parallax background

Q&A Jacob Laukatis

Surging Demand for Electric Cars
April 22, 2018
The art – and science, and culture – of expedition cruising
April 22, 2018

Q: How many countries have you travelled to so far?

A: Last time I counted it was 54, but now I’m getting closer to 60 I guess. Though I don’t think the quantity matters in this case – it’s all about the quality.

Q: What was your first inspiration for travelling the world?

A: When I was 19 years-old, I was invited to attend this really cool conference co-organized by the Malaysian government, where they invited 500 young entrepreneurs from all around the world to come to Malaysia for a week and work with one another on various non-profit projects. That trip was my very first time in Asia and I finally realized how big the world was and how little I knew about the different countries, religions, cuisines, ways of life and everything else. When I got back to Europe I couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful it’d be to travel the world 12 months a year and a few weeks later I booked my flight ticket to Bangkok and never stopped traveling every since. That was exactly 4 years ago. (P.S. If you need more information about how I started traveling the world, I just made a video talking about the whole story. You’ll find more details there – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVjAE0AQdI4&t=12s)

Q: What was your favourite location to travel to and why? 

A: I would say my favorite countries in Asia are Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia. They all have incredible nature, distinct cultures and histories and the people there are absolutely amazing. Speaking of specific places, it’s absolutely impossible to choose, but most of them would have to do with mountains and nature.

Q: How do you decide which countries to travel to and how long you want to stay for? 

A: It’s generally really spontaneous. I love spending my time at hostels, because I get to meet tons of interesting people with unique ways of life. It’s quite easy for me to make new friends, so I keep meeting new people and obviously a lot of the times we talk about traveling. So someone would tell me “I just went to this place and it was the best thing ever” and then I’d think “Wow, that’s just a few hours flight away from here, maybe I should go there”. Then I go there and someone recommends me some other fascinating places and then I keep going there too. These days I have a huge list of adventures I want to go on, so I can’t help thinking it’d be great to have more than 24 hours per day so that I could experience all those things before I’m 99 years old.

Q: What is one thing that you bring with you on every trip, that you couldn’t live without? 

A: I would say it’s definitely my laptop. And the reason is that I work remotely while I travel, so if I have my computer with me, I never lose my income and thus I can afford to travel 12 months a year. Moreover, if I can make money by working on my laptop, I can buy all the other necessities everywhere I go.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve run into when travelling? 

A: A lot of people talk about feeling lonely when they’re traveling alone. I don’t really feel that when I’m traveling very actively, because then I’m doing something new every single day and I never get bored. However, those times when I’m a little exhausted and I rent an AirBnb apartment for a month in some place I really enjoy, sometimes loneliness kicks in. I once again generally make quite a few local friends, but it’s not that easy to develop this really deep bond between you and the people you meet while traveling, since you need a lot more time for that. So I’d say loneliness is probably the biggest challenge for solo travelers, though you definitely don’t feel lonely as often as most people think.

Q: How many languages have you learned from travelling the world? 

A: I can speak Lithuanian, English, Russian, Mandarin Chinese (I’m definitely not fluent, but very much conversational) and a little bit of Bahasa Indonesia (I’m definitely not conversational, but when I travel around Indonesia alone, I never use English, so it’s good enough for me). This winter I want to spend a few months around Spain, so I’ll try to pick up Spanish as it’ll be really useful for me next year when I go to South America for a year or more.

Q: Do you keep in touch with the people that you become friends with on your trip? 

A: Yes, yes, as much as I can. One of the coolest things is to meet those people in other places around the world and travel together.

Q: What is some advice you’d give to someone who is looking to travel to a completely different country with a whole new culture? 

A: Do not judge anything you see and be as open-minded as you possibly can. A lot of people, especially from the Western countries, look down on the so-called “third world” countries, because they’re a bit dirtier or not as developed as their own countries. And they totally miss the point. The reason to travel is to understand why different people evolved in different ways and why they do things the way they do them. There will always be upsides and downsides anywhere you go, but if you keep an open mind, you will enjoy most places you go to.

Q: Were you a bit hesitant to keep travelling after your crash in Thailand? 

A: Haha! Absolutely not! The very first day I was let out of the hospital, I hopped on my scooter and went to the beach with my friends, drinking coconuts and laughing our hearts out (everyone made jokes I looked like a panda and I didn’t mind at all). And the reason for that is that this accident could have happened anywhere and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent it. It’s like if you are walking on the pavement and a car crashes into you. It’s obviously really unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean you should stop walking on pavements. If anything, that experience made me love traveling even more, because I once again realized how short our lives are and I want to do as much as I can before I die.

Q: After your recovery from the accident, has your changed outlook on life continued to remind you to live everyday as if it’s your last? 

A: Absolutely! I’ve always lived my life that way, but now I took it to another level I guess. Life’s short, why wast a second, hey? 🙂

Q: What is your favourite part about being able to share your experiences through videos on YouTube and other social media platforms? 

A: The fact that I can inspire people to travel the world. I truly believe that if everyone traveled (at least a bit), the world would be a much more beautiful place with less racism, sexism and resentment towards one another. That is why I made it my life’s mission to inspire millions of people to travel the world and I’ll do all I can to make it happen.

Q: What would you say is the best part of working remotely as a digital nomad? 

A: The fact that you can go anywhere, anytime, for as long as you wish.

Q: What inspired you to create your first company, Chameleon John, at the age of 15? 

A: ChameleonJohn was not my first company. It was probably my 6th or 7th and I established it at the age of 19. What inspired me to create my first companies at the age of 15 was the fact that I hated not being financially independent from my parents and I wanted to fully control my own life so that I could do whatever I wanted and go wherever I wanted.

Q: What inspired you to write your ebook, “19 Proven Ways to Quit The 9 to 5 And Become a Digital Nomad?” 

A: The book is now called “19 Proven Ways to Quit The 9 to 5 And Become a Digital Nomad?” (though it’s the same thing, just 10 more ways). I wanted to write that book because I received literally thousands of messages from people all around the world asking me how I was able to afford to travel all the time. And I thought the best way for me to inspire and empower other people to follow suit would be to simply write a short e-book that anyone could download for free and find 29 ways to make money remotely while traveling the world. The feedback has been incredibly positive and I’m looking for ways to get it into the hands of even more people now.

Q: Where is the next place you plan to explore?

A: I’m currently touring the Middle East, then I want to spend some time traveling around Europe (I find it relatively boring compared to Asia, but there are definitely quite a few interesting places to explore) and then I want to spend a year or a year and a half traveling all around South America, since I’ve never been there before. Can’t wait to see what it’s like!