On his forty-fourth country and fourth lap around the world Trevor Gerhardt shares wisdom from the road and how he came to adopt the nomadic lifestyle.

Trevor Gerhardt was one of the pioneer participants of the first Remote Year group in 2015. Three years later he’s still traveling now on his fourth lap around the globe. I asked Trevor if he could cite any objective metrics that substantiate his success and he cited number of days skied, surfed and number of accommodations changes. Somebody has his priorities right 😉

Tune in to the very first episode of this podcast for my conversation with Trevor as we chat through his leap of faith shelling out a chunk of cash to an entity that didn’t yet exist and then plunging head-first into the world of nomadic working travel. Trevor shares lessons from the road, gear recommendations, podcast recommendations and stories from his travels. You can find a recent interview with Trevor in Time Magazine here. If you have a question for Trevor leave a comment below and be sure to subscribe to the podcast via YouTube, Spotify or iTunes.

Ask Trevor a question

Record a quick video question via your webcam and ask Trevor anything (we curate this and post the best questions):

Show Notes

Time Topic
0:00:00 Welcome and context
0:04:00 What were the circumstances leading up to you doing Remote Year?
0:09:07 Would you have transitioned to a nomadic lifestyle if you hadn’t done Remote Year?
0:10:50 How sketchy was it to send a multi-thousand dollar check to an entity that didn’t exist at that point?
0:17:40 What was your route?
0:22:22 How did things go with your job and how were you able to stay in sync with the others?
0:28:35 What’s your routine to stay in shape?
0:33:04 Which podcasts do you regularly listen to?
0:35:04 Any gear you can’t live without at this point?
0:40:29 When you switched to solo travel after Remote Year did you encounter loneliness? how did you cope?
0:44:33 Bad decisions make good stories. Was there any particularly bad decision you’re willing to share?

Links

Sam Harris “Waking Up” Podcast
Tim Ferriss Podcast
Joe Rogan Podcast
Ben Greenfield Podcast
Very Bad Wizards Podcast
Merino Wool T-Shirt
Minall Backpacks
Packing Cubes
Beats Wireless Headphones

Photos

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Transcript

00:00:00 – Sean: Welcome to the very first episode of The Nomad podcast. My name is Sean and I will be your host today. I’m super excited to introduce you to my friend Trevor gerhardt, so Trevor is on his fourth lap around the world having travelled to 44 countries in the last three years, but he wasn’t always a digital Nomad in 2015 Trevor was living in Washington DC. Feeling the itch to change something about his life had recently seen a post on Reddit proposing a vicious experiment that would involve Gathering a group of 75 strangers who take their jobs on the road and do a working Trip Around The World Together Trevor take a leap of faith and mailed in his three thousand dollar deposit check to an entity that didn’t yet exist hopped on a flight to Prague and embarked on what would become the single most transformative journey of his lifetime. So 44 countries and three years later is still on the road exploring the world one country.Time performing his job that you started with and in this the first podcast episode. We are going to talk to Trevor and hear him share stories about his trips abroad insights about how he’s been able to stay successful Packing Tips gear recommendations Fitness advice tons of different insights is going to be very useful to anyone considering this lifestyle. So buckle up. This episode is packed with useful advice from someone who has been there and done it successfully. So without further Ado here is my interview with Trevor. Nomad podcast is supported in part by no math prep and 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 and get your first four days of training completely free. No Matt prep. Take your job on the road and Take On The World. All right, welcome to Nomad podcast episode 1. We are here with Trevor gerhardt Trevor. Thank you for being the guinea pig and the first guest on today’s episode.

00:02:00 – Trevor: Sean very excited cool.

00:02:04 – Sean: Yeah, so let me let me paint some contacts for people here. Um and just kind of set this up. So the whole goal of this podcast series what will be a podcast series is really to just demystify this art of going nomadic and you’ve been on the road now for what three years or something.

00:02:20 – Trevor: Yep, almost three years

00:02:24 – Sean: Three years. So like my theory is that there’s a lot of people that are in corporate jobs. In places and you know in a rut, I was interrupted before I left and did this and this has been just absolutely transformative for me going on the road like this as I think it has been for you. So my whole goal here is really to help those people like help make this more accessible to those people who must see us as absolute aliens. Like how do you sell your stuff? And you know, I read your Instagram. You said something like 18 bed changes or 14 bed changes in 2018 so far.

00:03:00 – Trevor: Yeah. Yeah, I thought I was gonna slow down this year, but I guess not. Yeah, that’s like my new metric is like how many times I move locations, uh, even within a city, you know, if I have to change change an apartment. So 14 already this year. So you’re moving at a pace of like what is that like once a week roughly? Yeah. I mean it started off the year with a, you know, tripping coover and Whistler and skiing and Japan and all over. Yeah, so but now it’s slowed down. So it’s only like every two weeks

00:03:36 – Sean: which is still crazy. Like we must look like aliens to that person in the 70 corporate job. How do you do this? So really a little goal here is to just like demystify this to make it more accessible and I think the best way to do that is through just having a conversation with someone like yourself who’s done this and been successful at it. So cool. So that’s the backdrop. Um, Trevor I’ll let you maybe let’s start this like, how do we meet each other let you kind of tell the story because it’s interesting.

00:04:01 – Trevor: Yeah, so I guess this goes back to last June. Um, we were both in Central America traveling through Central America. And uh, and I was hanging out with Andrew Cohen and you are either in Nicaragua or coming in their garage. I was already in Agua and I think we were connected first because we both knew Cohen and we knew you were coming coming out already left and so he put you in touch, but I ran the same time I had a uh kind of like a post to the citizens Channel, which is that people that have finished remote here. Uh, uh, seeing if anyone want to join me in Lisbon for the month of August and you were one of the first people to reach out and so like right around the time that we started chatting about the house. You got to Nicaragua San Juan Del Sur, like maybe a few days after that week after that. So it was pretty perfect timing to like meet and hit it off there might I get that correct. That’s that’s right. Yeah.

00:05:00 – Sean: Yeah, absolutely. I was in uh, Playa Grande Costa Rica a surf camp and I think yeah you had thrown out on slack and then so I connected and then and we kind of gelled like the three roomies and then literally like a couple days later Cohen made that connection and he’s like, oh there’s a drive-up. It’s two hours away should just go to San Juan Del Sur. Yeah. That’s pretty cool.

00:05:23 – Trevor: Yeah, it’s funny like the timing of like are both in the same part of the world and we’re connecting because we’re both gonna go to want to go to Lisbon at the same time. It’s just that that but things happen all the time now.

00:05:33 – Sean: Yeah well and there’s so much commonality like the kite surfing and Tim Ferriss. Like I feel like we very much Fitness like very much run in the same kind of vain. All right, so you were part of the original remote group they call him the ogs. Um, yeah talk to me. Like, when did you leave talk to me about like the circumstances of how that came to happen?

00:05:54 – Trevor: Sure. Sure. So we’re called the ogs because we’re actually just nameless they started this naming process of naming the after explorers are like things around the world after we existed because we were just the only thing we were remote here at the time right just funny to think about because you’re so much bigger than just one group of people are one trip, you know a whole thing. Um, but so when I found out about remote here, I mean it was through this is in 2015, or maybe even the end of 2014 and uh, I found out about it through one like the tech blogs either TechCrunch y combinator’s Hacker News or maybe even read it. You know just the post about it was basically like a one-page website saying I’m like, I’m going to take a strip around the world. Uh, we’re gonna you know do this as a group, you know, twelve cities 12 months it had like, you know the idea out there but it didn’t have any anyway, like pay there’s no evidence of it happening. There’s no like it was unclear who the team was, but it was like if you’re interested in that kind of idea so that your email address here. So we I did that along with I think around 25,000 other people is a very, you know, ooh, the time I don’t think any kind of traveling group like this existed back then and a few months later. Uh, I was looking at Washington DC and uh, it was the middle of winter and a few months later. I get like a follow-up email January 2015 time in February. It’s like, all right. This is actually happening. Uh, yeah. This wasn’t this, you know, this idea you signed up to hear more about is now happening. And uh, and so I submitted a form then that was more more detailed information on myself my work which at the time. Uh, I’ve been working for convey, which is the coming I currently work for which is a uh software consultancy that specializes in specializes in public transport. So we build web applications tell people design changes to public transit systems. And uh, so I’ve been working there for a year and half, um, pretty settled into DC DC for about two and half years at that point. Um, and I was just kind of like I was able to I had like a trust with my company, which was nice. I was able to work from home if I needed to or for him, uh, you know, my parents house if I was visiting them or across the country to San Francisco for a week. Um, but uh the after I submitted the form, uh, you know about with more detailed information for me. I got an email maybe a week later asking to set up an interview time. And so at that time, uh, maybe I set it up for a couple days later and I was interviewed with
The current CEO of the company in one of the founders Greg Kaplan. Uh, I think he’s too busy to do individual interviews anymore for people that want to go on the trip. They have a they have a whole team for that.

00:08:40 – Sean: Now, there’s like layers of people now that handle

00:08:43 – Trevor: Yeah, it’s very it’s very easy to think that you know, Greg, uh, you know head of a hundred fifty person company was doing those interviews back then who’s a great guy and he’s he had so much energy excitement about this whole thing. You could just feel it through really, you know through the video chat. It’s a Greg was asking about you know travel stories that I might have had things that I’ve done, uh, you know, like trip outside the country and at that point is pretty minimal. It’s like there’s basically three trips that I’d made outside the country for two weeks at a time. And that was it that was the extent of my travel experience. So while I had like the ability to travel like I could work remotely because I had worked for a company, uh that allowed it to work from home. I worked, uh, you know at a job as a software engineer developer that you know, it’s relatively easy to do work asynchronously so you could I could work my you know, uh on my own hours and then talk to my colleagues from their online. Uh, but I’ve never really given a thought to uh doing it myself. I had uh, I’d learned all about this stuff. I’d heard of heard about the stuff but I’ve never actually like gone through like the the process of saying I can do this. I will do this. I’m going to go travel the world on my own. So it’s really it’s really interesting. Great to have this impetus come along at this time when I was both, you know financially secure had I that was stable and also kind of in a place where I didn’t see myself being DC for much longer, but I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I like my job. So I was going to stay there because it seemed like a good place to be for my job. But even though I didn’t need to be there so it was a was kind of a perfect storm of things happening in my life the time, uh, and after my conversation with Gregg I found out maybe a week later that I got into the program and that was in February, uh of 2015 might have been the first week in March around that time and the program started in the first week in June of 2015. So if you want Slater,

00:10:45 – Sean: yeah because you guys were some my program started in May of 2016 and you guys were basically at the tail end of your year. Do you think he would have done it had remote year not existed. Like you said you’re perfectly capable of doing it, but it was Like this was the Catalyst that made you actually pull the trigger and go for it.

00:11:05 – Trevor: Like yeah, I mean it was it was really interesting. I think about like the capability of what I was able to do versus what I have done it because I had I had worked from home so many times I had worked from across the country where none of my colleagues were I I could have done it and I just and I knew about I read, you know, uh, the 4-Hour workweek and heard about you know that those techniques for uh, optimizing word while you’re traveling bonding better off another great book about just you know exploring and seeing the world in a different way and not really and just think about travel differently than I thinking about it as a two-week vacation. I thinking about as a continuous thing that you can you can do and uh, I think I think just like the the safety of the friends I had at home the uh, you know, the group of friends you build up your community that you have just that was like a soft barrier that I just never, you know got through on my own and so I imagine at some point that if some of my other friends had maybe taken the leap I might have taken the leap, but at that time I was the first out of my friend group to do anything like this. So now, you know, I would say most of my friends are ads, uh traveling and working at least most of my, you know friends that I’ve made in the past couple years. I still have a whole ton of friends that aren’t back home, but

00:12:30 – Sean: So you see you get this acceptance letter from Greg and you’ve already had a positive interview with them. And at what point, you know, you’re waiting the pros and cons. You’re like, I’ve got this soft barrier of friends at home, but I think I can do this and at some point you just made the decision you want for it, but how sketchy is that like remote here wasn’t a company at that point like you’re sending a check entity that you’ve never seen like how it was that or what

00:12:55 – Trevor: It was it was so I I remember having conversations like this with with my friends because the first thing we had to do is send you know about multi-thousand dollar down payment down for the year. And so remote your costs twenty seven thousand dollars per year, uh, since two thousand dollars per month and they give you they make you pay $3,000 up front and that’s how it was for us. I think they might have changed slightly, but I still think it’s twenty seven thousand total for the year. And so, you know at the time I had met the CEO who’s the guy exactly my age, you know from Chicago, uh, I met one other employee. I just chatted with uh our program leader at the time and I was I was talkin to friends and my colleagues my boss about it and you know, they you know, they look at the website. It’s like a square space that you can set up in five minutes, you know types of copy out, you know anyone could have done it. Uh, and you know, I’m sending a three thousand dollar payment to someone, you know, maybe month and half or two months ahead of time. It was it was definitely there was there are moments for um, it’s it was just it seems sketchy. It seemed like I could never see that money again, and it seemed like I could show up in our first destination which was Prague and there would be no one there. Uh, and you had that but it was such a small small amount of uh, you know, negative feeling there because the overall excited it’s completely out waited. So once once I I think it was right around the time when I got the acceptance letter and I was I was working through some contracts issues with uh with one of our potential contract with one with a client, uh, which I would have been a major part of. Uh, I remember walking out of a meeting. I was actually I’d broken my leg, uh in like a month or two before it. Uh, these interviews happened or about a month before this interview happened with Greg and so I was housing crutches at the time. I was really kind of miserable in the DC winner. I remember walking out of this meat or crunching out of this meeting, uh with my my boss Kevin and I think you know the deal fell through it was kind of like the last thing that I was even thinking about that we could have possibly prevented me from here. And that was what I told him, you know about remote and that I was probably going to go on it. And so we had this, you know, we had this like an emotional few days working through this potential deal with a client and uh, since that didn’t work out which was fine in the end. Very good in the in the end. Uh, I was like, well, I guess I’m going over here, which is just a it was one of those moments that I’ll never forget like that that crazy feeling we’re like, I’m gonna make this leap and it’s gonna be crazy and it’s gonna be life-changing but I don’t I don’t know how crazy life chain to get the time. Uh, but it was pretty pretty special time.

00:15:38 – Sean: So you broke your leg right before you go in on a thing that where you going to be to be walking every day for a year. Yeah. I mean that’s got to be scary to be starting out the year that way.

00:15:50 – Trevor: Yeah. I was it was the dead of DC winner and I was playing soccer with uh, it was my soccer team at the time was a few friends I had from uh from the co-working space from back home and and it’s like sleeting rain. It’s like 35 degrees out. It’s you know, just above snow. It’s so cold. It’s nasty. We’re playing outdoor soccer and I’m playing goalie and I applied to ball break my leg someone runs into me and my friends are just like get up. They don’t believe them like chased me off the field, uh, find out the next day. I’m like, um in I’m like visible for the rest of the winter because you know, it’s just hard to get around. I’m terrible and said never I’m four and uh and that was a huge thing man. I was going into like that was you know, beginning of February the trip started in. Uh, I left I left you see in May travel around the u.s. A little bit and then uh was in Prague first we could June and in April like mid-april. I got the cast off and so I started walking again then and that was that was pretty scary. I mean, I was I was really careful with her for a while to after afterwards and that that would that would have been game changing because I did you know, I once went the first year I was in Prague. I was walking minimum 10,000 steps that I you know, probably close to five or six miles a day because such a beautiful city walk around in June and I would not have been able to do uh, I would have been miserable the the first month or so if I had a broken like I’m saying so such an active person to begin with. So yeah,

00:17:27 – Sean: I think you and I both are pretty into fitness and we actually started Group in Prague as well. Um, I can’t imagine I did the math on my Apple Health meter thing steps for the year. I averaged four miles a day walking. So I guess not imagine going into that the broken leg and being like it’s already kind of like who knows what this is going to be. Is there going to be any one waiting for us at the airport and then like adding that variable to it? Yeah, pretty crazy time.

00:17:53 – Trevor: Yeah, if it takes like the uh, like the apprehension that we might have had about this down payment everything I was I was the first person to arrive in Prague for our trip. So, uh arrived maybe eight o’clock in the morning and the reason was because I had like a stupid layover in London. And so, you know, it’s flying in Sunday morning the Prague but like a 12 or 16 hour layover in London, so I was flying into London like 5 a.m. Uh, so I arrived in Prague first one and Mark Johnson good volume that you’ve been also, uh, it was the second one arrived and so Hannah, uh program leader and Greg Kaplan, enter from over here and there to meet us, you know, they had signs and everything has a cute took pictures. It’s exciting and uh, they put they put us into a cab when Mark showed up like maybe half an hour 45 minutes after I did and the first thing we asked each other was so is this real like I did they just take our money or we never gonna see them again. Are we the only people here that we just like lose at that point. I think we had made the second payment already, you know, because it’s a first day of the first month, they put down five thousand dollars already. Did they just take us for $10,000 and we’re going to drop us off in the middle of frog or not gonna where we are. You know, that was the Converse that was the first conversation we had there was like that tiny bit of skepticism. It’s almost like a team too good to be true.

00:19:15 – Sean: So yeah, that would have been a pretty ballsy. I feel like taking your 3000 would have been a safer way to scam you guys if that was going to happen. But like yeah, I can imagine at that point. So so what was jealous and you started in Prague He did the 12 cities 12 months. What was the route for you guys?

00:19:35 – Trevor: So we started in Europe? We did four months of Europe. We did Prague and the Czech Republic and then went to Ljubljana in Slovenia. And then that’s a small town or small City. Probably about 300,000 people. It’s beautiful and uh, July, it’s also really hot July. Um, and then we went to South Town and gracious out. That’s just south of Dubrovnik beautiful Beach Town very sleepy up. We had a like just like a great great setup for For us you just walk along the water on your way to work in the morning, you know, like the sail boats in the harbor that you pass by a little peninsulas swim in Beach restaurants. It was beautiful then we went from that little tiny Beach down to assemble 13. Yeah the city of about 18 million or 20 million people or so also muscle. It was quite a transition from there. Uh, I the group flew to Penang Malaysia and I caught up with him after a few weeks. I’d go back to States. A wedding and other things and uh, which was actually my second wedding of the Year weddings are weddings are the thing that always brings everyone back. Yeah, I’ve returned for I think five or six that’s just a just Luke actor for and then we went from Penang Malaysia. We went to company Thailand and then to annoy Vietnam then to in Japan and you know, it was a great great Dynamic of places. With in Southeast Asia Penang, you know, it’s a tropical island but a little bit bigger and more populated company on the time line known for his partying. But when the when the full moon isn’t happening that I was really quiet. There’s lots of yoga there lots of meditation Retreats. It’s really junglee. It’s nice and in Hawaii a big city, uh, the the amount of motorbikes you’ll see there. The flows are just like waterways. I mean it just the continuous and they go everywhere. It’s amazing and then we in Kyoto You know a great, uh, Japanese City its eyes to uh has like the the feel of what you kind of expect of Japan as a lot of old temples mixed with his modern infrastructure, uh, very respectful of Japanese people not crossing the street when the light says it’s red. There’s no cars. Uh, but from there we flew to which is just about the opposite side of the world. So you’re in Kyoto Japan, uh planetaries urgent. You know South America, uh, that was a the same plane. I would never recommend it, uh from going to Montevideo Uruguay to Santiago Chile and then we ended in Lima Peru. And so I was here for months in Europe for months in Southeast Asia and four months in South America

00:22:23 – Sean: And that ended in June of 2016.

00:22:26 – Trevor: Yep. Yeah.

00:22:28 – Sean: It’s about since then you still kept it going. You’re just this is your life now, right?

00:22:34 – Trevor: Yeah. So like when I when I do like the bed count, you know, how many places are many times. I’ve moved my belongings and have a new bed to sleep in. Uh, that year was pretty it was it wasn’t minimal. But you know, I was only moving every month. Uh, I usually usually stayed there mostly their most for the most part. I’d have like a weekend trip elsewhere, but I wasn’t technically, you know uprooting. I’d like a home base for the month. So a little bit different, you know, I could leave my belong Fine and since then I’ve kind of uh, you know optimized for both like the nightly stays because you know, if you’re going to take out four day weekend somewhere, you don’t want to pay for placements thing and then just kind of kept moving forward, uh along with that. So I’ve been like moving I think last year was uh in 2017 was something like seventy eight different places. I stayed in but that was you know, there was thermal trips where I was just doing a night or two here and there. Uh Ireland when I was in Canada and checking out Central America, uh,

00:23:39 – Sean: I won’t even ask you how many countries you’ve been to I think you’re like a different level of nomad. Like how many times have you been around the world? I think is maybe a better question.

00:23:46 – Trevor: You know, that’s funny that uh, you know, it’s like zigzagging back and forth. I think I’m on just my fourth fourth time around I want to say, uh since since about your started so

00:24:02 – Sean: forth And this rock that we’re on that’s pretty pretty impressive. Let’s talk about how did your job so you have that conversation with your employer your now, you know traveling how did things change if at all like did it were you able to deliver on that promise of hey nothing will change here we can do this or like how did you guys stay in touch? How did you keep on the same page throughout that whole process?

00:24:23 – Trevor: Yeah. I mean, luckily we were um, I distributed company to begin with we have employees in the East Coast United States a couple different cities. One of the founding partners of the company was living in Paris at the time and you know lives in Singapore for a while Hong Kong. So me traveling was definitely different than what everyone else is doing at my company, but it wasn’t, uh, you know, it wasn’t like we were all sitting the same office every day. So that was a huge help for the transition into um, and I definitely spent the first month, maybe two or three months, uh, like extra dedicated, you know, working extra hours, um, making sure that there was Nothing that was going to slip and kind of indefinitely trying to uh cater more to the the regular schedule. So make sure that nothing nothing changed first. Um, and then, you know, then you’re in uh, majorly different time zones and your uh, and you can you know, everyone’s more comfortable The Situation’s we started reevaluate what was going on what we best like going forward and you know, at the time we were six employees are now eight, you know, we don’t we’re not going crazy. Faster anyting but we’ve continuous, uh, you know business new clients. So things were changing anyways, so I kind of moved into a more specialized role at the time. I was working. Mainly when I was in DC I was working when they mainly one client and uh, and mainly we’re going to products especially with that client and afterwards uh, when I started transition away from that into being a multiple projects and working on, uh, more specific parts of the code base that I would work on. Then before instead of doing everything instead of working with a client this to see their needs. I was mainly the step behind everyone else who interfaces the client and figure and you know, they would figure out exactly what we need. All right, sit down some meetings, but not all of them and then I would be able to work more on my hours and deliver, uh, whenever they needed a then need to be on the client meetings in doing the direct Consulting like the used to do

00:26:24 – Sean: so, I would imagine so if you’re not client-facing I would guess that makes it a lot easier to do this type of thing in terms. Like what Wi-Fi you need, if you’re checking code into a git repository. You can have very spotty connections versus if you got to be on a call with a client. You can’t have the Wi-Fi going in and out.

00:26:40 – Trevor: Exactly exactly. Uh, I I don’t have to ever be the only person on client calls anymore. Sometimes I sit on on them. So, you know, usually I’ll just be taking questions for whatever I’ve been working on specifically and even then I usually know ahead of time or can even Talk with our clients on inflectional select support channels for some bigger clients. And and so that’s that’s worked out a lot. Um, and I’ve even had some meetings with clients directly in person. It’s uh, Doug left. Uh, I was in Paris with my colleague, uh, who’s living there at the time and we met some of our clients. I was in Bogota Colombia and we met a potential client. All right down there and was you know was able to still, you know, get this client, uh interfacing. And even though that wasn’t what I was doing at the time but it was you know, we you know any person company. We all don’t need to be talkin to the clients all the time. Anyways, I mean, it’s good to definitely have everyone uh exposed to it. You don’t want to be completely incidentally insulated from your client, but it kind of worked out that I could fit into a more specialized role and

00:27:50 – Sean: So so communication-wise so slack and then occasional video calls and then do you guys do like any type of periodic like everyone comes together in one place? I think you You had a trip like that. I remember yeah.

00:28:03 – Trevor: Yeah, so I uh, we do a week-long trip every year, um, like Retreat, uh, we’ve done five now for now and we’ll do our this year. And our first International one was well, the first one was when I was on a second, what was when I was on remote here, so is the full of remote year 2015. We are in istambul and Back for a wedding and then I went on a work Retreat for a week. Uh, so that was a good check in because I’ve been on the road for four months at that point. Uh, and it was good to see the team ahead been seeing more regularly in the past. And uh that was in Upstate New York. And then uh, then we started doing International trips after that. So we did one in Montreal year later and last year. We did one to Lisbon and those are extremely valuable. I’m getting getting you know, not just not just any time and you know, I see some colleagues here and there anyways, and uh, you know, you can hang out have dinner beginning like a good chunk of time together where you’re, you know, doing a lot of, you know long-term brainstorming activities and deep dies about you know, what the company should be doing anyting anything. We want to change. Uh, those are streams valuable trips to to do and to especially as a distributed team. We have a lot of uh, you know, we talk a lot every day. Anyways be a slack and I’m video video calls, but you do it’s not that you lose something, but I think you Uh, just the time together is you’re just not going to have that when you’re on a video call. Like we’re not just gonna sit here for eight hours on a video called together, right? Uh, if you have a plan meeting day in you know, like on a work Retreat, you know together you have to plan on that then, you know,

00:29:50 – Sean: I can definitely like Echo your sentiments that the value of these in person meetings page Lee the company that I work for we do the same thing. It’s like slack is kind of all. Pervasive communication then we do a weekly stand up via zoom and then twice a year we’ll get together in person somewhere. And yeah Tiddly been us. I’m hoping they’ll consider Lisbon. Uh, that would make it very convenient for me cool, but let’s shift gears a little bit. I’m going to go kind of Tim Ferriss on you. I’ve got some questions. I want to ask so fitness-wise like you’re big into it. I’m big into it. What’s your routine? Like what how do you stay in shape? I don’t CrossFit as your thing, but like talk. Little bit about what’s your what are you into?

00:30:28 – Trevor: Yeah. I mean, uh, I I love a wide variety of things. I like to stay active. So when I what I used to do a lot of running and uh, and I would every like most good, uh, like European cities and a lot of South American cities have good good places to run in Southeast Asia you run into a lot of problems when you’re running the kind of shared Avenues in the road or just really to herring
For me and so when I started remote here, I was I was a big into running a broken leg side. I was like slowly getting back to the running but really that was that was kind of my focus of the time and uh when I got the southeast Asia, I like tried to go for a run and I you know, I completely hated it. And so I I decided like that was not for me anymore and I had to kind of re-evaluate what I’m gonna do for like a daily, you know active routine or you know, multi. We routine so I go back into weightlifting which is something I dabbled in the past, but it’s it’s not as you know, you know, when you’re doing it with friends, it’s not as much fun. Uh, and I that’s kind of why I’d given it up and so, uh, you know, that’s kind of how I like fell into CrossFit. It’s just this, uh, great like you working out with other people, you know, you’re challenging each other. Uh, I love the intensity that it brings into in like an hour hours with the time. Really something you do like three times what you two times a week and really good really good workout and it’s really important to like get those high-quality workouts and when you can on the road because a lot of your life is going to be consistent anyways, but I do like maybe once a month, uh, once every couple of months. I like to go like a pretty intense hike, uh, you know, usually whenever you get to a not get to new location or going to do part of the world, I Google things like what’s it all about in this country and then see If it’s a or worth doing or like what’s the, you know, tell us point in the city jog up to and so me and uh Mark Johnson regularly do that. We just find a hill, uh, the tallest point the city and you know, just run out that if we can you know how far we can make it a few times but he chose Hills ever bigger than we could figure that we can manage and then uh, definitely do like some serious hikes in between Clemson volcanoes do some you know, smaller mountains where you know, nothing too technical, but Uh, definitely a big part of what I’ve been doing finding mountains to climb and uh, and then on the side, I mean you got good to find things that you have fun doing that are also active surfing I picked up when I was in uh, Montevideo Uruguay was the first lesson I had taken I been on a surfboard before in various places, but never had really tried to serve but when I was much younger and so that’s really good work. Everybody and just a great active sport to sport to do then uh, when we hear a lot of us played soccer. So if we could try to do pick up games a couple times a month, uh also great thing to do. Um, and then I’m going to Big City I walk as much as possible if there’s something says a 30 minute walk 40 minute walk. Uh, that’s that’s usually all right with me and uh, as long as it’s not like too hot out and and especially if it’s a good walking City, My favorite walking City. I love walking around Lisbon so much last summer. Uh, when I service a great walking city Prague amazing City to walk around. I mean when that beautiful, you know, if you’re by yourself, but your headphones in let’s go podcast audio book something like that music, uh, just enjoy the street life, you know rack up those 10,000 steps a day. No problem.

00:34:20 – Sean: I just today bought three kites. So I haven’t had any of the the kites Trevor not about to kitesurfing down. Yeah, well you do regular surfing to right here in Bali now. Yep. Well, apparently you definitely have to come back to Lisbon. We need to go kitesurfing.

00:34:42 – Trevor: Yeah, we talked about it a lot last time every never made it out there now.

00:34:35 – Sean: Yeah, I’ll be dialed in by the time you get here. So we’ll be able to do it um on the subject of podcast. So you walk around see where the podcast on there is another 10 quick first question. But like what do you listen to regularly? You turned me onto the same Harris podcast, which is awesome. But are there any others that you particularly?

00:35:00 – Trevor: Like yeah, so listen to the Sam Harris waking up Podcast, uh, really like that. I mean not every one of those guys but I mean brings on some incredibly smart people, uh, Tim Ferriss, uh, same thing like that every guest is perfect. But just some of those like minor, I mean CEOs or people you would never imagine meeting the super-rich people that just have like these these tidbits of advice that are just incredibly hear about, you know, however, they’ve made in their life. Um, Tim Ferriss is just the Tim Ferriss. And then uh, I’ve listened it to Rogan you’re in there. That’s all right. Uh, it’s like too long and like crazy I get lost. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So sometimes if I like else they’ll spend through and see if there’s anything good, um for health, uh, there’s the Ben Greenfield podcast. He’s like like Tim Ferriss is a biohacker sure like compared to he does nothing this guy been he’s he’s talked about so many things that I just had never come across in my life are the details that he knows like the health benefits over just insane. That’s the Ben Greenfield podcast. And then um, I’ve also picked up the very bad wizard podcast recently Wizards more than being. Uh, Sam Harris they talk about uh, philosophy psychology. There are two professors from the United States and they get into like really deep subject of morality, uh of Good and Evil, uh of like the wise like the
Like why of why we do things uh, and they’re also extremely energetic and like minorly vulgar vulgar. Uh, they’re just, you know, good deal of podcasters that are entertaining talk about uh, interesting philosophical stuff.

00:36:47 – Sean: I love the name very bad wizard.

00:36:49 – Trevor: Yeah great name also.

00:36:54 – Sean: What about um, what about uh, like is there any gear that you can’t live without at this point? I know you have this good headphones. Like what do you use on there?

00:37:00 – Trevor: Oh, yeah. Well, these are the beets beets. Oh, uh, I mean I went to wireless headphones and I can’t go back. Uh, I used to have a pair of uh, the Bose noise-canceling headphones that were amazing, but they were wired. Uh, but I know that I know Bose has Wireless was also uh, yeah, I have the air pods also so I do usually do these when I’m working on my laptop and everybody’s when I’m walking around outside, uh working out or something. I did. I mean he can’t can’t live without your backpacks. I use them in all bags which are like definitely big digital Nomad, uh bags and like anyone else in the world knows them, uh than like the gentleman had Community. They’re amazing for uh for travel they have all these unique features like being able to hide the straps the bag really good really like high quality laptops that use padded absolutely. Um, and they have a like a daily carry a secondary one, which is bigger. I use it as my backpack and then a bigger backpack. That’s my carry-on. So um, but other than like that that kind of gear, I mean that typical can’t live without my laptop. Um, right for packing packing cubes are incredible. I would highly recommend packing cubes to everyone especially when you’re in a place for a day. You just pull out a cube unzip it you don’t have to, you know, dig through your whole bag or you know, let it get to a mess. Uh, so I use those and use those pretty religiously since I got them two and half years ago or so. I got on one side start over here. Um, let’s see,

00:38:44 – Sean: What about any any like hacks that you’ve learned in retrospect. Like I wish I would have known this in the beginning like what

00:38:50 – Trevor: so so I used to have I have been getting as much Merino wool as possible. Now Merino wool is uh, just that for uh clothing for underwear for shirts. It’s the best anti smell, uh, anti-bacterial feeling. It’s nothing like it’ll it’s like I love it for like a travel shirt when you’re like a long plane ride 12 hour plane ride and you’re wearing a shirt and you like get off the plane. You feel like you need a shower. You know, you feel like you feel like your clothes are dirty. There’s just something about it, but I swear like them like clothing. It’s it makes makes it all feel like go away feels It feels clean no matter what uh, and then a month in Croatia. We didn’t have really good access to laundry. And so any it was super hot in Croatia over there, you know 95 degrees out. So I was sweating through all my clothes. So I started to hand wash a lot of my clothes and when you’re on the road, uh, you know, not necessarily eating access to a washing machine is hugely valuable. So I started to get Uh, you know, like small like small packs of uh detergent and when I when I shower I basically shower in my clothing that I’m wearing if it needs to be washing certain needs to be wash my underwear my athletic clothes and shower in it. Take it off wash it all right then wring it out and then uh hang it up and I’ll do that, you know, five times per piece of clothing before Oh, you know think that it feels fine, but eventually bring it to a real washer and with that method I’m I’m able to get away with maybe three pairs of underwear. I know that sounds disgusting. But I mean, I it’s no joke I can get away with three pairs of underwear two pairs of socks. It’s all Marina Marina. And I mean that that’s hugely beneficial both. I always have like clean clothes. I don’t have to go to the laundromat nearly as often I go. I probably go every two weeks but not with that much stuff, you know, uh, and I had I only do carry on so I don’t have that much Calling at all. Uh,

00:41:03 – Sean: yeah. This is this is I had my footprint down. You know, I’m not I’m not down to like one piece of check luggage and you’re just like next level like nope. I’m taking showers in my clothes.

00:41:13 – Trevor: I mean it’s when there was a need like, uh, I started doing it and I had never thought of my clothes like that before but as soon as I started to just like, oh, no, I don’t need to go to a washer and all my clothes are clean all the time. So that’s nice.

00:41:30 – Sean: Yeah, that’s a great hack. Um, actually the gal who is the program leader for the last remote year group that was in Lisbon Excelsior group Catherine beach was telling me about this method. I forget what she called it. She’s awesome and she’s talkin about. Oh, yeah. You just take a shot on your clothes never before. What do you? Okay? So here’s a question. I’ve always had um, and I had a brush with this like now I have the remote ear Community again being that I’m in Lisbon and there’s you know, this is one of their main, hub so there’s constantly cycling through a group so I have that kind of community again. Did you when you left remote year and you’re now traveling did you find it hard to meet people or was there like any loneliness involved in that or how you coped with that? I guess.

00:42:16 – Trevor: Yeah. I mean, it’s promote your kind of a gift that keeps on giving I mean if I post remote yard traveled probably the next uh, two and half months after the program finished with people from you’re so very strips. We’re mostly in Mexico, uh and Canada and New York, uh, New York, but you know, it’s just you know, basically it was very easy to just say when the program is finished. I had like hey like to go to Mexico you want to go to you know, go to Mexico City. Should we do a trip to Canada where someone’s labs and you know, uh you have you know, also you have these immense amount of people that are friends. Still traveling or want to travel around the world so able to connect them to stay with them, uh and travel that maybe I was just I did that for the first two months of this year also, uh, but by the time that uh, that fall came around September of 2016, I had gone about 15 months of travelling without spending any time by myself. And so that was this was like the first foray into uh, solo travel for myself was actually spent about 2 months 2 weeks or sorry three weeks in Montreal, uh, not not meeting anyone. I uh so much time with so many people that I like kind of shut myself off on purpose and worked a lot, uh got really into I was doing a joint like a yoga studio up there. So I met people that yoga studio, but I wasn’t really active at that and I kind of had a, you know, the timer like reflection and meditation and writing and it was funny how necessary it seemed in hindsight that I spend so much time with with people all the time for 15 months. And then after that I’m kind of I started doing a mix. So I’ll see you. Uh, I’ll travel if you friends here and there um, and then I’ll do a trip on my own and depending on how long I’ve been traveling. I like people where I am. I’ll mix it up between uh being super social. Uh, that’s kind of like my default. Uh, almost always down for anything as long as I’m you know done we working uh exercise in and uh, and then also have these time similar to Montreal where I kind of just want to uh, spend time working on myself, uh, you know to Deep dive into what I want to be doing the next year or so this past fall in Morocco. I was with a lot of people that I’m good friends with now, uh at a great co-working space into it was a time when of the spend kind of reflection and quiet for myself, not really doing too much Social but it’s pretty amazing that uh demanded people that I’ve met and the places that I do frequent, uh, especially, uh, you know, I’m technically I’m not, you know living with anyone now like traveled anyone here, but the I’ve seen in men, uh, I don’t know 10 15 people from remote here, uh, not my program but that just friends out just come through, uh people that have met, uh, you know friends are That way and then there’s so many digital Nomads here that uh communities you can meet people. I mean through co-working spaces. There’s always co-working spaces balance right now. There’s you know, a the digital Nomad or the they called the dojo, uh, eighties Computer Club, uh events going on developer meet up last night. So, uh co-working spaces are great ways to meet people on the road. And then uh, that one thing I do love about CrossFit is there always give communities so I always been people at the gyms I go to their always healthy people that are also usually looking to have a good time, uh active, you know people yeah

00:46:11 – Sean: Cool. I think this is probably a good time to wrap up but I want to ask one more question. So my buddy had this blog that was called bad decisions make good stories and tell me it was there any good story or a bad decision that you’re willing to share on the road?

00:46:30 – Trevor: I’m I’m really bad at this kind of recall. Uh, but that’s let’s see. I’m sure there are many been decisions. I know so so these these hikes that I like to go on. Uh, when I was over here, I would usually invite you know, whoever I thought was was like capable of doing a hike and there was one uh, when we were in Vietnam and you know, this is I went through the process of what’s tell us about in Vietnam, and it’s called Mount fancy. It’s like f n SI p and it’s in the South Valley region. That was really beautiful region Northern be now and I got a crew of our group about 12 or 13 of us together to go up there. And you know, I booked through a shady looking website. It’s pretty it was really cheap, you know, maybe 100 hundred dollars a person for like two nights two days climbing all meals included and uh, I didn’t read the fine print. I thought it was, you know, Jackets, you’re fine. So we spend a day of uh a day of hiking up to the mountain which was really beautiful and we got to uh, the place we’re going to stay that night and uh upon arrival the sun setting starting to get cold or maybe 12,000 feet up 10,000 feet up and uh, they show us to where like we’re supposed to stay that night and they opened the door. Uh, there was a wooden platform. That’s that could fit about 12 people like if you’re literally sardines next to each other and it’s there’s no blankets. There’s no sleeping bags. There’s no pillows that was not included in the trip. And so as the temperature is dropping and we’re getting colder and colder, uh as a nice going on and there’s no room and like no Comfort. I like had brought this like level high level of misery on everyone. We spent I think 12 hours and 12 hours and that’s like 5 p.m. Or 4 p.m. To like 5 a.m. Trying to just like wait out the cold until I got warm enough so that we can go some of them out and like get off this thing. And like that was like it was maybe the most miserable night of sleep for all of us that we’ve ever had. I mean most people didn’t even sleep. You know, you’re just freezing cold, you’re not comfortable all year like packed in and you’re like have to be back then like get anymore. That’s the same time. It’s not comfortable. There’s just it was it was brutal. I you know, everyone’s trying to be as chipper about it and non-negative as possible, but it was really hard to be. Uh, so that was one of the uh, I mean it was it was like a kind of you know organizer thing. I’d like luckily the they didn’t say anything to my face about like f or anything but I’m sure they feel so I was we all look back on that finally now, but it was probably the worst night asleep of many rare last though.

00:49:20 – Sean: That sounds like what a Trish calls level 3 fun. That’s like exactly maybe the origin of level 3 fun there.

00:49:29 – Trevor: Yeah, we had this uh when we were sitting around in we had uh snake wine which they have in Vietnam. Like they did like marinade snakes and in the liquor and it was maybe the worst tasting liquor that I’ve ever had just absolutely brutal. But when you’re in conditions like that, you’re just like well, I’m gonna sip it anyways because can only get better than what’s going on here. I’ll just you know, hold and down it but yeah, cool.

00:49:55 – Sean: Well, I think we’ll probably wrap it there. Um, I so I am not going to promise anything, but I’m going to try to make it so people can actually submit questions video questions. And I don’t know if you’re open to maybe a follow-up thing, maybe a month or two down the road. But if we get enough video questions and people want to ask you questions or you’re maybe to do like a follow-up episode. Sure. Yeah cool cool man awesome any parting thoughts for someone who’s actually listened this far and still listening to us, uh considering doing the remote nomadic thing.

00:50:30 – Trevor:Yeah, I mean if you’re capable like I was uh, like really I mean really take a look because I just didn’t give it enough of a look and luckily remote was there as an Infidel and really try to see if they can fit for you and and taking at least, you know, three months six month trial of it. Uh, it could be game changing could be life-changing for you. So I say remote here was the best year of my life and since then it’s, you know, pretty much gotten within the same better so nice.

00:51:00 – Sean: And thank you so much for spending the time. Come back to Lisbon. Let’s go kitesurfing soon. I take it. All right, that was my interview with Trevor gerhardt you have any questions for Trevor? You can leave them in a comment. If you’re considering doing remote year or a program like it you can get up to $300 off select programs about simply by applying through a referral link. You can do that in the footer. Just go to Nomad podcast. Know if you do it by direct to the programs in all phi’s your eligibility for that. So make sure to apply via our referral form. No matter podcast is supported in part by Nomads prep and Online Academy that teaches you everything you need to know about taking your job on the road. So you can crush it abroad and roll the day and no map prep and get your first four days of training completely free. No map take your job on the road and Take On The World lastly if you haven’t already done, so add your email the bottom with no map podcast. We’ll send you notification as future episodes are released and next we have Paige talking to us. She’s going to tell us about her adventures and building a start-up while traveling the world until next time. It’s a big world out there out there and explore it. I’ll see you on the road. No, man. You just heard was recorded with anchor if you want to make your own download the Android or iOS app completely free from anchor anchor.

Pre-interview Questions

Guest Questions : Entry # 3   
Name
Trevor Gerhardt
Twitter
trevorgerhardt
Instagram
trevorgerhardt
Current Company
Conveyal
Current Title
Software Engineer
Nationality
United States of America
Countries Visited
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czechia
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Myanmar
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Viet Nam
Where in the world are you now?
Canggu, Bali
Where were you living when you decided to start a nomadic life?
Washington, DC, USA
What were the initial set of circumstances or motive(s) that led you to experiment with a nomadic life?
Perfect timing on all accounts. Living in a city that I didn’t want to fully establish roots in, had a steady job with a distributed team, 27 years old and financially stable, had dreamed of the digital nomad life but never decided to make the leap on my own. Remote Year was the perfect impetus to get started.
Was there something specifically you were looking to gain or escape from that you’re willing/able to share?
No
What did you do for income/work while traveling?
Software development
Did that situation change at all during the course of your travels?
No
Are you still doing the same work today as when you started RY?
Yes
Did you find it challenging to do your work from abroad?
No
What type of personal or business growth did you expect to experience and how did that turn out in actuality?
Business growth has been mainly just progressing as a programmer — learning new tools, frameworks, architecture design, and just building away. I haven’t had the desire to spend any more time in front of my computer than I do for work and work has been more than satisfying. Personally, I’ve wanted pick up more active hobbies like surfing, kiteboarding, climbing and learn a second language. The second language part has not come true. Haven’t spent enough time on my own without fellow translators in Spanish speaking countries to really pick it up as strongly as I would’ve liked too.
What was the highest high-point and lowest low-point of your travels?
There were a ton of shared high-points during Remote Year and the first few months of travel, having a hard time believing that this was my new reality. But something I had looked forward to for a very long time was the first day I arrived in Switzerland for the ski season (https://www.instagram.com/p/BPC4LcNB8oS/). We rented an epic ski-in/ski-out chalet in a tiny Swiss village and for three months spent the mornings skiing the Alps and the afternoons working from our massive wood dining room table with overlooking the Sion valley. I had always wanted to spend a season skiing but never wanted to ski-bum or wait until I had enough money to “retire” and do it. The very wealthy owner of the chalet was pretty jealous — by the end of the season we had spent more nights in his prized home than he had in all the years of ownership. So what if he’s a millionaire? Low Point? Realizing I hadn’t seen my Uncle Eddie in two years when he passed away last fall. Every so often the reality of how often I actually see family and long time friends sets in. A great Wait But Why post articulates this point well: https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12 /the-tail-end.html. Recently, I’ve made it a point to not just “see” my family but actually go on trips with them individually.
Was there ever a point at which you gave serious consideration to quitting the nomadic journey?
No
What did you learn from your nomadic existence that was unintuitive or unexpected but obvious now in retrospect?
Not everyone affluent lives in a big city.
Was it hard to re-integrate back into society after your travels?
No
What can you not “un-see” at this point?
Pollution and trash. I missed the grime of cities back in the 70s before the US cleaned up it’s act. But worldwide many cities have awful air quality for many months per year. I spent a month in Hanoi at unhealthy air levels and it gets seriously depressing not to be able to see the sun. I get to leave for cleaner pastures but a lot of the residents don’t have that option. Handling of trash and recycling in less affluent countries can be seriously depressing. There’s no education, facilities, or enough of a desire to handle it better. Trash floating up to you while surfing or scuba diving over and over can bring you to tears.
How and to what extent has your group kept in touch after the experience ended?
We’ve traveled together in smaller groups pretty extensively, have an active WhatsApp group and are planning a reunion of sorts in France this summer.
How do you think you’ve changed as a person from the experience?
I’m older.
What would you say to someone considering doing Remote Year or a program like it?
If you have a stable job that allows for remote work and don’t have a lot of Digital Nomad friends then there is no better way to meet interesting people that want to live that lifestyle.
How (if at all) has your idea of work changed from the experience?
It created an upper bound of what’s needed monetarily. I lived in a ski chalet in Switzerland for the season and could do that every year. Afterwards I flew to the carribean and kite boarded for a month. My salary is less than 6 figures per year. How much more money do I need to make?
What’s your best travel hack?
Washing underwear in the shower. You can get away with two pairs of underwear and two pairs of socks if you just wash them every time you shower. Just ring them out to dry and they’ll be good by the next day. My normal rotation is three pairs due to the amount of sweat I generate and showers I require.
Is there a piece of gear you could you not live without at this point?
Yes, my Merino wool clothing.
Any particular routines or rituals that kept you fit/healthy/sane throughout the year?
CrossFit. It’s easily the most intense hour of exercise I can spend on a regular basis. Add in the communities world wide and it’s a great way to meet people and stay in shape.
What resources (if any) did you use in preparing to go abroad?
NomadList.com is amazing for tons of things, finding places to go, track your trips, and communicate with a traveling community. I read tons of random traveler blogs — Tynan’s Gear posts (http://tynan.com/gear2018) and Tim Ferriss’s How to Travel the world with 10 pounds or less (https://tim.blog/2007/07/11/how-to-travel-the-world-with-10-pounds-or-less-plus-how-to-negotiate-convertibles-and-luxury-treehouses/) are good places to start.
If you were to do it again, what would you go back and tell your former self to do differently in order to get more out of the experience?
Party a bit less, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of each new location.

sean

Sean is the host of Nomad Podcast and author of the Nomad Prep eCourse to help others successfully transition to the nomadic lifestyle. Sean currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal as Director of Sales for Pagely.com (a remote-friendly company which is hiring). Read more from Sean on his personal blog.

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