As always I have only really the free time to write what I feel, when I am not having access to the internet. If I get wifi, there is no way I am going to put down my emotions that big, as I am doing right now. Having wifi gives me simply access to the world of discord and discord means for me exchange of important knowledge and a lot of alpha in crypto, so having internet comes with a simple fact: its the time to grow, the time to make things happen and to create impact.
Internet & No Internet
Only if I am offline (or let’s say forced to be offline), like in this flight right now to Denver, on the way to another OHMie meeting... only then I feeling really ready to share what I experienced the last weeks, while traveling across the USA.
The OHM US Tour is way more intense, than I originally thought it will be. In fact, I totally underestimated the size of this country. I took an Amtrak from San Francisco to Seattle, which took me ages. It is impressive what you discover in the United States, if you decide to travel by road and taking the time to really see this beautiful piece of land.
„We all have loans to pay.“
Apart from being such giant country, I had to accept another hard fact that I was not aware of. The fact that the country is too expensive for what it offers to the people living here. That is of course only my personal opinion, but after 42 countries in the last 11 years, I would say, I have a very good feeling where I get quality for the money I have to invest.
My biggest question, while traveling in the United States: How does people working at WalMart or McDonalds get along with their salary?
I mean having more than 15 years life-time experience in Europe, I was always wondering how people make it in countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Italy or Croatia. The salaries are not that high, but damn, compared to the US I feel that you are better off over there. If people telling me, they are paying 5000 Dollars for a simple flat in San Francisco and they making as a couple 8-9k per month, then we are talking about a massive position of the income. One that goes out only for having a roof over your head.
Lets face the truth: You did not eat yet, you did not pay your loans (which obviously everyone in the states is fighting with) and you did not fill your car with gas. And you definitely did not save up money, I bet on this.
So how do you do this?
„You need to be rich, to have a good life in the States.“
I remember hearing this, when I was 2 weeks ago in Las Vegas to play some poker and meeting OHMies. I mean, I go there to have fun, I truly give a fuck about gains or loss in Holdem, as its not my source of income. Still, many people I met moved to Vegas to fulfil their dream of becoming a professional poker player, obviously the only ones really winning, are the Casinos. And the few who made it, seem to me pretty unbalanced in terms of life-work balance. They do not sleep enough, the game comes with a lot of mental stress and some of them simply not look healthy to me.
I rather prefer to be broke, instead of rich and looking like shit. But yeah, thats their life and the one thing I am taking away from Vegas is the saying, from a dude who used to live in Chicago:
„Bro, you are in the fucking states. Either you are rich here, or you are totally fucked. Its not Europe, we do not have those social systems, that you can count on, if the shit hits the fan.“
Education should be for free.
I am from Greece, I consider myself a cosmopolitan and I am very blessed that I could have my school and professional business education in one of the best countries on this planet; Germany. I got paid to learn, that is something not many countries can offer to their society. In fact most of the Americans that I am meeting those days, talking about insane numbers, when it comes to their education loans. 50-100k or even more ! WTF, that is massive amount of money, dear boys and girls. We talking about hundreds of thousands, damn, wait; MILLION of people in the states, that entering the professional work life and instead of making and earning money, they only receive money to pay their debts.
And yes, we should open now another debate. Because receiving free education, comes with a deeper question, the question: "what kind of education we are going to receive if the education is "for free". (but this is another philosophical topic, which I will cover separately).
Whoever complains about his life in Europe, is totally naive. Seriously.
We European spoiled people have no clue how does that feel, as we are getting paid for to study and we are getting paid to work after it. And we are getting paid pretty well. After traveling so much and living in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Serbia, Croatia, or even countries like France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, I know that Europe offers definitely the highest comfort of life. Now you ask yourself, why I am living in Mexico? Simple answer; I love the culture, the warm people and my super relaxed life-style over there, but I am looking for a nice spot in Europe too, especially on some Greek Islands with easy access by air. (as I start to miss my family and one day they will be gone, so I want to be a bit closer to them of course).
Why I am in Mexico, by the way? Because restrictions in Greece where too much for my taste and as long Covid and the restrictions are so shitty, I am not planing to move back to Europe. I sit this out in Mexico, where things simply work very different from all the countries I have seen so far. And of course Mexico is my base for the Mexico to Patagonia bike trip, which I do in several episodes of bike rides.
Back to getting paid, instead of paying off your loans.
So in Europe we are basically getting paid also if we do not work, as almost all the EU countries work with solidarity systems, for example Germany: You worked longer than one year, then you are allowed to apply for „ALG I“ which pays you for 365 days 63% of your last net salary. If the 365 days time period is over and you are still not able to find work, you get into ALG II, which covers your health insurance, pays you around 550 Dollars to live and your flat is 100% paid by the German government. I mean, if you study the ALG II law a bit better, you can even apply for Kitchen and House Stuff and if they approving your request, you are getting paid a one time payment of around 1500-2000 Dollar, to get stuff for a more comfortable life.
So telling those things to people living in the US, they look at me, like I talk bullshit. Therefore I hardly mention those things during conversations anymore, as its painful for them and boring for me, as where does this conversation lead us? It creates often some feeling of western European arrogance, especially when it’s me, sharing this. But wrapped in an article, I would like to highlight the European Union and their programs. I had to use them 10 years ago too, for a very small amount of time and the way you get respected for being in a difficult situation and the way those social workers in those offices helping you fast and easy to receive money, seriously, that is dope. I would never allow myself to talk bad about any European country I used to live.
Also as an entrepreneur, I can share something with you. I created in several European countries over the last years small companies, mostly marketing agencies and even not speaking the language of the country I established the company, the way they welcomed my performance and making me feel, that I belong to them: impressive. Nothing more to add, it was simply impressive how easy it was to start something in terms of business. No matter if I did this in Germany or in the Netherlands or in Greece.
Today: I gave up all my businesses and moved during Covid to Mexico, but my desire to get back to share my experiences in digital storytelling & e-commerce marketing for small and medium size companies, yeah, the truth is, its getting bigger and bigger. Why? Because my deep and wide knowledge in this field can simply elevate enterprises. Helping others is my nature. Apart from it, traveling non stop the world, does not satisfy me at all. It never did, that is why I have created very early a good balance, between making money, living the life, spending money, giving money away, creating projects, doing adventures, making money again and using the money to make all of us happy. I do not believe in owning wealth, I believe in creating wealth together and sharing it. So yes, I love the bike trips for weeks and months, I love the crazy workouts with my clients on the beach in Mexico or online or wherever and I fucking love going to visit friends around the globe, still: it is looking always more sexy than it is. Therefore I tell you now something, that not many talk about.
(nobody works like this, you can not work like this. The wind takes away the papers you have next to you to make notes, the salty air is not good for your devices, its mostly loud so you can not do great video/audio meetings and the light hits your screen, you can hardly see anything. If you then also wear sunglasses, I make a bet that this image is totally misleading the audience. You are more posing and showing off, instead of getting shit done in your enterprise. Do not fall for this, what you see here is selling a life-style that we started to call 10-12-15 years ago: digital nomad. I gonna tell you some funny stories about the truth behind this life-style sooner or later, promise).
Traveling is not only passion.
Traveling the world full time, is not only fun and sun shining out of my culo. It is hard work and you need to have your shit together, otherwise you end up lost and the depression is coming faster than you imagine. Apart from this, I would say 90% of digital nomads today (and it was like this in the past too) can only cover their life-costs and many using the cheaper countries for living a digital nomad life-style, because they can not afford the way they work, to live in more pricey countries. I was pretty known in the German Digital Nomad Industry and I can tell you with 100% confidence, that many would be better off, if they would go to work a waiter / waitress, instead of running their own company. Many ongoing entrepreneurs were living from their savings and posting day and night fancy images from sandy beaches, while they were supposed to get their shit done, to pay bills and make money. It is so much show in this field of "work" - please do not be impressed by it. It is way more show than reality.
And please do me a big favour: Do not believe all the social media stories about making millions passively, there is a lot of bullshit going around and people smiling into their cams, because they have to keep up the image about the „super amazing Bali trip“ or the „Koh Chang Island is so amazing, I gonna live here and work remote from my villa or beach house“. There are people renting the houses for a day, doing the images and getting back to their 10 Dollar hostel, as they could not afford the summer house, where they took the images, which they show proudly on their filtered Instagram account.
As more fancy it looks on Instagram, as more shit is covered in it.
Wherever you see toooo much smiling and hyping, you need to question big time. One reason for my success in the niche of travel bloggers and digital entrepreneurship since 2010 is, that I am not hiding the downside of this life style. You hardly can manage a serious relationship, you never stay at the places long enough to call them home and you can not connect to a society in your surrounding on a deeper mental level, as you are already planing out the next destinations, while you did not even reach properly at one spot.
I do a lot of mentoring for young digital nomads and they facing all the same challenge, but they feel ashamed to talk about it, as for the mainstream this kind of life-style seems the real shit. You need to have a healthy balance, if you want to travel, living YOUR live while traveling and being yourself while making business. You need to be strong, while doing all those things and enjoying the moment. It needs experience, a lot of dedication and you need to face failure, as more often as better. You need to know your value and what you are worth in the market and you really need to learn to accept that life comes with heavy challenges. Instead of complaining and considering yourself a victim, you should create solutions that work for you.
You need to go step by step.
We are all different and we all handle stuff in a different way, but there is a universal rule, which is pretty simple: „If you REALLY want to make something happen, the only thing sitting between you and the fact of making it happen, is simply you.“
And yes, you have to go step by step. It is a marathon, not a sprint. Being a digital nomad, a digital entrepreneur and running your company remotely, comes with little steps and a long path. Nothing happens over night, it is all a long process and its your personal journey. Take the time to enjoy it.
Damn, 2011 feels like yesterday.
I started 2010 and then 2011 I took off completely. I took my stuff in 2011 and left for an almost 6 years long bike trip. I had no money, only one aim: gaining experiences in extreme adventures. So, traveling the world comes with a lot of challenges, especially the way I crossed my first 20 countries. And as I was constantly in move, of course I started years ago to ask myself some way deeper questions.
In the beginning it was more like: „Where is my next destination or what is the next adventure I am going to experience?“
But then questions rising up, like:
„Do I run away from things?“
„Why is it not possible for me, to stay longer than a few months at the same place?“
„How do I gonna establish a family with my potential life partner?“
„What do I give back to this world?“
„Whats my place in this society?“
„Is my home country the place of my roots and should I get back there to discover them?“
„Are my parents proud of me or do they miss me so much and I give a fuck?“
„How do imagine myself with 72 or even older?“
Life is very short and each moment is precious.
Especially flights and train rides, or bus rides too, triggering all those questions within me. I remember that the best published articles I have ever written, were the ones in the trains in India. I was far away from „home“ and not afraid to share pretty emotional stuff about intimacy and the fact that I used to live 1,5 years without any physical experience, as it was simply not the time for it in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Damn, this is so long ago. I was teaching sports and english to wonderful souls, orphans from the Howrah area, close to the border of Bangladesh. I remember writing those super intense articles, like I would speak to my core and it was very easy to type, as I was not afraid of anything at that time. But of course reality hit me, when the articles got published. I had to face some truth about our society: we easily judge people without knowing people at all.
In 2013 I was not that mentally strong to handle the shitstorm media created and therefore I stepped backed for a while. Today it is different and I mean some of you know me since 10 years, so I can tell you the simple truth: I give today really a fuck about what others think about me. And I advice you friendly to do the same, as you only have one life and wasting time, any second of it, on what others could might think about you… you simply giving away the biggest asset in your life, which is life time. Who cares what others think about you and your feelings, if you are cool and in peace with yourself.
You always pay a price.
Traveling the world comes with making your own experiences, so does the fact to give a fuck about what others talk and think about you… its also and mostly experience what you need, to get to this point and you get better and better, as more you accept who you really are. Being authentic and have clear values in your life, helps for sure. But most important I would say, you need to filter very fast with who you want to share your time. The reason why many people say that I seem arrogant or heavily over confident, is because I tell them in their face what I really feel. Not many can handle my intense and extreme personality and therefore I can count the ones in my life on one hand only. Quality over quantity. Freddie, Barami, Lars, Ingmar, love you boys ;)
Let´s see what the next year brings for me, I got some plans with Hansen World in Germany, we are in nice and more and more concrete talks at the moment. We evaluating if we can create healthy, longterm synergies. His experience combined with my network could level us up and support the projects that we truly believe in. He is one of the top contacts to go in Germany and I trust Ingmar Hansen as the founder to 100%, when it comes to delivering quality and premium service.
Who is Hansen World?
His marketing agency belongs to the best addresses in Germany, that is for sure. I would really like to have a routine like: traveling by bike to give away the 1 m dollar on my way to Patagonia, taking rest in Mexico, going to some light weight short trips around the globe to see friends, working in between with Ingmar and his team, going back to the bike and circulating between those things, that I love to do and where I am really passionate about it. That´s the game play for the next 2-3 years.
US OHM TOUR
Many of you reading this article, as you know that I am visiting the people contributing to the OHM project. I think we all accept the fact that there is no project at the moment (and for months now), that receives more attention when it comes to decentralized finance tools.
„OHM is like BTC would be at 20 Dollars.“
We are still very early and I remember our discord channel with 20 times less people and seeing our Telegram channel growing from 800 to almost 8000 people in a few months, its crazy.
When I first started to invest, we were not even 5600 wallets, when we hit 10 000 our discord had a party. Now we have more than 50 000 people from all around the world staking OHM and living the 3, 3 life. I am still sharing my emotions about OHM and the OHM life in our off-topic, even you find me nowadays of course way more active in our official Telegram.
„OHMies are pretty educated.“
Yesterday, at a dinner in Seattle, we spoke about one thing that really impresses me all the time, while meeting new OHMies in the States. OHMies are pretty educated and it´s nice to have those conversation, where you feel, that people took the time to do their research and where questions leading us in a debate closer to each others understanding, instead of fix opinions that create tension and only serve for making a point. OHMies come in different variants and I can tell you, that all of the ones I met so far, are the reason for our success. A project like OHM does not reach 4.3 Billion Dollar in marketcap, if it would be not the community, that spreads the word.
We got smart people invested, leading and building. More important those smart people, attract the smart money.
I am pretty happy how things go for OHM, our DAO counts now 121 members and our community is by far the most vibrant one in the crypto space. And you can tell, as you see each day new forks coming out, like mushrooms on the wet ground of a forest. The attention we are getting, is not because our APY is high and the project has some serious fundamentals, its because of YOU.
YOU ARE OHM.
I mean that, no matter how cheesy that sounds, but you are responsible for the success of OHM, it was and it will be always people who change the world, not their products. The people in OHM changing the world in many ways and we are going to continue, together. Glad to have you on board and thank you for your time, to read this and to share your attention with me.
Back in Mexico soon.
I will share more about the OHM US Trip, when I am back home at my beach village. Regarding the OHM Tour, my next stations are Denver, Dallas for thanksgiving, Chicago to sell the famous NFT and finally having some days rest in Miami with friends that I consider brilliant people in the space of defi. I will skip New York area and DC for now, as I am pretty exhausted from this trip and I need to get rest, as I will be back on the bike on 24th of December, to cycle the next 2500km of the Patagonia adventure.
Dear OHMies and people reading this, not yet being an OHMie ;)
Keep spreading the good vibes and never forget, that each heart beat could be the last one. Live your life and be a nice person, as life is way too short for being an asshole. So lets be nice to each other, life is as magical as we are and as we are to each other.