Digital Nomad With a Purpose: Owen's Story

Thursday, May 3, 2018

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? What’s your name and where are you originally from?

My name is Owen and I am from Singaporeinfo-icon. I graduated from university in December 2016, and on February 2017, I flew on a one-way ticket to South Americainfo-icon. I travelled to all countriesinfo-icon there and came home one year later.

2. Where do you currently reside and is there any place in the world you can say for yourself that you’re local there?

I currently live in Singapore. It’s the only place I’ve ever lived in. (I did spend 3 months in Peruinfo-icon but I’m no local.)

3. We saw you had quite amazing adventures during your journey, so could you share the trick with us? How do you fund your trips and for how long you’re on the road? Do you have a home base or you’re constantly on the road?

I spent almost one year backpacking South America. The trick is to travel slow and have a purpose. For me, it was to visit all countries and also to write about the trip on my travel blog.

I mainly lived off savings and a small income I have from an online business I started while in university, and travelled extremely frugally.

During this one year, I did not have a home base. The longest I stayed in one place was 5 weeks in Cusco. I was constantly on the road.

4. What’s the criteria for choosing your next location?

My one goal in mind was to visit all countries in South America, so I planned a general route going clockwise from Brazilinfo-icon and ending in the same place. I usually plan the next city only when I arrived at the previous one.

5. What was the breaking point of starting a digital nomadinfo-icon career?

Owen started his solo adventure in South America, and that was the breaking point of starting his digital nomad career.

I caught the travel bug in 2014 when I went for my first trip without my family. Then, I had a taste of my first solo trip. I just kept going on short unfulfilled trips to nearby countries.

I knew I wanted to travel far and long so I looked for ways to earn money while travelling, and that’s where I learnt about making money online. I took a hiatus in 2016, built an affiliate marketing website, and once I knew the model worked, I left on my one-way trip.

6. What kind of job you’re currently working on? How did you find this one?

I am currently working on my travel blog. It’s still in the beginning stages so it’s not earning me anything. I am also building more affiliate websites to scale up my income.

7. What aspect of your job you like the most?

The freedom that comes with it.

8. What aspect of your job you dislike the most?

Because I am my own boss, there are no guidelines, no deadlines, no one to force me to work. I require HUGE discipline to get anything done - and I lack discipline.

9. How’s your regular working day looks like?

I pretty much spend all my time looking at the computer, writing a blog post, editing graphics and videos, learning more about SEO/online marketing. Sometimes I get sucked into the online world too much and I get nothing done (see point #8).

10. Do you pay close attention to work-life balance? Could you tell us a bit more about that?

In the beginning stages of any career or entrepreneurship journey, there is pretty much no work-life balance. Most of the time is spent on building up the business.

But again, that is just an excuse for my lack of discipline (see point #8).

11. What’s your advice for someone who’d like to start with digital nomading, but constantly getting discouraged by the society?

Don't let the society turn you away from achieving your dreams! Your dreams are achievable if you believe in yourself.

Society is gonna discourage you no matter what you do. My advice is to surround yourself with like-minded people - people who’s done it before you and you know it is absolutely possible to live a life of your choice. Facebook groups are a good place to start.


Owen Ter is a travel blogger from Singapore. After graduating from university, he went on a one-way trip to South America, visited all countries (with his inflatable graduation hat), and writes about his journey on My Turn to Travel. He hopes that through his posts and stories, you will feel that it is finally Your Turn to Travel too.

If you want to check out his journeys, visit his website, Facebook page and Instagram.

Antonio Gabric a freelance content writer for aSabbatical.com
Traveling is the best way to learn about the world and cultures. It changes your mindset and you see possibilities everywhere.