If you've ever wanted to pivot in your career or work for yourself but were unsure about making a change in your life, this episode is for you. Kristin talks with her friend and fellow digital nomad, Patrick Farrell, about how he reinvented himself...
If you've ever wanted to pivot in your career or work for yourself but were unsure about making a change in your life, this episode is for you. Kristin talks with her friend and fellow digital nomad, Patrick Farrell, about how he reinvented himself and his career multiple times.
They also talk about how to overcome the fear of doing something for the first time - whether it's changing jobs, moving to a new country, or studying abroad.
Patrick is the founder of an organization called Light Club and he also shares how to make friends and find community anywhere in the world (and stay in touch with people after you meet them).
Patrick also shares how he found his first clients as a freelancer and how he's been able to travel for free by bartering his skills with travel providers.
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Kristin: 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: Hey there, Kristin, from traveling with Kristin here and welcome to episode 162 of Badass Digital Nomads. We are back with a new interview for you today and our guest this week is Patrick Farrell. Patrick is a multi-talented entrepreneur, He's a software developer, he's a lifestyle and business coach. He's a photographer, he's a world traveler. And in today's interview, Patrick shares how he's been able to reinvent himself multiple times in his career since graduating from college. He talks about how a study abroad experience back in university changed the trajectory of his life and how he's been able to push past fear and discomfort time and time again to follow his dreams and take that next step. Even though I've known Patrick for quite a few years now, I learned so much in this conversation and got a lot of inspiration and takeaways from it, and I hope you do too.
Kristin: We talked about how to meet people when you land in a new country, how to take the next step in changing your career, and how to find your first clients, how to build multiple revenue streams, and how Patrick was able to travel the world for free by leveraging his hobbies such as photography and videography. But before we jump into today's interview, if you're planning on traveling in the near future, check out Safety Wing’s Nomad Insurance. Safety Wing’s Nomad Insurance is a global travel medical insurance that covers people from all over the world while you're traveling outside your home country. Covid-19 coverage is included as well, and you can even buy it if you're already living or traveling abroad. Safety Wings’s Nomad Insurance starts at just $42 per four weeks and with only a $250 deductible, you can choose short term per trip plans or monthly plans that you can extend or cancel at any time.
Kristin: And after being abroad for 90 days, you can also get between 15 and 30 days of coverage back in your home country if something were to happen to you while there. For more information and to check prices and policies, you can use our link in the show notes and support the podcast as well. And now let's continue with today's conversation with Patrick Farrell.
Welcome Patrick to Badass Digital Nomads. I can't believe you haven't been on the show because we've been friends since before the podcast was launched, so I'm so happy to have you here today. And it's also really funny that we're in the same city, but we're not physically together,
Patrick: <laugh> in the same room. It's very strange actually that uh, we've been digital nomad friends and uh, Miami friends for a couple years now, or more than a couple years,
Kristin: Yeah, since 2018. So I'm so happy that we've kind of been in the same locations and been able to get to know each other better. So I really want to share your story with all of the listeners of Badass Digital Nomads because you came from such a traditional lifestyle and against, you know, the advice of your friends and family. You've been able to create this unconventional life for yourself and have really reinvented yourself, your career. You've built community wherever you go. And so I wanna share your story with people and also how they can get involved and maybe even travel with you and meet up with you in Croatia this summer and beyond. So let's start at the, not the beginning beginning, but let's go back to your childhood and college years because I know that you studied abroad in college. So bring us back to when you started college and what your idea was about what your path was going to be in life. Like where were you back when you were 18 or 19, and what did you think that you would be doing? Like what were you majoring in and what did you see as your future when you were entering adulthood?
Patrick: Yeah, I was, um, kind of like I knew that I wanted to do something technical and I still am very grateful for all those experiences I had and all the knowledge of my technical background to this day. So I went to school at Virginia Tech, and I was a electrical engineering student and I went to school and just like traditional, like stayed in school. I was in the marching band. I got to have a lot of fun going to football games and uh, and just enjoying the traditional American college life. And I, I really enjoyed it, but there was some deep feeling inside of me and I guess this was the start of like the nomad feeling early on to study abroad. And I just like knew I had to do it. I just knew I had to study abroad. I knew I had to travel and I was getting closer and closer to the end of my engineering degree and I was like, I haven't done this yet.
Patrick: So I applied to go study abroad in Australia and I ended up in Australia, for my last semester senior year, which nobody does. Like, nobody like takes off their last semester senior year to go travel. Like normally you want to be like with your friends on your last semester, senior year, right? But actually reflecting on that now, it like makes total sense. Like I knew that like travel was gonna be an important part of my journey and I felt like I needed to go in a totally different environment for a little bit to make it happen and just like see like what, what was out there besides Blacksburg, Virginia. So that's where I ended up. Uh, I'm happy to dive into what happened in Australia and stuff like that. Wherever you want to go with this, let me know.
Kristin: Yeah, because both of us studied in Australia and didn't know anybody there. So how did you get into that program? Like did you study electrical engineering there and were you getting credit for those classes? And then how was your adaptation process there?
Patrick: I did study electrical engineering. I had a few credits I had to finish. I honestly didn't have to finish that much, so I was pretty lucky in general. But I did have a really challenging time when I got there because I was traditionally in like a very small environment, Blacksburg, Virginia, not a lot of, I mean, I would basically go back and forth between the Washington DC area where my parents were and Blacksburg for like four years. And I hadn't really traveled too much. There was a trip to New Zealand I had like at the first semester or first year after. But when I got on that plane, I was so excited. I was like super excited to head off to Australia. Like I was, I was like so grateful that I put all this effort in to make this happen. And I was getting on the plane to go to Australia.
Patrick: I remember my mom crying at the airport. It was like she was like worried about me and everything like that, but I was just like on cloud nine, I was like so excited to get to Australia. And the crazy thing is 48 hours later when I landed in Melbourne, I was terrified. It was the weirdest thing ever. And I'm actually so grateful for the first two weeks, but it was probably some of the hardest two weeks of my entire life getting to Australia. So just like if your travelers have, or if your listeners have never really been, uh, traveling abroad, just know like there can be anxiety around some of this, like putting yourself in a new environment where you know, nobody, I literally knew nobody in the entire country of Australia and I ended up meeting somebody. I wish I still knew who that was now cause I would love to to catch up with her, but I'm really grateful that I met one person, like kinda when I landed at the airport that was gonna be on the program I was on, but within like 24 hours I was kind of in full panic mode and I was like, oh my god, I'm 14,000 miles away from my family.
Patrick: I have no support system here. I, I don't know if this was the right decision for me to make this happen or not after like, being so high on cloud nine, like, like 48 hours earlier. Right. And I called, called my dad, like we're on now different time zones, it's nighttime for him while it's daytime for me it was kind of like this really challenging time for me emotionally and I ended up, um, my mom called the school that I was going to and got me to go to a therapist and just talk out, talk about it a little bit. My dad got me in a hotel room. I think the problem was that it was, it was a huge unknown that I had never done. Um, I had never traveled and been put myself in another country for six months and now it actually feels kind of normal for us to do this.
Like, I don't know about you but like yeah, I'd go to Australia for six months right now, like no problem. But for the first time it was kind of nerve wracking and it was like, oh my God, like am I gonna be able to support myself here? What is gonna happen? Am I gonna make friends? And I almost got on a plane and went home and I'm so grateful that I didn't because there's an idea of everything you want is on the other side of fear. And honestly like if I had given into that fear, I would've been so regretful I think for the rest of my life I would've been regretful of like not taking the ability to get through that initial phase and I would've been regretful of not having the experience I wanted to have through being in Australia and everything I envisioned happening.
And I ended up making Australia really powerful. And I met guys in that were Germans and became really good friends with German guys and I ended up living in the central business district in Melbourne and some of the like super fun nights, I remember going out to like little Irish pubs in Melbourne and none of that would've happened if I had given into that fear, that initial fear. So super grateful to to do that because yeah, I mean any of your listeners that are like looking to um, make that, that leap of faith and try something different, it can be very nerve-wracking but just know that there is initial phase that you kind of go through and I still go through it every time I move to a different place. But it's like shorter now. It's not two weeks, it's maybe like a day or two days. Right. You have like initial like anxiety. But yeah, I'm really grateful for that experience.
Kristin: Yeah. And then when you came back to the United States, how did you, or, or let's say like when you were leaving Australia, like how did you feel when you were going back to the airport?
Patrick: So actually I ended up getting into grad school while I was in Australia. So I was kind of like missing my school and I had just given up my last semester senior year, uh, at Virginia Tech and I ended up like really anchoring in things that reminded me of the United States. And I actually really appreciate that time because it made me really appreciate the United States more too. And my mom and I, like she always loved country music and when I was feeling lonely and missing the US while I was in Australia, like over the next couple months, I mean I enjoy, I really had a good time. I'm not saying I didn't, but like there was times when I was like, like longing for the US cause you're like longing for your home. And so I ended up starting to watch like, uh, or started to listen to country music which made me like remember the us and remember my mom and it helped me like anchor in those emotions like being excited to come back.
So when I came back, um, I ended up going to grad school and I'm actually not even sure I would've gone to grad school right away if I hadn't gone to Australia. So it gave me like a new direction, a new fork in the road that I was looking forward to. And uh, ended up getting my master's degree in electrical engineering and going down this path that helped me become a communications engineer for wireless radio systems that got me a job that I never would've gotten if I hadn't done my master's degree. So it really like looking back, like there's a, there's a quote from uh, Steve Jobs, like you can't connect the dots going forward but you can connect the dots going backwards and all those things that I did are like led me up to like all these other experiences that I'm, were able to help me create the life that I have today.
Kristin: Definitely, I think that when you get an idea to do something and it doesn't make logical sense on paper, you still have to pay attention to that sign because it's coming from somewhere. You know, it's coming from your subconscious or your soul or who knows where it comes from, but you don't necessarily know the step after the next step. You can only take that next step and each time you take a step and you have trust and faith in that process, then like the next door opens and sometimes it opens in like a different side than you are expecting. It's not necessarily a straight line nor is it ever really in a straight line. And sometimes when you try to do something, something different happens and it's exactly what you needed. So it's interesting to look back and see how everything led to where you are now, but then you could have never predicted it. And that's why I love that quote that's like, life is more creative than we are because we have this master plan of what we think we wanna do and then life always has other ideas but it usually turns out for the best.
Patrick: Yep. I love that. Yeah. Following your intuition, following those, following what makes you feel good and what you get excited about, I think is really important and uh, we need to do that more. And sometimes like I was feeling that when I quit my job I was like looking for like this expansion and it sometimes is challenging to follow those feelings but it has always led me in the right direction in general.
Kristin: Did you experience any reverse culture shock when you got back and went to grad school? Or did you feel like yeah this chapter from Australia is closed, like I have closure for that and now I'm ready for the next thing?
Patrick: I think there was definitely a reverse culture shock coming back in. It's a different pace of life started driving again cuz I was living in a city in Melbourne. But quite honestly at that time too, like I was so excited to go back to my school and it was like what I was looking forward to and I thought I was done. Honestly I thought I was done with school, I thought I was done cuz I was graduating and then I was given an opportunity to be a TA and Virginia Tech paid for my TA position and, and they paid for my housing and stuff like that. So I had a stipend and everything. So it just felt like I was given like I wasn't rich but I was like given this opportunity to live in Blacksburg and it was a totally different lifestyle than I had been when I was an undergrad. But I, I'm just like super grateful for that and I actually appreciate like these talks where like reflect on that cause I haven't thought about that time in a little bit.
Kristin: Yeah, we kind of had a parallel situation because when I came back I also had the idea to go to grad school because having traveled I realized I wasn't ready to go into the workforce. So there's this feeling of oh I have to get the travel out of my system and study abroad or go on this trip and I even see like some of my friends who just got engaged, they're going on this around the world trip so that then they can stop traveling to get married and have kids <Patrick laughs>. But do you think that you ever really get that out of your system?
Patrick: No. It's so crazy. Um, I think what society's programmed us to think like, oh we have to do these things to when you're
Kristin: when you're young.
Patrick: Yeah when you're young and you have to do these things that like are like what you're supposed to do before you do that. Like what if you just create a life where you get to do that anytime you want to and like, I don't know about you but I hope that you, me and all of our friends are like traveling until the time we're like 95 and in Budapest having fun listening to you DJ cuz like we're gonna be like the oldest people DJ and having dancing on the dance floor. It'd be awesome. Yeah. But I don't know about you too, like this travel experience and stuff like that. I think it's really important. It's helped me grow, it's helped me expand and why would I wanna like limit myself of like, oh I have to do this and then go into like a traditional life. Like I want my kids to be like, I don't have kids yet, but I want my kids to be traveling with me cuz I want them to see the world and see the magic that I've experienced too.
Kristin: Yeah. That's why it's um, once you take that first trip, I think it opens up your eyes and it, and it opens up the possibilities of what life could be like. And then it's kind of hard to go back to the way that things were. So even though even if you take a pause and do something different for a while, like going back to school and getting a master's degree or or focusing on a job for a while, or in my case staying in Miami for two and a half years during the pandemic, like that wasn't something that was a plan for me, but that gave me the time, the space and the stability to dedicate to other projects. You know, like learning to dj, writing my book, things like that. So you might go into a phase and then be ready to go on the next adventure. So let's go back to after you graduated from school, you got a, not a traditional job, but you started working for a startup in New York and how long were you in New York for and what was that experience like?
Patrick: So I lived in New York City. I had a job in DC for a couple years and flew back and forth actually to Scottsdale. And on that path I ended up meeting a person that got me the job in New York and I actually was really afraid– same, same as kind of like going into the um, Australia thing. Like you think you're so excited. I got the opportunity to go up for the interview and I land in New York City, I'm like, I can't do this, I can't live in this city. Like, I literally was thinking that as I was walking into the interview and then I go into the interview and it's like the best conversation ever and I'm like, I get to use my talents as an engineer and I get to use all these things and all of a sudden I walk out of the interview, I was like, I have to do this.
Like, I literally was like, I have to do this. So it was, it was the same kind of like fear of like, oh that New York City's not for me or like, or it was like a fear of like, New York City's not for me that that's too scary to go live in New York to I must do this because now I feel like this is part of my path and following those positive emotions and that intuition is what I did anyway. I ended up living there for five years and it gave me the foundation cuz I think I had, I was looking for a foundation. Yes, I had gone to school, but I hadn't really implemented all of the teachings I had in school into who I was as an engineer. So I ended up working for, uh, two PhDs that honestly taught me more in the five years I worked for them than I did in all of the time I was in school. And I am grateful for that job so much because it taught me everything I needed to know in order to support myself for the last six years until now where I'm changing my lifestyle again a little bit to become a coach and a community leader, but I'm all those technical skills are, were so important to be me being able to support myself over the last six years as well. And, um, they're still important for what I'm, what I'm building, but it's just the next chapter of using them.
Kristin: Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about the duality of being a human and being able to hold opposing viewpoints that are both true. And I think about this a lot when working with my clients and talking with people about making changes in their lives and their careers and their business kind of like pivoting, either going in a different direction with their work or going literally to a different country or a different continent and there's so many different paths to getting what you want. And so I think it's always interesting to hear from you like how you did that and, and other guests, because I was just watching recently a an interview with music producers and they worked together as one artist and one of them had a classical music background and the other had absolutely no musical training and they worked together on creating tracks.
And the one guy was saying, you know, I went to school since I was three years old because his dad was also a music producer or a musician. And he's like, and then as soon as I graduated from high school or his art school or whatever he was going to, his dad said, Okay, now you forget everything that you learned and you start from zero because you need to forget the classical training so that you can be creative and create music. And he's like, Well why did I go to school all this time? And he's like, Well that was your foundation, now you just put that aside and just start from zero. Meanwhile the other guy comes in, he had no musical training at all. He just started making sounds and was just seeing what sounded good together. And now they produce music together. And so I always tell people that when they're trying to decide, you know, should I go to college or should I go to grad school or should I get this job?
It's like, don't worry about how long it takes to get where you're going. Just enjoy that process because some of that classical training or some of that foundation that you get from your school, whether it's high school or whether it's a higher education system that's very valuable in different ways. And then also the time that you're growing as a person while you're studying, but then also the workforce in general and being around other people and learning from those mentors, those PhDs, that's also valuable as well. And I think if I would've gone straight from, you know, graduating from high school or college and going straight into a traveling lifestyle, I might have lost some of that learning that I was getting in the workplace along the way. And so I'm glad that you brought that up and then you can kind of decide what to take or leave from that experience and then have more confidence when you're going forward.
Like I just met a guy who was just out of college as a software engineer and he was looking for a traditional in-person job because he wanted to get that FaceTime with his coworkers rather than, you know, he can obviously get a remote engineering job or you know, developer job, but he's like, No, I wanna be in that workspace at least for the first few years with people. And then you see what comes next. So what was the point where, you were working with them for five years, when did you start to get those feelings again of like, I think it's time to do something else, or it's time for a change from this New York City office environment?
Patrick: Yeah, I guess it was about, it was probably a year or so before I actually made the jump and I started like around 2015. On paper, like society says, Oh, you have a six figure salary in Manhattan, you have an apartment in Manhattan, you have a girlfriend, Like you have a job that is great. Like why would you ever leave this? Right? But the interesting thing was, so I started with the company when they were about, uh, 20 or so people and I think it was like the 22nd employee or something like that. And I had a lot of ability to travel with the company. I got a lot of ability to go. I literally was like, we were, we were building radio systems, so I got to fly on airplanes around and I get to do a lot of cool stuff.
But as the company grew, I kind of got pigeonholed into, okay, well your title as a software engineer and we need you to be a software engineer and we hired people to do these other things so we don't need you to go there anymore, right. Or at least not as much. And I also like my awareness started to increase, my creativity started to increase and I also started to notice myself being more negative and complaining about the company a bit when the company was awesome. Like I didn't need to complain about the company. Like it was more me, but then that would radiate out into my coworkers and stuff like that. So about a year into before I made the jump, I started to notice these things and I felt like I was plateaued. So I started to think around and honestly I was a bit lost for a while.
I considered joining the US military. I considered going back and getting an mba. I considered all these things to, to possibly do and I'm grateful for a few people. My friend Max, I ended up getting a call with him and he just told me like how he like ended up quitting his job and traveling the world for six months to a year. I can't remember how long he did it. And he is like, Patrick, you can go get an MBA and spend a hundred thousand dollars or you can go travel the world for $14,000 and probably get the same experience and probably even better. Like, I truly believe it was better, right? I mean, meeting you and all these people along the journey like that is going to school. It's just not the way society thinks of school and what we talk about when we meet up and, and how we built YouTube channels and all sorts of things.
So, but it took a little bit of time, honestly, like once I felt like I was plateaued, I had a girlfriend, like I felt like, Oh, should I, should I, is this not gonna work? And I never really felt like she was the one, but I still like, it was heartbreaking to think of like leaving too and um, eventually I had to make the decision and I quit my job, told her I was leaving because of the Nomad Cruise and we can go go into that if you want to. But, uh, that was the start of it and I just felt like it plateaued and started from scratch after I quit my job.
Kristin: Did you quit your job and then try to figure out where you were going to travel or were you planning on traveling and then you saw an advertisement for Nomad Cruise? How did that work?
Patrick: So I was actually on a business trip. I remember specifically being in a hotel room. Um, I don't remember where I was, but I remember being in a hotel room. And so there's this idea that your subconscious mind needs to see something that's possible before you can create it in your reality. So I had been watching digital nomad stuff on YouTube all the time and I started like to see like, Oh, people are living in Thailand and I have the skills from being a software engineer. I could live in Thailand and work on my laptop. Why not? Right? So I was in this hotel room and all of a sudden I see an ad for Nomad Cruise and uh, I'm a big fan of Dr. Joe DIspenza. If anybody wants to go look him up, he's amazing. And he has this idea, the recipe to change your life is a clear intention plus an elevated emotion.
And I think you can create that for yourself or kind of like ads or the universe or whatever you wanna, Facebook can do it for you, right? So I see this ad for Nomad Cruise and I get so excited. I literally start jumping around the hotel room, like literally jumping around the hotel room, like, yes, this is it. This is my, this is my path forward. And I didn't even think about it. I clicked on the ad and I booked it right then and there. Didn't tell my boss, didn't tell my girlfriend didn't tell anything. I just booked the trip and I was like, I'm going. So that gave me the date. And that's something too that's really important is choosing a date to make that transition. Like if it's today, if it's tomorrow, if it's six months from now, like once you choose the date and set that intention, that's when your life starts to unfold. And that's what I did. And, and then they met, uh, amazing friends that we know to this day. You weren’t on Nomad Cruise too though, I think. I think we met somewhere else.
Kristin: Uh, we met on Nomad Cruise, but I think it was a couple years later. So you booked Nomad Cruise. Did you ask for paid time off or did you just quit your job?
Patrick: I just quit. I knew there was the time. Um, and I had enough runway, so like I had enough money in my bank continue to know that I could continue, uh, like going and I knew that they weren't gonna let me like continue. Like I, I considered it like I talked, like thought like, Oh, would they let me like work remotely? And it was, it was pretty much like they were so resistant to any, any of that stuff at the time. I think now, uh, they'd be more open to it. And actually I think they would love me back now, but I don't think I can go back <laugh>. Um, but I had to, um, I had to quit and it was definitely nerve-wracking, but it was, it just felt like the right decision and I knew that like there was no way I could create this new life if it was still tied to this old company as well so
Kristin: Yeah, it's weird that feeling of wanting to hold on to this comfort zone while getting out of it at the same time. It's like your brain wants to have a safety net. And I've found myself in that position multiple times and from the outside everyone thought, Oh, you're so adventurous. But yet, when I became officially a digital nomad, I still held onto my apartment in Costa Rica thinking that I was gonna move back. And so I kept all of my stuff, I sublet my apartment, at least I sold my car, but I never moved back there. And it was like years before I finally let go and, and it really embraced, okay, this is my other life now. And I don't know, I think that's, that's human nature. And it's funny that you mentioned that about the ad because I found out about Nomad Cruise, I was living in Japan, I had injured myself snowboarding.
And so I was in Tokyo and living in a co-living space. And one of the girls there had gone on Nomad Cruise probably in 2016 or 2017 and she mentioned it, one day at dinner. And I went up to my room and I looked it up and I booked it like the same day. And I hadn't planned to go there, but yeah, I left Japan, my visa was running out and I just flew to Barcelona and joined the cruise and that's how we met. So that's pretty funny. Uh, sometimes you just see something and you know, like, I wanna do that and, and you book it. And I also volunteered to give a workshop on the cruise and I hadn't done any public speaking in so long and I remember being so nervous and I was standing on the outside of the boat, like looking out into the ocean.
And I was just like asking for help. Like, I was just super, super nervous and I was just like, Okay, please like let everything come out clearly and make everything make sense and please provide value to whoever's listening to this workshop. And it was a workshop on sustaining the digital nomad lifestyle. And after I gave the workshop, people were coming up to me and saying like, Oh, you know, that was so good and I learned so much and whatever, and you're such a good speaker. And I was just like, whoa. Like I don't know what I'm doing here. <laugh>. But, um, that was, that, that's the same feeling that every time you do something new, whether you're studying abroad in Australia or you're taking that job in New York or you're quitting your job and you're jumping on a cruise ship on another continent, it's like you feel terrified. Your brain's like, don't do this danger, you know, stop. And then as soon as you do it, like as soon as I got up there and started talking about what I knew, everything flowed naturally. And then afterwards you get this like endorphin rush from helping people and from connecting with people and then you almost forget that you were even scared until the next time something scary happens. So you go on Nomad Cruise, which was the one that you went on first, Where did you guys go to?
Patrick: We went Cartagena to Portugal so it was lots of fun
Patrick: Yep. And I want to touch on that a little bit too. Cause I feel like people, what you said about like your body holds on or that's what it is, is like you're trained to be in, I was trained to be a nine to five software engineer, right? Like that was who I was. And then you set the intention and you actually make this jump and go on Nomad Cruise and, and go across the Atlantic Ocean from Cartagena to Portugal and your body is still conditioned for the life that you've been living. Cause you have beliefs, you have values of all these things from that life. So it takes some time to put yourself in the new environment for your body, your beliefs, your values to catch up with what you've already made your decision to do. So I think that's why I really love Nomad Cruise too, because it gave a space for us to connect for us to run workshops like you just said, and experiment with a new way of lifestyle in a very closed, contained environment.
Kristin: Yeah. And you get the examples of other people that are doing it and then you think, why not me? And so for people who wanna get more information on Nomad Cruise, I don't think it's happening anymore, but I'll link to, we have an interview with the founder of Nomad Cruise Johannes and he has a new thing now called Nomad Base. So we'll drop that link in the show notes. Um, so during this time that you traveled with Nomad Cruise, then how did you support yourself over the next couple of years? Were you back in New York? Did you start working for yourself? How did you start to make this a sustainable lifestyle?
Patrick: It started with the money in my bank account. So I had, I didn't really work too much the first summer, but I did have people that I knew would hire me and literally like I had someone that said, Hey, well, um, we'll hire you like when you're ready, pretty much. Um, and so once I made that jump, I reached out to them and I started to do some software development work for a company as a consultant. And once I started doing that work, basically like I became a freelancer rather than a nine to five employee. So I was able to do it wherever I wanted to be. I did have to go to a location occasionally, but honestly, like I'm so grateful for them cuz they gave me the freedom that I was looking for. And honestly, still to this day pay some of my bills as we start to make the transition out of that.
Like it is feeling like, okay, we're plateaued there and like moving to the next level now. But I'm super grateful for that company and, and the ability to work on that project. So that was how I maintained most of my, uh, lifestyle. And then I had another client that I had worked with at my previous company and he hired me for some projects. So I pretty much just did software consulting and things like that as I also like used my skills and my experimentation to do things as well. So almost all of 2017 I used photography to go on retreats for free. I got invited to go to Thailand and be a videographer. I got to go into Bali and be a videographer and a photographer. So instead of like, we look in the world and we think, oh, we have to make the money to do these experiences, well, become resourceful.
Like I started to use my photography skills to go on these trips and I would go, I would still pay for some of the flights and stuff like that, but I basically would get food accommodation for free for a week and put myself in a whole new environment just using my photography skills. And then that gave me content that I could post and see the new lifestyle and embody that new lifestyle. So that was one of the ways that I kind of found abundance by using my skill set to be more creative. And then over the time I started to do more coaching and started to get more certifications. And now I'm a coach. I do personal branding, coaching and I do life coaching. But yeah, it was mostly those things that, uh, were the foundation of when I quit to use my software skills.
Kristin: And did you teach yourself photography?
Patrick: I was always interested. Um, I did take a one class in New York City at one point, but I, yeah, it was a lot of self taught skills, especially video. I was watching a lot of vlogs. Um, in 2015 before I quit my job, I was watching Casey Neistat, I was watching all these like YouTube videos of people like just vlogging and sharing their life with the world and how they've used their YouTube channels to promote their business. So I was just using that a lot to expand my mindset and just like basically following what they did and copying them and then using my own content around it. So yeah, it was largely like me teaching myself the skills and using YouTube as a platform to learn too.
Kristin: I love that because I'm sure none of your university professors or your boss ever said, You know what, you could just quit your job as a software engineer and support yourself by being a traveling photographer and videographer. Why don't you go to Thailand for a while?
Patrick: Yeah, no, nobody thinks about that. But we made it work and we followed, followed the opportunities, right? And there's a quote by Tony Robinson's, Proximity is power. And I did follow some intuition by knowing that because I put myself in that first Nomad Cruise in the Waves Club because that put me around Johannes more that put me around the people that were already at the level or above where I wanted to be. It wasn't the people that just getting started. So I think that was really, really important too, was like recognizing where I needed to put myself to make those connections. And then once I made those connections on Nomad Cruise, that's where Miles Beckler invited me to be a videographer in Thailand. So you have to, you have to be really conscious of like, okay, what life do I wanna live? Who's living it and do I align with their values?
Okay, go talk to them more. And I really, I had such great conversations with Miles early on and one of them was like, Man, there's so many digital nomads just like trying to like make a thousand dollars to live in Bali. Like I wanna live a lifestyle where I'm a digital nomad. I can show up at a penthouse in New York City, show up at a penthouse in London, right? Like, that's the life I wanna live. And I don't want to be tied to a thousand dollar lifestyle in Bali because then I might not even be able to go home to my family, right? Like that's, it's, it's, people get stuck in that trap. Um, it's a really good tool I think to use. Like you go to like live in Bali for six months and you have like a bigger runway, but don't get stuck in a trap of only like making that lifestyle. Like think of like what you, what can you expand to by using that time wisely?
Kristin: Yeah, I think people sell themselves short by thinking that okay, if I quit my job then I have to move to a really cheap place and make less money. It's like, what if you quit your job and made more money working for yourself because the company's paying you less than your worth because they're paying you an amount and then they're making a profit on the value that you deliver in the company. So just by definition, if you were to work by yourself, you could possibly make four times more, five times more. And you know, people just kind of assume you have to make the same or less that like your salary is like a glass ceiling, like a cap. But depending on the industry that you're in, there's this figure, it's like a multiplier of what value that an employee provides to the company is like a multiple of their salary.
And that can be massive, especially in the oil and gas industry, the tech industry. And so keep that in mind, everybody. You could actually make more, that doesn't mean quit your job and buy a one way ticket somewhere to Thailand to live on a thousand dollars a month. But I've heard other experienced digital nomads that have come to that same conclusion where they were holding themselves back financially by living in Thailand or Vietnam or Southeast Asia somewhere, and they were capping their own income because they were living in a place that had a really low cost of living. So they were just making a thousand dollars a month because they were living in Thailand and then they moved back to New York and all of a sudden they're making like 10 or 20 grand a month because they had to <laugh> to sustain that lifestyle and pay their $5,000 a month rent. So that's something to keep in mind too. Um, so at what point then did you decide to shift into this community building phase of your life? So let's talk about that and how people can get involved with meeting other like-minded people and meeting people that are modeling where they want to be.
Patrick: For sure. So I saw such magic in Nomad Cruise honestly, it was like such a heart centered space where we're like going to breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We're going to conferences together, we're going to bar crawls together and, and singing and jam sessions, right? So I really liked that experience and then it was kind of ripped away from me when I got off the cruise ship, right? You're like looking for it again. And then I would start to go and find other communities and I found the Tony Robbins community and I went to Unleash the Power Within and I went, found the Mind Valley community and I found the magic in that by being at Mind Valley University for an entire month. And then I went to Summit of Greatness and then I went to just like all these other experiences that had communities that were already thriving and changing people's lives by just the community existing and being able to connect.
But there was something missing. I felt like I think Nomad Cruise and Nomad Base are starting to do it, but like this weekly connection, like the ability to connect with your members on a more regular basis, even if you're not in the same city. This element of personal growth where you're trying to get your, not just your business to the next level, but your life, your beliefs, your values, all this stuff to the next level. So by going to all these like personal development things, I'm like, okay, I wanna create Nomad Cruise plus Dr. Joe Dispenza, plus Tony Robbins plus all this stuff together. And no community like that exists from all the life experience I've had. So, well I guess I have to create it and <laugh>. Um, so I moved to Miami and started a group chat of 10 people in 2020.
Um, and that started this path of kind of connecting with more people like you again. We ended up having like a night where we just like watched concerts and stuff in your apartment and, and just connecting with people. And then I would start when it was still pretty slow. It was like I started doing workshops in my apartment and, and just like slowly but surely building it up. And then we ended up with a group chat now of about 220 people and a paid membership community and actual LLC that's formed called Light Club. So, it just kind of evolved out of something small that grew bigger and bigger and bigger. And I feel like we're now at the point of bigger expansion as well again.
Kristin: Yeah, I remember the day that you drove down from New York and we were walking around at sunset here at Miami and the marina and you were telling me about your idea to start this community and grow this community and I just said, Yeah, go for it. Do it. And then you did, you just started immediately. Like you got to Miami and then you just started creating a community. And I think that's so cool because neither of us are from Miami and yet now, you know, you have this community with hundreds of people and you've been doing all of these events here and even in other countries. So if people are listening and they want to join, is there a remote membership? And then what are the in person events that you have coming up that are abroad?
Patrick: Yeah, so basically we do a lot of stuff here in South Florida. Uh, our main chapter is here in Miami. Um, and we have events that some events might be happening while I'm gone, but kind of taking a summer break from Miami as well. And we just had our Fort Lauderdale chapter where we had an event last night where we talked about emotional, uh, raising our emotions and, and creating a lifestyle that we truly love, which is really cool. And then, uh, so our Florida break, it's a little hot here, so heading off to Europe and we're gonna be doing a travel experience in Croatia where we start on the islands and it's kind of like a little mini Nomad Cruise, honestly. Like you get up in the morning, do yoga, we have workshops, then we kind of like just enjoy each other's company, go to dinner together and stuff.
I'm starting with that and then I hope that I get to see you. Hopefully we're gonna, we're gonna continue on and, and bring some of the community to go to the music festival in Budapest and just like have these travel experiences which I was missing. Like you and I both know that like this life is possible. We like get Airbnbs and we just like kind of travel together and experience new cities together. Like that was our life before 2020 and we haven't been able to do it as much. So I'm bringing it back, but bringing it back in a more powerful way too, where I'm coaching people at dinner and I'm teaching workshops on how to build your website or how to change your beliefs because of all the experiences I've had over the last few years too.
Kristin: I love it. Yeah, just giving back and when you teach, you learn as you know. So I always encourage people to teach what they know because by teaching you help other people, you cement your understanding of what you do and you start to see the next step for yourself, but you also connect with other people that want help with what it is that you can help them with. So that's really cool. And you've been doing the Croatia trip every summer besides during the pandemic, so how can people get in contact with you to get more information or to join the Light Club?
Patrick: Yeah, so, uh, wearelightclub.com and wearelight.club on Instagram. So that's where you can go find out more information if you go to we or wearelightclub.com/croatia, that's our trip this summer. Um, but we also have a membership and that's what I'm really excited to start building even more after this trip. Um, as we travel, like we'll be looking for new members and bringing more new members in. So we have a light worker membership, um, just like the name light, so we're using Lightworker is kind of like the more general membership for anybody that wants to join in. Like everybody's welcome. Everybody's looking for personal development. Super excited to have you. So we have a weekly call every week and then the Light Warrior is gonna be more of the business level membership and that's what we're super excited to launch too.
And actually setting the intention to make the post today about launching this because the Light Warrior is a new product and a new community that we're building to link spiritually minded and purpose driven entrepreneurs together. And that's really what I'm trying to do is create a community of rising leaders that are looking to make the world a better place through coaching, through healing, through um, empowering people like yourself. Like you're, you're empowering people to become digital nomads. You're empowering people to also to become DJs now like you're inspiring me, right? So we're helping empower other people to live the life that they are meant to live. And that's the, that's the new membership that's, uh, being announced today. And uh, yeah, super excited to see where all of this goes, honestly.
Kristin: Wow, I love that so much has changed even in the past two years. It was almost two years, I think it was like August of 2020 that you came to Miami and I was living in an Airbnb and no, no one knew what they were doing. <laugh>
Patrick: It was, it was a very weird time, honestly. But I'm super thankful for it because it was a time of transition. I don't know if you, do you know Astrocartography at all?
Patrick: Okay. So where you are on the planet with astrology, it helps bring in energy for different changes in your life. And I found out recently that Miami in this area is on my Uranus line, which apparently is a lot about change, which makes total sense, right? I'm on my Uranus line and a lot of change is happening in my life. So yeah, it was a very interesting time and a special time and an awkward time it felt like too. It was like what are we doing? Are we doing this old life? Like how do we, how do we navigate this new world? But it also seemed like we were being guided to connect with the right people. Like we created a stronger friendship. I don't think we were as close of friends before we moved to Miami together and like the community was built and I got guided to go to Tulum. So I get to go back and forth from Tulum over the last couple years. So it's been a, it's been an interesting and magical time cause it also allowed me to build a foundation for Light Club. I think now we have a strong foundation to start traveling as a community and it wouldn't be there necessarily if we hadn't had a couple years to kind of create the foundation.
Kristin: Yeah, I definitely agree. And you just reminded me, I don't think that anyone knows this really, but probably a lot of the reason for people that are listening right now, a big part of how you found me could have been through Patrick because you had this 90 day creator challenge where you just challenge people to publish something every single day for 90 days and some people were publishing blog posts and I did YouTube and so I did a YouTube live stream every day for 90 days and I think that was in January of 2019. And that really helped me connect with thousands of people on YouTube by doing a live stream every day. And it was so hard cuz sometimes the internet was bad or I'd be like on a mountain in Bulgaria or something. And so I'm sure a lot of people listening found me through one of those live streams that I was doing all over the world in France and Amsterdam and I was traveling around and that was because I just joined your 90 day challenge. Yeah. So everything comes full circle and I'm looking forward to, uh, going back and connecting the dots a few years from now and seeing what happens next.
Patrick: <laugh> me too, because that's bringing me full circle too, I wanna do that with our community, uh, as well. And I think it's a powerful thing. And I remember being on the phone with you, uh, it was like December 27th or something like that, and Kristin, you were like, I can't do this. Like, I got so much going on. Like there's no way. And I remember specifically you got on, you were on a flight, uh, over New Year's Eve and you landed in Amsterdam and you made your, you made your first video and you're like, All right, I guess I'm doing it <laugh> and, and you continued and then we were watching you in Bansko and we were watching you do all these things. Uh, so I'm super proud of you for making that happen and it's inspiring me right now because, uh, I'm looking to expand and that's one of the ways I think I can expand too, is bringing my own content challenge back.
Kristin: Yeah, maybe I should do that again. I think I'm one of the only ones that finished, but I do remember, you're right, I didn't know you even watched that video, but I landed at the airport in Amsterdam. It was New Year's Eve on the flight, so I guess I celebrated midnight somewhere, some time zone over at the Atlantic, and then I landed and I just went live on YouTube from the airport, hadn't slept or anything, <laugh>. And then the next day I think I slept 12 hours and the next day I did another live stream from a coffee shop or a cafe, not a coffee shop, but there's a difference between coffee shops and cafes over there. And yeah, just kept going from there. So maybe this can be another challenge for everybody this year. Yeah. So we'll, we'll add all of your links in the show notes and thanks so much Patrick, and hope to see. Well, I'm sure I will see you in real life soon.
Patrick: Yeah, for sure. I hope maybe can see you in the next couple days before I leave. Otherwise, I'm hoping to see you in Europe this summer too. Yeah.
Kristin: Thanks everyone. Thanks for tuning in this week and see you guys next week.
Lifestyle and Conscious Business
Patrick Farrell is a Lifestyle and Conscious Business coach focusing on personal branding. He has built a conscious community called Light Club and helps his clients and members with lifestyle design, connection, and overcoming any internal limitations that might be preventing them from stepping into their power.
Patrick’s skills span across technology, social media and personal/business growth. His mission is to unite rising leaders and entrepreneurs so that they can find support for their careers and in their lives. Patrick’s journey has taken him around the world where he has been to countless conferences and personal development events. He is now bringing this wisdom to his clients and members through coaching and Light Club community experiences.
Patrick believes in complimenting business and personal growth techniques with actionable strategies that are aligned with his clients’ life missions. He also believes that business should be focused around joy and happiness, both for as a business owner and for their clients and customers; that this is the real magic of creating a heart-centered online business.