Raam Dev is a writer who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping promote a philosophy of sustainable abundance. With all his possessions in one backpack, he travels the world as a nomadic explorer advocating health, sustainability, minimalism, and exploration.
I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Raam while he was visiting South East Asia. Check it out!
1. How was your trip to Vietnam?
Vietnam has been incredible. I normally like to stay in one place for awhile to really get a feel for what life is like, but when a good online friend invited me to tag along with him and his Vietnamese wife for two weeks in Vietnam, I couldn’t pass up the offer.
And I’m glad I didn’t! Visiting family after family of my friends wife and spending many hours laughing, talking, and eating with them, made for an absolutely incredible two weeks.
2. What are some of your plans on your trip out east?
My current plan has me spending three months in India, two weeks in Vietnam, two months in Nepal, and then another two weeks in India before returning to the States in mid-September. My plan was to do all that on a total six-month budget of $3,000.
Besides that, I really don’t have much of a plan. I began this journey as a method of self-exploration and discovery. I wanted to learn more about myself, the world, and fulfill a life-long dream of nomadic world travel.
Tomorrow morning I hop on a plane to Nepal where I will live for the next two months. I’m meeting my former boss who grew up in Nepal. He’s going to give me a place to stay initially and show me around a bit. I love hiking and nature, so I plan to do the Annapurna Circuit, a 150-mile, 20-day trek that reaches an elevation of more than 17,000 ft.
3. As for the online world, what made you want to start a blog and when did you get started?
My dad is a writer and I took after him from an early age. I also got into computers at a very early age and began writing on the computer almost immediately. I’ve been publishing online since before blogging was a commonly known term, but it wasn’t until 2006 that I started to get serious about it.
Since 2006, my purpose for blogging has changed many times. I originally wrote “here’s what I did today” type posts mixed in with technical how-to articles. Now, I’m writing more about my observations while traveling,
4. What does your blog aim to do?
The aim of my blog has changed many times, but the experiences of the past three months have made me realize that the world needs people to think about sustainable abundance. The world needs more people shedding light on the imbalance of abundance that is causing so much pain and suffering.
So in addition to writing about my travels, I’m beginning to focus more on writing about the observations I make along the way — observations about how the abundance and wealth are imbalanced and how that imbalance is affecting peoples’ lives.
These experiences and realizations are extremely new (months and weeks), so I’m very much still in the process of digesting everything and figuring out how exactly I should focus my energy. One thing is for sure though: there a big changes in progress. 🙂
5. I also read on your blog that you own a hosting company. How did this come about and is this how you currently make your income?
I began hosting my own websites back in 2003 with no intention of making a business out of it. When friends started asking me if I could host a website for them, I decided it would make the most sense to approach it like a business. The business has slowly grown over the years entirely by word-of-mouth. It makes very little profit and mostly just pays for itself.
I have ambitions to actively start growing the business, but that will mean hiring people. My limited connectivity while traveling prevents me from being on call 24/7 and quickly responding to queries.
I currently have no source of regular income. I’m taking on freelance programming projects to help bring in something, but it’s very little. My goal is to build passive income streams that allow me to continue traveling and I’m working on several ebook to help with that. I gave myself until September to build up enough passive income to continue traveling.
6. If someone were wanting to start making money online so they could be mobile, is their any advice you would give them?
First, I would recommend reducing your expenses to the bare minimum. I decided to spend six months in third-world countries partly because I knew that I could live extremely frugally and give myself enough time to learn what I needed to start making money online. Everything you need already exists, for free, online. There are so many incredible resources and awesome people who are giving away all the information you need to get started.
Also, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Be yourself and be human. The more human you are — the more genuine you are — the more people will trust you. The more they trust you, the more they will be willing to give you money in exchange for something you created.
7. Were there any role models, mentors, or books that inspired you to live this type of lifestyle?
Yes. There are two bloggers who I consider pivotal to my lifestyle change: Amber Zuckswert and Colin Wright. In mid-2009, Amber sold all her stuff and set off with two backpacks. Her story, and all her tweets from the Australian outback, constantly reminded me that such change was possible. Each of her tweets seemed to inch me one step closer to pulling the trigger and changing my own life. In December of the same year, I pulled the trigger and notified my boss that January 2010 would be my last month.
Around the same time as Amber, Colin made a similar change and moved his design business entirely mobile. He started traveling around the world and working remotely from his laptop while spending several weeks in one place getting to know the area. Between him and Amber, I had absolutely no excuse not to make my own dream of nomadic world travel a reality.
After discovering Amber and Colin, I also started discovering the entire lifestyle design community and I learned how many other people were already living the life I dreamed of. All of them were, and continue to be, hugely motivational to my current lifestyle.
8. What’s one of your most memorable travel experiences so far?
That’s a tough one. The past three months have been so packed with new and incredible experiences that it’s very difficult to pick one — they’re all so memorable!
Almost getting hit crossing the street on my second day in Bangalore because I wasn’t used to the left-side driving; seeing a 12ft king cobra while walking back to the farmhouse I was staying at in Ujire; getting lost walking back to my hotel at 11pm in Bombay; wandering the streets of Old Udaipur City and starting a conversation with a random shopkeeper — then having lunch with him and his friends; attending an incredible Indian wedding in Delhi and living for two weeks with people so loving, caring, and kind that I almost teared up when I left; riding on the back of a motorcycle through endless fields of bright green rice patties in Vietnam and then looking up at the blue sky and realizing that this is not a vacation, but my life.
It’s difficult to pick any one in particular! But those experiences don’t compare to the experience of all the poverty I’ve seen. Entire families sleeping on sidewalks with a piece of plastic for their roof; children tapping on your leg begging for food; mothers holding their hands out pleading for money to feed the undernourished child in their arms.
Those are the real experiences. Those are what will stick with me forever. Those are the experiences that have changed my entire outlook on life and my sense of purpose. They have turned my thinking around 180 degrees. I’m now more concerned with what I can do to help them than I am about what I can do for my own pleasure.
9. Favorite inspiring quote or story?
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Robert A. Heinlein
You can catch up with Raam by clicking here. You can also check out a previous post of mine about the amazing E-book that Raam put together not to long ago, Make sure you grab a free copy!
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