My Digitally Nomadic Epic Road Trip

In about a week from now I’ll be embarking on a 4 or 5 month long road trip. I’ve told a several people about my plans and I always seem to get at least one of the following in response:

  • Where are you going?
  • Take me with you! / I’d love to do that.
  • How are you able to do this? Don’t you have to work?
  • You should journal / write a book about the trip.
  • Be sure to check in so we know you’re OK / still alive!
  • Take lots of pictures

A friend even was nice enough to buy me the sweet journal pictured below (thanks Elyce!):

My new handmade leather joirnal

I guess I now have to write about the trip because she bought me that journal. In addition to writing in the paper journal, I thought this would be a good excuse to put my long-neglected blog to use. So I’m going to attempt (no promises) to post somewhat frequent updates here.

To answer some of the questions above…

Where I’m going

I’m essentially doing a lap around the country. I figured now was a good time, especially since I don’t want to travel internationally, to check off some domestic travel bucket list items. I’ve always put domestic travel on the back burner in favor of international travel because these US places “will always be there”. Case in point is the Grand Canyon. I considered going to there in 1993 when I moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I drove across the country then but I decided that the GC was too far out of the way and I could always go at some later date. 28 years have passed and I still haven’t been there! SMH

So here’s the current outline of my trip. I’m just spending a few days (2 – 4) in each spot except for California & Florida:

  • Nashville (never been)
  • Chicago
  • Minneapolis (gotta visit Paisley Park)
  • Mount Rushmore (never been)
  • Yellowstone (never been)
  • Seattle
  • Vancouver (never been)
  • Portland (never been)
  • Northern California (just in time for my one-year-delayed 30th college reunion)
  • Southern California (staying for a month – despite having grown up here, there are a ton of things I’ve never done/seen in Cali.)
  • Grand Canyon (never been)
  • TBD — somehow working my way through the south, ending up in Miami
  • Back to Atlanta probably/hopefully in spring

Depending on how the pandemic is playing out I might spend the winter in South America or the Caribbean instead of Florida but I’m not holding my breath on that.

How I’m able to do this

I could probably write a separate blog post about this topic but I’ll do a short version here. While I jokingly refer to myself as “an unemployed Black man” I do actually (do some) work. 🙂 My income primarily comes from 2 sources:

  • Swing trading stocks
  • My SwingTradeBot website — subscriptions & advertising

Both of those things allow be to be location independent (a digital nomad), as long as I have internet access. My trading requires very little time. I can do my daily “research” and order entry in 30 – 45 minutes while the market is closed. You can see how I’ve semi-automated my trading here. I actually came up with the idea for SwingTradeBot as a tool to help me speed up my nightly trading research & stock scanning process.

I purposely built SwingTradeBot to not require much of my time on a daily basis. In other words, it’s a lifestyle business. I could do more / different things to promote the site but I always think “that sounds like work (a J.O.B.)” or “that doesn’t scale” & decide not to do those things. At this point the site basically runs itself. I just have to monitor my email in case any errors pop up and spend a few minutes each day massaging data for newly listed stocks.

It’s only when I add new features or update the underlying technology that I spend significant time on SwingTradeBot. And I do quite a bit of that but thankfully those things can be done from anywhere and on my own schedule.

Friends often mess with me by saying that I don’t work. But I think of it as the opposite — I’m always working because I’ve effectively put my brain into a couple of computerized things that never sleep.

So that’s the story. I’m excited to hit the road & start checking off the places I’ve never visited. If you have any tips for stuff I should do in any of the places I’m going please let me know.