Women Branching Out: Amy Scott

AmyScottI’m very happy to have Amy Scott of Nomadtopia on the blog today. Amy’s been location independent, living and working all over the world, for the last nine years. She inspires the nomad in me to dream of Airstreams and beaches.

Amy’s combined all her experience into an online course: Create Your Nomadtopia. This course will help other nomadic souls figure out what their version of an ideal life looks like and support them as they take steps toward that life. The course starts February 25.

This Wednesday, February 20, Amy is holding a free Q&A call to answer all of your burning questions about creating and living your own Nomadtopia. Click here to sign up.

Here’s Amy …

Tell us about Nomadtopia. What do you do and who do you love to serve?

Nomadtopia is all about helping people create their ideal life, anywhere in the world—their “Nomadtopia,” as I like to call it. This means being location independent or otherwise creating a lifestyle that gives you the freedom to live and work from anywhere, travel long-term, move abroad, and more.

My goal with Nomadtopia is to show people that it is possible to live this lifestyle, and to give them the tools, inspiration, and confidence to make it happen. I don’t espouse a cookie-cutter approach or tell people they should live their life the way I live mine; I give them the resources and information to find their ideal life.

Nomadtopia is for men and women who have this nagging feeling that they want more out of life. They love to travel and are inspired by others who are living a life of freedom and adventure. They’re looking for a way to do things differently, but aren’t sure how to put it into practice.

There are many websites and programs out there that focus on how to build an online business, and while that’s useful and important for many people, I’m more interested in the rest of it: What lifestyle is best for you? How much money do you really need? What should you do with your house? What’s the best way to set up online/international banking? How do you stay happy and healthy on the road?

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What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about living a location-independent lifestyle?

Probably the biggest one is that you need a lot of money. But when you start to break it down, and consider all the costs you have in your “normal” life that you won’t have on the road (housing, cable, cell phone, commute…), you start to realize you could very well save money with this lifestyle. If you don’t move around too much, and you seek out destinations with a lower cost of living, it’s possible to live very cheaply. For example, when I quit my job in 2004 to travel around the world, I had saved about $12,000, and that lasted me for almost a year without working. And, for much of the time I’ve lived in Argentina, my expenses have averaged about US $1,000 a month.

Another misconception is that it’s too difficult or complicated to create this lifestyle.
I’m not saying it isn’t complicated, but it’s not any more complicated than the things we often put up with in “normal” life. For me and many others, it’s absolutely worth dealing with the challenges of international taxes and banking, visas, insurance costs, and more, to live this lifestyle—just like other people choose to handle the challenges of long days at the office, raising children, or owning a car because of the benefits and joys those things also bring them.

What’s the first bit of advice you give someone who knows they want to shake up their current lifestyle, but doesn’t know how to get started?

Identify what you want to change in your life and why, and what kind of lifestyle will help you achieve your goals. (Do you want to spend more time with your family? Explore exotic destinations? Work less?) Focus on what you really want, and don’t just follow what everyone else is doing. I always tell people, there’s no right way to live your life, as long as it’s what you really want.

Then, break it all down into manageable pieces to identify what you really need to have in place to make it happen, and just get started. It can seem like a lot at the beginning, but by starting small and taking action, eventually you’ll get there.

What does your own personal Nomadtopia look like?

My Nomadtopia has taken lots of different forms over the years. It began in 2004, when I traveled solo around the world for nine months. I came back from that trip determined not to go back to an office, and since then I’ve started several successful businesses, moved around within the U.S., moved abroad, and continued to travel. I’m now married, and my husband and I keep a home base in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but spend much of the year traveling.

How has running your own business while living around the world empowered you?

It’s made me much more confident in general; I’m amazed when I think back on everything I’ve managed to do in the last nine years. In particular, this lifestyle has made me more comfortable with uncertainty. No matter how much you research and plan, there will always be things that don’t go as planned, and over the years of traveling and running businesses on the road I’ve learned that I can handle anything that comes my way. This allows me to go with the flow and not get stressed out by unexpected events, and it also encourages me to take more risks.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your travels and what did it teach you about yourself or the world?

Perhaps you were looking for something a little deeper, but truly, finding a reliable Internet connection is one of the biggest challenges of life on the road! It’s taught me the importance of having backup methods to communicate with people, and how to keep my businesses afloat even when I’m offline. But it’s also highlighted the importance of unplugging now and then, and of being present so I can fully experience my surroundings wherever I am in the world.

Finish this sentence. I believe…

If you embrace your dream, and focus on doing everything you can to make it happen, virtually anything is possible.

Where in the world will we find Amy next?

My husband and I are in Buenos Aires until April or so, then off to Peru (where I’m co-leading a retreat!) and possibly Ecuador or Colombia until we head to World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon, in July. Then, we’re talking about spending the rest of the year in Southeast Asia.

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Amy Scott left her office job to travel the world in 2004 and never looked back. She’s created a life that allows her to live and work from anywhere and now keeps a home base in Buenos Aires while she travels the world with her Argentine husband. Through her various online businesses she empowers people to reach their dreams, whether it’s becoming location independent or finally writing that book. Instead of prescribing “proven methods,” she offers tips, inspiration, and resources so you can choose the path that works for you—and then gives you the support and accountability you need to actually follow through. Amy is the author of Destination Nomadtopia: Discover the Ideal Lifestyle for Your Nomadic Soul and creator of the online program Create Your Nomadtopia. You can follow Amy’s adventures on Twitter and Facebook.

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Where would you love to take your nomadic soul? What can you do now to start heading that way?

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43 Responses to Women Branching Out: Amy Scott

  1. Kerry February 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Wow, what a fascinating glimpse into a world so different from mine! It certainly changed some of my perceptions about the cost of doing something like this.

    Thanks for sharing Christie and Amy!

    Kerry

    • Amy Scott February 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Kerry! I’m glad it changed some of your perceptions; that’s a big part of why I do what I do.

      Incidentally, I’ve been thinking about the money piece a lot since I wrote this, and I realized another piece of the financial puzzle is definitely one’s preferred standard of living. I live well and comfortably, by my standards, but anyone who’s living a five-star, super-luxury life will probably find our numbers don’t match. 🙂

    • christie February 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      You are welcome Kerry! Yes, the cost differences always surprise me (and delight me too) what possibilities!

  2. Suzanne Hanna February 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    I LOVE this idea Amy Scott!!! I was just telling a friend the other day that I would love to have three different locations to go to throughout the year and have the flexibility to travel. My ideal would be to have 3 homes. (Gotta think BIG right?) Thanks for sharing this….Christie I too dream of airstreams but I am more drawn to the mountains!!!

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      Sounds like a fabulous plan, Suzanne! You could have one home in the mountains, another in your favorite city, and an Airstream for when you want to go truly mobile. 🙂

    • christie February 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Mountains, too Suzanne, definitely!

  3. Marieliz February 19, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    This is encouraging and special!!

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      I’m so glad to hear that, Marieliz!

    • christie February 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Thank Marieliz!

  4. Cathy February 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Wow, can you imagine living on $1000 a month. That would be like a dream come true…and to live someplace like Argentina! Really, when you think about it, it is silly that we are living in a place that is so expensive, as long as we aren’t tied down by family obligations or career. I am very intrigued and have been following what Amy is doing for a little while now. Thanks for the interview Christie~Cathy

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Cathy! I’ve just started tracking my expenses in earnest once again so I can give more current numbers (inflation’s awful in Argentina). And there are definitely even cheaper places you could go; Ecuador and Thailand are two that come to mind.

    • christie February 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      You’re welcome Cathy! $1000/month would be pretty awesome.

  5. Pam Pearson February 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I’ve made the shift to focus on building MY lifestyle. I quit my corporate job, sold my home, got rid of the majority of my possessions. Now my goal is to live between the US and New Zealand. Hope to be there by winter this year! I love the support and encouragement you provide along with practical advice. Thanks for all that!!

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Awesome, Pam! Sounds like you’re well on your way. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. 🙂

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      Pam – New Zealand sounds amazing!

  6. Kerrie Blazek | Plea February 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Christie & Amy — I love reading this and how it compliments the audio interview I did with Amy. How cool they are live at the same time! Amy clearly gives people the pragmatic steps they need to make Nomadtopia their reality.

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Thanks, Kerrie! Yes, I think they go together great. Thanks to both you and Christie for your support; I really appreciate it!

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Yes, love that both of us interviewed Amy at the same time!

  7. Christina Caudill February 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    So inspiring to read! I love the idea of starting small. I think most people give up on what they want too soon. They think it “can’t” happen for them because it doesn’t happen instantaneously overnight. If only they would stick with it longer and let themselves transition over time, they’d get to where they’d want to be in a relatively “short” period of time.

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

      You’re so right, Christina! Patience, perseverance, and baby steps are essential when making big changes. It took me 2.5 years to get ready for my round-the-world trip, and almost 2 years to get ready to move to Argentina! It doesn’t have to take that long, of course, but if it’s what you really want, it’ll be worth sticking with it.

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      You make a great point Christina. The sticking with it is so important.

  8. Kayla February 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Am love, love, loving this post 🙂
    As a nomadtopia-wanna-be, it’s always great to hear how other people are doing it. The money thing is such an interesting piece- I think that is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people. But there are always ways of stretching the dollar for your experience any place you choose to go. It’s all a matter of perspective and clarity and a little touch of crazy 😉

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

      Thanks, Kayla! I’m all about practical advice, inspiration, and a little touch of crazy. 🙂

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      I agree Kayla, love hearing how other people are living their nomadtopias!

  9. Sarah Steele February 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    While I wouldn’t say I’m a total nomad, I do split my time between the UK and the USA (looking after parents as they get older), and when I’m in the USA I can do up to 19 flights a month – so I’ve had to adapt to a lifestyle that moves with me. I keep everything that’s essential in one bag that is always packed – all I’d have to add is throw in the laptop and the current daybook and I’m good to go. It does have its challenges and I wish I’d known you when I was trying to figure it all out! Thanks. Sarah

    • Amy Scott February 19, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

      Wow, very impressive, Sarah! Whether you call yourself a nomad or not, it sounds like you’ve found your ideal life, which is what Nomadtopia is all about.

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      19 flights a month! That’s amazing Sarah.

  10. Natalie Sisson February 20, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Hells yeah fellow digital nomad. I hear you on the Internet connection and I long for the day when there’s a universal provider or satellite system in place that is actually reliable and affordable.

    That said it’s lovely to sometimes be forced to switch of working or checking up online as a result of no Internet. It’s that downtime that I use to go and explore my new surrounds, read or write my new content.

    • Amy Scott February 20, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Hi, Natalie! Yes, a universal Internet provider would be amazing.

      I absolutely agree, not having Internet can be a blessing in disguise. The key is to be prepared for those times when you really need it and can’t get it!

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Natalie! I always wondered about the internet access thing with this lifestyle!

  11. eyenie February 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    SO SO SO SO COOL! Ah, this makes me salivate! I’m a bit of a nomad myself, but definitely want to up the travel ante once my business grows more 🙂 Thank you for sharing this fascinating lifestyle with us, Amy! It makes me happy to see lovely people spreading “possibility” YAY! .

    • Amy Scott February 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      You’re welcome, Eyenie! It’s all about the possibilities. 🙂

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      Yay, glad this post resonated with you Eyenie!

  12. Amanda Daley February 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Love this post. I too quit my high paying job last year with nothing to go to, but a determination to live life my way. Somehow every time I have needed money it has just turned up from random sources. I spent the year travelling the world and following my passion and am no worse off financially than I would have been sitting in the corporate box all year. Now my passion has become a thriving business, just from being true to what brings me true joy and pleasure in life – now that’s freedom!

    • Amy Scott February 20, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Love it, Amanda! It’s so empowering once you get started and realize what’s really possible for you, isn’t it?

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      I love that the universe has always provided for you Amanda. I’ve found this true for myself when I left my j-o-b!

  13. Jenn Burton February 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    I love Amy’s life and work. I am working towards a mini version of her life… I used to live in Mexico, and I desperately miss it. Christie, I enjoy all of the interviews you do… so much fun. Muah!

    • Amy Scott February 21, 2013 at 10:14 am #

      Thanks, Jenn! I’d love to spend more time in Mexico too.

    • christie February 21, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      I didn’t know you used to live in Mexico, Jenn. So cool!

  14. Helen Crosbie February 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Wow this speaks to me! I’ve done quite a bit of the nomad thing myself! What a great idea!
    Fascinating. In due course I will be travelling more with my work and this inspires me!
    I’ve never really had “roots” anywhere and now thanks to you I’m beginning to understand why 🙂

  15. Rachel Du Croz February 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Wow! Being that kind of fearless is amazing, and scary to most people; yet it’s the kind of get up and go so many of us wished we had. Well done on achieving what you wanted! It’s inspirational.

    • Amy Scott February 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks, Rachel! I definitely wouldn’t say I’m fearless (or a free spirit), but I’m willing to do the work to get what I want, and I trust that no matter how things turn out, I’ll be fine, which makes it much easier to make the leap!

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