Live A Free Life Podcast Interview With Victoria Hansen
I recently had the privilege of chatting with Barnaby Andersun, the founder and principal brand strategist at Brand Aloud, and author of the book “Live a Free Life”.
I first came across Barnaby almost 15 years ago, when my own online business interests began. We lost contact for a long time then when social media became part of our daily lives, we reconnected on Facebook.
Over the past year, Barnaby has been living the life I dream about. I began following his blog after downloading his book “Live a Free Life” and patiently await his updates so I can continue to picture myself doing something very similar.
I emailed him and asked if he’d be interested in doing a podcast with me and he obliged.
But before we get started, a little bit more about Barnaby and his background, just to set the scene.
Starting life as a designer and writer, he quickly became a serial entrepreneur gaining over 20 years of business, marketing and branding experience. He’s worked with both large corporations as well as small scale projects where the aim was to drive a business’ short term growth and expansion.
Well known for bringing his energy, enthusiasm, entrepreneurial zeal and creativity to any new project or challenge, Barnaby is a highly regarded international keynote speaker and author, having trained over two thousand people around the world in how to brand and market their businesses.
Starting in IT as a designer and writer in 1993, Barnaby quickly saw the potential of the Internet and launched his own web consultancy in 1995, and grew it to a full team of developers over the next 15 years. Following a successful sale of his web design firm in 2010 Barnaby wanted to focus on helping businesses build brands that would succeed from day one.
Barnaby now travels the world, living in different countries and working on several creative projects. These include the new books he’s working on that show people how to live a free life from anywhere in the world, without the restrictions of being tied down by bills, contracts or obligations. Too many people are living like we’re still in the 20 the century, Barnaby’s goal is to show them how to embrace the amazing technologies of the 21st century and be free.
Have a listen to how he does it, it’s amazing. Please excuse my audio though, I was trying a new recording software and it’s not that great, back to the drawing board I guess. Barnaby on the other hand sounds fabulous.
Victoria Hansen: Hi Barnaby. Thank you so much for your time, I’m so excited to talk to you.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah great, I have been really looking forward to this Victoria. Thank you very much for having me on your podcast.
Victoria Hansen: My pleasure it has been a long time coming. I know we tried to do this before Christmas but as you know Christmas is manic or any time of the year is manic but Christmas is just dreadful. So I’m really glad we finally caught up. Tell me where you are right now in the world?
Barnaby Andersun: I’m in the middle of Mexico, so I’m in a little city called San Miguel de Allende and so it is one of those amazing little places that is a nexus meeting point for many people in the US. They like to come here and basically kind of like find a different way of living, find a slower pace, a cheaper type of lifestyle but with many, many great features. It’s got a very wonderful food scene, lots of restaurants, lots of culture. It is a really interesting life to live and I have heard about for quite a while that is why I wanted to come here and experience what is it like.
Victoria Hansen: So it is kind of on your bucket list?
Barnaby Andersun: Well I don’t really related things quite like a bucket list, it is more just…
Victoria Hansen: Okay I use that term I think because so many other people do relate to that and even though I know that is not what you are doing, some people might look at it from that perspective.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah I agree, I think it is a common term, a common way of looking at things that people have. They want to check things off their on their list before they kick the bucket basically.
Victoria Hansen: Yes exactly but of course yours is a slightly different scenario and I’m very keen for you to tell my listeners exactly what you have done and really when it came about. But first of all let us just outline your life now because it is really quite an exciting life, in fact I have actually known Barnaby for a very long time. Well at least I have known of him for a very long time because we connected many years ago when I first went on the internet. Then when you started doing what you are about to tell everyone that you are doing, I have been living vicariously through your posts and hoping that one day I want to do that, that is the lifestyle that I would love to do. So tell us a little bit about where you are at.
Barnaby Andersun: So do you mean where I am right now…
Victoria Hansen: No, no what the life is like, what you are doing, how you are living your life which is just amazing.
Barnaby Andersun: Okay so I am… I have very few possessions. I have cut myself down to about two bags and they are carryon bags and they are jam packed full of amazing gear. I really refined it down over the last two years and what this means is that it enables me to basically pack up and go somewhere and create a life very, very quickly. I can basically pack my whole life up in about 90 minutes. I can arrange and go to a new place and using a whole bunch of really amazing Apps pretty much free Apps that we find in our phones these days, I can create a life for myself and be all over this new place within about a week to two weeks.
So I basically like to find interesting places to go and live that have got a lot of culture, a lot of great good, good internet that would be inspiring. I like to go and settle there for a number of months, I don’t really have a plan of how long. It could be anywhere from one to six months, maybe even twelve months and I run my business online so I have a lot of freedom and basically enables me to pick a place and go and leave there set myself up and get busy with my work and have a very considerably very relaxed stress free life compared to what most people in places like Australia and the US and Europe. Compared to that it is much it is much, much more relaxed and stress free.
Victoria Hansen: So what prompted this for you, I mean it is sounds idealic and I’m sure people listening, there will be people that would listen and think I could live out of two bags! Then there will be people that will go and I would… I mean I would struggle living out of two bags but I don’t believe it is impossible. But the thought of being able to say I think I would go to Porto Pino now or gee wherever you are right now, that to me would be just seventh heaven.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah I think it isn’t mandatory to have so few bags…
Victoria Hansen: I’m so glad about that, I’m glad that is not a prerequisite because I will struggle.
Barnaby Andersun: I think in a way like how I’m living I mean people could just take a few like in a way how I’m living. I mean people could just take a few leaves from my book about it. I think we just kind of … they don’t have to take on the whole way I’m doing everything but I mean it depends… some people will probably just have that experience for maybe a couple of months, for maybe six months and then come back to their home.
Victoria Hansen: Yes
Barnaby Andersun: Or maybe they would like to have that experience for three months every year, you know what I mean?
Victoria Hansen: Yes
Barnaby Andersun: Like it is not about … it is really about having the … creating a situation where you have the freedom to live life on your own terms. To live life on your own terms could mean that you just actually stay where you are and spend more time with your kids, grandkids or you spend more time at the golf course. Maybe just means you get to have a month away every year in an exotic island or maybe it means you pack up everything and just live a very free life and go wherever you want whenever you want which is what I have created.
Victoria Hansen: You have become a global nomad?
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah you could definitely say that…
Victoria Hansen: Yes
Barnaby Andersun: I used to have a three storey home back in Australia filled with everything in it, the nice furniture, the TV, the beds, the… everything in the kitchen. It took me about three years to whittle the three story home down to two bags…
Victoria Hansen: Two bags! I love it, I absolutely love it. But I imagine with the concept that you have done where you have kind of taken it not so much on the extreme but to the fullest that it could be which is what people… look it is something that I like I would love to do and it is certainly something I’m working towards which is why I am so attracted to what it is that you are doing. There is a lot of stuff you have to consider behind the scenes at home and not just the whittling down of that three storey house is a whole life that you are living behind. How has that affected you? I mean you have left a loved one behind, you have obviously got family to some extent are they all there waiting for you. Do you go back and visit them and how does all that fit in?
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah I like I have gone back to Australia to visit my family twice in the last year and so that is probably one of my goals is to go back two times a year at least to see everybody. I have a daughter and she is in college, she is in university and she is in Melbourne at Monish University. I talk to her if I can get a hold of her; I talk to her every week but sometimes two weeks. She is pretty busy going to all her parties and having a great time and I do send her text messages on Facebook and various other chats throughout the week so we keep in touch very, very closely.
Then the other people in my family like my mother has actually passed away so there is my father, my grandmother and my sisters and my uncle and aunt. To be honest most people are pretty busy I mean I reach out and try to call them probably every three or four weeks and I don’t always get a hold of them. But I notice I seem to speak to everybody in truth probably once every two months except for my daughter who I like to talk to much more frequently than that.
Victoria Hansen: Okay well at least you have got that goal and you do that make effort to come back, has any of them come to visit you wherever you are?
Barnaby Andersun: No but that is not really how my family works.
Victoria Hansen: So that is not unusual thing, it is not you saying don’t come to me that is not just who they are?
Barnaby Andersun: No I think in many ways they are… they are probably a little bit scared in many ways of the places I like to go and live. Like I have been living in Thailand and Bali and the US and Mexico I have lived in bunch of places and I mean I can hear in their voice sometimes their concern. I just… clearly I don’t have that same kind of concern and I guess I always knew that about of them but I sort have prepped them for a long time that this is kind of how I am. I have been going overseas for many years like I have gone to India in more than half a dozen times and I guess I’m attracted to places that are very different from what life is like in Australia or other western countries.
Victoria Hansen: Yes exactly well given that you are a traveler by the sounds of it most of your life. When did you imagine you will do this actually pick up and go on a permanent basis. Has that been in the planning for a long time or did it just kind of come about you think I will pack up and go?
Barnaby Andersun: In truth it has probably been in planning for about 20 years.
Victoria Hansen: A very long bucket list okay very good.
Barnaby Andersun: I think I mean I was in my early 20s and it was probably a very, very basic idea but it was why I got into computers in the first place. Honestly before the internet it was in 1993 and I had a laptop and I was like wow I can see that with this computer it is possible for me to work from any location and that was what attracted me to it. That is why I chose that career and then when the internet showed up I was like wow this really is true. It really is going to be possible to work from anywhere and then I got married and had a daughter and so I didn’t go anywhere.
Victoria Hansen: Things happened yes.
Barnaby Andersun: I mean I keep on travelling I kept on going overseas every year but I didn’t… I’m a big plan of basically relocating and just being very much free I put that on hold until she finished high school, until she finished year 12.
Victoria Hansen: Okay so I guess there some things at home that you had to make sure were bated down before you did what you have done. I mean you had to work thing in place obviously because you had been working towards that and I get that part because I’m doing the same thing. But there are still essences of your life that need to be taken care of to a certain stage?
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah for sure like I guess I mean one of them was… I mean anyone who is a parent can understand it is not really they don’t want to or it is not necessarily inappropriate to leave that child before they are of age. So I didn’t want to do that it was very important for me to make sure that she was… and she lived with me, I looked after her, I raised her. So when she… I saw she became a very able confident person she went traveling herself and she finished school in Queensland at 17 within a couple of months she was travelling around the world by herself. So …
Victoria Hansen: She’s got her dad’s genes obviously.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah she does and maybe I primed her for that. The other thing is I had a very ill mother all of my life and so she died about seven years ago and so I know these are the concerns that many people have it is either for their children or it is for their parents. So for me in my particular case those things are now resolved and I guess you could say that I waited until they were resolved before I implemented this plan.
Victoria Hansen: Yes I get that, I’ve got the same thing but mine are with parents. So …
Barnaby Andersun: There you go yes so…
Victoria Hansen: When I have that settled then this is something… both my sister and I actually are very keen to do together.
Barnaby Andersun: Wonderful! Yeah, yeah I mean its… you never really want to put your life on hold for people. I mean I don’t actually necessarily recommend that as a strategy either because we have our life, we really don’t know how long we are going to be alive for. But then you have to balance that with if you are doing something would you really be feeling okay about it if you weren’t being responsible to the people that you feel indebted to, that you feel responsible to.
Victoria Hansen: Yes
Barnaby Andersun: There is that sort of balancing in between making sure that your own life is fulfilled versus taking care of the people that you really care about. I guess in my opinion I guess I did that I sort of have how you want to call it, paid all my dues, waited whatever. I guess if somebody came to me they were like I am really frustrated and I just really can’t stand to see why I really want to live life in my own terms and I don’t want to keep looking after everybody else. They really have to look at that; they have to kind of wisen up because maybe that is important for them to do because if they are living life out of resentment then that is not good either.
Victoria Hansen: No, you are absolutely right I don’t fortunately have those feelings that I don’t feel resentful at all. I feel and not a sense of duty either it’s something I want to do; I want to be there for my parents while they in this stage in their lives. So until that stage is finished I have no qualms and I know that it s not like if I don’t this now I’m going to miss out on it, that is not how I feel at all. I believe it will always be there, it is just it is all about timing.
Barnaby Andersun: It is and it is also following on what you just said, it is about trust. So if you can just basically trust that life is unfolding for you essentially as it should as it is and if you just keep trusting into that then it would just keep opening up and eventually I believe give you what it is, is your heart’s desire.
Victoria Hansen: Yes I agree with you I’m totally with you there, that is sort of how I guess that is how I live my life and how I believe … I mean I do go off the routes a little bit when some of those challenges come in. Speaking of challenges, what would you have or what do you believe has been your biggest challenge with this whole new process and this whole new life for you?
Barnaby Andersun: Well I think it has really changed my whole personality in many ways. Like I used to be somebody who is in many ways very controlling and quite uptight.
Victoria Hansen: Really I would never have guessed that Barnaby, no seriously I would never have guessed that of you.
Barnaby Andersun: No it has been a long time of me whittling that away and what I mean is I used to very super organized about where life was going and how it had to be done and I think I have just completely reversed that and now… so when you say what has been managed… I think that would have been a challenge for me. I think that is the process of essentially learning to let go of … because I have now completely surrendered or embraced a life of uncertainty essentially of unpredictability. I don’t really have fixed plans I just stay very much open and I look for opportunities and I listen to what the next thing to do is.
In the past it would have been like… I would have been very concerned around where are things going and how I managed that and also to be honest, I started off my journey with my girlfriend but she is no longer with me. I guess when you are saying what are some of the challenges I think to be honest this type of life it doesn’t actually suit everybody. So as you can tell I’m still on my journey and I’m doing it solo now.
So I guess part of the challenge there as well as recognizing what is my truth and where is it that I’m going and what does that really mean to be me and to open up to that. Sort of to stop in a way living out of concern of how other people are doing things and with that there was the concern that could I do this by myself? Can I actually do this? I guess I have discovered that I’m highly trained now in living like this and so I guess… along with these obviously things like money and work and so again I’m just free force now.
For 20 years I have been working in IT and most of the time I have been running web design and internet businesses. So having that ability to generate that income on the fly to just trust that things are going to keeping working that is the space I do things. So it wasn’t that I didn’t wait until I had many, many hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars until I did this. Not at all I just… I had my plan and I had my systems set up and I had clients and I had my own project so I had enough working but I was like okay I can do this.
Then I just kept on living from that particular space and so… in all truth as well sometimes the bank balance would get low and I would go, okay so there we go what do I need to do? I need to keep on going with my projects and I keep… I need to hustle some more and get out there. Where in the world could I go… so now I kind of look at the planet as in like what city do I need to go to in order to generate… like if I need to generate a big bunch of cash, like where do I need to go to do that? So obviously places like New York or Silicon Valley, places like that they spring to mind and so take myself there.
Then when things are all rosy again and everything is like really moving in a good way like it is now, I mean okay so I can change gears again. I can … where should I go? Why don’t I go down to Mexico and live in San Miguel and so it is kind of like it is a way of looking at the world and it is like having different gears and so different countries and different cities and different ways of living actually enable essentially the dollars to either come in or to go further.
So it is like looking at a… it is like having a car and money is the fuel obviously but you can actually spend it at a faster or slower rate depending upon where you are and you can also fill up at a gas tank and a petrol pump in different places much more easy than other places when you trick on to that. You can kind of go where do I need to go next and so that is how kind of I … that is how I have been doing it.
Victoria Hansen: Have you found yourself doing jobs that may not necessarily be in your area of expertise just to keep things going? Has that ever happened or have you been fortunate enough to be in place and be able to get some sort of work that is very much in tune with your whole expertise?
Barnaby Andersun: I run my own companies so basically everything flows through my branding company and so the work I do it typically always involves some branding or some marketing or client’s website or developing an App and so I have teams and people that work for me. So basically I got a team in Eastern Europe that work for me in Ukraine. So depending upon the work load like I sent different answer work through to them and so and because I also have a number of people I work with if ever I get stuck on something I ask them questions or.
But I have been working in this field for as I said about 20 years so I do know a lot about it. I don’t really tend to find to like get stuck really and so yeah I feel really fortunate that I’m able to generate things on the fly to either work on my projects or get clients or keep it moving along. Yeah I do feel very fortunate like that.
Victoria Hansen: So I guess the next question is kind of a little bit redundant because you have told us that you just going and flying by the seats of your pants. Do you see this being your life for the rest of your life or do you see that you will eventually probably settle in one place or is it really you just have no idea?
Barnaby Andersun: Well it makes me sound quite foolish when you put it like that…
Victoria Hansen: No and I don’t and that is not what I meant, I apologize maybe my framing of it but the concept of what you are doing I think is fantastic. Look I’m very similar to you in that I have described myself as [inaudible 0:19:40] on several occasions and I am very organized and I like to know what is happening next where I am going whatever. But then there is this other side that craves this absolute freedom that you are living and I am living through your posts. But then I wonder though is it something that I could do for the rest of my life or would I change? Should I just be in a position where I say whatever happens, happens?
Barnaby Andersun: That is exactly where I am at; it’s that whatever happens, happens. So actually there is no agenda and it’s not about… people ask me that. People say are going to get tired this you will need to settle down. Well based on how I have lived already I know what I means to settle down. I settled down for almost 20 years, I settled down for 18 years. I had the cars, had the homes, had the mortgages, had a business with 12 staff, raised a family I have done all of those things and looked after ailing parents. So I have had the whole gambit and in all truthfulness that didn’t really suit me too well.
Victoria Hansen: Clearly!
Barnaby Andersun: I always knew that and so I did all that and I’m really glad I did. I’m really glad I had that experience of what it means to fully settle down and to fully embrace that life of… which I guess most people in society that is kind of what they are taught to do and what the government do.
Victoria Hansen: It is expected isn’t it?
Barnaby Andersun: It is expected and so I don’t think it is actually that smart, I don’t think it works for everybody that is for sure. I think it works for a lot of people and if it works for you great go do that. It didn’t really work for me and so now that I’m living like this, this really works for me. I really like it, I actually really like looking out on … when one things about the month and the years ahead and this kinds of sense, I wonder where that will go. I don’t even really think about it, today I’m very happy where I am and warm town in the middle of Mexico with all these delicious tacos and amazing things to eat and right now I look out these rolling hills and all these in the distance and have my little desk set up where I work. I would not have imagined I would here doing these 5-6 weeks ago.
Victoria Hansen: No
Barnaby Andersun: I wouldn’t have done that at all and so if I couldn’t imagine that, I am like okay so how on earth can I imagine being in three months’ time? That also sounds very, very totally random. I do enjoying living somewhere for a quite a while. Like I like being settled, I like having a routine. I like getting to know a place and what I’m thinking now is I’m going to continue living here for the foreseeable time or whatever that is. So I imagine myself being here in three months but where would I be in 12months or … I don’t know, I don’t know how that would look like. Though what I do know is I like to be in places where I keep on making more and more connections.
One of the reasons why I love being in Mexico is it is very close to the US and I have a lot of business connections there and all these business opportunities. What this means is that I can easily just fly off to New York to about $250 and get there and create more business if I need to or work on some deals and then fly down to Mexico. So I don’t need to live in the States full time in order to make best use of it and that is one of the reasons I love being where I am at the moment.
Victoria Hansen: Speaking of that, living in those countries is there a time limit for each of the countries? Do you find you have to leave and go somewhere at the end of a three month period or whatever?
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah that is one of the other things that had me in some ways to keep on moving because basically every country has got time limits. So I spent last year… I left Australia in February of 2013 and I went to Bali for two months in a little village called Ubut and its lovely, then I lived in Germany, Thailand for six months. In Thailand basically there is many different types of visas and I’m an Australian it would be different for other people in other countries. But being an Australian you could get 30 days upon arrival but you can also get a double one of that.
So when you apply before you get there you can get 60 days with an additional 30 day extension which means you can actually arrive and then you can get three months to live in Thailand. Then you can cross the border and double that again, so crossing a border is literally like just popping into Minma or into Lao. You just pop over there for a day and then pop again and you double that so you can be there for six months. You can in situations here you can double that entire experience. So one has to look into the rules for all these but it is very feasible to live in Thailand for periods like that. But if you keep on doing that sort of endless the government will sort of go hang on what are you doing here and so then you have to take other measure. There many.
Many countries in the world that if you have a lot of cash and especially the older you are like I think it is typically over 50-55. In all these countries if you are cashed up and you are over that sort of age they are often very happy to have you.
Victoria Hansen: Great! That is great for me then I fit into that category.
Barnaby Andersun: For sure! I mean if you can show them your bank balance that you can live off and you are somewhere in your 50s and yeah you can very easily live in Thailand. There are those concerns that you are going to be taking a job away from somebody else that is the main concern. That’s the concern in Thailand, in the US, in Europe that is the concern everywhere. It is like don’t come here and take a job away from somebody else and also most of these places they don’t even believe that you can make money online. I mean certainly the US doesn’t they just don’t understand what you are talking about. Everybody just thinks that the only way you make money is by going somewhere from 9-5 and getting a pay check.
Victoria Hansen: Seriously!
Barnaby Andersun: Very much so absolutely, they do not understand how you make an income. So I make money online, what do you mean? How can you possibly do that? The guards, the patrol guards there they are talking like that so they really don’t believe it.
Victoria Hansen: Isn’t that an odd thing given how many websites that come out of the US are profitable.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah there is… this is still a tiny fraction of the percentage of society that has even heard of such things. Very, very few people on the planet understand what you and I understand. That is one of the other things to take into account is the privilege that you and I have. The education that we have, the skills that we have it is unbelievable. I guess that is one of the other things that I enjoying my travels and living in different countries having lived in India and Thailand and Bali and Mexico and other places. It is just recognizing wow the opportunity that you and I have is just unbelievable and very few people on the planet can actually live the way I leave and you could potentially live.
Then what I then I feel is I feel for all these people especially those living in Australia or in Europe or Australia. I guess because they have such privilege and yet they live under such stress. I mean of course the people in Africa or India or in many other parts of the world who are hardly making ends meet and they are doing it really tough. But they don’t really have the same opportunity that you and I do or many other people in Australia but there is other people in Australia and the US and so forth where they have their opportunity, they don’t know that they do.
Victoria Hansen: That is exactly right.
Barnaby Andersun: They don’t believe that they do…
Victoria Hansen: Yeah I think the belief is the key isn’t it really? They probably have heard about it, they hear of people doing it but they don’t actually believe that they can physically do it themselves.
Barnaby Andersun: Well I can tell you now to live comfortably in Australia as in to have a good standard of living, you probably need to make around at least 70 grand a year and that is working full time, paying your taxes, working your butt off and I can travel the world and have an extraordinary high standard living for about $45000 a year.
Victoria Hansen: Now that is the part I think people are going to be fascinated by because you have written a book on just… well the book itself predominantly looks after the fun side of things doesn’t it? Or you cover everything in that?
Barnaby Andersun: No that one was based on a phone how you set yourself up so you can talk to people anywhere, my next couple of books are going to be about how to how to set up a home, how to live, create different places for yourself and then also how to generate an income. So I will be writing more about that in more detail. But the first one is about the basics of being able to be in communication with people which is a fundamental [0:28:23] if you could have a phone and you can call anybody anywhere and they can reach you anywhere plus on a mobile phone number, that is very very powerful.
Victoria Hansen: Yes it is. Yes and I think that would be I think the one thing that most people would be concerned about. Having a different number in every country you go to and that is what your book covers doesn’t it? I mean it talks about how to keep your number and how to be able to manage this no matter where you are in the world
Barnaby Andersun: Exactly! Because if you have a phone that you could keep running your same phone number in your home country, nobody even needs to know where you are so that means for me is you can swop a lifestyle that way you have to work your butt off make $1-2000 a week and still have to cook and clean but don’t have much to show for at the end of the week. You can swop that lifestyle for living in somewhere like Thailand and it costs you $150-200 a week to never have to cook or clean, the massages, everything is done for you. I mean and you can still talk to everybody you can still talk to your clients or your loved ones or whoever, that is an amazing skill and an amazing situation to be in.
Victoria Hansen: Absolutely and a very attractive that one.
Barnaby Andersun: I guess some people want to see like… some people get annoyed about this. Actually I know my sister does like if I tell her in detail about how I live and she gets very upset and very cross, she is like don’t you think this is totally unfair and inappropriate that there is some many people out there who are struggling and look at you. I get what she means but I can’t actually do anything about those billions of people at this point in my life anyway. I recognize I have this opportunity and I’m very very grateful for it, so what does that mean? Does that mean that I shouldn’t live like this because so many people can’t?
I mean it is interesting thing to think about but I guess I have obviously chosen well I can and so I shall. I would like to actually … and part of it is I like to show other people how they can too and free up as many people as I can who want to do this.
Victoria Hansen: I think that is the key for you, I don’t think what you are doing is wrong and I also see where your sister is coming from. But what you have done is you have made a choice and everybody has the ability to make a choice one way or another. There are many not be able to do exactly what you have done because they may not have the background that you have got or the knowledge that you have got. But they can learn and then doing what you are doing where you are teaching and you’re going to show people how to do it by your books and I’m assuming maybe other things that move through all of that webinars and whatever else you can possible do. Then you are going to share that knowledge and this is up to the individual person as to whether or not they choose to go on that track.
Barnaby Andersun: Absolutely, like how I’m living I’m not even necessarily recommending, I’m not saying that this is the best way to live, not at all. I’m saying that this is a good way for me to live and also it is a good way to live if you actually do want to be essentially entirely free to have life on your terms. If you do want to do that and just on that point that you raised about not having the skills set, so these days because there are so many people in the world who have got the skills to build websites to do video editing, to write books, to do all these kinds of stuff and they are hungry for work and they are often anywhere from $5-12 an hour in various countries. So you can actually hire people to do everything that you need done. If you had a bunch of money, that means you could actually go and live somewhere e.g. Thailand or Mexico or whatever. Somewhere substantially cheaper and you could pay other people to do the work for you and you could oversee it. That’s one option. Or another one is, you can even just take, given you can live in Thailand for a very high standard of living for about $6,000 a year, that’s kind of unbelievable but it is …
Victoria Hansen: It is kind of unbelievable. But very attractive.
Barnaby Andersun: But you can actually do it. So imagine if you saved up $15,000 and you decide to go and live in Thailand for two years and you didn’t know much about internet marketing or how to run a business online …
Victoria Hansen: You could learn.
Barnaby Andersun: Do you think if you applied yourself the two years and gave it a full time go, that you would be able to pull something together? I think most people …
Victoria Hansen: I think you would and you’ll find everything online that you need to learn.
Barnaby Andersun: Exactly. Imagine if that was like your university, your course that you’re doing, you went and lived somewhere like that for two years to get your life foundation set up so that you had an ongoing income and you did the whole thing for about 15 grand which is saved up and then after that you were free to live wherever you wanted. I mean that’s a very interesting thing that somebody could do and they can do that.
Victoria Hansen: Yes, it’s all there, it’s all there, literally and you’re right. I guess with a lot of people, the biggest dilemma they face particularly if they’re working full time is they say yes, look, I do want to transition, I do want to run my own business, I do think I’ve got skills that I could sell online but I don’t know how to go about that. They don’t have time to actually sit and teach themselves because when they come home from work, they’re exhausted, they have something to eat and they flop in front of the television. Whereas if they just took one hour a day and say, “I’m not going to watch television today. I’m going to sit down in my computer and I’m going to look at some videos. Some YouTube videos that will teach me how to do some of the stuff that I want to do.” You would learn very quickly.
Barnaby Andersun: You would. Now I guess I think that’s great and to be honest I think it’s great in theory. Because you know what? I tried doing that. I’m highly skilled. For me it wasn’t about having to learn the things, it was actually about applying myself every day, several hours to my own projects. Because when you’ve always got client work to do and so forth, it’s very consuming. After many many years, I’m talking like maybe five years of me trying to get my own projects off the ground, while living in Australia, while doing client work, while having a business and everything, I wasn’t able to do it. I was like wow; I just got really straight with myself.
I was like you know what? I need to go somewhere where it’s very much a stress free lifestyle, very minimal cost, very cheap to live and I can take the cash that I have and I can basically create my own foundation from there. I guess what I’m saying most people would actually find it quite difficult to create that kind of platform. Some people can, but I think it’s very hard for most people to do so. whereas I think it would actually be easier and I admit possibly scary if they would have actually let’s say actually quit their job, take their savings, take 10 or 20 grand, go to somewhere like Thailand or Mexico and hanker down and applied themselves full time to this.
Give themselves one or two years, I think that’s actually a more realistic strategy to be able to pull it off. Everybody is different, you can test things out. You can go with one of like, let me see for the next three months if I can spend an hour or two a day working on training myself and setting up my own business online. Can I actually do that? Can I make it work? Or do I actually need to give myself the complete creative freedom where I don’t have anything else bugging me in my head space. There’s no little concerns. Because I mentioned if you wipe away all the concerns of bills, of distractions, of all these things, either really creates a lot of head space to be able to make something happen.
Victoria Hansen: I can imagine. I dream about that Barnaby every night. Yeah, I can imagine when you don’t have any of those day-to-day stresses of life, and when I have periods where I don’t have any of those, my productivity goes through the roof.
Barnaby Andersun: Exactly. That’s why if you took that scale of productivity and gave yourself the opportunity to live that full time for six months let’s say, oh my goodness, what would you achieve? Compared to it’s a bit like you’re kind of having to always derive yourself while pulling all these big heavy stones behind you. It’s like taking two steps forward and one step back all the time. I think …
Victoria Hansen: I guess … Sorry; I was just about to interject there. But then you will find that there will be some people that can’t operate themselves and go so that is the only option they do have in the interim because it’s sort of a catch 22. They physically have to have something set up in order to be able to take off.
Barnaby Andersun: Exactly. Like I’ve got a friend I was talking to this week and his case is actually he’s got an illness. So see everybody has got something different. He’s living in Australia and he’s waiting to get better and a special new medication to come out. He’s already highly trained on the internet. He’s a copyrighter; he knows how to do a number of things online. He has to wait about 12 to 18 months before he’s both well enough and before a new type of medication is released before he can live. I said to him, well the best thing is to basically do what you just said which is everyday spend some time, keep up scaling yourself to as much as you can, set up, and then go and leave when you can. So that’s what he’s working towards.
So everybody’s got to work with what they have. I mean there’s a number of interesting stories. Like I met one of my guys in my travels, he was from Germany. He was so desperate to get out that he basically was working in a call center. He was training himself at night, like he would spend all, I can’t remember if it was day or night training himself on online business and how to make money and then go to his course to make his money. He started making money online. He was watching how much it cost to live in Thailand.
When it got to a point where he was generating $600 a month from his internet business, he just quit his job instantly. He wasn’t that he had any money saved up; it wasn’t that he even had guaranteed ongoing $600 a month coming in, he just saw when it first happened, he was like I can do this. He just left Germany, went straight there and he’s been living in Thailand I think for more than 18 months now. So you can see how some people depending upon whether they’re like he just had to get out, he had to go and change his lifestyle. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
Victoria Hansen: It is interesting and I guess for a lot of people, they need the break and that guy sounds like he got that break, he saw that he could actually do it, he saw that there is money coming in knowing how much he’s going to need to live in that country, OK, I can generate this now. So once you’ve done it once too, the rest seems to just flow. It’s a bit like having money, you need money to make money and it’s a bit like having one successful internet business or one successful product that takes over for you, gives you the incentive and the motivation and the belief that you can create another one and then another one and then another one and it just grows from there.
Barnaby Andersun: I think there’s two kinds of things that one needs to demonstrate to one self. One is exactly as you said, making an income online. You need to demonstrate that yes you can do that because there’s only three ways you can make money living like this. One is from rental properties, from real estate or making money through the share market or making money on the internet. Those are kind of really the only ways to make money in geo-independent way. So one needs to demonstrate that, one needs to say, “Yes, I can do that.” The other thing to demonstrate to yourself and I would recommend this to anybody who is even remotely interested in this topic is to go and experience what it’s like to live in one of this places.
To just take either a couple of weeks or a couple of months off and just go and see what it is like to live in Bali or see what it is like to live in Thailand or Mexico or one of these places. And go wow, really? Life really is this low cost, really is this stress free? When you come back, let’s say you just took that for three weeks or four weeks and then you come back to Australia or the US or wherever you live and you’re wow, I mean it was just would really change one’s perspective, you start going oh, you start to sort of see through the intensity upon which everybody else is living under this pressure of mortgages and bills and everything. You go wow; there are other ways to live on this planet.
Victoria Hansen: Exactly. It is a bit of a trial and error thing, isn’t it? Maybe it’s those baby steps in the form of a holiday is a way to get started. Maybe when you’re on that holiday rather than going to a resort per se, you can go and live in a place where you might live if you’re going to do this.
Barnaby Andersun: Exactly! While I’m thinking more like a holiday, I think it’s like a trial run or just as an experiment to see, “Oh what’s it like to live in one of these places?” I think that many people go to these places for a holiday and they go back home and when you do that, it’s very much the case of like oh you’re counting down the days until you get here, you’re dreading going back home. It has a very different flavor to if you’re there just checking it out like an experiment.
Victoria Hansen: Exactly. There’s more I’d like to talk to you about if we can do that, but we might end this one here today because we’ve given everyone so much information to think about. But some of the specifics, thinking about you need internet and all of those sorts of things. I wonder if you’d be interested in coming back and doing another one with me so we could go into more of the logistics I guess.
Barnaby Andersun: Yeah for sure, absolutely because that’s one of the really good pointers, you need to; you want to be somewhere that’s got quality food, good water, good access to good water, good internet, good electricity, good medical. On that point though, one of the things that people often think is, those are only available in highly developed western countries and it’s not true. Yeah.
Victoria Hansen: I think that’s something that people need to know about. So perhaps some of the experiences that you’ve had and some of the places that you have been and also how you go about your research which I think would fascinate a lot of people and certainly be very helpful if they were thinking about doing this at some point in their lives. Maybe we can schedule another podcast to cover some of that logistic side.
Barnaby Andersun: Happy to, happy to Victoria, that would be great.
Victoria Hansen: Fantastic! Barnaby thank you so much for your time. I know it has taken us a while to do this, but it’s been so worthwhile, I’ve learnt a lot, thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you and I know my listeners will as well.
Barnaby Andersun: Great! Well let’s talk again soon.
Victoria Hansen: OK. Bye.
Barnaby Andersun: Bye.