Christopher Dodd is completely location independent and loving it!
What’s your story?
In 2015, I was a university student, highly motivated but completely uninspired by a career in corporate Australia. I had caught the travel bug the year before on a university exchange program to the United States but at the same time, I still wanted to build a career. Luckily, that year I discovered the term ‘Digital Nomad’ and never looked back.
It took 11 months of hard work and preparation but on January 22nd 2016, I left Australia to pursue true location independence.
It’s now been over 6 months on the road and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
What excites you most about your industry?
As I don’t work in just the one industry, I’m going to take some creative license here and talk about the digital nomad movement. This movement has been my obsession for over a year now and is the reason behind all of the content I produce.
For me, there’s so much more to the movement than just the excitement of travel or the benefits of geo-arbitrage. For me, the most exciting part is the community that has formed around it, people that have decided to think a little differently and connect around common values of freedom and flexibility.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Apart from my home country of Australia, Asia is the region where I have spent most of my time abroad. In fact, my whole digital nomad journey so far has been spent in Asia. I believe it’s got the best balance of cost-of-living, great weather, amazing food and awesome landscapes.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Chiang Mai is by far my favourite city to live and work. This shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who’ve spent time there. It’s got the largest community of digital nomads, plenty of cafes and coworking spaces and all the western amenities that you would need. The cost of living is incredibly good value and accommodation can be found on a month-by-month basis rather easily.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In the past, I’ve tended to listen too much to other people’s advice. The best advice I’ve probably ever got was to stop listening to other’s advice so much. A bit ironic, I know.
Who inspires you?
Pieter Levels, the founder of NomadList was my initial inspiration. It was the article entitled, ‘This Guy is Starting 12 Startups in 12 Months’ that first introduced me to the website NomadList and Pieter himself. It was around this time I decided that I wanted to become a digital nomad.
I found Levels inspiring for many reasons. At the time, I was very interested in building startups and web apps while living location independently. It was Levels who, at the time ticked all of these boxes.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Nothing has blown me away recently
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I choose to live life with no regrets but if everything were to fail and I was forced to return home, I would do my best to secure a location independent income stream before leaving home.
How do you unwind?
Haha I have a problem with that! I guess one of the problems of being able to work anywhere at any time is the temptation to work everywhere and all the time. On top of working full-time as a traffic and conversion specialist, I have my own projects, a YouTube channel, a podcast and a blog. Consequently, I don’t have a lot of free time but when I do have the time, it helps to go for a drive out of the city (or around the island if I’m not in the city)
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Any island. Honestly, I haven’t done much relaxation since I left home but I if I had the time, I’d choose a tropical island paradise like Koh Lanta or Koh Phangan (where I am now).
Everyone in business should read this book:
The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Shameless plug for your business:
My website, Chris the Freelancer is the home of everything I do including destination reports, interviews with inspiring digital nomads, vlogs, coworking guides, advice and more. My mission is to inspire a new generation of digital nomads and provide resources to help them on their journey.
How can people connect with you?
You can find me at http://christhefreelancer.com or simply search ‘Chris the Freelancer’ on YouTube, Google, Facebook or Instagram.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>