Chris Osborne lives a life hard not to envy. With a location independent lifestyle in Asia he has been bouncing from one top destination to the next for the past 8 years eating all the regions favourite foods along the way. While business and entrepreneurship is his forte Chris is also an experienced travel blogger in Asia sharing life experiences, travel and of course food at My Egg Noodles. Possibly the tastiest sounding blog you will ever find. Chris is a simple guy who loves to work, travel and eat and works full time on Founders Grid a community dedicated to wealth creation and protection.
Eight years is a long time with no fixed address. Do you ever yearn for a base or do you find the travelling lifestyle sustainable in the long-term. Have you any advice on others considering it?
Great question. I’ve always focused on long and slow travel, so I’m not bouncing around 3 continents a month. I only yearn for a kitchen! In most places in Asia it can be cheaper to stay in a hotel, vs. an apartment for a month, so it’s not often I get access to a kitchen (in Europe it’s the other way around). I love to cook 🙂
As for advice for others who are considering it, it boils down to cash. You need to build yourself sustainable revenue streams – whether that’s contract work or building something customers are willing to pay for. While there’s heaps of blogs out there that teach you how to travel on the cheap, trust me; traveling with cash is so much more enjoyable.
I know with many digital nomads it can be hard to discipline work hours. Are you able to hold down a regular routine or do you just squeeze work in when you find time?
I work more than I travel. This is the main reason I keep returning to Ubon Ratchathani, in the north east of Thailand so often. There’s a great newly built hotel here that only costs $20 a night, internet is fast and there’s great coffee shops spread all over town I can work from. I now go into “work mode” for 2 or 3 weeks, then spend a week to 10 days traveling while handling light work – such as emails and projects my staff are working on. This creates a nice balance. Also, work is a huge part of my life. I really enjoying working, so this set-up works well for me.
A regular country on your portfolio is Japan one the most expensive countries in the world for travel. Any advice on how to make it affordable?
Japan is not as expensive as most people think it is. Food and travel is on par with most of western Europe. I’ve just had a quick look and see you can get a nice hotel for $50 a night in Tokyo. A 10 day trip to Japan will mean you will need $500 for hotels, and say $500 for food and travel. Now break down the $1,000 into a month – $33 per day. Instead of spending a week or two working out how to make Japan (or any other destination) more affordable, your much better of working on a product or service you can charge 30 people $33 bucks for. Most people have 100’s of friends in their Facebook feed – message them all with your new product/service. Most will be surprised with the results.
Everyone has their own reason for being in Asia. What was it that first brought you here?
I was in Thailand for a holiday with a friend. Sitting on the beach I decided then and there I didn’t want to live and work in London anymore. I spent days trying to convince my friend to join me, but he was too comfortable in London. Within 5 days of returning home, I quit my job, let go of my apartment, handed my car over to my friend to sell (with a 10% commission for him) and I was back out in Thailand. I did have passive income streams at this point, so it did make the transition a lot easier. Most friends and family thought I was smoking crack… and were sure I’d be back in a month or two. I haven’t looked back since.
You’ve travelled extensively in Asia yet you tend to be drawn back to Thailand; specifically Bangkok. What is it about this city that keeps you coming here?
Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani are so easy to spend time in. Beautiful weather, great food and cheap living are the obvious choices. But over the years I’ve also grown a network of friends in Thailand who are also building businesses. I love being around smart people I admire, so I guess this is the main reason I keep returning to Thailand.
There are so many incredible food cities in Asia. If you had to choose one city (other than Bangkok) where would it be?
Just one? Damn. This is hard. Tokyo or Hong Kong? Tokyo or Hong Kong? Hmmm. Hong Kong. I’m a sucker for dim-sum and greasy Chinese food 🙂
For all your stalkers out there where would your favourite Bangkok haunts be? Favourite street food, restaurant and nightclub?
I do actually have a few stalkers lol Serious, there’s this one guy who keep’s emailing me saying he wants to hook up and tells me what he wants to do with me sexually (crazy shit). This is why I don’t publicize where I am while I’m in Bangkok.
Stalkers aside, I generally don’t eat street food in Bangkok. Instead I prefer the food courts in a couple of the shopping malls. The ingredients and hygiene seem to be a little better. The food court at the Terminal 21 shopping mall is great.
As for restaurants, there are so many. I visit Opposite often – a small bar and restaurant with an open kitchen who change their menu almost daily. If you visit (you should!), sit at the bar/open kitchen to watch Chef Barnes at work – it adds a great dimension to dining out. The food is down to earth (think scrambled eggs with truffles, steamed buns with crispy pork) and is designed to be shared. I also visit Eat Me often. Superb International cuisine with the best ingredients around. All the dishes are so fresh. The vegetable dishes here are amazing. I normally order all the appetizers and dig in with friends. Always a good night out.
I must be getting old as I’ve not visited a nightclub in Bangkok for a while now, and when I do I let my friends decide as they know the scene much better than I do.
It is hard to argue with egg noodles but if you had to choose just the one egg noodle dish what would it be?
Smile. A hearty bowl of Ramen somewhere on Ramen Street in Sapporo while snow falls outside. Jumpers on, steam everywhere and surrounded by the most amazing smells of roast pork and soup. That’s a bowl of heaven right there.