Eshita Porwal Date - 5/07/2018
Meet Nishchal Dua, an entrepreneur, explorer and an avid travel enthusiast. His experimental travel startup The Remote Life provides an extraordinary solution to working professionals to travel without compromising on their careers.
The Remote Life curates digital-nomad friendly locations around the world which gives you an awesome opportunity to work from anywhere you wish to. No more description is required for Nishchal, the enthralling narrations of his journey in this interview speak out all.
Read out this amazing interview with Nishchal Dua and get insights about The Remote Life.
Q. We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us’. The agenda of The Remote Life is a radical concept in itself. How did you come up with this idea?
All of us are looking for a happy and fulfilling life but very few are actually pursuing it. I wanted to build a lifestyle for myself where I earn time to do things I want to without compromising on my career and work-life balance and that's how The Remote Life came into being.
We are now helping people realize that they have everything they need to travel, work & experience the things they always wanted to, only if they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and take their first few steps with us.
The idea came to me while I was on the Mt. Everest trek in 2016. I, my co-founder Nitin & Luke were on the trek together and while discussing work-life balance we started questioning why it is that we are here & most of our friends are not, even though they want to be. Before long we all realized that there’s a need for a platform that can help people build this type of a lifestyle for themselves, a platform which can enable you to travel the world, work remotely & live anywhere with like-minded individuals.
Q. Having vacations while doing a 9 to 5 job strictly outlines only during consecutive holidays for most of the working professionals. You just turned upside down the age-old mindset.
Haha! I’m glad you see it that way.
We are constantly trying to build a community of people who believe in the same utopian future that we do. A future where you live where you feel the happiest. And it doesn’t have to be at the cost of your career or professional life. We want to fix the problem of everyone living in Bangalore and not being happy with the traffic & the pollution. Why can’t these people travel & work somewhere they are more comfortable? It could be Kerala, Goa, Himachal, Bali or anywhere they feel like.
During the entire history of humankind, location was key if you wanted to get a job. The main reason why small towns all over the world are disappearing is because younger generations are moving to bigger cities, where job opportunities are more accessible.
Now, for the first time in history, humans don’t have to depend on location to get a good job. Think about it for a second. For the first time in the history of humanity, living thousands of kilometers away from a potential employer is no longer a valid reason to have your application rejected.
This is a paradigm shift that could even potentially reduce migration movements in the medium-to-long term future. Many people will no longer need to move to a different city or country just so they can get a job.
The age old problem of "can't go somewhere because can't get leave the office" is being solved here.
Q. Tell us how does your platform works on it?
The Remote Life is an experiential travel startup. Our core aim is to travel, work & live around the world with interesting like-minded individuals.
We curate digital-nomad friendly locations around the world. Setup local partnerships everywhere. Upgrade the infrastructure and manage all the logistics so you can seamlessly travel & work from anywhere you want. At the same time, we also focus heavily on our global community of 30,000+ individuals to deliver the best local experience wherever you go.
If you’re interested in taking the leap, just pick the location, take a flight and let us take care of the rest.
Q. We have heard that you had a nomadic childhood. Also, you did a trek expedition to Mt. Everest base camp. So, it takes us to the next question. Share your travel/trek experiences with us.
Haha! Thanks a lot! Yes, I have been traveling almost all my life, thanks to an Army background and an adventurous family! I have already traveled to almost every state of India and 18 countries till date. I have lived, studied, worked & made friends in more cities than I care to count. And all of this has led me to where I am today.
The Mt. Everest Base Camp trek is something I can never forget. It really was the adventure of a lifetime. 12 days of climbing in extreme situations at an altitude of 18000+ feet where oxygen drops to a level that makes breathing a lot harder, especially when you have been climbing for hours with 12kgs of luggage of your back. What makes it great? You meet people that are pushing boundaries you never knew existed in the first place. I met an elderly couple who were both over 65 years old. And they were at the Mt. Everest Base Camp, nailing it!
I strongly believe that a complete, happy, satisfied life needs sufficient life changing experiences and the only way is for us to reach out and make the effort to gain these experiences. I have been fortunate enough to have a childhood that makes me respect the value of being location independent and I hope I can bring this cultural shift to a million individuals globally.
Q. How these interests align with your passion. What more lies in your vision for The Remote Life?
I have always been extremely passionate about building a lifestyle that I don’t need to run away from. The very idea of a ‘vacation’ or a ‘getaway’ is alien to me. And that’s exactly what I am building The Remote Life for. It is a remote work program with a focus on delivering a great experience to people trying out the digital nomad or location independent lifestyle for the first time and ease them into this new way of living.
The common notion is “I wish to travel, BUT I have got a job/work”. Our mission is to lose the BUT.
I hope to build our community further and help a million individuals adopt this location independent lifestyle to build their own version of work-life balance.
Q. Share with our readers the exclusive services offered by The Remote Life.
The Remote Life provides a unique co-living experience - an experience where individuals live, work & travel with other like-minded people in a community environment, without compromising on either their work or travel plans.
The Remote Life takes care of all the research, curation, planning & implementation of your new lifestyle in a remote location. It provides standardized accommodation, office space, meals, travel & visa assistance, local ambassadors, logistics, experiential activities, weekend adventure retreats, local meetups, learning sessions and a group experience wherever you go.
The programs include people from different geographies, backgrounds and experiences.
All you have to do is pick a place, take your flight and let us take care of the rest.
Q. Your platform also enhances community building along with travelling. What are your views on it?
We have a very active global community of 35000+ nomads, remote workers, entrepreneurs, freelancers & travelers.
We connect travelers to locals wherever they go, organize regional meetups, negotiate exclusive deals from big brands and provide emergency support for our members wherever they go.
More importantly, in our years of experience working with people from around the world, we have come closer to cracking the ‘community’ code. We now have sufficient data points & case studies that enable positive interactions within the community without putting too much burden on any individual. Communities are like double edged swords. They can be extremely helpful but also a big pain at the same time if not managed properly.It’s very easy for communities to become unproductive, spammy & go off-track. The Remote Life’s community managers include people who have actual travel & community experience along with being in the space for a long time. In addition to a healthy internal community, we make a lot of effort to ensure that our members give back to the local community as well. We organize impact & social events over the weekends. We work with local schools, NGOs & hospitals to create a positive environment. We do our level best to ensure we don’t negatively impact the places we travel to & live at.
We truly believe the future world is a shared world and communities will be at the center of this shared world. The Remote Life’s community is global, diverse, inclusive & conscious.
Q. What do you think can be the possibilities in the house for anyone looking to begin a career in travel lifestyle apart from being a travel writer/blogger?
When it comes to making money online while travelling, these are all the available options, no matter who/where you are:
- Ads (display on blog or sponsored brand content)
- Sell your own product (physical or digital)
- Sell some else's product (affiliate)
- Sell your services (freelance/consult/agency/job)
- Sell a subscription to your service (SaaS, email newsletter, events)
More or less these are all the available categories. Whatever you do, can fit into one of these and that might help in setting up your travel lifestyle.
How reliable an income source is depends entirely on the risk involved (product vs service), freedom to choose (job vs freelance) and your background/investment/skills.
Q. Do you believe that The Remote Life can impact a lifestyle? What were the kind of responses you received after the launch of this program?
The Remote Life is all about integrating work and life thus this is in itself a lifestyle choice.
Initially we launched for just a limited number of people and the amazing response made me realize that this could be a real opportunity. That's when we reached out to a few more people who then shared it with their friends and before we knew it, we had 720+ sign ups! The response was overwhelming for people were looking out on how they can have better work life balance and ways of how technology can help them lead a fulfilling life.
I’ll talk about two amazing transformational stories of people who came on board The Remote Life.
A lady in her early 30s from New York talked to us for a couple of months before taking the plunge. She took the time so her apartment lease would expire and she could move her possessions in storage. She then joined us and traveled with us for nearly 10 months. And over this almost year long journey, in her own words, she “transformed, evolved & became an entirely different person, like a butterfly”. When she finally left us, she decided to settle down in Bali for a year. While traveling with us, she successfully built her own online consulting business, she wrote a book (unpublished), she changed a lot her habits and picked up a few good ones and made friends for life!
Another amazing story is that of freelance UI/UX designer from Mumbai who joined us for just a month but found himself doing almost 2x the work he used to do earlier. As a freelancer, that meant making twice the money he used to make earlier while he was traveling and having the time of his life. He picked up yoga and cycling during this period, managed to find his true balance and also got a few clients from within our community.
It’s stories like these that keep me & my team motivated to continue working on The Remote Life every second of every day!
Q. Lastly, you being a travel enthusiast and explorer, share with our readers about your gotta-do bucket list.
I had and still have a pretty extensive list filled with quirky things/places/events. But I’ll tone it down to what’s the must-do for anyone in general.
- Skydiving – Dubai or Australia is best so you can enjoy the view
- Live in Istanbul, Rio & Prague for a month at least
- Go horse-riding in New Zealand, LOTR style
- Go an Antarctic expedition
- See aurora borealis
- Spend 1-3 months living deep in the Himalayas, away from civilization, doing Vipassana or some other form of meditation.