If you’re reading this, you probably want to live the exciting and adventurous life of a digital nomad. Perhaps, you’ve seen pictures online depicting remote workers sipping margaritas on some tropical island with a laptop by their side while making some cool income. This has you wondering what you must do to live such a life.
Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it seems. All you need is the proper guideline, a plan, and the dedication to see it through. According to research by MBO Partners, a business-oriented firm, 7.3 million Americans consider themselves digital nomads. The amazing part is that this number is increasing every day. If they can do it, so can you!
Keep in mind that remote work is not as rosy as simply sitting by a pool with your laptop while getting some nice tan. For starters, you need to put in the work if you want a good income stream and, most importantly, the dedication to maintain it.
Tips On Becoming A Digital Nomad
The path to becoming a digital nomad is not the same for everyone. While going through this guide, pick the tips that work for you and stick to them. You don’t have to apply everything. What you decide to implement will depend on your skills and the industry you want to dive into. With patience and dedication, you’ll achieve your dream of becoming a location-independent worker.
Start to break free of location ties and expenses
To live the life of a digital nomad means having the freedom to move to different locations without worrying about extra baggage. You need to be able to travel light without junk and unnecessary properties holding you down. What’s more, it’s awesome to know you can earn a decent income as a remote worker. A study by FlexJobs involving more than 500 digital nomads shows that 18% earn up to six figures.
However, to achieve this life, you need to identify those things tying you down to your current location. It could be a long-term lease on an apartment or a vehicle. You can start by eliminating these expenses. For example, find someone to take your lease. You can use that to recover the extra rent payment you made on the property. Cancel subscription services, and get rid of unnecessary gym memberships.
If you have a car, consider leasing it out or selling it. You won’t be using it in the long-term anyway, and you’ll get to save money on gas, maintenance, and insurance expenses.
Become part of a digital nomad community
You’re about to embark on a new adventure and seek out uncharted territories – well, for you, that’s what it is. To achieve this, you need to be around people who share the same passion and have garnered some experience living as digital nomads. These communities offer you support and can answer any questions you might have on your journey.
Location Indie is an example of a digital nomad community where you can join forums and get feedback as you work towards taking your business to new heights. There are several such groups on the Internet, and you can find them with a simple search.
Recognize your skills
Now that you’ve taken the first step, the next important thing is identifying what skills you wish to monetize online. There are many things to choose from. Popular ones include writing, tutoring, website designing, and social media marketing. If you’re a software developer, look for jobs where you can work as a front-end or back-end website builder.
As a native English speaker, you can even work as a tutor teaching students online. Websites like VIPKid make it possible to find clients easily. If you do a good job, you can start earning enough to turn this into a full-time gig.
Most digital nomads started as freelancers, so you can do this too. Begin by finding remote work projects that will help you build your portfolio. Securing gigs that you can complete on your own schedule while maintaining your current job is a great way to get the hang of the work-from-anywhere life. This way, you can slowly ease yourself into it.
How you decide to go about it will depend on your skills, interests, and how much risk you’re willing to take. You have to be ready to fail and pick yourself back up again.
Master the art of freelancing
Once you’ve figured out what skills you have and want to monetize, it’s time to look for remote jobs on freelancer sites. This is the most straightforward path for someone just starting on their freelancing cruise. You need to know the ropes before becoming a full-fledged digital nomad.
Many sites offer these services, such as Upwork, Remote OK, and We Work Remotely. You will find thousands of paying gigs that you can complete from any location. They’re not just about writing, marketing, or software development. These freelance platforms also give you access to clients looking for virtual assistants, transcribers, and even photographers.
Take the bull by the horn: work or study abroad
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of navigating through the remote work industry, you can instead find a location-based job in a city abroad. You can also apply to a university overseas. While this path will take you longer to become a digital nomad, it helps you figure out if life on the road is for you.
You can apply for working holiday visas to countries like Canada and Australia. Also, you don’t need to lose your current job to achieve this. Talk to your boss about letting you work remotely. To do this successfully, you have to prepare in advance and write a proposal that addresses critical aspects of your current role. In addition, you need to highlight how you’ll transition these important areas to a remote position without sacrificing productivity.
You can tell your boss about using a daily productivity tracker that will allow them to monitor your performance even when you’re working miles and miles away. Traqq is an example of time tracking software that your employer can use to see your work hours. This way, they don’t need to worry about your new location affecting your efficiency and productivity.
Remember, while deciding on travel destinations, always consider your income stream as well as the cost of living in those locations. Low-cost areas mean you can live large and still have enough money saved for emergencies. So, keep this in mind while planning your adventures. You can check out NomadList to gain access to a list of trending destinations updated by other digital nomads.
Before you arrive at your destination, make plans for where you’ll live. You can secure hostel accommodation or book through AirBnb. Since you won’t be staying too long in a specific location, these options are great and will save you money. This way, you easily get a comfortable and temporary space you can call your own.