2020 Travel Plans and 2019 Recap: 11 Countries Traveled!

This is my updated 2020 Travel Plans and Recap of 2019 where I traveled to 11 countries! Every year we make a bunch of plans, but we hardly ever take the time to reflect on them or review them at year end to see how they turned out. This year my goal was to travel a bit less and move around less often. To plan ahead and prebook airbnbs and plane tickets further ahead of time, and in general, slow down a bit so I don't get burnt out. But as you can already tell from the title, not all of that worked out. It's natural to want to explore and take advantage of the unique and amazing opportunity we have being location independent, as well as the flexibility we now have with short term rentals, cheap airfare, and being able to work and connect with others anywhere in the world.

But part of that also comes with downsides. Traveling full time is exhausting and it's easy to let our mental, physical and even financial health suffer. It's been a journey of trying to figure out the work/life/travel balance but I think I've finally locked it in. Overall I can tell you that I'm extremely happy and feel super grateful and fortunate for this life that we live and the opportunities that we have. In this post i'm going to review my 2019, see if my plans actually worked or what had changed. and give you my new plans for 2020. Here are my goals, fitness, health, relationships, happiness, travel, and finances plans for 2020 including video reviews and recaps as well as my travel map for this upcoming year! 

Travel Plans for 2020

It's been exciting to plan out 2020! I'm really glad that I've already spent my first month here in Chiang Mai, Thailand as it reminded me how much I love this place. If it wasn't for the flexibility I have to be able to go anywhere I want while still earning money online, burning season which seems to last longer and longer each yet, and if long term visas in Thailand were easier and less expensive to acquire, I'd love to stay year round. But since I have the option to travel, my plan this year is to go back to the places I really loved and dive deeper in this year, stay longer in each destination and really help build those up to be true digital nomad hotspots.

Here are my plans for 2020, I've already booked flights and accommodations for the first half of the year all the way up to June as they are much cheaper and have better selections when you plan ahead! My flight from Bangkok to Sri Lanka was only $82.59 direct, then from Sri Lanka to Kiev was only $398.51 with just one layover in Dubai. Lastly my flight from direct flight from Kiev to Tbilisi was only $74.32. Most are non refundable, but I booked ahead all last year and saved a ton of money and never had any issues. However, make sure you don't choose seats or book luggage until just a few days before just in case you need to forfeit the flight, but most of them were cheap enough where if things changed it wouldn't be that big of a deal!

Here's my 2020 travel plans so far:

2 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand
2 months in Weligama, Sri Lanka
2 months in Kiev, Ukraine
2 months in Tbilisi, Georgia
2 months back in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico maybe or
2 months more in Europe somewhere.

Then it's up in the open from there! Watch the video below on why I love those destinations as much as I do and think they will be new digital nomad hotspots!

2020 Update: 

Because of the travel restrictions and lock downs I ended up doing 2 months in Chiang Mai, but then have been in Sri Lanka since. Here's the new plans.

2 months Chiang Mai. (Dec-Jan)
3 months Weligama, Sri Lanka (Feb - April)
1 month Kabalana, Sri Lanka (May-June)
3 months Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka (June-September) 
1 month Traveling around Sri Lanka (September - October)
Then either fly somewhere else, or find a place to base again in Sri Lanka.

Recap of 2019

Watch the video recap as I explain each destination in details, the pros and cons and what I loved and hated about each location. I also edited in some video from each place I traveled to which was a fun way to look back at the entire year of where I went, and what it was like.

I also include my plans for 2020 in this video in more detail so make sure you watch it if you haven't already. It's a fun video and its full of insights.

2019 Travel Route

My goal for this year was to travel less often, but it really does seems like I can't ever follow my own advice even though I know it's good for me and that it'll ultimately make me happier. I ended up traveling and flying a bit more than I wanted to, but it was also my first year that I actually planned ahead and pre-booked everything which ended being a great move. 

That being said, my 2019 travel schedule was to fly from Chiang Mai Thailand to Kuala Lumpur for two weeks, then go Colombo, Sri-Lanka for 3 weeks, then Gran Canaria, Spain to board the Nomad Cruise which takes me through Casablanca, Morocco and ends in Lisbon, Portugal. Then to head to Eastern Europe to Kharkiv, Ukraine, then the country of Georgia, all before heading back to the USA to visit friends in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, family in San Francisco, then down to Cancun, Mexico, Playa Del Carmen all before coming back to Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

Overall, I liked the plan from last year enough to do a very similar itenary again this year. But instead of focusing on finding new cities or traveling to new countries just to check the off my life, I'm going back to the same ones again to dive deeper, and explore them further. Here's the map and the original 2019 Travel Plans post for you to review. Keep reading for a breakdown month by month of what actually happened along with the lessons learned at each step.

2020 Travel Plans: Instead of going to new countries and checking off lists of places I've been, I decided that I liked my itinerary last year so much that I'd repeat it again for this year, spending more time in places I liked and cutting out some of the others.

Lessons Learned: In each section I'll be writing my lessons learned on how planning so far in advance had paid off or not. But the first lesson learned was definitely that booking 3-6 months ahead gives you more options with flights and accommodations to save money or get better direct routes, or nicer places in better locations for the same price.

My Travel Plans Map from Last Year

January 2019 - Chiang Mai + Koh Lanta

I started this month in Chiang Mai, which is a bit ironic as I'll also be starting my 2020 in Chiang Mai. It's in part because of the annual Nomad Summit conference that I host here every year, but also because I just love it and think that Nov-Feb is the best time to be in the city. If you want to know more about moving to or coming to Chiang Mai, check out this blog post but just trust me, it's an amazing city and there's a reason why 400 digital nomads come each and every year during this season. It's amazing.

Here's our aftermovie which explains "Why Digital Nomads Come to Chiang Mai" which also gives you an insight into what the Nomad Summit conference is all about. Last year we even went as a group down to Koh Lanta afterwards to extend the hanging out and trip to the islands. It was a ton of fun but honestly also really exhausting. I wish that I would have pushed it out another week or so before heading down to the islands.

January 2020 Plan: This year I'm also starting in Chiang Mai, but instead of going down to the islands, I'm going to stay here to relax after the conference and do things locally instead.

Lesson Learned: This year instead of organizing a trip to an island after the conference, we're going to do a bunch of local activities surrounding Chiang Mai like the elephants refuge and sticky waterfalls. It's less exhausting than getting everyone on a plane and more people can go.

February 2019 - Kuala Lumpur 

I didn't actually want to go to KL as I've been there a bunch of times before for short trips during visa runs and never loved the city. But on paper, it's a great place to be, supposedly great infrastructure, internet speeds, good airbnbs, costs of living, food scene, everything. But that's the problem with top 10 nomad lists without personally going there. On paper a lot of things seem great, but when you get there, it's a different story. That'll be another lesson later in the year as well.  But overall, Kuala Lumpur for Digital Nomads as I wrote in that post was okay, but not good and definitely not great.  

Luckily that wasn't the reason why I went there. I had been dating the German girl off and on and we were trying to find a place where we could both meet before she left for Japan and New Zealand to give it another shot or at least have a nice goodbye. She wanted to meet in Bali or Vietnam, and I had suggested Sri Lanka. But KL ended up being the perfect choice as we both had to fly through there to get to our next destinations. The week there ended up being nice, but KL definitely isn't a place I'd want to go back to nor recomend. We ended up parting as friends, kept in touch but haven't seen each other since. I'm glad we had a nice week to say farewell and don't regret for a second going there.

February 2020 Plan: Instead of flying through KUL on AirAsia, I've found a direct flight from Bangkok to Colombo, Sri Lanka. It's $25 more, but well worth the price of not having to switch planes or have a layover. 

Lesson Learned: Sometimes things just don't work out, but even then it's worth trying. People are in different places in their life, and there's nothing wrong with that. Dating is as much about enjoying the journey as it is about the end result as is life. So lets live and enjoy it! 

On our rooftop pool in KL

At the night markets in Kuala Lumpur

March 2019 - Sri Lanka

I had never really even heard of Sri Lanka nor had a desire to ever go there until I had started to do research on where we could go that was in Asia, cheap, and had good beaches. But once I started reading up on the country, I was hooked and knew I had to go there. With cheap flights from Bangkok and KL, super low costs of living once you're there, and amazing untouched beaches that resemble Bali 30 years ago, it sounded amazing and it was.

With just a month there at first I wanted to do the normal tourist loop first going through the mountain and temple highlights like Sigiriya, Ella, Kandy and then looping back down through the beaches. But instead, I decided to do the route backwards, start at the beaches and ultimately, spend the greater part of my month in a little surf town called Weligama. I wrote all about my trip and Sri Lanka in this post. But to sum it up, it's probably the best place in the world to learn how to surf, and it's definitely the cheapest. Below is a video showing you what the country is like and why I liked it so much and am going back again for 2020 and bringing a crew with me this time so I can stay longer and be surrounded by community.

March 2020 Plan: This year I'm going to Sri Lanka for two months instead of just one. The plan is to stay in Weligama the entire time and just surf everyday, cowork with the crew i'm inviting down with me, and hang out by the beaches. But the option would be to see the rest of the country, we'll see what ends up happening.

Lesson Learned: There are a lot of amazing places in the world but very few people want to be the first to build a community. If you find a place you love, bring friends with you the next trip and be the pioneer.

Surfing in Weligama, Sri Lanka

April 2019 - Gran Canaria, Morocco, Lisbon

It turns out that there are no easy flights from Sri Lanka to Gran Canaria, which I shouldn't been surprised about. But I had decided to go on the Nomad Cruise again as I knew it would be a ton of fun even though getting there would be an expensive and serious pain the butt and it was. Luckily, it gave me an excuse to hang out with my buddy David Vu who has been living in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria since last year and hang out with all of the Nomad Cruisers who had come early before the ship sailed.

One thing that I really enjoyed was snorkeling everyday in the cold water, which is something that I was originally afraid of but quickly grew to not only appercaite but also to love. There are so many benefits of cold water exposure, but it's literally nothing but our own desire to be comfortable all of the time to keeps us from doing things we know are good for us. That being said, I had a ton of fun on the last Nomad Cruise and recapped it in the video below. So if you want to go, use promo code NOMAD SUMMIT to get $55 off your ticket.

But the reason why I skipped the last one is because even though I knew it would be a ton of fun, and an easy way to cross off a bunch of new countries to check a box, right now it's not my priority and I wanted to travel less and get into routine more.

April 2020 Plan: Instead of going on the Nomad Cruise 11 I've decided that even though I know it'll be a ton of fun, my priorities this year are to travel less this year. That's why I'm going straight from Sri Lanka to Kiev, Ukraine instead of taking the long route. It's also an experiment to see how bad a month of winter is and how i'll cope.

Lesson Learned: Being comfortable isn't always good for us. If anything being too comfortable slowly makes us fat, lazy, poor and unmotivated. But the other extreme of always moving, chasing new adventures, and excitement isn't good either. Finding a good balance really is key, for me, I believe it's spending 2-3 months in each place and getting into a solid work/gym/life routine.

Rock Climbing and adventures in Gran Canaria

A day in Casablanca, Morocco

May/June 2019 - Kharkiv, Ukraine

I was a bit worried to be arriving in cold Ukraine mid April when it would still be +2C/35F there when I first arrived, and it would have made more sense to just stay in Lisbon where the weather was nice for longer. But after three weeks of traveling around through different countries and partying it up on the Nomad Cruise, what I knew I really needed was to settle down back into a routine again. I knew that the quicker I moved into a long term apartment, joined a gym, found a coworking space, and started a normal life, the quicker I would be healthier, happier and making money instead of just spending it. To be honest, the first few days in Kharkiv I hated it. It was boring, I didn't know my way around anywhere and I couldn't' speak the language. 

But within a week or two, after settling in, meeting some friends, and figuring things out, it started to grow on me. On paper, at least during the summer months, it's a great place to be. It's cheap, the food is good, it's super easy to get around, and it's a good place to have a great life if you're earning US Dollars or Euros. I wrote a full blog post about Kharkiv, Ukraine, but ultimately, even though it was great on paper, once I left I was happy to do so as I realized how boring and uninspiring my life really was there.  I had a similar to my experience during that time visiting Vilnius, Lithuania as well. There's nothing wrong with both places, but it's not somewhere I'd be quick to recomend or return to.

Here are videos I made in both cities so you can take a look at what it's like. I think I'm a bit spoiled as a digital nomad with so many options as honestly, if I had come straight from a normal 9-5 job to living in either place, I'd think it was great, but with so many options in the world, there are more exciting choices.

May/June 2012 Plans: I'll be spending 1.5 months from April 2nd - May 19th in Kiev, then breaking up the trip by spending a month or longer in Tbilisi, Georgia before going back. We may even host a Nomad Summit in Tbilisi this year the weekend of May 23rd, 2020 if there's enough interest.

Lesson Learned: There are some places that are nice, but uninspiring. There's nothing wrong with that, and may be worth seeing for yourself. But ultimately, as digital nomads, we have choice, and the goal isn't to settle for good enough, it's to find what makes up wake up with smiles each and every day. Kharkiv was good on paper, and much cheaper, I gave it a shot, but ultimately I was a bit too bored and uninspired being there.

Hanging out in Kharkiv, Ukraine

July 2019 - Kiev/Kyiv, Ukraine

I didn't realize how much more I'd enjoy living in the capital city of Kiev compared to the smaller cities of Kharkiv, Odessa or Lviv until this past year. I had been there for a few weeks in previous years but always stayed in the touristy Kreschatik/Maidan area of the city and never really loved it. But last year I moved just a mile away to the more hipster local Gulliver/Olympiska area and really enjoyed my time there. It felt more like I was part of the city and less like I was just another tourist there for a weekend. It's hard to explain why I love Kiev so much, but it's probably the same reason people like crazy big cities like New York. Read my blog post to Kiev for more info. There's always something happening, a ton of people around, and overall, it's just never a boring place to be. 

Kharkiv on the other hand was a better, cheaper, place overall, but just lacked the excitement of a big city. That's why even though there's no logical sense to stay in Kiev, aside from having better airport connections, that I'm willing to spend 50% more each month living there than I would in Lviv or Kharkiv, and at least 25% more than if I were to live in the beach city of Odessa which was also a nice city to be in. Watch the daily life in Kiev video below for an idea of what it's like here.

July 2020 Plans:  This part of my schedule i'm leaving a bit open but will basically be either another month in Tbilisi if I like it and/or want to save money, or going back to Kiev early to spend more time there. 

Lessons Learned: Even though some things may seem logical on paper, often its the feeling or intangibles that sway us one way or another. To offset the high costs of living in Kiev, I'll be spending less while i'm in Thailand, Georgia and Sri Lanka and those savings will offset the higher prices when i'm there. 

In the capital of Kyiv, Ukraine

August 2019 - Tbilisi, Georgia

It was my first time in Georgia and it's perfect on paper, even cheaper than Ukraine, with better accommodations, even better food, and coworking spaces. It's quickly become my number one rated up and coming place for digital nomads to go in 2020 and I think it'll be a big hit. It already had a small but growing digital nomad and expat community, and is prime for an influx of nomads who want long term easy visas, cheap costs of living and high quality of life. It's basically a better version of Ukraine minus the excitement. I wrote about it in my guide to Tbilisi but overall, it's a fantastic place and I think nomads will really like it.

I made a bunch of videos while I was there as there was always something interesting to show and not that many people had shown it yet so I wanted to spread the word. Check out the videos below to see what daily life in Tbilisi is like as well as what weekend trips look like outside of the capital in the rest of Georgia.

August 2020 Plans: After spending 1-2 months in Tbilisi, I'll be heading back to Ukraine, most likely to Kiev. I really want to make the most of this prime period there before it gets more westernized, touristy and expensive as I'm predicting it'll be in a few years.

September 2019: Prague and San Francisco 

This year I went to Prague to speak at Anton's Dropship Lifestyle Retreat that is a private once a year event for members of his dropshipping course that I've been a member of for about 6 years now. The main two reasons why I go each year, besides it always being a fun experience is to catch with all of the other members, Anton, his family, but also to meet new members of his course and see how they're doing. His way of dropshipping has evolved a lot from being an easy to get into digital nomad business and has become more like starting a real company that just happens to dropship products online. Most of his members now have normal lives and work from home in the USA, Canada or Australia, are married with young children, and just like having the flexibility of not needing to go into an office or have a normal 9-5 job.

I'm glad I went to there this year for the retreat as the last time I was in Prague was in 2014 and things have changed a ton since then. It's become way more crowded with at least 5-10x more tourists than I remember and things have also gotten slightly more expensive. It's still beautiful so I encourge everyone to go now rather than wait 5 more years to go as it'll quickly become the next overtouristed city if it isn't already. Going home to San Francisco was nice as I got to see my parents, old friends and family.

September 2020 Plans: I'll most likely fly to Lisbon for  the 2020 DSL Retreat (member's only) and spend a few weeks or even a month there during that time. But it's still up in the air if i'll fly home to SF afterwards, or stay in Europe and go straight to Thailand from there when it gets cold.

Lessons Learned: I really enjoyed seeing Anton, the old DSL crew, and meeting new members in Prague as well as going home to see my parents and family. But this year as an option I may just pay for my parent's flight to come here instead. That way I still see them, they get a paid for vacation to Europe, and I don't need to fly back to the USA.

In Prague at the DSL Retreat

In SF with my Parents and Sister

October 2019: Cancun and Playa del Carmen 

This was our first year doing a Nomad Summit conference in Mexico and it turned out fantastic. We had around 180 attendees and everyone who came really loved the event and the location. It was hard putting together an event remotely in new country but we managed to pull it off with the help of our partner for the year Selina and the our team which was scattered around the world. It was a ton of fun going to Mexico, checking out both Cancun as well as Playa Del Carmen as a new digital nomad hotspot. I ended up spending almost two months down there in total and was really glad I did. I've always really loved Mexico food, culture, and the people, and thought that it was a shame that more digital nomads didn't go there mainly out of fear from the media hype of danger. But if you read my article above, it really isn't more dangerous for us than most big cities we go to in the world, and it's much safer walking around there than getting into a car to drive on the freeway in our hometown.

If I had to be close to the US or just wanted to be in the same time zone, I would happily live in Playa long term. There's amazing good, relatively low costs of living, a nice beach, and a decent community there. But for me, I still prefer being in Thailand and Europe much more and am fortunate not to need to take calls or work in any specific time zone.

October 2020 Plans: We may end up doing another Nomad Summit in Cancun as the attendees and local community really loved it. But personally I'm exhausted from all the travel and would like to stay in Europe and fly straight to Thailand from there.

Lessons Learned: Despite what you hear in the mainstream media or even through family, friends and acquaintances, the world is largely safer than people make it out to be. Mexico is an amazing country with a ton of see, explore, eat and experience and I'm glad I went.

Yucatan, Mexico with Mayan Tribes

November 2019: Playa Del Carmen and Los Cabos

Extending my stay in Mexico I got into a decent routine living in Playa before moving over to the West Coast of Baja, California to surf and go on a scuba diving trip in the Socorro Islands. I wrote about what it's like in Los Cabos in my Nov 2019 Monthly Report but basically, it's a nice part of Mexico that reminds me a lot of being in a beach town in America, along with the higher prices. It's probably a good place to retire or live as an expat, but it's definitely not a digital nomad hotspot like Playa Del Carmen is.

The dive trip was the first time in years that I've been completely offline without internet for 10 days and it was a welcome break. It's made me a lot more relaxed and reminded me how it's possible to detach and digital detox once in a while. Unlike the missing British life coach in Bali who got her things stolen and decided it'd be a good time to do a digital detox for 11 days without telling anyone..,I  planned in advance made sure everyone knew I'd be offline for those days so no one would worry, and made sure I set up everything in automation before I went so nothing would go wrong while I was offline. It worked out perfectly and I had an amazing time underwater wishing with dolphins, sharks, manta rays, and a cool group of divers.

November 2020 Plans: The plan is to be back in Chiang Mai to enjoy a solid 3 months in Thailand from Nov 1st - Jan 31st next year. I may do that by flying from LA or maybe even straight from Europe.

Lessons Learned: I've made a lot of mistakes when I was young and learning and growing as well. I still do today. Often we're harsh on others because we see the stupidity of our own past and the mistakes we've made. We usually judge others because of what has happened in our own lives. It doesn't mean it's not true, but it's also a good reminder that most things people say or do is as much of reflection of what's going on in their lives as anything else.

At sea for 10 days with seabirds and no wifi

December 2019: Chiang Mai, Thailand

It's so good to be back in Chiang Mai. Honestly it's one of those places I take for granted whenever I leave as the grass is always greener on the other side, and the ocean bluer as well. But each and every year when I get back, I remember how amazing it is here and instantly miss being gone for all that time. This year I'm living in a cheaper apartment but right in the Nimman center and really love my daily routine. I'm saving a ton of money, while walking a lot more, and not risking my life riding a motorbike anymore.

I'm really happy to be back, I love seeing my old friends, and being part of the community here again. It's sad that more and more people are leaving Chiang Mai early due to harder long term visas and the fear of burning season each year. But the air right now in December is very good, you can see the mountains and the digital nomad community here is still strong with over 50 people attending last week's Nomad Coffee Club meetup and 300-400 people scheduled to attend the 2020 Nomad Summit next month in January. I really love being back here and wish I could have either come earlier or could stay longer. But with just a 60 day total visa this year, it's not worth making a visa run to come back when I could just move forward to my next destination country as I hate backtracking.

Check out my full December 2019 income and travel report for more details.

December 2020 Plans: I'll be back in Chiang Mai for sure this time next year and if anything, my goal would be to come earlier and spend even more time in Thailand in 2021. I really love it here and have missed it a ton.

Lessons Learned: Even though it would have been fun to go on Nomad Cruise X from Athens to Dubai and come here afterwards, I'm glad I didn't go as it would have been 2 weeks of fun, but not much productivity or getting into a routine. This year I've learned to say no more often, even to things that I know would be fun or exciting as my ultimate goal is to slow down, travel less and get back in shape.

My December 2019 Income Report

Christmas 2019 in Chiang Mai with Nomads

2019 Wrap Up

It's been an amazing year of new experiences, checking out different countries, revisiting ones that I've been to and enjoyed as well as going to a few new ones. For me this year I ended up going to 11 countries even though my goal was to actually travel less, but a lot of them were for longer periods of time so i'm making progress. I also went back to a lot of places I've been before to explore and get to know the places deeper such as Ukraine, Mexico, and Gran Canaria in Spain. But even though my goal has never been to check off as many countries visited as possible, I ended up adding two more to the list this year and went to Lithuania, Georgia and Morocco for the first time, even though my day trip in Casablanca really doesn't count as seeing much of Morocco.

But to review my year I look at the following main categories:

  • Relationships
  • Health and Fitness
  • Skills and Knowledge
  • Languages
  • Wealth and Net Worth 
  • Future Prospects 
  • Experiences and Travel 
  • Overall Happiness

The question I ask myself is how much each category has either improved or declined since the year before and that normally answers the question of if my life is improving, staying the same, or declining. For this past year my relationships have been a net positive. I'm currently single but I had a really nice start of the year giving it a shot with the German girl to see what could have possibly have come from that, and have dated a few girls casually since and really enjoyed the time we had together. For friendships I've spent less time meeting new people and more time with the few that I hold close to me and with family, I've actually learned to say no and spend a bit less time calling and feeling obligated. Overall I'd say it was a net positive in the relationships department this year.

For health and fitness, i'm the heaviest I've ever been but also have more muscle than ever before. So in the eyes of some people, mostly guys, I'm in great shape. But honestly I felt like crap the entire year and only lifted so much because I knew I was eating like crap and drinking so much, so lifting weights helped it go somewhere and not just to fat. But as of November 16th, I completely stopped drinking alcohol and plan to continue for at least another year if not longer. Health and fitness wise i'd say I'm at a net neutral from last year, but I'm glad I have a heard start to make 2020 better.

Skills and knowledge wise I'm sure I improved a bit here and there but am a bit embarrassed to say that I haven't read that many books if any this year and didn't really sit down to purposely learn or improve any specific business skill sets. But my focus wasn't on that this year and I am pleased to say that I made some progress in the language and surfing department with my Spanish getting marginally better, and my Russian going from basically zero to poor. But now at least I have a foundation and am slowly making progress.

Learning to Surf in Sri Lanka

Wealth and net worth has been surprisingly good even though I didn't actually earn that much money this year compared to previous years. Most of the increase has been due to keeping my living expenses low while slowly adding the monthly leftovers to my investments and watching them grow through this bull market. I went from having a total networth of $651,919.88 at the start of the year to ending it with approximately $733,218.53. That basically means that I lived entirely off of dividends and interest payments from the money I had earned from the past few years of selling my dropshipping stores as well as investing the monthly profits I made from all the various streams of income. The only downside is that aside from building up the brand and team at the Nomad Summit and podcasts, I haven't actually started any new businesses or created any diamonds in the rough or future project eggs to hatch or businesses to sell in the upcoming years.

Last but definitely not least is overall happiness and experiences. I'm definitely very happy and at least as happy as I was this time in 2018 and maybe even more so as I now truly know who I am, have a solid plan for the future, and am in a good routine for further bettering my life. I had a ton of new experiences this year and can honestly say that I'm happy as a clam, whatever that actually means. I'm very content with my life, even living cheaper and being even more of a minimalist than I was previously. I was honestly a bit worried about my finances as I knew I didn't earn as much this year compared to the past few, but thankfully I've kept quarterly updates of my actual net worth, as at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter how much you earn, as all that matters is what you keep and how much that money continues to earn you in the future. It's my topic for the 2020 Nomad Summit in Chiang Mai, as it's been the best discovery of my life.

I hope this year end recap and review helps some of you, as it's definitely helped me to sit down, reflect on all that I did, learned and discovered. Let me know in the comments how your life has either improved, which categories stayed the same or declined, and what your goals and travel plans are for next year. To help you with your goal setting for 2020, watch my workshop live recording below, and download the slides and worksheet here as well if you want to follow along.

Share or Pin this Blog Post!

Happy 2020!

With love from Chiang Mai,

Johnny FD

Leave a comment below! 

Like This Post? Share It!

travel 7837807180340650254

Post a Comment

  1. 80k increase in NW whilst cruising the world / having fun / helping people is AWESOME. Great job. R

    1. It's crazy right, I had to do a triple take when I sat down to look at the numbers and reflect back on the year and all that I did!

  2. Great recap! I’m glad to have been a part of NS Chiang Mai and NS Cancun this year!
    I’m looking forward to NS Tbilisi! Great idea bringing the conference to Europe.

  3. Johnny FD: one of major sources of inspiration for around 3-4 years now.
    Thanks for sharing it all and best wishes for the upcoming 2020!
    I'm sure we'll cross paths again soon!

    1. Thanks Fillippo! I'm glad I could be part of your inspiration! Here's to an amazing 2020!

  4. Thank you for these regular updates which I have been following for at least 6 years. Very interesting and inspirational.
    Stay well.

    1. That's incredible you've been following the journey for so many years! Thanks for being a part of it!

  5. Dude, good luck on your plans for the new year. I've been following along with this one.

    Can you rent rooms monthly in Sri Lanka as easily as you can in Chiang Mai? There is next to no information about it online.

    Take it easy!

    1. Hey thanks! Sri Lanka is like Thailand was 20 years ago. It's still easier to just show up and ask around for the best rates. However, you can also just look on Google Maps for places and use even to rent places. But to get the monthly rates you need to contact them directly.

      I just added a section about it here in the guide:

  6. Great stuff Johnny! I am actually going to utilize your format for my own year end review. I hope to join you for a nomad summit next year (especially if you do the Georgia one!)

    Thanks for all you do and your inspiration!

  7. Cheers, dude.

    I'll check it out now.

  8. Hi Johnny,

    This is a good write up but you also need to do a review of the decade. You've been writing this blog since 2010 and a lot has changed.

    I wonder where you'll be in 2030!

    From a reader on the 4hww forums ;-)

    1. Oh wow. I didn't even imagine what has changed in the past 10 years. That would be crazy to recap. Let me look into it. But happy 2020!

  9. Ouf, what a great post man, thanks!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it and took the time to read it!


Please take a second to log in before you comment. I've turned off the anonymous commenting option. I'm open and respectful with you, please be the same back. Stay positive, trolls and spam comments will be automatically deleted.


Home item

Blog Archive

Are you an Insider yet?

Search this Blog

Keep in touch


Any product or service I recommend on this blog I personally use and would recommend to both friends and family. All links on this site are affiliate links so please use them in the resources page or anywhere on the blog if you want to give me credit for referring you.

If you want to learn more about how to start your own blog and make money as an affiliate by earnestly recommending products, check out my course Income Boss.

Featured Post: Read Me!

2020 Travel Plans and 2019 Recap: 11 Countries Traveled!

Want to start an online business?

Want to start an online business?
A post written for friends and family - Step by Step instructions on How to start your own online store.