Latest Posts

For my birthday I would like you to save money

Instead of receiving gifts and cards I would like you to use my referral link to sign up to Transferwise

so that at any time in the near or distant future you will save a generous amount of fees compared to using traditional banks to send money within the US or between countries from wherever in the world you are. Using Transferwise saves a lot compared to using Paypal. You can use it to send money or open a borderless bank account and receive payment to it.

It’s as simple as it sounds, or even more simple. As a birthday gift to me but also to you I would like you to sign up to Transferwise with my link https://bit.ly/2BYvvYv, especially if you get paid in USD but live in another country and are currently losing money on exchanging your USD into your own currency.

I recently came across a post of a Digital Nomad Facebook group member asking how a person based in South America can get paid in USD. The group members offered a lot of different answers but the simplest and most money saving one of them all was Transferwise. You can open a USD currency account with Transferwise even if you are not based in America. It’s worth exploring.

  • You can register with your home address.
  • For example if you are based in the EU, then this is your primary location and you first open your Transferwise borderless account with your EU address.
  • Then once this is all set up you can add a UK and US account, able to receive and hold £ and $.
  • Each account will have its own account numbers that are fully functioning and you can receive payment into your Transferwise account just like as if it was a traditional bank.
  • Please let me know in the comments if you are having troubles setting this up and I’ll try to help you out..

3 Business Skills Resources – improve your career

In this post I share 3 FREE but powerful resources to take friction out of your interactions with clients and increase your success potential. Don’t dismiss this if you are an employee, you can learn, too!

I think I am going to save you a lot (!) of time by sharing with you what took me years to find. It’s not that it takes THAT long to find something on the internet but what takes so much time is knowing what to look for and then finding the cream of the crop information / resources / people to listen to / read.

To keep it short:

Read: The Pumpkin Plan, by Mike Michalowicz (I am listening to this as an audio book that I borrowed for free from the library. Check with your library if they have a free ebook and audio book library for you to access. Don’t spend money you don’t have to. UNLESS you want to make sure that the author receives royalties for the work it took to write (and narrate) the (audio) book. If you do want to buy the book/audio book then you can feed the machine that is Amazon here*:

Listen / watch to “Hourly Billing Is Nuts”: This is an amazing conversation with Jonathan Stark on Chris Do’s Youtube channel. Here is the link to “Hourly Billing Is Nuts”. There is NO hard-nosed sales pitch in this video. I promise. Watch the video on Youtube, nobody is trying to spam you with buy this or that. It IS pure value and my mind was a little bit blown by how useful this was and I want you to benefit from this, too. Talk to me if you can’t quite imagine how it is useful for you to know what this man is sharing in this video. I can tell you now: it will save you years and increase your income JUST from the additional confidence you can get from watching this video, taking a few notes and imagining yourself into these conversations. How do you imagine this can aid your conversations with anyone you work for? You don’t have to have a 4-5-6 figure job to pitch to a client. You can just be on a more humble plane and benefit a LOT from listening to this type of content. I promise! It only costs some time, but it will benefit you so much.

Read: DotCom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online, by Russell Brunson. Before you look up the book or follow my link I do need to tell you that Russell Brunson markets HARD, and is controversial because of it, and the book itself is set up to eventually sell you his product. Learn from this, however you don’t need to spend your money. You can apply some of his techniques to build your confidence without spending money. You can reconsider this when you have defined and developed a valuable product or service that worthy of marketing / selling. Then by all means..

If you give Russell Brunson your email address he will send you his marketing materials until long after you have reincarnated into the next life. In the past I would have felt that this is evidence that he is a kind of spam-con artist. I have changed my mind about this. I borrowed the e-book from the library. Opened it and was sure I would find a wall of hard sales spammy content. I was wrong. I am actually only a few pages in and I am glued to the pages. Russell Brunson writes well and shares simple but extremely helpful business advice. His book has well over 2000 reviews on Goodreads. That is hard to get! Very hard. He is doing something right, learn from that and set aside your potential dislike of anything you preconceive about him. I won’t waste your time trying to paraphrase or summarise the book. Just read it because it will benefit you and I want that for you. I am not asking you to become a hard-nosed hardcore marketer. To take a beneficial lesson from Russell, you don’t need to become Russell.

You should ingest all three resources at your earliest convenience and then I recommend REPEATING this. Watch the video 3 times (I am serious) and re-read passages in the books that resonate. make notes. Picture how what they say could benefit you. Use your imagination. The more you do the more you will realise how helpful this can be to you. You are learning business legs. And you are learning that it is ok to have business legs. ***(see below)

Your homework:

For the love of your financial future: take these three action steps that you can access 100% for free and they will benefit exponentially: Read the two books (or access them as audiobooks) and watch the video with Chris Do and Jonathan Stark.

Note I am NOT asking you to make financial commitments to things you don’t understand. Just read and listen. Then let me know (please do) in the comments below what you learned that was positive and improved your confidence.

Create a better life. Improve what is already good. It can be easy. But it seems we need discipline.

* = this marks affiliate links. At no additional cost to you I MAY receive a bonus from you making a purchase using my link. In reality Amazon has never paid me a penny. I still include the link for your convenience because sometimes it’s just easier to take action with a link.

Value your own time & value the time of others.

**About my encounter with the work of Russell Brunson: I was in Chiang Mai Thailand in 2019 and an acquaintance of mine kept telling me how great Russell Brunsons book and business is. (He is the creator of the Clickfunnels program – more on that later if you like.) And I kept thinking “Why is this guy trying to hard sell me this Clickfunnel thing and wow, this Russell Brunson must be a serious con-artist getting rich off people like my acquaintance and me. Wow, this is just some kind of MLM marketing scheme. Wow, I better be careful to not get sucked in. Well… All I say is: JUST open his book. It is going to be a game changer in your thinking about how to attract clients to your business and improve your income potential.

I have definitely changed my mind about Russell Brunson, up to this point I have of course only started reading his book, please don’t hold me accountable for anything you sign up to. I haven’t tried his Clickfunnels program yet, note I said yet. I am now considering it on the strength of the book. But I first need to do some homework on preparing my personal offer to the world. There can’t be any point in signing up for a paid business program of any kind when we are unclear about what we are offering to the world. Link to the Goodreads reviews: the low star ones HAVE a point, but don’t let them deter you rom learning. Spend your time reading the book not the critiques. You can learn without becoming scrupulous.

*** Referencing a distrust that I know some of my friends have about business. Ask yourself where you got this distrust. Is it yours or did society around you teach it to you? Who instilled distrust about business world in you? Someone who understands it or someone on an hourly wage / running a small business? Do you equate hard-working with good and thriving with exploitative and spammy? That’s exactly what I mean. That is not our own distrust but it’s been placed in us by others. Let me be brutally direct: The crabs in the bucket around you are pulling you back in as you are trying to escape to a better world for yourself.

I am done being a crab in a bucket. Lets leave the bucket. & It can be done Ethically.

You need to improve your resume. Don’t be left behind.

There is no quick solution but we need a plan of action.

Here is my suggestion for your first action. You can do this 100% on your own – but I also offer my support.:

  1. Have a look at your resume / CV. When is the last time that you revised it? You may have learned better way of resenting yourself since then.
  2. Don’t have a resume online? It is time, you are about to be left behind with the dinosaurs if you haven’t placed your resume / CV on LinkedIn or Sing.
  3. Leave your link to your LinkedIn (or Sing) profile below in comments and I will give free constructive feedback on the first 10.

Improve your income and the quality of opportunities by 10% or more!

Why is this important? Maybe you are self employed / employed / unemployed and you can’t see why this matters. You just have to believe me. It does. People who you are hoping to get hired by, in any capacity, will look for you on LinkedIn or Xing to gain a first impression.

In fact, maybe this is next level but I look up clients before we work with them. I do this to get an insight into what type of workplace culture they are used to and to gather how their work experience could influence our working relationship with them.

I don’t even like selling higher ticket items to people whom I can’t find online as real people. But I am going off on a tangent here. Most important for you to know is that it does matter where you can be found online. It also helps you to define and refine your personal career related outlook.

My secret: My own Linkedin profile is not completely representative of what I am capable of. I, too, am finding it difficult to pin down just one single aspect of what I want to focus on. This isn’t optimal. But when anyone does look me up they can see that I exist and that I am still in the acceptable realm of professional. My LinkedIn profile is not going to hinder me from developing my career. As soon as I have more clarity on my direction I will convey this on my public profiles. And so should you.

I hear you: “I don’t need Linkedin, it’s not for me.” My friend, I have to give you tough love: Unless you own a money tree I disagree with you. Please tell me your reasons for feeling that you won’t benefit from a LinkedIn or Xing profile (tell me in comments below or in my Contact form.).

(Even you: Retired people, unemployed people, lost in life people, so wealthy or established in your job that you feel you are secure people. You can all benefit financially from an improved LinkedIn profile / resume / CV.)

Friends, remember:

Send me your resume link on LinkedIn and I will give the first 10 of you some feedback. To take this subject to the next level I may include a part of my response in a follow up post about the importance of resumes and LinkedIn (you can opt out, and I won’t include anything personal! Your privacy is guaranteed.)

Do you need help writing your resume from scratch? You can hire me for any part fo your career journey. Your baby steps, your ‘I broke my career legs and need help getting back up steps’, your levelling up of your career journey. I’m here for it. There is a sliding pay scale because the service is personalised and “how long is a piece of string?” You may just need a one of brainstorming and streamlining session or you may need to work on your presentation from the ground up.


I also offer more dedicated support:

Use the contact form on my website for your personal information If you are confident in sharing your LinkedIn link then you may do it in the comments, otherwise send it to me in the CONTACT form.

Career and Resume review sessions: full price $175 / first session $75 (limited availability available only until June 30th 2021)

Pay a 30% booking deposit and the remainder upon completion of the session. If you are not happy then you don’t pay the remainder.

Two payment options

(I suggest that you first send me a message in the Contact form before booking.):

Venmo :  @Birgit-Deubner or Paypal : paypal.me/BirgitInAmerica

(Currencies I use regularly and accept on Paypal: USD, UK pound sterling, Euro. If you would like to pay in a different currency then accept payments via Transferwise / WISE. You can use my link to create an account and you just need to send me a message on the contact form and I will provide you with my Transferwise/Wise payment details.)

13 Youtubers who stayed at ASQ Alternative State Quarantine Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand 2021

Are you currently in quarantine and want to watch others who are sharing your confinement situation? I spent a couple of hours looking up some lesser known Youtubers for you. Are you documenting your experience? Let me know and maybe I can add you to the lineup.

Sean Chen, positive outlook. “..born and raised in bangkok, thailand, and is currently a student at the university of british columbia. im always interested in meeting new people, exploring different places and challenging myself to create something that will make a lasting impact.”

Nicole Chen, 10.3k subscribers. Quietly spoken. “Nicole Chen is Asia’s most successful female DJ, many have praised her on her achievements within her three years she has been a DJ.”

YS onward, 101 subscribers. English Teaching Assistant under the Fulbright Organization. Stayed at CHOR CHER – THE GREEN RESIDENCE and liked his food. Give his videos a view and remember to pay your respects for the time he put into filming and editing by giving him a thumbs up and maybe a friendly comment. (He could use a few more followers, too.)

4B, “DJ and producer Bobby McKeon known as ‘4B‘; has already spent half his life relentlessly pursuing his sound and vision.”

Calmly spoken, currently has 9 days of Quarantine Vlogs uploaded.

Stephanie Walker, currently has 2 videos on her channel. Give her some support. There aren’t enough women sharing their Thailand experience.

Calmly spoken, articulate. Newbie.


simply happy, a whimsical take on journey to Thailand and Quarantine video, currently has 2 ASQ related videos uploaded.

Jason’s Journey, 211 subscribers, calmly spoken, nice guy from Australia. Explains the daily hotel routine, sharing meal schedules and hotel’s house rules. I like him. So I am giving you 2 of his 4 ASQ videos.

hotel: Maple Hotel


2gethersomewhere, 449 subscribers. A middle-ish aged couple, go give them a follow, they seem nice. They said that their hotel also offers vegetarian and vegan food. In their description they are offering links to downloadable PDF sheets giving various social media business tips for newbies.

“In this video, “Our Thailand ASQ Quarantine Experience”, we share our quarantine experiences and give a full review of the Siam Mandarina Hotel and share our survival tips. We hope you’ll become regular viewers of our channel and will subscribe to it!”

“Our desire is to help purpose-driven content creators and entrepreneurs build their influence online so they can quit the 9 to 5, if they choose (like we did), and spend more of their time exploring the beautiful world we live in.”


Another Day On Earth, 1.17k subscribers. Interesting guy. “My name is Jonathan Paul. Some know me as an international contemporary artist, but really I’m just one of everyone – simply enjoying yet another day on earth. My goal is to share with you fun and informative videos about my journey + to inspire your journey to take risks and push live your life to its fullest.”

Jay Agaskar, 122 subscribers. Nice guy with a theory. “Wondering where you will be placed with State Quarantine during the COVID pandemic in Thailand? In this video, I have a theory that may help ease your mind. + A tour of my quarantine room!”

His tip: Bring your own HDMI cable.


Europe Traveler, 601 subscribers. Video with music overlay and subtitles explaining the ASQ Hotel experience. We don’t get to meet the person. I suggest you put on your own music to view this.

“Stayed in the Siam Mandarina Hotel, which is right next to the Bangkok Airport. The stuff of the hotel was absolutely amazing, the food was really good and the view from the window to airport runway and to sunset helped time pass more easy..”

Chasing Jaunts, 1.97k subscribers. Nice couple. The audio is a little low at times compared to the music but they seem nice enough to forgive them for this. They have 2 dedicated ASQ videos. Seem worth a follow. Go check them out, don’t forget to pay your respects in likes and thumbs up.

Alina Mcleod, 99.5k subscribers. I don’t think she is staying in Thailand longterm.

Have you got square eyes yet? I do from compiling this list. You can send me a coffee or fruit basket if you feel generous and able. No pressure because I accept appreciation in karma points. And you don’t have to do anything at all for those.:

Venmo :  @Birgit-Deubner

Paypal : paypal.me/BirgitInAmerica

Patreon (I don’t have perks yet. I think the perk is the last 5 hours I compiled this list for you.) : https://www.patreon.com/over7seas

Do you have a suggestion for another ASQ Hotel Youtube video, Blog post or maybe a podcast? Please share it with me in the comments. (They are set to needing to be approved to keep the spambots at bay.)

40 + Youtubers making Youtube videos in & about Thailand – 2021 list

This is a list in progress. (Do you know of someone I have missed? Let me know.)

Let’s get started, past and present Youtube content creators sharing videos and vlogs about and from Thailand. (I will add a link to Bloggers and Travel writers based out of Thailand later. I need to start that list first.)

Present (dominated by white male expats with varied interests. Many family friendly channels among this first batch. I don’t think any of the below are overtly sexpats. ):

  1. 40k subscribers, Minority Nomad, 16.1k subscribers, Erick Prince, inspiring, “I’m Erick! I’m a writer, photographer, philanthropist, and world traveler on a quest to become the first African American to visit every country in the world.”
  2. Retired Working For You, 114k subscribers. Family friendly. In his own words: “My name is Chris, and this channel has 2 goals: 1. Offer fun + informative videos from Bangkok and other parts of Thailand. 2. Create a growing community of people who inspire one another to live life to the fullest.” <>
  3. Idea Studio , 5.7k subscribers: An American designer and entrepreneur living in Bangkok, Thailand.
  4. Bangkok Strange, 349 subscribers, “The beautiful, strange world of Bangkok, Thailand”
  5. Julian K Glasser, 5,3k subscribers: Real Estate Agent, and Entrepreneur! 3+ years of real estate experience in America now a Real Estate Agent in Bangkok,
  6. Mickey Stotch, 90.7k, “Travel, Food and Adventure videos made by a hungry Russian eating machine, exploring amazing destinations of Southeast Asia.”
  7. Ceejay Same Same But Different, 1,7k subscribers, Traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. If you’re willing to travel you will become a well-rounded person.
  8. notime2bsad, 62.8k subscribers, really friendly. “Quit the American dream of buying crap we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like, with money we don’t have. Simple just living life. Please feel free to follow us on our journey around Asia and beyond. Life is very Unpredictable, and so are we…”
  9. Rides 4 Kickz, 40k subscribers. I had a quick look at one of his videos after someone recommended him to me on Reddit: “Retired expat, based in Pattaya but family friendly (mostly) with travel, lifestyle tips, and motorbikes. Very good production values.”
  10. Jersey Farang in Thailand, 4k subscribers
  11. Jim Andrews, 7.2k subscribers, sexpat?, Hua Hin & Bangkok
  12. Sunny Schollenbruch, 21.9k, “A regular guy who loves to produce, direct, act and edit my own movies.”
  13. Our Life Thai, 24.7k subscribers, Australian living in Thailand with his Thai wife. Family friendly.
  14. Warren Gerdes TV, 7.5k subscribers, seems family friendly. Retired Aussie expat living in Thailand with his Thai ladyboy fiancée. “My fiancée is a post-op ladyboy and we have been together since 2009. I finally moved to Thailand in September 2016 because the 8 years of travelling to see her was taking its toll.” <>
  15. Kru Dylan, 15.8k subscribers, Family friendly. English Teacher in Thailand, speaks English & Thai with subtitles in his videos. “Making videos about lifestyle and food in Chiang Mai, Thailand. ทำวิดีโอเกี่ยวกับไลฟ์สไตล์และอาหารในเชียงใหม่ประเทศไทย”
  16. The Naked Guru in Thailand, 13.6 subscribers, Family friendly. “We have a small farm in the Thai countryside where we live a very basic life, growing our own food & taking care of the land. You will see how we travel Asia as a family, how we live on the farm, & what it is like to have a Thai partner & son as a westerner.”
  17. 20 Seconds in Thailand, 55.5k subscribers,
  18. CB Media, 294k subscribers, “Traveling to insane places in Southeast Asia playing with racecars and going on adventures.”
  19. David Bond, 501k subscribers
  20. Mark Wiens, 7.44 million subscribers. Very Family Friendly, always positive. “Food is the reason you should travel, and on my channel you’ll watch videos about delicious street food and travel tips! Video Posting Schedule: Sundays & Wednesdays at 8 pm Bangkok time (GMT+7), and some occasional extras. Subscribe now so you don’t miss the next video!”
  21. Joel Bruner, 64k subscribers, wholesome and very family friendly, always uplifting. Key topics are food and being a good human, plus cycling. Healthy relationships with people. “Welcome to this channel, a place where I hope to create and cultivate motivation through stories in video form. I travel a lot, and I always have, but what I’m always looking out for are the little things that make up the daily lives of people in (whichever place I’m lucky that day to visit!). On this channel, the videos you will watch will include experiences out in nature, occasionally a mission to find a new and tasty food, but really what it will showcase is my greatest love of all – PEOPLE.”
  22. Brett Dev, 36.4k subscribers, Freelance web developer living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. “.. a mix of informative guides and information about how you can build businesses that thrive online, along with personal videos and vlogs about my life in Chiang Mai.”
  23. Global Travel Mate, 18.4k subscribers. “Showing Bangkok through my lens. My name is Jeroen, I am from the Netherlands and have been living in Bangkok for over 10 years now. I run a Real Estate company called Sukhumvit Homes.”
  24. KayyyWild, “Quit my job, and headed out to South-East Asia to get a new view of the world. Currently with just a GoPro to hand, and a will to film everything and anything interesting, my life is yours to enjoy!”
  25. MinawaTube, Ahmed Minawa. “For the past couple of years I have been traveling around Asia. I talk about business and travel experiences I had living in Asia”
  26. Jungle Life, 390 subscribers. “Living in the real jungle, after 8 years in the concrete jungle, Bangkok. In this channel there will be videos about the movie business and how we live now.”
  27. Another Day On Earth, 1.17k subscribers, “Hi. My name is Jonathan Paul. Some know me as an international contemporary artist, but really I’m just one of everyone – simply enjoying yet another day on earth. My goal is to share with you fun and informative videos about my journey + to inspire your journey to take risks and push live your life to its fullest.”

Short term Thai residency

Asian Youtube Creator

  1. Talk Asia , from Korea
  2. Forrest Lee, 13k subscribers, “Former American military making up for lost time by traveling around the world and sharing with you my adventures”
  3. Win Kiling, Filipino English teacher living in Thailand. Newbie Vlogger.

Value added content / based in Thailand

  1. Mike Explores, 220 subscribers, “Hi my name is Michael Biedassek, nicknamed Mike. I share the stories of the Thailand’s communities, heritage and people in order to support important ideas, projects and small businesses. I don’t want to show you yet another top-10 roof top bar for you to get a better understanding of the realities, because much of what we love about Thailand cannot be taken for granted anymore. I hope my content will help you to experience Thailand on a deeper level, have a more informed visit and to create a positive impact while traveling.”
  2. Nick Nimmin, 767 k subscribers. Family friendly. “Nick Nimmin shares YouTube tips, video tips, YouTube video ideas and more to help you grow your YouTube channel by getting more subscribers and views. If you’re a Youtuber, business owner or hobbyist who is interested in making videos for YouTube make sure to subscribe for helpful training videos.”

Women Youtubers in Thailand – help me find more!

  1. See you around,
  2. Tah Jetiyamon, 18.3k subscribers, “I left my job in finance to travel and make films” – HIGH quality editing.

Family Youtubers in Thailand:

  1. News from the Shoes, 7.54k subscribers. “We are Carey, Josua, Hailey and Max Shoemaker, a swiss-american family of four currently living in Thailand.”
  2. Lilly’s Expat Life, 5.69k subscribers. “Lilly Hubbard lives in Koh Samui, Thailand since 2013. She shares her expat life with her Thai husband Wat in Thailand. Thai food, culture and family life in Thailand.”
tuktuk driving in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand – ‘Old Bangkok’

Frequent Thai Travel

  1. Andy Wright Travel, 1.93k subscribers, Disability Travel Advocate. “I am Andy Wright and I was born with Cerebral Palsy. This was made worse by failed lumbar spine surgery in 2014. I have never let it or anyone limit the things I do, including walking and working. I have been lucky enough to travel the world to some places you could only dream about. I am a teacher of martial arts holding a 7th Dan grade and Qigong, which I used to rehabilitate myself after failed back surgery. My channel is all about inspiring you to explore this world of ours even if you have limitations. If you want fly-on-the-wall vlogs on Thai Family Life, tips hints, advice and guidance OR you’re looking for access information and advice about Thailand, this is the place to be!”
  2. Reeshard Travel, 6.38 k subscribers. “American living in San Francisco. I have visited Thailand 26 times.”
  3. Ken Abroad, 49.4 k subscribers, “I am Ken Abroad, a full-time traveler traveling southeast Asia. During the next months I will be living in Bangkok, Thailand and bring you around this vibrant city of Bangkok and the beautiful country of Thailand. If you are interesting in traveling Thailand or living in Bangkok 2021, this content might be something for you.”

Past (have left Thailand now)

  1. 8 Miles from Home (Slow travel, family friendly. They moved to Portugal and are now in the Philippines)
  2. Chocolate Man in Thailand, 7,44k subscribers, he seems to have archived his channel but keep an eye, you never know, he might be back.
  3. Live Travel Asia, 40.7 k subscribers

Thai Channels

  1. Shine bright like Tida, 3.2k subscribers, an Authentic sauce about Thai women and Thai culture.
  2. สาวอุดรกับสามีฝรั่ง Udon Lady With Farang, 125k subscribers, Thai family lifestyle Vlog in Udonthani Esan Thailand
  3. Miss Jira Thailand, 10.5k subscribers, Property in Thailand , House , condo , investment , Daily life , travelling. Professional & Fun!
  4. Eyes of a Thai, 4.3k subscribers, “Nid happy Lady from Mukdahan, Isaac. Living the simple life with my family, Making videos of Rural Thailand life.”
  5. FahFah, 294k subscribers, “Took a different path and determined to be a content creator.”
  6. NosickHandup ใครไม่ป่วยยกมือขึ้น, 281 k subscribers, male Youtuber,

RIP

  • Kev-in-Thailand, 31.3k subscribers. “I am living in Pattaya Thailand and filming what its like living here, Showing the life and places around Pattaya, Everything that is available here as an expat and as a tourist, I am hoping this channel is fun and informational to its viewers.”

Help me add more Youtube creators to this list. Who have I missed?

This list took almost 5 solid hours to compile: Did you find it useful?

You can Support me with Fruit, coffee, noodle soup or a whole meal so that I’ll have the energy to start on the Thailand Travel writers list for you!

Sponsored by nobody.

If you ever need to send money abroad and want to save a lot of money while doing so then use THIS link and you get your first transfer for free. No strings attached. Transferwise has saved me hundreds of dollars in fees over the last 5 years of making occasional cross border transfers. (They are also rebranding and are transitioning to their new name: Wise. So I think their branding is going to take a few months before everything will be rebranded with the new name. When I used my first free transfer I kind of wasted it on transferring $10 to test the waters. You could do that if it is the first time that you are considering using anything other than your bank account or Paypal. p.s. Transferwise is MUCH better than PayPal for sending money. MUCH!)

You can read an older post I wrote about my experience with Transferwise HERE.

BONUS:

Awkwards_Travel on Twitch. A young couple, age group mid-20s? Or is it just a single person? I can’t quite work it out. A couple who previously sailed a boat around but now are/is in Thailand? Twitch is completely new to me and I am not sure how to navigate it yet. Give me a couple of days and I’ll be back! New horizons. Thank you to the reddit user who recommend this ‘channel?’. — sorry about the confusion. I am not sure what to make of this. I can’t really find any written information at all.

A course for women over 40 ?

As I was writing the last post I realised that the information that I have to share with you is really needs a semi-structured approach. I spent 2 hours typing my last post and if I am not careful and disciplined I will mix too many elements into individual posts and cause more harm than good. Harm because overloading with too many pieces of information and too little editing will make taking action steps and following through too difficult. I might try keep posts shorter.

As I was writing down notes on paper with a big black marker, like the child I am, I came to the conclusion that the best way to take you all on this journey with me will be for me to create a structure that I need to map out before we even leave the harbour.

I will take some time tomorrow to write down 100 bulletpoints and create a few mind maps to see if I can nail down all the moving parts that we need to get comfortable with if we want to re-create our financial future. Moving our circumstantial and influenced by our own failings destiny of poverty onto the path of security will take more than my spontaneously bursting suggestions into these blog posts.

Let’s see if I can tidy this up. Can you just imagine how long it will take to write 100 blog posts and maybe create talking head videos to go with them? I think I will need your support as much as you need me to help you get unstuck and navigated into a sunnier direction.

For now I will sign off, it is late at night and we all know: it’s not easy to be productive when we don’t sleep enough.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions what you would like me to include in my project: Working title: Save myself and throw the life raft to the next person after me so they can succeed, too. Or something like that.

What I am learning about building wealth starting at 45 years old

Before anyone thinks that I have anything to sell or a magic potion: I have neither.

Think of this project as a conversation between you and I. Or maybe rather an interactive seminar. Are you threatened with old age poverty like I am? Let’s change this!

This is the approximate starting point: I am 45 and I hold equal amounts of cash in savings as I have debts. Don’t leave just yet. Wherever I turn it seems hopeless. Too late. I may as well dig my grave and give up now.

But I am stubborn and I have always believed that when EVERYONE says that it can’t be done then it does NOT mean it can’t be done it just means they didn’t think yet of how it can be done.

If you would like to join me on this journey as I find out for myself and for you how ew shall NOT end in old age poverty then please make yourself noticed: a like, a comment and even better subscribe to my posts. I think this project will require a better way for us to stay in touch with each other.

So first of all I am going to set up a Patreon or a Buy me a Coffee, so that you can support my work if you would like to (people have asked me in the past how to pay / support my work.) Someone I listed to recently said that money is a way to show appreciation. I agree. We are all far too afraid of speaking about money.

So this is your first homework: talk about money, look at your bank statements, line them up, find your passwords for internet banking and let’s get the mess tidied up first. We need a clear overview to proceed forward.

  1. Checking our finances and knowing exactly what we have or owe
  2. Checking interest rates we pay on debt we hold.
  3. breathe

The next task that we need to pick up again is my forgotten project where I meant to help you earn money from home using eBay and various other options.

I have several friends who to this day don’t have Paypal, the good new is that I believe eBay is transitioning away from paying through PayPal, they plan to pay earnings directly into our bank accounts. – If you have ever juggled your money and relied on having a Paypal account in addition to an overdrawn bank account then I hope this change won’t affect you badly. I am concerned.

But irrespective of eBay changing its payment structure: I would like you to open a PayPal account and a Transferwise account (they actually just rebranded and changed their name to Wise). I have saved a LOT of money thanks to Transferwise/Wise. How? International money transfers: the fees I saved now run into the hundreds of dollars. The other way I have saved money is that I can get paid in multiple currencies and leave the money in my borderless bank account that I have with the same company. Why am I leaving the money in there in it’s original currency instead of exchanging it? BECAUSE I sometimes make payments for services or products in let’s say Euro. If I first change the Euro I got paid into my currency and 2 months later pay for something else in Euro but have to first pay money exchange fees to make the payment, then I will have lost a small of money after receiving the Euro and converting them into dollar, and then again when I convert dollar to Euro. It is smarter to leave the money in my account as Euro. I can wait for when the dollar is strong against the Euro, and exchange my money in bulk then. Saving me potentially 10-20% on doing it immediately upon receiving the payment. Anyhow. You need practice in using digital borderless accounts and you need one to receive payments in the most advantageous to you way possible (meaning, with the least amount of fees paid)

This is your homework:

4. Open a Wise account. Use my link to sign up and you get some brownie points and I am just missing one single person to sign up and use their account and I will receive a brownie point from Wise, too. Sharing is caring.

And here is my link: https://transferwise.com/invite/u/birgitd7

NEXT: I need to develop some writing discipline. You need to be able to access the information without wading through a wall of text. Your engagement and support helps me work on that.

Would you prefer if I made this into a video?

About my recent TEFL course completion

I decided to share my TEFL win in spite of my mind criticising me and telling me: “You have a postgraduate degree, this TEFL is not a big win, it’s a lower qualification, what if people now think less of you.”


I decided to tell my inner voice: “Please would you kindly shut up?”
Because what is this? The achievement Olympics? If I feel it worthy of announcing then I will.

Lesson for all of my readers:

Please celebrate all you complete, achieve, create, strive for. It doesn’t matter what your inner critic thinks or what those around you think.

Nobody knows you and your reasons better than you. x

I took a 120 hour online TEFL course. Stop thinking about it.

I just completed a TEFL course to formalise my decades long language tutoring experience with a certificate.

I got 96%, that seems high but I didn’t think much of it until I looked it up: 70% is a pass.

Thanks, I take that virtual high five you are offering! We are all here to cheer each other on. It looks a like I may have overdelivered just a little bit on my course work. What a goof I am. I dedicated so much time! But I am also glad that I did.


The missing credits are from a couple of tests I snoozed on and didn’t pay thorough attention to.


Of course this is a relatively low level qualification compared to my postgraduate degree but it is still nice to have the experience and to be able to tick this off from my 15 year broken-record-list of: “Should I do this? What is the best way to do it? What is the best TEFL course? Will it be too hard? Will it be worth it? Let me spend 3 hours reading every review I can find online and investigate every country on the planet where I could do it. What is the income potential? It’s not worth it for the money? Speaking of money, how do the prices compare? Is this even a recognised school? Is online learning a gimmick, is it a scam?” … and on and on this roundabout of considerations would go.

I can tell you in all honesty: You are worth doing things instead of thinking about them. It is so true that you are significantly less likely to regret taking action and having done something than having dissected the idea in your mind, for a decade or longer.


This is not an exaggeration: I could have gained 2 TEFL certificates (with ease!) with all the time I spent thinking about taking a TEFL course. Thinking simply doesn’t create movement. Just do it.

I have read countless reviews. Just stop. Just pick one in the next 3 hours, pay for it and start. It IS worth it because once you complete the program you will have peace of mind. You are reclaiming this little piece or real estate in your grey matter. Actions you just think about create nothing but roadblocks for your life’s flow.

What is next for me now? I don’t actually plan to use my TEFL for teaching a main focus but I like the idea of having the certificate and having done the work to gain it. I will probably (for a fee and an additional batch of learning and test taking) upgrade my certificate from a 120 hour one to a 150 hour one with an extension course from the same school. The extension course will consolidate prior learning and provide a few more tools in the ESL teaching toolbox. I have it in my mind that for a few hours each week I would like to teach English to recent Immigrants to the USA.

When I was sick I received a lot of healthcare help from MediCal in San Francisco and to this day I am being taken care of by a team of healthcare professionals who are reassuring and welcoming. I want to give back to the city and the community. By chance I ended up with a healthcare provider serving predominately the Chinese community and I can’t explain this too you with too much logic but I am drawn to giving back to that community.

We recently moved to a tiny, tiny (did I say tiny, yet?) apartment in China Town in San Francisco and I think I will see if the local library offers language support for immigrant and if they would feel comfortable allowing me to donate some of my time for a course of lessons.

That’s it for now. Have you looked at TEFL courses? Have you taken any? What positive things came from your having taken your TEFL course? What did you learn, what did the certificate allow you to experience? Whom were you able to meet or teach as a result? Tell me something good?

P.s. The TEFL certificate for me also serves as a key to a work visa in several places in the world that I would like to have access to as my plan C, in case J and I get burnout again and need a year or 3 of a structured, regulated life the type that one can’t even imagine as a self-employed entrepreneur in this world. (Would you like to hear more about this idea?)

Non-Fungible-Tokens you what? What’s that?

Notes from my un-edited journal: I first heard about NFTs a few days ago when I head about the digital artist Beeple selling his art in the first ever sale of digital art at the auction house Christie’s. Mind blown. If I am honest I also felt a sense of irritation, isn’t it all just a lot of hype to sell digital art at an auction? But my interest was perked and my ears ready to notice the next time NFTs come up. 2 days ago I glanced a headline asking something along the lines of: “Why are people spending thousands on digital baseball cards?”

Enter Gary Vaynerchuck’s 2 minute Instagram video about NFTs and why we should care, linking to an article giving a better explanation than I could. Before you run away to read this article (which you really should) let me quickly tell you how I imagine NFT have potential to be relevant to YOU and ME. NFT offer a way to tag original digital content and I think this may put an end to plagiarism and claiming writing as your own when in fact it is a copy of a copy (you know the type when you look around the internet for the beneficial effects of turmeric and somehow 50% of articles you find sound identical, and it becomes clear that some literally are and others used the exact same starting article and merely modified the layout or tweaked a handful of words.)

Will NFT change how content mills are operated?

I think there is a possibility for NFTs protecting original writing, and written pieces’ value going up as a result!

But here, read this very illuminating article about NFTs and imagine how you as a non tech nerd CAN get in on this. How could NFT relate to what you are putting out into the world? Do you write? Take photos? Create anything? Do you write lesson plans? Imagine being able to embed your authorship so deeply into the product of your labour that even if it is copied and shared, it can always be traced back to you! I think there is the potential for NFT to take over from traditional forms of aspects of copyright registration.

I just thought of a dystopian snag in this rainbow vision of authorship. Of course one day, it could come to the point where everything we write is tagged and there is also a problem with that. It marks the end of anonymity and depending on society and political freedoms at that point: the end to uncensored speech and activism.

Why is there always such a negative use for things that also can bring so much progress? Rhetorical question. Don’t answer it.

The title of an upcoming piece of writing by me, subscribe and leave a comment to be notified when I put my thoughts on paper in more edited form:

NFT and it’s eventual contribution to the dystopian future we are trying to avoid. Well that escalated fast.

Clubhouse why you are not allowed to record

The short answer is: It’s the law. In at least one party and in other cases both are required to give their consent prior to being recorded. This gathering of consent becomes ever more difficult the more people from different states and then different countries are in the rooms.

You can check this Wikipedia Article if your inner geek’s interest is awoken and learn about this in detail on Wikipedia.

Why it is concerning that Thai Protestors and Activists are using Clubhouse to speak about their opinions. Thailand has one of the strictest laws ruling what its citizen and visitors to the country are permitted to say about the Royal Family. Many statements we might not even think of violating the lèsemajesté law can result in serious consequences. A recent Clubhouse room filled to capacity when an outspoken critic of the Royal Family spoke. As you may already know: Clubhouse requires your real name when you sign up. I am not sure how they are going to enforce this. But once you have given your real name anything you say can in theory be held against you. While Clubhouse officially does not permit recordings it is not difficult to violate this rule if you were to be a law enforcement officer seeking to gather evidence of misconduct or incriminating material. Will Thai Clubhouse users be vulnerable to criminal proceedings repercussions? Who then is Clubhouse for? We clearly need to consider to self censor ourselves.

What concerns me about Clubhouse in relation to AI:

Are we all just training Artificial Intelligence to very accurately map our voices, gather and analyse and categorise our spoken words? I am a little uncomfortable with the world that is to come in which a machine can learn what I say, interpret it, perhaps predict it. A platform like Clubhouse has the potential to take this progress incredible heights. What do we really know about Clubhouse? Is IT recording us? Technically our various laws around the world prohibit this. But do these laws prohibit our voices being used for live AI research? Is an AI software/hardware (what are they even, now I am already calling AI they, what’s next?) ‘remembering’ what we say recording?

Perhaps, I am a step ahead of the actual developments. But keep it in mind.

China’s Social credit and our western counter parts. AI loves you.

I want to briefly touch on the Chinese institution of Social credit. In (brutal) short: If one’s social standing in China is low (and it is tracked with an app) then the person’s choices become increasingly restricted. Travel by train? I hear it can become impossible. I think this is something you best look up in more knowledgable space than mine is at this moment.

But before you are accepting and repeating the idea that the Chinese Social Credit system is bad and wherever you in the world are is better. Ask yourself: Is it? I disapprove of the spreading of false information, I disapprove of blatant propaganda and more, but isn’t it concerning when one’s entire social media community is linked to a single company? Hello FB here is looking at you my friend. And with one strike against you too many your life is blocked. Your access to your friends, unavailable, your online business network, inaccessible… you get the idea. What do we think of that? Can you still honestly say that you disapprove of China’s Social credit system when the System our lives are so closely woven around are different but not really?

I think it would serve many of us well to consider more the context in which we learn anything at all. Where do our opinions come from? No really? Where is your opinion about Chihuahua rooted? Is it really your own? Aren’t we all constructs of social systems that include a selected curated list of what we as a group believe about our specific corner of the world? But is that the only truth? Look at it from another angle with another little piece of context and humans are very similar indeed. Variations, yes, but not that different after all. We have more in common than separates us. Ponder that.

The Facebook Monolith is not that dissimilar to China’s Social Credit, isn’t it?

In my case 80% of my communication with anyone I know, personal and professional, takes place on various Facebook owned platforms. You ask what does this have to do with China’s Social credit monitoring an individual’s behaviour and metering out rewards or punishments. Well, I propose that the FB algorithm does nothing less than that. Professionally speaking you rely on your exemplary social media behaviour. Always vulnerable to a stranger reporting you, irrespective of your having done what you stand accused of or not. Doesn’t that sound like the thing you are concerned about in China. For many small business owners this is reality. Self censorship begins there. And doesn’t end there. Would you like me to expand my thoughts in this for you in another post? Please let me know in comments if this is something that interests you.

Before I conclude my thoughts on Social credit. Klarna, essentially a credit / financial company and endorsed by Snoop Dog meters our it’s credit based on your social credibility. Look it up. I found it fascinating, modern and a little hair raising.

Whenever I am alarmed I am also intrigued. The future is certainly unstoppable and I personally feel that it has long gone beyond the point at which we have significant influence. If we can’t stop unnecessary but carcinogenic additives being added to our food, which is comparatively very easy to achieve as an even relatively small collective of likeminded activists, then we absolutely are too late to stop the train of progress, no matter where it will ultimately deliver us to. So, in short, I am not going to be left behind and will make as much use as I can of what the 21st century speed train is going to bring. And I think you should, too. (But perhaps read some small print from time to time or at least censor yourself before you blurt out things you might regret later. )

Why I love Clubhouse and why I think you might to.

Would you like to read my thoughts on why I love Clubhouse and why I think you might, too? If you do then please let me know and I won’t take a year to write and will instead get some thoughts down for you this weekend.

Some keywords that pop to mind and I could wax lyrical about: Clubhouse for confidence, Clubhouse for self therapy, Clubhouse for a sense of belonging, make friends on Clubhouse. Drop your social barriers on clubhouse.

I am very excited about Clubhouse let me tell you how to use it to YOUR personal and professional advantage the next time we talk.

How to move from the UK to Germany – in 2021 After Brexit

I am going to do a short series of posts in which I will summarise some reports about moving across the UK – EU border. I spend a lot of time checking forums and hopefully this will help you save a little time.

Please leave a comment to let me know if you are interested in updates on THIS and future posts about navigating the post Brexit border.

(Information for People who are leaving the UK because of Brexit or personal reasons)

Moving your belongings in boxes from the UK to Germany using a removal company. 

Experience reports confirm: Calling the HMRC doesn’t yield the clarity we are looking for.

  • HMRC states to contact your removal company, claiming that they know how the process works. However they often don’t as there currently doesn’t seem to be a clearly regulated process for the export of personal belongings when moving home from the UK.  
  • For the Export of good FROM the UK a EORI number is required, that’s intended for commercial goods but private persons can apply for one. All you require is a NI number and a few hours after applying you’ll be allocated your EORI number: https://www.gov.uk/eori
  • Get one just in case and give it to your driver just in case, it is unclear if it is needed if asked for. 
  • With your transport / removal van include a list of your packed belongings in English. 
  • In Germany you must fill in the form 0350 to register your imported personal belongings. The form also includes an area for your car.  (There will be regulations limiting your sale of any of your imported belongings for specific periods of time in the range of 12-18 months but please look this up yourself on a case by case basis. I quoted these month counts from memory.)
  • If your vehicle and moving belongings are checked at the EU border you will be given paperwork for the transit through the Schengen zone that the German (Zoll) customs duty office will require to process your paperwork.
  • It may be helpful to label your boxes with GBPR for: private goods from GB. You can attach a label or write GBPR on each box. Check paragraph 9.7: https://www.gov.uk/…/uk-trade…/uk-trade-tariff-exports

Collecting, translating and editing the information to share it with you takes a bit of time. (45-90 minutes for each post, can be more, depending on scope.)

How you can support me: It helps me to know if I should continue if you leave a comment saying: “This is useful, please share future reports that you find.”

What to do: When you struggle taking the first step.

I have nothing to sell here. But this is my experience when struggling to take the first step in life and maybe sharing it with you is helpful for you, too.

Bear with me because to start with all I have is this one liner. It might sound a little pathetic and not very profound but here it is:

If you struggle to take the first step then just skip it! Sometimes life simply doesn’t work linear. You probably think this is stupid. Here are a few examples when it worked for me:

Example #1 Reading Greek Tragedy. I started Antigone by Sophocles several times and each time just couldn’t get past the first few pages, my eyes rolling back with boredom. But some people I admired spoke highly of this play (the book is written as a play for the stage). Before giving up on reading I opened the book one last time and skipped the first few pages. I know you aren’t meant to do that, you can’t possibly be a serious reader, this probably means I am not educated and cultured enough… I blew those thoughts away and read. I was gripped. I chanced on an early passage that captivated me. I read the book cover to cover in a weekend. And started it from page one immediately after and re-read the entire play once more. To this day I love Antigone and how timeless it is, how poignant it remains relevant no matter what decade or century we are in. Skipping page 1,2,3 was the right decision.

Example #2 Emigrating. You can’t move to England because you don’t have rich parents. The assumption was I should first go to university or get an apprenticeship, then get a job, then save up and then take a vacation in the UK. Maybe, and just maybe then I could look for a job in the UK and relocate. Maybe. I was 19 and didn’t listen. I moved to the UK with a suitcase, a guitar case and a duvet, taking a long distance bus. I remember arriving in London Victoria with my belongings and waiting for the bus that would take me to Liverpool, the place I moved to. Acting now and skipping steps 1, 2, 3 was the right decision.

Example #3 Doing a Postgraduate Degree in London without enough money. You can’t move to London and accept the offer of a lifetime (a postgraduate degree program at the university of my dreams) because you can’t afford to live in London. Maybe you can apply for scholarships and go next year. But what if next year this opportunity won’t be available or my financial situation the same. You get the idea, I went. It worked out. Was it easy? NO, but it was the right decision. I once again skipped the official first step.

Times I listend to advice of taking life steps in order and how that worked out for me:

Example #4 Writing for a newspaper I love. You can’t write for us because you don’t have a degree in journalism and you are only 19 years old. Get back in touch when you have been to university. Working with Amnesty International: You haven’t been to university, we don’t think you can provide value. In hindsight I now know I could have contributed a lot if only somebody had said: “Well, how about this: Write a series of correspondences about your experience as a 19 year old moving from your home city that you love to live in England, but we can not guarantee that we can pay you but we will take a chance on you because how inspiring and bold of you to leave Germany for the unknown future in England.” or “We at Amnesty International haven’t unfortunately got a big budget right now but why don’t you come in for a work experience to see what we do in the office and perhaps we will find an aspect of our work that you could then stay on and get paid to help with.”

Example #5 Starting a Family. You can’t have a child until you are financially secure. In short: due to an unexpected long-lasting illness I missed my fertility window. I now will never have a child of my own, no matter how ready we are. I am grieving for this life I now will never know.

These are not the very best examples, I am typing them as I am standing at the kitchen counter, trying to persuade myself to take another 1st step and feeling unable to.

The things in my life I regret and mourn are the times I believed that if I can not take step 1 right now then I am not permitted to take step 2 or 3.

Then there are 1st steps that are different. The first step when you are feeling demotivated, perhaps sad, down, flat, out of self belief. What even is the first step and is it enough to take it? Sometimes you might have to jump right into the deep end. No matter if ready or not, no matter if you prepared the first step or just skipped the first 10, no matter if what you do won’t be particularly great. You’ll learn something! Sometimes it turns out a waste of time because it really is too haphazard, but I argue that if it helps you get moving, even if your train rolls off into the wrong direction, correct course as you are in momentum.

It’s worse to just sit and be stuck in the mud of life, fear, doubt…

Is it possible?

Is it crazy?

I better hope it’s crazy.

But will it feed me?

Well sitting here isn’t feeding you either.

But…

Just go, do it. Do anything but allowing this doubt to consume you indefinitely.

How many years has it been now since you first had that idea? plan? wish? ambition?…

Find a way.

If you are hungry either way then you might as well have tried.

Perhaps better to be a failure who tried than one who didn’t.

If you are short of a skill or two then please check these places for learning:

  • Skillshare
  • Udemy
  • Lynda.com
  • Youtube (but don’t get lost in there!)
  • Coursera
  • Masterclass
  • there are more out there

P.s. you may be able to tell, writing this today was a way for me to take a step. If you do want to support me then you could subscribe or press like buttons, use links on my website to sign up for things that interest you… I am also grateful if you would like to shout me a coffee or lunch: