For two years Jay Meistrich worked in the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft, an applied research group working with Windows, Surface, Xbox, and Mobile. He helped start the project that turned into the Touch Cover for Surface and inspired Smart Glass for Xbox. He could have done more there if he stayed. But he didn’t stay.
He left San Francisco, sold and gave away everything he owned, and moved into a 40 liter backpack.
Jay managed to travel to 45 cities in 20 countries, 3 Disneylands, and 1 bunny island while launching his startup on the road (the startups is Moo.do).
The total cost of all this he says it was less than the rent in San Francisco, which is a very expensive city to live in (in the top 3 in America).
After doing this he has learned several things:
– traveling is cheaper than staying at home
– traveling makes me more productive
– 9–5 is not optimal
– traveling expands my cultural bubble
Below is more of his story.
Traveling is not the same as vacation
There’s a growing community of “digital nomads” who live a location independent lifestyle. We’re software developers, designers, writers, journalists, engineers, and all sorts of people who share a passion for the work we do and experiencing the world.
I propose that a nomadic lifestyle is a productive way to build a real company. I’m working hard on bootstrapping an ambitious startup, Moo.do. I’m traveling because it’s cheaper, more productive, and more inspiring than sitting in one place. Traveling is the most responsible choice for the sake of my company, my finances, and my personal growth.
I became a nomad by accident
Three years ago I was preparing to leave my job at Microsoft to move to San Francisco to start a startup. My friend asked me “but why do you need to be in San Francisco when you can work on a computer from anywhere?” His question made a lot of sense. As I thought about it more, I began to question my assumptions about a “normal life” which don’t make sense in our modern world.
– I reject the idea of a 9–5 job. I want to explore the world while the sun is out instead of wasting the daylight hours working inside and dreaming of my next vacation.
– I reject the idea of settling down. I want to experience new cultures and eat new foods instead of being stuck in the neighborhood around my house.
– I reject the idea of stuff. It’s not the size of my TV that matters. The world is much more interesting than what’s in my house.
– I reject the idea of boredom. I’m constantly surrounded by new places, people, and experiences. I haven’t felt bored since I started traveling and I don’t even have the desire to watch TV or play video games anymore.
– I reject the idea of a bucket list. I have a list of things to do and I’m doing them.
So off I went, with my crazy new ideas about life in tow.
The digital nomad revolution is just beginning and I’m excited to help it grow. I hope you and I will meet some time, somewhere out there.
Head on his blog and get the full story.