Medellin’s Secret Lifestyles of Digital Nomads Who Work their Way into Wealth and Freedom

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Are you nailed down to a cubicle job or living in a painfully boring town? Have you ever fantasized about traveling the world, getting lots of stamps on your passport, and living the life Tim Ferriss talks about in his book “The Four Hour Work Week?”

The truth is the Internet has revolutionized the term ‘work’ today, bringing new opportunities and employment that didn’t exist until recently. In this article, we’re going to reveal what you need to know to move you toward the dream lifestyle being enjoyed by many who are living right now, here in Medellin, Colombia.

What’s more, we’re going to encourage you to come visit us, here in Medellin. When you put your eyes on the potential, down here in paradise, and you see how other people are doing this today, you’ll fast discover what’s really possible for you, right now!

Here’s a little background

For a select group of people who understand the opportunity, the Internet holds the key to giving you options to work while living in a fantastic location. The term ‘digital nomad’ is commonly used, but frequently overused and too often simply means hacking around in cheap accommodations and a small level of income to keep you going. As you’ll see, here in Medellin there are a growing number of folks here who have proven you can combine a career with the freedom to live on your own schedule.

For most people, this life seems little more than a pipe dream. And with work responsibilities nailing many people to what they see as a hopeless life stuck near that fabled time-clock, it just isn’t feasible or realistic to try and chase this mystery.

If you’ve ever felt like you were trapped and you want to know how to break free, be sure to read every word of this report! Let us take you behind the curtain to reveal the first few interviews with a few of Medellin’s finest digital nomads!

Remember, these folks didn’t accept that bottom-feeder lifestyle, living in hostels and cutting corners to achieve their rock star status freedom. But they’re out here, right now, and all we did to get interviews with them was walk around the leafy area here inside Medellin, in El Poblado.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: I promised these folks anonymity since what they do in many cases requires less work and less effort than most jobs. Some of them are working on a pretense that they’re in the US, or Europe, when in fact, they’re all here with me, in Medellin. Names and places have been changed to protect the guilty.)

“Scottie,” UK

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living, how it all began and where you are based?

I’m a travel writer who runs a blog that teaches people how to get started as consultants.. I started the site in 2009 after I spent a year overseas. I had originally intended to offer the site as a free advice repository, but after a year, I started getting requests for one-on-one consulting. Soon, I was doing one-to-many consulting and charging ungodly amounts of money for my time.

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Frankly, I only hold these meetings for about two to three hours a week. So the rest of my time I spend chasing uh… pleasures, and tying up loose ends in the business. It’s mostly automated, and I do have a luxury in that I have a waiting list for my services.

What is the coolest thing you’ve done in the past year?

Last December, I went to Northern Africa for three months. It was an incredible trip.

Tell us something that will make us green with envy about your setup?

I have a long-term vacation rental right here in El Poblado. While I could work from anywhere in the world I want, I like the consistency of having a familiar place to get stuff done. I do precious little to earn it, and I keep it all under wraps, because I fear if I reveal where I am and what I’m up to, I’d lose some of the cache associated with my title and position.

Do you have any advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 job routine and want more independence and freedom to travel?

This isn’t that complex. Really, it’s about mindset and thinking and believing in what’s possible for you.

Frankly, my big goal now is to funnel all this cash into several homes here in Medellin. The real estate market is hot and getting hotter. I think I’m going to build a little retirement potential into my investments by buying homes in the city, and renting them out as I go.

“Ronnie,” USA

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Sure! It changes a lot, depending on what I’m doing. We do conference calls to North America — I help companies communicate better. As a consultant, I try to minimize my travel, but when I do need to go to the U.S., Medellin is only 3 hours by plane. When nothing is scheduled, you’ll find me with friends for a meal and beer on the town. There are so many great restaurants here, I can’t see myself ever leaving.

Other times are more hectic, since when work flow can vary. I guess the commonality is that there isn’t one, or that it’s a massive variety, people, places, and things change all the time. But this is the life I signed up for, and it’s what I enjoy so I have no plans at all to change.

In North America, I’m often moving from place to place so my routine is less fixed. I’m one of the lucky ones, in fact. When I’m even back in the States, other people I meet are always asking me how I do it, and what I do. The truth is, a lot of times if I go back, I’ll be free to hang out in the day time when others are hard at work, and ultimately I find myself eating alone. It makes me want to get back to Medellin where other guys and gals are doing what I’m doing.

What is the coolest place/most fun thing that you’ve done in the past year?

I had a great year, but the highlight was quite recent, when I took my Dad to India for his birthday. We hadn’t travelled together in decades and it was truly rewarding to be able to do so. Not only did we eat our way through the country, but he also came to hear me speak at a conference in the Philippines, which went a long way toward explaining a bit more of what I do. He also got to meet others who also killing it like me.

What can you tell the people who are tired of the regular 9-5 job routine and want more independence and freedom to travel?

Get out here and meet us! I guarantee you won’t find these people sitting on a couch. You’ve got to get on a plane, and come see us. I know that’s tough, if you’ve got a job, but I think, even if you work at McDonalds they give you a week or two off for vacation, so it’s up to you to use it to your advantage. If you can actually get where we are (try an internet search, or look here Read More) you’ll find most of us are willing to share our secrets, just not so much in a forum like this! (laughing)

“Bobby,” Ukraine

Can you briefly explain what you do for a living, how it all began and where you are based?

Well, I help small to medium sized businesses explode their marketing presence, building brands and making BIG businesses. I do this from my apartment, here in Medellin, mostly. We have support staff working from many different countries and they all connect with me online with Skype and other software programs we use, like Google Drive, to keep everything moving in the right direction.

What advice do you have for people who are tired of the regular 9-5 job routine and want more independence and freedom to travel?

Go to school! Just kidding… you don’t need that. In fact, don’t do that. Nothing people seem to learn in school do much more than teach them how to hold down a nine to five job. That’s the wrong direction to go in! The skills I use are really all you might need to sell used cars. Think about that. You have to be nice. You have to do what you promise and you have to understand how your customers feel. They’re frustrated, and we’re helping them!

If you do go to school, you’ll probably have to unlearn everything you put in your head (and paid for) because that mentality will drive you right into the work grind most people do NOT want and have a horrible time trying to get out of.

Whatever the case may be, though, start working on it immediately, or you’ll keep putting it off.

Catch Part Two, coming soon!

Exclusive Bonus: Download our Complete 7 Day Guide to Medellin. Let this be your excuse to practice more Spanish and create some incredible memories

Andrew Campion

This might be my quick "bio" but I want one thing to be crystal clear: this site is all about YOU! It’s my singular mission here at Medellin Lifestyle to report on and create awesome stuff that’s really helpful, insightful, to the point and makes your time (or potential time) in Medellin better. Since 2006 I've been investing in and helping others–from digital nomads to retirees and expats of all stripes–transition here to lead wonderful lives in my favorite city in the world!

  • Great article. I was a digital nomad/freelancer, who has settled in Medellin…kind of. The great thing about working online is that I can pick up and go whenever I want. Looking forward to part 2.

  • Gary Meyer

    I did not realize there is a term for me – digital nomad! I live in Medellin a few months per year but my home is California. My work is entirely with data and my company does not care where I am when I am running my analytics. Medellin has perfect internet on top of everything else it has to offer, so many of the people in my company don’t even know I am on another continent when I’m talking to them over my internet phone.