TMBA 237: Thoughts On the Costs and Logistics of Location Independent Living

TMBA 237: Thoughts On the Costs and Logistics of Location Independent Living post image

This week one of our listeners challenged us to explain the detailed costs of the location independent lifestyle. We’ll talk about how to set up your business so you can become location independent and some general principles we’ve learned over the years about the ‘live and work’ anywhere mindset.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • The things you get paid for today are the skills you built three or four years ago.
  • 6 general principles to the location independent entrepreneur lifestyle.
  • How location independence has changed in the last generation.
  • How to move from an owner’s mentality to a renter’s mentality and “leave it behind”.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.


Dan & Ian

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Published on 03.27.14
  • mgelgota

    You guys are far too modest! I think you were right to emphasize your callers mindset. It’s much easier to take care of those details on the ground rather than arranging everything prior to departure. But hands down the best tool for tactical info on anywhere you want to be is a network: The Dynamite Circle.

    I landed in Saigon just before the first Junto last September, met 20+ people that night and was instantly wired into life in the city. By day four it seemed like I couldn’t walk into a cafe without bumping into someone. I used DC forum recommendations to find my apartment in a great spot where I stayed for a few months. Now, 4 countries later (I’ve met DCers on two continents and counting) I’ve got an ongoing working relationship with some of the people I met at that first Junto. I can say without hesitation that if you need a network to get jacked in and running as soon as you hit the ground, the DC it.

  • Raffa

    Great episode as always. Lol. Is that last minute rant a jab at CD? Seems like a pretty obvious falling out, having just read his “things I have learned blog post” and a certain absentee from his MASSIVE list of VA acquired testimonials…:) The list was so long I had to take a break before I started to read the 1st chapter. I guess he wont be a guest speaker at the next DCBKK? When are you announcing the event anyway?

  • Matthew Newton

    Fully agree that you can live on $2500 pretty much anywhere. Can’t speak to NY or San Fran but I know for a fact that you can eaaasily do that in Amsterdam and have a decent life.

    Australia’s cities come up in the top 10 lists of most expensive cities all the time and if you can’t live in $2500 in Melbourne you’re a frickin retard. My monthly living budget including petrol and all that stuff – in Melbourne was $1500.. With holidays and car registration on top. The key expense is rent – if you’re willing to share an apartment you’re sailing.

    Eating or not eating ‘like an asshole’.. that’s the big key.

    That point about velocity of travel is SO true. It is the number one impact on my own bank account far and away.

    It’s funny, even though I now know all this stuff, I still enjoy listening to you guys from time to time. Like having a buddy in your ear.


    You guys are keeping it tight enough, I don’t know what you’re on about with this third album talk!

  • Weezy F Baby

    Great Podcast this week.


  • Chris

    Here is a google doc list of co-work spaces in SE Asia, for your caller–Austin:

  • “The things you get paid for today are the skills you built three or four years ago.”

    ^^This is super encouraging to me – especially as an info product creator!

    Great insight about designing your business in tandem or a half-step ahead of your lifestyle – very timely for me because I’m about to launch a continuity program. Fantastic income builder, but if I’m not careful about how I design it, I could end up locking myself into a continuous content-creation prison (…with non-negotiable WiFi).

    The idea of the week-long scrum is solid too. Just accept that you’re not going to be uber-productive when you first arrive – expecting yourself to be will just create more pressure, and if you try to do go into 100% instant work mode it’ll probably end up taking you even more than a week to get set up, anyway.

    LOL @ your business can’t depend on you waking up with a great attitude and a good cup of coffee. This is one reason I’ve never been able to stick to a really disciplined schedule of “I MUST wake up and produce 2000 words every day.” Some days I’m inspired and write 5000. Others, I spend 3 hours unproductively struggling to squeeze out 500 – that time would’ve been better spent elsewhere… perhaps even taking care of offline errands, house cleaning, etc. so that when the next wave of inspiration strikes, my time is completely free to ride it.

    Great episode. You guys aren’t on third album territory at all :-p I think the fact that you structure it and have specific points to cover totally prevents it from turning into rambling.

  • Thanks for answering my question you guys. Lots of good info here for beginners looking to get abroad ASAP. Still trying to decide on when/where and this acts as a good guide for me to get started.

    As a side note, me and my co-founder work remotely and love using Hipchat as a way to stay in touch. They seem to be rolling out more functionality like calling and video chat, so I believe it will become an even more powerful tool.

  • Casey Ames

    I have to agree there was a ton of great info, and a good way to decipher about what people at different points in their businesses.

    Austin, another good couple of websites to look into working remotely include Sean Ogles’ Location Rebel ( and Clayton Cornell’s Spartan Traveler (

    I don’t have many tips, since I’m not working remotely yet, but I am moving to Rio in Brazil June 12th, then over to Granada and possibly Prague in the fall. I’ve been using plus airbnb and hostel world to get a good idea of places to bootstrap at.

    It’s crazy to see I can get a nicer apartment for hundreds of dollars less a month in awesome places around the world that include wifi and whatnot.

  • Cool Austin! HIpchat is fantastic.. yeah it seems they are going after some of Skype’s feature set which would be super welcome to me, I love Skype for what they’ve done for our community but the software is falling behind in group collaboration features and mobile updates.

    RE: episode tone I should have specified that I wasn’t talking to you when I said “don’t let this be the resistance.” I meant it as a general point and that wasn’t aimed at you (how could it be?! .. ) and there’s nothing wrong with looking into the details of course. Just wanted to clarify…. heard it and cringed a bit.

    Wish you the best on your adventure and business.

  • Thank you Casey, great links totally agree!

  • You, good sir, are far too kind :P

    Agree on the ready, fire, aim mindset and leveraging relationships with those 2 steps ahead of you….

  • YO! Thanks :D :D :D

  • hahaah thank you Weezy. We aspire to roll like you.

  • hey thanks Raffa. This most defo was not aimed at Chris he always reaches out to me directly and personally. I have not written about the book because I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I plan to very shortly! Heard very good things from others. DCBKK details are coming out very shortly (working on them right this minute shortly). :)

  • Appreciate the kind words as always Mat and all the support over the years ! :)

    Ya know I think a lot of “you can’t live in x city” comments come from people that have jobs there. They have to make certain concessions that radically inflate their costs. I myself spend a lot of time in Brooklyn and believe it would be relatively easy to rock it out $2500-$3000 a month and that’s one of the premier cities in America. So yeah… I thought Ian’s point there was pretty cool and novel for me.

  • Pat D

    Great perspective. I’ve heard you guys mention the ‘1000 days’ rule of thumb few times now with regards to scaling and/or how long you’ll be broke with a new business. Do you think this still applies if you already have the learned skill that you’re trying to scale and sell? Rather than the first year invested in acquiring a new skill. Thanks!

  • Ian

    Hey Pat. Some room for debate there but I think if you already have the skillset you’ll be able to accelerate yourself to the point where you are making ‘job’ income as an entrepreneur in less time than 1000 days. So many factors at play but I’d say if you are already in the field you are better off!

  • Ian

    To be fair we do some rambling but on the other side of things Wilco’s third album was really good..

  • Ian

    Daaaammn, lil’ wayne in the house! Two purple cup bump, cheers!

  • Ian

    It’s amazing how cheaply you can live when your not in debt… Step #1, don’t get into debt.

  • mgelgota

    Sorry to cheese you guys out but, that’s just how it played out for me. Whether it’s the DC or another network (ad hoc or official, free or paid), sometimes the best tool for a particular set of problems is still people and relationships.

  • Now way man love the love :)

  • Dan, you should have said at the start, “At the end of this episode, you’re going to laugh your ass off hearing me rant!!” Couldn’t stop laughing last night!

  • haha I didn’t see that coming :)

  • mgelgota

    Ookla of Speedtest fame recently launched ‘Net Index’ which gives a complete picture in interactive map format of up/download speeds everywhere for the “know before you go crowd” and mapnerds like myself.

  • Drew Jackson

    “File not found” when pressing play..

  • thanks for the heads up Drew we are working on fixing it right now

  • yo thanks for that link Matt!

  • I’ve been on the “Leave it behind” policy for a long time now – so liberating. I actually make a joke of it and always refer to material possessions as “shackles,” so whenever i have to leave something behind I think “Thank God I get to finally get rid of these shackles!”

    I also have a policy of giving away clothing whenever a friend really likes it. So when someone is like “Hey dude that shirt is awesome.” I say “You want it?”- Then give it to him off my back.

    The logic is that no single piece of clothing could provide me more value than I can get from a person’s face when I just made their day with such a random gesture of kindness.

    Great show!

  • great move there Idahosa! love it… i’ve thought the same about my $100 guitars… a gift that can (sometimes) change somebody’s life… anyway, yeah it’s such a weird shift from what I grew up with I like the idea of completely re-framing possessions as shackles.

  • word. I gave my brazilian mini-guitar away to DCer Erik Paquet when I left Rio last year, and the bastard promptly left it in a taxi after a night of drinking. It’s all good though, I’m gonna buy like ten of those suckers next month in Lisbon to give away as gifts – BALLIN’! haha

  • hahahaha he’s an action taker! :D

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