Venturing Abroad: A Year as a Digital Nomad — with Michael North
Michael North works for Levanto Financial, where he helps people reach their financial goals by pairing them with their very own Household CFO. This combination of expert advice, paired with meaningful and actionable insights into their household cash flow gets results that they just don’t see with “DIY” products. He is the company’s CTO and function as the head of product as well.
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto, Japan
- San Francisco, CA, USA
- Hong Kong
- Seattle, WA, USA
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Munich, Germany
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Paris, France
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Boston, MA, USA
- Pune, India
- Orlando, FL, USA
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Washington, DC, USA
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Medellin, Colombia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Minneapolis, MN, USA
Why and how did you get into this venture?
You mentioned being in debt after finishing up grad school. Being a recent graduate as well, I can completely understand the overwhelming burden that comes from. Other than becoming a digital nomad, how were you able to pay off your debts?
How long have you been traveling and what are things that you’d always pack no matter where you travel?
- My iPhone, including a ChatSim sim card, with a KnowRoaming sticker on it. This means can have cheap “chat only” connectivity almost anywhere in the world, or step up to a per-day unlimited data plan for a day or two if I need to.
- A WiFi hotspot. Most of the ones I’ve ended up renting are junk because they’ve been dropped, squashed, crushed, etc…
- 15″ Macbook Pro, w/ iPad Pro as a second monitor
- Two huge 100mAh batteries for the macbook, in case I don’t get a seat next to a power outlet in a cafe
- A muti-country power adapter, and a 3-outlet Belkin power strip (makes me really popular at airports)
- A great pair of over-ear headphones and a pair of apple earpods
What was the moment that made you decide to pursue being a digital nomad?
“Do your best to be flexible, and be forgiving of yourself”
What’s the toughest challenge you face (or faced) being a digital nomad and working remotely?
Any other digital nomadic traveler(s) you lookup to? Why?
Are you working on any personal projects you’d like share?
Do you have a favorite workspace outside of home and corporate offices?
What advice would you give a person interested in becoming a digital nomad?
Three tips on making the transition to being a nomad as smoothly as possible:
- Prioritize ruthlessly – This piece of advice can apply in a few different ways. You can’t carry much with you, so it had better be the stuff that’s most important! Also, you’ll have many opportunities to have fun in amazing new places, but remember you’re not on vacation, so you have to be OK with missing a few things
- Debug quickly – If there’s something that’s not letting you be at 100%, put some time into finding a solution. Also, simplify away redundancies you don’t need. In my case, I started by carrying two laptops around with me in case one broke. Now I just use two external batteries with a single laptop, and back my machine up to an external drive daily.
- Be a part of the nomad community – There are people who have come before you, who have figured a lot of great stuff out. Talk to them, exchange ideas, share tips and bucket lists! Putting some time into social media is also important because you can find community in advance of landing in a new place.
Best way to connect: