They say that a simple real story can inspire many others. So here we are, at Digital Nomads India, presenting yet another inspirational and interesting story of Jeremy Noronha.
Here is Jeremy giving us a deep dive in his life –
As a little kid, I used to hear stories and read articles of people who traveled the world for a living and I was always starstruck! That entire idea felt so distant being born into a middle class Indian family. I remember that I once wished and dreamed I could become a popstar and travel the world but on retrospect I was more in love with the freedom to travel the world, than actually being a popstar or the fame that came with being a popstar.
Growing up in a family of academia with an uncle with a PHDs and having a principal for a mom in Goa, India, I had only 2 choices growing up, either I would grow up to either be an Engineer or a Doctor. Even being an accountant would make me a black sheep and an outcast of the family. The path of most of my life until recently wasn’t really under my control.
An average day during high school consisted of attending classes learning unpractical stuff I’ll never use in the real world from 8am to 3pm and then attending additional coaching classes until 8pm to get into universities that were pumping out millions of engineers, where most of them never wanted to down that path. Engineers that would be better off with a paintbrush or a guitar.
As February 2016 came to an end, I sat in class to answer my internal tests for the second semester of engineering. Midway into the exam, I looked around the class, looked at the piece of paper in front of me and it finally dawned on me that nothing that I was learning would actually help me in the real world, that I was wasting my time and this degree would never help me achieve what I wanted out of life. So I finally took the leap, walking out of the exam hall never to enter a class again.
After dropping out of college I studied used the free resources available on the internet. From auditing courses on Edx.org for the knowledge to Googling, “How do I ____?” with the goal I want to achieve in the blank. Reading, learning and then executing.
In March 2016 I started a travel blog at Think Travel Lift Grow, I was so bad at tech that it took me nearly a week using Youtube and Google to have the blog up, a process that can be done in 20 mins using a guide I wrote on my site. In the process however, I learnt how to build basic websites.
At the end of April 2016, I finally left Goa with everything I owned in a single 50 Litre backpack and 200$ I had after saving Christmas and birthday gifts. I set off to Nepal.
Once in Nepal, I started building websites to make ends meets, I didn’t have a portfolio other that my basic blog so it would be tough to get clients online, also the competition was fierce.
I got my first clients not thanks to some “secret” or a “hack” but actual hard work. I typed cafe *city name* into Google and made a list of all the cafes, then filtered down to the ones which were active on social media eg Facebook. Checked off the ones that had a website and finally I was left with a list of cafes that understood the benefits of marketing on the internet and would benefit from a website.
Now that I had a list, I then went cafe to cafe and tried to convey about how having a website would benefit them. At the end of the day, I had a client. At the same time, my friends and fans of my blog who now contact me everyday who have 10X-100X the level of skill I did are complaining about not being able to get clients.
It’s about doing the things most people aren’t willing to do, to live a life most people won’t ever get to live. I don’t believe there is a “secret” to success it’s smart then hard work eg, instead of going to every cafe, I narrowed my list down to the cafes that understand the benefits of online marketing but didn’t have a website yet!
I did that for 6 months as I traveled, Nepal, Bhutan and Northern India. In the background I put a lot of work in my travel blog, I wrote a lot of helpful articles that would bring a lot of value to people! Learnt all the necessary skills in the industry to make it successful, eventually the hard work started to pay off as the blog started making enough to cover my expenses.
During the same time, I’m sure my counterparts would complain about their circumstance or about how they can’t get clients. Guess what? If you want something bad enough you will find a way. You have two options with everything in life, find a way or an excuse.
Currently I also work as a SEO consultant for businesses. Instead of entering this industry with fake promises, I kept my head down, was silent for over a year, learnt everything, put the work into my own blog and got my 13 month old blog on the first page of google for many queries and on the second page for competitive ones like “make money traveling” and then talked about SEO. We live in a time when everyone is fronting themselves without having actual results to back themselves.
It wasn’t all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns though, during the times I was building websites for cafes there was once a time when I was completely broke, my bank account was negative and all I had was a jar of peanut butter for my meals for 3 days. I could’ve given up and gone back to the shelter and umbrella of my parents but I knew I would have to put in the work if I wanted to make my dreams a reality.
I stopped building websites around September by which time I had left India and made my way to Sri Lanka where I spent a month learning to surf. After that I made my way to Vietnam where I fell in love at first sight.
Fast forward to now, May 2017, since October 2016, I have spent 5 months in Vietnam, lived in different places, traveled the whole length of the country. Also visited Cambodia for a month and celebrated Christmas and the New year’s there! I’m in Laos as I type this and I am going to go back to Vietnam at the start of May and spend some more time in Vietnam as I loved it soo much.
My thesis isn’t that everyone should “quit their job and travel the world” or that just leave everything and travel. My thesis and what I preach is to do what you love. Currently I love travel which is why I’m going to travel full time and live in different parts of the world over the years and maybe decades. If tomorrow I feel like I don’t really like to travel, I would just stop.
I started a coffee vlog on Youtube where over the next couple of years I’m going to go around the world drinking different types of coffee, from the best cafes and farms around the world and review them!
The internet has created more opportunities than most of us can even contemplate. I’m not lucky! I hate when people call me that, everyone reading this has the same resources I did when I started. You have the internet *the information highway* at your fingertips!
I believe that life is the greatest adventure you will ever will have and it should be lead as such. So whether it’s asking that cute girl/guy in the cafe out on a date, climbing a mountain or traveling the world, you just got to try, push yourself out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown.
— If the above story seems inspiring, do share with others. Happy Traveling. 🙂