Wifi Tribe enables nomadic travelers to post up in communal living situations around the world. Hear from co-founder Diego Bejarano about how it works.
Diego Bejarano was in a rut and looking to shake things up by working remotely with a group of his friends. He sent out emails to 100 friends inviting everyone to experiment with this idea of living and working remotely in South America. The experiment proved successful and Wifi Tribe was born. Fast forward two years and Diego and his co-founder now run a service that brings location-independent workers together to be able to have a communal living and working experience while exploring the world. In this conversation Diego talks about the origin story of Wifi Tribe, their community-centric philosophy, the qualities that make great candidates for their program, how he uses anchors to be productive on the road, the role of diversity in the experience and more. We also get into interesting topics of intermittent fasting, cold showers and other body hacks. Enjoy!
Speaker 1 – 00:00 – Nomad, nomad, nomad podcast.
Sean Tierney – 00:21 – Hey there. I’m Sean and welcome to Nomad Podcast. I have a special treat for you today, so Diego Bejarano did not originally intend to start a movement. He was frustrated with his working situation and the lack of social interaction and decided he’d invite a few friends that he had a little, had remote jobs down to South America to try living and working. Little did he know this experiment would morph into a company that since become one of the premier travel programs for location independent workers. Diego is cofounder of WiFi Tribe. This is a travel program that allows you to hop in and out of groups that are roving around South America and Europe and Asia.
Sean Tierney – 00:59 – And in this interview Diego’s going tell us a little bit about how this program came to be the values, who it’s appropriate for a, and really we’re going to dig into what it means to be a mobile community of nomads. We also get into some interesting topics around intermittent fasting, Diego’s rituals for how he stays productive and brings his office with him on the road. Uh, and we also get a little bonus tour of the house in Bolivia that they’re currently at. You’ll meet some of the folks ah having breakfast in Bolivia. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this conversation. Here is Diego Bejarano of WiFi Tribe.
Sean Tierney – 01:37 – 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 nomadprep.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. Okay, welcome Diego to Nomad Podcast.
Diego Bejarano – 02:02 – Thank you. Thank you.
Sean Tierney – 02:04 – Yeah. So Diego Bejarano or Diego, you are the founder or the co founder of Wif Tribe, correct?
Diego Bejarano – 02:12 – Yeah, correct. Exactly. There’s also a Julia Kallweit and she’s, uh, she’s from Germany.
Sean Tierney – 02:17 – Okay. And what is for the people that are listening who have no idea what WiFi Tribe is? What, what is WiFi Tribe?
Diego Bejarano – 02:24 – Yeah, sure. Good question. I think that the simplest way of explaining it is it’s just an alternative way of living. I’m meant to dive a little bit deeper. We are a group of people who work remotely and to, who choose to travel as part of that lifestyle. Um, and you were looking for or community, right? So instead of traveling on her own, um, we, we want to have that sense of. I guess it’s one of the pieces that’s missing when, when you’re traveling, usually it’s that continuity of friendships and community. Right? So during the week we’ll typically, and then the weekends we go out and explore the country together where we’re at that moment and WiFi Tribe itself just brings people together who have this kind of lifestyle and make that part possible.
Sean Tierney – 03:13 – Yeah. There’s a, there’s a quote I want to read that was on your FAQ that just struck me like it really resonated, but it says, we believe that anyone who consciously designs their own lifestyle will be happier and more successful, or perfect lifestyle needed to let us do three things, one, work on something we care about to travel the world and three, build deep and meaningful relationships along the journey. I love that because I agree with you. I think that’s pretty much you do those three things. You’re you’re rocking,
Diego Bejarano – 03:41 – but how should have responded?
Sean Tierney – 03:45 – How did you come up with what, what, what, what’s the founding story of WiFi Tribe? How did you guys come up with this plan?
Diego Bejarano – 03:54 – Sure. So, um, it was actually never meant to really be a, a startup. It was, it was literally just that, just just what you read out. Now I’m just changing, changing a lifestyle. Um, so I’ve been trying to, trying to figure out how to set up a startup for a while. I wanted to do something in the tech space. It was always something to do with community. So that was always something that I was really excited about and of course if possible traveling element, but it was more around building apps, growing communities online and um, after sort of three years of that really not working out. And then the whole time was, I was, I was in that mindset of like, if I work really hard today, then tomorrow is going to be better. Right? So constantly in that sense of living for tomorrow, I’m to the point where like I have stopped meaning friends, um, stop, just, just, just about doing anything, right. It was literally all just head down working. Um, I didn’t even really do any networking, so even on that front, in terms of my career, like unless something was to kick off,
Diego Bejarano – 04:53 – I would’ve just massively slowed down. So, uh, the last time one of those failed, I just said, all right, well, you know, what a classic, you say, I’m serious. I was like, Hey, I learned something from it. It’s okay. I know how not to do it. Um, but then there was like another part of me that was just saying, um, there’s, there’s gotta be a better way. Um, I’ve just wasted not wasted. But um, I’ve used it three years, right? Three years where I’ve got a lot of energy and I could have done other things. They’ve got to be a different way of doing this right. So I, I guess I decided I was going to do next, was going to be first figuring out the lifestyle element. I’m changing the way that, that I want it to be living and then okay. Uh, yeah, fitting a project back into that. So the first step was just to go freelance and then I started to do marketing. So did that for a few months
Diego Bejarano – 05:51 – and while it was still sort of closing up the last thing I already wanted to head over to blog it because I’m half German Bolivian. We have a house over here. So I was just going to invite a few friends and see if they wanted to do something similar. Kind of like working a bit. I can show them the country I’m just doing. They’re doing their own thing but then traveling together. Um, so yeah, and shortly before kicking all of that off, I met an old friend Julia from she’s German I met her at a conference way before, like three, four years ago. And she was, she’d been working remotely from South Africa for um, for a few months, almost almost two years I think actually. Um, and she was like, oh, this is a, this is a cool idea. Let’s see if we can make it a. yeah, if there’s a possibility to do it in Bolivia and enough people join, and so I sent out an email to 100 friends, um, enough of them said, yeah, sure, let’s, let’s try it out.
Diego Bejarano – 06:48 – And uh, yeah. So then about three weeks before we headed to Bolivia, we set up a quick website on squarespace and a really crappy little website and squarespace and then put it out to a bunch of nomad groups. Um, yeah, our first chapter by chapter, we didn’t even call it that back then was was Bolivia, and that one was just, just for you. It was literally just like, Hey, come join us. And even then there, there were people that joined but it really wasn’t that many. So I was like, this is for free. Uh, and there’s not that many people joining, but hey, it’s for lifestyle, right? So, it’s okay. Um, and so the, the, we, we got there and then we said, okay, well maybe there is a sustainable way to do is maybe we could do it longterm. We audit, we got to try it out. So our very next chapter was going to be Costa Rica and we are going to start promoting it. We’d seen that Facebook ads worked really well in this space. Um, so we gave that a try and that’s literally what the previous, maybe three to four months as I went into freelance marketing. What I started learning. Right. So I think that was a, it was, it definitely was a huge piece of, of making this work.
Diego Bejarano – 07:48 – Um, so yeah, we did some, some Facebook ads they brought people in. That was the first time that we charged as well. Oh. And it ended up being because we randomly found a really nice house there instead of in Costa Rica. And so that was our first, I guess official chapter and since then it just, you know, chapter by chapter we said, okay, well what about this place, what about that place? And was kind of like decided sort of at the beginning of the next location that we’re at. So very spontaneous, very organic. Right.
Sean Tierney – 08:16 – So when you’re adding new cities, what, what factors determine where you guys go next or what cities you add to the itinerary?
Diego Bejarano – 08:24 – Sure. Initially it was like a wish we go, um, and now it’s become a lot more organized in that sense that we will ask people who apply where they would like to go and a steel as it comes up in discussion, but that’s where we have most of the so to speak. And then we can look through all of that and see, okay, wow. Lots of people want to try this out. Right. And it’s got us to the point where we’ve even added places like, uh, like Iceland for next year and some. Yeah, a few more places in Africa. So there are a few that are experimental even if we don’t have that much to like demand or not that many people saying I’d really like to go there. Um, but the majority are based on what people want to do.
Sean Tierney – 09:03 – And you guys have multiple groups concurrently circulating around the world, right? How many different tribes or you call them different tribes? Or is it one tribe? And different groups.
Diego Bejarano – 09:15 – Everyone calls it different things, so like, uh, all the members call it, call each chapter, tribe. I’m trying to change that. It’s not working so I’m going to have to dance. I tried to call them expeditions, but yeah. Anyway, pedantics, we’ve got three different ones going on at the same time. One is currently in, in South America, one in Europe, one in Asia and um, yeah, by the end of the year we’re looking at sort of having Africa, Europe, Asia and South America running at the same time and then into the next year we want to start splitting up south and Central America so that there are essentially five continents, areas that people can travel to at any point in time.
Sean Tierney – 09:56 – Cool. And okay. So I want to clarify because in terms of the space and how you guys position yourselves in it, because I know that there’s, there’s quite a few different options now. I think of it like this. I think of it like a continuum where on one hand you have the static, like co living spaces, things like Rome and Selena and outside and those type operations. And then like I did remote year which is like this, you know, you’re probably familiar with it, but it’s like a sequential, you sign up for this thing and you’re committed for a year and you travel as a group and it seems to me somewhere in between you guys or I almost love you in with like unsettled in that it’s like you can go in and out, you’re not committed to stick with one group for the year, but you can kind of bounce around and you could go to Europe or Asia at your own leisure, wherever you want to go. Is that, is that it kind of an accurate understanding or how do you see the space?
Diego Bejarano – 10:49 – Yeah, I think that’s quite right. But I would almost say like, so you’ve got that continuum, that line. And I would say there’s a, there’s a line that goes in parallel because what we, the first thing that we focus on is the community piece. So that’s always been our, our main priority, right? So I need to decisions that we’ve made any changes, any improvements have always been to figure out how, how do we, uh, get to the point where people connect faster, people are more together, community builds faster, people see each other more and more and again, over the, over the different chapters, right? Um, and we’ve, we’ve kind of attached to that, the other part is we’re working on setting up a, again, an alternative lifestyle, right? So are again, we don’t call ourselves a retreat or a program, right? I would say that maybe unsettled is more on the, on the retreats because it’s very, um, it’s very structured. You’ll have a lot of structured activities and come together for this, comes together for that.
Diego Bejarano – 11:49 – And it’s obviously the price point is also a little bit higher because there is a lot more facilitation. Right? Um, so I’m guessing what you’ll get in an unsettled is that a lot of people, they’ll come and they’ll have, they’ll have a great experience and they might come again maybe once or twice a year or maybe it might be every, every second year or so. Um, whereas what we were trying to figure out is how can people choose this as a, just as a different lifestyle, right? The measurement for that, what would be that people come back again and again and again, several times a year, right? So our average currently is about three and a half chapters per, per person per year. That’s within the first year and then you’ll have people coming back over for over years and years, right? In our case, the two years that we’ve been running. But there are people that are doing it the entire year. People that are doing chapters. Um, but again, it’s like you say, you can pick and choose kind of like a candy shop whenever you want to, but misses on figuring out how can, how can we get that community really tight?
Diego Bejarano – 12:49 – Right? So we’ll do less of the facilitation and more of the experience that’s on the ground comes from the community itself. A lot of it is self organized, self managed. People choose what they want to do on the weekends. They get together, they organize that and somebody else does something else. Some people will get people to come out to a restaurant right now here in Bolivia as an example. We’ve got, I’m someone who’s, who’s leading workouts, um, again, and this is not, it’s not that we said, hey, do you want to read the workouts? It literally just the person just got up and said, I want to do this workout. Who wants to join or some meditating or doing like volleyball every, um, two times a day or so. There’s, yeah, there’s people getting us out to go to restaurants and all the different weekend activities are organized by everyone here. So just to give you an idea of, of lawyer that’s, it’s kind of like a parallel line of a different continuum.
Sean Tierney – 13:37 – Got It. Yes. More self organized stuff. I mean we had, I noticed like in our remote year group, I think we were different in that right off the bat. We had a lot of that going on. People just being really generous with their time and like organizing things internally to the group, not expecting for someone to make this event for us. We just go made it happen. Um, so that’s cool that you guys, that is like, it sounds like that’s your MO.
Diego Bejarano – 13:59 – That’s the essence. Yeah. Cool. Absolutely.
Sean Tierney – 14:02 – So for someone who’s listening, who’s evaluating all these options and they’re looking at the Salinas and the outsides and all these other things that they could do, what makes what, what makes them an ideal fit for you and what makes you an ideal fit for that? Like what, what type of people do really well in WiFi Tribe?
Diego Bejarano – 14:21 – Perfect. Cool. So yeah, that’s a good idea. I could start with explaining that and then maybe I’ll go into explaining sort of the different ones that I know of out there and what’s, what’s sort of fundamentally different like spaces that are being tackled. Yeah. So I think the people who do the best at, if I tried by those who want to quit, very keen about being a part of that community. Right? So we found that people who don’t do well for example, are those who are like, oh, I want to travel to be taken care of, or I want this to be taken care of, I to have reliable internet and, and be there and then I can do that. It’s really not, it’s really not for them. Um, it’s not that those things aren’t there, like those logistical things that need to be there, but um, the experiences of people getting together, um, we’ve, we’ve seen people just like, um, the experience they have out of it is entirely because of the people, right? Like anyone can go to a country, anyone can figure that part out.
Diego Bejarano – 15:19 – Um, but yeah, you have to have a crazy love for people and enjoy being part of the community. It’s not that it’s for just for extroverted people. We actually have a good mix of introverts and extroverts. Um, but it’s just, you got to want to be around people get to know people, experience people. Right. That’s the, that’s the point here. Yeah. And then to get, to give you an idea, maybe a different spaces. So maybe starting with Selena, Selena is a, it’s been a hostel, I think for nine years and they’ve recently decided to add to coworking spaces to their, to their places, right. So they really come from that, that hustle kind of set it up and they have huge, huge places. I think some of that 200, 300 beds, right. Um, so what you’re going to get there is the infrastructure and the infrastructure for, for a lot of things is very much like a little, like a bubble within that, within that city. So it’s very comfortable, but you’ll probably struggle finding community in that sense.
Diego Bejarano – 16:20 – You’ll find a lot of people. But the tightness, uh, that’s, that’s not probably not their main focus. I think people who get a lot out of that or those who come into Selena maybe with a few friends and then use the facilities, everything that’s there again because that um, that’s developed really well, um, to, to make their own experience right. Or people probably like people are really like sort of in that dating mode on they’ll just meet a lot of people there as well. Alright. So that’s one side, which is sort of the perspective from the, from the hostel art, and then moving over to um, I guess had been another interesting one where it’d be good to talk about would be Rome. So Rome is like kind of like, like sort of the opposite end of that. It’s a, I would say it’s a boutique hotel that has coworking attached to it. Very, very high end, beautiful, beautiful places every time I’ve seen them really, really, really nice. Um, and then the, of course the price is accordingly as well. Um, but you really do like, you, you’ve got a hugely valuable service for it.
Diego Bejarano – 17:21 – Right? And I’ve also heard that recently the community has become stronger and stronger, uh, within Rome also, probably because of people coming and going from one place to the next. Right? So if it gives you an idea, there’s one place in Miami, for example, I think it’s about $2,000 a month and they also have shorter, shorter, shorter term stays. And then there’s a place in a, in San Francisco where I think it’s around four, four and a half or $5,000 a month. Right. So it ended up according to the city. Right. And they’re very much sort of bigger cities. Right. So it’s not like a traveling type of community. Let’s see, what else, what else is there out there then? There’s a. So programs like I guess, and you’ll know all about this programs like remote your a and before there was there was we roam as well. Um, the, I think the focus on that is probably many of those people have just got, got into several of those people at least have just got into traveling and it’s a chance for them to explore that whole, that whole world. Um, but it’s also like, it’s like a one year long retreat. I know recently they’ve changed it to two, I think, three or four months as well as an option, right?
Sean Tierney – 18:28 – Yeah, they just launched the program.
Diego Bejarano – 18:30 – Okay, perfect. Yeah. Um, so again, there you’ll be with the same through, through the entire year, which I also think brings people together, just the fact that you’re with people for a long period of time, but there you have flights organized, right? So that’s a little bit more, more facilitated, more, more organized, a little bit less that you, that you have to do yourself. Right. And uh, unsettled I would say is again, more of a more of a retreat kind of set up. I’m also quite high end. I’m also when you, when you look at the pricing and the group sizes I think are smaller than your familiar. So maybe that gives you an idea of the, the different, um, the different things sort of in the space.
Sean Tierney – 19:08 – Yeah, no, that’s a great overview group. Size wise, how big is WiFi Tribe? How big are the chapters?
Diego Bejarano – 19:15 – Yeah, so we limited it to 25. That’s the absolute max. We used to do something in the past where we ran like these experiences for, for good entrepreneurs, and we had did exactly the same thing two years in a row at one time with, it was 23, 24 people and the other time with, um, just over 40 people, right? And we thought, oh my God, it’s going to be amazing. It’s even more people. It’s going to be awesome. Right? And then, um, we got to it. And uh, we just didn’t understand why. Why was it didn’t feel the same. It was not so connected. Right. And later we realized that there must’ve been a certain size at which people just naturally stuck together. Um, and at, at some point that starts to flake out and you get, like, you can get the exact opposite, right? A group that is a really big kind of end up feeling very small because it becomes kind of Kooky and you’re like, oh, there’s two people here, three people there for people there. So, um, yeah, we’ve got, that’s, that’s our, that’s our limit. And even at 25, I feel like, okay, people have to put more effort into be together.
Diego Bejarano – 20:14 – Um, my favorite group size is probably 18, 20, something like that. I feel like that’s where, you know, there’s a lot of people you can really meet a lot of people, but you get to know everyone in a, in a meaningful way and people just stick together and do stuff together.
Sean Tierney – 20:27 – Yeah. We, so we started with 72 and our remote, your group, which is a pretty good sized group and the definitely a boiled down. We ended with 50, but I tend to agree with you that I know they’re doing smaller groups now at least with remote year. And that it, it tends to, it seems like the attrition is a lot lower and that people are just much more cohesive when you start out with a smaller group.
Diego Bejarano – 20:49 – That’s the thing. It’s building that cohesion is super important
Sean Tierney – 20:52 – for sure. Okay. Well, so here’s a question, like, so the whole real goal of this podcast, there’s two goals. It’s really to, uh, to share stories, founder stories like yourself that help print digital nomads be better at what they do. So I’m gonna ask you maybe a little bit about like what you’ve seen in terms of a pattern or design patterns that work for people. Um, but the other thing is like, this is also intended to help folks who are watching this who want to be the, you know, they’re the aspiring digital nomad that want to take their job on the road but aren’t sure if they can do it. And so I guess two questions here for you. First, do you have any first timers? Like is this a good gateway drug for someone who’s never done nomadic traveler to be able to hop in and do it well? And I’ll just let you answer that one first.
Diego Bejarano – 21:37 – Sure. Yeah, for sure. For sure. Um, there’s, I think it’s a good mix of both. I wish I knew these, the percentage, I’m just like, I’m feeling it must be somewhere around 40, 60, something like that. Sounds about right.
Sean Tierney – 21:50 – Okay, awesome. And then, so for the more seasoned travelers, like what are there things that you notice, like what, what, what makes people successful? Like where, where do people go off the rails, you know, who does this not work for and who are the people that you’ve seen just from all your experience where it does work particularly well for it.
Diego Bejarano – 22:11 – Okay. So I think the people that the people from it maybe doesn’t work so well are people who, um, they might not have done something before or you might have a very different concept of it. It probably depends on, I guess you, you very much define your expectations based on the closest thing that you can compare it to. Right? And in the case of, say for example, you’ve been, you know, uh, you’ve been traveling in hotels mostly for, for your recent travels, that’s, that’s your, your expectations. And then you’re like, okay, well I want this kind of sounds very different. Columbia is with people, you’re in the same place, you’re a, you know, you’re sharing, you’re sharing things. Sure, okay. That’s fundamentally different from the way that hotels are set up. So that’s one of those parts, I think in other parts that makes it difficult for some people or what you see people really succeed if they have experience in it, is how they, um, how they figured it out there.
Diego Bejarano – 23:13 – Work Hard, right? So if you say for people who are location dependent, they have anchors, right? One of them is getting the car, drive to work, gets your desk, sit down, maybe you drink your coffee, right? That’s an all of that as an anchor and it anchors you to the supposedly productivity. Um, so you have to create your anchors yourself when you’re, when you’re on the road and decide what it, what is it like be conscious about, uh, what, what is it that’s going to be my office, right? If I’m, if I’m constantly moving, I’m just to give an example, I use a big noise canceling. Um, in the beginning I’ve had to put them on, turn on the noise canceling, put on like the perfect music background noise, this rain going on in the background. That’s what I thought would be my space. So as I kept on doing that, I conditioned myself to become productive doing that, right? Because it was like every time I do that, I will start working productive. Yeah. Now I can literally just put them on and instantly weirdly feel comfortable at work and right.
Diego Bejarano – 24:12 – So it’s almost like those headphones on and it’s people who can find those kind of anchors that are able to be more focused and more productive. People who start new, there’ll be figuring those things out as they go along, but they also ask other people in and that helps them too.
Sean Tierney – 24:29 – That’s actually a really interesting a thing that you bring up with the anchors. To me, this was a lot of uh, figuring out how to thrive amongst chaos because it is like you’re always in a changing environment and changing people and different workspaces, yada, yada. But to the people who can figure that out, I think it produces a more valuable employee, frankly. Like you, you develop a resilience that I don’t know how else you learn that that means you can kind of parachute in and in any situation and be productive, which is pretty incredible.
Diego Bejarano – 25:02 – That’s, I think that’s a really good way to put it. Um, people who are like seasoned as a, as remote workers, whether they’re working from home or, or anywhere else that, but I guess you’re right. The more you change things that are, they’re able to take, I think they’re able to take control over their productivity in a, in a different way. Um, and, and there’s probably a stronger sense of autonomy and you know and then being a manager of one, it’s like a self manager. So I would recommend to companies whether they’re looking for someone to be location dependent or are not to consider people who have a certain number of years, uh, working, working as freelancers for themselves.
Sean Tierney – 25:45 – What other types of beneficial qualities do you think this style of working travel, uh, in genders? So resilience being one of them, but what else? Is there any. Anything else you can think of?
Diego Bejarano – 25:57 – Yeah. Two years ago, I, uh, I always like to be a social person and I thought that that was part of my identity back two years ago. I had been. I’ve been away for so long after two years of doing this, I feel so incredibly comfortable. I’m around just just about anyone. So that’s an obvious one. It’s just that you’re around people a lot. Right. And something like this. It’s not just the fact that your coworking like you, yeah, you can go to a coworking space, but I always felt like coworking spaces didn’t quite do it for me because you go in, you’re there for work when you’re done with work, you’re like, I’m done with work, I need to go somewhere. Right. And it doesn’t bring you together with all the other coworkers. What I think is invaluable in settings. Oh, let’s go play volleyball workout, go on this trip, camping quad biking together. Right. And that kind of stuff brings you together. So that’s, I think what gave me back that social element that was missing in kind of gives me like social training.
Diego Bejarano – 26:59 – I’m like, whatever goes with that. The resilience, the social part, um, being, being a self manager, right. Um, that’s like, uh, that’s definitely something that you learn along the way. And I’m picking up bits and pieces of growth, uh, along the way, right? There’s now, there’s so many people here and that you meet along the way from all these different backgrounds. Professional background, be also different nationalities. So it’s a very diverse, um, diverse group. So everyone comes in with um, their, their different quirks and cultures. And I always find that the more a, more of a character as someone is the more exciting the entire experience becomes for everyone because you can have such a that’s such a John thing to do, right? Then, you know, you have a character so you learn like a bit of that cultural, like cultural piece, but also each of those people, uh, they have, they have their different routines,
Diego Bejarano – 27:58 – they have things that they do incredibly well. Of course. Also things that we don’t do so well, but everyone has things that they’ve done for a long time and understood really well. And because it’s also people that are kind of already living this experimental lifestyle, they tend to be people who are more experimental with their own lives. Right. Um, so like, uh, uh, not, not like Tim Ferriss but, but um, you know, they’re willing to experiment more with different things and I’ve picked up so many different whether it’s habits die, it’s like on the fasting, the intermittent fasting thing now for eight months since someone from the tribe introduced it to me. Yeah. And just to mindsets and tallies all, all of these different things that you can play around with them and grow from. Very different to hear it from someone then to just read it online. Um, especially because you don’t even get exposed to it unless you’re looking for it.
Sean Tierney – 28:46 – Nice. Yeah. So exposure to just a really diverse set of all that stuff you just named. That’s awesome. Cool. Um, well let’s talk for the people that are listening that want to do this. Can you take us through, not necessarily pricing, because I know that can change, but like your pricing model, how does it work? I saw it was explained on the website, but it wasn’t like I got to be honest, it was not entirely clear at first glance. So maybe you can kind of talk us through how it works.
Diego Bejarano – 29:12 – Well, that’s a good bit of feedback. So a time to change things. No, and we know that it’s been a little bit confusing so we’ve got to figure that part out, see how we can make it really simple. Um, but yeah, the basic, the basic thing behind it is that people can join. So once people, once someone’s been accepted as a, as a member, they can join anywhere right there. There’s no need to sort of go through another interview part. Um, there’s a, there’s a joining fee of $300 and then once people are part of the community than um, and they wanted to join for the first time, then we’ll ask them, okay, well how many chapters do you want to do for you? Right. There’s a, there’s an option to do pay as you go, um, where you just do one chapter there. But for people who know that they want to do several chapters within the space, within that space of time, there is a, it’s possible to get lower, lower prices.
Diego Bejarano – 30:02 – The more chapters people do, the lower the prices are, um, just that for people who say for example, I want to do three chapters, the commitment that we need on that end to be able to get those lower prices is a $300 and a separate from the first part $300 deposit for each of those chapters. Right? So someone says three chapters of the 300 times at times three. So we’ve got $900 that will hold on to in that moment. And then as, and when someone says, Oh, I want to join you, improve now, okay, I want to join in South Africa. Then we’ll start applying each of those $300, deposit the positives to it that, that books at. And then the remainder is just paid shortly before people get there.
Sean Tierney – 30:40 – Alright. So it is. So it’s like a, it’s a $300. Is that a lifetime membership fee or is that a yearly?
Diego Bejarano – 30:46 – Yeah. Yeah. We won’t, it’s just for joining. Exactly.
Sean Tierney – 30:50 – Got It. And then just basically all ala carte pay as you go or if you want to get a bulk discount then you can commit in advance. Awesome.
Diego Bejarano – 30:57 – Exactly, exactly. And there are, I forgot to say this, there are private and shared rooms so people have the option to, to jump between that if it was one of, one of the reasons that we decided to do that. Um, so there’s huge salary discrepancy between Canada, the US and the rest of the world and I’m even talking about like comparing us salaries to UK salaries and weirdly different. Um, so we wanted to figure out a way that international people could, could access this. Right? So just personal background. I’m German, I’m Bolivian, but I spent some time living in the states as well. Um, so I know, I know what it’s like on, on the European side and something that for people from the US might be like their rent or, or sometimes even cheaper than the rent if they’re in a major city is, is that more of a luxury for people in, in Europe? Right. And now think about people in Latin America or Asia where salaries are lower. Right? So this was an option for us to keep the international factor by offering something that was like different prices for different options.
Sean Tierney – 32:03 – Yeah. Well I applaud you for trying to lower the barrier to that because I think that, like you just said, the diversity is what really makes this interesting and stronger. And so if you charge it and it’s all just kind of on the high end, you’re going to self select and you’re going to get only certain people. So I think that’s awesome that you guys really try to make it options available for those people that have lesser salary. That’s the cool.
Diego Bejarano – 32:27 – All right. It makes a difference. I mean go for it.
Sean Tierney – 32:30 – Oh, I was just going to say, um, so you guys are hiring right now. I want to mention this just in case anyone’s listening. I know I connected you with my friend Jordan, but you guys are hiring growth marketing. Can you talk a bit about that position in case there’s someone who is like the perfect fit for who’s listening right now?
Diego Bejarano – 32:48 – Sweet. That’s awesome actually. So, um, I’ve been doing marketing for a startup marketing, uh, I’ve been doing all the marketing for Wifi drive. The point here of the person coming in is that he got to kick my ass. They got absolutely show me up and uh, and do it. Wait, wait, wait. Way better than me. It’s part of the philosophy that we have for the team in general. It’s that um, we should be, we should feel kind of nervous working with each other because everyone is so, so good at what they do. Um, so yeah, the uh, that sort of like a general overview for that position, um, specifically I guess the person would, would need to have a broad range of skills across the different marketing fields. A good strategic mind. So really be again, be that head of marketing and ideally one, one skill that they’re, they’re very, very focused on, very, very good at, in marketing they call it a class effect skill. Whereas you got the top of the two years that, that broad range of like I know all of these different marketing technologies and how to use them. And then the, the stick of the t is the, um, is that one specific skill where you go really deep and uh, yeah, that feels good. That would be that.
Sean Tierney – 33:57 – Cool. Alright. So if you’re listening and you are, you have a t shape marketing skill set, get in touch with Diego that positions on your website, right? If they go to the careers?
Diego Bejarano – 34:08 – Yes. Well actually it’s on, on Angel List. We should a startup. Let’s start that up on the website too. But currently it’s on angel list. Yeah.
Sean Tierney – 34:17 – Okay. So look up WiFi Tribe on Angel List. If you’re listening and you’re interested in the opposition, I’m just a couple more questions here. Like anything you can share in terms of like where you see this going, are you guys making any kind of structural changes or adding new cities or anything that you’re able or willing to share of how the program is changing?
Diego Bejarano – 34:36 – Yeah, sure. I could. Let me see if I can give you some exact details on that in front of me. If not, I’ll just give you a quick overview. So basically as, as for the quick overview, we are next year for the first time, we’re starting to do a permanent locations or semi permanent locations and we’ll be starting in the you and then there’ll be three other places as well. It’s going to be a Bali, Lisbon and South Africa and within the first year world. So in the next year we’re going to be doing them for about half of the year, giving the option to join and then just to stay on for another few months after that. And then the, I’m just trying to bring up that, uh, that it’s an area that we have. Yeah. And the other chapters that we’ll be adding to it will be a few more in Africa. So we’ve, we’ve currently only done South Africa, so a few more there.
Diego Bejarano – 35:35 – We’re adding Oman to the DMX. I used to live. It’s a beautiful place. There’s a, Iceland is coming in so there are a few more places in, in Europe. Um, and then as I was mentioning before, we’re going to split South America and Central America so that there’s sort of that option of being on a beach in Central America or like exploring, exploring that part of the world, uh, or jumping over to South America at any point in between. Um, all in all, I think we’re doing over 50 chapters next year and they, and I think they’re 35 to 40 different different cities that will be in. Um, so it’s, it’s quite, uh, it’s quite a mixed, uh, to choose from. Well, structurally in the future we want to figure out, um, how to make this, that alternative lifestyle that people can plug themselves into at any point. Right. And that really requires us to have permanent places.
Sean Tierney – 36:24 – And so by permanent, you mean someone could do the WiFi Tribe and just decided to stay and Lisbon, like if you have a coworking space here in Lisbon, then they could just stay.
Diego Bejarano – 36:35 – Yeah, absolutely. The idea would be that, um, so in a similar way to I guess other companies that already have that started, some companies started that way right away from the beginning and other companies started as, as programs that, I don’t know, I’m guessing remote you’re probably wants to start moving in that direction too. I imagine. Um, most, most, uh, most of the companies would, um, in our, in our case, we just want to figure out how can, how can we create this network of, um, of houses around the world that are ready for community, where community is, is already there and active and you can just come and plug yourself in and be there as long as you want. And then you say, oh, I really like to live in this place, right? Just be, have the full freedom to be able to make that choice of moving from one place to the other. The. So it would essentially be two different things where on one side we have this program where people sort of traveled continuously through the, through the chapters that we have. And on the other side, it would be these, these permanent places, the differences would be more subtle, um, but there would be some, some differences.
Diego Bejarano – 37:33 – So the locations would probably have smaller, smaller groups, probably between 10 and 15. Um, we’ve also found that that’s worked really well, especially for longer, longer term groups as well, or just longer term living. Um, yeah, and I’m guessing that there will be slightly, the focus will be slightly less on the adventure and a little bit more on living in that place, in that experience, in that place. Right. So people won’t be as stressed about like doing something every weekend and being super active as, as we are when we, you know, when we leave, when we stay in your place for just a moment. Um, but yeah, those, those kinds of differences. But the point is community always has to be there and it has to be like,
Sean Tierney – 38:09 – oh cool. And I just want to clarify. So you guys all live under the same roof, right? That’s, that’s kind of a unique feature of this program.
Diego Bejarano – 38:17 – Ideally. Ideally it’s not, it’s not entirely possible. But togetherness, again, togetherness and community is our, is our goal, so we try to optimize for that. I can maybe show you the house in a second. But here we have one, we have one main house where we do the work together. We were here for most of the time together. Kind of weird place. It’s one of the only places that’s kind of more like a retreat because we’ve got, there’s an option for meals cooked three times a day and we’re just surrounded by. It’s a bit different. Um, but in the city usually we’re right in the middle of the city. Um, so when we can, we’ll have one house for everyone. The second best option is having a few houses right next to each other or close to each other, like here in Bolivia. Then expressed option is a apartments in one building in a city because again, in cities it’s very rare to get houses. Um, and then the, uh, the other option is departments that are within five to 10 minutes walking distance against that were close by. It’s, it’s what’s available in the different places.
Sean Tierney – 39:17 – Got It. But optimized for community and the authors are closing.
Diego Bejarano – 39:20 – Yeah, absolutely.
Sean Tierney – 39:22 – Very cool. All right, well you mentioned it. I would love, yeah, if you don’t mind in a minute to show is just a house, but you mentioned Tim Ferris. I’m going to get kind of Tim Ferriss on. You’re here for a second. Great tactical questions. Any resources you read regularly or podcasts you listen to on the regular?
Diego Bejarano – 39:41 – Um, I am a big fan of audio books. I, uh, I’m a slow reader and I’ve put myself to sleep a few times reading. Um, so I’ll, I’ll try to get the different books and audio version and then you can, you can speed them up two times and just because a lot of books take while to get going. Some late, a lot of information, um, for, for people doing, doing startups. One of my favorites is a Tony Hsieh’s delivering happiness. It just focuses on building, building everything based on values, right? Based on, based on core values in your company. In our case we can do that both with our company. So the team and with the community. Right. Because there are essentially two, two same things, but at the same time, different things that’s been hugely inspirational and valuable to me. Um, another one is rework. Rework is just fantastic for people doing startups because it’s just, it’s, it’s condensed into just the super fantastic advice and in a, in a very short space, a space of time that
Sean Tierney – 40:44 – we actually bought those, what I had a startup and we bought one of the first sets of copies of rework. We bought like 10 copies and gave it to every member of our startup because we, same thing like Jason Fried, those guys just, they nail it, they know exactly what they’re
Diego Bejarano – 40:58 – They’re amazing. That was incredible. And uh, like even the fact that they tell one of the things that they tell you is a strip it down to those basic things and just focus on those. And then they tell you, we spent this book down by like, I don’t know, 200% or something like that. It was just totally reduced it. Um, yeah, it’s a really, really cool book. Um, let’s see. And then there’s just other self development books, leadership books. I’m like under sort of, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve listened to a lot of them recently, so I don’t have all the names in my head. Podcasts, I’m not so much anymore because I spend more time with the, uh, with the books. But yeah, that’s most of it. And then I’m just absorbing a lot from the people here. So usually every month they’ll have one new habit when you think I’m trying to do cold showers, which has been painful at first, but I think it’s made a difference. Yeah, just a certain morning routine of like getting it into movement instantly, getting light instantly. The Salsa from an audio book that I listened to, they mentioned the same thing as well.
Diego Bejarano – 41:59 – Get hydrated instantly. Um, and then just having, again, those are anchors, right? It’s just like if you do this, then the next thing I have to do is this. Yet there’s no choice, no choice. Right. So you’re just setting them up for, for a second, like a not just for success, right? Just for automation almost.
Sean Tierney – 42:17 – Yeah. Yeah. The cold showers. I just came from Barcelona where for whatever reason, just we had the most unreliable hot water and so I said, oh, I’m just going to use this as an try. The cold showers, I’m still doing it actually. So it works.
Diego Bejarano – 42:31 – Awesome. What about. I’m sorry, go ahead. No, just to give you, give some context. Maybe there’s, there’s two to like bigger sides of it. On one side people say it’s healthy and on the other side people say it wakes you up and gets used to do hard things, right? Um, so for both of people might do it for different reasons or both of them come from a health perspective. It’s meant to give your immune system a bit of a kick and at first you got it. So you got to start kind of easy. Otherwise like you, you can actually sort of took it over and actually get a little bit sick at first, but if you continue doing it that it just keeps it in gear. I’ve certainly felt that. Um, I certainly felt a felt healthier here. The other side is like, it is a hard, it is kind of an uncomfortable thing to do, which makes it difficult. Emails a lot bit easier to intermittent fasting. Fasting okay, what would you like to know about it specifically? Or sort of my approach shooter.
Sean Tierney – 43:33 – We’ll just, uh, so I did the Paleo Diet for two years and it’s a tough thing to keep up with on the road and I’ve looked at intermittent fasting because I know again, it’s embarrassing, you know, he’s big on that. But what, like what beneficial effects have you seen from it?
Diego Bejarano – 43:50 – Sure. I would say probably only one way more focus when I’m actually doing the fast I, I’m okay to, when I’m doing a fast, I feel a lot more focused during that day. Um, they say that that’s meant to be one of the, one of the benefits. So perfect. It looks like it’s working. Um, and I think biologically speaking it’s also because when your body starts to go into that fast mode, biologically, it’s telling you, all right, get your shit together. You, you have to go out, you have to go hunt for some food or get some berries. Um, so it, it probably gives you a certain amount of a, just focus on the other one is a weight control, so it’s not that I really struggle with that part, but now I can literally absolutely anything and I will notice a slight difference from beginning of the week, the end of the week because I do it once a week, 24 to 34 hours depending on, on how I feel. Um, and then absolutely, it’s uh, it, it, it keeps me wherever I want to be. So it just makes, makes it so much easier.
Diego Bejarano – 44:49 – And then of course you also don’t have to worry about food that day. Can you just get a few more hours in your day from that? I think if it is, if it is healthy and so many people agree that it is the easiest thing that you can do for your health. There’s so many other things that are a lot more difficult to do
Sean Tierney – 45:07 – for the low hanging fruit, so to speak and
Diego Bejarano – 45:10 – We have it.
Sean Tierney – 45:13 – What about sleep? Have you done anything on the sleep, a regimen or any, any kind of rituals there?
Diego Bejarano – 45:20 – I, uh, I, I’m blessed that sleep is absolutely not my problem. I can sleep standing. Um, I’d like to do that. Yeah, it’s a time thing than anything. I try to get my seven hours and I’m not always possible, but yeah, I wouldn’t be a good person that to, to talk about optimizing that because there’s no need.
Sean Tierney – 45:40 – Yeah. Cool. Alright, last tactical question. Any travel hacks that you’ve learned that you could share that might be useful to the nomadic crowd?
Diego Bejarano – 45:50 – Get Google Fi. Uh, it’s a, it’s a fantastic service. It’s so you have to get a, you have to get the Google Fi SIM card, get it shipped. I think it only gets shipped to Canada in the US. I’m not sure if it gets shipped to Europe, get yourself a refurbish as if you don’t have a google phone. Get yourself a refurbished, you know, very early version of, of the, of the Google phone that you can put the Fi center into a because you need that to, to set it up. And then once it’s set up, you can either keep that phone and use it as a, as a hotspot or as a, as a second phone while you’re traveling, which is always good to have anyway. So we don’t always take out your phone and um, the other option is to, uh, you can then take that sip and put it in, for example, a, uh, just a, just an iPhone than it works. Right? So I didn’t, so I was really happy that I could, I could use it there. Uh, what’s awesome about Google Fi is that it gives you internet wherever you go. Typically LTE speed. So far, I think I’ve got four g speeds. I’ve always had those, those speeds.
Diego Bejarano – 46:50 – And you pay as you go for your data, you literally pay per, per amount of data. It’s $10 per gigabyte. Um, you don’t use half of that. You get half of that back and it gets capped at $60 a month, but you can use up to 15 gigabytes a month. So if you’re a heavy user, I’m paying very, very little for a gigabyte and it’s just not worth getting at some hearts
Sean Tierney – 47:14 – and with Whatsapp it’s like you don’t really need voice anymore. I feel like. So it’s just data, right?
Diego Bejarano – 47:20 – Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. There’s no, there’s not much of a need for. We always get local Sim cards anyway because they are. Yeah, they are very cheap and we’re there for a long time and we’ll also set up our backups with uh, with local SIM cards. I’m right. But yeah, if you were a heavy user of Google data, like at least 50 or around 50 gigabytes a month, I’m super worth it, but it’s worth it anyway just to have it. You land, you’re in the airport immediately, you have internet, you can do stuff. It’s fantastic.
Sean Tierney – 47:49 – Great. Great. Cool man. Well if you’re up for it, yeah, we’d love to see the house for the people listening. You won’t see this for the people watching me. We.
Diego Bejarano – 47:59 – Cool. Let me see a show you around a little bit. So you caught us on our second day of clouds in the past because we’re in the dry season. Technically now it’s all really sunny. Right? Let me see. Um, so, so the main part of the house, um, there’s a little barbecue area over there. I’m still very early in the morning, so most people aren’t out yet. Then you see, like around here it was just, just a bunch of mountains and if you look way back there I think, let me see that and point at it. That’s the pause over there. So that’s about 30 minutes out again, it’s one of the few places where we’re actually whatever remote. Um, in most places we’re right in the middle of the city. Yeah. Let me see if you want, I can just take a quick step inside. I think people might have breakfast soon here. I’m just getting you capital. There will be some morning faces.
Diego Bejarano – 48:59 – That’s a breakfast over there, a beer and then. And then. Yeah, just around the rest of the houses there’s just two floors of it as about it. So we, this is where we were, it would be for most of the, uh, most of the working sessions and attribute and all that stuff. There’s a volleyball court and the back as well on the other side.
Sean Tierney – 49:30 – Looks Amazing. So everyone is under the same roof. It sounds like in this situation.
Diego Bejarano – 49:36 – Well there was, there were three houses, three big houses, but this is the main one and this is where we, uh, where we, where we spend most of our time together. There’s only one picture there somewhere.
Sean Tierney – 49:47 – Beautiful viewing. Awesome. Well, hey me at any parting thoughts for someone listening who’s thinking, you know, maybe they’ve not ever done this, like any, any words of wisdom or a, you know, inspirational thoughts for those folks who are thinking about doing this
Diego Bejarano – 50:05 – inspirational thoughts. Oh, no pressure.
Sean Tierney – 50:09 – Could you imagine your life had you not done what you’re doing now? I mean, obviously it’s been completely life changing for you, but, and I would say for me to as well, it’s been transformative. I now live in Lisbon and I never would be here otherwise, but yeah,
Diego Bejarano – 50:21 – no, that’s cool. Yeah, I think it’s a, it’s a combination. I would say two things. So one of them is classic quote of, I think it’s Jim Rohn, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, right? So be conscious about and it’s part of lifestyle design really, which is a second part of this, uh, be conscious about, about who you’re around and keep experimenting with that. Like you’ll figure out who makes you, who makes you happy, it helps you grow. Um, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s also, it’s not something that you would just decide now and be like, okay, I’m never going to change that. Um, keep, keep shifting it. Um, and the other part is uh, yeah, just, just lifestyle, I guess lifestyle design in general. I’m being conscious about the fact that you can change just about anything right out what people chase happiness a little bit too much maybe, but yeah, I figured out what makes you happy, figuring out what makes you, what makes you fulfilled, fulfilled.
Diego Bejarano – 51:17 – Um, that has something to do with your work and it has something to do with where you are, has something to do with who you’re around. Right? So, yeah, everyone can. Everyone can design their lives. Um, and it’s a, it’s a continuum. It’s not just like, oh, I do or I do not design it. You can design a little bit of it. You can change a little bit of it. Um, yeah, I would highly recommend that. For me it’s been, I realized about a year ago, a year and a bit ago that, so I grew up changing countries every, every two years or so. One we moved out of Germany and I realized that I never really fit into Germany, German, German, Bolivian when I was little social environments that I felt like I wasn’t studied in the UK never really fit into there. I’m never really fit into an American American crowd either. Um, even though it might sound more American, I realized while doing this, that a home really is a constellation of people.
Diego Bejarano – 52:15 – I’m certain a certain group of people, certain mindset, certain value in um, and being around those people has made me feel comfortable and something, uh, in, in this constellation of people. Again, you can take away the travel part. I would want to keep the community aspect. Um, but yeah, that’s different for, for everyone. Give it a try, figure things out. A design experiment.
Sean Tierney – 52:43 – Love it. Awesome. Alright. So how do they, if someone listening and they want to do, Wifo tribe, they just go to a wifitribe.co, right and sign up there.
Diego Bejarano – 52:51 – Yeah, exactly. There’s a little apply to join part.
Sean Tierney – 52:55 – Exactly. It’s the application. Not everyone gets in, but you can fly at wifitribe.co, right,
Diego Bejarano – 53:00 – exactly. It’s important. Um, just, just so that it fits for them and if it’s absolutely
Sean Tierney – 53:05 – cool. All right. Diego, thank you so much man, for taking the time. This has been really great.
Diego Bejarano – 53:09 – Hey, pleasure, Sean. we’ll, yeah, we’ll be in touch.
Sean Tierney – 53:13 – Yeah. Next time you’re in Lisbon. Hit me up. We definitely gotta grab lunch.
Diego Bejarano – 53:20 – I might be so I’ll do that. Perfect.
Sean Tierney – 53:20 – Thank you. We will. Okay. That was my conversation with bit her on a of WiFi Tribe. Hope you found it useful. If you’d like to get in touch with Diego, you can leave him a comment under his episode, a written comment. You can also leave him a video comment using your webcam. So we are now syndicated, exciting times. This podcast is now syndicated via most major podcasting platforms including Apple and Google, so you can get downloadable audio for the latest episodes by subscribing from your favorite platform. Just go to nomadpodcast.com and click on the subscribe link at the top in the header a or if you’d like, add your email in the footer and be the first person to receive announcements of new video episodes as they come out. If you’re considering doing a nomadic travel program, uh, such as WiFi Tribe, you can save up to $300 off select programs simply by applying via our discounts page.
Sean Tierney – 54:14 – You’ll find that link in the footer of our site under a program discounts or simply go to nomadpodcast.com/discounts to apply for any of the available programs. Note, if you apply directly to the program, it does invalidate your opportunity to get this discount, so be sure to apply via our form on our site. Nomad Podcast is supported in part by Nomad Prep, an online academy for aspiring digital nomads to help you put your preparation efforts on rails. Get the first four days of this two week program completely free by going to nomadprep.com/podcast, nomad prep. Take your job on the road and take on the world. Lastly, I would love to know what topics you would like to see me cover in future episodes and what guests you would like me to have. A, we do have some more founders coming down the pipe. So I’m excited to introduce you to some of the other folks who have created a competing travel programs just to give you the lay of the land so you know what’s out there.
Sean Tierney – 55:11 – Um, and I also am inviting other domain experts. So I see interviewing nomads, founders, and domain experts that can help you, whether you’re on the road to be a better nomad now, or if you’re an aspiring nomad, to, uh, to actually make the leap and to give you the confidence to do this and make a successful transition. Okay. So for these tips and more tuned into the next episode of the Nomad Podcast, until next time, thank you for listening. Again, I’m your host Sean Tierney. It’s a big world out there and get out there and explore it. I’ll see you on the road.
Speaker 1 – 55:44 – Nomad, nomad, nomad podcast.
Record a quick video question via your webcam and ask Diego anything (we curate this and post the best questions):