Everyone knows that Venice is best explored on foot. You can walk for days, getting totally lost, finding hidden alleys and charming scenes. Jacob Laukaitis, a self-defined nomadic digital entrepreneur, recently spent three days doing just that, and filmed the results.
This millennial is inspiring travelers to give up the 9-to-5 and explore the world – in the past few years he’s been to some amazing places, judging by his Instagram feed! On his radar: Venice, Rome, Siena and the rather smaller Orvieto and Asian-favourite Bagnoregio. Catching up over a virtual coffee, I asked him about the nomadic lifestyle, his trip to Italy, and some tips for Venice, which he says he particularly enjoyed.
Tell us about yourself – what inspired you to travel full time and run a business abroad
I have been running my own online ventures ever since I was 15. However, right after I graduated High School, I decided I wanted to travel and see the world. So I started working on ventures that would allow me to be completely location independent and let me do my job from anywhere. What inspired me? The wonders of the world!
You set up a successful online coupon business – how many hours do you put into this and other “work” projects in an average day?
I currently focus all of my work time on the online coupons business I co-founded a year and a half ago, called ChameleonJohn.com. So I work full-time, travel full-time and make travel videos as a hobby. Recently I was also approached by an online hotel booking platform Travel-Ticker.com who wanted to sponsor my travel videos (including the one from Venice), so that’s been helpful, since I didn’t have to pay for editing and equipment.
You travel full time, but you don’t have a travel blog – you communicate entirely using a private Facebook page, Instagram, and occasional articles on Medium. Tell us about this interesting choice.
When I was starting out, I would occasionally write a blog post about my travels. However, I realized it’s extremely difficult to get enough traffic to make it worthwhile, so I resorted to posting pictures from my travels on Facebook and Instagram. And I also started making travel videos 4-5 months ago, which has been extremely interesting and rewarding.
Your latest long trip focused on Asia – Japan, Dubai, India… what made you “stop by” Italy for 10 days?
Initially I was supposed to travel around Asia for 9 months, but I faced some health issues and had to stop after 4 months. Since I had to spend some time in Europe, I decided to go explore Italy for at least 10 days, which was wonderful.
How did you choose which cities in Italy to visit?
I asked my friends who had already been there. And Venice, Siena, Orvieto and Rome turned out to be perfect for my small trip!
Seems that you liked Venice best of all. Why?
Venice was wonderful. Definitely one of the most interesting cities/towns in all of Europe. But I’m not sure if it was my favorite place. It’s remarkable with its history, tiny lanes and streets, hundreds of small family restaurants and massive historic buildings. However, I’m not a fan of big crowds, so sometimes Venice felt a little bit tiring.
What tips do you have for travelers wanting to get to know the city on water?
My main tip is to walk as much as you can, and get lost time and time again. That’s the best way to discover the undiscovered! In my video I also take a boat trip, which I let viewers choose as a way to explore the city with me, though that was relatively short – I still think that is a must-do while you’re there, though.
How does travel in Italy compare to the more “extreme” places you’ve visited?
Currently I’m a very big fan of Asia, because I was born and raised in Europe, so I guess that feels more familiar to me and I like to get out of my comfort zone. But even then, Italy was a wonderful experience, because it has tons of historic places to visit, the people are very kind and friendly, it was easy to find vegetarian food, and most places were completely walkable, including Rome.