In February, I moved out to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to take part in the movement of location independent entrepreneurs out here.
It’s been absolutely incredible, one of the best experiences of my life.
Cost of Living
My co-founder and I are only pulling $1,500/mo right now from the company, and it’s my main source of income.
In most US cities, that’s not quite enough to live comfortably on without sacrificing on lifestyle (for me that includes nightlife and socializing).
Here, my entire cost of living is about $1,200/mo, and that includes rent with a maid 3x week to clean and do laundry ($300/mo, maid included), eating well (and healthy), a yoga membership ($25/mo), a motorbike ($50/mo), gym membership ($10/mo), cell/data plan ($3/mo).
Unbelievable. Given that our business is completely location independent, it’s almost financially irresponsible for me to live in the US right now.
@rfctr mentioned TropicalMBA in the second post. I’m on the ground in that community out here.
For those unfamiliar, the folks of TropicalMBA run a private community for location independent entrepreneurs called the Dynamite Circle.
Berlin, Prague, Chiang Mai, and Ho Chi Minh City are the most popular destinations amongst members in the DC right now, and in HCMC, there’s about 75-80 of us.
We have a GroupMe room where we all chat and coordinate get togethers, meet up for coworking from cafes, and shoot the breeze.
I can’t say enough about how refreshing this community is after living in entrepreneurial isolation in NYC and the 'burbs outside Washington DC.
Both those areas, like the rest of the US, is plagued with job culture - friends who work 9-5 and then happy hour and then go for broke Friday and Saturday nights and watch football on Sundays.
Good life. Note quite my style though.
Here in Saigon, on the other hand, I am for once part of a lifestyle majority. Almost 100 people here hustling, building, sharing ideas, and having fun.
Saigon is fun. It’s happening. I’m a city guy so I feed off the energy.
Great nightlife. Great parties. And it’s a great place to be young and single. I’ll leave that at that.
Also, the finer things: you can get a 45 minute head/shoulder massage on my block for like $3 USD.
Can you imagine how refreshing that is after spending a full day troubleshooting Android bugs and deploying Facebook ads through the maze that is Power Editor??
Basically, life is good in Vietnam. It’s not some far-away fantasy that Tim Ferris invented to sell to fools.
The lifestyle and benefits here are 100% real, and I expect that as more and more of the workforce grows internet-enabled and thus location independent, more and more people will begin take advantage of this sort of lifestyle/location arbitrage.