Tag Archives: travel

How To Care For your Fiddle or Violin While Traveling

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From Montana, we drove to Austin, then we flew to Costa Rica. Then we flew back to Austin, then we flew to Portugal then Italy then Bali then Cambodia then Thailand and then Singapore then Australia then New Zealand then Canada then Peru.

While doing all of this travel my fiddle was in some of the strangest climates on Earth. We went from hot to cold, humid to dry, high-elevation to low elevation, and even a life at sea for a month.

After getting back to Montana I saw one of my favorite fiddle gurus on planet Earth whose name is Lisa Barrett. she judged the fiddle contests that my brother and I played in as kids and she is a world-renowned violin and instrument luthier.

Lisa took one look at my fiddle and could almost tell me exactly where I had been and what damage was done to my fiddle.

After hiring her to fix my fiddle by removing the top and adjusting the blocks, soundpost, bridge, strings, and everything in between, I implored her to tell me all about how to care for my fiddle going forward so that this doesn’t happen again.

Being a professional fiddle/violin player you would think that I would already know how to properly care for a violin but apparently I did not. In this post I’m going to share all that I learned and how to avoid an expensive repair bill after you travel around the world like we did. Let’s dive In.

What is an ok humidity range for my violin or fiddle?

Lisa told me to purchase a small humidity gauge that can live in my fiddle case and monitor the humidity to keep it between 40-60%.

In order to lower the humidity she had me purchased a bag of silica gel packs that reduce the humidity and are usually used to protect electronics etc during shipment.

Here’s the bag that I bought, they’re very cheap and useful and now I put them in my laptop sleeve, headphone case, studio case, pretty much everywhere I don’t want moisture ruining my gear.

What temperature is ok for my fiddle or violin?

This one wasn’t as much of a problem for me but you definitely want to keep your violin out of extreme heat and extreme cold. It’s made of wood and glue, and it’s under a high amount of tension.

This means too cold and it’ll get brittle and break, too hot and it’ll literally melt the glue that holds it together.

What to do when flying on an airplane with your fiddle or violin?

This one is pretty crucial, and Lisa told me that I need to loosen the strings whenever I fly, and give my violin a few days if possible in the new location before tightening it back up.

You don’t want to loosen the strings so much that the sound post falls out, just enough to relax the neck and body so there’s room for it to tighten up a little if it needs to.

I’ve really realized that these things are living and breathing like us, so you have to let it acclimate to all the changes in conditions, same as you would for your body.

Best music instrument insurance for travelers

Before we left to travel the world, I did a very wise thing, which was purchase instrument insurance from MusicPro.

After paying a hefty repair bill from the damage to my fiddle, I was able to submit it to MusicPro and they reimbursed the cost except for a $100 deductible.

I would highly recommend purchasing insurance through them and the good part is under the same policy, you can get all your gear insured.

I had my computer, my wife’s computer, my speakers, guitars, violins, recording input, microphone, keyboard, cameras, just about everything that helps me make music.

The insurance is cheap so there’s really no reason not to do it.

Conclusion

Ok I think that’s all I’ve got on this matter of caring for your violin. I learned a lot from letting my fiddle get out of hand and hopefully it will help you avoid my mistakes.

I’m not an expert by any means in this area, this post is simply meant to shine some light on the matter.

Please comment or reach out if I could improve this post or if you have any questions/comments.

Ross

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How To Setup Your Phone With Google Voice To Travel Long Term

My sister in law recently moved to Spain and she kept paying Verizon huge amounts of money to keep her phone service.

When I heard about this I told her she needs to port her phone to google voice and download the voice app. Then when she gets to a new country she just buys a cheap local sim card and makes calls and sends messages from her old phone number through the Voice app.

No more paying Verizon huge amounts of money to keep your phone number while international traveling.

Here’s how to do it…

Go to Google.com/voice and set up your account with your Google account.

Important! Check with your service provider to see if their is a termination fee for canceling your service.

If you sort out the cancellation fee, then go to google.com/voice and find the option to port your number to google voice in the menu.

This will cost you $20 one time and then your phone number will be parked on your google account.

After that’s done, download the voice app to your cell phone and follow the prompts to setup your phone number to ring on your cell phone.

You may need to go into voice settings and your phone settings to make sure that your phone number rings on your phone and when you place a call from your voice app, it uses your phone number.

This way you’ll show up the same on people’s caller ID. They’ll never know the difference.

A good way to test this out is to get a friend’s cell phone and have them call you and then you call them to make sure everything is working alright.

Let me know if you have any problems in the comments below and I’ll do what I can to help!

 

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The Complete Guide To Digital Nomad Jobs

This post may contain affiliate links

The way people work on this planet is changing.

The baby boomers did it their way, but now people are moving to a more location independent lifestyle.

But you already knew that, right?

Good news!

More and more companies are open to working with freelancers and location independent professionals because talented hard-working people have a lot of pull in the world of business.

Every company needs them/you.

As a passionate digital nomad I’ll use this post to break down the newest trends and opportunities when looking for digital nomad jobs and location independent work.

Entrepreneur vs freelancer vs employee

First we need to figure out what type of situation you want. Do you want the security of a W2 income from a company? Or do you want to get scrappy and be a freelancer? Or maybe you want to start your own business.

Starting your own business as a digital nomad

This is a great option for some but you’re going to have to hustle if you want to make it work.

A lot of entrepreneurs go to Bali or Thailand where cost of living is cheap and they can bootstrap their business with other like-minded creators.

Not a bad option but you may need one of the next few options as well to supplement the start-up costs.

Some of the trending location independent business ideas are:

  • E-commerce – Find or create a product, create a shopify store, and have someone else fulfill the orders. You’re basically just a marketer and site manager.
  • E-learning – Create and sell your own online course using Teachable (complete guide here) or teach kids in China how to speak English and earn $20/hour. My wife does this a ton and loves it and earns a great side income. It’s super easy and very rewarding. CLICK HERE to learn how to do it.
  • Affiliate Marketing – A lot of people don’t know this but when you click on something from a blog and it takes you to Amazon, that person gets 5% of everything you buy there for the next 24 hours. Not just for Amazon either, like every company that sells anything online likely has an affiliate marketing program. This is one of my favorite passive income opportunities. A complete guide on affiliate marketing coming soon.
  • License Media – If you’re a media creator then you’re in luck. Use sites like Shutterstock, Pond5, Audio Jungle, Artlist, Videoblocks, and the like to create and sell photos, videos, and music as passive income. There is HUGE opportunity here. My complete guide to licensing media is coming soon!
  • Live A Great Story – If you live an amazing life, you can share your stories in exchange for money. People make huge amounts of money on Patreon and you can too. You can also become an Instagram influencer or YouTube vlogger. All these options use affiliate marketing to earn money.

Become a digital nomad freelancer

One of the easiest ways to get money flowing in remotely is to become a freelancer. I use Upwork as well as Fiverr to get clients but if you’re super talented you can use Toptal which I hear good things about.

The skills that are most needed on these platforms are in the realm of media creation, web development, marketing, animation, and some financial services.

If you like photo/video/audio then I highly recommend purchasing and learning  Adobe creative cloud. I think learning this suite of tools is one of the easiest and quickest ways to become a digital nomad freelancer.

Everyone needs skilled workers in these programs.

Don’t have any skills or know which ones you want to learn? I would go to upwork.com and look at the top and trending skills at the bottom of the homepage, click on a few that interest you and start developing your skills by watching YouTube.

You don’t need a 4-year design degree, you just need to learn how to teach yourself new skills. All the information is free online you just have to learn how to learn.

That’s all I did…

Getting a location independent job

Ok last but not least, just got a job.

Getting a remote job can be a little more competitive but if you stay at it, you can find a way to rise above the other applicants and land a great job that doesn’t care where you are.

This allows for lots of financial security but may require you to be available at certain times of day etc.

Here’s my exhaustive list of digital nomad jobs sites:

General digital nomad jobs:
  • https://weworkremotely.com/
  • https://remoteok.io/
  • https://www.flexjobs.com/
  • https://www.workingnomads.co/jobs
  • https://angel.co/
Accounting:
  • https://www.accountantlist.com/
  • https://www.supportingstrategies.com/

Conclusion

There’s a few tricks to making all of this digital nomad thing work. Here’s a few I live by:

You can make a lot of money by saving money. You might start out your journey in a cheap country while you get on your feet. You can live very comfortably in many Asian countries for very little money.

You can also save huge amounts of money by doing work exchanges. Checkout workaway.info to find opportunities to work in exchange for room and board. Then you make a few bucks online and you’re good to go.

The most important thing to learn, is how to learn. Did you know that Google and Apple both dropped 4-year degrees from their hiring criteria?

That’s because no one cares about your 4-year degree anymore, they just want hard-working talent, and talent is not some God-given thing you were born with.

Talent is developed through reading, learning, practicing, and focusing on results.

I recommend you become a YouTube user. Not just for cat videos but to go deep and learn skills that will get you paid. Spend 1/2 as much time on social networks and double your time on YouTube, and use it as a social learning platform.

Every single Adobe app is taught extensively by thousands of people around the world, for free, on youtube. The barriers to entry have never been lower.

Ok I think that’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for reading and I hope this helped.

Please subscribe to my newsletter for more content like this and have fun out there, it’s never been this easy.

happy hustling

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Here’s some videos we’ve made to highlight some of the examples above:

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New Music – Feed The Wildlife E.P.

After producing travel demos for so long, I think it’s finally time to release full productions.

To start out I’ve recorded and released a new song called Travelin In The Sun. This song was written while traveling around the south island of New Zealand in a campervan.

We had an amazing time and saw one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever experienced. We kept saying it’s like if Montana had an ocean.

Take a listen to the latest song below and please purchase so that I can record and release more of my demos!

 

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The Best Cheap Vlogging Camera With Flip Up Screen

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One day I was scrolling through YouTube and discovered a creative YouTuber named Casey Neistat. After watching about 10 of his videos, I was hooked on the idea of vlogging. I researched the best cheap vlogging camera for the next few months and bought one that I’ve since used all around the world.

In this post I will review my favorite cheap vlogging camera with flip up screen and other vlogging tips, resources, and ideas.

Best Cheap Vlogging Camera With Flip Up Screen

The Sony A5100 Mirrorless 

If you look at camera shootouts on YouTube, the sony line of mirrorless cameras stands apart from the rest in terms of image quality, heft, dimensions, lens options, and price.

I started out thinking I was going to buy the Sony A6000 but at the last minute, I changed my mind to get the 5100 because of the flip screen. This is absolutely crucial if you want to vlog.

The image quality of the 5100 vs the 6000 is exactly the same, the only differences are in functionality. Here are the key differences of the 5100 vs the 6000 that I found.

  • 5100 Has flip up screen for selfie style video and photo
  • 5100 does not have viewfinder
  • 5100 does not have shoe mount
  • Neither cameras have external audio input jack

Besides those few things, the cameras are extremely similar. I have since purchased a 6000 for my wife and she loves having the viewfinder. Between these two cameras, we’ve vlogged and photographed all of our travels around the world.

We also earn a large portion of our income through photography and video with these two cameras.

The only real downfall that I miss on these cameras is the external audio jack. But, if you watch our videos below, you’ll hear the audio quality and how for basic vlogging, it doesn’t matter that much.

Not having a cumbersome microphone attached to your flexible tripod also keeps your setup discrete and allows you to look a little “less professional” when videoing and photoing in certain situations. (sometimes people ask you not to film if they think you’re a super pro).

Some of  our sample vlogs:

 

 

Sony E Mount Lenses

For discreteness and ease of use, the Sony 16-55 kit lens, that comes with these cameras, is actually quite good for vlogging. You don’t have to worry about breaking an expensive lens, it has a quick zoom, decent autofocus, and is super thin.

We used the kit lens for every vlog as we traveled, and only later increased our lens collection.

After getting back from our year around the world, we wanted to do photography and better video for money, so we purchased the 2 following lenses:

Sony 50mm Prime

Sony 35mm Prime

 

Both of these lenses are incredible and give a very high depth of field (blurry background that looks all pro). If you can only purchase one, I would choose the 35mm unless you are doing mainly food photography, product photography etc.

Vlogging Tripod

We researched this quite a bit as well, and this is what we purchased and used the entire trip:

Joby GorillaPod

This unit has a ball head which I found to be super helpful and crucial for getting balanced and level shots. Highly recommend. It’s also the brand that Neistat uses.

If you have any questions about our setup please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading this and please sign up for the newsletter on my homepage!

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How I Became A Digital Nomad Musician

The other day I was chatting with a friend over the phone and he kept asking me questions about how I’ve travel the world, make money online, and play music as I go.

He’d ask were you ever scared for your life? How much money did you need? Where did you find clients? Did you have health insurance?

And I went on and answered them all. After our call, we were both feeling inspired and he said I should write this all down somewhere, so here it is.

How I became a digital nomad musician/marketer/accountant/videographer

Workaway International

When we first decided to leave we went to one of our favorite websites ever, workaway.info

I always suggest people go and browse on here, even if they’re not planning on traveling because once you get in there and see that you could work on a huskie farm in Sweden in exchange for room and board, you’re much more likely to go and actually travel.

There are so many available opportunities on Workaway like to work on a horse ranch in Costa Rica, pick olives in Tuscany, or go Glamping in Portugal (we did all these)

We did Workaways in Europe because it’s more expensive to hang out there, and we only worked on our computers in the inexpensive countries in Asia.

Digital Nomad Life

A lot of people don’t realize that there is an entire community of people working from their laptops in countries all over the world. They’re called digital nomads because they float around to multiple countries while still working to pay for it all.

Thanks to the internet, these things are possible.

We managed Instagram accounts, created videos, did SEO, wrote blogs, ran Facebook ads, created websites. Pretty much anything that was creative, needed in the marketplace and could be done remotely.

The only reason we knew how to do these things was because of a wonderful website called YouTube.com

Here you can learn any skill you need, then prove the results you can deliver and people will hire you. That’s how I’ve learned so much of what I do every day today.

Remember in The Matrix when he just loads up a file into his brain and he suddenly knows how to fly a helicopter? YouTube is like that, by typing the right questions into the search box you will have learned how to do it in less than 5 minutes.

I’ll link all of my favorite websites, tools, and resources for digital nomad jobs below, they just might inspire you.

How To Make Money While Traveling

This is the number one question that everyone asks, and for good reason. There are a million ways to make money and live a nomadic lifestyle but the easiest way is to convince your current job to let you go remote.

The second easiest way is to get a new job that encourages remote work, or has a fully remote workforce.

If you want to see what’s available, you can check out the remote job boards at the bottom of this post, or you can get started teaching English online.

We’ve found this to be one of the easiest ways to make money while you travel. Almost anyone can get signed up and you can do it from anywhere in the world, plus they pay well.

We’ve recently discovered an amazing platform that is helping thousands of people pursue a digital nomad lifestyle, and build experience in an in-demand industry.

Click HERE to check it out.

Digital Nomad Training & Certifications

When looking for remote marketing work I realized that there’s some certifications that employers really like to see on a resume, so I highly recommend taking time to study and get certified in Hubspot, Salesforce, Instagram, and Google Ads (links below).

Travel Safety

The world is a safe place. You don’t realize it but you’re living in a total bubble in America. You think you know what life is like but you really don’t until you travel.

Fear is a powerful emotion that is berated at you daily but we said it a million times over our journey, people are good.

We always tell everyone don’t party, drink, do drugs, stay out late, hang out with unsavory characters, and you’ll be fine. It’s the same status in America if you hang out with crazys and do crazy things, stuff might happen to you.

If you find the right people, you will be rewarded with amazing friendships. The people we’ve met are truly amazing.

One thing you should look out for is air pollution. This is no joke in certain places and I had an asthmatic effect that I’d never experienced before, we met Americans developing Asthma from being in Ubud, Bali. Be careful and get a purifier, and use a mask.

Travel Music

So I’m a fiddle player by trade and I did bring it with me. I wanted to write songs, produce music, and play in epic locations around the world and that’s what I did. I even started a band while I was out and we played a show in Cambodia. I also played about 10 shows in Australia and a house concert in Canada.

While out I built a kind of mobile studio into a Pelican case which I wrote a post about HERE, and that really helped me get organized. I started producing cover songs on YouTube and wrote a good amount of original music about travel as well.

Digital Nomad Visas

As an American, you can go to just about any country and get a Visa On Arrival, it usually permits you around 3 months so it naturally, keeps you moving.

Visas are never really a problem, especially if you have an American passport. While traveling we realized how much of a luxury American passports are.

Long-Term Travel Insurance

The insurance that most everyone uses is called World Nomads.

This company provides a very good plan for a very good price, they cover too many things to list here, but I suggest you check out their site below.

Digital Nomad Ergonomics

When working while traveling, you end up in some strange positions. You might be sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, crammed between people at a Starbucks, or sending emails from the floor of an airport.

That being said, I highly recommend focusing on your working posture and getting ergonomic computer equipment to make sure you can do this long-term.

I like to think of myself as an athlete. The soul lives forever but the body is only temporary so take care of it. I’ve listed some of my favorite ergonomic office supplies below, and trust me, I’ve tried all the options.

Conclusion

Whenever I talk to a friend about traveling the world I let them know that it is easier than you think, it’s not as scary as you think, and it will open your eyes and breathe depth into your life.

I highly recommend the digital nomad lifestyle and I believe we should take advantage of this opportunity in our lifetimes. The people before us could only dream about living a life like this!

Have fun out there

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Digital Nomad Jobs

  • Teach English Online – The easiest way to get paid for remote work – This is a game changer!
  • Fiverr – Freelance website where you can sell any digital skills you have.
  • Upwork – Freelance website where you can sell any digital skills you have for more money.
  • RemoteOk – Remote work website where you can be hired as a full or part-time employee.
  • WeWorkRemotely – Remote work website where you can be hired as a full or part-time employee

Digital Nomad Lifestyle

  • Nomad List – Research website to see the best countries and locations to visit as a digital nomad.
  • Workaway – Find work in exchange for room and sometimes board in amazing places doing amazing things.
  • Home Exchange – If you have a home, use this site to trade houses in other countries.
  • Trusted House Sitters – If you love animals, this site allows you to pet sit and house sit around the world.
  • World Nomads Insurance – We found this to be one of the best industry standard insurance offerings.

Digital Nomad Tools

Digital Nomad Ergonomic Office Supplies

Digital Nomad Training & Certifications

[Video] 7 Digital Nomad Jobs

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