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Entries in Travel advice (4)


"The Blog that will never be posted” ~ or ~ “How to be a Location Independent Digital Nomad"

This is part 1 of 3. For part 2 please click here and for part 3 please click here.

My adventures to be a Location Independent Digital Nomad

When I sat down to think of my next blog idea, I wanted to write another blog to help people in their travels as per usual. I didn't think to write about myself. But perhaps, the metamorphosis we are currently undergoing may be a valuable message to pass on.  In fact, this was written over a month ago in a word document entitled, “The blog that will never be posted”. But after sitting on it for a while, I am OK sharing this, as my hope is that it can motivate others. Also, many friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, et al. keep asking "What the hell am I doing leaving an plush home on the ocean in picturesque Morro Bay, California".

Bali tours and travel IndependenceThe beautiful people and culture of Bali help make the transition easier

Well, let me attempt to explain. So I have this professor gig that I have been doing for the last 17 years or so.  I am passionate about teaching, passionate about the opportunity to help others on their career paths, share my love of art, and all a committed teacher should be.  About 6 years ago, I moved out of the studio classroom and moved all of my teaching online.  I loved the freedom this provided and I was able to travel the world and still keep my professor gig.


Pretty sweet, right? Well sure, but it’s a different game online. It’s not the passion pursuit it was in the classroom, the late nights with the students passionately making art and feeling the collective buzz of creation and hard work. Online is a different animal. I won’t go so far to say its glorified data entry, as there is still some teaching going on. But, by never actually meeting the students, seeing their faces when they achieve that AHA moment, or not knowing much about them at all aside from some student ID numbers, its challenging to have that connection. 


That being said, I thought it was a good trade off as I am able to follow other passions and “passion following” has been my motto since I first learned it was a concept back in high school by reading the great Joseph Campbell.  It was a good trade off. So I am not as passionate about the craft of teaching, but I can travel, do my other business; live in an incredible place away from the BS of LA.  It was great…. For a while…

Even though I was in beautiful Morro Bay, California with access to wilderness, kayaking, surfing, hiking with our dog in the mountains, etc. I still found myself not pursuing my dreams as much as I could be.  Fine tequila, too much TV, working for the man… It became a bit too routine. Routine is fine actually but it was trending toward dispassionate.  My school and I, well lets say we don't agree with each others practices as much as we could, so time was ripe for a change.

How to be a Location Independent Digital Nomad

I have been devouring every crumb of knowledge I could stuff in my slightly greying head about how to create a website and blog that generated an income.  I have started implementing some of what I was able to glean from smarter folks than I (see here for a list of helpful sites by inspiring and bright entrepreneurs) and lo and behold, the money is starting to trickle in.  It’s still the nascent stages and I am not expecting too much at this stage but its progress and it’s exciting to see.


So where am I going with this? Well having my fill of the presidential race (I refuse to spend my brain time on the topic, politicians are all the same), listening to people carry on about The Academy Awards (Hollywood sucking its own #%*!), or any number of mind numbing chatter that is supposed to be relevant, its time for a change.  

Please click here for Part 2- Much more info...

Please send me an email to subscribe to our blog to watch our progress as we build our dream here in Bali.

Bali volcano digital nomadWhere to Gods live- Bali's massive Gunung Batur Volcano



How to be a Location Independent Digital Nomad ~ Part 2

This is part 2 of 3. For Part 1 please click here and for Part 3 please click here.

Our quest for Location Independency continued...

The rhythm of life in Bali is much more my speed.  We are connected to this magnetic island on many levels, in many ways.  It makes perfect sense. We are about to break ground on our villas and wellness retreat in Ketewel, Bali.  Our tours have been going great for a few years now. We have family and dear friends in Bali as well. We are becoming geographically independent.  Let’s just do it. Lets sell everything and give it our full heart and soul.  Well, that’s what we are in the midst of right now.  I was able to find someone to rent our beautiful home so that frees up a huge chunk of money every month. In fact it’s like gaining a full time income just by not paying for the house each month. We have sold all of our wordly posessions (save for a few treasures obtained through our world travels) and are now in Bali laying the groundwork.

Location independent Bali travelThe magic and magnetism of Bali

How do I become Location Independent?

So, in talking (a bit too much) about myself, I want to help show those good people who are firmly entrenched in their cubicle, trading their time (and possible huge chunk of their life) for money in an Ouroboros infinity loop to nowhere, that there is another way.  The pace of life is immensely slowed down in South East Asia. Sure there can be traffic and frustrating bureaucracy at times, its not completely idyllic 100% of the time, but it’s a light year in contrast to what we have in the west. You have time to follow your passions, carve, surf, photograph, learn to play the gamelon, deepen your yoga practice or even find a passion you didn't even know you had. A dispassionate life is not a life well lived. I am an educator. I spent most of my life involved in education, but nowhere in school will they tell you this.  Please don't misunderstand, education is valuable. Knowledge is power. But sitting in a cubicle the rest of your life may not be the avenue to successfully complete your life’s true work.


I am not saying go out and sell everything you own (well maybe I am a little bit) but there are other ways to make a living. There are other lifestyles than having a energy sucking 9 to 5 that provides the money you need to rent the apartment you don't really like so you have a place to watch TV and fall asleep until your alarm clock wakes you to go to that job you loathe… rinse, repeat…


It’s been hard on my folks. Yes I turn 42 in just 2 days, but they still worry about us.  Understandably, it’s a different world to them. A mysterious, possibly unsafe, foreign land as far across the globe as you can get. I understand their fears. They would be so happy if I was an insurance salesman and still had a proper full time gig with a 401k and ‘security’.  Well there is no security. Go ask the millions who have been laid off from ‘solid as a rock’ institutions: people who always subscribed to the prearranged societal blueprint.


Let me be your example, your test case. I want to show you its not so hard, or scary, or risky.  Your status quo is not going anywhere. You can always come back to it. But what if going to experience another culture, another view on life’s rhythm, held some pearls for you?


As Mr. Huxley stated so eloquently decades ago, it is a Brave New World out there.  There are so many innovative ways to make a living online, to become location independent, a digital nomad. Sure teaching online was one thing, but I was still working for a huge corporation that cared nothing at all for me (and sadly less about the students quality of education). I was tied to someone else’s rules- many of which were not coming from an educator but coming from Wall Street. But creating passive, and not so passive income from writing, networking with like-minded people, and working on your time, when YOU want.


There are options out there. What are yours?

Click here for Part 3 and that list of blogs I devoured to help understand how to become location independent and make some extra income through blogging. And you can always ask me for help as well.


Bali tours and wellness retreatLive life and the speed YOU decide

Please send me an email to subscribe to our blog to watch our progress as we build our dream here in Bali.

You can click here for Part 3 and that list of blogs I devoured to help understand how to become location independent and make some extra income through blogging. And you can always ask me for help as well.



How to be a Location Independent Digital Nomad, Part 3- The List

This is part 3 of 3. For part 1 please click here and for part 2 please click here.

The Digital Nomad ~ Bali Style

Here is that list of blogs I devoured to help understand how to become location independent and make some extra income through blogging. And you can always ask me for help as well.

Bali wellness Location independentLocation independence- Bali Bliss

Barbara Weibel writes

Megan from

The "dudes" from 

Pat Flynn of


Steve Pavlina of

Iain Mallory writes

Nora Dunn at

Cody writes


Chris C. Ducker from


Chris at


Paul writes


And here is Dan’s list of many more-


There are dozens more and the links above will help you find many other helpful and inspiring sources of how to live in Asia or anywhere else you love and how to earn income through blogging.


A quick disclaimer: sites offering to teach you how to become independently wealthy overnight by paying them $499 or whatever may be helpful, but all the information is out there, for free. So do your due diligence as its not rocket science and you don't need to reinvent the wheel.  The links above can help save time and provide resources to get you on your way.  Don’t expect success, or any income at all, in the short term as it takes time to build readership and credibility.  And SEO takes time too. Please don't fall for the black hat techniques used by people who promise the first page of Google in a week, or month, or whatever.  Quality content is king. Be yourself, share your passion and it will be appreciated.

 Bali tour digital nomadBali Happiness- Digital Nomad Style

Please send me an email to subscribe to our blog to watch our progress as we build our dream here in Bali.  And if you have any comments or links you would like to share regarding location independence and the digital nomadic lifestyle, please comment below.

Heres to your success!

Michael and Maryam



Sanur Beach ~ A great place to stay in Bali ~ Photos

Sanur is certainly one of our favorite places to stay in Bali.  It’s close to our land so we can easily check on things in Ketewel, so we tend to spend a good amount of time in Sanur.  Despite it being one of the oldest places for expats to occupy, it has retained its charm and boasts one of the best beaches in southern Bali.  When the Dutch came to colonize Bali as far back as the late 1800’s, Sanur was their point of entry and where they called home.  Also during World War II, The Japanese used Sanur as their entry point. This being said, current day Sanur shows very few remnants of these past events and is a cozy small town with excellent restaurants, great little shops, a fun nightlife and plenty to do to keep you busy. It's a great alternative to loud and crowded Kuta and it's still close enough to the airport so its not a difficult journey.

Bali Sanur beautiful girl beachThe many Gazebos dotting Sanur Beach are great spots for a picnic But as mentioned above, the biggest draw might be the clean white sand beach. It's protected by a reef making the water calm for swimming and snorkeling at high tide. And at low tide the beach can be explored for marine life.  Although many areas like Amed and Menjangan Island are far superior for snorkeling and scuba, its still a nice way to pass the hours hanging out at the beach.  There is a lovely beachfront walk that covers the length of the town’s downtown area (over 4km) and has some little cafes, which are perfect for a beachside Bintang and there are many hotels that you can pop into for a nicer bite to eat.

Bali Travel Sanur beach bestColorful catamarans line Bali's Sanur Beach

There is some surfing as well, but mainly the surfing done here is wind surfing.

Our two biggest suggestions for Sanur are The Village and The little Pond.  Little Pond is a small hotel with perhaps 15 rooms and a nice small pool.  It’s nothing fancy but the value is excellent as the rooms range from about $17-35 USD and they are clean and fairly well appointed.  If you are not looking for really cush accommodations and want to save a bit of money, this is a great place to stay.

 Best Bali Travel Sanur VacationA great way to spend a day in Sanur

On the other hand, a bit more pricey suggestion is The Village restaurant.  While I much prefer traditional Indonesian food when I am in Bali, once in a while its worth it to try something else.  The Village is one of these places.  I lived in Italy and this modern eatery in Sanur is perhaps one of the top 10 Italian meals I have had outside of Italy.  The design of the restaurant is modern and stylish and the wine cellar is one of the best in the area.  The volcano pizza is one of the most bizarre looking entrees you can imagine but its really not quite as tasty as some of the other dishes.  It is certainly a head turner and a fun option but I would suggest the pasta dishes.

Bali travel tips sanur best tour

I do also want to mention Warung Pregina as it is also an excellent option as it serves delicious traditional Balinese food.  The crispy duck is fantastic and the value is hard to beat.

Sanur is a great place to spend a few days.  While it is heavily touristed and you will be annoyed by hawkers and the inexplicable practice of each and every taxi passing by honking at you, its still a nice place to stay and enjoy the beach and it’s turquoise waters, good food and minimal but fun nightlife.