I met Sergej at a hostel in Kiev. He was the only other guy in the room when I got there so I introduced myself. Once I heard his name and accent I knew he was Russian. This suited me. Summer of 2015 my sole aim was to was to reach fluency in Russian. So we got a beer and Sergej told me his reason for coming to Kiev.

This is my vacation, it’s a reward for reaching my goal. I work online as a translator and I just made $1,000 in a month for the first time.  

My reaction: $1,000 a month! Working online! Well if that isn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. The seed was planted, I now knew someone who was making money online. Often we hear about other people doing amazing things. However, since we don’t know them it’s difficult to relate. But when it’s someone sitting across the table and laughing at your jokes or teaching you a new word in Russian, it’s easier to imagine yourself in their shoes. I only spent a few days with Sergej but they changed my life.

Six months later I would be traveling in Vietnam and Thailand, living exclusively on money I made from working online.