In todays interesting interview, I am featuring Mish and Rob of ‘Making It Anywhere’. I came across their blog via the Dynamite Circle when looking for information on digital nomads looking to relocate to Chiang Mai in Thailand.
They share their experiences of building a business they are proud of, on their own terms, while travelling the world.
The “Start here” page is probably the best place to start on their site (it means you can bypass random posts about puppies, strange business ideas, unfortunate trekking incidents and obsessive coffee habits).
When did you decide to start a travel blog and why?
We quit our jobs in March 2012, and our plan was to move to NYC for six months to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives. We were desperate to get out of the UK (where we’re from) for some breathing space, and we love NYC so it seemed like the logical – albeit expensive – place to go.
We realised pretty early on that we wanted to work for ourselves and build our own business, but it was only about halfway through our trip that we decided to become digital nomads and move around the world with our work. (We’d originally planned to just return to the UK.)
At about that time, we also decided to start a blog. We wanted our business to be about brand consulting, web design and copywriting (skills we had and work we loved doing), and we thought that we could direct potential clients to our blog for evidence of our writing work. What soon happened, however, is that our regular readers – rather than potential clients we’d targeted – started to contact us about doing brand consultancy and copywriting work for their own businesses.
Did you work on your travels or save lots of money before you left?
We’ve always been good savers because we hate shopping and we’re not really fussed about clothes. So before we left for NYC, we upped the amount we were saving each month – from about 30% of our income to 50%.
We needed to have a lot saved up because we didn’t know how long it’d take to start making proper money again.
Have you worked as a freelancer with sites like Elance?
Yes – sites like Elance and Fiverr were essential for getting us into the “working for ourselves” mindset. We’ve written a post about it here.
What is your goal with your blog and online pursuits?
We just REALLY want to help people escape their corporate 9-to-5s (unless they’re happy there – in which case we say “Stay put!”), and we want to help them do what we did: build a business they love and are proud of, on their own terms, from wherever they want to live in the world.
Have you ever been arrested abroad?
Hmmm… I think you need to know us better. Rob is so worried about being told off at the check-in gate for overweight luggage that Mish has to spend every pre-flight morning standing naked on some travel scales, holding a suitcase, until it’s AT LEAST 1kg below the maximum.
We don’t tend to do anything that might lead to an arrest. Although now Rob’s worried we’re jinxing ourselves…
Do you ride motorbikes or scooters while traveling?
This picture says it all. Only if we have to, basically.
Is Asia a good place to get started when working online?
Yes, for many reasons:
The food is incredible.
The people (in Thailand at least) are wonderfully friendly.
There’s a whole community of other digital nomads out there, who you can buddy up with and share ideas with.
If you want to build up a successful business/freelancing career, you need to go out there with the right mindset: you can’t spend the whole time getting massages and holding chilli-eating contests with your buddies. Your money will go a long way, but that won’t make you successful.
Did you feel like you were writing for yourself for the first few months?
Yes – probably because we were. (Although our mums checked the blog occasionally.)
Did you keep your blog private or did you tell your friends and family straight away?
We told our mums so that our Google Analytics weren’t so depressing. But that was about it. We didn’t tell friends to start with because we were too embarrassed.
Ever had a difficult situation at a border crossing?
Once Mish accidentally tried to cross with a punnet of strawberries in her bag. She was so mortified about being berated that she practically offered to be put in jail for flouting the law.
Have you met many travel bloggers on the road?
We’ve met heaps of digital nomads, and it’s the loveliest feeling to meet up with people who have such a similar outlook on life as you.
Do you have a virtual assistant?
Yes. She’s called Louise and every day we talk about how much we love her. She helps us with a variety of things related to our business.
What is your favorite quote?
It’s from Transport for London, and it goes like this:
“Let people off the train first.”
Basically, politeness and general consideration for others goes a long way – in business, in travel, and in life.
Do you read business or success books?
Goodness yes. Essential. But we also read loads of blogs, listen to heaps of podcasts, and watch an insane number of business/educational videos. You can see our favourites here.
Have done any crazy sh*t? What was the scariest?
Erm… how about the time a deer slowly ambled towards us? (We’re not that adventurous.)
What p*sses you off most about living a life of travel?
Packing. It’s the only time Mish throws hissy fits.
Do you ever miss home?
Honestly? Not really. We miss family and friends, tandoori chicken and Today on Radio 4. Oh, and bagels from the Brick Lane beigel bake. But we don’t feel “at home” in London anymore, and we’re loving the freedom and experiences that come from working for ourselves around the world – and meeting amazing people at the same time.
Keep up with Mish and Rob’s Digital Nomad Adventures