You’ve played this game before, right?
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? No, we’re not playing that game, although that one was fun.
Where in the world is Matt Lauer? Nope. Does anyone even care?
This time, we’re playing Where in the word is Edwin Covarrubias?
What? You’ve never heard of him before?
Well, I’m going to remedy that.
Except I’m not sure precisely where he is and I’ve never exactly met him, but I’m not going to let
essential important minor details get in the way of our fun.
I first met Edwin (his real name, I think) a few years ago on his quirky, funny blog That Was Awkward. He talked about awkward situations, kind of like this one in which I explain a very obvious blog to my intelligent readers.
Anyway, Edwin (or whatever his real name is) decides one day, week, month, or full moon, to change his blog and his life (probably in that order).
Because I am such a wildly wonderful person and supporter of people I really don’t know, I encouraged him.
So now he’s somewhere else (not that I knew where he was before) doing something else (ostensibly very different than what he was doing before). And he’s
happy thrilled exuberant about it.
Edwin (let’s just agree to call him Edwin, okay?) isn’t only exuberant. He’s excited about what he’s doing and he wants to tell the world about it.
While I can’t offer him the world, I can offer him an interview. And here it is.
Lorna: So Edwin (wink, wink), you had a blog. A life. And you decided to shake everything up and start on this new path (which I’m still not clear about). What were you thinking?
Edwin: Hi, Lorna. Thanks for inviting me. And, you know, my name really is Edwin. As for your question, I like to consider myself somewhat normal with a dash of awkward.
Lorna: Let us be the judge of that, okay?
Edwin: Well, um, okay. Fair enough. I grew up in Los Angeles, in a Mexican-American household. I got into an engineering school, did what I had to do and it was all great until I landed my first internship in an aerospace company at age 19.
There was a path to follow, right? Go to school, get a job, retire, and then die. That was just as depressing to me as it sounds. I remember sitting in my cubicle thinking, holy crap this is going to be my life. And then it started becoming my life. I started feeling anxious all the time, thinking about my future as a 9-5 drone. I got depressed.
While lying in bed not, I realized I really wanted to travel, to see places, to do non-engineer things.
I used to read a lot of self-help books back then, and they actually helped. Eventually, I came across a business book called “The $100 Startup” by Chris Guillebeau and it changed my life. That was my call to action. A man who has never held a job before was talking about starting your own business, from scratch. So I did what I had to do: I started a website with $20 in my pocket, made a notebook (a regular paper notebook that I thought people would like), took a photo and posted it. It sold the next day.
Two years later, I earned enough to pay my way out of California, leaving everything behind and staying with my family in Mexico while I worked on another website. I sold ad space and earned money through affiliate marketing.
Now I’m 26 and living in Ecuador, tutoring Spanish and doing web projects. I used to be scared, but now I know I that I can make a living by doing what makes me happy–anyone can.
Lorna: That’s quite a story. At least now the mysteries are solved–at least some of them. How is the “old you” different from the “new you?”
Edwin: I used to be lost–indecisive, scared and anxious all of the time. I felt like a failure, knowing the expectations my parents and others had of me and that I just could not live up to them. I felt like life sucked. Now, I know that life doesn’t have to feel that way. We all deserve to be happy all the time. It’s our right! Now, I feel like I’m here for a reason: to learn, teach, and be authentic.
Lorna: That’s quite a transformation! Are you sure there wasn’t something toxic in the water back in California that made you feel yucky? It happens.
Edwin: No, I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m following my heart.
Lorna: Yeah. That’ll make a person feel less yucky, too. So what has been the most challenging aspect of your journey so far?
Edwin: Being away from family and friends is tough, but social media keeps me in touch. Then again, some people get in touch and tell me life should be hard and to get a “real” job. They don’t understand that loving what I do doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard at it.
Lorna: And you wonder why I don’t do Facebook. Nothing worse than getting lectures on FB. Well maybe there are worse things, but let’s not go there. So what’s the most rewarding part of being on permanent vacation, um, er, living your dream? Sorry, I had a “Mother Moment.”
Edwin: That’s okay, I’m used to it. And I know you’re just kidding, Lorna.
Lorna: (attempting to raise one eyebrow, but failing because I never can just raise one–infuriating) Am I?
Edwin: Achem. The most rewarding thing about what I’m doing is the freedom I have to work when and where I want to. I work enough to meet my needs while allowing me to travel to places I’ve always wanted to visit. I’m a digital nomad.
Lorna: I’m way too much of a homebody to want to travel that much, but I’ve got this little terrier/poodle mix who would love to do what you do. He loves to explore! Oh, back to you…What one thing surprised you most about making this change in your life?
Edwin: I didn’t know how easy it is to live abroad. We can trust people in this world way more than we think given what most of us see on the news. Every day, I see the goodness in people.
Lorna: That’s good to hear, Edwin. Thanks for telling us that. One last question before I let you go. A lot of people consider “change” a four-letter word. Convince them that it’s not (other than the obvious fact that it has six letters).
Edwin: Being afraid of change will only hold us back. Everything changes. We can decide if we want to change with everything or if we want to be left behind.
Lorna: Wise words from one so young. May all the best come your way, Edwin. You certainly are doing all the right things to attract goodness and prosperity into your life.
Edwin: Thank you so much, Lorna! You’re one of the few people who can make me chuckle at my computer screen with your writings. For your readers, I’d like to add a little bonus. On a page on my website, JourneyFeed.com/Lorna I made a short video for your readers if they would like to find out more about this journey to becoming a digital nomad, along with some other cool stuff.
Lorna: Great! I love starring in movies!
Visit Edwin’s new website JourneyFeed.com and listen/subscribe to his podcasts at JourneyFeed.com/Podcast (available on iTunes).
The website is for people who are interested in location independence while working online. You can find real, actionable advice and resources for digital nomads.
The podcast features interviews and advice from people who are living like nomads all around the world.