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Thor

Thor Winther is an engineer by profession but has been travelling the world full time since late 2015. He is the author of www.worldwidewinther.com, a blog focused on budget/backpacking solo round-the-world travelling.

How to inspire (internet marketing applied in real life)

I recently inspired my niece (sorry it’s in Danish) to jump head first into a 4 month volunteer gig in Vietnam – that she didn’t land until 2 weeks after she got to Vietnam! She just went to Vietnam, hoping for the best, and succeeded.

Now, I didn’t know I was an inspiration until she wrote an article about it but as you can imagine it made me extremely happy to know I had benefited positively to her life.

Internet Marketing crash course

I’ve recently gotten deep into Internet Marketing and I’ve always been into travelling. In Internet Marketing they tell you a lot about the importance of being an attractive character and targeting the right audience.

If you have an attractive character, you can sell anything. Take Oprah Winfrey, it doesn’t matter what she promotes – she could be promoting a website selling fucking mouse traps and the sales would go through the roof. It’s called the Oprah effect and small businesses could literally go bankrupt because of this extreme overflow of orders they would receive that they couldn’t handle. Being an attractive character is all about building trust.

At the same time, you need to target your audience (unless you’re Oprah). If you preach adventure travel to families with small children, $30000 business classes to plumbers or Justin Bieber tickets to 70+ year olds you’re not very likely to succeed. On the other hand, if you preach internet marketing to established entrepreneurs who already have a product and are looking to expand…. Well your chances of success increase manifold.

The story of my niece

“To my niece, I’m an attractive character. She trusts my choices and she trusts my advice. At the same time, she was the perfect target audience for what I’m preaching”.

I started this post by saying I was an inspiration to my niece. My niece was already planning to go. She had saved up a bit of money, she had ticked off time in her calendar and she had the will to go. Only, she thought it would be much harder, that she would need a lot more money and generally thought everything was a lot scarier than it really was.

I told her all the good things of travelling solo, how everyone helps you and how being vulnerable and in need of help opens your eyes to the complete and utter joy of being in a shitty situation and coming out on top. How grateful you feel when a complete stranger goes out of his way to help you for completely selfless reasons (part of why I like hitchhiking but that’s another story).

She wanted to save up for over half a year but I told her she didn’t need to do that. Just a few months to have 1500$ in your bank account, just in case, and off you go.

She wanted to have the volunteer organization set-up beforehand but I told her all the big organizations are often scams and charge you to volunteer! Ridiculous amounts of money – like $3000 for 3 weeks – AND you work for free. Just go to Vietnam and find something while you’re there – it’s a lot easier when you are “on location”. Worst-case you can work as an English teacher and you’ll do good by teaching English and pay the bills while you look around for real volunteer work.

After two weeks in Vietnam, she found it. She got to live with a host-family that paid everything for her for 4 months. She didn’t pay anything to volunteer, other than her time and her skills, of course. That’s how volunteering should be. She was fully submerged in the Vietnamese life. A once-in-life-time experience. Had she gone with 20 other white teenagers to a YMCA workcamp at $1000/week… well… it wouldn’t be the same, would it?

How my niece and internet marketing fits together

As I listen to the webinars and online classes of internet marketing and they’re telling me these things I’m thinking about how this applies to real life and how absolutely true it is.

To my niece, I’m an attractive character. She trusts my choices and she trusts my advice. At the same time, she was the perfect target audience for what I’m preaching.

I’m preaching “Just do it – quit your job – travel – live your life – what are you waiting for”. What I’m preaching, is what she wants to hear and she wants to hear it from someone who’s been through it all and someone who used to be in her shoes and understands her. About to travel solo for the first time, nervous and insecure.

As a result, I became an inspiration to her. That simple.

My realization from this

I’ve preached left and right to anyone who cared to listen (or just didn’t have a way to escape) about how they should just give it all up and go travel. See the world. I preach how it’s possible even on a low-budget as that’s what most people say are holding them back. But I mean, if you’re not even interested in leaving – you’re happy – what do you care if it’s possible. You don’t want it. I’ve completely missed my target audience. I can talk all day about it and it would never have an impact, at least not positive. As in real life, so it is in internet marketing.

Why am I writing this down? Because even though this stuff is quite simple, really, it’s still important and by writing it down it will help me remember better and if someone out there, known or unknown, finds this interesting and reaches out I will have expanded on my network and maybe it will lead me to further interesting realizations.

For anyone interested, I’m doing the 100-days affiliation bootcamp of ClickFunnels and it’s an eye opener. Note: these are affiliate links so you’ll be supporting me if you do it but I genuinely would still recommend it even if I got zero commission.

An Update from Life on the Road

G’day mates! This post serves as a small update from my life and a visit into the life of a Dane on Working Holiday in Australia

Too lazy to read the whole thing? I’ve been in Sydney for a little over a month now and it’s been great!

Reminiscing on the past

The first two weeks I stayed at my friend David’s house near Bondi Beach – beautiful surroundings, central location.

The next two weeks I stayed at my friend Garrett’s girlfriend’s parent’s house in the suburbs. I slept outside on the balcony, listening to kookaburras and frogs while enjoying the pleasant temperature of the Australian summer.

Finally, I spent a week at a hostel, a time which can be seen as a transition period before I finally will be moving in to a regular apartment in Ultimo, Sydney (about 15 min walk from central station). It’s a dorm style flat where we are 5 people total and 3 in the room I’m in.

Rent in Sydney is ridiculously high and unless you want to pay a lot of money or stay far from the city center, that’s how you do it. A good offer is about $350 AUD / week (or about $1500 AUD = $1150USD = 8000DKK per month) for a private room in the city center. I pay $175/week. On the plus side, there is a free gym, free pool and a fussball table included.

“Everything is better with a fussball table.”

Living in the present

Currently, I am in a train on the way to Canberra where David works during the weekdays. He stays at a hotel so I can crash there and stay for free while taking a break from Sydney to explore Canberra, the capital of Australia. Everyone says it’s a shithole because it’s basically just a very lightly densed small town styled city in the middle of the bushes. Consequently, it’s an ideal place for spotting Kangaroos, so that’ll be the highlight of the trip for me. Kangaroos and the Australian War Memorial which is also worth a visit if you find your way here.

UPDATE (I succeeded):

I’ve also gotten a job at the iconic location of Luna Park, which is a 1930’s styled theme park right by the river with a view to both darling harbour, the opera house and the bridge. It is a prime location and a well-known tourist attraction. I work there in the functions department which means my day mainly consists of polishing glasses, decking tables and serving / waiting food and drinks at events.

It’s not too hard on the ol’ thinker and when your shift is over you can forget about work – none of that “Your work follows you home” kinda crap.

“It’s not too hard on the ol’ thinker and when your shift is over you can forget about work – none of that “Your work follows you home” kinda crap.”

the iconic Luna Park in Sydney
Luna Park in Sydney by night. Source: Internet

Forward, Always Forward.

My immediate future looks like I’m going to be a working man. I’ve got a couple of online endeavours as well as the job at Luna Park and between these I’ll have plenty to do. I’ve already accepted that these first 3 months in Australia are dedicated to money making time. Less sightseeing and more canned Salmon and pasta. I’ll still be able to get “underneath” the city and experience day-to-day local living here.

Also, I haven’t touched a drip of alcohol since New Years and I’ve dropped 6 kgs down to an all-time low of 89kg (in recent time).

So that’s my life in a nutshell. I’ve opened a bank account, I’ve opened an Australian phone number, I’ve moved in to an apartment, I’ve gotten a job and a tax file number. In short, I’m settled.

Return to the Western World

As I’ve been here in Sydney for a week, I’ve gotten a vague idea of Australia. Obviously, Australia is huge and I’ve only seen one city.

Similiarities with other cultures

Australia is, naturally, heavily influenced by England which manifests itself in such things as an abundance of fish’n’chips shops, driving on the left side of the road and cricket fields. However, Australia also has distinct cultural similarities with for example California in the US, like the laid back culture; the flip flops and the board wear.

bondi beach in sydney with surfer
Bondi beach, Sydney.

The language is English but there are a many new words and expressions that I’ve never heard before. The overuse of the word “heaps” is one. It means “a lot” or “many”:

“There are heaps of people on the beach”.

Another fun little quirk of the Australian language is exchanging the end of a word (or name) with “o”:

Bottle-o (bottle shop), arvo (afternoon), servo (service center), David (dave-o).

Sydney Beaches

You’ll see several different types here: You’ve got the German tourists out to lick some sun away from the cold winter back in Europe, you see the young surfers with their blond curly hair and billabong shorts and finally you see the ripped people running around topless (the boys, that is) who spend most of their time going to the gym and eating healthy. In all three situations, the goal is the same: to look good on the beach.

I went to two of the beaches in Sydney so far – Bondi and Bronte. Both extremely nice beaches with white sand and blue water.

bondi beach in sydney
Bondi Beach, Sydney from a high vantage point

You’ll see several different types here: You’ve got the German tourists out to lick some sun away from the cold winter back in Europe, you see the young surfers with their blond curly hair and billabong shorts and finally you see the ripped people running around topless (the boys, that is) who spend most of their time going to the gym and eating healthy. In all three situations, the goal is the same: to look good on the beach.

There is a definitely a large culture evolving around the beach and life on the beach.

Biking in Sydney

One thing, I miss from Denmark, is the bicycle culture. With the amazing weather we’re currently having here in Sydney a bike would be just great. Needless to say I was super stoked when my friend David said that I could borrow his bike. The initial excitement went away though when I learned that bikes are not exactly common in Sydney and people don’t use them as much as a means of transportation but rather recreationally – on racing bikes rather than citybikes.

There are no bike lanes so you share the road with the cars – and some cars really don’t like that so they get super close to you. Still, there is a functioning train/bus system and actual sidewalks which is a nice change of pace from the craziness that is Saigon (and the rest of South East Asia).

Sports

I’ve heard Australians call themselves a very sporty nation many times. They obviously play rugby and cricket but they also play four (!) different types of football, with one of them being the normal style soccer. They have huge stadiums (100.000+ people) and, apparently, the atmosphere in those stadiums is through the roof. Even if I don’t like the sport, I should still go, just for that sensational feeling.

Conclusion

Australia Provides a lot of new and interesting things for me to explore. And I’ve only been in one city so far!