In 2011 I took a major risk. I sold my apartment in Vancouver Canada to fund my dream of starting a travel related business. I left a stable high paying IT manager job in Vancouver after getting my MBA degree. Why? I wasn’t happy. I knew it was time for the next chapter of my life. I discovered my passions for Travel, Video, and Business. After the travel venture didn’t work out I ended going on a tour of Asia for my friends wedding in Taiwan along with my SLR camera. It was eye opening, but I eventually ran out of money.
I went back to corporate life again in 2013 all the while I was experimenting with creating my first product. It started as a trip to Asia on vacation and then a working holiday to Taiwan in 2013. I sold my apartment, car, and packed a laptop and my camera with my dreams. 6 years later I found myself sharing my lessons learned with the next generation of travel videographers
After a 13 year career in IT in Vancouver Canada and a university and MBA degree from SFU I decided to needed a change. I went through a process of self discovery to determine what my values and passions were. (Travel, Business, Video). It started as a trip to Asia on vacation and then a working holiday to Taiwan in 2013. I sold my apartment, car, and packed a laptop and my camera with my dreams. 6 years later I found myself sharing my lessons learned with the next generation of travel videographers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai, was an important part of my Entreprenuarial journey and it’s great to be able to give back some knowledge to the community.
Huahin Digital Nomad Expat Guide The Danang of Thailand. Chiang Mai with a beach. Whatever you want to call it Hua hin was off my radar until a month ago. My Digital Nomad Journey Began in Taiwan and Sophmore year was in Chiang Mai Thailand, but it seems as though there are many destinations that are becoming great options as well like Hua Hin Thailand.
The main draw for Hua Hin is the beautiful long beaches, the ease of getting there from Kuala Lumpur, how quiet and uncrowded it is, and the laid back vibes. Add in the overall fast Wifi, quality low cost condos on Airbnb, Grab Taxi, Golf courses, Tennis Course and a lot of what you may love about Thailand (cheap massage, thai food, 7-11, Pools) and you’ve got a great destination to either to go into mini-retirement or live as an expat/digital nomad. At the time I went there were 2 co-work spaces. If you stay near the True Arena then you are close to both of them. One of them is called Gopro and the other you will see on your way to Cicada market. They are a bit pricier than Chiang mai or Bangkok at 350 baht per day. There are a few cafes that are laptop friendly like coffeelism and the Truesphere cafe in the Bluport Mall. I recommend getting a condo with at least AIS fiber.
I’ve only seen one beach and the sand is a nice texture, clean, and white. There are some options to drink at the beach or you can go for a walk. One of my favorite things to do was to check out the various restaurants, cafes, and bars along the beach. Check my instagram for exact locations, but some suggestions are Mourakesh to catch a sunset, or Azur’s freeflow 699 baht at the Intercontinental. Huahin is a turning up to be the sleeper hit destination of the year. It has a beach. The air quality is better than most Thailand destination’s as it’s further South. Internet Speeds are fast in cafe’s and the home with AIS fiber very common. Good modern condos are cheap and available built by Sansiri similar to the condos built by Dcondo out in Chiang Mai. Good flights in from Kuala Lumpur on Airasia, but not to the rest of Thailand. Getting around on Grab is available, but a bit pricier and hard to get in the hot spot tourist areas. You can motorbike here for short distances as the traffic is less than larger cities. There are 2 large malls with everything that you need from movie theathers, gourmet market for all your culinary needs, and pletny of massage shops. There is an understated upmarket feel to Huahin and you can expect prices to be a bit more than Chiang Mai. Cafes and cowork spaces aren’t as plentiful yet, but there are options in the mall and you can work from home.
There isn’t that many tourists here in general and less Digital Nomads, but that can be a good thing. This is not just some beach town. Huahin hosts many gems if you know where to find them.
Sample Prices Motorbikes 1600 baht Sim AIS 7 days plan 150 baht Accomodation 450 cdn for 2 weeks inluding utilties and wifi with proper gym and super duper long pool Thai Meal 100-150 baht Western Breakfast 200-250 baht Beer 100 baht IPA beer 200 baht bottle wine 500 baht Taxi from airport to city 200 baht (need to take regular taxi from the airport, Can grab to the airport due to the mafia) cowork space per day 250 baht. Internet Speeds 20mbps- 200mbps #huahin#digitalnomad#locationindependent#expat
Recommended for: Beach Lovers, Motorbikers, Sabai sabai Thai lifestyle, Red light District Scene, Hot Weather
Best Time to Go: November – April ( I was there for the 2nd half of May and it was super hot)
How do I live this lifestyle as a Videographer?
I use my skills and content to create a lifestyle of time and location freedom as a Travel Videographer. I fly my drone and license my aerial footage and do videos for clients. Check out my Online Courses for more Info.
Busan South Korea is South Korea’s 2nd largest city. Why would you want to come here? The biggest draw aside from the korean food, fast internet, decent air, top notch public trains, are the beaches. Haeundae and Gwangan (Gwangalli beach) are the most well known. I’ve been here twice both for 1 week stints. Let’s get down to business.
Essential Info for Busan
I recommend going during the summer in June for nice warm weather. They also hold a famous film festival in October. I visited in early March this year, which is a bit cold and sunny. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom end of March.
Who is Busan for? It’s for a digital nomad that isn’t as price sensitive, wants to enjoy the beaches, a dose of korean culture, fast internet, perhaps a free co-work space, and a developed city in asia that can offer good direct flights to Western North America. Bring out XE currency or your favorite convertor as I will be quoting prices in various currencies. If you need to complete some fast uploads then some of the fastest internet speeds are located here.
Getting in. There are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Busan via air Asia. They do leave kuala lumpur late around 2am and you arrive in around 9am in the morning. I paid about 1400 MYR for mine. As a Canadian I get 6 month for my visa just for visiting! For sim cards I use an android phone and needed phone number and data so I went with KT at the airport. Price was 38,500 won and is good for up to 10 days and reliable throughout South korea. This will cover all your internet needs. Basically there is solid fast wifi from most places from starbucks to Holly’s cafe.
You can get into the city using subway, limousine shuttle or taxi. From cheapest to most expensive. Subway is about 4000 won to the city and the shuttle was 7000 won one way. I took the shuttle as I had some heavy luggage to carry.
Where to stay in Busan South Korea
I recommend staying in Huaeundae or Gwangalli as they are both walking distance to the beach and offer convenient access to the subway and restaurants. Other areas you could try are Centum City or Seomyeon. I checked out hotels, but airbnb offered a more comfortable experience and better value plus extras like a kitchen,washing machine, access to a local host, and living like a local is an experience I value. I paid 338cdn for my airbnb for a modern, well-located condo with kitchen, washing machine, wifi, japanese style toilet, heated floors, walking distance to the beach, and a view. No fancy amenities though and it’s not as spacious as malaysia. Yes it’s a bit pricey.
You can work at Starbucks Reserve or any starbucks, holly’s cafe, or check out the creator’s content studio at centum city for what they call a free co-work space. Wework is opening soon so there are many options. Be sure to bring a plug adaptor as North American style plugs will not work.
What to do in Busan
I recommend checking out all 3 beaches: Gwangalli, Haeundae, and Songjeong beach. The Gamcheon cultural village known as the Santorini of SKorea is nice for photos and also close to the Jagalchi fish market. As for food I recommend trying a lot of beef (beef shabu, beef bbq, beef bugolgi), dumplings, bim bam bop, and if you’re into seafood there is a ton of variety here as it is a sea port. The subway station is pretty cheap and efficient. You can try visiting different areas and working out of cafe’s and enjoy the fast internet speed. Can you fly your drone in Busan. I flew at Haeundae beach with no problem and have flown at Gamcheon cultural village last year. Check the rules, and fly at your own risk. Standard Aerial Videographer rules.
Cost of Living
I haven’t lived in Busan for a month for so I’ve made an estimate based on my week here. You’ll notice that the exercise and gym has a gap as I haven’t had time to figure out costs of using the gym yet. My total accounts to $2050 US which is about $500 US more than Kuala Lumpur. Use this as a guide as this varies with everyone’s lifestyle and you have to make certain assumptions to project out costs and how you will spend your time. In general accomodation costs are higher than south east asia at 1126 US, but not bad considering I’m looking at an apartment less than 5 minutes to the beach. One way ticket from Haeundae to Centum city if 1400 won. Coffee is about 3800 won from starbucks. A nice noodle soup dish is about 9000 won. Taxi ride from Haeundae to the Busan station is about 16000 won. Craft beer is about 7000 won a pint.
Busan is probably too expensive and the language barrierr will leave you with a level of isolation that won’t be as long-term friendly. I could probably do a month here or a few weeks for a visa run in the summertime to enjoy a beach lifestyle in a developed city with good flight routes to Canada. You can take the the high speed train (KTX) from busan station to Seoul if you want to check out another city or a cheap flight to cities in Japan using Air busan.
The Gluten free Nomad and I explorer where we are on our entrepreneurial journey and how we would spend 20k on our business. It’s a fun exercise to go through to think how would you invest those funds back into your business. Would you spend it on office space, new software, new camera gear, or some assistant or interns? find out.We also explore a number of topics from the Golden Age of Chiang mai to co-working in Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve recently jumped off the Apple Macbook train and back to Windows 10 after 6 years. As a Video editor I was using Final Cut Pro X and have made the Switch to a huawei Matebook Pro X laptop running Windows 10 and Adobe Premiere CC 2019. Get some tips on the transition in this podcast
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I was contracted to do a last minute video shoot in Tainan Taiwan. Taian is a one hour train ride away from Taiwan’s third largest city Kaoshiung. In this post you’ll get an idea of Tainan is worth your time.
You can get into Tainan Taiwan via Kaoshiung Airport via Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. If you’re in Taipei you can take the high speed railway from Taipei. The train prices are no expensive. I would recommend getting your sim cards at the airport or in Taipei city. There are pretty good plans that offer unlimited sim card data at 4g speeds. I paid 450 nt for 8 days with Taiwan mobile. A sim card is key to getting the most out of Tainan or Taiwan in general.
I would recommend staying somewhere near the Tainan station as there are a lot more restaurants, bars, and cafes. I stayed near the dive bar, which is considered west Tainan downtown and is very walkable. There are plenty of airbnb’s to choose from in the city.
Getting around can hard during the day because it is very hot. You can use the Easy taxi app as at the time there are no grab or uber taxi’s. However there is food panda and uber eats. I would recommend renting one of the city’s bicycles if you have time as the city is very flat.
As for things to do you can do you can visit the restaurants to enjoy beef noodle soup, beef soup, dumplings, taiwan teppanyaki and more. It can be hard to find these places if you don’t know how to type chinese so I create a google map with some posts to start off with. There are plenty of temples to see and there are some bars like the dive bar you can visit. You can see most of Tainan in a couple of days and then I would recommend heading into Kaoshiung Taiwan
As for Digital nomads Tainan could support your needs, but there are better options such as Taipei or Kaoshiung. Check out my Taiwan digital nomad guide if you need some help here. There weren’t a lot of cafe’s and cowork spaces that looked laptop friendly. There is the occasional starbucks you can sit at, but finding a comfortable place to stay long-term could be challenging because most of the buildings in town are older. To get around you would need a motorbike, or making use of the local bus or train system. The local taxis can really add up. Overall, there would be more to do outside of Tainan.
The main reason I went to Tainan was to film a baseball event as I do Travel Videography, but my main base for this year has been Malaysia. If you’re curious about the Travel videographer lifestyle and want to learn more about video, travel, or business check my Online School.
Filming on a Gimbal allows you to raise the production level of your Video by allowing your to film super smooth shots and add to your arsenal of shots. For example you can program the gimbal using the app to automate the motion path allowing you to creating things like motion lapses or even the 360 video inception shots. See some sample footage and learn more in this video
Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell your used goods locally and it’s fairly simple. I’ve sold a lot of my used stuff in Thailand (mostly camera stuff) and Vancouver like my SLR camera, camera lens, tripod, and most recently my camera slider. Learn more about how I do it on the video.
Being a Long-term Travel Videographer has been an Entrepreneurial journey. In this interview filmed in Kuala Lumpur with Stacia Wilson I share how I got started traveling and starting a business , how I make revenue, and some nuggets of wisdom
How to Earn by licensing your Footage
Chiang Mai Living Guide
My Digital Nomad in Asia Facebook Page
I’m happy to have a chance to chat with Rob Palmer, who may be the World’s First Digital Nomad who is based in Bangkok Thailand. Join us for a refreshing chat and podcast to learn from his experience of having a raising a family across multiple countries and teaching his own son how to create a location independent income. Rob is an articulate speaker and easy to listen. Enjoy this treat and learn a little history about how times have changed for the digital nomad.
Rob is involved with the Amazon publishing business, online marketing business with Clickbank, and an Ambassador for Payoneer payment platform.
Most of the conversation involving digital nomads is tied to the young millenials in the their twenties so let’s give it up to the original veteran Rob Palmer
We have a single travel videographer bachelor at the time and a father of 5 video editor discuss the pros and cons of Bangkok VS Kuala Lumpur and family life. This is a fun Digital nomad to nomad chat that explores the differences between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and how our earlier journey’s started in Chiang Mai, but progressed to Kuala Lumpur
Biggest differences between KL and Bangkok
Kuala Lumpur you’re more likely to find english more widely spoken
KL has a better food variety
KL and Malaysia offers 3 month visa for most Western passport holders
Bangkok has cheaper massages
Bangkok has a better and more affordable cowork space scene
Bangkok’s BTS transport is better to understand and navigate than KL’s