Seeing a news story of an individual or couple who quit their jobs, sold everything they had, and left on a jet-setting adventure are more common than you think. You might have come across a few via Instagram or some of the horror stories that come around.
Typically, it involves people doing whatever they can to get by as they go experience the world. For some, that may spark the idea of an adventure but for others, that sounds like misery.
But what if you could travel the world and experience new places without having to quit your job and sell your belongings?
Welcome to the life of a digital nomad! Digital nomads are those who travel the world while continuing to work. Many jobs provide remote options while others become full time freelancers or run their own business.
Where Do You Start?
There’s no perfect path for becoming a digital nomad. You might work an agreement out with your current place or work or set out on your own.
What you should strongly consider is making sure you have a bit of experience before you head out. For example, if you’re planning on becoming a freelance web designer, writer, editor, teacher, or anything else, it pays to have some experience under your belt before you hit the open road.
It helps to have a portfolio for your work or at least some proven work experience. As you’ll be working far away from an office setting, employers are more likely to put trust in those who have proven experience.
If you’ve got your eyes set on traveling the world, keep them there but be patient as you work towards your goal.
Narrow Down Your Skills
You might already be on a career path where you could easily transition to the digital nomad world. If you do anything IT related, chances are there’s a digital nomad role out there for you.
Other careers may not have quite the clear path, and it may take you awhile to find any relative skills.
Once you do start out, you will probably have to work your way into a salaried job via freelance opportunities. Don’t freak out if the going starts small, as it’s a marathon not a sprint.
If you’re going to be running your own business, make sure you choose one you can do from anywhere. Ecommerce is such and business that is available everywhere and is rapidly growing as well.
Learn to Market Yourself
No matter if you’re building up your writing profile or building up your business, it’s important to learn how to market yourself. Some of the easier ways are buying a domain name for your own website or setting up an online portfolio. Depending on your work, social media might play a significant role in business development.
You’re going to have to perfect your elevator or cold pitch with clients and other businesses, as you’ll be sending out plenty of emails over time. You may not be able to wow them with the perfect handshake and eye contact, but you can come up with the perfect pitch.
Make a Schedule and Stick to It
One of the most important aspects of your job as a digital nomad is to make and stick to a schedule. You may be able to set your own schedule or it might be influenced by the employer you’re working with, managing yourself across various time zones.
As with any habit, it’s important to stick to a routine. Once you’re in a routine, you’ll be better suited to concentrate throughout the day and make plans.
This is also important because you’re going to want to be sure to have your ideal work-life balance, setting up a time to cut yourself off from checking emails and responding to messages.
Choose the Right Country (or countries)
You’ve got the digital down, now you just need to figure out the nomad. When you’re scoping out countries or locations, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the cost of living like?
- What is the visa situation like?
- Are there any precautions I need to take/things I should be aware of?
- How long can I stay in the country?
- Does the country have good internet?
- Is there a digital nomad group I can be a part of?
While you might be someone that plans on jet setting through 20 countries this year, many digital nomads end up settling down in one for a long period of time. While you might have dreams of wandering through the streets of Europe, those countries are going to be more expensive and tougher to obtain visas from.
Many digital nomads flock to Southeast Asia and South America, do to their low cost of living and overall lax visa policy.