Not many people would be prepared to walk away from a well-paying career job in the prime of their earnings life, but somebody who was is David Dean. The New Zealander left his corporate position in Australia in 2011 to embark on a road trip that looks like lasting for the rest of his life.

It may sound to many like a rush of blood to the head but Dave had carefully planned his exit from the rat race for a period of time and had developed a secondary income stream that he knew could sustain him in his original destination of choice – Thailand. He had no plans to be a perpetual traveler without income.

Since then Dave’s online business has grown to the extent that he can now travel the world and sustain his lifestyle on a monthly basis – but we’re not talking about big dollars here. Thanks to his blog and his travel technology website Dave is able to live his idyllic digital nomad lifestyle, most months, for less than $US2500 – proving that paradise doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

We spoke with Dave shortly after he settled in to his current location Porto, Portugal. Listen to the podcast for the full details of how Dave does it, how he is able to make this lifestyle affordable and how his experiences have changed his life.

dave Dave Dean in Portugal Dave Dean Color run


What I learned from Dave’s interview:

  1. He had a clear plan. This was no “swear at the boss and walk out” moment. He did his homework, knew his target for income he’d need (which was shockingly low at $1000 per month) and worked towards a date
  2. Living an expat life and being location independent is incredibly affordable even allowing for moving around. Dave works the hubs of Europe and Asia getting cheap flights and deals within regions which allows him to keep expensive long haul flights to a minimum. He also uses online sites like Airbnb to secure apartments (and off interview he shared with me that negotiating monthly rates for Asian hotels can have you getting some fantastic deals from as little as $500 per month)
  3. Health care is not only a non-issue, it’s actually a benefit. Many larger Asian cities have Western trained doctors in high quality clinics at extremely affordable prices that make Western hospitals and surgeries look very ordinary. In many cases you can walk in off the street and be treated in these clinics in a matter of minutes for less than $50. Dave gets his dental work done when in Asia and has no regrets about using their services.

Check out this episode!

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