I’m just some guy who moved to Mexico basically on a whim and with almost no marketable skills and no real goals or any idea how I was going to survive (i.e. feed myself).
I studied useless, irrelevant nonsense in college and later wasted years doing pointless, soul-destroying work in the kinds of “nonprofits” earning so little money that I’m embarrassed to even type the amount here.
I knew less than nothing about business when I came to Mexico in 2012. But after two failed attempts at getting a real job, Mexican-style, I finally realized that I simply was not made to be an employee.
For 12 years I just took it for granted that I had to have a job. It was just an unacknowledged assumption. Go to some place, ask for an application, fill it out, try to pretend you won’t hate working at this place, and try to get an interview. Either that or check out idealist.org and see if there are any jobs for mission-driven organizations.
(And there were always tons of jobs on idealist.org, but all of those jobs were for a Director of Development, which is nonprofit-speak for fundraiser.)
I’d worked in several different industries, but no job ever clicked with me, and I couldn’t figure out why.
Fast-forward to August 2014. I had gotten married two weeks earlier and my bakery job wasn’t cutting it. I had no idea what to do. I had no idea how to make money without a job. Money was something that bosses understood.
So I searched something ridiculous like “how to make money online.” Just by that phrase alone, you can guess at the quality of the search results.
But I went through all the material. I had no business sense, but I’ve always understood how to use the internet. (I’d been using the internet since before I was 10, back when AOL sent out those free trial discs in the mail.)
Any idiot like me can immediately see through the bullshit advice like “take surveys for $0.01.” I eventually found my way to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website and immediately filtered the results by “Highest Paying.”
The top-paying jobs on MTurk are always transcriptions. And the payout was up in the double digits!!!
I’d always gotten perfect grades in my English classes, so life as a transcriptionist was a good enough way for me to get started in the world of online business.
I’ve spent the last three years going as deeply as possible into that world, and along the way I discovered that what I was doing has a name. That name is “digital nomad.”
Since I have a completely useless educational background (B.A. in Global Studies) I’ve had to learn everything about money and business from ZERO. Nobody in my family knows a thing about business. I have no mentors. I have no connections. I had to start from absolute zero and build up inch by inch.
If you’re reading this it’s either because you’re my mom (hi) or you’re interested in Mexico or digital nomadism.
Check back here from time to time. I’ll be writing about some of the mistakes I’ve made on my journey, and that way you can learn from my mistakes and laugh at my misfortunes.
I’ve been learning Spanish for over 17 years. If you want to work remotely and live in Mexico, the number one thing I recommend is that you start learning Spanish ASAP. If you’ve been learning Spanish for a while, you should start learning Mexican Spanish.
I will write about the actual business of being a digital nomad in the future, but for the next few months this blog will focus on how to actually get fluent in a language.
My ability to speak Spanish has been my greatest ally and it’s been my passport into places most gringos will never see.
The path of a digital nomad is like walking through a jungle at night: It’s pitch black and you can’t see anything around you. I want this website to be like a flashlight. I can shine a light on the path so that you can avoid the snake that almost jumped out and bit me.
If you have questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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