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Digital nomad survival tips you can use anywhere (Part 2)

Mike Elgan | Dec. 19, 2016
'Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.' ― Joseph Heller

I'm a big fan of SCOTTeVEST clothes, which are loaded with pockets. My favorite is a jacket called the Off The Grid Jacket, which has 29 pockets. It also compresses to take up very little space in my luggage.

In general, backpacks identify you as a traveler carrying expensive things. And they can be nabbed. It's far safer to carry stuff on your physical person.

AirBnB Experiences are safer

When you go places, you do things. Some of these things require special transportation, guide, and other resources, which have to be arranged somehow.

In many countries, this is informal, and happens through word of mouth.

While staying on a remote Central American island a few years ago, my wife and I wanted to visit a small Mayan ruin. Getting there required a boat trip back to the mainland and up a river. I asked a few local men who were hanging out at a store how we might arrange such a trip, and they told me: "Go up this street, turn left when you see a white fence, look for a blue house on stilts. Don't approach the house, just shout 'Fido' at the house." So we did. Fido shouted back when and where to meet at his boat the next day.

His boat was like a low canoe with an outboard motor, which died after we entered the mouth of the river. Fido tried to start the motor as the boat drifted back out to sea and the water churned with with fresh-water crocodiles (they love that tender, American meat).

Eventually, Fido got the boat going again and everything turned out OK. But clearly this isn't an optimal process for choosing which strangers you'll bet your life on.

AirBnB recently launched a better way to arrange activities like this. It's called AirBnB Experiences. Like AirBnB and other sharing economy services, Experiences is reputation-based, so you can know that the people you're dealing with are good at what they do.

Always use video surveillance

Home doorbell cams, like the Ring Video Doorbell, are a great way to add security to your home.

People assume that these are for homeowners to permanently mount as a replacement for a conventional doorbells. But who says you can't take it with you?


Take a Ring Video Doorbell with you wherever you travel. Here's the view of the author's door and stairwell in an AirBnB apartment in Marseille, France.

I take my Ring Video Doorbell everywhere I go. I attach it to the wall next to the door of wherever I'm staying abroad using something called mounting putty, which is a Silly Putty-like substance available at any hardware store.


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