Andrew Hyde has traveled to eighty countries over 3.5yrs practicing what he calls "extreme minimalism." Learn how and why he did it.
Andrew Hyde is a true renaissance human: well-read, well-travelled, introspective, self-actualizing and passionate about subjects like sustainability, blockchain, community, culture and startups. In this conversation we explore a wide range of topics from “what constitutes travel?” to “how can we participate better in whatever we do?”
Andrew shares travel stories of how & why he is now forever banned from returning to Nepal, his rationale behind the Extreme Minimalism project, why he cycled across the USA, his travel hacks and more. Andrew has been interviewed by NYTimes, NBC World News, ABC Radio, Washington Post, Boing Boing, Boston Globe, INC magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Daily Mail, Yahoo amongst other publications. Enjoy this dynamic and wandering conversation with a person I feel incredibly fortunate to call my friend.
Sean Tierney – 00:21 – What’s it like to sell all your belongings and collapse everything you own into just 15 items that fit into a small backpack and then to hit the road for three and a half years, visit 80 countries all while writing a bestselling novel on travel. This is just one of the many amazing adventures of Andrew Hyde. I had a chance recently to catch up with Andrew and asked him questions about topics like minimalism, sustainability, blockchain sharing economy, and how to adopt a more zen like attitude towards travel. Andrew has a very impressive, uh, even what I would say aggressive bucket list and he has more items in his completed column that I even have on my total bucket list. So to give you an example, last year Andrew cycled across the entire United States just to see if he could do it. And he did it. I’ve known Andrew for 12 years now and every time we have a conversation I find myself rethinking fundamental assumptions, questioning constructs that I thought were fully baked and coming away with these little epiphany’s and Aha moments, which is why I’m extremely stoked to now share with you my conversation with Andrew Hyde.
Sean Tierney – 01:26 – So without further ado, here is that conversation.
Sean Tierney – 01:30 – Nomad podcast is supported in part by nomad prep, an online academy that teaches you everything you need to know to take your job on the road and crush it abroad. Enroll today at nomad prep.com/podcast, and get your first four days of training completely free. Nomad prep. Take your job on the road and take on the world.
Sean Tierney – 01:47 – Alright, welcome Andrew Hyde to the nomad, podcasts.
Andrew Hyde – 01:56 – Hey, welcome. You can welcome you to my own podcast.
Sean Tierney – 01:59 – All right, so let me just kind of paint the picture here. Andrew has been to 80 countries, is that right? 80.
Andrew Hyde – 01:59 – Yeah.
Sean Tierney – 02:08 – So that’s about two times the most that anyone I’ve interviewed has been to. So you hold the record there. I think Trevor was 44, so twice the number of countries there. Your founder of Startup Weekend, moderator of TedxBoulder, moderator of startup week, Boulder, ignite boulder, author of a bestselling travel book that is aptly named. This book is about travel and you’ve been interviewed by this longer list of New York Times, NBC World News, ABC Radio, Washington Post, Boing Boing, Boston Globe, Ink magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, like the lists it’s too long to read. Um, and then also like speaking of list, your bucket list is just like the completed items on that bucket list.
Andrew Hyde – 02:08 – I have it. I have a bucket list in a year and it does [inaudible].
Sean Tierney – 02:57 – So it’s even, so it’s even more than what’s there now.
Andrew Hyde – 03:01 – I’m essentially last year and I basically did that because I like foolishly put it on my bucket list and somebody is like, Hey, I see this is on your website.
Sean Tierney – 03:11 – Yeah, that one wasn’t updated so I knew you were doing that in.
Andrew Hyde – 03:19 – I need to update it. sorry about that.
Sean Tierney – 03:20 – But yeah, the items on there, I mean it reads like just doing a fraction of those items is amazing. So you’ve done so much cool stuff. We can talk about a million things, but I think given the, the function of this podcast, the whole goal here is really to like help make nomadic travel more accessible. And so I figured we start with the topic of minimalism.
Andrew Hyde – 03:40 – Yeah.
Sean Tierney – 03:40 – You can just talk about like, I know you did that project, the extreme minimalism project. What, what was that all about?
Andrew Hyde – 03:46 – Yeah. I never really traveled and toes 22 or 23. I was taught it was for the rich guys thought as for the privileged and if that wasn’t me. And so I started traveling a little bit for work. Having started that movement that was in a bunch of countries so people are invited me and offering plane tickets. So I was like, Oh wow, I can go to London now. I can go to Hamburg and all these places. I don’t like her to have it run as in books. And so at a certain point, you know, life kind of hit me and I kind of slightly broke my foot. I had a big stress fracture and I was training for an iron man at the time. Um, I decided that my job wasn’t for me and my girlfriend decided that, you know, the relationship with working and those all happened within like 48 hours.
Andrew Hyde – 04:30 – And so I kind of got all my friends together all at my closest, lovely friends and I said, what should I do, you know, about sign another company that’s thinking about moving to San Francisco. I’m thinking about all these things. They, all eight of eight said travel, you have to try. And so I took that to heart and started looking at it, kind of turned around and I’d saved up a couple of thousand dollars and I was like alright, I can take some time off. And I, you know, but. But really one of the big things that was scary, it was a storage shed and I don’t know why that was such a big part of my trip. But the idea of storing all my stuff and paying $250 a month for that would limit my trip. A lot of flexibility. And so I got rid of my apartment and I did so during a dinner party and I kind of got everybody a little bit drunk and then I said, all right, everything you see here is you’re taking. And so then I had 30 of my closest friends just will lose my apartment, which is pretty fun, like people tackling everybody. Jeremy Tanner, one of our mutual friends was there, um, he got the TV I think um,
Sean Tierney – 05:37 – so you didn’t have all the stuff you just gave it away to the people,
Andrew Hyde – 05:40 – like the higher value stuff. But like most of the stuff was just like yard sale quality. So, and I probably got it from yard sales. So you did it. All my friends were talking about on my tee shirts, seeing which ones they wanted and then I just kind of took off and I followed an airline deal and ended up in Bogota, Columbia and started out adventure. Um, but in doing so and in doing it the way I did, I only owned my backpack. Like it didn’t have anything else to my name. I only owned the few items in my backpack. And you know, when you start traveling, you kind of have this like massive travelers kind of at hostels and such. They have these huge, you know, 50 pound packs with another pack on front. They’re just walking around and that just looks miserable to me.
Andrew Hyde – 06:21 – I’d rather wear, you know, the same three shirts over and over and over. Then I would carry a backpack. So. So I lucked out and that my quest for travel independence actually cool. Just minimalism. And they only owned a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a couple of shirts, a couple of pairs of underwear and socks. My Laptop, I camera on my phone, you know, like I didn’t have much. And then at a certain point I totaled it up. I did it for about a year and nobody cared, nobody cared. And then I did a radio interview with Dan from ABC radio news and then suddenly everybody was nitpicking and saying, Oh, in this photo I see you own 16 items and this photo, you know. And so then everybody was, was really angry that I only onto team things when I really owed 18, you know, here’s my toothbrush and toothpaste.
Andrew Hyde – 07:12 – Is that one item or is that too, you know, like they’ve really got to do it and it’s like I didn’t care. So like I cared that I got to do on these experiences by owning class. That was a reason of the project. And then I read about in the book, you know, at a, at a, at a year into it, people were just like, yeah, you’re really privileged with the credit card. And so and like hit my credit card and went homeless in Austin for a week two just to experience what it would be like to not have that backpack. Me and the guy begging on the street corner. Pretty similar, you know. So let me dive into that. Discuss the idea of privilege and with myself and feel where I was comfortable.
Sean Tierney – 07:49 – Well, and I remember reading at one point a poster you had written that caught my eye that was about like surviving at like thirty five cents a day or something on red beans, some food that you can make very cheaply.
Andrew Hyde – 08:01 – Yeah, I think it was one of my top blog this time is how to live comfortably of $34 a month for food. And it was just kind of like, I just remember being in a grocery store, you know, during college and being like, all right, I’ve got $20 cash, let’s make this work, you know, for two weeks. And it was just like, man, this is tough. And like I’m looking around and it’s like, no, he’s like, this is, this is bad, you know. But also like, Holy Shit, you go to this department, I can talk to this person. It became challenged and I was at lunch, you know, later on in life where we dropped $34 for lunch, you know, does. It’s kind of like, all right, I’ve got to tell you the story about that was my food budget and here’s what I did. Actually pretty well, but you know, you’ve got to experiment, you’ve got to take what you’re given and see how you can thrive.
Sean Tierney – 08:45 – Yeah, that just seems like it as long as I’ve known you and I’ve known you for like 12 years now, you constantly challenge assumptions and push boundaries and things like this and like delve into, this is what I like is that you’ll delve into, well what is homeless list like let’s go experiment with that and see what that’s about
Andrew Hyde – 09:04 – rather than, you know, rather than traveling what is defined visiting a country of an 80, but I’ve only really have countries where I’m trying riding public transit and then into a grocery store. And I think if you’ve done those two things, you’ve, you’ve kind of seen what realize is. Yeah. But the train through a country visiting a country. Yeah. Although it is public transit I guess. But um, you know, there’s all these discussions and there’s almost these holy discussions on travel and it’s just like they’re all meaningless because travel is just your intent. You know, you can travel in your hometown this weekend. You don’t have to have any money, you don’t have to have any privilege to be able to just say like, Hey, I’m going to go out and explore a place that nobody goes and talk to the people that are there, you something kind or do something with art and just experience it.
Sean Tierney – 09:55 – Well in, on that vein. So yesterday we were talking about that rant, you know that when, when people say, Oh, you’re so lucky, you know, I could never do this. What do you say to those people that are erecting kind of false barriers to doing it on their own? I feel like they couldn’t do it.
Andrew Hyde – 10:11 – Yeah, I mean a, you’re right, you know, we are very lucky we get to choose our future. Um, you get to choose that. I get to choose that as well. I have chosen a pretty optimistic view that teacher, um, and also like I’ve met more dishwashers then I have lawyers on the road traveling and the coolest places in the world. You ask them where they’re from, what they do, and there’s the people that want to travel or the people that are traveling. It’s not the people that are the most privileged and they’re traveling, you know, like I remember being on top of this like Machu Picchu, style, you know, lost city and Colombia, you know, with a group of six and it was just nobody during more than a year, but here they all have this unbelievable life experience of seeing where the cocos grown, having pushup contests with Colombian soldiers with Aka case on their risks while they’re doing the pushups that you having an amazing life experiences that only comes because they took a chance and they said, I want to do this right?
Andrew Hyde – 11:15 – If you want to go like I think I expect an international around the world, some five content trip and the airfare was under $2,500. Right? And if you have $2,500 on your wall that you’re going to say, I’m going to earn $2,500 this year so I can buy this ticket right here.
Sean Tierney – 11:33 – You can probably do that,
Andrew Hyde – 11:35 – right? If that’s your goal, if you’re listening to podcasts, if you’re at a level where you’re actually able to kind of play around and hack, which not everybody is. So it is a very privileged thing. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s a lot cheaper time is by far the most expensive thing I far.
Sean Tierney – 11:52 – Yeah. Think the lesson there is that, uh, people tend to like, it’s what you value at the end of the day, right? It’s not the absolute dollar amounts we’re talking about are not actually that high, but it’s a matter of like squeezing it into your schedule. And I think too often the tendency is to use the price is a justification for just not taking the leap.
Andrew Hyde – 12:13 – If you only have a week around Christmas time to do an international trip, you’re competing with everybody else. This will be pretty international trip, right? I would never travel internationally during Christmas time just because of the prices are for acts, for everything you do. And then you get this bad taste in your mouth. The travel is just for the elite because you think that it’s going to cost you $6,000 for that week to Lima, which isn’t, it’s not the most expensive travel destination and he did live for a year and do that.
Andrew Hyde – 12:43 – If you went to, you know, that’s the other thing is like I am really a fan of budgets and you know, if you want to spend two grand and live an amazing three weeks in Hawaii, you could do that, but if you want to take that to grab and live for seven weeks in North Africa, playing around, you also do that. Right. But like money, you know, in many ways, a cup of coffee constantly cup of coffee no matter where you go in the world and it’s just like that’s the price and you’ve got a budget for it and there’s no competitive shopping and there’s no haggling that’ll they’ll get over the, you know, it costs us money to travel.
Sean Tierney – 13:20 – Were you, when you did this travel, how long were you gone for?
Andrew Hyde – 13:26 – It’s hard to say because I like, I found love and it was in Switzerland for awhile. Then I fell in love and I was like, is that travel? At that point I was working for awhile for a German company, but from the time I left boulder to the time that I felt like I was home probably three and a half years.
Sean Tierney – 13:46 – Yeah. And you were obviously you had to work for some of that period and then some of those periods you went just kind of took off work and did your own thing or what was the.
Andrew Hyde – 13:55 – I think the first year I took off work, the second year I was working on random things and the third year I was like back to being a professional.
Sean Tierney – 13:55 – Yeah. Cool.
Andrew Hyde – 14:05 – I and I saved up a ton of money and actually at 30 years saved up enough to get a down payment for a house. So because I was living in a foreign country, I had almost no day to day spend, you know, staying in housing that the company provided food was super, super cheap. My cell phone bills, the only bill that hat as I saved almost 100 percent of my paycheck for a year. And then I had a down payment and then that changed my life and another, you know, another chapter of it. So. But yeah.
Sean Tierney – 14:37 – Was this the trip during which you were writing the book or is this a different.
Andrew Hyde – 14:41 – Yeah, yeah. It was a funny thing because I had a couple of blog posts go viral and it’s a really fun experience to have a million people or read a. and then I was like, wait, I made $0 off of that. I had the bright idea to write a book because if they read a blog post they’re going to read, which is probably the most true assumption I’ve ever made. But it was also like my mom or they valued that. I wrote down a lot of these stories. So I took her advice and I took a bunch of my friends advice and the plan was to take a week and put all these posts that I’ve written it on travel together and a book. And I realized that some were super strong and super, super weak. And then I’m like, wait, I’m writing about whimsy and travel back in boulder.
Andrew Hyde – 15:28 – And so I bought a ticket to Australia so I could be writing the book on the road. And then I started traveling again. I finished that book and it was great. I mean it reached number one for travel section, you know, had mentioned from Seth Godin, you know, that whole crew. So like it was an acclaimed book and they met every single, you know, go ahead. But um, the experience of writing books, why you should write a book, you should never read a book to try to be on the list or make money off of it because you’re going to be disappointed in what that means.
Sean Tierney – 16:00 – Yeah. Well what I liked about it is it reminded me kind of like the Rolf Potts, the vagabonding book in that it wasn’t trying to convey so much like a full doors, you know, reference guide. Like this is how you do travel. It was more like this very zen like followed just, I dunno, it Kinda like follow these things.
Andrew Hyde – 16:19 – Things like that I liked the most was, you know, give yourself permission to be wrong. Like why do we like travel? It’s because we can be wrong if, I mean if I took the wrong turn on my way to work this morning, I’d be pretty mad at myself. Right. But I made it, took the wrong turn in Morocco. I’d be pretty ecstatic that I got to see this view. Right. And so we love to travel just because we can be wrong and so there’s so much pressure on this, like perfect picture as Instagram selfie travel when really it’s like those are the moments that like this is boring moments was the most beautiful real, you know, when a storm comes in and that’s what I was beautiful. And when things. I don’t know if I’ve discussed this with you, but the idea of lucid travel or that it’s this idea you’re in this situation where you can’t tell if you’re dreaming or not and like a lot of people like that’s the highest form of travel for them.
Andrew Hyde – 17:15 – They come around this corner and they see this site and they just can’t imagine that this exists and they have to pinch themselves because the smell, this site, this, this feeling is so foreign to anything they’ve ever experienced that they have to check that it’s actually real and you get that and if you’re a new travel, you get that a lot. If you’re an experienced traveler, it’s few and far between. But man, when that hits most beautiful euphoric feeling in the world,
Sean Tierney – 17:41 – I think it sounds a lot what I call parallax in, which is in the sense of travel. To me, it’s like we go to the other side of the world from this one viewpoint that we’re used to. We don’t even know what we don’t know. We don’t know that like toilets flush differently, you know? Or that there’s different, you know, just things work differently. Transit works differently. Things that we just don’t even think are different are different and until you go to enough places you don’t know what you don’t know there.
Andrew Hyde – 18:11 – I love going to a sporting event in a foreign country because you put it on the cap, put on your shirt because then your homework, you’re going to support the local to you and like how do I get there? And you just walk out of wherever you’re at and you look around. You’re like, there’s not a baseball cap. Oh sweet. They’re getting on the subway might do that to almost foolproof. You’d never need to figure out how to go to the game because people guide you and then you’re like, all right, what do I do in my life? I’m not actually wearing a visible jersey, but I’m just following what the crop is doing.
Sean Tierney – 18:44 – Right. Well, and that topic to a technique you wrote about in the book called Mark, Sue which I’ve actually used and it’s creepy when you think about it, but it’s actually a really cool way to see a city. Like. Can you explain what that was or?
Andrew Hyde – 18:59 – Yeah. I started doing this, this game called Mark, Sue and I was kind of tired of this idea of authentic travel. Like a lot of people have this like you need to live like locals and then you like eat at expensive restaurants. You’d only eat at on a holiday, you know, like it just, it never really connected and I really like walking around cities and I really liked and I one day, I don’t remember where it was and why it happened, but it started like I looked at somebody and I started following and again, it sounds creepy, but, um, I just started following, just like walking pace. They’re walking, going in the direction they’re going in at anytime that I got too close or felt uncomfortable, I’d pick somebody else to follow up. But that allowed me to actually see these stairwells and see these places that, you know, I just didn’t know about or weren’t on any maps or Google maps was going to show me.
Andrew Hyde – 19:44 – But the idea of like having a local kind of give you an unauthorized tour, you know, if you’re walking the speed, they’re walking in New York, you’re going to walk fast, right? And you might hop on a cross town bus and you might go into the subway. You might do whatever, but it’s just like unauthorized tour guide and if you, and it’s called Mar,k Sue because I felt like if I ever got confronted, like I thought it was super creepy to be doing and so if they turn around and be like, are you following me? I always in my mind had a story that like, Hey, are you my friend Mark? Are you my friend Sue? And then I could instantly get out of that situation of just being. And uh, so I’ve done it in countless countries. Um, and it’s always fun just to kind of put yourself in the shoes and just started imagining, you know, again, really looking at it as somebody that lives there. It looks at it.
Sean Tierney – 20:32 – Yeah, we got to do, as you know, I did remote, you’re for a year. And so we had ample opportunity in every town to really kind of dig in and feel like get the ways of the local. But I just feel like that technique, if you only have a few days in a spot that seems like a hyper effective way to parachute in and like it as much as you can, try to get the local vibe versus just going to all the touristy spots and whatnot.
Andrew Hyde – 20:58 – We’re tourists of, of learning a language and you know, I could have my friend lives in Kyoto and she says that to be local you need to be there three generations, right? It’s like you’re Taurus, we’re going to be tourists, you know, so like empathizing with how the local standards are, you know, without trying to be a colonizer, how do you just tap in and just see the beauty that people see and that’s kind of what you’re trying to do every time you visit someplace. And it’s wonderful to go to the tourist spots and take the southeast. But it’s also wonderful to like listen to the people working there and empathize with what they’re doing and realize how tough or for, you know, are happy there, you know, like how, how are the jobs, how are their, their families? You know, some places you’ll go and everybody’s just gonna be arguing about their family in public loudly and it’s awesome. You know, you go other places and they’re not talking about their families at all. They’re talking about their dreams and their hopes and ambitions. Singapore versus Columbia, right?
Sean Tierney – 22:04 – Yeah. And we were in Valencia when trump won. And so as you can imagine for the rest of the trip, that was pretty much just questioning from everyone, like who is like, how do you guys, who is this guy like I can’t believe you elected them.
Andrew Hyde – 22:20 – And quickly, you know, I first started traveling kind of during Bush, W. Bush and that, you know, you put the, you know, a lot of people will put the Canadian flag on their backpack and just went on to talk about it. But then he quickly figured out that like, you’re not your government and like nobody really expects you to be your government and for you to be like, yeah, I don’t agree with that policy. Like you’ve washed all, almost all of that really awkward conversation. But yeah, I remember traveling abroad and Obama won and people and I’d almost like take a selfie with you because they were so proud of Obama America just taking such a huge step forward of electing an ethical person.
Sean Tierney – 23:00 – Yeah. I wanted to ask you this, how did you plan that route? Like, I don’t know if you’ve encountered this, but when I finished remote year we had our whole itinerary mapped out and then when we got to the end of it, I kept solo traveling, but I kinda of came to this realization like I could literally go anywhere in the world right now. Like I could. There is any direction, any country I could go anywhere. Like how do you map it out?
Andrew Hyde – 23:25 – You can go anywhere in the world for less than a mortgage payment to. That’s the thing that’s so mind boggling. So many people as you just get to pick what type of style of life. Now I have a mortgage payment right now. So you know those plane tickets or are fewer in between, but you’ve kind of figured out opportunities. I’m a big of the kind of lead blocker travel, so you find somebody else, like if you were to be like, Hey, I’ve got an extra ticket to a World Cup, you got to get yourself to Moscow. I probably get to Moscow, but I’m not going to be the one that’s like looking for world cup tickets and seeing if somebody else, you know, see if I can do the hoteling and such. There’s times where I’ll do that. But then there’s times where it’s like, how do I, how do I take taken that opportunity, you know, and like that’s travel and that could be going to the lake and that could be going on a five country motorcycle trip know. But like look for people that are leading and follow them.
Andrew Hyde – 24:23 – Um, and that’s, that’s a big lesson to learn in travel is that some people are really a champion. You any. If somebody, you know, you’ve got to give just as much back. If you’re crashing on a couch, you should be spending. I mean, if you’ve got the money, you should be spending as much as a hotel on them, you know, take them out to dinner, take them, you know, you are saving money by staying with them, but you need to be given back and you need to be enhancing the life your life and is by doing that, you’re going to be doing something together. So how can you be generous to them? And that might be true, that might be doing the planning that might be creating that experience or doing the extra work when you’re first in a city and uh, you know, this year you have that energy, you know, you like, you want to meet people that I lived in boulder for 14 years.
Andrew Hyde – 25:12 – I don’t want to meet new people. I would love to just have extra time to hang out with my friends that I don’t get to hang out. You know? And so like when you’re new to a city and when you’re like, where should I go? You can go on instagram and kind of fall into the trap of what’s beautiful. Or you can listen to your friends. Just be like, what are the opportunities? And somebodies gonna be like building a cabinet lasted kidney hope. Yeah, I’m game. I was going to be new and different and challenging and like let’s do it, you know, like those are the, for me, that’s the most valuable travel experience.
Sean Tierney – 25:47 – What, what do you, when you get to a new city that you’ve never been to before, do you have like a pattern or a ritual or anything that you do as a way to kind of deconstruct or explore the city or.
Andrew Hyde – 25:59 – Yeah, I mean one thing that I always do at the airport is I get, I get some cash from atm, um, and I really haven’t been to a country in a long time that hasn’t had an ATM. And then I go to the local, you know, overpriced [inaudible] shop and I buy something small and I break down what those big bills into all the bells. I just looked. And I’m like, all right. So there’s coins, there’s small bills, there’s large bills, a cup of coffee equals two of these clients. Okay, cool. I kind of have a lay of the land and so I take a taxi if they don’t have uber, Uber and settlement services just changed everything. So when I first started traveling I would never have a cell phone that worked because it was just too damn expensive. Uber wasn’t a thing. ATM cards internationally weren’t really working to reliably as well.
Andrew Hyde – 26:44 – Like my first couple trips here to carry cashier’s checks. That was a nightmare. But now it’s like if there’s Uber, like I went to Moscow two years ago and like Uber works there and we’re researching things and like all right sweet. And then we have like a car come. We don’t speak a word of shared language and we get tired of this nation, you know, perfectly and like it’s just this amazing thing that like sometimes technology works and t mobile is free in 85 countries or wherever. So I landed muffin works, I can text my girlfriend and I can text, you know, my family and not feel disconnected and really research things. I really valued museums when I travel. I think the kind of culture around the museum is actually really, really an interesting thing to tap into that I have to be like one or two things that are kind of uncomfortable that you do, whether that be an Airbnb experience or just like hanging out, like in the hotel or hostel lobby and just seeing what else is going on.
Andrew Hyde – 27:43 – But having a couple extra days is always pretty important as well if you can, you know, if, if I go somewhere I speak a lot and so they’ll fly me in and I’ll try to pad it a couple of days. So let me, let me hang out in Brisbane for two extra days and you know, doing that. Oh there’s, there’s Amanda Palmer’s playing here tonight and oh my goodness. I just saw on twitter that she an American flag, you know, it’s like, all right, we’ve got a mission now and we’ve got all these people involved and we’ve got this experience that came out of just like being open to it.
Sean Tierney – 28:11 – So it’s like you bake in some wiggle room almost so that you can have that if you book flights back to back and there’s no wiggle room, then it’s like no opportunity for that kind of serendipity.
Andrew Hyde – 28:23 – And you also have to be a little creative with customs agents. You know, like if I buy a one way ticket in, oh Jeez, you know, like they, they can deny my entry to London if I don’t have an exit ticket books. They don’t say can you go over there and book it? They say can you go back to the country you came from and book so you can really like that short term travel Wednesday travel. Like in my, my, my book a southwest ticket for in the future just be like I’m going to a wedding, I have to back to this flight. I don’t have a flight booked. Or take a screenshot of a couple options and just say like, Hey, you know, my credit card was, you know, wasn’t working. My friends booking this. You know, I’ve got these other credit cards. They love seeing six credit cards. But there’s all these little tricks like that that you just kind of learn, you know, how custom agents work and how to get through countries and um, how to be respectful, you know, it’s not how you were tricking them is how to be respectful in a way that you’re showing them that you’re going to be a good citizen. You’re not showing them that I’m smarter than you. It’s that same advice could come off that way.
Sean Tierney – 29:28 – Yeah. I had a situation in Chile, the, there was actually a service that I tried that you basically could rent a ticket to use this exit confirmation and for whatever reason it didn’t come in time. So I didn’t have extra confirmation. I was flying from Santiago to Costa Rica and they just, the guy insisted on exit confirmation. I went and I bought a bus ticket out of Costa Rica to Nicaragua. I came back and like I said, no, it’s got to be a plane ticket and then okay fine. So I went and bought a plane ticket show to my face, like, no, it’s got to be printed. And so I was like, fuck. I’m like, almost about to miss my flight now racing and freaking find a printer, get it printed it, and they come in and he’s like, oh, I need your yellow fever or proof of your card that proves you got the yellow fever shot. Unfortunately it. But I think once you get sideways with the customs agents so that they can, they just kinda like keep, keep going and keep going.
Andrew Hyde – 30:22 – Yeah. Behavior. Right. And so you’d have to be really great behavior and there’s really silly reasons. Like I’m speaking at a conference in London and they asked, you know, like, do they pay for your ticket if I say yes to this, no to this online, but if I say yes to this, you’re not going to let me in because I don’t have to do. And it’s like, well they kind of paid for my ticket and they kind of did that. So, you know, honesty is generally the best policy on it. Um, but yeah, it’s just like, it’s so silly to be like, I’m here for three days. I’m not, I’m just bringing money to your country. I’m not going to say I’m not going to marry somebody. How can you use your social social services? I’m just going to be here for this conference that I’m doing. My buddy a favorite for being the squeaky.
Sean Tierney – 31:14 – Can you talk about. There was one story in the book. I don’t know if you’re able to talk about this, but the Nepal
Andrew Hyde – 31:20 – what?
Sean Tierney – 31:25 – Preface this by. I went to school in Texas. I had classmates who never left Texas, let alone the USA. So you’ve been banned from more countries than some of my classmates have visited.
Andrew Hyde – 31:37 – Yeah, so I went to Nepal January, which I think, you know, it was in Columbia and I just, it, I think I was in Columbia at that point and I suppose having a good time and so I wrote, some of my friends are like, you should go travel. And I was like, I’m going to get sick a lot. Not meeting people. I’m just like not a good space. So I said just don’t worry. You want to go, like just pick the donald map where you want to go and go there. So I found a cheap ticket to Nepal and I didn’t really think about it, but I went trekking in the northern hemisphere in January, so I did that kind of Everest base camp and Aparna circuit and I wasn’t really thinking about it, but I took pictures of, you know, the roads being built and I was the only American to be on the circuit and change at the end of it.
Andrew Hyde – 32:20 – You kind of have this guidebook and assuming everybody signed it, I was the only American that did it. Um, and so you saw during off peak in is somebody everybody does in the fall and spring and it’s just like, it’s amazing views. The people. It’s just an amazing experience. But I was experienced in January where I saw a lot of child labor building the roads the tourists walk on and I took pictures of that and publish it kind of on flicker and just didn’t really think much of it because to me it was like, it was the scene of this room being built. But then you kind of key. I’m like, wow, there’s kids with dynamite. Awesome. Like I’m paying for those kids with dynamite, with my entry fee. Then I did a little more digging. Um, because you’re, you’re sharing a hotel with the people that aren’t, you know, department of Tourism, our ministries of, of infrastructure.
Andrew Hyde – 33:10 – And it’s like wow, like the tours entropy fees actually paid for the cities to build these roads that they make children do. And it’s like, damn, I’m paying for child labor to do some, like super violent, terrible things unsafe. I’m sure there are getting injured, um, you know, it’s like it’s negative. Like it got as cold as negative 40 while I was hiking. Um, and it was just like I didn’t like it. So I wrote about it in the blog post, went viral in the photos, kind of a viral. And then I got, you know, got some phone calls and emails from, you know, that police State Department saying, yeah, that’s a good idea if you don’t come back here. And I got some calls from National Geographic photographers that are like, I hope you’re out of the country. Like I hope you’re not that stupid. And I was out of the country when I publish that, um, I didn’t really think it was going to be a big thing. I thought it was just like me and my bullshit travel blog, you know, it wasn’t like an international incident I was trying to create. So, um, yeah, that, that post really got a lot of people think about, you know, how, how are things built in already comfortable with that and are very comfortable with like directly knowing that your causing kids to work.
Andrew Hyde – 34:20 – So then it kinda a lot of people off guard because Nepal is supposed to be this amazing, you know, amazing country of just every that goes there and says nothing but good things to say that we get there. You got a lot of people that are like, I thought everybody that went here before me said that, but I don’t feel that way. I feel dirty. You feel a little like there’s this conflict. But I’ve worked so hard, you know, we’re two years and I took this time off and I don’t have any other time off. And like, I’m going to come back and I can’t say like, this was conflicted, you know, I’m going to come back and I’ll be like, check out this, check out base camp, check out, this thing’s this amazing experience that you had if you just the high points. And then they just kind of found out that their friends didn’t want to hear about the low points. And so I wrote about it honestly. I think at the time were the only people that had come out with such a really strongly worded strongly, you know, I was angry, really angry that these ethics worth something that nobody’s really, really challenged me with before. So yeah,
Sean Tierney – 35:25 – I mean first off, Kudos for being brutally honest and like writing about not just the pretty glossy photos, you know, but like the underbelly of it, um, I feel like now more than ever Instagram and like just short form everything is so bite sized and glossy and filtered and you know, it’s, it’s like all made to look amazing. There’s not as many people taking that honest, hard look and writing from the heart about, hey, this is like makes me uncomfortable.
Andrew Hyde – 35:56 – There’s very few people that are actually providing editorial. There’s thousands of people that experience what I experienced. Right. But is it their job to be editors, you know, is it, is it a job? Would be like trying. Let’s think about this as society goes.
Sean Tierney – 36:14 – I wouldn’t say it’s their job, but I guess I would, it doesn’t matter what I want, but I would love it if more people would introspect and do it in a blog format. Like I feel like we’ve gone to some extent last the long form writing of blogs like twitter and instagram have kind of displaced all of the long form blog writing myself being guilty
Andrew Hyde – 36:39 – to posts this year. One a day.
Sean Tierney – 36:48 – Speaking of Twitter, what? Uh, I mean you have a huge presence on twitter. Yeah. Like 24,000 ish people following you. Like what do you get from twitter? How do you use it as a tool? Or is it just.
Andrew Hyde – 36:58 – I mean, I’m lucky in twitter is provided me so much is it’s a weird thing to say, but I can almost go to any country in the world and hop on twitter and say, Hey, we live out there anybody around and then there’ll be people around. Um, because I did find that conference that went. Um, so for me it’s just like, it’s the best intro tool ever because it’s just like, hey, this guy from out of town that you might like, it’s gonna be. Um, it’s tough when you’re, you’re always on the road. It’s hard keeping in contact and feeling like you still have your friends. And for Twitter for me Twitter is the best way to really keep in contact with them, you know, you and Jeremy and struggle and like all these, like people that we don’t see each other a couple every once every couple of years now.
Andrew Hyde – 37:45 – I still feel like I know him pretty well and I still feel like I got to go under, go here with you. And so if you follow the right people and you kind of treat it as this like somewhat sarcastic. Somewhat. I follow a lot of very dark humor accounts. It kind of keeps me in check and keeps me chuckling and then I follow a lot of news accounts, which is very much dark humor these days, which is kind of scared in generally. But yeah, for me, twitter, you know, I forgot my username to be something pretty unique systems at Unicorn and I think actually have you to kind of, somewhat thing for that or you in the room for that.
Sean Tierney – 38:19 – Well that’s a whole story unto itself. It was,
Andrew Hyde – 38:27 – you want to say hi if you want to some travel advice. Um, yeah. This year I’ve been to seven countries or so countries and you know, you change your experience this year and unfortunately my dog was really, really sick and I just, I spent 34 hours in Argentina. I spent more time on the plane getting there than I did, you know. But I went to a conference, I spoke at a conference and usually I would spend a week or two there and I didn’t at home to be with my girlfriend, you know, I got home to be supportive. Sometimes travels, you know, not what you expect.
Sean Tierney – 39:03 – Yeah. Yeah. And again, sorry to hear about Dylan
Andrew Hyde – 39:08 – will a poor, poor bit of a dog passed away, which was tough because you go from travel where you have nothing permanent, you know, after a couple of years you like, you become obsessed with refrigerators because you know, know a cold food is because you just don’t ever have a refrigerator. You don’t have leftovers. Like this is a big deal. And then like I went this last year and I have an amazing relationship and we had an amazing dog. He passed away two weeks ago. Um, but yeah, it’s just like a different part of life, you know, how do you challenge that assumption? How do you know what you want really want and need. And we’re going to the mountains this weekend to have a great conversation as a couple as far as what we want to do next. And it’s, it’s a very fun one because there’s nothing that’s out, you know, we didn’t have no fear at all about her saying I want to live in check higher.
Andrew Hyde – 39:57 – I want to let you know, like I have no fear because I know everything’s going to be challenged. I know everything’s going to be a place for growth, a place to give back and place to experience. And so she said I to I have farm and, you know, become subsistence lifestyle. It’s like game on. Let’s do it a certain point. No situation can phase you.
Sean Tierney – 40:20 – Is nomadic travel in the hat for something that you guys might consider or are you looking more to insure?
Andrew Hyde – 40:30 – anything, you know? Um, you know, there’s another great travel writer. I’m not even trying to say his name. Tynan Tynan on these, a couple of great books just kind of on in that Roth pot style. But he bought an island with a couple friends in Nova Scotia. It just goes to his island. Everyone’s while to be relaxed and there’s no electricity and there’s no infrastructure that I know of, but like that’s something you did sweet, you just drink more and you like Chelsea around the. One of my friends found out that Italy’s got this old building clause where if you will help renovate something that will give you an old building. So there’s all these train stations and castles up for grabs. So she just got a monastery. Her and a couple of friends like who has not. We fixed up a monastery.
Andrew Hyde – 41:16 – Right. And it’s like there’s all these things like that. They’re just like, I never could have dreamed. That’s like how that lucid travel thing. I never dreamed that that was a possibility that one of my friends would have a monastery that they’re reading. You know what? I’m going to show up for a month with a hammer. Probably. I would love to do and help out.
Sean Tierney – 41:38 – Here’s a question for you. What just so you had countries you get 20 more to go. If you to hit the triple digits. Do you have target? Like I know you’d love to get lead if there’s like a speeding, a speaking opportunity or something cool going on and that’s like the magnet that draws you there. What are the countries that you’re targeting next? Like if there was something cool going on in x country where, where would you like to go?
Andrew Hyde – 42:01 – I would love to do a cross cross continent Africa motor motor tour. I think that’s one of my big things that I’m just waiting for the right experience. But I’m a South Africa. Egypt no to her, I think it’d be really, really fun. Um, my friend Ana did a uh, a monkey bike race and Morocco or they kind of gave you a really shitty bike and made sure it was broken and dropped you off in the middle of nowhere with no money, you know, just as far as an experience to have. I think I’m looking at airlines that I like and that I have status on and I haven’t been to Belize yet. That’s a direct flight from Denver. So I should probably do that for a weekend. I should be a date weekend, but then I’m going to Zimbabwe being on a motorcycle, probably not have something that my girlfriend would particularly enjoy.
Andrew Hyde – 43:00 – So you’ve got to balance it out. You’ve got to look at opportunities where you’re invited to speak. I’m very lucky in that I’m going to Australia. Melbourne is my favorite city in the world outside of Boulder. And sorry I’m going back there. I’m really excited about that. But you know, like from there, do I try and make a stop over, you know, and uh, in Bali or in these places. I haven’t been there. You know, it’s a five hour flight, but it’s also saves me a 14 hour flight, you know? So. Right. At what point do you get creative and at what point do you say like, I’m happy to be here. I don’t need to go to another country ever again. I’m happy to be in a relationship. I’m happy to have quality work. I’m happy to give back in my different lights.
Sean Tierney – 43:46 – Yeah. Well it sounds like you have that attitude regardless. Almost like very zen wherever you’re at, but like open to possibilities. So if there’s a conference organizer in Zimbabwe or Bali or anywhere on that route to Egypt, who, uh, who would like a speaker on sustainability or minimalism or any of these things,
Andrew Hyde – 44:08 – any blockchains, the new thing. So
Sean Tierney – 44:12 – actually why don’t you mentioned what you’re doing with origin protocol.
Andrew Hyde – 44:15 – Yeah. So for a company called origin protocol, the second employee, we’re up to 10 now. Um, we do, um, protocols for the sharing economy. So if you think about airbnb and like the technical background of it, we’re doing all of that open source, free to use. I’m on blockchain. And so if you think about email these smtp everyday, you don’t really think about it. It’s an open source protocol that runs on a server somewhere put to make sure your email is delivered and received. So we’re making those protocols for ratings, reviews, booking, listing, trust, identity, all those little things that make it so that if you want to open up a, a, an airbnb competitor, um, but being paid in Crypto, you could. So we’re just writing the protocols that we’re not really launching the, the Uber, airbnb clones, but we’re letting people do that. How do you live in the new world of fractional ownership and cryptocurrency? Um, and be able to roll out a program that works in Portugal at the same as it does in Colorado as soon as it does in Calgary.
Sean Tierney – 45:14 – The goal there is to really like disintermediate, to take out, you know, airbnb takes what, 30 percent cut or something. So you’re basically trying to level that and make it very much like almost like a co op, like managed by people really.
Andrew Hyde – 45:26 – I mean you don’t pay for email because somebody wrote open source protocol that just works, right? So can you have it so that you trust somebody. I don’t know if you’ve used facebook marketplaces, but suddenly I trust, you know, people that I wouldn’t have trusted on craigslist. And it’s like, oh, we have four mutual friends. I don’t think you’re gonna like that. That’s enough of a little thing that I won’t think I’m going to get robbed when I go meet you. So can we do that for you know, your vacations? No, for if you rent a car, give it to car from somebody that lives there, can you into a room so he lives in a place you want to visit and can you do so giving them 100% of the cut. I think that’s really the challenge.
Sean Tierney – 46:07 – Basically though, then pushing the business model, the business model is up to the person rendering that service at that point.
Andrew Hyde – 46:14 – And so it could be the business model is that there isn’t a marketplace that’s just one house, right? Like he just didn’t want her at my house in Boulder. You can go to my website and then book it from there. Or if you want to be the kind of older rentals you want to be the hospitality person, you’re gonna take 5%, but you’re going to provide the hospitality they’ve ever seen. That’s awesome. I think that’s a great discipline.
Sean Tierney – 46:39 – Yeah. Well, and what was the outcome? You guys just had your funding, your coin list thing, right?
Andrew Hyde – 46:46 – Yeah, we have currently that’s going on by the time this publishes probably over. Um, but yeah, we raised a strategic sale, kind of a founding sale, the sale, so two of 10, we’ve got some money in the bank and we’re ready to run some amazing software and it’s this origin protocol.com. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s super fun just to kind of how do we take open source software and try to unseat billion dollar companies who’ve got monopolies and they’re going to charge as much as they can until there’s a factor in which they’re like, Hey, actually we think 12% is really balanced, you know, we think for reasons really valid, you know, until they have somebody to come along and just say, hey, we think zero. I love it. I think code can replicate what you’re doing. So let’s, let’s just do that. We’ll see. You know, it’s a grand experiment.
Sean Tierney – 47:40 – Yeah, I mean all the blockchain stuff, like I’m just waiting for the day that insurance and lending and some of these things that are just absolute rackets, just raking people over the coals until they get displaced. And now it’s like what you guys are doing
Andrew Hyde – 47:58 – I think it will be replaced with jobs that people want. I think that’s A. I think entrepreneurship is truly the global language and I think that hospitality is something that, you know, every country experiences in some way. Like I really think the US should have a department of hospitality and that should replace our border force, right? We should just treat it as hospitality. Your first touch to our country should be a pleasant one, but you just kind of a really long flight. We understand that. Let’s make sure you have some snacks and some water and so it’s hard to, if you’re really having a bad day or if you’re really scared of this thing and if you filled out this one form, like why isn’t that a hospitality job? I have, I’ve never really understood that. Um, which I, I mean I understand why, but I also like have this romance romantic view of how the world can work.
Andrew Hyde – 48:46 – And so let’s, let’s replicate and dream a little bit more about what type of jobs people want. Right? And like dealing with people at the border when they’re like, they fill out their own paperwork and aren’t listening to you has got to be that flow, the worst jobs in the world, but greeting people on vacation, it’s gonna be one of the best jobs and like see people on their best. Oh, how awesome would that be? Every day you just get to say welcome and you get to say like, yeah, so how can we create more of those jobs is kind of how I see the future of decentralization going as people are going to really empower themselves to figure out what they want to do and find out that there’s a business model there.
Sean Tierney – 49:21 – There’s a reason that you run the community for origin protocol. I can tell you able to paint this awesome vision. It’s so cool.
Andrew Hyde – 49:28 – Yeah, it’s fun.
Sean Tierney – 49:30 – I’m just going to get Super Tim Ferriss and tactical here and ask you a few more questions coming up on an hour here. Um, is there anything you read regularly, like any particular site you go to or blog or podcast or anything that like, is a habit that you.
Andrew Hyde – 49:47 – I wish I did more of it right now. Twitter and facebook. Yeah. And like the rabbit hole I get from that. But I think a lot of the people I’m following on twitter really teaching me a lot right now, fall. A lot of people that are native American or native to their country, talking about social justice, you know, like that’s a much more helpful voice that your times for me.
Sean Tierney – 50:09 – Yeah. Cool. Well I can, I can link to your follow following followers. Follow that link to your twitter account. People could figure out what about last amazing book you read? Anything good?
Andrew Hyde – 50:31 – I say The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey is kind of written in a little bit more of a rough time, you know, are there nuance wasn’t, wasn’t needed. Like a lot of the eighties films are just like unwatchable now after me to kinda like, wow, that joke is not funny at all. Um, but my current gangs, when my favorite kind of adventure or southwest, you know, uh, take on the nature for herself. Fans of the book started Earth First. Um, I kind of accidentally. So it’s just one of those books, it’s a little uncomfortable, but it’s all about adventure and kind of ethics and global responsibility number.
Sean Tierney – 51:01 – That one. I’ll check it out. Uh, and then I guess last one here. What, uh, is there any apps or anything that you, like travel hacks or anything that you use on the road consistently that gets you cheaper? Faster, better
Andrew Hyde – 51:16 – man. There’s a couple whatsapp groups on that or just like the people are insanely talented and interesting. So I don’t know how I got on one of these ones that I’m on, but there’s 25 people that travel all the time and we’re just very bluntly honest about what we’re doing. Um, and that’s, that’s been one of those amazing things and every other group is also saying like, this is the best thing on my phone right now. It’s just that these people and like it’s always doing something just ridiculous. I’m like buying an island or you know, finding flying somewhere for the weekend. Um, there’s that I really liked. There’s a lot of apps that just kind of had this amazing promise, but then just kind of find a business model and kind of went away. Um, so there’s like, I mean, old school 10 years ago, brightkite five years ago, turf, you know, is this geography wars type of thing, is location based Games, um, that I just loved quickly looking at my phone because I’m like, wow, I’m really boring right now.
Andrew Hyde – 52:14 – One second every day, if you don’t use that is a great app. You should absolutely use that. Caesar’s one of my favorite entrepreneurs out there. Um, but make sure you’re just a member of, of groups you November of 20 or 30 slack groups that really don’t have a stated purpose, you know, like, I’m not going to get anything out of them, but I get to see my friends flourish. I get to see my friends develop. Um, so I love being on slack and whatsapp groups that are just like people just trying to poke and figure things out, you know, how do you participate? A better way, and I try to go back to that a lot, is how do you participate in a better way, you know, Bernie man ethics as far as there’s no, no participant. There are, there’s no the foyer, there’s only a participation. Yeah. Yeah.
Sean Tierney – 53:00 – Cool man. Well I will, I will let you go. How do people connect or they can get your book on Amazon, right?
Andrew Hyde – 53:06 – Yeah. Books on Amazon. I have a nonprofit called glider glider.com where you’re on a lot of education events mostly in Colorado. Um, we’re still figuring out how to do fundraising for that. So if anybody was telling me tinker around on how to create really quality decks in fundraising mechanisms were pretty much brand new, but we’ve run events for 10 years as a for profit that we’re a nonprofit and that’s andrewglider.com. Don’t miss that. And then the origin protocol is kind of day job and then uh, you know, getting to travel at a time and meet amazing people like you is the, the dream. So it’s really been wonderful chatting with you.
Sean Tierney – 53:44 – Yeah, same to you. Any, any final thoughts for that person who’s sitting there? That’s like a, I can’t do this. It’s just that I don’t think I can. I don’t think travel in my future.
Andrew Hyde – 53:55 – I didn’t travel until I was 22. I didn’t leave the country right because I thought it wasn’t for me. The challenge, that assumption, you know, if you really think that it’s not for you to challenge why, if it’s money or wrong, if it’s, if it’s ability, you’re wrong, you probably just, you know, you’re trying to figure out what’s right for you and they’d be okay with just like buying a ticket and finding a cheap airbnb just hanging out and having a journal and just discovering a little bit. Mark yourself for a week. Um, but don’t think it’s not for you. Just just try to figure out how to make it for you and don’t be afraid. Those fearlessly.
Sean Tierney – 54:37 – Love it. Cool. Andrew, thank you so much, man.
Andrew Hyde – 54:37 – Thank you.
Sean Tierney – 54:43 – All right. Be well. Okay. That was my conversation with Andrew Hyde. If you have a question for Andrew, you can leave a written comment on nomad podcast underneath his episode, and you can also now record a quick video question using your Webcam, so if you’d like to be the first to know about when the next podcast episode is live good. A nomadpodcast.com, and in the footer you can add your email address and I will send you an email when I publish the next one. Nomad podcast is supported in part by nomad prep, an online academy for aspiring digital nomads that puts your preparation efforts on rails. Get the first four days of this two week course completely free by going to nomadprep.com/podcast nomad prep. Take your job on the road and take on the world coming up. Next episode we’ll be talking to Matt Dunsmoor of Start With Why about their method for discovering your why and unlocking your full potential so you can more fully express your natural talents. Until next time, it’s a big world out there. Get out there and explore it. I’ll see you on the road.