How to Create a Location-Independent Business with Debbie Arcangeles

How to Create a Location-Independent Business with Debbie Arcangeles byt Expat Empire
 Debbie Arcangeles

In this episode of the Expat Empire Podcast – how to create a location-independent business, we will be hearing from Debbie Arcangeles. Debbie got her first taste of life in another country when she moved with her family from the Philippines to New York City when she was only 8 years old.

After starting to experience regular panic attacks in her dream corporate career, she eventually left that world behind to become her own boss. Following a few failures, Debbie has found great success with her podcast The Offbeat Life where she interviews other digital nomads and location-independent business owners. If you are thinking about quitting your 9-5 and starting your own business, then this is the episode for you!

LEARN in this episode:

✔ How to leave your corporate career behind for a location-independent career making money ` in the places and working the hours you want to

✔ How to mix passion and profit in the right way to create a successful and sustainable business

✔ Tips for dealing with the emotional ups and downs that will inevitably come when you start working for yourself

✔ How to decide whether to keep working on your current business idea or to change to working on another new business idea

✔ Advice for balancing your work while still being able to enjoy traveling as a location-independent entrepreneur

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Welcome to the Expat Empire Podcast, the podcast where you can hear from expats around the world and learn how you can join them.

Hey guys, before we get to the interview, I want to remind you that we’re offering free 30-min consulting calls to anyone interested in moving abroad. 

Whether you’re thinking about retiring somewhere warm, starting an international career, or becoming a digital nomad, we’re ready to help you think through the next steps in your journey. 

Send us a message at to schedule your call today!

With that said, let’s start the conversation.

How to Create a Location-Independent Business with Debbie Arcangeles -Conversation:

David McNeill: [00:46] Hey Debbie, thanks so much for joining us today on the Expat Empire Podcast.

Debbie Arcangeles: [00:50] Hey, David, thanks so much for having me here. I’m really excited to talk to you.

David McNeill: [00:54] Yeah, same here. You’ve had quite an interesting background and a lot of cool stuff that you’ve done and are currently doing. So I’m super excited to hear more about that, but just to start us all off, if you could tell us a bit about where you’re originally from, where around the world you’ve lived so far? Even if it’s a shortened list and where you’re currently living, that would be great.

Debbie Arcangeles: [01:12] Yeah, absolutely. I am originally from the Philippines. I was born there and then I came to the United States when I was around eight or nine years old. I have lived in the Philippines, in New York, and in Florida. Those are like the three places that I’ve lived at. But I am a location-independent business. I have a business that I run from anywhere. If I could, I would travel more but unfortunately, my husband has a stable nine to five job here in New York City. We’re based here, but I often travel for my business.

David McNeill: [01:48] Okay, awesome. Just to go, I guess, from the very beginning, as you’ve said, you were originally from the Philippines and you moved to New York, I believe when you were about eight years old, from what I understand. So if you could just talk about that transition. Obviously, there’s probably a lot you can say there but just given that that must’ve been such a stark contrast for you. Even at that young age, I can imagine that that had some consequences and effects on your desire to travel these days. So maybe you could talk about that a bit. That would be great.

Debbie Arcangeles: [02:15] Yeah, absolutely. Like I mentioned, I was born in the Philippines in a tiny little town. Probably most of your listeners will never hear about it until now. I was born in Roxas City. If you’ve been to the Philippines, you’re probably familiar with a very touristy area called Boracay. It’s a few hours from there, just to give you a little destination spot. We immigrated here because my mom came here first. Like most immigrants, you come here for a better life. There really wasn’t any jobs in the Philippines. My mom came here with some of her family and they petitioned for us to come here and I did not see her for a very long time. Most of my early childhood, I didn’t have my mother. My dad actually left his job as a merchant marine to take care of me full time.

I ended up coming here when I was eight about to turn nine, I believe. It was pretty crazy because it was everything that I knew. All of my friends, my family, people that I was close to, I was leaving and I came to an extremely different country. The Philippines is a very poor country, coming from that to a very, very rich country. Just coming here, seeing what people were doing, how they were living. I still remember the first time I tasted pizza and it was so gross because I was so used to rice and fish and vegetables, to eat something that was very fat and heavy. Like oils and cheese and all of that stuff, which was so new to me was pretty incredible.

David McNeill: [03:56] Have you gotten used to it since, I’m going to guess you probably have?

Debbie Arcangeles: [03:59] Oh yeah. I’m a New Yorker, so I have to. It’s one of our staple foods here. I grew up in New York City. I’ve spent more time in New York than in the Philippines, so absolutely.

David McNeill: [04:11] Yeah, I can imagine. Taking from that, did you have any thoughts of, I don’t know, going back to the Philippines one day or just, how did it sort of lead to this idea of, let me go and see the world again and not just…you could’ve just as easily just stayed in New York or in your own neighborhood and never ventured out again, but what sort of led to that desire and ultimately opportunity to do so?

Debbie Arcangeles: [04:36] Absolutely. When I came to the United States like most people who are immigrating, the travel part of that is not about seeing things for fun, it’s about having a new way of life. It’s about necessity. It wasn’t like, oh, we’re going to do this for fun. It’s going to be amazing. We’re going to see a new culture. No, it was like, it’s really scary. It’s not for fun. It’s a new life for us. It’s a new beginning. But where I ultimately got the travel bug was really from my father. He was a merchant marine, then once we came to the United States, he went back to that and he traveled all over the world. I believe he’s visited all the continents. He has crossed the globe several times and I would see him only three months out of the year. He would tell me about all of these different places. That’s where really it all started for me, was seeing the world through my dad’s eyes. The stories that he would come back, the pictures that he would show me and I wanted to do something similar. I wanted to see the world. I didn’t just want to be in a little, you know, in my own little world. That’s really how it all began for me.

David McNeill: [05:52] Were there any specific spots of the stories that he told you, were there any places that were on your bucket list straight away that you’ve already been able to make it to, or you know, any prime spots that you’d recommend to our listeners?

Debbie Arcangeles: [06:05] Ironically, one of the countries that my dad always talked about but I’ve never been to, which is really funny, is Japan. He’s always talked about that, but I think I’ve been saving it because I want to go there with him. We’re definitely planning it once everything starts to calm down. My husband and I, and my parents were all talking about it. We’re like, well, we’ll go to Japan together. You’ve always wanted us to go there together. I think that’s really the reason why I wanted to save that spot so I could go there with my dad and see it through his eyes and why he loved it so much because he’s literally been through so many different countries for work and that was the one place that really stood out to him.

For me, actually, the first country that I went to, which was for fun as a tourist, was France. It was Paris. That was really one of the places that I wanted to go to. I went there when I was 16. I actually went there instead of having a sweet 16, like they do here in the U.S. I told my mom, I don’t want that. I would rather go to Paris because my school at that time was having a trip to Paris. I was like, instead of spending all of that money for one night, I would rather do Paris, so that’s what I ended up doing.

David McNeill: [07:26] Amazing. Yeah. It’s funny to hear about your story and the interest in Japan, because of course that’s a place that I’ve spent a couple of years and a lot of time learning the language and so on. In fact, my grandpa was in the Navy for I think, 20 years and he did two world tours early on in his career. He went to Japan in the early 1950s. Those stories have always stuck with me and was definitely one of the reasons that I was originally kind of interested in Japan. I mean, one of many reasons, but it’s fun to hear that you had a kind of similar experience with your family as well.

Debbie Arcangeles: [07:59] Yeah. My dad always talks about it. He’s like, it’s so beautiful. The food is really good. The people are amazing, so one day soon we’ll all go together.

David McNeill: [08:09] Sounds good. I guess changing tact a bit in terms of going into your career and how you’ve been able to make your business and your career more location-independent, could you help talk us through what your process was to finding those opportunities, to be able to be more location independent, to be more of a nomad and to make your money where you want to live?

Debbie Arcangeles: [08:31] It was definitely a long road. I had a corporate nine to five job like most people, and it wasn’t, so this is the thing, it was a job that I went to school for. It was a job that most people thought was like a dream job, right because I honestly made my own hours. My company was amazing. The people I worked were really great. It was something that I thought I really needed. People always tell you, you need a stable job and I got it. I was paid really well. The business was really great, you know, the company, but I knew that it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t a nine to five type person and I wasn’t really passionate about it.

The last two years of working there and I worked there for almost eight years, I actually started having panic attacks every four months and it was kind of clockwork. It was pretty incredible how it was every four months this would happen to me. Then at that time too, even before I had that job, and throughout that time, I was traveling a lot and I was meeting so many people that were location independent, that owned their own online businesses, or were remote workers. I was really interested in that.

What ended up happening was I started thinking about it and my husband, who was my boyfriend at that time was like, you should listen to these podcasts about online entrepreneurs and how they got into it. I started listening to a few of them and it really caught me you know. I was like, I don’t know what to do with myself. I was gaining some following on social media because of the traveling that I was doing. And then people kept telling me to do a travel blog, but it wasn’t really something that I was interested in. Then I was introduced to podcasting. Then I was like, I should just do this. I used to interview a lot of people when I was doing photographs. Then I started my podcast and then within six months I started making money from it. Then within a year and a half, I was able to leave my day job and do it full-time.

That’s really how it started was just this need to learn from people. To learn from people who actually were doing it, who were giving me realistic advice, who I knew I could learn from and it would allow me to do something myself, but I didn’t know where it would lead me eventually, but thankfully it led me here because now I have two businesses from it. Yeah, it was a pretty long crazy road to definitely get here.

David McNeill: [11:11] Could you talk a bit about maybe the ups and downs specifically of your podcast and of course, other businesses that you’ve started as well, because I know when you say it, of course it sounds, I mean, it sounds like a wonderful journey and a wonderful life. I’m just curious maybe what are some of the challenges have been that you’ve had to overcome? If there have been any that have been notable.

Debbie Arcangeles: [11:33] Oh, there’s challenges every single day, David. This is definitely ongoing. When I say, oh, six months I started making money, a year and a half I started, you know, I left my day job. It actually was probably a five or six year process, maybe even longer because before I even started my podcast and this business right now, I started and failed three other businesses. A lot of things happened. I was just trying to figure things out. I did a business that was just purely out of making money and it didn’t work out because there was no passion for it. Then I did a business that was purely passion and it didn’t work out because I didn’t know how to make it into a business. Then every single failure in every single business that I had, I learned so much that it allowed me to actually take that into this business that I have now and that’s why it’s succeeding.

It’s still not where it needs to be, but it’s definitely into that because of all of the failures that I’ve had in the past. So yeah, a lot of those failures, again, it’s just not understanding how to run a business, just thinking that it was all…because I’m a creative person, you know, that’s my background. Just leaning more towards that and not really understanding how to run a business, not understanding marketing, not understanding how to get clients. All of those things were just learning opportunities for me to eventually get here.

Obviously it’s not perfect. I’m going to say this, and I’m going to tell everybody this, even people who are super successful, which I still don’t think I am, have those ups and downs every single day. I feel like I’m bipolar most of the time because there’s some days where everything is really, really good. And you’re like on the top of the world. Then the next day something happens and then you’re super depressed about it. Then like a week later, it’s really great. Then a week after that it’s horrible again. That’s really the realities of being an entrepreneur and doing something that’s outside of the box, because if I just wanted “stability” and income every day, I would have stayed at my day job, which there’s nothing wrong with that.

I think sometimes, David, I think to myself and I tell my husband this, and some of my closest friends, I’m like, it must feel so good just feeling okay with being at a stable job because you have less problems and I’m like am I a…like, do I just do this to myself? Like, what is it like a misogynist, like you just like to like put pain on yourself, you know? That’s just how I am. You probably have these same types of tendencies that you do too David. You’re just not like okay with being okay. You know?

David McNeill: [14:26] Yeah. It seems like we create problems for ourselves in some respect. But how do you, I guess just taking that a step further, maybe we can get into this a bit. But I imagine when you just started the podcast, maybe, I don’t know, maybe you immediately started with a huge number of listeners and followers and everything and it was great. I can imagine that maybe it started a bit smaller and it grew over those first six months, first, 18 months, like you talked about. How do you deal with this idea that you’re better than you were, or your, maybe let’s not necessarily say you’re better than you were, but you have better numbers than you were six months ago.

But if you have an episode that dips down again, for whatever reason, because we never know why these things happen. Now we have a new frame of reference and that’s frustrating, right because it’s hard to just consistently get that upward trajectory up into the right. Yeah, I’m not sure if you’re experienced on that in particular, but we always just have this changing frame of reference. I’m curious if you have any thoughts about how we can deal with that as location-independent business owners and remote workers and so on trying to build these side projects and businesses to be successful when we’re always comparing against a changing baseline, if you know what I mean?

Debbie Arcangeles: [15:37] Yeah. That definitely happened to me, especially in the beginning. I’ve been doing my podcast for almost four years now and there are certain times where my numbers are huge. Then there’s like months where it cuts in half. I hear this a lot from people then they’ll go on like Facebook, they get really frustrated. They’re like, oh my God, what’s happening. Then you find out there was like something that happened in Apple or something and that’s why it happened.

Honestly, to tell you the truth, most of the times, I don’t really look at the numbers that I have anymore, unless I have a sponsor that asks me about it because it’s just going to drive you crazy. The only time I do actually look at my numbers is, like you said, to really understand if there’s something that I can do about it, but I don’t look at it in the way that’s like, oh, it’s really bad this month and you know, I’m going to be super depressed. Yes, it affects me, it definitely affected me more before, but I think I’ve been at this long enough to know that it always bounces back.

For me, the most important thing is, and I’ve learned this throughout all of the businesses that I have failed with this one that’s actually thriving is that it’s just doing what you’re supposed to do and doing it every single day. There’s really no fricking secret to this and people think there is, but it’s just understanding what you need to do and do it every single day, no matter what happens. If you know that that’s where you need to be, and that’s the right step, it doesn’t matter if there’s a setback for a month or two, if you know that’s going to allow you to keep growing, then you just keep doing it. If there’s something that you need to tweak, then tweak it. But it’s just a matter of taking those steps every single day.

I think that’s why a lot of entrepreneurs that succeed and succeed really well is when you’re able to tune out everything and just do the work. I think I’ve definitely gotten better at it, but before it would super, absolutely super depress me when things didn’t go my way. I think that also allowed me to step back because that did happen to me a lot before. I actually just quit that business because it just, I’m like, oh my God, it’s all a failure, but maybe I’m thinking about it…I’m like maybe if I just kept going, maybe it would have succeeded because I was learning. It’s just that mental block that you need to get over and then you just keep going and then that’s it.

David McNeill: [18:18] But as you said, it can be hard to know when something’s working or not. Do you have, it sounds like maybe for different reasons things have, or haven’t worked for you, but do you have any thoughts around some sort of way of thinking about it or a framework or anything for, should I keep going at this and, you know, crossing my fingers and just doing that daily work? Or should I, you know, this, this clearly isn’t working and I should put it to the side and try something totally different, as you’ve had to do in your career multiple times.

Debbie Arcangeles: [18:46] Yeah. For me, especially when I’m trying something new, I always do the 30 to 60 day test. I do it consistently for at least 30 days if I feel like it needs a little bit longer, 60 days. If I see that there’s something happening there then I’ll just keep going. But if I see, like, it didn’t really make any changes or if it’s just so much effort that it’s taking away from the other tasks that I’m doing, that it’s not giving me enough, then I take that back. Maybe I’ll say later on, I’ll hire somebody to do this later.

First for me, it’s just, is this going to be worth it for me and my time, because as an entrepreneur, you’re always getting pulled in different directions and I’m lucky enough to have like a few people working for me so I was able to give them the tasks, like the tedious tasks that I don’t need to do. For me, my time is valuable because whatever it is that I’m spending my time on has to be especially crucial for my business. It’s either going to help me grow or create income for my podcast or my business. It’s just those two things it’s like, is it actually growing or is it doing anything for my business? Second, is it taking away time from other things that’s also just as important or even more important. Those are really how I take a look at it. Again, like allowing it to go for like 30 to 60 days, sometimes even longer if it’s a really big project or something.

David McNeill: [20:23] Yeah. That makes sense. You also talked a bit about this difference that you’ve seen in your success between something that you’re passionate about and something that you’re just driven for money, or some version of that, not to make it sound quite so petty. But could you talk a bit about the importance of passion and how you can really find that intersection between passion and a profitable business?

Debbie Arcangeles: [20:46] Yeah. I made a lot of mistakes with that because everybody tells you, like, you have to be super passionate about what you do in order to make money and that’s absolutely true. But then some people also say, don’t do what you’re passionate about because you’re going to end up hating it and it’s not going to be a good thing. I think that’s also true. I think there has to be a balance and I think it depends on each person, because I do know people who are not super passionate about their job or their business, but it’s actually the systems that they’re really passionate about. Maybe it’s not actually that business, but it’s the systems that they’re doing that they’re super passionate about.

If you’re that type of person, yeah, you don’t absolutely have to be passionate. If you’re the type of person who just likes to do the same thing every single day, you like the systems go for it. But if you’re a passionate person like I am, and now I’m also loving systems, so that’s great. You learn how to do that too guys. It can’t just be one or the other. Sometimes you learn how to love systems. What I ended up learning was that in order for me to do something that I’m passionate about and also make income from it, is to actually learn the business side of things.

You can’t just focus on, for example, creating things. You also have to focus on how you market these things, how you get clients, how you put effort into things outside of what you’re just passionate about because a business is just not one thing. There are so many aspects around it. I think people who are just starting to do this, they don’t realize that. I absolutely didn’t realize that and that’s why I failed so many times. It’s just really realizing, okay, am I this type of person that I really need to be super passionate about what I do in order to keep going forward? Or am I a type of person who could really love systems or do love systems and I don’t need to be passionate about what I do but can continue and make money and then do what I’m passionate about on the side. There are different types of people, it’s not a one size fits all thing.

David McNeill: [23:00] Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s very well put and certainly gives people listening and watching this, something to chew on. You’ve talked to tons of different location independent entrepreneurs, people doing all kinds of cool stuff. Has there been anything that you’ve learned and really taken with you from those interviews that would be great to share with the audience here, or maybe just interesting business ideas? We’d love to just hear some of your takeaways from four years of podcasting.

Debbie Arcangeles: [23:28] Honestly, everybody’s story is so different. I think the biggest takeaway I got from it was I really created a group of people that have become my friends, because it’s so interesting to me how it seems like there’s so many of us out there that are like this because now online communities, if you go online the algorithm knows the people that you like, but then you go out in the real world and there is not that many of us or that have that same type of thinking. I’ve really embraced my people that I’ve been able to meet. I think it’s also been super inspiring for me to see that people were able to make a life that most people told them that was not possible.

Even now, even though remote work is so much more accepted, there’s still certain things that I see people do that they’ve created for themselves, which I think is super inspirational. And every time I talk to people like you, David, who do what you do, I’m always in awe because this is something we were not taught when we were young. You had to step outside of the box and decide this for yourself. That’s really what I’m always…that’s why I’ve been doing this for as long as I have because everyone’s story is so different. Maybe the remote work, digital nomadism life is the same, but everyone’s journey to get there is always so interesting and it’s super inspiring for me.

David McNeill: [25:07] Yeah, I can imagine. As you say, we have these online communities now and the people that you’re meeting and you’re interviewing with for your show are becoming your friends. Then what I’m curious about is, granted, this is a difficult time to go out and meet people today in any city in real life but given that you’re from, let’s say you’re from New York and you’re still living there. Do you find it difficult to, I guess, compare this online community of these sort of creative entrepreneurs around the world, to the people that you have around you there in New York city, of course, a very dynamic and creative city as well, but maybe not as focused on this idea of being location independent, being remote workers, being entrepreneurs. How do you think about that and do you find yourself going maybe more to your online communities more than your, in terms of connection, than the people around you in the city that you’re in right now?

Debbie Arcangeles: [26:01] Yeah, it’s so interesting. Most of my friends in New York are not location independent. They’re not digital nomads. It’s like I said, it’s just not the norm generally, but you know, obviously now with COVID there’s pretty much 80% or 70% of people are working remotely. It’s kind of interesting because before they didn’t understand what I was talking about, the life that I was living, and then now they’re like, oh my God, I wish I could do this full-time. Now I totally understand where you’re coming from. So I’m like, yes! I’ve converted you.

It’s an interesting time because now it’s being seen as the norm. It’s being seen as more stable than not anymore. I could discuss it with so many more of my friends. Before there was definitely a, I guess there was kind of like a wall there because I couldn’t really talk or even if I did talk to them, they didn’t really understand the lifestyle. In a way that’s, I guess, that’s one thing that was positive from COVID because now more people understand the life that we live.

Now I get asked questions more about what I do but I would honestly thought, even before COVID people were interested in what I did, because it’s, again, it’s not normal. They’re like, what? You make money from your podcast and your website, how does that happen? Like, that’s crazy. How do you do that? I think also because I made friends with people that are more open-minded, I think it’s also the type of people that you surround yourself with and the people that were, you know, sometimes I got like really weird comments and stuff, and I would kind of like take myself away from that type of group. I’m like, I’m too old for this kind of stuff.

David McNeill: [27:46] I wonder if things would have been different in terms of our paths and certainly the reception to our type of lifestyles if we had started post-COVID because it does seem to be something that everyone’s talking about these days. Have you thought about that at all? I mean, the acceptance indeed of this type of lifestyle and people searching it out. I’m sure that’s been a big boon to your, your podcast and your businesses as well because people want to hear these stories and figure out how they can do it themselves.

Debbie Arcangeles: [28:14] Yeah, it definitely has. It’s like I said, it’s becoming so much more acceptable and I’m all for it. This is the thing that I do, like when I’m in person when I talk to people and they don’t do what I do, even if they do what I do, I don’t necessarily like to start telling people about it. I don’t really talk about myself that much because I do enough interviews. I feel like I get that out of my system. I, as a podcast, as an interviewer, I love learning about other people. So unless they really ask me, I don’t really give too much information about it.

I have just honestly, just been embracing all of the curiosity that people have been getting more so. Because of that, now they are listening to your podcast, David, my podcast, other digital nomad podcasts, they’ve been listening and also reading articles that I have on my website. It’s just, it’s amazing because I’m like, I want to help so many people to do this type of life because it’s really about the freedom that we have essentially.

David McNeill: [29:21] Yeah, absolutely. How do you make use of that freedom when in normal times, let’s say, or in the soon coming months, let’s hope. How do you basically take all of that, that you do, on the road? And I guess I mean even more logistically like of course may be all you need is a microphone. But in the sense, having the space, having the time, having the space in your head to be able to manage these interviews and your process to be able to still travel and see the things that you want to see while having, hopefully not too much guilt of, oh, I’m only working one hour today versus my normal eight or whatever it is. How do you manage that?

Debbie Arcangeles: [29:59] I’m definitely not a digital nomad. I tried that for a few months and it was not for me. I just didn’t have that headspace to do it. I felt like, oh my gosh, I’m missing out. Or there was too many distractions. So I actually prefer having a base. That’s what I have now. I’m either in New York City or in Florida. What I tend to typically do before COVID was, I did have a base and then I would travel most of the time. This was really the issue, it’s so funny because before I had this business, I would always be like, oh, I wish I had a job that allowed me to travel, but now I do have a job that allowed me to travel and I’m like, I wish I could just travel for fun and not for work.

Not to complain because there’s nothing to fricking complain about. I love to travel for work, but it’s really about, again, understanding yourself, understanding how you work fast and for me having a place where I could have a routine really works for me. Then when I am traveling for work and I have to do that where I have to travel to meet clients, interview people, whatever it is that I’m doing, just understanding that the content creation that I’m doing there is specifically for that. Then when I come back home I do the work part of it; like the writing, the editing, all of those things. It’s just understanding what you need to do at that time, at that moment, and not really bombarding yourself with everything else because at the end of the day, you also need to have fun when you have that type of opportunity as well.

David McNeill: [31:38] Yeah, absolutely. Just one other point on your business, especially as it relates to podcasting. It sounds like this is of course where you found the most success in all the businesses that you’ve tried to date or up until that point, at least. Now there’s just so much different content out there. Not only are there tons and tons of podcasts, but obviously YouTubers, streamers of all sorts. There’s now Clubhouse, there’s just a million different, you know, and blog posts like I know that you have on your site and courses and there’s so much stuff. How do you kind of figure out where your sweet spot is or do you try to do everything? Which I imagine is probably not a good idea, but I would just love your thoughts on how did you find that podcasting was right for you, the right medium for you?

Debbie Arcangeles: [32:24] Honestly, I don’t try to do everything. I just focus on things that I really enjoy and that’s really what I recommend for people. You can absolutely try different things and then just choose one or two that you really love. It’s to try out a lot of things in the beginning because you’re obviously, maybe you don’t know where you fit in yet. Something is going to stick. It’s just, again, don’t give up, just try it out. For me, the reason why it became the podcast is because I love talking to people. I love having conversations. When I travel, I have conversations with strangers. When I used to do photographs, I would have conversations with my subjects while I was taking photographs.

It was so much more, I guess for me, intimate than just reading something. I felt really drawn to it. I really felt drawn to people’s stories. I felt really inspired by it. That’s why I ended up getting into podcasting and not necessarily video like YouTube because also I don’t, you know, that’s not something that I guess, I don’t know, maybe I’m just too lazy for that. Like I can’t see myself like doing a video of myself and like, I don’t know it just wasn’t…but I can’t say it’s never going to happen later. Who knows? For me, I honestly stuck to podcasting and then I added my blog and then I’m usually just on Instagram and Clubhouse. Those are the things that I’m really in. Like I’m there, that’s where I put my energy in, and that’s where I feel compelled to show up. It’s really about, again, it’s about you, what you like, and what you don’t like and just going from there.

David McNeill: [34:15] Perfect. Well, thank you so much for sharing all this great insight and advice and telling us about your wonderful offbeat life today. I’d love to have you tell us just more about where we can find more about you and what you’re doing. All your social media websites and what we can do to keep in touch?

Debbie Arcangeles: [34:31] Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much, David, for having me here, I had such a great time. So if you want to find out more about me, you can visit I have a ton of free resources there for you if you want to start working online, you want to start an online business. You can also find my podcast there, where I interviewed travelers who ditched their nine to five to become remote entrepreneurs and digital nomads. It’s all at and then you can find me on Instagram where I’m mostly at, and again it’s @theoffbeatlife.

David McNeill: [35:05] Perfect. Well, I’ll have links to all of that in the show notes of course. Thanks so much again for joining us today, Debbie, and look forward to keeping in touch.


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As the founder of Expat Empire, David McNeill is focused on inspiring people to move abroad and showing them how to do it. David started Expat Empire because he has a genuine passion for living abroad. He left the United States in 2014 and has since lived in Tokyo, Berlin, and Porto.