Doing More with Less

Spartan Traveler

Doing More with Less.


SE Asia is a Playground for Outdoor Sports 6

Posted Jun 20, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Adventure Sports

surfing-mentawais-bank-vaults

[Photo Credit: Wet Frames Photography]

Pack your gear duffels and get to SE Asia.

Most people have heard about good surf in Indonesia or epic rock climbing in S. Thailand. But until you’ve been it’s hard to imagine the extent of the options, the incredibly low cost of living and traveling in the region, and the top-tier quality available for each sport.

I just completed 9 months traipsing around SE Asia, and I was initially stunned to find out how easy it is to set up a base of operations with a small amount of gear and tour the entire region.

You can fly just about anywhere for less than $200 (even booked 24h in advance), and virtually every sport is on tap: surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, mountaineering, kiteboarding, sailing. The list goes on.

It’s an outdoor-sport junkie’s paradise. Below is a regional overview.

Read the rest of this entry →

The 6 Phases of Lifestyle Design 20

Posted May 24, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifestyle Design, Work 2.0

You quit your job. You buy a plane ticket. You leave to travel around the world. Then you figure out a way to make some money.

last-day-of-work-spartantraveler

Most people go through a predictable series of steps on the road to a location-independent lifestyle. While the six phases listed here aren’t definitive or exactly linear, they sum up the lifestyle progression I’ve seen from dozens of travelers and veteran laptop nomads. Read the rest of this entry →

SE Asia: Set Up Shop Anywhere in Less than 8 Hours 6

Posted Apr 12, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Travel Updates

chiang-mai-motorbike-digital-nomad_3e

Some places are made for laptop nomads.

You arrive with no plan, no contacts, no reservations, and in just a few hours you have cell service, a furnished apartment, transportation, a gym membership, and a bead on the best co-working spaces and coffee shops in the area. That is what we’re talking about here.

It’s not that I’m in a hurry, it’s just that I value efficiency and flexibility. Any place where you to set up shop in less than 24 hours usually lets you leave in the same time-frame. Minimum hassle, maximum results. It’s also really fun, and is probably the closest I’ll get to feeling like Jason Bourne.  Read the rest of this entry →

Lifestyle-Overhead: Why Chiang Mai is Ground Zero 37

Posted Feb 13, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Work 2.0

chiang-mai-wat-spartantraveler

Some things we value: simplicity, focus, quality of life. 

There are numerous reasons to ‘retire’ in SE Asia, including low-cost of living and high quality of life. But for laptop nomads, the goal is to minimize unnecessary overhead and and maximize time spent on things we care about.

Which is why SE Asia in general, or Chiang Mai in particular, is digital-nomad central. Old news to the veterans, but for everyone else, here’s one example of a place with virtually no penalty for being there. Read the rest of this entry →

Crowdfunded Documentary fights Human Trafficking 4

Posted Feb 03, 2014 by Guest In: Guest Posts

Human-Trafficking-18

On 16th July 2011, sixteen-year-old M was kidnapped from Vietnam. She is believed to have been sold as a wife or prostitute in China, a victim of human trafficking.

Editor’s Note: this is a guest post presented in conjunction with John of JetSetCitizen. To support the project please visit the ‘The Human, Earth Project’ crowdfunding page for more information.

A story of human trafficking

The experience of traveling through S.E. Asia at a leisurely pace, feasting on tasty street food, exploring temples at sunrise, and exchanging philosophies with other like-minded spirits that you meet on the road, remains a lifelong dream for many. Each year, hundreds of thousands of daring individuals pack their bags and hit the road.

But few are exposed to the dirty secrets usually hidden from unsuspecting tourists. The kind of heart-wrenching inequalities you only witness if you stick around longer than the ‘just passing through’ 3-day trip, many tourists get to experience.

Read the rest of this entry →

What Living on $20 a Day Looks Like 15

Posted Dec 27, 2013 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Travel Tips

kuta lombok beach bar

[Photo: Across the street from my Bungalow in Lombok]

One of the biggest surprises about long-term travel is just how cheap it can be.

In my second year of college I’ll never forget the price-sheet my dad brought back from Utila, Honduras. To this very day you can still get a room on the water for $5 a night and a meal for $2.

Before leaving home I’d heard things like this but it’s hard to believe until you see it first-hand: Read the rest of this entry →

Location-Independence: Musings from My 3rd Year on the Road 20

Posted Dec 08, 2013 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifestyle Design, Work 2.0

bangkok-spartantraveler_e

What if home was everywhere?

After more than two years on the road it finally sunk in: location-independence is not an aberration. Moving around the world at will is a perfectly valid and (extremely) advantageous lifestyle choice, but ultimately just another way to navigate through life.

It has, however, warped my notion of reality over the last 6 months.  Read the rest of this entry →

22 Things I’ve Learned as a Digital Nomad 53

Posted Oct 06, 2013 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Travel Tips, Work 2.0

kuta-lombok-digital-nomad

Digital Nomad: individuals that leverage digital technologies to perform their work duties and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner….

Over 2 years have passed since I quit my job.

Despite the image of me sipping Mai-tais on the beach somewhere (which can happen), there’s a big discrepancy between what my friends think I’m doing and what I’m actually doing. I write this overlooking the stunning crystal-blue water of the bay in Kuta, Lombok, but there’s a difference between me and every other traveler here:

I’ve been working on my laptop for 5 straight hours. Read the rest of this entry →

What to Pack for a trip Around the World 80

Posted Sep 19, 2013 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Gear

spartan-traveler-rtw-pack-list

Exactly what does it take to live anywhere?

Last week I hopped on a 19-hour flight back to Indonesia with little more than a daypack, my laptop bag, and some surfing gear. It may not seem like much, but it’s everything I need to live, work, and travel for an indefinite period of time.

I already wish I’d brought less.
Read the rest of this entry →

Defining Success in Life: the Dreamline Exercise 10

Posted Aug 23, 2013 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifestyle Design

Rapa Nui SpartanTraveler

Without concrete goals you’ll never develop concrete plans to achieve them.

Above: One of my all-time dream destinations, Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Last week Dan and Ian revisited a favorite topic: the Dreamline exercise. Despite having read the 4-hour Workweek at least 5 times, it was listening to the LBP#91 (Are you A Hustler or an Entrepreneur?) back in March that finally inspired me to sit down and go through the motions. (I wrote most of this post then, but this recent podcast inspired me to finish it).

Dreamlining can profoundly change your life. You just have to sit down and do the work.

Like a chess master, you want to see the end-game.

A chess master knows exactly what the end-game is and they’ve already thought through the next 20 moves to get there. When variables change they make small course adjustments, but ultimately check-mate is inevitable, if not in this game then in the next.

What’s surprising about my own life is how often I’ve been operating without a plan. A lot of us drift through life with general goals, like ‘get in better shape’ or ‘travel more’, but without more substance behind them these are just day-dreams.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found to define success in a concrete and action-oriented way is the Dreamlining exercise from the 4-hour Workweek.
Read the rest of this entry →

  • About SpartanTraveler

    spartan traveler My name is Clayton.
    I've been traveling around the world for the last few years while building a small business on my laptop. SpartanTraveler is my personal travel blog of uncommon travel adventures, logbook of travel hacks, and forum for thoughts on lifestyle design and working in the 21st century. You can get updates from the site by signing up with your email address below. Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@spartantravel), , or contact me / read more about the site.

    Current Location: Budapest
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  • Opening Thoughts…

    "I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency. Let the words be gazetted and ridiculous henceforward. Instead of the gong for dinner, let us hear a whistle from the Spartan fife."

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    "May your journey be rough."

    - Nigerian Proverb

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