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More and more people today choose the digital nomad lifestyle, which isn’t a surprise considering how fun and fulfilling life on the road can be. Globalization, as well as the rapid development of tech, make it easy to work while traveling, and this kind of lifestyle can be much cheaper than living permanently in one of the first world countries.
All in all, there is absolutely nothing that should stop you from becoming a digital nomad, and there are dozens of reasons to pack and start traveling the world. It doesn’t matter which of them pushed you onto this road. What matters is to prepare for this great adventure so that you can enjoy working while discovering new fascinating places.
1. Settle Everything With Your Job
To be a digital nomad means to work while traveling the world, and it’s that “work” part that needs to be settled before you start your journey. Doing this beforehand will reduce stress and ensure that you always have the funds to continue your travels.
Depending upon your situation, settling the work matters can vary greatly. If you have a full-time job that you want to keep, you will need to discuss becoming a remote worker with your boss. Be sure to mention that a business can save up to $11,000 a year on every remote worker as opposed to the one stationed in the office full-time.
Once your boss agrees to let you work remotely, you will need to draw up a schedule and some protocols so that you can actually do your job regardless of where you are.
Another way you can work while being a digital nomad is by becoming a freelancer. In this case, you should register with top freelance marketplaces and develop an impressive portfolio. A freelancer’s job is much less stable, so you need to have an emergency fund that will keep you going through your travels when you are between jobs.
You can also complement either of these work options by employing popular online money-making strategies. Consider starting a blog that you will be able to monetize as well as earning passive income from uploading your photos to stock image databases. Blogging, in particular, can become a full-time occupation for a digital nomad.
Overall, think hard about what skills you have and what you can do with them. Find work that will allow you to make the most of them and have a plan/timetable/orders well in place before you become a full-time nomad.
2. Prep Your Tech
To become a digital nomad, you also need to become “digital,” which means obtaining all the tech you need to work regardless of where you are. Modern technology is, by definition, quite advanced, which means you can find dozens of tools that will make any job easy. However, bear in mind that when leading a nomadic lifestyle, you need to be a minimalist.
It will be both complicated and dangerous to carry around a technological arsenal, so you should limit yourself to the essential tools. The exact choice will depend upon what you do precisely. However, it is a safe bet to assume that your minimum tech kit will include a laptop, camera, and smartphone.
Note that the software you pack with your devices also matters. In particular, you need to consider that many countries favored by digital nomads (read: cheap destinations with gorgeous nature and lots of entertainment) have Internet restrictions. Popular prime content like Netflix shows and your favorite sports channels also have geographical restrictions. Therefore, you need a way to defy geo-blocks. It is not a difficult thing to do; you only need to use a specialized solution (VPN is the most reliable option) which will “cover your online trail.”
Also, purchase any software necessary to run your wandering business. Luckily today you can get the majority of essential services, like tax apps or even bookkeeping solutions for freelancers, on a subscription basis. As these are mainly cloud-based solutions, you can be assured that you won’t lose any critical data even if your tech is lost or damaged.
On the matter of protection against broken or stolen tech, you will need to store the majority of your files in cloud storage if you want to become a digital nomad.
3. Never Move To A New Destination W/O Prep
Being a digital nomad doesn’t mean you should be disorganized. In fact, you most definitely need to be organized in the extreme. You need this so you can balance traveling, having fun, and working to keep this lifestyle well-funded. This means that every time you decide to move on to a new destination, you need to do the most thorough preparations.
Book your accommodation and make sure the place has everything set up for your work. Research any possible challenges you might face in a new home, including anything of a cultural and political nature. Arrive armed with this knowledge and all your necessities booked and arranged before your plane even touches down in a new country.
Most importantly, have plans A through K at the least for dealing with any emergencies which might pop up. The lifestyle of a digital nomad traveling third world countries, in particular, is an absolute logistical nightmare. You’ll need to be prepared for monsoon season floods, failed internet connections and blackouts, plus bad Wi-Fi and a dozen other possible issues. Don’t forget about time difference as well. You will need to plan your work very carefully to remain on schedule.
4. Get Some Time To Relax
Do you know why many digital nomads burn out?
It’s because they perceive their lives as being in a state of perpetual semi-vacation. Or they simply cannot afford to stop and take a break from work.
You should not ever allow yourself to fall into this trap. Mind your health and always take some time out to rest and to truly enjoy your life and the place you are currently at. Days off and vacations are as important to a freelancer or remote worker as they are to those poor folks who have to commute and be stuck in stuffy offices all day long.
5. Research The Cons Of Being A Digital Nomad
To become a digital nomad has its risks, but some changes aren’t all that bad. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. As you can see from stories of people who tried it and chose to settle in one place instead. Mark Manson, a renowned author, and former digital nomad. Also offers a new perspective on this lifestyle in his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.
You definitely should read up on what to see and what people have to say about their experiences, and understand the challenges that made them quit. Determine whether those challenges are enough to turn you off this lifestyle and to learn what exactly you should prepare for.
However, as every one of us is unique, you should never stop reading other people’s stories. What might have worked or not worked for them might be entirely different for you. Study those materials but set out on the road anyway if you feel it calling. You can return home or settle in some other place at any time. But you are sure to regret it if you let fear and anxieties you from trying.
About The Author: Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer, and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking, or working out at the gym. Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrs.kate.bregovic