This post is part of our second ever Nomad Week series, where we interview interesting Nomad Capitalists all across the globe, revealing their adventures, knowledge and travel tips. I had the pleasure to interview Digital Nomad Freedom Summit guests of which Andrew was a speaker, as well as the pioneers of industry and their perspectives on living and doing business overseas. You can read the entire series here.
Originally from Canada, Steve Munroe is an expat and digital nomad based in Bali. If you come to Ubud, you would certainly run into him by visiting its oldest co-working space that he has co-founded back in March 2013 . Hubud is home to one of the world’s most dynamic communities of location independent entrepreneurs and a great place to kickstart you nomadic lifestyle.
Where are you living now?
Ubud, Bali for 8 years now.
What’s your favorite thing about the city?
I love that Ubud encourages experimental living. It has been a place of inspiration for creatives and artists for hundreds of years, and continues to draw people that are at a transitional point in their lives. This makes them more open to trying or being new things, and Ubud allows and supports that. Plus Ubud has a great food scene, rice fields to scooter by and an unparalleled health and wellness community.
What’s your LEAST favorite thing about the city?
Traffic during high season…the small village feel and road system of Ubud gets overwhelmed during peak times.
Is there a little known fact about the city people might find interesting?
Their is still an active royal family in Ubud.
Where is your favorite place you’ve ever lived and why?
Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Because it felt unvarnished and raw, and was one of the rare times as travellers in this century you felt intrepid and went places that were amazing but not overwhelmed by commercial tourism.
What is your LEAST favorite place you’ve ever lived and why?
Colombo, Sri Lanka. We lived there during the cease fire, then through the tsunami of 2004, and then through the resurgence of the civil war. The place was completely (and understandably) defined by its collective trauma, at least at the time.
Have you ever had any problems in a country? (i.e. immigration issues, getting robbed, etc.)
Most of my experiences of getting ripped off have happened in Europe. I also got detained in LAX for 3 hours once because they said my passport was too old and did not have the new biometric features. In Asia I have not had too many problems.
Do you prefer one region of the world over another, and why?
I am an all- Asia guy…I have lived in Northeast, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. I love the food, the weather (or, at least, the lack of winter) and the emergent energy of most countries here.
Is there anything that would make you settle down and stop traveling as much?
I travel a lot, but am fairly settled in Bali. I consider it my base, I always come back to it.
Who has been the most influential person on your travels (someone that encouraged you to start, or someone who has influenced you along the way)?
My wife Renee! I followed her overseas 20 years ago and haven’t stopped really.
If you were coaching a new nomad, what would you recommend they do to get started?
Connect with others, a community helps through the rough patches. Get focused on what they want their life to look like, and plan around that.
What country would you recommend a new nomad go to FIRST?
Bali, in Indonesia. Great community which is the most important thing for a new nomad.
What is one country that you have not been to but is high on your list, and why?
Brazil…I have heard so many good things. I have spent almost 0 time in Central/South America and would like to explore it next.
What was the most unexpected surprise you ever encountered as a nomad?
That you feel more connected to people that are like you as nomads, than you do to people you grew up with. It is really becoming a third culture.
What was the biggest mistake you made that other nomads can learn from?
Not sorting out my taxes in a nomad-friendly way for so long!
How do you meet new people while living the nomad lifestyle? Do you ever get lonely?
NA…People come to me at Hubud and that is my main way. We sing up 80 new people a month so there is a lot of new people!
If you visit decide to take up Steve’s advice and stop by Bali for a while, make sure to check out his co-working space.