Interview With Dante From Nomad Philippines
Hey guys, got a special post today. We like to follow a lot of travel blogs here and this is one of our current favorites. We emailed them and luckily were able to get a guest post interview with Dante from NomadPhilippines.
No reason for us to ramble, let the interview begin!
Can you give us a bit of background on how long you have been a digital nomad in Southeast Asia and why you came?
Ya no problem, I have been in Southeast Asia for a little over 4 years. I was an online poker player and when it got shut down I needed to find a new life path.
Live poker doesn’t do it for me so I wanted to move abroad, I had some Filipino friends and always had a bit of interest in going there but it was more of a pipe dream. One day during a boring live game another player I knew mentioned he had been to the Philippines.
Knowing that someone else I knew had been there and survived was enough for me to look into it more.
Why did you choose to live in the Philippines?
I knew Filipinos were really nice people, and I like the girls too hehe. Then the more research I did it just seemed like the right place for me.
I don’t like trying to learn new languages and English is so widely spoken in Phils. I don’t like traveling (admittedly odd character trait for a digital nomad to have) so the easy visa there was right for me.
I was pretty broke, so the great cost of living was right as well. They also have casinos with live poker and initially that was big for me just in case I wasn’t going to be able to make money online, but that never was much of a factor once I was there.
You seem to have mostly lived in Cebu City and Angeles City in the Philippines right? Why do you choose those two?
When I first moved over I was really only considering Manila. Even though I had done as much research as I could possibly do before I came I still really didn’t know much about the places.
I had heard Makati is the safest place and wanted to be there, but I really didn’t have the budget for it so I went with Angeles. I have lived there for about half of the time I have been in Phils, and the majority of the other half I stayed in Cebu.
I stayed out of Manila because the traffic sucks, and it just feels like you are wasting more time and paying more money for the same end result. I don’t go out and party, and don’t do much of anything really.
All I care about is having a girl join me a few times a week and you can do that anywhere in Phils. So why pay more and put up with all the traffic and overcrowding Manila has?
In Angeles I can get a room for $300, and pay freelancers 500-1000 pesos to come over. In Manila a room will cost $600 or more and the girls are going to want in the 1000-2000 range if I went with freelancers.
In Cebu I will get a room for $450ish, won’t have to deal with traffic, and won’t have to pay 300-400 peso taxi fares when girls want to come over.
There really aren’t many other options, in smaller cities the good girls won’t be as open to playing around with a foreigner, even Davao City has pruder girls. They also won’t have enough nightlife either.
What Advice Would You Give New Digital Nomads?
I think the main two pieces of advice I would give actually kind of contradict each other, but it works anyways. The first would be to use the internet to your full advantage, and the second is still make sure to see everything with your own eyes before judging it.
You can find out so much about places before you ever visit them these days that travel is easy. Whether it is travel blogs, message boards, or sites like Trip Advisor the things you need to plan your trip are out there.
You can land knowing where you should live, where you should eat, where you should go to party, where to get good deals on things. A little bit of research goes a long way.
On the other hand you need to see everything for yourself. I was sold on Manila before I got there, but now I never live there. I was told by everyone that Thailand is the best spot for a digital nomad, I have been there twice and can definitely tell it isn’t the right spot for me.
You can fly so cheaply on Cebu Pacific and Air Asia that you should spend a little time and a little money seeing any city that you think might interest you for yourself. Don’t just settle down in the first place you go because odds are you will like it there.
It will be better than your life back in the west, you will be having girls in your bed and that will make you happy. Just because it is better there then how you had it 6 months ago doesn’t mean it is THE BEST, and you owe it to yourself to find the right place.
One quick rant, I have been reading a whole lot of ‘anti-American women’ stuff lately. I am not a feminist, I am not happy about the current dating prospects for average dudes in the western world either.
That said, I hope all these digital nomads that come over aren’t taking out their frustrations on the girls here, but if you read some of the hatred many guys post with I worry they do. This sweet Pinay never did anything to you, hopefully you can treat her with respect.
What Complications Come From Being A Digital Nomad?
Even though life is good here there are still lots of them, luckily they are mostly small. First off the internet in the Philippines ain’t great and that can get really frustrating at times.
Then getting anything done can be a lot harder than it needs too. Generally it is all just small stuff that doesn’t matter, but when you need to get some document from a bank and it takes hours to get even though it should take minutes that can get old.
The people are really rude in some ways also. Its usually just out of social ignorance, or being selfish and cutting in lines. Stuff like that gets annoying particularly if a lot of it happens at once when you are having a bad day.
You definitely need to take an easy going attitude to live somewhere like the Philippines. If you are uptight and need everything to go your way you will go mad there.
What Are Your Travel Plans For The Future?
One of the beauties of being a digital nomad is you don’t have to make plans right? 😛
I have traveled quite a bit recently, now I kinda want to just go back to one city and chill out for awhile. I hate the grind of travel, the flights, the taxis to the airports, putting up with visas that are harder than what you deal with in the Phils.
On the other hand, every time you go to a new place the women look hotter. Go to Thailand and right off the bat Thai chicks look super sexy, a couple week later not so much. That is how it goes every time I visit a new country.
I would really like to visit Latin America and Eastern Europe. Latin America still scares me a bit, I don’t know Spanish and am too lazy to learn it, and they aren’t uber passive like Asians are by any means.
A few months back I was fiending for Kenya and did as much research as I could on the place. The flight from Thailand ended up being a lot cheaper then I thought, I coulda swore 3 years ago I looked and the flights were $2k+ but I saw some for $800 out of Bangkok.
For a few weeks I was debating whether I should go or not, and I finally settled on not. There just isn’t enough info out there for me to risk 18 hours in planes (there and back) and a couple thousand dollars on the place.
There is like an even money chance I would either get there and love it because there are so many girls and so few foreigners, or I hate it because it is so under veloped and I hop right back on the plane.
If I was still living in the western world a 50/50 chance on Kenya being amazing would be totally worth risking a couple g’s and some long flights on. When I already have a good thing going I can’t really justify it.
So for now I will just continue to be a digital nomad in the Philippines and enjoy it for awhile. Down the road I hope to see more places and have more fun.