March 29, 2023

Celebrating 200 Episodes of Badass Digital Nomads Podcast

Celebrating 200 Episodes of Badass Digital Nomads Podcast

Kristin celebrates the huge milestone of publishing 200 podcast episodes. She reflects on the journey so far, how it all started, and what's next for Badass Digital Nomads.

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Kristin celebrates the huge milestone of publishing 200 podcast episodes. She reflects on the journey so far, how it all started, and what's next for Badass Digital Nomads. 


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Sneak Peak


Kristin:    00:00:00    You know, the life that you want defies any definition. It's just makes you who you are. And that's the main reason why I started this podcast. 


Introduction: Welcome to Badass Digital Nomads, where we're pushing the boundaries of remote work and travel, all while staying grounded with a little bit of old school philosophy, self-development, and business advice from our guests.


Kristin Wilson, Host: :    00:00:31    Hey there, Kristin, from Traveling with Kristin here, and welcome to episode 200 of Badass Digital Nomads. I am sitting overlooking the coastline of sunny southern California, where it has been raining a lot for the past week that I've been here, but it's finally backed to that sunny California weather that we all know and love. But it's stunningly beautiful right now because of all the rain, the mountainsides, the cliffs, the landscaping, like everything is completely green and it's like unrecognizable. I'm so used to seeing California brown and dry that it's completely transformed it. It almost feels like I'm in a different state or a different country. Really nice. So it sounds like they're getting a lot of the rain that they need and it's good to be out here visiting family. My mom is here, my brother lives out here. I've been babysitting my adorable eight-year-old niece and it's been a lot of fun.  


Kristin:    00:01:40    But one of the things that my mom and I have been commenting on is how surreal it is to come back to the same place over such a long period of time. Like she actually went to school here her freshman year of college at UC San Diego, and just driving past the dorm rooms and the campus is so nostalgic for her, and I've been coming here since I was 16, was the first time I came to California. And my brother and I were just at the Scripps Aquarium with my niece, and we were looking down at the surf spot where we surfed when I was 16 and he was 13. And we remembered exactly which surf shop we rented surfboards from and how the waves were that day. And it's just, it's just so surreal and nostalgic to go back to places that you haven't been in a while or that you've been going back to for many, many years.  


Kristin:    00:02:37    And it's like all of the memories kind of collide into each other and you'll get, you know, a memory from when you are 16 and then a memory from when you're 21 or 23 or 33, and then all of a sudden it's like, wow, you know, how many times have I been here? But yet you see it with a different perspective from a different part of your life every time. And the place where I'm at right now is a place that I've driven by so many times and actually never stopped to go inside. And it's this, um, meditation, self-realization fellowship and it's actually open to the public. And I never knew that. I always thought it was for private retreats. And it's these beautiful gardens with Koi ponds and palm trees and flowers and tropical plants and views of the Pacific Ocean, and it's just so beautiful.  


Kristin:    00:03:36    So that is where I am right now. And <laugh>, you know, I've, I've known that this episode was coming for a long time, for months I've been thinking about it like, should I do something really big and unique and special for the 200th episode like I did for the 100th episode? We had a, a listener interview me, I think it was a two-part interview actually,we'll link to that in the show notes too, but I just kept thinking about it and sleeping on it and I was like, you know what? I just kind of wanna talk to you, like, just check in and hang out and, and talk a little bit more about why I started this podcast and what you can expect for future episodes. Ooh, a hummingbird <laugh>. My mom has had these hummingbird feeders at her house for six months and she has not seen a single hummingbird, and now there's one right in front of me.  


Kristin:    00:04:31    I'll have to tell her Anyway, yeah, so I thought let's just hang out and chat a bit because there could have been so many ways that you stumbled across the podcast. You could have been a personal friend of mine from school or from Facebook. You could have seen a post on social media, you could have heard about the podcast through a friend. You could have found it while searching for something really specific online or have come from a YouTube video. But since, I don't know if you've been listening for one episode or 50, or 150 or 200 episodes, then I mean, you know, maybe this is your first time listening or your 100th time listening, then you might not know that much about me. So I thought I would just take a little bit of time to explain a bit of my backstory and why I started this and why I keep going and where we go from here on this journey together.  


Kristin:    00:05:30    So first of all, if you are listening, then thank you for being here and thank you for, uh, taking a chance on me and on Badass Digital Nomads. The podcast has been downloaded now about 375,000 times from almost every country in the world. So thank you for tuning in wherever you are. I love seeing where people are listening from and it shows just how strong of a community this is and also how a growing number of people are interested in these topics. And combining the ability to work for yourself or work where you want when you want, and also be able to live wherever you want in the world or to have the freedom to travel and just have a really flexible lifestyle since, um, this is a quite a unique combination of those types of topics. What was very obscure and a bit fringe at the beginning of this podcast four years ago is now becoming mainstream.  


Kristin:    00:06:40    And it's still surreal to see headlines and all of the mainstream media about anything about the digital nomad lifestyle or being location independent, um, but also encompassing more of just the mindset of being able to live life on your own terms, however you define that. And we have talked about in other episodes, you know, how do you define this lifestyle? What makes you a digital nomad? Um, what makes you a remote worker? It's like everyone has their own definition and identifies with labels in their own way. And so I, I love that being nomadic or or living, you know, the life that you want defies any definition. It's just makes you who you are. And that's the main reason why I started this podcast was to be able to showcase all of the different types of people from different backgrounds and different ages who have been living life on their own terms in different ways and always learning something new and always hearing different stories and seeing different examples of how people are doing what they do, showing a different way than is the way of either the American dream or whatever the cultural norm is in your country.  


Kristin:    00:08:06    Just showing that there are so many other different ways to live and that you can combine certain elements of what you see and hear from other people and incorporate that into your own life, into your in your own way. And so some people ask why I call the podcast Badass to Digital Nomads and not Traveling with Kristin. And it's because Traveling with Kristin started as a travel vlog and more, uh, travel tips and places I was going and things like that. Whereas with Badass Digital Nomads, the idea from the beginning was just to highlight other people's stories and show all of the numerous examples of the unconventional ways that people are living their best lives so that you can take, uh, as much or as little as you want from each of those stories, um, just showing something that you wouldn't typically hear about or read about in the media or on the radio or news article.


Kristin:    00:09:08    And I feel like I learned so many new things with each person that I talk to. Even just random people on the street too with the videos I've been doing recently talking to strangers in Dublin and in Belfast, in Ireland, like everyone that you see has a story. And so my with this podcast has just been to bring stories that you wouldn't otherwise hear and people that you wouldn't know existed and just bring their stories out into the open and get ideas and inspiration from, and you don't have to be a digital nomad to listen to Badass Digital Nomads. I mean, I'm not even a digital nomad sometimes, but it's more of the spirit of being able to live life on your own terms and that's what we're going for here. As I mentioned, there's more about my background in episode 100, but the short story is that for as long as I can remember, I really struggled to envision what my future would be like as an adult.  


Kristin:    00:10:14    I really didn't know what I wanted to do for work. I never felt like I came across a job that really stuck out to me that I felt like I could see myself doing, like being a doctor or a veterinarian or working at a bank. Like there was never anything that I really thought, yeah, that's, that's what it is, that's me. Like it never clicked. Unlike, um, some people that have known ever since they can remember what they want to do and what they want to be when they grow up. So this was always a source of stress for me growing up that was compounded when I would do things like take a personality test or a career inventory test in middle school and get an error message where they couldn't match my personality with a career path. And then I went to college and I changed my major four times because I couldn't decide <laugh> and I almost majored or yeah, I almost end up graduating with a liberal arts degree because I had so many credits and so many different topics.  


Kristin:    00:11:17    So some of you can possibly relate to that. But really it wasn't until I started traveling internationally that I felt like this sense of calm and peace –peacefulness come over my life. And I felt like I really started to find my way in the world, ironically outside of my hometown, outside of my home state, outside of my home country. And for whatever reason, being in foreign places helped me develop a better sense of self and a better sense of purpose and a clearer sense of identity. And ever since the first moment that I traveled, that was something that I wanted to share with other people because I felt like I had somehow unlocked this key of like, ah, you can get more insights and learn more about yourself and the world if you just get outside of your comfort zone and get outside of your geographical area where you were born.  


Kristin:    00:12:25    And so I felt like I had kind of uncovered this hidden secret that of course, uh, people have been doing forever, traveling around the world, searching for enlightenment, searching for their purpose, searching for a way to survive. There's so many reasons, but um, I guess growing up in middle-class America in the eighties and nineties, it wasn't like there were billboards plastered around everywhere saying like, Hey, you should, you should take a solo trip around the world or you know, you should travel or you should try something different. It was all about conforming with society and following the masses and following the crowd, following the path of least resistance, pursuing the American dream. You know, all of the things that we've been shown, so many examples of what to do. It was like, if you do that and you're not happy, then doesn't matter. Like just stay the course, wait till retirement, then you can be happy.  


Kristin:    00:13:30    And somehow as a, as a teenager, I doubled into, wait a second, it's really cool being in different places and you can experience different climate, different surroundings, different geography, different cultures, different languages, different people. I mean, I can still remember walking across the bridge to Tijuana the first time eating at a restaurant in Montreal the first time and hearing people speak French, stepping off the plane in Italy for the first time and having my first taste of espresso and my first bite of focaccia bread, like all of these memories are just really seared into my mind. And I think that life is made up of moments and all of the moments that you can have when you travel and the people that you meet that really adds up to a much more colorful and fulfilling life other than the one that we may have led to believe would metaphorically check all of the boxes.  


Kristin:    00:14:33    So I grew up in this very comfortable upbringing on the beach in Florida. I went to University in Florida, you know, standard American pie, <laugh> university experience and hi, uh, high school experience like cheerleading and doing sports and participating in clubs and activities and things like that. And then once I started studying abroad in college, really feeling like I had hit my stride and like found my place in the world and my place in the world happened to just be not where I was born and not where I grew up. I didn't know exactly where it would be. And as it turns out, maybe it's multiple places and uh, maybe that's something that you can relate to as well, having multiple homes or feeling at home in multiple places. And so the um, opportunity to study abroad in college in both Costa Rica and Australia just really deepened that groove of like, yes, this travel path is the way.  


Kristin:    00:15:36    And that's what led me to change my major again to international business and ultimately, you know, work and careers related to travel and living abroad ever since. So from working in real estate in Costa Rica to starting a relocation company to creating content about travel and living abroad. And that brings us to where we are today. But the one thing in common throughout all of that was just being so in awe of the people and the experiences and the cultures and things that I confronted at so many points throughout my life and wanting to share those with other people and feeling that strange kind of isolation and loneliness from before and after technology. I still traveled and lived abroad and had fun before, you know, the internet was really fast or before we had social media where like literally no one, you know, you couldn't share your location with people.  


Kristin:    00:16:44    So it was like no one knew where I was, no one knew what I was doing, there was no Facebook to post it on or anything. There was no Instagram from that kind of surreal experience to then turning the corner with technology and all of a sudden being able to share that with other people that to me felt like something I needed to do. And just kind of spread the word about all the different ways to live because I felt like there might be other people like me that felt confused or that didn't feel fulfilled in their lives as it was laid out for them. And the plan, whether it's the societal plan or just something that comes through the culture of your country or from your parents or whatever you're expected to do and that not really working out for you or not feeling right for you than to show other ways, and also sharing all the things that I was unlearning and that I thought were right that actually were wrong or that actually didn't have an, an answer at all or had multiple answers.  


Kristin:    00:17:52    You know, there's certain things like the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated that hold true wherever you are in the world. And you know, being kind to others and you know, obviously not hurting people like there's universal truths and norms that all human share. But then there were also these, uh, cultural differences where I started noticing, okay, well this things aren't as I thought they were, or there isn't one right way of living, there's not one religion that's more true than another, um, can go through down that rabbit hole another day. But you know, basically just starting to question some of the beliefs and assumptions that I held and then also recognizing that there was so much more that I didn't even know that I didn't know. But being curious to start to learn that by continuing to travel and continuing to have these experiences.  


Kristin:    00:18:51    So what led to this podcast and this desire to talk to other people and then broadcast it to the world is I think a combination of having an affinity for writing and then also being fascinated with technology that allows us to publish videos, publish podcasts. And also a curiosity ever since I was a little kid about how travel TV shows were made and magazines. Like, I think at one point I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic or a writer for a National Geographic because that was really the only thing I could think of. You know, like who gets paid to travel around the world and write or take pictures. It was like National Geographic and then ultimately Lonely Planet or travel bloggers. So I think that was always something that, uh, was in my head and instead of working for National Geographic or Lonely Planet at the same time the technology was becoming more accessible for just regular everyday people to be able to start a podcast or start a YouTube channel. 


Kristin:    00:20:04    And so that is the route that I went. And then also at the same time that all this was happening, the rise in digital nomadism and having a nomadic or location-independent lifestyle, this was becoming more and more possible for a much wider subject of the population, whether you were working for yourself or had some passive income streams or had a remote job. So it was kind of like having these travel experiences at the same time that the technology was getting better to share it at the same time that technology was opening up the potential to just live this unprecedented full-time nomadic, do whatever <laugh> you want lifestyle. And so I was, uh, getting to experience that and meeting other people, experiencing that while also climbing up the learning curve of running my own business and finding balance between work and travel and, and like an international home address, so to speak.  


Kristin:    00:21:15    So the base behind Badass Digital Nomads, which we're now at close to four years, is in about five years and 500 videos on Traveling with Kristin for all of those stories and the content around different topics that's out there. It's almost like for these four or five years of publicly sharing about these topics, there's also that other 15 years of those experiences that built the foundation to be able to talk about these topics and the network of people more than anything like the thousands of people that I've met over those years, the experiences they've shared and the ideas that they've shared, and then being able to invite those people to come onto the podcast to talk to you about those experiences. I think that's really where the magic happens. Um, it's not just how I saw the world through my eyes during those years, but it was keeping in touch with those people and, and just showing through example that you don't need permission to be yourself and to do your thing out there and to make a difference in the world and the way that you feel like you're here to do.  


Kristin:    00:22:43    When I first bought my domain back in 2017, the tagline that I put on the website was “Travel The World, Be Yourself” And that's what I hope to help you do through each episode of the podcast because I think that we're all born with something special and we're all born with natural inclinations to do different things. And sometimes those things get lost along the way or we kind of go down a few different paths that don't turn out the way we thought and then, you know, go back the other way. The journey is the destination. But it definitely helps to know that there's a community of thousands or millions of people who are all very different and unique in their own ways, but still like-minded people who are, you know, striving to be the best versions of themselves and make the world a better place, but also enjoy their time on the planet while they're here.  


Kristin:    00:23:53    What I love about now is that we get to choose our own community. It's not just about where you're born and who you grow up with, but you really get to choose your place in the world and the type of people that you want to surround yourself with. –Oh, another hummingbird —not only in your physical world but also the people that you have connections with remotely or online. And being here in California, my brother and I were talking about how strange the culture is in California in a way because it almost seems it's such a large population and there's people here from all around the world, but it almost seems disconnected in a way or a bit isolated. Like people don't necessarily talk to each other that much. So we are kind of trying to put our finger on, you know, what is the culture here because it is a mix of so many cultures, but in a way they seem a bit separated.  


Kristin:    00:25:03    And so one of the things that I'm really grateful for in the remote community or in the location independent community is how many people from around the world have come together over this, this common interest to be yourself, to live on your own terms, to connect with other cultures, to travel the world. And by having all of that in common and being so open as a foreigner and as an outsider and finding a way to integrate and you know, finding a way to belong, it's almost like we do belong, but we belong in this global community. And that's really the, the energy and the thread that I hope connects all of the different podcast episodes and will continue to do so in the future. So like everything, the podcast is a work in progress like each and every one of us, but I'm so glad that you are along for the journey.  

Kristin:    00:26:05    If you are a regular listener, the best way to celebrate our 200th episode and give back would be to leave a review. We have 119 ratings on Apple podcasts right now, which is awesome, but even if you don't listen on Apple, if you listen on Spotify or any of the other platforms, you should be able to leave a rating or review there. Or also directly on our website at Badass Digital Nomads. We could get thousands of reviews in one day if everybody listening left a review today. So if it's something that you've been thinking about doing but haven't gotten around to it, then for our 200th episode birthday, we would really appreciate a lot of new reviews. So I hope to wake up tomorrow to lots of new five-star reviews on the website and on different podcast platforms. So thank you so much. It's kind of like, you know how Wikipedia does their fundraising one day per year or one week per year and they get, they put that banner on their website and then they get all their funding for the year and that that timeframe we could get all of our podcast reviews for the year in one day.  


Kristin:    00:27:18    <laugh> If everyone leaves a review today. Yay. And that leads us to what's next for the podcast. So throughout the year I have been reading your feedback in our feedback form, which I put in a few of the different episodes throughout the year.So I'll also add that to the show notes. That is our semi-annual feedback form on Google Forms. And from what I've read there, it seems like you really enjoy the mix of interviews and solo episodes, as well as the length of the podcast. I've done a few polls about that as well, including in, uh, the Badass Digital Nomads Facebook group. So it seems like people really like the 30-minute to an hour long format. I think we'll keep it at that with a mix of interviews and solo deep dives into different topics. And it also seems that you like the balance of travel with entrepreneurship or remote work topics.  


Kristin:    00:28:21    So we will continue with that. And also lots of really cool guests coming up. Um, over the years throughout the year, I'm always keeping a running list, um, an excel spreadsheet actually of all the people that I want to invite on the podcast. And we also have a guest application form and a waiting list, like hundreds of people on it that not everyone can come on the show, but we have a really cool list of people coming up for interviews soon. So expect lots more, uh, very cool guests in the future and I'll also keep mixing it up with more solo episodes and, uh, deep dives into different topics as well as more travel episodes about different destinations. We haven't done that as much, but um, maybe more deep dives culturally or as you know, travel destinations into different places. Uh, we'll have to see what comes up, but that's been on my mind doing more of a feature on different countries or different cities to visit, but also with more of that cultural element of what is it really like to live there and hearing from locals in those places as well as foreigners or nomads who might just be traveling through there.  


Kristin:    00:29:49    And, uh, hearing from people who have traveled to places X, Y, and Z. Also a reminder, if you're looking for something specific like a past podcast episode or a certain topic that you're curious about on, you can search for episodes by keyword in the search box, but you can also search by topic. So if you're interested in careers and remote work or traveling as a family, traveling with kids, uh, learning more about uh, taxes and finance or any types of, uh, topics, you can look through the categories at the top of the page and uh, filter there to see if there's anything that you missed from previous years. Thank you to everyone on my team who has been instrumental in helping to produce this podcast and getting it out on time. Every week we have Kayla who helps with the show notes and the audio clips for social media.  


Kristin:    00:30:57    Kayla also helps with updating our website and keeping it current. Also, Rusty, who is our editor TJ, who helps with transcripts and also with comments and messages. And Penny, our project manager, thanks to everyone on our team for making these 200 episodes possible. Thank you for tuning in. And also thank you so much to all of my Patreon patrons, some of who have been supporting for $5 per month at for three or four years now. We just had a Zoom hangout recently last week. That's always fun, uh, to chat with people who are tuning in from around the world. We had people throughout the us, Canada, Europe, and beyond. So if you'd like to join us over there, you can do so at And also thank you to everyone who's leaving reviews. Thank you to all of the coffees and donations from our donations page on the podcast, PayPal, and through Buy me a Coffee.  


Kristin:    00:32:10    Really appreciate that and love getting those notifications. And yeah, we will keep on keeping on excited for the next 200 episodes of the podcast and I hope that you're having a good 2023 so far. I think spring is always a good time to kind of settle in after the craziness of the holidays and that burst of activity around the new year. The weather's been pretty wacky this year, but I hope that you are feeling the freshness and newness and positivity of spring in bloom right now, especially in California. Although we were laughing about the Groundhog Day forecast of six more weeks of winter cuz it has been pretty cold and rainy. Um, but I did see a real-life groundhog the other day, two groundhogs, actually very adorable as, uh, we were in La Jolla Cove in San Diego checking out all the seals and the sea lions, so that was a nice surprise to see groundhogs around Groundhog Day.  


Kristin:    00:33:18    Anyway, enough rambling for this week. Thanks again for being here for the 200th episode. Please leave a review wherever you listen and stay tuned for more travel and life updates from me on where I'll be going, where I'll be traveling this year. Lots new content and videos coming your way. This week we have a video on my YouTube channel Traveling with Kristin on High-paying Remote Jobs. Last week we had a Cost of Living Guide on Living in Dublin, Ireland, so that's really interesting to compare with the Cost of Living videos for Portugal and Spain and lots more to come. So thanks for being part of the Traveling with Kristin Tribe and see you again next week.


Kristin WilsonProfile Photo

Kristin Wilson

Host of Badass Digital Nomads & YouTube's Traveling with Kristin / Author of Digital Nomads for Dummies

Kristin Wilson is a long-term digital nomad and location-independent entrepreneur who has lived and worked across 60 countries in 20 years. Since founding a fully-remote, international relocation company in 2011, she has helped more than 1,000 people retire or live abroad in 35 countries. Today, she helps aspiring remote workers, digital nomads, and expats achieve their lifestyle goals through her YouTube channel (Traveling with Kristin) and podcast, Badass Digital Nomads.
Kristin is the author of Digital Nomads for Dummies. She's also a Top Writer on Medium and Quora in the topics of business, travel, technology, life, productivity, digital nomads, and location independence. She has been featured on The Today Show, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, ESPN, The New York Times, WSJ, Huffpost, HGTV’s House Hunters International, and more.