The life of a real “Digital Nomad”

It’s the year 2019 mid-September my name is Robby Gray and I am currently living in Surat Thani Thailand. This is my view of what I have seen in Thailand in the IT/ Programming field. Anyone that’s been watching the youtube channel has heard the term Digital Nomad. Most I have seen are just laptop packers.

Let me explain the difference. A digital Nomad that has skill most likely has a list of clients that he works for on a monthly basis to generate income he or she can live and travel on. I have seen so many people mostly under 30 years old that travel around and live from place to place taking pictures of there nice homes and condos they rent and making it seem like they’re making a killing in the Digital Marketing Field.

Let me tell you the reality that you’re not seeing. The travelers come to places like here in Thailand where their money goes farther they can live in a nicer place no dought. But here’s what you don’t understand. 

They brought money with them to last them a few months. They run out of money then have to return to there home country to refuel their money.

I own a Digital Marketing Company and have been in the field for over 20 years. We have hired many people over the years and after they are trained to have some skill most are out the door.


Most of the laptop packers I have seen might sell a few websites or do a little SEO but not enough to live off of the long term.

Example An experienced designer and SEO specialist are charging from 1,500 to maybe 10.000 dollars for there service. Laptop packers might make 300 or 400 on a good sale and the results are not very good. Most of the time the client has issues or they don’t like something but by this time the laptop packer is long Gone.

There are a few Digital Nomads that have real quality work and they have good skills but they are making top dollar and most brought a client base from there past work or their home country.

I have been traveling for over 15 years. I have worked from China, Mexico, Costa Rica and now Thailand.

I have developed sites for Bowlex, Dana, and many other large companies and I have years of knowledge and I’m still learning to this day how to provide better services for my clients. They are my bread and butter.

The market is hard everywhere right now because so many people are saying they have great skills it’s killing the trust in the Webdesign Field.  After a client pays a freelancer that has little skill it makes it so hard for people that are in the profession full time. They have to get with the same client that just lost his money and it’s a super hard sell.

I would like to see more digital nomads that specialize in a nitch field example Email marketing is a great business if you know it. Graphic design is probably the biggest opportunity in the Digital Marketing Field.

Most Web Designers are either front end graphic designers or backend guys like python, js or PHP programmers.

It’s hard to find a person that’s great at both. I always recommend that if you want a website to function correctly the backend programmer will always pay off before the front end developer will.

Backend programmers have a basic skill set for design. But if the design is great and the site cant be found or the buttons or contact page don’t work the site just will never help your business.

As for the people that call themselves ‘’Digital Nomads’’ if you see them saying they work 1 or 2 hours a day max on their business. They are broke or soon to be broke.

Yes, you see many of us on Instagram and twitter and facebook at the beach at the pool relaxing yes sometimes this is the case. But let explain something to everyone. When its day time in USA Digital Nomads are working maybe 6 hours straight during our night time calling and touching base with our clients in the USA or UK we are not working for 1 hour and living at the beach.

If you owned a company how would you feel about your programmer working 1 or 2 hours a day on your marketing needs? Sorry, but it doesn’t fly in the real world.

Many nights I will work 10 or more hours then sleep most of my daytime. We mostly live for the weekends but then we are still connected to our cell phones and social media. But Thailand is an Island so what you see is just the Tropical weather.

                       The advice I would give a person wanting to live the ”Digital Nomad Life’’

Find a skill a good solid programming language PHP, JS or Python are very solid you can also use WordPress. If you’re a graphics person it’s a great field team up with a web designer that’s a backend coder do his or her graphics.

We all need great Graphics Designers. For bloggers and content writers, great content gets a website in high ranking positions in search engines there’s money just waiting for these people. It’s an open market but pick your field you can’t do everything.

Save your money make a plan to bring a small client base with you to keep you afloat until you can make it living in southeast Asia. Just because your friend is doing it and just killing it haha and most likely there not but there lonely for you to come to join them so they will tell you there making it big.

I  don’t consider myself a Digital Nomad In the term of moving everywhere and living off my skills. But I have lived for years in different countries and worked but I have built a Marketing Team that has taken me years to build. Even with Clients and skills you need Future Business, it’s always wise to join groups and people that you can partner or help out when work gets slow. And many times when your back is against the wall on a project you will need to call colleges for help and advise.

If you have questions about this post please email me and I would love to talk with you.

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