for error.  Might even be better to wait a year or so to see which way the markets go in case interest rates go up, which would cause prices to fall.  With your job and savings you should be able to get very low interest rates regardless.

But yeah, from an outsider's perspective, your job allows you to secure at least two or three houses before the lenders balk and require you to show proof of income from those houses on top of your job income.  But once they do, you can simply prove that income with leases/bank statements, and then keep buying more houses.  

This could take a few years of your time, but once you've acquired several properties, you'll be far more set than having the equivalent amount of cash in the bank.  

Or you may have no interest in being a landlord, in which case I would ask, what's your motivation for quitting your job and moving abroad again?  You already have a girlfriend, you're already making bank, you enjoy your work...

What's missing at home that you think you might find abroad?
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#39
I was referring to the post that was talking about pivoting a nice corporate gig remotely.

I don't think it's a given to even be able to secure a nice corporate gig, let alone pivot that to remote work.

As for what you are discussing ie independently building skills and working freelance, thats more doable.

Although, i am not sure everyone has the mental capacity and makeup to acquire those skills. I would be hesitant to think I could become a proficient coder with questionable math and critical thinking skills related to such work. Or have the creativity for creating and designing things. And then you bring up the other points.

I see many people acting as anyone can just do these things as a given.

I am just trying to temper expectations and hopefully people can have some back up plans.
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#40
(11-14-2020, 02:44 AM)Dash Wrote: Although, i am not sure everyone has the mental capacity and makeup to acquire those skills. I would be hesitant to think I could become a proficient coder with questionable math and critical thinking skills related to such work. Or have the creativity for creating and designing things. And then you bring up the other points.

The bigger challenge for most people would probably be learning to be productive without set work hours and a boss hanging over their shoulder.
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