If You Could Go Anywhere In The World, Where Would You Go?


in Make Money, Travel

Hack The System started as an experiment.

I wanted to see it it was possible to travel the world, make passive income and live an exciting life in my 20’s. I wanted to break out of my own comfort zone.

So I did.

Since 2008, I’ve been in constant motion — and many of you have followed my pursuits.

But if you think life as a digital nomad is all about traveling aimlessly, you’re wrong.

The freedom to travel at a moment’s notice or make money from anywhere in the world has always had a deeper meaning and fulfilled a special purpose for me. That’s why even when I settle somewhere, I’m never truly “idle.”

Everywhere I go, I start something new. I create a new project and leave a piece of myself behind.

My goal is always to leave something better than when I found it. I want the world to benefit from having me in it — and dammit, I want to have fun.

Whether it’s building a completely outsourced business on the back of a an ass or founding an NGO in India…


Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 7.50.50 PM

Hello. Step into my office.

Or becoming an overnight sensation as a DJ in Berlin…


No matter if I was trekking around Italy and Columbia learning languages and getting sandwiches named after myself, or  buying an island off the coast of Canada…

The best part about living life as a digital nomad is the freedom to write your own ticket and build a life full of meaningful projects on your own time, without having to worry about clocking in to a desk job.

You already know about the technology I’m building to help you change your behavior and install positive habits — but what many people don’t realize is that my ability to start that business is a direct result of all the tools I’ve developed over the last 5 years traveling, learning and starting other micro-businesses.

So now, I want to hear from you:

  1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  2. If you could start a meaningful project or business tomorrow, what would it be?

Let me know in the comments. On Friday, we’ll review all the coolest responses.

PS – I really appreciate the feedback. All of it will help with the new program I’m building to teach you how to create a location independent business. You can sign up here to get more info before I release it.


Ann Elkington April 13, 2014 at 12:16 am


I’m a designer working on a project which examines the effects of light and colour, so I am tardy in getting to answer the travel questions you posed .
Because of my work with colour and light and the calming effects of those on people everywhere in the world,
I want to go to three speciifc locations long known for the unusual qualities of light which occur there:
Channel Islands UK,
Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego SA,
the Namib Desert in Namibia Africa.
I want to stay among people living in those places to confirm what I am beginning to suspect—that the kinds of light people live with effects their temperaments and therefore that of their society.
I want to live in those particular environments long enough to feel these qualities of light myself and to start to figure out how I can replicate these light—-and possibly calming —–qualities in the project I am doing.

Yes, Maneesh, I admit its a bit unusual, but I think it could have far reaching & beneficial ramifications world wide.

Yours sincerely,
Annie Elkington


Scott April 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I’d go anywhere as long as I was leading a group of people out of their comfort zones: Take French Canadians to Calgary, Calgarians to Quebec, Cajun coon asses anywhere north of I-10.

These are adventures I can do right now! Ya wanna do it with me?


Daphnée April 11, 2014 at 8:14 am

That’s great to hear 🙂 I’m from Quebec!


Maris April 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

1-I’d want to go to Finland. I’ve heard nothing but good things about that place.
2-I want to develop some kind of revolutionary language learning method. I’ve tried so many different ways and I’ve been disappointed a ton. For first-timers or shy folks, simply making best friends with polyglots doesn’t help in the beginning. So, I want to address and alleviate these anxieties by preparing people to make basic conversations in a way that they can understand and feel confident about.


Matthew April 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

My wife and I want to visit Madagascar – we’ve seen so many beautiful pictures/videos of it that it only makes sense to visit.

My next project is to help married couples move from good to great marriages!


Tiffany April 10, 2014 at 11:11 am

I’d like to travel to Paris and I’d like to start a fashion project.


Simon April 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

1. I would travel into the wild, like Africa and make a little Safari tour. It can be scary though, but I really need to get the feeling and appreciation of not beeing in the food chain! 😛

2. Here I rather be more realisitc. I feel like I am cursed. I have so many physical products, which I can produce and create, but I do not have the marketing skills. I hope I can beat my curse soon enough so I can share my experience with other people.


Robin April 10, 2014 at 8:26 am

I would love to start living in Florence, Berlin and Frankfurt. 2 to 3 months every location. I would love to have an independent business that I can help people to lose weight while eating food they love-online fitness bootcamp with minimum maintenance. Just emails. once a week.


Wan April 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

I would like to go to somewhere really calm. My project -> inspire others to stop giving up on their ideals and pursue it.


Richie April 10, 2014 at 2:49 am

Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives is where I’d go if I could travel anywhere!

I would like to start a Program for kids, high school students and early 20 somethings that was all about creating businesses. I think there is a huge lack of that around. Heck if you even take a business class in high school or college they teach accounting, supply and demand, business license and tax crap and never once actually cover creating a business. I’d like to create one that said screw all the obstacles lets build the business and then worry about that and actually help them do it.

As a serial entrepreneur since I was 9 I feel young people are getting screwed over by the system.

Granted that wouldn’t exactly give me the freedom to travel.


Quinn April 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Yup, I’ve lived my life ass backwards too hehe, been to a few places around the world, I may check out Canada and the US one day, I have a business now, but my next move would probably be to go back to school. Though i have to say, i always appreciate coming back home to New Zealand after going overseas, we are so lucky to have what we have and thats not me showing off either >_<


David Ko April 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

1. I would travel to North Korea and go to places that I was restricted from before, and meet the Koreans that I have been cut from. I would like to go through the country and see the mountains, cities, history, and get to know my people over the border.

2. I would like to Uganda and go to an orphanage school I know and help the staff teach the children. Also, I would start a donation campaign for the school to feed the children and provide medicals.


Frank C Jones April 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

In 2006, I was one of five people involved in a head-on collision. It was like hitting a brick wall at 120 mph (literally) and I gained some perspective on life.
1) If I could go anywhere in the world I would go? Exactly where I am. I’ve traveled to Bolivia (2010), Spain (2011), France, Italy, Andorra (all 2012), Mexico, Belize, and Honduras (all 2013) already. This May I plan to return to Spain before jumping off to Turkey and Greece. However, I try to avoid wishing I was somewhere I’m not. Rather, I try to live in the moment and be happy where I am. The accident taught me that life is too short to wait for adventure, happiness, and opportunities to find you. Instead, you must make things happen and take action.
2) If I could start a meaningful project or business tomorrow, what would it be? Here too, I have to say that I’m already doing this with the launch of This blog and, soon to launch, podcast is dedicated to helping scholars figure out the business of being an academic.
I pay my bills as a writer so I can have the location independence and freedom to follow my passions. When I found Hack The System in 2010, I didn’t know how I was going to create the life I wanted. Since then I have learned a lot from Maneesh and other bloggers. Travel hacking, extreme early retirement, and the life of a digital nomad are just three of the topics that have helped me take control of my life.
In just a couple hours I will be presenting information about travel hacking to a group of twenty people. If all goes well, what I’ve learned from Hack The System will help them as much as it has helped me.
Thanks Maneesh, for all you put into this blog and your other projects. I can’t wait for the launch of Pavlock!


Drew April 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Being 15, travel is but a pipe-dream; after all, it’s impossible to garner so much money (legal inability of owning a credit card) and I’d have to go with my parents. Nevertheless, I can start a project: I’m currently learning (“getting used to,” as Khatzumoto at would call it) Japanese using the immersion/SRS method. I plan to be native-fluent by the time I am 19 and plan to go to Japan upon receiving a Master’s in Mathematics. I have a passion for music as well, and am learning the ropes for FL Studio to compose and produce music.
Post Script: This is my first post on this blog, and to my memory any blog. Whoopie.


Ivan November 27, 2014 at 7:36 am

Fantastic that you are learning Japanese!
Khatzumoto’s method is certainly the way I did it as well!
Best of luck on your journey!


Connor Grooms April 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

1. Amsterdam and Mallorca, Spain. I happen to have a ticket to Amsterdam in five weeks and one to Mallorca two weeks later 🙂
2. The website that I’m launching in five weeks, Every month, I will travel to a new country and master a new skill, sharing epic how-to posts, adventure videos, and interviews with current masters. (If you are interested, the first 100 subscribers are getting something special when I launch- signup here:


Tony Walker April 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm

1. I love to travel and to know Peru. Look at all these ancient buildings and appreciate closely the important and mysterious Inca culture. Peru stands out all traces left by the ancestors and their indecipherable signs of superior intelligence.

2. I would initiate my project to import items from China. This city is a great market with great potential for commercialization of most of the Asian products.


Laurel April 9, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Also good job on all that you have accomplished!! your life has been incredibly inspiring to me ( even if I’ve been seeing it all through envious green tinted glasses!) it is always wonderful to see people living their dreams awake! Keep doing your thing maneesh! You’re doing it wonderfully:) thank you!


Laurel April 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I want to go everywhere. Most recently I’ve been interested in African culture I love the music scene right now. 🙂 I’m with the music guy who wants to go to turkey I love world music! Most other countries sing about love and meaningful things and I am quite a fan of that. New Zealand bc it was my grandmas favorite country and my sister wants to take her ashes there and that would be a neat excursion I recently returned from china which I absolutely loved! I’d go explore further there and Korea! Russia and Ukraine (maybe not today hah;)But nowhere is off track for me I want to see it all!

I am highly interested in alternative medicines . When I say alternative I mean different options to the relatively new and widely accepted as the best version of health wih his western. I think there should be a way to explore the other options hi choir being though of as crazy. There should be a choice because westernized hacking and chopping up our bodies should never be the first choice! Health is from within not without! Health has changed dramatically recently and not in the right direction. Think about cancer “research” all that money thrown at findin a cure. Never the cause! It is absolutely frustrating and infuriating to me! I’d start a consulting company to show people there are other ways to cure yourself. Doctors are not gods. They don’t always know what’s best and the sad thing is people don’t realize this until they have put all their eggs in the western basket and it is too late for them to even consider the alternatives.


Aaron K April 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm

First, study traditional folk and classical music in Turkey and explore the burgeoning music scene in Istanbul. Later, Southern Spain and Northern Morocco. Then, backpack around Central Asia to research and explore music of the Silk Road cultures.

Between my late teens and early 20’s, I made opportunities to study traditional music in India, Morocco, and Senegal. I’ve been passionate about music most of my life and after discovering a burning interest in world music I decided to pursue my education through cultural immersion. After some years of continuing to study in the US, refining my craft, and creating lots of interesting music projects assimilating all the many styles I’ve soaked up, I want to take it the next level… That is I envision a business venture where I provide educational materials on world music for western musicians and do travelogue-style adventures to foreign places focused on musical folklore.


penny April 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I would go to Rome & Greece if I could travel the world and do a stop over in Eastern Europe, then see the Auroras followed by winter in Hokkaido.
If I could start a project, I want to be able to start a project to help people who have recently been laid off find another source of income, another vocation or job.


Andre April 9, 2014 at 11:48 am

1) a) Next Universo Paralello party Brazil. b) Go to the same steam baths in Helsinki Finland my gramps visited during the ’52 Olympics. He obtained a certificate with quite humorous wording about having endured steam and fire etc. Would be cool if the place still exists and if I can obtain the modern version of said certificate 😀
c) Attend metal concert in Goteborg in Sweden.
d) Lots of places in the East.

2) Project to bring about legislation requiring all politicians, especially presidents, to have a minimum qualification level and having obtained some certification or qualification which is specifically geared towards politics. Many professions require you to have some minimum qualification level, especially if your actions/words can have profound effect on other people’s lives or state of aliveness. Doctors, lawyers, etc…. why not politicians? Our country’s president and politicians are prime examples of where such a requirement would have been useful…


Dave April 9, 2014 at 11:57 am

1) I’d travel with my son to Seattle for a couple of months this summer so he could train with the best pitching coach in the country.

2) Project to bring about legislation barring qualification tests for politicians. We live in an overcredentialed world that assumes the only people qualified to do a given job have some meaningless letters after their name. Teacher (for example) certification is a joke – and the peer reviewed evidence proves it.


Joshua montras April 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm

1. Just trekked from Costa Rica to California. I would like to follow springtime along the belt of fire from Alaska to Patagonia.
2. – a project that benefits communities thru commerce
3. Continue living dream


David E. April 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

I want to go to different places as in the past 2years i have been traveling around EU, North America, the caribean and South America..mostly with tips from you. Iwant to go to Israel to train KravMaga, Thailand and train Muai Thai, Russia and live for a few months in Paris with my girl.
2. I started a proyect that lets me work from anywhere by trading food products and agri-commodities, it had a good start ,however,not every day a client buys a container load of goods (I’m missing a passive income source but I’m already working on it) I want mu trading company ROANATURALS to trade fairtrade and healthy food products in order to cooperate with growers in developing countries and help my buyers in first world nations to buy products that will improove their health and wellbeing.
PS. I still dont know how to apply many things you teach (im on my way to it) and i am following your fitness journey too, I’ve lost 20 lbs since Jan. and on my way to loose 15more …all by changing my food habits. Thx


Joe April 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

Go: Thailand or India specifically to do a 10 day silent meditation retreat. Having a pregnant wife and a two year old makes it impossible to unplug for that long (for now).
Project: tough one. As a VC I see so many amazing projects and technologies. Definitely something to help the extremely poor – perhaps with water or medical screenings. Not sure…


Viktor April 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

Help with the Start-up scene down there 🙂


Molly's Vote April 9, 2014 at 9:15 am

Give Italy, where I am another year at most then the UAE, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Newzealand, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Mozambique and Rwanda in that order.


Sam April 9, 2014 at 8:53 am

1. Thailand, Melledin & San Fransisco in that order (already bought my ticket).

2. I would make life 100x easier for college kids (already started a blog).


Steve April 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

A cruise – Bahamas – somewhere warm and sunny
a business to generate only about 1 to 2 grand a month to take my retired life from OK to much better – maybe writing? but definitely portable


Sarah April 9, 2014 at 8:26 am

Housing for mentally retarded and mentally ill – think nursing homes and halfway houses – there is a better way.


Chris Reynolds April 9, 2014 at 8:22 am

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?……World Tour….England, France, Spain, Ghana, Thailand…….doing it and leaving in 5 weeks. Spending the rest of 2014 traveling.

If you could start a meaningful project or business tomorrow, what would it be? Hiking the Camino de Santiago to raise money for the slave children in Ghana…..doing it!!!!!! Starting on May 22nd and then going to Ghana to build an orphanage for the children in Aug. :):):) Thanks for the inspiration bro.


Settit April 9, 2014 at 8:18 am

I’d like to stay where I’m based in Italy and master the language before jetting off to a new destination. First off I’d like to start a business that generates me enough income to be able to live abroad freely. Then eventually I’d love to start a for-purpose company in Latin America.

Ideally all before I’m 25 because I also want to travel to South East Asia and live in Spain, learning Spanish.

Right now I’m imagining a 24-Style countdown clock, thankfully I have longer than 24 hours 😀


Chris April 9, 2014 at 8:14 am

1. Go: Antarctica and the South Pole, why, because I need to chill & haven’t been set foot on Antarctic yet…
2. Project: Create a tool that empowers individuals to have more political influence; for example, twitter was a catalyst in allowing the Arab Spring to occur–along the same lines, I’m thinking of a project that would be hardware/software based that would convenietnly allow anyone to test the quality of their air/water/food and thereby take the power from the institutions that are supposed to be doing this for citizens and allowing citizens to hold the institutions accountable (and, when they are accountable, allowing citizens via such a quick test tool to force change)


Joshua montras April 9, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Good idea Chris. Lets make it.


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