A Digital Nomad – sounds fancy! Right? Well, it’s definitely a fancy word to use for a freelancer. The digital nomad lifestyle implies that you can mix travel with work and clock in from anywhere in the world. Nowadays a hashtag trending on Instagram #DigitalNomad with the pictures of people work on their laptops in beautiful serene places.
For some, a year of travel and freedom just isn’t enough. These people want to spend their lives exploring the world while working when and where they want to and making their passion, their work.
It’s not just a wistful want, where they talk about it, spout travel quotes, read 4-hour Workweek and then come back off their lunch hour to be in free space. They’ve used their skills, qualifications, and passions to engineer their life to suit them.
For them, it’s not about getting a job and living life around that like everyone else. Its living life and creating or finding a job to fit them they are called “Digital Nomads“.
Living As A Digital Nomad
There are WordPress developers, Start-up directors, Amazon shop owners, UX Designers, Inventors, Travel Bloggers and no doubt another few hundred trades. All with different skillsets, interests, stories, and life histories but all with the same passion for somehow making their life pan out differently from the School-Uni-Work / 9-5 society.
As digital nomads, they can combine their work and indulge in their hobbies, spare time interests too. Some locate themselves in destinations specifically for surfing, for kitesurfing, for the beaches, the sun, the city, the festivals, the lifestyle, the culture- wherever it is that allows them to work alongside their idea of fun.
Sounds like a pretty sweet life, But it’s not that easy how its sounds. To be a digital nomad you need endless self-motivation. There is no one to check whether you were in at work at the right time, or how long it took you to finish your lunch. You do the work because you want to. For some, you need to be able to adapt quickly to change and try to stay one step ahead of your peers. You need to understand when to work as a team, and when not; you need to know when to roll with an idea, and when to realize you really don’t know what you are talking about.
If you want to be a digital nomad who works for yourself I’d also recommend you have the wheels in motion before you leave your current job or education. If you don’t, try to find a job that will enable you to work remotely, or even spot a gap and create one in your current company.
It’s not a good idea to leave security to become a digital nomad. You need to have another skill, trade, idea or income source to make the digital nomad part the lifestyle rather than the focus.
Digital Nomads Tips
Becoming a digital nomad is not an easy transition by any means. It’s a lot of work; don’t believe otherwise. No one is telling you what to do it- you have complete freedom to manage your time. This can work in your favor or against you.
Some days you wake up feeling super motivated and smash out a lot of work. Other days you lounge about in your apartment, avoiding working at all costs and telling yourself you can make up for the lost time tomorrow. The only problem with this is if you don’t stay on top of things you will quickly run out of money.
If you dread waking up on a Monday knowing you have another full week of working at a job you hate, then honestly, why work there? Maybe you feel that you are in this cycle of having to work in order to pay for your student loan, apartment, car, and general lifestyle. But instead of saving money or time to do this, then read on for the basic step to becoming a digital nomad.
If you have ever had thought of quitting your job and traveling but couldn’t because you didn’t have enough money or time to do it, then read on for the basic step to becoming a digital nomad.
- Firstly start saving your money. Figure out how long you think you’d like to invest in becoming a digital nomad. Start budgeting where your money really goes every month, and save as much as you can.
- While you are saving, do some serious research on where you’d like to travel. Start with the Nomad list. It’s a useful site I use from time to time when trying to figure out where to go next. This website provides you with a list of the best cities to live and work in as a nomad. It covers the overall costs of living, Internet speeds, weather, how many nomads are currently there, etc.
- Buy a plane ticket. if you really are committed to trying out this lifestyle then just go for it, pack your bag and don’t overthink it. The rest will fall into place. If you are really passionate about working online then you will find something, so just pick a place that ticks all your boxes and go for it.
- Think about what you’d like to do abroad. How would you like to make an income? Find something you might be interested in. Or maybe you already have skills such as Android development, editing, designing, or even working as a personal assistant. Play around with ideas and brainstorm a few you may like to peruse abroad.
- Minimalize your possessions. If you really want to go the digital nomad route, then you won’t need your possessions at home, like your car, tv, etc. Sell what you can and put the rest in storage.
- Once you have completed the above, then it will eventually be time to leave your company. If you have the possibility of taking your current job abroad, then ask your boss.
- Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary electronics with you. You will be spending 90% of your time on the computer, so invest in a new one if need be, and make sure you have adequate chargers, USB, etc.
- Remember it takes time, don’t be deterred by being the new guy; each digital nomad started at the same place you are in right now. It may seem like are not making any money, or are not good at what you are doing, but don’t let this bring you down. Nothing is going to happen overnight; the biggest thing is for you to keep going, even when things seem hopeless.
Digital Nomad Jobs
Finding a digital nomad job might seem impossible to some people. Maybe you think that only the “chosen ones” get to work and enjoy getting to know new places at the same time.
However, if you are determined and know where to look for remote jobs, it’s definitely feasible and even surprisingly easy for some people.
The list of profession jobs that can be done remotely and therefore are compatible with the digital nomad lifestyle is getting bigger and bigger every year, which is a definite advantage for everyone who wants to try it out.
Digital Nomad Jobs/ Professions that can be done remotely:-
Can’t figure out what to do remotely while living like a true digital nomad? Hopefully, the next section of this article will help you find something that you are good at, enjoy doing and can do remotely.
- Copywriting and writing
As you can imagine, a freelance copywriter can communicate with clients online, therefore, work basically from anywhere, as long there is an active Internet connection.
If you think you can write well, be sure to try it out. And if you don’t want to create only marketing texts, feel free to branch out of copywriting to general writing that can cover an endless spectrum of topics and style, as long as you find the right customers.
- Taking Online Surveys
Another very easy way how to start your digital nomad life, On websites, you can get paid for sharing your opinions and testing various products or projects to help brands with their customer research.
All you need is to register and build-up your profile. Once it’s done you gonna start receiving surveys that match your knowledge, hobbies or products & services you usually use.
- Social Media Manager
Big companies have their own social media managers or hire online marketing agencies to manage their social media.
However smaller companies often hire freelance social media managers that take care of their accounts and help them grow.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is technically not a job, but it’s something that can make you location independent. Start your own websites or blog and promote other people’s products or services that you believe in. You will receive a percentage of sales made to people that came to their websites through your affiliate link.
- Illustrating and graphic design
Have you always been good at drawing? Maybe it’s time to turn your skill into a career. Use social media to promote your work or previous drawings and you might find some commissioned work that will mark the beginning of your freelance career.
Programmers can work remotely too! There are countless remote programming jobs opening every day. There are even websites dedicated specifically to remote programming jobs. If you are a programmer or want to become one it’s a great opportunity to become location independent.
Are you great at writing but don’t want to write for other people? Write for yourself! Create a blog and write about stuff you care about. Who knows, it might become a career one day, making you able to become a digital nomad. You can blog from anywhere, can’t you?
Why People Fail In The Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
The digital nomad lifestyle certainly has a lot to conceivably offer. When life is good, it can be exceptional. It’s easy to have a tint of rose color in your sunglasses when you are working from the beach in Bali. What could go wrong?
- Leaving Without A Plan
People tend to get really excited when they hear about the great advantage of a “digital nomad” lifestyle. It sounds so easy! Seemly everyone can simply pack their bags, move to a digital nomad hub and everything else will fall into place.
In the beginning, it might be great to just hang around with like-minded people for a while and relax the day away. But after a few weeks, they realize that they need to generate income somehow. But it is not as easy as they thought it would be. They start to struggle with this lifestyle.
- Lack Of Funds
The first reason people failed in the location independent lifestyle is related to money. Without money, there is not much else to discuss.
So, before you quit your job or buy a plane ticket, make sure you have a steady job or reliable way to fund your life and travels for at least the next 6 months up to a year.
- Culture Difference and inflexibility
Few people discuss the considerable energy required to set up a business abroad, or one that can serve your needs across borders, Many digital nomads learn the hard way that their time can be sucked up by paperwork and red tape on the operational side of their business.
Then there is the personal side of life as an outsider. Some cultural differences that seem endearing while on vacation can become burdensome while living abroad long- term.
While it’s possible to feel lonely even if you are married with kids in a comfortable job with all the boxes of the dream checked, loneliness is one of the most commonly discussed downsides to the digital nomad lifestyle.
Working alone in advancing your online career or business coupled with living in a foreign country thousands of miles from home can be particularly isolating. Issues concerning loneliness extend to all relationships: friends, family, and partners.
While it can be easy to meet people while traveling, it can also be hard to say good-bye. The transience of the digital nomad lifestyle is a factor to keep in mind.
- Leave without enough information
If you don’t have enough information about this lifestyle, you might end up hating it. Maybe you have expected the wrong things from it. Maybe you thought you can quickly get rich with this lifestyle. But the reality looks different.
Often people have no idea about the legal part either. They don’t organize a visa in advance when they should. They don’t get working permission when it’s necessary. They don’t get a bank account with good conditions for long-term travelers.
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