10 Practical Steps To Become A Digital Nomad
Digital nomads are generally described as the type of persons who utilize the element of technological advancements in telecommunications to make a living and finance a nomadic type of lifestyle. Such persons usually work remotely in areas such as coffee shops, public libraries, or even in recreational vehicles stationed within foreign countries’ borders. You have probably seen pictures on the internet of people working remotely in cafes or sandy beaches with laptops and wondered how you could achieve that too.
Digital nomadism does not have a rule of thumb blueprint that everyone should follow. People have varying sets of skills or a degree of professionalism and experience. As such, some people might have to skip a few steps in this guideline. That said, beginners might have to do some extra legwork.
Digital nomads are normally classified in different categories depending on their social statuses. For many individuals seeking to become digital nomads, they are usually driven by the desire to become independent. This essay intends to motivate the reader by depicting various practical ways in which a person can successfully become a digital nomad and live an independent location life.
- Pros of the digital nomad lifestyle.
- Cons of the digital nomad lifestyle.
Why digital nomadism?
Digital nomadism has its merits. From trips to the tropics, travelling around the world to working on a white sandy beach on a remote island with minimal infrastructure, the list is endless. The better part though is that you are getting paid while you are on the move. You can earn high-value currency from countries like England and the U.S. and live in another country. That way, you can literally live anywhere in the world. This is what digital nomadism is mainly characterized by.
Besides, most white- and blue-collar jobs are disappearing, which means people’s occupations are continually being threatened. That, coupled with the advancements in technology, has made digital nomadism a source of many livelihoods. Furthermore, large corporations are investing in automation and artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, they are competing with small and medium-sized enterprises. For that reason, small and medium-sized enterprises that can’t keep up are opting to downsize or ditch their office spaces altogether. To stay more profitable, some businesses even hire remote employees instead of on-site ones.
Overall, there are many other reasons why people are choosing a nomadic lifestyle. This article aims to shed light on the logistics involved for beginners to adopt this type of life, as well as offer sufficient information that anyone can use to start a nomadic lifestyle.
Steps to becoming a digital nomad
Minimize location expenses and ties.
The first way in which a person can successfully become a digital nomad and thus live a location independent life is by ensuring they either reduce or eliminate all their personal debts. This is crucial for any person as a string of debts may inhibit the acquisition of peace of mind. This is since an individual may be stressed out all through the entire period of their nomadic lifestyle regarding how they would deal with their debtors once they decide to return home.
Overall, to become a digital nomad, you have to recognize the specific things that are tying you to your home location. After that, you have to figure out a way of eliminating them. Such things include gym memberships, subscription services and leases on vehicles or apartments. Thereafter, prioritize the things that you will need while you are on the go. You may also sell your car because you probably wouldn’t need it in the long-term.
Sign up with credit monitoring agencies.
Secondly, another aspect crucial to successfully becoming a digital nomad is signing up with agencies or firms that offer services of credit monitoring. Since a digital nomadic lifestyle entails moving across different locations across the globe, it is vital for a person to ensure their credit is put under close scrutiny for purposes of preventing identity theft. In other scenarios, for those much interested in saving on costs related to signing up with monitoring agencies, a person can simply freeze their credit for the entire period during which they would be living a digital nomadic lifestyle.
Besides, you have to remember to clear out your credit card debt as quickly as possible because of extreme interest rates. For other loans like student debt, you have to set up payment plans so that while you are away, you wouldn’t have to worry about using your savings.
Acquire a handset with global network access.
Thirdly, one should be keen enough to ensure they acquire a handset which is not restricted to specific service providers. Since this lifestyle demands a regular change of locations across the globe, it is a necessity that a prospective digital nomad should be in possession of a mobile handset which can make calls on an international scale. For digital nomads, this is crucial as it helps to eliminate the costs that would be incurred as a result of using payphones to communicate across the globe.
Fourthly, in addition to handsets that can make international calls, a prospective digital nomad should also sign up with various social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Twitter. This is vital as it helps ensure a person can keep in touch with multiple people in different locales as they travel globally.
Have insurance in place.
Fifth, it is vital to acquire insurance for different factors such as health since anything can and usually does happen while in the course of travelling. Travel medical insurance, for instance, covers things like emergency evacuation. If you are travelling and get ill or injure yourself unexpectedly, then this type of insurance will cover you. In addition to the emergency medical coverage, travel medical insurance can offer trip cancellation or delay coverage.
Acquire a globally applicable credit card.
The sixth thing is the acquisition of a credit card which has no restrictions related to international fees is also another practical step which should be put into consideration while seeking to become a digital nomad. This is necessary as it reduces the overall costs of travelling internationally customarily associated with making withdrawals from different ATMs.
For instance, if you spend $2000 on overseas purchases, you will be charged fees in the region of $80. This can easily be evaded when using credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees. That makes obtaining a globally applicable credit card an important financial step to take. Such global cards include American Express Gold Card, Capital One, Discover, etc.
Network with people across the globe.
The seventh logical step necessary for this type of lifestyle is networking with different people located in the various intended destinations prior to travelling physically to such places. Besides, you can link up with digital nomad clubs or hubs on online sites. By doing so, you are likely to have access to more information from like-minded people. From these online hubs, you can exploit information that ranges from location safety and costs to entertainment and internet speeds. From such resources, you can easily identify where to go.
Identify suitable destinations before travelling.
Such type of connection would prove essential as it would make it easy for an individual to find their way in an environment that is completely new. This step goes hand in hand with the eighth step, which demands that a prospective digital nomad should find suitable housing facility before they physically travel to any locations across the globe. This is another important aspect as it helps to promote the acquisition of a peace of mind that is usually non-existent among travellers due to the anxiousness of being in a new environment.
From the Americas and Africa to Europe and Antarctica, the possibilities of destinations are endless. Although your income level will have a bearing on which destinations you visit, you have to be realistic of what you need per location. The basic things to focus on is the cost of accommodation, entertainment, food and travel before deciding on the destination that suits your budget. If you choose low-cost locations, you are likely to stay longer and explore more as opposed to high-cost ones. But that is just the life of a digital nomad.
Develop skills to generate income while on travel.
The ninth step necessary to becoming a digital nomad and thus living an independent location life is through establishing a mechanism in which to generate income while still travelling to different locations across the world. Customarily, moving from place to place by whatever means requires the extensive use of money either for transport or upkeep purposes. Hence, a prospective digital nomad should be keen to ensure they are capable of generating income while still travelling for purposes of ensuring they are able to maintain this type of lifestyle.
For beginners, once the remote working skills have already been figured out, the easiest way to start is by becoming a freelancer. Find a job that suits your skillset on any job site and get started. Fortunately for you, we have countless online sites that offer freelance remote jobs; UpWork, Fiverr, RemoteOK, just to mention a few. The best part with these sites is that they all allow you to search for gigs by skill or industry. As such, it is highly unlikely that you will miss a gig to start off with. Remember that whatever income you can generate by doing remote work, the idea is to live a digital nomadic lifestyle, which guarantees both the freedom to work and travel across the world.
Identify the skills to focus on abroad.
Last but not least, another practical step for a successful digital nomad is the acquisition or building of necessary skills. As depicted, it is a requirement for a prospective nomad to have sources of revenue that would generate the income necessary to fund this type of lifestyle. Thus, an individual must be keen to build the necessary skills that would enable them to exploit their chosen means of making revenue to the fullest while travelling.
In today’s age, the skills that are often worked on remotely include web design, engineering, writing and online marketing. In most cases, beginners in digital nomadic lifestyle start off by finding online freelance gigs that offer a small stream of income. With time, you might choose to specialize and expand your area of expertise or find more small gigs to beef up your income stream. Regardless, there is no rule of the thumb that everyone can follow in digital nomadism. What matters is your skillset and how willing you are to take risks.
Pros of Digital Nomad lifestyle.
- You can work from anywhere.
- You have access to unlimited earning potential.
- You can make new connections.
- You can have access to cheaper costs of living.
- You have the freedom to choose to travel and live anywhere on the globe.
Cons of Digital Nomad lifestyle.
- It is an emotional decision to tear up a page from home and start over elsewhere.
- You have shorter working days as you chase deadlines.
In conclusion, it would be appropriate to claim that becoming a digital nomad successfully is not an easy task since one must put into consideration various crucial factors. For instance, one such element that should be keenly put into perspective is the specific steps in which an individual can follow to become a digital nomad. This is an important factor as the steps are chosen must be practical ones as those depicted in this essay such as the acquisition of insurance or making connections with different people located in prospective destinations an individual intends to visit. You may also want to check our article out about creating your own business!