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Why Being A Traveling Entrepreneur Is Easier Than You Think

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YOU! Yes YOU can travel the world for much cheaper than you think, and I (Marc Angelo) want to explain to you why all it really takes is a mindset shift.

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To explain this further, let me tell you a short story and dive into a few mindset shifts that will radically change your outlook and get you on the road sooner rather than later.

The other day I was having a conversation with a very good friend of mine — Lynan Saperstein, the amazing entrepreneur behind The Big Factor and Trailblazers Retreat — about our upcoming journey to Costa Rica, and I brought up that I was super jealous she gets to hit the road and travel to different countries seemingly every month.

It truly feels like every single time I talk to her or catch a glimpse of one of her Facebook statuses she is enjoying the scenery in Bali, sipping on some coffee and enjoying a sunset in Turkey, or cruising the streets of Austin, Texas.

Her next stop? Costa Rica, and it turns out her free spirited attitude has me joining her (apply to join us) and many others really soon too – but I’m not here to share my travel plans so much as to share what clicked in my mind!

In our last conversation Lynan said a few words that are still resonating with me long after the sound waves disappeared into obscurity…

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“It’s not nearly as expensive as you think! Anyone can do it and definitely you could too…”

For a second I completely discounted it, saying things like “no no I can’t,” but then the reality hit me…

Wait, yes I can, and better yet, YOU can too!

I had to overcome some limiting beliefs that inadvertently crept into my psyche and might be in yours too!

Rather than this being a blog about the specifics and costs of being a digital nomad from the travel perspective — I’d rather focus on the 3 crucial elements I feel any entrepreneur or “wantrepreneur” should consider in order to live a life on the road.

break down barriers

Lifestyle Design

False Commonly Held Limiting Belief: “Traveling the world is expensive.”

Having been an entrepreneur now for close to a decade I must say I took on the role because I always dreamed of having my own ideal lifestyle.

Like most, this first came out of understanding what I didn’t want!

I didn’t want a boss.
I didn’t want to drive in traffic.
I didn’t want a cubicle or a 9 to 5.
I didn’t want to have to do anything I didn’t personally choose to do.

The truth is that figuring out what you don’t want to do is half the battle to discovering what you do. And then this hit me…

digital nomad - passport full of stamps quote

I had an amazing revelation one day while on my first ever solo backpacking journey, traveling the Great Wall of China. I wrote out an impossible list

That day I fell ass backwards into what I would now term lifestyle design.

I had made a list of things I DID want to do and have been chipping away at this list of challenges ever since.

Surely you have felt this way before and, depending on your choices, have walked down this same path or plan on doing such “one day.

Perhaps your dreams, like mine, include starting a charity, climbing to the top of Everest, or traveling to every continent on the planet. The truth is, these are ALL possible.

The lifestyle we choose dictates our means. The truth when it comes to travelling is that you can hop around the world for likely no more expense than you currently pay in rent, groceries, utility bills, entertainment expenses, car payments, and gas — all the bills you “have” to pay because you need them all to get to and from “work.”

This, however, is your CHOICE — not your duty.

Don’t believe me? Calculate it. I dare you!

Consider the average cost of living in your hometown and compare it to a one-way flight to the destination of your choice and a month of living there…

Not all that different, huh?

I did this exercise recently and totalled my monthly expenses here in Montreal to be close to $2,500 (not including my businesses expenses, but just the cost of living).

#TruthBomb: Well, the truth is, I could buy a plane ticket to Thailand, rent an entire home on AirBNB for a month with food, internet, AC, and everything I need, and be able to live steps from the beach, for pretty much the same price!

thailand full home rental

DID YOU HEAR ME?
YOU COULD DO THIS EVERY MONTH IN A NEW LOCATION AND LIVE FOR AS LITTLE AS YOU DO RIGHT NOW!

Now you’re surely thinking: Okay, it may be as affordable as my current lifestyle, but how do I get paid on the road?

Quick tip: Google “Travel Hacking”! You’re welcome.

Offer Value – Stop Consuming It

False Commonly Held Limiting Belief: “It’s hard to get paid while on the road.”

As someone who has helped countless students via coaching and online classes,  as well as answered more questions than I care to remember at Valhalla, what I can say is that people have HUGE limiting beliefs in terms of the way they perceive or “consume” the world.

To be a successful digital nomad, you must be sustainable in all senses of the word!

Sustainability is a lifestyle — not a product. A focus on “getting paid” or collecting rewards is the first mistake.

The mentality of the truly wealthy follows the lines of “how can I help you?” versus the-ever-so common “how can you help me?” mindset. Wealth is found — exchanged really — from those who provide value and those who receive it.

Our consumeristic mindset always has us thinking about taking first and this is exactly the wrong way to go about adopting the digital nomad lifestyle.

Beyond the endless list of skills that can be jobs that you do on the road with nothing more than a laptop, camera, or internet connection, we must take an honest look in the mirror and ask ourselves how we truly want to serve others.

me to we Valhalla Movement

There are SO many organizations, farms, start-ups, companies (including one of my own), and people looking for talent and help all around the planet, and if you are humble enough to lead with your value versus trying to make your way around the world purely as a commodity then you will find yourself in many gift scenarios.

I personally have traveled way more due to having taken a moment to find someone who needed my help and was willing to reward me for my troubles than I ever have just saving up cash to hit the road and pay full price out of my pocket for everything.

Your New Digital Nomad Lifestyle Belief: Offer value and create win-win scenarios, and recognize that money isn’t the only value you can use to EARN — not just pay — your way around the world.

Quick Tip #2: Hostels are always looking for workers — so are hotels, cruise ships, and all travel related industries, not to mention work exchange programs like WOOFing. New emerging platforms like NuMundo could be a great place to look as well.

NuMundo

Quick Tip #3: Many flight attendants are willing to sell their standby passes. I traveled from Montreal to Australia for less than 200 dollars and Montreal to Argentina for about the same price, too… BE CREATIVE!

Less Is More

False Commonly Held Limiting Belief: “I gotta see everything while I’m in the country!”

As someone who travels 3 or 4 months out of every year (Montreal and Valhalla keep me at home, otherwise I’d be on the road), what I can tell you is that LESS IS MORE!

Traveling is not about seeing every single landmark, nor truly about getting to any one particular spot or place, compared to what you shall learn on the journey getting there.

A bucket list item being checked off is one thing, but there is truly nothing more expensive while travelling than doing the most touristic things in the most touristic places!

You can save a bunch of money if you avoid the touristic hotspots and get yourself onto the less travelled path… Become a trailblazer and you will find life’s many riches, and they won’t be material in nature…

go within
#TruthBomb: Meeting locals, reading that book you have been meaning to read while in transit, trying new foods, having light bulbs go off internally, and moving around less while truly exploring a town location more is 1000 times more fulfilling!

Sometimes our travel dreams are affordable and it’s just a matter of changing our itinerary a little and recognizing the destination lies within.

Quick Tip: Participate in group trips or travel with friends! Power is found in numbers and there are many ways to stay in amazing places and live amazing experiences you couldn’t afford alone.

Shameless plug for Trailblazers Retreat: If you’re ready to blaze your own trail and want to learn more about the trip to Costa Rica, check it out here! Thanks for the inspiration Lynan, and to you, dear readers — I’d be SUPER happy to meet you there!

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Awareness

Brain Scans Reveal Structural Differences In People With “Smart Phone Addiction”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study recently published by German researchers from Heidelberg University show differences in brain structure between people with 'smart phone addition' compared to people without it.

  • Reflect On:

    Is your child constantly on their smartphone? Are they addicted?

Children entering into the world today are being birthed into a sea of technology that their parents never grew up with. As a result, we don’t really know the long-term consequences these technologies could have on these generations as they age. Preliminary research, however, is already showing significant cause for concern, and one of the latest examples comes from a study published in the journal Addictive Behaviours via German researchers.

The researchers examined 48 participants using MRI imaging, and 22 of the participants had smartphone addiction (SPA), and 26 of them were non-addicts. The main findings were that individuals with SPA  showed “significant lower” grey matter volume (GMA) in the insula and in certain regions of the temporal cortex compared to the individuals without smartphone addiction, known as the controls. Secondly, right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity was “significantly lower” in individuals with SPA compared to controls. Third, the researchers found associations between the smartphone addiction inventory  (SPAI) scores and GMV as well as  amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (ALFF), converged on the ACC.

The authors wrote that:

The present study provides first evidence for common neural underpinning mechanisms of behavioral addiction in individuals with SPA. This study clearly needs replication as much as extension in larger cohorts, including longitudinal assessments, ecological momentary assessment and task-based functional MRI. Yet, at the same time, this study provides important data and preliminary evidence, suggesting addiction-related differences in neural processes in the context of smartphone use, particularly with respect to the salience network. Given the widespread use and increasing popularity of smartphones, the present study challenges assumptions towards the harmlessness of smartphones, at least in individuals that may be at increased risk for developing addictive behaviors.

It should be concerning that there are actual structural changes in the brain that correlate with smartphone use in individuals who have an addiction compared to the brains of those who don’t.

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The study goes into what each brain region is associated with in regards to behaviour, intelligence, etc.

In China, for example, teenagers are becoming hooked on electronic screens. Whether it be with their phone, computer, or video games, many young people are spending countless hours in front of a screen without bothering to eat or sleep, sometimes even withholding their urge to use the bathroom.

According to a blog report published by the New York Times“many have come to view the real world as fake.” (source)

In China, this phenomenon is actually considered a clinical disorder, and as a result a number of rehabilitation centres have been established where young people addicted to screens are completely isolated from all media. Although the success of these treatment centres is still unknown, it paints a dark picture of the technological age in which we live, and does not seem to bode well for our future.

Studies in China show that people who spend more than 6 hours on the internet for something other than work or study are likely to become addicted. Below is a trailer for the documentary “Web Junkies,” shedding light on this troubling aspect of modern life:

It’s not just China, this type of thing is seen all around the world:

“While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there’s no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of ‘live’ action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents’ cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.” (source)

As we continue to move forward, this type of addiction and behaviour becomes more disturbing. The power that some multinational corporations have, alongside their clever marketing tactics – basically making whatever product or idea they choose to be desirable to the human mind – is worrisome.  A few years ago, the American Academy of Paediatrics found that the average 8-10 year old spends almost eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children/teenagers spend even more, up to 11 hours. (source)

A study conducted by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, which included over 20,000 children/teens between grades 3 and 12, concluded that approximately 20% of grade 3 students already owned a cell phone. The numbers steadily rose from that point forward to approximately 25% in grade 4, 39% in grade 5, and 83% in middle school. You can read that entire study HERE.

With all of these electronics, it’s important to be aware of the impact of the radiation they give out and their documented harms. To learn more about that and access the science now available, please visit the Environmental Health Trust. It’s a great place to start your research.

The Takeaway

We are in the beginning stages of what could potentially be a big problem. We have yet to see the smartphone generation reach adulthood, therefore we can’t fully measure the potential consequences, but again, numerous studies like this one have already shown great cause for concern and render the idea that smartphones are completely harmless as completely false.

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Awareness

Binge Watching Is Associated With a 12 Percent Increased Risk of Inflammatory-Related Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death.

  • Reflect On:

    How much TV do you watch? How active is your lifestyle?

I’m sure that you hesitated before choosing to read this article, as most of us have been sucked into a binge watching marathon on more than one occasion (myself included). While it may seem like we’re buckling down to give ourselves a break, we may actually be hurting ourselves far more than we realize. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has proven to be harmful to our bodies, especially for adults over 50, and when you match lounging with television, you create a deadly combo.

In an Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers examined more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death, and those who spent more than four hours a day watching TV were at an even higher risk. This includes  diabetes, respiratory, cognitive, and kidney diseases. (source)

In general, watching television has proven to negatively impact mental health; it alters your brain, lowers your attention span, and has the potential to make you more aggressive. You don’t need to experience the “trance-like” state television can put us in, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed it before. This trance occurs roughly 30 seconds after you start watching TV. Your brain begins by producing alpha waves, leading to a light hypnotic state that makes the viewer less aware of their environment and more open to subtle messages — aka programming.

In the 1990s. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia, studied the effects that television has on the imagination of 10-12 year old children, ultimately concluding that television negatively impacts their development: “The ubiquity and ease of access to television and videos perhaps robs today’s children of the need to pursue their own thoughts and devise their own occupations, distracting them from inner processes and constantly demanding responses to external agendas, and suggests that this may have implications for the development of imaginative capacity.”

And these physical affects are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only does it eventually lead to immobility as you age, but with the risk of creating inflammation in the body, you are susceptible to a host of diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.

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Dr. Megan Grace is the lead investigator at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Between 1999 and 2000, her team quizzed adult participants about their viewing habits via a questionnaire. Again, this was before we had access to popular streaming websites like Netflix. The participants were separated into three groups based on their TV viewing habits: less than two hours per day, greater than two hours but less than four hours, and more than four hours.

“TV time was associated with increased risk of inflammatory-related mortality. This is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” the authors wrote.

They followed up with their participants 12 years later and found, of 909 deaths, 130 were inflammatory-related. Of the inflammatory-related deaths, 21 were from diseases of the respiratory system and 18 of the nervous system, and those who watched between two to four hours of TV a day showed a 54% higher risk of inflammatory-related death. Additionally, people who watched more than four hours of TV a day doubled their risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to those who watched two hours.

In addition to cutting down the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV and sitting or lying down, you can help combat inflammation with a number of foods like avocados, berries, sweet potato, onions, and watermelon, and herbs like, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric.

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Awareness

Some Doctors Claim Babies Should Share Their Mother’s Bed Until The Age Of 3

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother's bed. It's not the only study examining the benefits of close contact between mother and child shortly after birth.

  • Reflect On:

    How much of what we do today in a conventional way, especially with regards to childbirth, is the best way to do it?

When it comes to parenting, everyone seems to have an opinion, and rightfully so, especially if you are yourself a parent. But what about controversial topics? Is there a right or wrong way to raise your children? Are there certain things that you should or should not be doing? Of course, some things are more important than others. But new advice given by a paediatrician suggests children should sleep in bed with their mothers until they reach the age of three. 

Dr. Nils Bergman, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, argues that for optimal development, healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for at least their first few weeks. After that, he believes they should stay in bed with mom and dad until they are three or even four years old.

Because there has been a lot of fear propaganda created around the risk of cot death — the notion that a parent might roll over and suffocate their child — co-sleeping is generally not advised, and in fact, a recently published British study found that almost two-thirds of the cases of SIDS occurred when the bed was being shared.

But, according to Dr.Bergman, “When babies are smothered and suffer cot deaths, it is not because their mother is present. It is because of other things: toxic fumes, cigarettes, alcohol, big pillows and dangerous toys.”

A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother’s bed. It found that the baby’s heart was under three times as much stress when he or she slept alone. While sleeping in a cot, they had a more disrupted sleep and their brains were less likely to cycle and transition between the two types of sleep, called active and quiet.

In the cots, only 6 of the 16 babies had any quiet sleep at all, and their sleep quality was much worse.

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Dr. Bergman continued to explain how changes to the brain that are brought on by stress hormones can actually make it more difficult to form relationships and close bonds later in life.

Another study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry monitored results from 73 premature infants receiving Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact with their mothers, and another three premature infants received standard incubator care. The subjects of the study were monitored over a 10-year period, and the results were as follows:

KC increased autonomic functioning (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA) and maternal attachment behavior in the postpartum period, reduced maternal anxiety, and enhanced child cognitive development and executive functions from 6 months to 10 years. By 10 years of age, children receiving KC showed attenuated stress response, improved RSA, organized sleep, and better cognitive control. RSA and maternal behavior were dynamically interrelated over time, leading to improved physiology, executive functions, and mother–child reciprocity at 10 years.

The National Childbirth Trust supports bed sharing provided the parents have not been drinking, smoking, or using drugs, or if they are obese, chronically ill, or suffer from chronic exhaustion, all of which could cause them to roll over onto the baby or otherwise impact their health.

Overall, it’s a very controversial issue. Many swear by bed sharing, and it certainly used to be standard practice before cribs became so common and affordable. There are many upsides to this, but it is also important to be aware of and consider the potential dangers.

We all know babies need to be snuggled and cuddled and given love; they need to feel safe and secure, and how could they possibly feel this all alone in another room in a crib? When you actually think about it, it seems pretty backwards.

Every parent is just doing what they feel is best for their baby, but the opinions of others tend to get in the way. We’ve all heard those comments like, Oh you shouldn’t pick up that baby, you need to let them cry, they are going to have attachment issues, how are they going to develop their independence? Well, they are babies; they can’t care for themselves and they need to be taken care of. It is a natural urge for the mother to take care of her child.

What are your thoughts on this? Did you co-sleep with your child? Did you ever feel it was unsafe? Do you prefer your child to sleep in a crib? Let us know!

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