When I discover new people, I sometimes wish they came with a FAQ page instead of having to parallel search them across LinkedIn, Google, SM, etc. to map out their timeline & understand what makes them, them. Here are questions I often get (sourced from IG, emails, & IRL meets). Have a question? DM me and I'll add it here. Last updated: 10/04/23
I'm from Chennai. I have an Indian passport and Singapore's Entrepass residency. I try to live out of different countries every 3-4 months to experience a nomadic lifestyle during my 20s.
I currently live in Bali and prior to this I experienced staying out of:
2022: Argentina, Chile, California, NYC, Singapore, India
2021 - 2017: Singapore, Australia, Mauritius, Iran, India
At 19, I wanted to travel but had no $ + weak passport -> took up paid internships abroad -> got hired in Singapore right after undergrad in India -> worked ~3 years as a researcher -> declined direct PhD offer & quit my job -> got an Entrepass & registered my company out of Singapore -> worked on a few projects (some of which blew up) -> finished journey across all 7 continents by 25 -> currently working on interesting pursuits instead of boxing my 20s into a career
Some things I did gained interest:
- The Antarctica story (convinced an airline to let me borrow an aircraft and fly it to Antarctica during austral winter)
- Minted the first NFT in Antarctica + world's southernmost ETH node with Aditthya (convinced Chilean military base in Antarctica for internet)
- Making the world's longest food delivery to Antarctica (raised $40k in brand deals with no clout during this journey)
- Taking a self-funded, solo-backpacking journey across all 7 continents
- Getting multiple paid internships abroad and a job abroad straight out of undergrad in India (with no masters/connections)
19 - 21 (Undergrad): paid internships, scholarship $, part-time/tuition
22 - 24 (Employed): $ from full-time, capital gains
25 - Present (Self-employed): capital gains, savings, $ from biz. revenue
I'm 100% self-funded and a lot of things worked in my favor:
1. I lead a simple life with very little material possessions or desires; I consistently live and spend below my means.
2. I don't have debts (didn't take up masters abroad + my undergrad was affordable / covered by scholarship)
3. I got a job in Singapore right after undergrad in India and started earning in dollars, this gave me a headstart due to PPP.
4. I started investing right after undergrad and it peaked during the last bull run. I still invest 50% of what I make.
Some thoughts: Financial independence buys freedom. Also, money may not buy happiness but it buys a better quality of misery.
Nope, it depends on where you live. For example, for 500 sq.ft. studio apartment I paid ~$2500 per month in 2022 (it's $4000 per month in 2023 due to housing crisis) and I pay $240 per month for rent in Bali. So, in my case, a nomadic lifestyle is cheaper than living out of Singapore.
At 20, during 3rd year of engineering undergrad in India. As of 25, I've been across all 7 continents while being a full-time student / employed.
I currently run a Singapore-based web/media startup while working my creative interests: writing a book and a TV show.
Prior to this, I worked on marketing campaigns with major brands and researched human epidermal melanocytes, genes, and Covid-19 in Singapore for ~3 years after graduation.
At 19, my only objective was to figure out how I could travel abroad without having to pay for it - I started out by Googling exactly that. I read blogs and articles every day which helped me discover the world of paid internships abroad (if you're in STEM, there are research programs around the world that'll sponsor you to intern with them).
Then I did the practical and boring job of applying to these programs; I applied to 196 programs and got rejected 189 times. I got 7 acceptances and took up 4 internships based on stipend/country.
Next, I knew I wanted to save up capital and quit 9-5 by 25; so I realized I need to get a job abroad due to PPP. While I was doing these internships across Australia, Singapore, East Africa, etc. I started applying for jobs in those countries, and my internship in Singapore ended-up getting converted to a full-time job.
I ended up quitting it at 25 and starting my own company under Singapore's Entrepass visa.
• You can get opportunities abroad by doing the boring and practical work of Googling, applying, and applying despite rejections like I did (read previous FAQ). While I wish I can narrate a magical story on how I spoke to the CEO of a company, and he gave me a $500k internship at his French company, unfortunately, it didn't happen that way. There's no shortcut to do this - if there were, I would've tried it. It's really just refining your Googling and application skills, and just...trying. You don't need any course to learn this, just search and apply every day.
• How I can help: I routinely put out information on things I do on this website and will be happy to answer questions that can't be Googled; example: a person recently reached out on LinkedIn with a clear ask on a program I've done before. Even though I didn't know them, I took up a 20-min meeting with them because I had answers to their questions.
• In general, I'm helpful if I can be of help to you. If I don't get back, it could be because: you're asking me something I don't know, beyond my power, or can be found online.
I'm figuring out my own journey, so I don't have any advices. But I have some suggestions:
1. Taking risks is better than having regrets. We're all going to die, might as well do what makes us happy.
2. Don't buy things you can't afford - it's a trap. Flex is temporary, debt is permanent. To avoid financial stress, always live below your means.
3. 'Quit your job and follow your dreams' is privileged advice. If you don't come from money, make a plan first - save up capital to support yourself at least for 1-2 years with no income before you quit.
Anything is possible if you never give up. Also, learning to write good emails changed my life.
Honestly, it's not that scary. There are kind people everywhere. Just follow general precautions, you'll be fine: trust your gut & get to a new place during daylight. Also, carry pepper spray (I've never had to use it but it makes me feel extra-safe).
Yes. I'm nervous 100% of the time, I'm just good at masking it. While leading life on your own terms is exciting, it's also difficult because there are no tested routes, so you fail a lot creating that new path.
I don't know if I'll succeed, but I know I'll give everything my best.
My family+friends are my #1 supporters. I come from a conservative family and my parents weren't always this way (I wasn't allowed to cross the road by myself till I was 18) but with time they've learned to change their mindsets and accept my choices because I'm persistent.
Nope. My parents are simple people who grew up in a village and till I went to university, the only thing my family owned was a 3-seat scooter.
Great! I love interesting pitches, you can write to me here.