2016 Year in Review, 17 Lessons Learned

I started 2016 in a pretty bad place. I has just gone through a very difficult breakup a few months prior, and to make things worse, my I somehow managed to tear a calf muscle during the same week and wasn't able to walk for over a month. Yet it somehow became one of the most amazing years of my life or at the very least, one of the most interesting. In this post I'm going to recap how, why, and the 17 lessons I've learned from the experience. The reason why I'm sharing this is not only to be able to share how much one can accomplish in just one year including both the ups and downs of the digital nomad lifestyle.

These past few years starting the middle of 2013 and all the way though last I was honestly the happiest I've ever been. I was in the best share of my life, started making over $100,000 and was able to travel the world with the love of my life. Most importantly, I was making progress everyday in the three most important things. Health, Wealth and Relationships. This year was different, all of the sudden I was single, out of shape and battling streaks of depression from all that had happened. But thinking back, just like with any bad breakup, time was needed to heal wounds, grow and figure out what would really make me happy in the future. Keep reading as I share where I traveled, who I met, and most importantly, what I learned. Hopefully you can take some of the good and avoid all of the bad for your own life and your own journey.

January: Austin, TX

I went to Austin to see a girl that I barely knew. I know it's crazy, but that's how I started my New Year while trying to start dating again and move on after the breakup. It could have been a terrible idea, but somehow it turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have made. I had briefly met Christa in Chiang Mai was she was on vacation. I was planning on going back to San Francisco to see my family for Christmas but randomly decided to extend my trip and fly to Austin to spend New Year's eve with her.  If I sound insane, it kind of way, but I've been curious about Austin anyways as  much of friends had moved there recently so I said why not and bought a ticket. 

But the craziest part is that what started as just a NYE date, came the decision to legally move out of California and to become a resident of Texas. This move has since allowed me to save over $10,000 this year in taxes this year alone as there's no state income tax for residents.  If it wasn't for Uber and Lyft being banned from Austin, there's also a good chance I'd be living there by now. But since not owning a car was a big reason why I made the move there, I decided to continue traveling until things change and I'm ready to settle down. 

Lesson #1:
Saying yes to opportunities opens up new doors, even if it ultimately ends up being something entirely different. 

Lesson #2: Also if you plan on living outside of a tax heavy state for more than 11 months of the year, move your residency.  

austin texas
A NYE date that saved me $10,000 in 2016

February:  Saigon, Vietnam

I started the month back in Chiang Mai to host the 2016 Nomad Summit which turned out to be an amazing event. Then almost immediately afterwards, I flew to Vietnam to attend Anton's wedding. If If it wasn't for him and his course I would never of been able to live the lifestyle I do, so naturally I wanted to be at his wedding, regardless of where it was in the world. 

It happened to be in a small beach town called Qui Nhơn where Tao's family is from. From Vietnam I flew directly back to Koh Lanta, Thailand where I met up with my cousin Larry who was visiting from California. He wanted to go scuba diving and I wanted to escape the burning season in Chiang Mai. In retrospect, I wish I would have stayed in Vietnam longer, bought a motorcycle and driven up from Saigon to Hanoi as a ton of backpackers do.

Lesson #3: Keep your schedule flexible and don't default to going somewhere you've been before just because it's easy or comfortable. You may be missing out on potential adventures or excitement. 

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Anton and Tao's wedding in Qui Nhơn, Vietnam

I don't know why I was in such a rush to get back to Thailand, as even though Koh Lanta is a nice place, I've been there before and this time without going with a significant other, it was actually super boring to watch sunsets and take long walks on the beach alone. Luckily, I picked up freelancing as a divemaster again while I was there and got to experience what it was like waking up at 5:30am again to set up a dive boat and guide customers underwater. 

Even though I loved doing working as a divemaster as described in my first book 12 Weeks in Thailand, this last trip made me realize that it's something I stopped doing for a reason and that working in the dive industry was no longer a part of my life. I sold my dive gear once and for all, including my Tusa BCD, Scubapro regulators, and even my Suunto D4 dive computer. The only thing I kept was my rashguard and my mask as I'll use it whenever I go diving for fun. 

Lesson #4: Don't be afraid of letting go of things from your past, especially material things. Chances are, they're weighing you down and you won't actually miss them. I know I haven't. 

koh lanta diving
On Koh Lanta with Larry, Ian and V.

March: Koh Lanta, Thailand

Even though I was getting bored as missing the infrastructure of a real city, I was lucky that I happened to have a ton of friends visiting that month. It started with my cousin Larry, but then my friends Ian and Veronica can to cowork here in Koh Lanta and hang out. And at some point Sam Marks came by and we somehow ended up ordering Tesla Model 3's together while watching the live event. 

Even though I doubt either of us are actually going to actually purchase the car in 2018 when it's finally released, it made sense to put down a refundable $1,000 deposit. Doing so has given us the option to be in the front of the line, and potentially save months of waiting as well as thousands of dollars if we do end up fulfilling the order. That month David Vu also came to visit where we went fishing, dirt bike riding and had a huge adventure. A lot of people don't realize this but before this trip, I wasn't that close to any of these guys yet, doing cool stuff on the island really solidified our friendships and bond, so for that I'm appreciative. In retrospect, I wonder if everyone came to Koh Lanta simply because I kept talking about it and everyone else was going to be there, or if it was just because it's a good place to go during burning season in Chiang Mai.

Either way, having everyone around made the island a great time, even though I don't plan on going back to Koh Lanta anytime soon and definitely not again this year and definitely not for more than a few weeks at a time. Being in a small place like Koh Lanta is paradise for 2 few weeks at a time, but anything over a month and the small town/island mentality will start wearing on you.

Lesson #5: Friends make or break a place. Always try to preplan and get your friends to travel to the same places you're going to be. Coworking alone is just that.

April: Taipei, Taiwan

Sitting down to write this I just realized how crazy the beginning of my year was as this is the fourth country I've traveled to and it's only just April still. My cousin favorite cousin in the world, Jacob was getting married in Taiwan and there was no way I was going to miss his wedding even if it involved me getting on another plane. He actually ended up having one ceremony in Taipei the capital, and then another one in the smaller beach side town of Kaohsiung. 

What I realized from the second wedding is that events like this aren't really for the bride or groom, but it's often as a way for parents to show off. Even though the weddings were beautiful, I could tell neither the bride or groom were having fun, and that it was way more stressful than it was enjoyable. I was also disappointed that stupid traditions like serving shark fin soup are still practiced by the older generations which force it on their kids even though they explicitly asked their parents to leave it off of the menu. My advice to anyone attending a wedding in Asia is to ask both the bride and groom as well as whoever is funding the wedding (usually the parents) to not serve shark fin soup when you accept the invitation. 

 Lesson #6: The person who is spending the money is ultimately in control to do right or wrong. If you want to do good things in the world, you need to have the power to do so. Money is power.

With my cousin Jacob, Queen, My Aunts and Uncle

May: Bangkok, Thailand

This was a really exciting month for me as it marked the end of one business and the start of another. It was the month where I sold my main dropshipping store and started a new venture with my now good friend Sam Marks who is the co-host of the Invest Like a Boss Podcast. If it wasn't for me selling the store I never would of had the free time or the capital to start taking investing seriously. 

We got so excited to start the new podcast that we actually flew to Bangkok to interview Brian Jimerson for our third ever episode which was actually our first interview as the first two were just with Sam and I where we shared our investment journeys so far. If it wasn't for me selling the store for $60,000 I wouldn't been comfortable starting a new venture and hiring a full time intern as I knew it wouldn't pay dividends for at least half a year. 

Starting the new podcast would be a ton of work but would also be a way to connect more not only with Sam in a business sense, but also his network of multi-millionaire friends and CEOs of big companies that we'd later get to talk to because of the show. He wanted me on board as I already had the technical and marketing side setup from successfully running the Travel Like a Boss Podcast for so many years so it really was as win, win for both of us. 

Lesson #7: You need to free up your time, take risks, and take the step of outsourcing or hiring if you want to have the time and energy to start something with potential. 

Sam and I on the rooftop in Bangkok

June: Lisbon, Portugal

If I hadn't already been traveling enough, summer had started, I had cash in the bank and tons of free time so why not move to Europe? I started in Lisbon as I had friends who were already there, and the weather would be perfect during that time. 

Not only did I get to meet up with my friends Dr. Alexis Shields and Dr. Shannon Weeks, I also met up with Dr. Alyssa Marshall and her husband who's also a good friend Kevin. It turns out that Lisbon has become the new hot spot for established digital nomads, especially for couples and those looking to settle down somewhere outside of their home country for extended periods of time. What I loved about Lisbon is the fact that it reminded me a lot of San Francisco, but at 1/3 of the costs, while having great beaches and ocean nearby. I also checked out Porto which was a smaller, cheaper town up north that kind of reminded me a bit of Chiang Mai. 

Overall Portugal was so amazing that I thought for sure I was going to move there. 

Lesson #8: You don't know what you don't know. Take your time to explore your options and travel a bit before deciding on which place is the best, as they all have their pros and cons. 

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Yacht racing in Lisbon, Portugal with my new friend Luiz

July: Warsaw, Poland

Completely expecting to just have a bit of fun traveling around the rest of Europe for the summer then moving back to live permanently in Portugal I had no idea how much I would fall in love with life in Poland. But even before that, I got to travel through and enjoy a bit of Belgium, and Berlin before meeting up my buddy Chris Lioe in Warsaw to spend the month coworking and recuperating from our crazy travel itineraries so far. 

It turned out that the reason why I loved Warsaw, Poland so much was because it was unexpectedly amazing. It was 1/3 the costs of Germany but had 20X between internet speeds and infrastructure. You can Uber everywhere, ride bicycles from rental station to station and drink $1 Vodka or beer. At the free google campus coworking space you would get 800 mb upload and download which I've never seen anywhere in my life. They had great gyms, nice accomidation and good food. We took a side trip down to Krakow for the weekend which we loved just as much, so the decision is now whether to go back to Warsaw which is a bigger city with the google campus or go down to Krakow where everything is more walkable.

I had an amazing time in Poland and plan on living there for 3-6 months in 2017. If I was in a long term relationship and was looking to settle down  I'd probably move to Lisbon and apply for residency but Poland is one of those places where you can live comfortably, get work done and all while possibly meeting your future wife. The women I met in Poland are educated, intelligent, speak great English and the ones that go to the gym are also beautiful. 

 Lesson #9: The least popular, least touristed places are often the best value and may surprise you.

Coworking with Krystian, Marta and Chris in Warsaw

August: Kiev, Ukraine

I decided to join Sam Marks on his epic land journey across Eastern Europe and started  the month meeting up with him in Sofia, Bulgaria. I've heard a lot about Sofia as it's a country in Europe that isn't part of the Schengen zone which means you can use it as a base in Europe to wait until your 90 days in Western Europe resets.

We also checked out the beaches on the coast in Burgas but somehow missed Varna, the party city of the Black Sea. Still we had a great time exploring the relatively quieter beaches of Burgas before eventually making our way through Bucharest, Romania to visit Dracula's castle in Transylvania. From there we continued our Europe Europe trip by land by driving through Molva while recording this podcast episode to document how ridiculous our journey had been even just up to that point. 

johnny fd beach
Sam Mark and I in the Black Sea

When we finally arrived in Ukraine, we were in for a treat. Our first stop was Odessa which is a beautiful coastal town full of nightclubs and Ukrainians who want to top up their suntans. I don't think I would ever live in Ukraine, but especially since the U.S. dollar is so strong right now against their currency, going there on vacation, especially as a single guy is like being in a James Bond movie.

In Odessa, Kiev and Chernobyl in The Ukraine I saw tanks in the street, visited an abandoned nuclear disaster zone and went out on more dates in two weeks with gorgeous women than some guys do in their lifetimes. This video below highlights just some of the things we did and trust me when I tell you it barely touches on how crazy this place is...and when I saw crazy I mean it in every sense of the word. It's beautiful, touching, filled with history, amazing people, and tough times.

Lesson #10: Some people are tough because they have to be. Our circumstances and environments often dictate our lives. This is why it's so freeing to be able to travel and move to places we know make us happy, healthy and allow us to become successful.

September: Berlin, Germany

It was a bit difficult to choose a city for this month as technically I started in Warsaw to meet up with Chris again, took a train to Berlin to celebrate his birthday, then met up with parents in Amsterdam to go on a family cruise throughout Western Europe. I wasn't planning on going back to Poland this trip or back to Germany for that matter, but since it was my best friend's birthday, I figured why not.

Chris was originally supposed to go with us on the Eastern Europe Expedition but he was also smart enough to know that even though we had planned a few days of coworking, that 95% of the time we'd be without internet. Thankfully I had sold my dropshipping store right before the trip as I would never of had been able to go for days at a time without being online. If you listen to the Poland episode with Chris he talks about how he's grateful that he's able to travel and live in Europe for the summer while still being able to make money online with his store, but he also admires the freedom Sam and I have now that we've sold our businesses.

Lesson #11: There's always a next step to freedom and happiness. The trick is continued progression while enjoying how far you've come. It's easy to look ahead at others and wish you were there, while forgetting how far you've come and how many people still working a 9-5 desk job wish they were sitting in your shoes working out of a cafe in Europe for the summer.

With Chris in Berlin, Germany

The rest of the month was family time cruising around the mediterranean with my parents, sister, niece, newpher and extended family. Instead of going back to San Francisco to spend time with my family I've decided to ask them to come to wherever I am every year instead. For the same amount of money it would cost me to fly home, I can offer that to my parents to come travel instead and pay for their flight or hotel room.

This trip, my sister decided it would be fun for us to go on a 12 day cruise as a family. I'm glad I got to spend a ton of time with everyone, but aside from that, I hated it. Even with stops every other day in different ports, being trapped on a cruise ship is the exact opposite of what freedom is to me. I realized from this experience that the reason why everyone loves crises so much is because compared to their stressful, monotonous lives back home, being able to get away, see new places and being able to go two weeks without having to cook, clean or do chores seems like paradise. But for a digital nomad, I've been living like this everyday anyways, but with the exception of being surrounded by open minded, adventurous people instead of 65 year old retirees who worked at careers they hated for 40 years to get to taste freedom now.

All in all during these two weeks I went to: Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar (UK), Balearic Islands (Spain), and Italy which may sound amazing but trust me when I say there are better ways to see the world than by cruise ship. 

Lesson #12
: Family time is important, but don't let it dictate your travel plans for the year. INstead of flying home for the holidays, invite them along to where you're going to be anyways. Chances are, they'd love to go on vacation and see how you travel and live.

With my parents and sister in Rome, Italy

October: Kona, Hawaii

My life almost seems made up. And this is me going back through my calendar and seeing where I was when. I can hardly believe it myself looking back and seeing how much I traveled in 2016. The craziest part was that I kept my apartment in Chiang Mai the entire year so I always had a place to come back to in between trips. It was so cheap to keep the place that even when I wasn't gone long enough to sublet it out I was able to just keep my stuff there and not have to worry about finding a new place when I got back.

Honestly I didn't want to go to Hawaii as silly as it sounds. I know that most people in the U.S. or even around the world dream about going to the Hawaiian islands, especially knowing they're getting a free hotel room at the Marriott as a speaker of the conference, but I was so exhausted from the year of traveling up until this point that all I really wanted to do was stay in Chiang Mai and relax. But since I own so much to Anton for being my mentor and his dropshipping course being the catalyst of making this lifestyle possible, I knew I had to go and I'm glad I did. Meeting over a hundred people in person, half of which are already successful and many of which have quit their full time jobs already was inspiring and reminded me how big of an impact promoting the dropship lifestyle has made around the world. Watch the video below for recap of what the Hawaii Dropshipping Retreat was like. 

Lesson #13: Always be loyal to your mentors and never forget where you came from. It's easier to keep moving forward on your own, but always remember that if it wasn't for people further ahead helping you get started you may not be where you are today.

Since I was flying through Los Angeles to get to Hawaii anyways I figured I'd stop by and spend time with my cousin Jacob as well. The funny thing is that the very same weekend I was to visit him, he had a boys weekend planned in Las Vegas so guess where I ended up at?

It wasn't my intention at all to go party it up in Vegas during my trip back as changing time zones and the long flights were rough enough on my body and health but I ended up having a blast regardless. I ended up driving a Lamborghini for the first time in my life and got a reality check knowing what things are actually important in life. Being a car guy, there's a very good chance that I would have been tempted to buy a second hand Ferrari by now if I was living in the U.S. still. It's been something I've always dreamed of owning and now that I can actually afford one, I'd be tempting to do so. But the fact that I live overseas and haven't owned a car now in 8 years, I've saved a ton of money by doing so. In that time I would have most likely went through a car every four years, a set of tires every two, not to mention new batteries, brake pads, oil changes, and other things you don't even think about.

By simply not owning a car, I've saved on average of $8,698 a year according to a AAA study which has now added up to almost $70,000, and that's just for an average sedan. Sure I've spent money on things like Uber, renting a scooter, and trains since but I'm going to estimate that it was still a $50k savings over the last 8 years by simply not owning a car, and it's definitely been less of a hassle as well.

Lesson #14: Being a digital nomad usually automatically means living a low maintenance, minimalistic lifestyle. Even if it doesn't seem like it, renting things when you actually need it almost always ends up costing less than owning it, especially since as humans we always overestimate how often we'll actually use that piece of equipment whether it be sports gear, or even a boat.

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With my cousin Jacob and the boys in Las Vegas

November: Chiang Mai 

After an exhausting 11 months of being in a different country every month, I was so glad to have settled back down in Chiang Mai, Thailand for an entire month. This was the month where I started the Dropshipping Partnership program and invited ten people from around the world to come live in Chiang Mai for a month while we launched stores together. I don't know if I'll be doing it again in the future as it's way more work than I think anyone anticipated but it's been fun and a great learning experience. I think if I was going to ever do this again in the future it would be more of a paid coaching format than a partnership format.

What I love about Chiang Mai most is the community here. Since I've been back I've literally met over a hundred digital nomads and been to at least 10 meetups and events. Every weekend I've been making it a point to get out of the city and either go camping, out into nature or rent a motorcycle and go on a trip somewhere. I firmly believe that life is all about balance and if you want to crush it hard in business, you also need to chill out just as much on your days off. The best news is being back in Chiang Mai, I've finally been able to get back into a fitness and eating routine that didn't involve schnitzels, beer, and bread every day.

Lesson #15: If you let you health and fitness fall apart while you travel, expect to spend twice that amount of time getting back in shape when you're done.

chiang mai digital nomads
Riding motorcycles to the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon

December: Bangkok, Thailand

As nice as it's been being back in Chiang Mai and being back on track with everything, I just had to go throw a monkey bar in the whole thing and go wild in Bangkok for a few days at the Affiliate World Asia Conference. I was invited to speak on the Shopify Ecommerce Panel about Dropshipping and as part of that not only did I get a free trip and hotel to Bangkok for a few days but I also got invited to a bunch of awesome events and private parties. Even though going to a bunch of rooftop open bar events was a ton of fun, going out drinking three nights in a row was terrible for my health.

That combined with my flight with Bangkok being delayed back to Chiang Mai and waiting around the airport for six hours, the easy one hour flight to and from ended up feeling like another full day of travel hung over. The only saving grace is that I recognized the pattern and immidently signed up for a gym membership when I got back and have been going 5 days a week since. My biggest lesson learned from this year is the following:

Lesson #16: Life is a constant rebalancing of health, wealth, relationships and adventure. When you focus on any one category too much or for too long chances are you are neglecting another vital part.

Speaking at Affiliate World Asia on the Dropshipping Panel

2016 Year in Review: 17 Countries

It's almost insane that I lived in or visited 17 countries in a single year spanning from the U.S.A, to Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, flying to Portugal and Belgium, then onwards to Poland. From them flying to Bulgaria and going by land to Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. The flying back to Poland, taking a train to Germany and Holland, then boarding a ship to sail through Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, ending up in Italy. 

The only downside to have visited so many countries aside from having my passport almost filled up, is not getting to truly spend time and explore in most places I've been. I'm a huge fan of living in places for 2-3 months at a time to really get to know a place and enjoy the local culture, food and see more than just the tourist hotspots. But the good thing is knowing that I can always go back to the places I really liked. My three favorite places to visit have been Italy and the Ukraine, while the two places I would live in long term are Poland and Portugal. Both of which you can expect to see me revisit for longer periods of time in 2017. 

Lesson #17: A great way to travel if your time is limited is instead of trying to squeeze in all of the sights and going wild thinking it's your one shot there, go with the mindset of scouting for a possible place to live for 3-6 months in the future. 

2016 Year in Review: $90,000 Saved

What's even crazier is that not only have I been able to afford traveling around the world, I've somehow managed to increase my income and make way more than I was able to spend, even flying business class on all intercontinental flights! 

In just my Vanguard retirement account, I've managed to add over $90,000 this year alone into my savings. When I worked in corporate America for Honeywell as an account executive I was barely able to save $500 a month into my 401k. I was never allowed to take vacations, so even my 2 weeks a year ended up getting rolled over from non-use. Now as a location independent entrepreneur I'm able to travel wherever I want, see friends and family around the globe, and have some pretty epic adventures and while being better off for my future than ever before. 

If you haven't already, read my book 12 Weeks in Thailand to see how I quit my corporate job to start traveling, then read Life Changes Quick to see how I started setting and achieving big goals in business, travel and lifestyle. 

Adding over $90,000 into my retirement account

2016 Year in Review: Final Thoughts

To sum it up, I think 2016 was my year for healing, both physically healing my torn calf muscle as well as emotionally getting over my breakup and moving on. I ended up throwing myself into travel, sightseeing, adventure and creating new businesses which has ultimately given me new streams of income and more free time than ever before. My highest salary I ever earned in the corporate world was $48,000 a year which at the time I thought was pretty good, especially with the perks I'd get in addition. But last year as a digital nomad, I earned $153,517.48 which to me was insane as I spend the past 6 years before that living off of a $600 a month budget.

And in 2016 so far, including the sale of my dropshipping store, I've somehow managed to earn $298,860.01 and that doesn't even include December yet! So in one year, I managed to somehow earn what an executive working 80 hours a week all while being a digital nomad, traveling to 17 countries and enjoying the crap out of life. I wish someone would have told me this lifestyle was possible years ago, but I guess it's never too late to start truly enjoying the freedom being location independent gives us. Even though this blog post took me two complete days to write, it's been awesome reliving all of these memories, going through old photos and digging up videos from the past 12 months. 

Cheers from Warsaw, Poland, 2016 has been an amazing year!

Goals for 2017

Even though these past 12 months have been amazing, I have a feeling that 2017 will be even better. In an effort to balance the four pillars of health, wealth, relationships and adventure, I'm going to focus a lot more each one evenly. In this past year I've had a ton of adventure, spent a ton of quality time with both my friends and my family. Made a ton of money, and grew my income significantly. And even though I'm still single, I've managed to date a lot and finally heal all wounds enough to move on and hopefully find love again next year. The only part of my life that really suffered this year was my health.

From drinking too much beer, eating too much bread, and not have a steady exercise routine from traveling too much, I've somehow managed to gain an insane 30lbs over the year. I had to buy all new pants as none of mine fit anymore and I just haven't had the energy or mental clarity as I did when I was eating a strict primal/paleo type diet.  Luckily, I didn't wait until January 1st to make a New Year's resolution and actually started going to the gym again and eating healthier last month. I know it'll take just as long to lose the weight as it did to put on, if not longer, but I'm publicly announcing it here on my blog that in 2017 I'll get back into shape as I know how important it is for my health and overall happiness.

I hope everyone had an equally incredible year, but just in case you didn't, let's give it our all in 2017 and commit to making it the best one possible. Leave a comment below if you accept the challenge. Here's to enjoying the crap out of life!

Warm Regards,

Johnny FD

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  1. Great write up Johnny. You've inspired me to do something similar to recap the year. Thank you.

    1. Hey awesome Ian. I'd love to see you put together a video recap of the year!

  2. Challenge accepted, Jonny. Just quit my 9-5 and bought a one-way ticket to Cancun, Mexico. I have created my blog this week and launching my Drop Ship Store next week. Thanks for the inspiration and tips.

    Warm Regards,
    Stevie B

    1. Nice Stevie, enjoy Mexico, make sure you check out Playa as well while you're there. Best of luck with your store. If you need some inspiration music, your name reminded me of what my older sister used to listen to when I was a kid: =)

    2. Steven you and I both! So funny that we talked several months back but now are on similar paths. My last day at my 9-5 is January 14th and I will be headed back to Varna, Bulgaria and a couple of other places in Europe during the summer. Meet up in Chiang Mai in January 2018?
      Johnny thanks so much for the write up and the inspiration, found your podcast/blog in March 2016 and less than a year later and I am officially location independent! Can't wait for the adventures to follow

  3. This is so awesome man. This is the main reason why I quit my 60k/year job. I'm all in right now on Anton's course, and putting in about 12 hours per day to experience what you experienced. I traveled through Europe last year for about a month and I caught the travel itch, and drop shipping is what will allow me to scratch that itch. Here's to some hard work so I can travel hard in 2017! Hope to meet up!

    1. 12 hrs, wow. How far are you?

      Yes me too, I've traveled before. Definitely want to visit Chiang Mai, Asia, etc. But especially the Ukraine and live both there and in Colombia and other countries for a while. It's my dream. Would be AWESOME! Many adventures, beautiful woman, and finally perfect my spanish.

    2. Sometimes 15, sometimes 8, but id say 12 is average. Just very very driven to make my life i want happen. All I want to do is travel my ass off. I'd say i'm at the beginning stages. I have built shopify websites in the past so I'm fairly familiar with that, so I'm going through niche selections.

      But I'd say I'm in a good spot, I'm in my early to mid 20s with a CPA and am excited to follow along Johnny's journey and embody that DSL.

    3. Wow good stuff Alex! With that amount of hard work and dedication you are definitely going to be doing well! Hopefully see you back in Europe soon!

  4. Very informative, and positive, post. Plenty of good bits that you learned during your year that we all can take and learn from, too. You can't put a price on real experience and what it teaches us.

    It seems like my dream of living a similar lifestyle is so far away, yet at the same time I know it's within reach. A strange place to be right now.

    But after listening to the podcast, searching for more information here and there, and starting to take action, it's great to finally understand that the idea being an entrepreneur "feels" right, and I was right all along in thinking "there has to be a better life than this." So just have to get to that point one day...


    (Staying anonymous just so I don't have to worry about problems with employer + others).

    PS: Johnny I sent you a message via Udemy.

    1. Hey awesome! Just replied to you on Udemy. I'm glad you discovered the path to entrepreneurship, keep up the hard work and it'll be worth it at the end! Let us know how it goes!

  5. What an amazing recap of your adventures plus important messages we can all take into 2017! I was especially pleased to read your comments on Poland because, after a few months in SE Asia, I plan to go to Eastern Europe (Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) in Spring 2017. Right now, I'm exploring 12 countries in 12 months. Having left my lucrative (but stressful and unfulfilling) corporate career, I’m channeling my energy to create my own business in a field I really enjoy. Other than selling your drop-shipping business, what do you see as the top 3-4 income streams that enabled you to increase your 2016 earnings?

    1. Hey Linda, I'm glad you liked the recap! It was fun to write and share! Have fun in Eastern Europe during your trip, i'm sure you'll love it. I'll be writing up a mega 2016 income report on Jan 1st so keep an eye out for that as i'll be diving deep into what made me money this year.

  6. Hi. We were in Chiang Mai November and part of December. If you were at Camp, I was probably there. We're seriously considerring mving there next year but the air quality is an issue. But now you've put Portugal into my head too, that sounds nice. Our current base in Romania, we came here, not really wanting to come, it was a work thing, and fell in love. Like you in CM we rent this little house all year, even when we travel, I think maybe 20+ countries this year. So yes, don't discount destinations, check them out for yourself. Ukraine is just up the road, that's for next year too. This year is the year we'll kill it fnancially too. Almost there! Thanks for the update, I enjoyed reading.

    1. Hey awesome Alyson, I'm glad you're enjoying Romania. I wrote up a post about my favorite places from that trip there:

      Best of luck to you in 2017!

  7. That's an awesome and inspiring post Johnny, thanks for sharing it! I've read most of your articles and saw that you also visited/lived in Koh Lanta and Koh Phangan. Which one out of those is better (has lower living cost, better internet connection) for digital nomad to live in. I'm looking for an alternative place to Chiang Mai to stay temporary to skip that burning season.

  8. Great post Johnny, thanks for sharing your lessons learnt! Inspiring!

  9. Hello everyone, my name is Kate Johnson.i was able to hack my husband's phone remotely and gained access to all his texts and calls.he is very fast and reliable,I use him whenever I want to be sure about someone.if you require his services tell him I referred you.


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