Create a business around traveling

Episode Description

Robin is originally from France and moved abroad as soon as he turned 18. He lived in many countries before deciding to make New Zealand his home. Robin applies his experience and love for traveling for business. He founded Working Holiday Starter, a service I used when I left Italy to move to New Zealand. His company provides guidance to get started in New Zealand, something I really needed because I didn’t know where to start when I landed.

Robin created the largest travel guide for New Zealand and now expanded to other countries in the south pacific.

Get in touch with Robin

Website - YouTube

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Daniel 0:03

Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number three of the Emigrant's Life podcast. I'm Daniel De Biasi. And before we start this episode, I'd like to give you a little bit of context. I'm from Italy, and I decided to move to New Zealand when I was 27. Because I have no idea what to do who wants to step into the new country, I paid an agency in Oakland to help me. We're going to talk about this company and what it offers later in this episode, and by the way, this is not sponsored or anything. Anyway, the guy who helped me make the first steps New Zealand was my today's guests. His name is Robin, he left France when he was 18. And before he settled in New Zealand, he traveled to 16 different countries. He still running this emergency that helped me when I moved to New Zealand and he's now an expert of the South Pacific Islands. He created New Zealand's largest travel guide, and more guides for other islands in the South Pacific. He also hosts a YouTube channel with over 16,000 subscribers. In this episode we're gonna talk about traveling, starting a business on a visa. What a war without border would look like in even immigrate to Mars. We had good fun recording this interview, and I think you'll be able to tell. Okay, done with the introduction. So please enjoy this episode with Robin.

Hey Robin, how's it going? Thanks for being on the show today.

Robin 1:22

Pretty awesome. How are you doing Daniel?

Daniel 1:23

Pretty good.

Thanks to you.

Robin 1:25

Awesome awesome. It's pretty amazing in New Zealand today were actually having great weather.

Daniel 1:29


Robin 1:30

Nice time of the year.

Daniel 1:32

Is it yeah? You guys are getting through into winter.

Robin 1:35

Yeah, we are going to be in winter in only about a month and a half. So we supposed to be getting really cold.

Daniel 1:40

Sweet. Yeah, I mean, you guys getting snow up there?

Robin 1:45

So I'm in central North Island so we don't get snow exactly where I live. But we have a beautiful view on the volcano in the central north and you get to Mount Ruapehu which is a big, massive volcano and did get snow. It's actually the largest ski field in the country. The snow is not They're just yet but it should be coming down in the next few weeks, which is going to be awesome.

Daniel 2:04

Sweet. Do you ski or snowboard?

Robin 2:07

I do snowboard along with my partner. We do a lot of snowboarding over there. It's pretty awesome. And sadly, I think this season won't be really the same, but hopefully we'll get to snowboard soon.

Daniel 2:17

Yeah. And also yeah, even last season here. I mean the season here in Vancouver and quite early this year.

Robin 2:24

Oh, yeah.

Daniel 2:24

Yeah. Hopefully next year. So you're using right now? Where are you generally from?

Robin 2:32

So I was born in France, in the south of France actually. And immigrated in New Zealand about 10 years ago.

Daniel 2:39

Okay. 10 years. What, what age? Did you leave France? Do you remember?

Robin 2:45

Yeah, I left France around when I was 18. Actually, I started traveling. I travelled quite a few countries. I traveled about 16 different countries before arriving in New Zealand and I settled in New Zealand about 10 years ago.

Daniel 2:56

16 different countries?

Robin 2:58

Yeah, it's it's kind of A good way to check out a few places and see, you know what floats your boat, I feel like you know, the world is quite a big place. So being stuck in one place for too long may not be the right choice, you know. So I think just exploring a little bit, there's a program called working holiday, which allows people and young travelers usually under the age of 30, for some countries 35 and it gives you about a year to work and travel in several countries. And there's actually quite a lot of countries part of this program around the world. And so allows you even if you don't have that much savings, to be able to go to a country kind of work and experience life there and see if it's kind of your thing, and otherwise you have saved a little bit of money and you traveled to new lands, make new friends and you're ready for the next step of your journey. And that's basically what happened to me until I arrived in New Zealand and I decided not to leave I was supposed to only stay three months in New Zealand but damn this country just it didn't want to let me go.

Daniel 3:55

Yeah, I know that feeling. I know that feeling. So you just like did you leave France because you wanted to travel the ward or there was just like other reasons for that?

Robin 4:06

Um, so it was kind of, you know, similar things I was supposed to just go and do a bit of volunteering here and there and just kind of do a bit of growth and get back to France and finish my study. But instead of getting back to France, I took a plane ticket get to go somewhere else and then I went to another country and then I went to another country and then I just ended up never going back to France. Just because, you know, it's just when you discover the world is a bigger place. You don't necessarily want to keep going.

Daniel 4:34

No, yeah, I know, I get that by the same time. I remember when I left Italy on the same kind of visa. I was for me it was like a was a huge step. It wasn't just like, Okay, I get on the plane and go and travel for a bit for me it was that's gonna change my life. I'm gonna start my life over in a different country. And you say that you don't need much saving. And even then, for me, it was just, I think it's like a pretty perspective for me was just like oh I need to have enough money to do like I don't know pay my expenses for the whole year. I sold my car, I sold everything I could possibly sell to to move to New Zealand and start all over even if I was scared I have to all the paperwork from from the bank, the bank statement to show that I have themoney so please let me in. It was just it was so much stressful my my my experience than yours.

Robin 5:28

Yeah, I was I mean you wouldn't tell knowing what I do right now for a living but I was at the least organized person right I literally had a carry on bag. And that was pretty much it. I left everything behind. You know, you're talking about cars and everything. I didn't even bother with that someone has it. I think my parents they didn't bother me. I had a few hundred dollars in my pocket and that that's basically what happened to me. Whenever I've been in Australia actually most of my savings was was in cash and that either got stolen or lost. So I had the money, I sleep on the beach for a little bit while I found a job and then the guy that I was working for gave me a bit of food for the first few weeks, you know, for the few first days before I got my first paycheck and just know, things worked itself out. And and that's very much how I travel then I felt it was definitely not the easiest way to do that is the best way to learn amazing life lessons, because you do those expensive mistakes again and again and again. So you just get all of them in, like one year. And then after you know, you have you have all this life experience. But on the other hand, that saves you a lot of money on having to buy an expensive education because they just have to lose their little hearts rather than you know, put myself in debts for a big amount I didn't have. So to me, that was a bit easier. And I learned a lot and now well I help people planning their trip and actually avoid making those mistake. And I've done that for you know, a decade now and very successfully and I'm very happy with it. So I feel like it's more like, do as I say not as I do you know what I mean?

Daniel 6:57

Yeah, it definitely helped me because I remember when I went to New Zealand, I used the working working holiday started which was was your company or was the company you were working for?

Robin 7:09

No, no Working Holiday starter was actually is still is my company actually. One of my company right now.

Daniel 7:16

Okay. Yeah. Which is at the time even then I remember offer you - so somebody will pick me up at the airport. I had accommodation for a couple of days. You will - you help me to open the other social issues the RFID to pay taxes?

Robin 7:34

Yeah. So yeah, so it basically has everything included. So if you're arriving New Zealand, then you do one of those working holiday visa. And you want to have like, no, basically no issues and you don't want to bother with all the paperwork basically already sorted for you. Even before you arrive in New Zealand. You know, you can send your CV and it's going to be it's going to be checked out by by the team here. And they're going to make sure your CV is going to be alright for when you look for job. We'll even take you to the bank. You know, your appointments already booked there, or the paperwork is done for you, you'll just sign here, sign there, you got your bank account, here's your card. Here's how it works. You got your SIM card and your phone. So you're all sorted. You know, like, you kind of have everything sorted and then you have someone which is here to support you for the whole year. If you do need extra help, you know, there's also stuff now we can help you travelling around New Zealand, we can help you with education and all those kind of things. So yeah, so it's kind of like everything you do need to travel in New Zealand. But if you feel that you are you don't need any of the help and you just need to get the information and you can do everything yourself. And it's definitely something which is very easy to do on your own as well. Just to having one person that helps you and hold your hand also relieve a little bit of the stress of the whole the whole experience. But yeah, if you do get information you can go on and nzpocket and just like the Bible of shoveling in New Zealand, you get all the information you want and we have dumped all our knowledge there absolutely for free and there is no there is no hidden cost to it. anything I'd select either you need a bit of help. And then you get working on to this starter and you know, we got a great team in Auckland that's going to help you with that. Or you you can do everything yourself and you can go on and that and you have all the information there. It's you know, it's absolutely up to every traveler to want to do it their own way.

Daniel 9:19

Yeah, depends what kind of person you are. If he's like, like you or someone like me, someone like me like Yeah, no, no, I have no idea what to do. I didn't at that time I didn't even speak English. Yeah, it's always for me.

Robin 9:30

But but but yeah,

Daniel 9:31

I don't have any idea what to do.

Robin 9:33

But if you're someone like me, actually, you are doing even worse you go on our YouTube channel and just watch the one trailer of omeone doing fun things in New Zealand you like, New Zealand sounds fun and you show up there. Because that's basically my way of traveling right? I know nothing when I arrive in a place I mean, obviously not anymore because now when I when I travel, it is with a purpose. But when I travelled around the world, I literally knew nothing aside from what was on the globe. That was it.

Daniel 9:59

Yeah. I barely knew where new Xena was on the map when I apply for the visa. I've only checked where New Zealand was on the map after I got the visa and that oh holy crap, how am I gonna tell my mom I'm going to New Zealand?

Robin 10:13

It's so small anyways New Zealand folks has to be bigger you know it's a hard to find and it's tiny.

Daniel 10:17

I know sometimes it's even cover from somebody or something on the corner.

Robin 10:22

But actually I play a lot of board games and there is actually quite a little board games that use a world map to to play with things so for example, a pandemic is a very famous board games and the world map of pandemic does not feature in New Zealand there is Australia and then there is a big empty nest right here so-

Daniel 10:39

Which right now is a good thing

Robin 10:40

If you don't know we're here you can't you know contaminate us.

Daniel 10:45

Exactly. Even Risk even if you play Risk there's no New Zealand on the map.

Robin 10:50

Really? Oh my god it's so funny.

Daniel 10:52

Which is great. Why would you attackto Zealand? It's an island in a middle of nowhere which

Robin 10:57


Daniel 10:58

Why would you talk New Zealand anyway? You can't even put the tank on the I think it's so small that you can even put a tank on it.

Robin 11:05

If you can't put a tank on there the country doesn't exist.

Daniel 11:07

Exactly. You can't play. There was actually a group on Facebook, you'll call like, does New Zealand really exist? People thought it was just a country created for a movie.

Robin 11:18

Yeah, they changed. I think they're changed or another group was formed, which was like map without New Zealand that they share map of the world that forgot New Zealand and they made the companies and it's just funny,

Daniel 11:29

And probably from their people and start believing the New Zealand's actually not doesn't exist like people still believe that the word is flat.

Robin 11:38

Yeah, maybe. Listen, the flat earth community which is way too vocal that I decided not to attack them at all online. They do what they want, they can believe what they want to believe.

Daniel 11:48

Oh, absolutely. It's a belief so whatever they do, they want to do.

Robin 11:52


Daniel 11:54

Going back to when you left France and you moved start traveling. Did you speak any English at the time?

Robin 12:01

Um, no, really. I mean, you know, you met French people on the road, they usually even if they're studying English, they can speak English very well. So I barely studied English actually, as a first language when I was in school, believe it or not, I chose Russian. I don't know why. And I don't speak Russian and don't ask, but I picked that language. So I have I had no no, let's say no knowledge of English whatsoever. I just picked it up as it once. And my first English country was actually in the USA. And so I did a lot of dishwashing with a bunch of Mexican immigrants. So I learned Mexican English okay. Yeah, I started graduating a little bit and then I hang out with the locals and that's how I learnt. So I watched a lot of TV shows as well. And yeah, that was basically how I picked up English. And yeah, no, I did not speak English when I left France and I learned on the on the go.

Daniel 12:55

Okay, that doubled the scare. I mean, I left Italy without any English too, but I was very careful when I went to New Zealand. In fact, when I went to Auckland, you suggest me to go to the English school, which I did for a month. And after that, even the following month when I moved to Christchurch for work, even then I was when I got the job I could actually afford and start paying for a private teacher. Like a private teacher once or twice a week and that was a huge help to

Robin 13:22

I personally feel like if you're genuine and if you're friendly people will forgive your lack of English. And I mean, everybody learns differently. You know, there's some people they need to write things you know, to remember things you know, you need to write them down and you need to do a bit of exercise like that. For me, I need to embarass embrace myself, embarass myself, here you go, I just did it. So you know, you know, you need to bring a little bit of shame to yourself, you know, that you kind of don't do the mistake again, because you see, for example, just right now, this mistake that I've done, right, my girlfriend is from England, I've actually literally going to ask her and hopefully, I won't be doing the mistake again. And that's basically how I learned you know, I need to touch the pot to see if it burns and if it burns my finger then I remember.

Daniel 14:04

Yeah, I did something similar on the way to New Zealand when I left Italy on my first plane from one of the first time I went to New Zealand, I I quickly learned how to pronounce coke.

Robin 14:18

I did exactly the same mistake.

Daniel 14:21

I was asking for something else on the plane and they also was like all embarrassed that she showed me the can of Coke is like a Is this what do you mean like yeah, yeah, exactly. In a my head was just like that's exactly what I was asking but

Robin 14:34

The lady was nice to you. I got kicked out of the Wendy's in the USA in Flagstaff, Arizona in USA. I got kicked out of the Wendy's restaurant, because I asked for a big cook. And I asked for a big one. And the lady really did not find that funny and I was retired because I used to work in the kitchen. So we did long shifts and everything like that. And I was like God dammit. And I kept on repeating it. You know like I want to be I want big, big. And yeah, it's it's someone actually kicked me out and say now you have to leave, sir, you have to leave. And so they walked me out. And then I learned how to pronounce coke.

Daniel 15:11

Yeah. And so you've been like so you travel for how many years did you travel around before you settle to New Zealand? Roughly?

Robin 15:22

Probably about five years maybe. So I just got hopped on. I really don't remember the date I'm sorry about that. Yeah, so I hopped on a lot around a lot of different countries to see what was floating my boat trying a little bit of work or businesses here and there just to see to see what what, really what what was going in. And then I arrived in New Zealand and luckily, about 10 years ago in New Zealand was yeah, it was still kind of a big country and everything but there was a lot of opportunities. So I definitely found like a space for me to kind of be able to express myself business wise because that's really kind of the way I express myself. And so that's why we went all in.

Daniel 15:59

Okay. You mentioned earlier, before we started the interview, actually, that you add a few businesses even in other countries.

Robin 16:08


Daniel 16:09

How easy was it to start a business on a visa?

Robin 16:13

Um, honestly, it's from my experience, right? It's about the same or than anyone else? I feel like you know, let's take the example of New Zealand for example, right? My business when I started here, I was also on just on the visa, right? You can be self employed. So and that's usually for most people. The first step in starting a business is you know, you you self employ, and you start shooting the thing and then you grow, you know, you kind of incorporate and you do a few more things. And, for me, I have not seen any countries that are saying, Oh, you absolutely have to be a citizen to start a business. So for me, I'd never it was never even a question, never a checkbox on the forum. So I never really thought he was. I think it's more like a subconscious kind of buyer. It's kinda like, I don't know the culture and I was like, Yeah, but you bring something different. So why not?

Daniel 17:01

No, no, no, that's that's from my perspective. I've thought maybe because when I, I always, were always trying to I want to move to the country in a working holiday visa and then change it to a work permit. So when you are in a work permit, you're pretty much locked down with a company.

Robin 17:17


Daniel 17:18

In the case, you probably you're not allowed to open a business unless in most cases. So you were opening a business or open work visa, which is like a working holiday visa, right?

Robin 17:29

Yeah, but I also was on a work visa at some point and I know it wasn't, listen, it was never an issue for me. I can't really dive into in depth because I do not know the legislation and everything like that. But literally it was not you know, you have when you get a visa you get you've been given conditions. And there was no condition says you cannot start a business. And when you open a business and you fill up the form, I never lied on the form right but it was never asked, Are you a resident or what type of visa do you have, so I feel like they're not related whatsoever. And nothing I would be, it would be counterproductive for the country itself as well. Because most of the innovators and most of the great world leader are usually immigrants, like hell, even the CEO of Google right now is an Indian immigrant, you know, and so it would be absolutely crazy for for for countries to limit those things its obviously nice is a US citizen. But you know, it would be absolutely crazy for a country to stifle innovation by stopping immigrants to start businesses. And if you start a business and then your visa runs out, obviously you have to leave the country and you can't operate your business anymore. So that's a risk on you as a as a business owner, but it's no risk on the country and they have absolutely nothing to lose.

Daniel 18:41

Okay, that's interesting. That's probably just like some boundaries I put to myself then you can open a business or if you are on a visa need to be at least a resident to be open to be to open a business.

Robin 18:52

I mean, maybe in some countries and that's that's worth looking into. I just do not see it happening. I mean, some countries for example, like some countries in the South Pacific Islands, you have to partner on the business with local in order for you to buy a business as a foreigner if you not, you know. So for example, you have some countries that have very clear condition, but it's known you know, like I, I know that just because I have the interest for those countries but not even looking into businesses, you just want to start looking about the country what's written on some travel guides and everything like that. So I feel like it would be very obvious if you couldn't, and and as soon as you start, you know, you want to start a business, the first hurdle will be the paperwork. And as soon as you're going to see all the paperwork, it will tell you straight away if you can or cannot.

Daniel 19:34

Okay? Yeah, I think it is similar situation, they got the similar situation in his vitalant, even its visa. So if you want to open a business, you have to have a partner, which is from Switzerland, at least a resident in Switzerland.

Robin 19:47

Okay, so as I say, it probably depends on the country for me, I haven't seen the hurdle. Or maybe I just got lucky. And that was that was 10,15 years ago, and things have changed since then.

Daniel 19:57

Yeah, maybe. You probably probably right its just probably some boundaries that I put to myself. I mean, on my visa right now, it says that I can only work for the company I work for. But it doesn't say that I can't open a business. So I think is, I don't know, maybe I'm confused on the two things working for somebody else and opening your own business doesn't mean yet you're working for somebody else. You you're -

Robin 20:19

Exactly. It's not so you know, and the thing is that just call the proper authority, you know, I don't know if it's an immigration department or a supervisor or something, call a person and just see, hey, did I understand that correctly? Or not? You know, and you will usually get your answer pretty easy. Um, you know, I had some issues at some points with the with some paperwork, and they usually call and I get the answer that I want instantly. And almost every single time The answer was the answer that I needed, not the answer that you know. So, yeah, I think it's always worth trying.

Daniel 20:51

Okay, sweet. I will definitely look into it.

Robin 20:53

Yeah, I also think about where you can register your business as well. If you if you have to register your business in Italy and operate in Vancouver in New Zealand or whatever it may work, you know, there are hundreds and thousands of business you know when you buy when you buy something from Apple, I can guarantee they're not registered in the country, the country you are in. They're probably registered in the tax heaven like Ireland, but you know, they still can operate a business somewhere.

Daniel 21:17


Robin 21:17

You can still provide all that and then you just have to provide your invoices in you know, with the header of another country and it's absolutely fine.

Daniel 21:25

Yeah, I know.

Robin 21:25

we do business with people from a lot of you know, there's a lot of companies which are not in New Zealand, which are buying advertisement on our website or those kind of things, and then not in New Zealand whatsoever. They're in Europe or they're there in Australia, and for them, it's no issue and we do very good business together.

Daniel 21:40

Yeah, I know, that's true. Yeah, unfortunately, because I'm from Italy opening a business in Italy all the bureaucracy is probably just not worth it.

Robin 21:49

Oh, you put that in your head as well.

Daniel 21:50

Yeah, I know.

Robin 21:51

It is in interest. It is in the interest of governments to let people start businesses because generates tax revenue and creates job speed. Especially in a time like like that right now. So I personally, really truly believe that starting a business is way easier than people make it to be in their head.

Daniel 22:08

Yeah, I think it's once you do it one, once you do it once, you can just, it probably gets, you get more confident it gets easier. Yeah, as you said its probably in my head.

Robin 22:19

I've heard this talk very, very often, you know, to actually try to get people to, you know, start a business or you know, pursue the idea even just give it a shot for for a little while. And I personally feel that it's super important for people to actually just give it a shot because you'd be surprised as well even in the countries where you think there's going to be so much paperwork, you'll be surprised how little it actually is.

Daniel 22:42

Okay, thanks for giving me the push to try and give it a shot. Yeah, no, no, you're right. So why did you stay in New Zealand? Well, there was a particular reason you stayed in New Zealand?

Robin 22:58

So obviously, in New Zealand if you have ever seen any pictures of New Zealand, it's absolutely stunning. So it's a country that captured your heart as soon as you as you land on there. And I feel I, you know, I felt kind of really good in the country first up, but also I saw a lot of opportunities. And you know, we just, you know, we just talked a lot about businesses there. And I felt like in the country as small as New Zealand, with as much opportunity unused, and we could make a positive change. And that's really something that we strive to do. And we always try to go to smaller community and make big changes. So we created the largest travel guide here in New Zealand, then we push a lot for sustainable travel, because we know that people are always going to be traveling but we want and we want to help people do it in a bit more of a sustainable way. So we give you a lot of tips on like how to travel a bit more sustainably. But New Zealand is also the gateway to all of the South Pacific which is a ton of Micronesia, very small nations, which have a ton to offer to travelers, but also I'm really hurt by tourism. So I'm talking about countries like Fiji. Tongga and Niue for example, which most people have never heard of it, but a Niue is a fantastic country. So it's spelled n, i, u, e - if you guys are ever interested in googling that country and so yeah we have something called Niue guide which is a travel guide there. And for instance to celebrate the launch of this, this travel guide that we did, which is niuepocketguide comm we decided to buy metal reusable straws for the whole country. So we bought for every single restaurant, every bar, every resort, we sent them a big set of metal reusable straws, and all in one fell swoop, we eradicated all the plastic straw in the whole country. And it's something that we don't you know, we didn't really advertise that so much. So anything of that, but its just kind of a fun way for us to start that it's a very small country. There's only about 1200 people in there, but its stunning and has beautiful coral. He has some of the clearest water in the world because there is no natural runoffs from the islands. And so if you are, you know, looking to see some ways you can go swim these whales over there. It's absolutely fantastic. And for us being able to make such a big change being just, you know, 30 something years old, you know, emmigrant and make those big, those big, you know, create those big changes was just so important for us. And we were able to do that. So yeah, using it was the right place. And Yep, no regrets. Awesome. And we keep on doing that we done similar things in Tonga, Fiji, and we're going to keep doing it all around the South Pacific.

Daniel 25:28

Sounds, sounds great. Sounds great.

Robin 25:31

Yeah it's fun.

Daniel 25:32

Yeah, no, no, no. Sounds great and good for you guys to be able to do that. And to do that, I would just put all the links you just said in the show notes so people can reach and see what you guys doing. If it's okay for you.

Robin 25:45

Oh, yeah, if you want to do that you can. And if no one is interested in checking out those travel guide, it's 100% fine, I hope to at least inspire people to kind of consider, you know, not just traveling for traveling, but maybe if you're planning on relocating, almost every option is available to you and not just to find that you're going to be grinding as a worker, you can definitely make a difference as an immigrant. And there's millions of immigrants that shows that every single day in New Zealand and in the world after all, were all immigrants, you know, we all were born somewhere in Africa. And then we started traveling around when we started studying in our two feet and carrying fires around so, you know, were all immigrants some points,

Daniel 26:26

Yes, especially to a new country like in like New Zealand, Australia or the US or Canada, just this.

Robin 26:32

Yeah, these are, you know, most of most of the borders and the country, the concept of countries is mostly red tape, in my opinion, right? It's mostly red tape that rather than anything else, and it's just a way to kind of bounce people together and you know, create a herd mentality, rather than, than an individual mentality, which has its perks and its benefits. But, you know, it doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of what life where it is.

Daniel 26:58

Yes, but the same the same time having boundaries and borders and country creates cultures. Right?

Robin 27:05

I personally disagree with that they are there are a ton of countries, for example, Papua New Guinea, which is a country which is north of Australia, they have a ton of different islands. And it's actually it's it's quite a small country for what it is. Most people have never heard of it. But it's the country with the highest amount of languages. So I think they have over 300 languages. So for a country, which is just one country having 300 languages. It's fascinating. You currently live in Canada, right? There is the Inuit culture, which is really strong and really amazing, and its extremely different than the most more urban Canadian culture. And then you have Quebec, which has its own own strong culture as well. And which is still within the same Canadian country, right and even in between all the different regions or even all the different areas and even within a single city when you have like a Chinatown and and and other parts of the of the city you have different culture. So I think the culture is just comes from the people. And and sometimes yes, it comes in grouping of people, but you do know how to push red tape and borders in order to define culture. There is there's way more than that. So I feel like even borderless, even even places that would be borderless will have strong different cultures. And, and, and that will not not change, in my opinion, anything to how people live and the strength of the culture. If anything, it would just make those culture more accessible, and therefore more shareable and therefore stronger and they will have less chances to disappear. Because you're always gonna have someone who's gonna be piqued interest wise by a country culture or another.

Daniel 28:42

Yeah, that's true, but at the same time, I think that mentality that people have about boundaries and and countries and community creates this kind of culture like you said, I see people having like a because you're from Vancouver, or you from a different city or from there, so you're often different. different situation. Quebec is how you call it is because it's a state right? And because it's Quebec you have to speak French and just like because you create this area close area of its like a community and I think is some other countries I think it's good having these kind of boundaries because they preserve their culture for example like North America they came people came from Europe from Europe and they just get rid of all the natives if you do that as well.

Robin 29:36

So I get that usually cultures are local locally based right and that's usually what it is you know, just something in high school right you can have the table with the cool kids and your table with a geek center table with that doesn't mean that you have to put red tape in between all those and I will argue that the culture will remain even if you were to remove the border. If you if you remove the lines around Quebec if you remove the lines around Canada, you will actually still have those cultures in place, you will still have that. For example, I'm going to give you another example. We talked about the country of Nigeria, right? Very small countries, there is only 1200 people in there. You drive through the entire country in about 30 minutes, right? That is as small as it is. Well, the locals tell us that they can tell if someone is from the northern part of the of the island, and sometimes from the southern part, because there's slight differences in language. There is absolutely no red tape. It's literally just it's smaller than the town I'm living in right now. And yet, they still have difference of culture, despite the fact that there is no border whatsoever. So the culture will in my opinion will still be there, right? It will, it's just harder to get to. And there's just more red tape. And I feel like it would be nicer to you know, to have the whole world being like Niue a being like completely free flowing in between the cultures.

Daniel 30:55

Yeah, I know. I get what you're trying to-

Robin 30:57

I'm just a hippie.

Daniel 30:59

No, no, no. Don't get me wrong, I love your idea. I'm just like, afraid that if you remove borders, people take advantage and they just they're gonna they're gonna do more like an armed and actually good by getting rid of smaller cultures, like people from from the Western culture, they come over and they take over they start their own business, they hotel and something and they just get rid of like they own the beauty of the country. That's what I'm worried about.

Robin 31:32

It doesn't mean I mean, it doesn't mean that you have not to preserve like, you know, let's say we have a beautiful National Park, you can still remain in National Park and you can't build that because it's a beautiful place. I'm just saying you can travel if you're from India, you do have the right to go and even the USA if that floats your boat. Why not?

Daniel 31:52

Yeah, yeah, no, no, no. As I said, it's a beautiful concept. I'm just like, I don't trust people that much. That's putting that way I think its like.

Robin 32:02

And yet yet you chose to immigrate in multiple countries and I'm pretty sure when you did it you were a bit off put by the fact that there was so much paperwork it was a bit harder and everything. What if when you came to New Zealand well you know you didn't have to change your bank account you don't have to change your phone, the world was just one place you just have to fly in there and just start your life in there then you may have to adapt to the culture ie the language and maybe a bit more learning more about the New Zealand culture itself. But though everything else was really seamless, wouldn't it be much nicer experience?

Daniel 32:36

Yes and no. It will be much it will be would it be an easier experience but at the same time, I think when they put me the obstacles in the way they push me to to get better Okay, do I need to have that kind of job Okay, I need to learn a new skills to get the job to be able to move to New Zealand to have like a certain income and certain skills. I think it's good because they they preserve their own they don't just get anybody I think it is to preserve their own country, the economy on the country, okay? We take people that we need, we don't just take anybody and come here and do nothing.

Robin 33:11

So you're saying that you did force you to better yourself?

Daniel 33:13

Exactly. Absolutely.

Robin 33:14

Okay to deserve the right to travel. Is that what you're saying?

Daniel 33:18

Yeah, probably yes.

Robin 33:19

Okay. That's cool. That's that's a that's a good concept as well. I personally feel that you've the whole place the whole world was just one beautiful free place to travel to work for at that point, there would be no need to preserve the economy because that would be just the world economy. And there will not be you know, but again, I'm just being a crazy hippie.

Daniel 33:39

No, no, no, no, I think it's a it's a beautiful idea a beautiful concept as I said, I don't trust people. I think like people okay, right now there's an economy is great in the US everybody's moving to the US they ruin the economy over there because there's like not enough work and not enough jobs. Okay. People move somewhere the think the grass is greener and it just all moved to a different part of the countries they just ruin another country. And no having this kind of boundaries like for example, to get a resident residency you actually to get a work permit in Canada to prove my English level. That's great. If you want to stay in Canada in Canada, you need to learn the language, either French or English. These are two languages you need to learn those languages. If you don't have you don't if you didn't have those boundaries, people will come here and speak their own language. And that's a thing that get rid of the beauty. So why do you travel to to Thailand if everybody speaks French or everybody speaks English, it's just getting over the culture. You know what I mean?

Robin 34:41

No, I definitely understand but on the other hand, or for personal experience, right if I had to prove my level of English when arriving in New Zealand, and I did. I actually did struggle with that because I didn't learn English at school and I didn't want to learn English at school because this is not the way I am as a person. I could speak English, I could articulate myself and I am right now, but I didn't have any paperwork to prove that my English was correct. So obviously it was a bit hard for a person like me to be able to come to New Zealand and yet I had a lot to offer and and, you know, I've created the largest travel guide that didn't use that New Zealand has to offer. I've helped develop the tourism, the tourism industry in all the neighboring nations which are supported financially by New Zealand in order to sustainable sustainably develop themselves. And, you know, I've enhanced tremendously the New Zealand economy. But if that was to if there was a little bit more red tape, if there was actually the current red tape that there is right now to to immigrate to New Zealand, I just wouldn't have made it. And therefore, they would've missed out on someone like me, may not be a bad thing. I'm not saying I'm amazing. I feel like I feel like I had a really good impact on New Zealand and I feel like with the extra red tape now, someone like me that's trying to come in, just wouldn't actually get in yet.

Daniel 36:00

That's true.

Robin 36:00

And if you get stuck at home, if you get stuck at home, and you don't have the motivation because you can like, Okay, well, you know, home is home, I'm not really that interested in everything I just end up being, you know, drawn to a nine to five jobs and not necessarily be that happy and not fulfill yourself to your full potential. I'm almost certain that as a person, I only was able to fulfill my full potential after immigrating. Because I had the motivation because I had, you know, I was, I was gonna, like, say, I was in a different environment, and this tickled my brain enough to sparkle on my ideas and the way I decided to work and the person I became, I will be a complete opposite person to what I used to be back where I used to do.

Daniel 36:43

Yeah, no, I completely agree. I completely agree. Even for me, like, emigrating changing, moving to a different country, leaving my own country was the biggest change I made in my life and still the best choice I ever made. If it wasn't for that, if it wasn't for learning a new language, I would be a complete different person, even then, like going through these obstacles, learning to survive because it's in one way surviving, I don't know it just like it makes you stronger make you more resilient of what life throw.

Robin 37:17

I couldn't agree more I was not able to learn a foreign language when I was in school back in France, but when it was learning foreign language and get a job or don't eat well, you know, you get much better at languages that's, that's, you know, that's obviously

Daniel 37:30


Robin 37:31

Obviously it works. And so that's why I personally feel like I want more people to get this chance. However, the great thing about this conversation right here is that no matter how you cut it, you will win because there is no way to cut the red tape so it will still remain. I just like to have a hippie dream of everybody be able to you know, travel around and, and just roam the earth as as you know, we used to do it when we're hairy monkeys. That's it.

Daniel 37:58

Yeah, that's true. Just like A different kind of paperwork, maybe just doing open the working holiday visa to move more countries and have less boundaries, that will be definitely a good a good start. Maybe we can start on the next planet, no having boundaries, maybe Mars, maybe we can start from Mars.

Robin 38:17

Oh no you know how planet exploration is going already planets are then going to be owned not by governments, but by corporations. That's just going to be very different. You know, that's why there is a rush to get there. You know, if you came here to claim it for your corporation and for one person, so we're going more backward because a corporation is owned by a bunch of people. So we're going back to monarchy more than democracies. So it's going to be it's going to be cyclic. And you know, that's what human nature is. Anyway, it's always a cycle, you know, it's like fashion, like flower prints are not in fashion. Why are you going to be in fashion again in Dubai, eight years, and it's okay, so, democracy won't be any more it's going to be cooperation monarchies on different planets but we won't be here to see that.

Daniel 39:02

Oh, we never know. We never know.

Robin 39:04

I don't know how long you're planning. I can tell you right now I am not going to be there to see that.

Daniel 39:10

I don't know did did talking about being on Mars in 10 like 5 to 10 years. So you really are likely you're gonna have Amazon on Mars before they go Amazon in New Zealand.

Robin 39:23

I think you're correct on that but yeah, do you really think that's happening? I mean, I feel like you know, there's so many promises for this like, you know, space exploration I don't know maybe maybe a handful of people like you know walking on the moon you know, it was like two guys but like actual some people living there and being accessible and everything I don't think it's gonna be my life's lifetime. I'd love to see that. That'd be fantastic to see. I'm just I'm just to be you know, like that this like not not selling as well. And that's still not all produced yet. So it's just give us the test like our first and then after we'll see if we can fly to Mars.

Daniel 40:02

But if you see like the progress they made on this like a new rockets it just in the last what in the last three to five years probably even less they're just like they went from NASA in a big organization from countries to like a private corporation now they go blue region up from like Amazon

Robin 40:25

I think it's virgin

Daniel 40:26

Bases from Amazon

Robin 40:27

Which one is virgin? Oh, Virgin Atlantic.

Daniel 40:30

Virgin Atlantic i think i think they were like just going to they wanted just to do like a go into space just for rhythm. I don't think anyone ever tried to go to multiple planet. But like a blue origin from Jeff Bezos and SpaceX from Elon Musk there there's two companies there. They actually build self landing rockets and are pushing very hard to go to Mars in as soon as possible.

Robin 40:56

Yeah, it isn't. If they get that and I'd like to be wrong. I'd like to see that I just I just feel like I don't think that a person like me will have a chance to see Mars in my lifetime. That's yeah, but humans may be Mars you may you may be right. To be fair, were just procreating and we have so little information right here. I think we went way off topic. I'd love to see that.

Daniel 41:20

No, no, we went from emigrating to a different country to emigrating to a different planet.

Robin 41:25

Hey listen that's the way to take your podcast to the next level. You know, wait, wait, wait, I'm gonna have you know, scrap the barrel of the bottom, which happened to most people that have a podcast, you know, you'll know when you're there. But when you're gonna realize like, oh, what else do I talk about on that subject? Well go to space. That's always a great place to start.

Daniel 41:43

You can open the audience to o not just plan a by even like out there. If somebody can hear this message. We're coming to in peace.

Robin 41:51

like me. You know, my business is to do travel guides for New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands, right? When I'm going to be done with the South Pacific Islands because then there is only about 20 of them then maybe Mars, maybe I can do the first travel guide to Mars.

Daniel 42:04

That would be also that would you really do that? Would you really do that if there really had the chance to go to Mars?

Robin 42:09

Why not?

Daniel 42:10

Like I like the answer.

Robin 42:12

Yeah, I mean, like I do not see a single reason not to.

Daniel 42:15

I mean, probably six months of traveling maybe this will be the only the only barrier.

Robin 42:20

Well, you know, like the first people that colonized New Zealand were nations that just came from high islands probably like Hawaii and everything and they spend about three months on their on a small wooden canoe and they survived. If they can spend three months on the small wooden canoe I'm pretty sure I can stay I can spend six months in a beautiful high tech space shuttle with unlimited entertainment. You know, that we have nowadays you know, like six months, it's how many episodes of Tiger King is that? Not that many. So, here you go. I can just binge Netflix and play some video games and I think I don't need a flash.

Daniel 42:55

Yeah, but at the same time back then they didn't have all this comfort we have right now.

Robin 42:59

Exactly. So right now we're gonna have a limited amount of entertainments my brain would not have the time to rest in six months.

Daniel 43:06

Yeah, maybe. I mean, even if you like going back like 30 years ago, I think I met a guy like, there was like this old dude at the airport that was when I was waiting for my mom in in Christchurch in New Zealand. And this guy he moved to New Zealand 30, 40 years ago or something like that? Even even even then like went they're on a boat it takes it took like six months to get from I think it was from the UK so from the UK to New Zealand was six months on a boat.

Robin 43:33

Yeah, to help with that. So if they can do it, Why cannot I just do on the space shuttle and go to Mars?

Daniel 43:38

Yeah, no, no. Yeah, absolutely.

Robin 43:40

It's I'm not saying it will be the most pleasant experience and it wasn't for them as well. You know, many people have emigrated and haven't had the best experience in the world doing so because the journeys pretty painful. But you know, as you were saying before, you want to deserve your immigration. Well, back in the days there was no paperwork to do. You literally landed in the USA and you given a piece of land and go on and go into their social goal or start farming. That's what it used to happen, you know, what was their hurdle for you to you know, now the hurdle is paperwork, the hurdle was to actually make your way up there. It was so painful, you know, you had to battle scurvy and all this nonsense. If they can do it some people, you know, it's gonna be it's gonna be a struggle for the first few people going to Mars and then you know, transport is gonna get better, it's gonna get faster then, you know, people that will have went there first would be like, oh, back in my days, you know, it was really hard. It took us six months in the space shuttle, and we only had like thesedry food. And then people are gonna travel in the weekend they're gonna have delicious food. It's fine. I think that you know, if you have to enjoy a little bit, you just enjoy the reward even more. Anyway, here's a message to Elon Musk and the Mr. Bezos. If you guys need someone to do a travel guide of Mars, just I know ticket to Mars actually pretty cheap nowadays. So if you go while you guys you only compensate a little bit of a ticket to Mars go for it. It's only worth like, you know, two billions or whatever. So it's pretty cheap guys.

Daniel 45:08

Yeah, no, exactly. 2 billion.

Robin 45:11

You know just just took a chance. Anyway.

Daniel 45:16

Okay, and going back to Earth.

Robin 45:17

Let's go back apparently there's self landing rockets.

Daniel 45:19

Let's let's back there and go back to your your experience of leaving the country. What was the biggest upside of being about leaving your country?

Robin 45:29

I think it removes all the safety nets. I think when you in your own country you have a lot of safety nets and you are thinking oh, well you know, you know if that doesn't work you as other backup, our friends and family all the time if that doesn't work, you know, you know, days do you know your government is helping you on all that. But when you emigrate, you feel like you have to make it or you know, or you not yeah, or you're not going to eat. It's not really that good. You know what I mean? So I feel like it kind of really it but it's your it's your self still but its your self on steroids so we know when it was time for me to start business and to do this and to do that you know it's like make it or break it and I think that's really the best upside for when you decide to go because well you know you can connect and you can Skype with your friends as much as you want they're not here to get you back your you have to have your own back and I think that's the best thing because under pressure I feel like people perform better.

Daniel 46:23

Yeah, no, no, I can agree. I can't agree more. That's the reason why I left New Zealand to move to Canada because I felt I was I was too comfortable. I had my I had my side hustle I was working on my things at night and working through the day its just like my my nine to five and my extra extra time I was doing for my working on my side. So I was just feeling too comfortable. Like I wanted to go back to put myself in trouble. That's how I want to call it as I went up to move to New Zealand, therefore you perform hundred percent

Robin 46:55

Yep. I couldn't be more.

Daniel 46:58

What was the biggest thing Do you think that helped you to into your journey?

Robin 47:05

Um, I think not being too scared, like, you know, just being so nonchalant? You know, I was kinda like, Oh, well, you know, if it doesn't work doesn't work if things always work out anyway, you know, so I wasn't ready. No, no, not not being panicky too much. You know, I think. I think that's the thing that helped me the most. And I feel like this is really why we have those travel guides ready for people you know, that's why we haven't advocate that because even people which are over thinker and over planner, I just want to give them all the information so there's kind like all the information is there, you know, it's got you've got to relieve all the stress, you know, so I feel like what helped me was the fact that I wasn't stressing out whatsoever. It's kind of like, he thinks, you know, if, if, if the shirt hits the fan, it's fine. But that's, that's really the feeling. I want to give to so that's why we made those those travel guides. Because if you are thinking, What if? What if? What if? And you start in your brain going nuts on all the bad scenarios that could happen, you're never going to do anything. There's always a million things that can go wrong. But if everything goes well, it's awesome and if something goes wrong, you learn from it and you are living with life experiences. It's okay no matter what and so that's what we have that's why we decided to do that that's why we go so nuts and we put so many hours in creating all those travel guides. Because if you are the overthinker you reach out travel guide you see all the information no one that's charged you for anything, you know, it's all free. You go daddy like, okay, there's a community of people who actually put their knowledge there. They're all done it. There is all the information. I'm feeling relief. I'm going to jump in. I'm going to go do it.

Daniel 48:46

I agree. And one question that came to my mind right now and see if you agree with me, because when I left New Zealand I am because I quit my secure job like I put in like air quotes secure job because there's no any secure job anymore. But that other time that everybody was telling me like, oh, what are you doing Daniel quitting your secure job to, to go to the unknown? But for me like a living, quitting my job, selling my car leave everything behind make me feel like I kind of I didn't know I had nothing to lose and to give back at the open all the doors because we don't have anything to lose you just you can just move up from there.

Robin 49:25

Yeah, I mean I agree 100% with that, I mean, there's so many people that ended up like being owned by their position, you know, like you have the cost you have to pay the credit line for the car, you have a hassle you have to pay for your mortgage and so on. And there's just so many of those things, you know, I mean, when you remove all that from the equation and you just got like you're a human person traveling a little bit with a certain amount of savings. And you know, that's just that's all you are, you know, it's you and your backpack and I feel like it's, you know, it, bringing you to, you know, first understanding life better, in my opinion, understanding yourself better and also, you know, likeit's kind of you know, there is no, there is nothing else is just that. So if you don't make it work, well, you know, you're left with just that little, you know, if you invest that that thousand in that's, you know, business you want to start and you don't make it while you're left with whatever you have minus this 1000. And so, you know, there is actually a real, there is a stake, and I feel like there is a lot of people miss that, you know, there's no stake in life, you know, what's your stake? What's the stake every day? You know? What are you thriving for what's your, you know? Why are you here and you know, what drives you? And I feel like I always kind of know what drives me. I always know where I'm going. I know what I'm really what I'm about to lose if I don't make it.And what about to gain if I make it and there's always these balance and that's all my balance keeps on going. And I feel like a lot of people don't have that and I feel like the easiest way to get that is when you kind of believe everything you know, and just start afresh.

Daniel 50:51

Yeah, no, that's absolutely, absolutely. Okay. I think we're going to the last question, its like a generic question. If you could have a time machine and go back in time to the time or the day you left France, what would you tell, What would you tell to yourself at that time?

Robin 51:12

You're right. Go on. Good on you, mate. Good on you mate. I don't know, I just, yeah, obviously I made mistakes, but I wouldn't want to not do to those mistakes. Because otherwise I wouldn't have learned from them and I'd be a moron, traveling, traveling and making mistakes again, I feel like you learn more from your mistakes than you will ever learn in school. So, you know, you know, I couldn't have traveled earlier than I did. So I wouldn't say travel earlier or anything, I would just say go on. Just do exactly what you were planning. You know, you know, fuck it up when you fuckit up, and, you know, stand back up and just keep going, you know, that's just what life is, you know, so I'd be like gone.

Daniel 51:54

Sweet. Yeah, great answer.

Robin 51:56

What about you? What will tell yourself do you think you know, is there any mistakes you want to change?

Daniel 52:02

What I would tell myself will be don't worry everything's gonna work out.

Robin 52:06

Yeah, but if you don't worry, there's no stakes. So you know, I don't want to say that either. Because then you can't like you I knew I'm gonna make it so I'm not gonna stress too much.

Daniel 52:14

No because then the problem the problem will be on your way it's not gonna be easy. You're gonna go through the process, but at the same time, it was like it's gonna work out in the end just like a step by step I probably would, I would say like go ahead, because it's totally worth it.

Robin 52:28


Daniel 52:28

Which I probably I wish I knew at the time anyway, but now it's definitely still worth it.

Robin 52:33


Daniel 52:35

So if people wants to reach out to you, is there any way they can get in touch with you?

Robin 52:40

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, you can check out It's the largest travel guide to New Zealand's and it's all free. So there is no catcher here. Just check out the website. And if you want to actually ask us questions, if you feel like a little bit stressed you can join us on YouTube every single Sunday at 8 am New Zealand time. We are on YouTube. And we do one hour of q&a. So you just we just sitting down on the couch and we take questions from the live chat and we answer questions of travelers. So you can join us then and chat with us then, if you're planning a trip to Fiji, you can check fijipocket if you're planning a trip to Tonga, you can take tongapocket if you planned a trip to Niue, you can check niuepocket guide.comand I think were on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all this nonsense, just type the name of those businesses and you can find us. I think that's how it works. But yeah, that's it.

Daniel 53:33

So many so many pocket guides.

Robin 53:35

Yeah, well, yeah, so we have pocket guides for most of the South Pacific Islands. But that's the one I'd like to highlight right now.

Daniel 53:41

It's great. You guys must be really, really, really busy it sounds like.

Robin 53:46

You're not never busy a day in your life if you do what you love. So I don't feel like I'm busy. I'm really happy.

Daniel 53:51

Absolutely. Thanks. Thanks very much. Thank you very much for your time for today.

Robin 53:56

Thank you very much for having me, Daniel.

Daniel 53:57

No worries. My pleasure.

Robin 53:59


Daniel 54:00

I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Robin, if you want to get in touch with him or if you want to check his work and his guides, I will post all the links in the show notes. I encourage you to Google Niue because it's absolutely stunning. It's spelled n, i, u, e. One more thing we discuss opening a business on a visa before going ahead and do it, check with local authorities if you are allowed or not. If you want to support the show, you can share this episode and you can leave us a review that will help others finding the show. Thank you so much for tuning in. You can subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you want to be on the show, you can send me an email at [email protected] or visit