Digital Nomad - How You Become One

Digital Nomad Tips
Author: nomadswork
Written by nomadswork

When you hear the term “digital nomad”, what do you think of? For many, it conjures up the image of a person on a white sandy beach, with a laptop in one hand and a piña colada in the other. Remote work and workcations are on the way to become the norm, with more and more people traveling the world and working at the same time.

No, you do not need to be self-employed or an entrepreneur to become a digital nomad. Thankfully, a lot of remote work jobs are popping up, giving more people the opportunity to travel and work abroad.

If you dream of traveling the world and earning simultaneously, you should consider becoming a digital nomad. But how do you become one? Keep reading to find out.

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who works online while traveling around the world. It is not a job title but rather a lifestyle choice.

Digital nomads carry their offices on their phones and laptops. As long as they can find a Wi-Fi connection, they can work from anywhere in the world. In search of a reliable internet connection, you can often spot these people working from coffee shops, cafés, and public libraries. The common element between digital nomads is that they are forever on the move, spending several months traveling abroad.

I heard Digital Nomads are mostly rich, lazy and lonely people. But is that true?!

Being a digital nomad isn’t as glamorous and easy as social media makes it out to be. You may picture them as people sitting by the pool or chilling on the beach with a laptop in hand. However, that is not entirely accurate. During a hot, sunny day, you have better chances of finding a digital nomad in a coffee shop rather than the pool because the sun makes it difficult to see the screen.

Digital Nomad working remotely
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Digital nomads value experiences more than accumulating material possessions. Nevertheless, their focus is to create the perfect work-life balance. At work, they tend to be productive, hard-working people who work online to ensure a steady source of income to fund their nomadic lifestyle. In their lives, they are usually free-spirited people who love to explore new countries, meet new people, and experience new cultures.

In this blog article you can find futher information on what a Digital Nomad is.

How can you become a digital nomad?

Remote work is expected to transform the world in the next decade. Experts believe that there will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035. More and more countries start adapting to this change by offering digital nomad visas. Freedom to travel the world and a location-independent lifestyle are the biggest advantages of becoming a digital nomad. Great work-life balance, a stress-free environment, and an opportunity to become part of a global community are other perks. However, you need to have self-discipline to ensure that you get your work done, no matter where you are.

Being a digital nomad can help you develop these skills, which will set you up for success not just at work but also in life. You should also be flexible and spontaneous to constantly adapt to the new changes brought in by this lifestyle.

Luckily, there is no single path to becoming a digital nomad. People with different skills may find different ways to become one. If this lifestyle sounds interesting for you, with the right frame of mind, you can definitely make things work out for you!

Here are few steps to help you start your journey as a digital nomad.

Reduce unnecessary expenses

As a digital nomad, you want to be prepared to move to different locations regularly. A long-term lease on your apartment or car may tie you down to the location you are at now. If you aspire to become a digital nomad, addressing such expenses can help you reduce location ties. You may consider paying off such debts or setting up a payment plan so that you can travel the world worry-free.

Digital nomads are usually global travelers, and it is good to have the money to travel to different countries and locations. Get rid of unnecessary expenses such as gym memberships so that you have more money to travel.

If you work as a freelancer, you need to be even more careful because you may have inconsistent income. Paying off your credit card and other debts is also a great way to avoid stress while traveling.

Digital Nomad at an ATM
Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

Create a side income

Before you quit your regular job and pack your bags, ensure you have the necessary finances to support this lifestyle. As a digital nomad, you will often be on your own. Start by getting a remote work job. There are several jobs available that allow you to work remotely. Many industries worldwide are leading the way in remote work. Whether you are in programming, design, customer support, marketing, copywriting, accounting or teaching, there are numerous remote work jobs available.

Creating a side income, though not mandatory, can also help you earn more money for your travels. You may consider passive income like drop-shipping or working as a remote freelancer to augment your income. However, if you already have a well-paying remote job, it may not be necessary at all. The goal is to ensure that you earn enough to not find yourself in a financial crunch in an unknown country.

Study or work abroad

If you want to become a digital nomad but are unsure if it is the right choice, you can start by studying or working abroad. It is a more structured and safe path for someone who is still in two minds about the lifestyle.

Going down this road means that you may need to get a visa or a work permit. Several countries in the world offer working holiday programs. See if you could be eligible for one of those. Staying abroad for work or study for several months will help you figure out if this lifestyle is suitable for you.

Volunteering abroad

Another common way to get a feeling for how it is to work in another country while saving cost, is to volunteer. There are many volunteering platforms in the internet that connect workers with farms, organisations, institutions or private hosts from all over the world. As a volunteer you don't get payment but free accomodation and 1-3 meals per day as an exchange.

Digital Nomad Volunteering Job
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

There are many types of work you can do, like farm-work, teaching, arts, crafting, or often also photography or supporting the host with IT tasks. Many hosts are digital nomad friendly which allows you to work on your own projects after a 3-5h work day.

Get travel health insurance

Traveling around the world can be fun and exciting. But sometimes, things may not go as planned. You could fall sick, have an accident or emergency, and need medical care. While enjoying your travels around the world, it is also important to take care of your health. You can’t really experience and enjoy different countries if you are sick, can you? Also, your work will suffer if you are unwell. To prepare for such situations, ensure that you get travel health insurance that is valid in the countries that you plan to visit.

Some countries have strict protocols around immunizations. You may need to get vaccinated if you are planning to travel to any of these countries. Ensure that you plan accordingly.

Stick to your plan

If you want your nomadic lifestyle to work, you it’s good to be clear about what you want. How do you do that? What do you need to make that happen? For starters, you it’s good to have a solid plan. However, being a digital nomad is also about being flexible. You should also have a backup plan in case things don’t go your way and you need to reset your plans. Organize yourself and your life. Having a to-do list can be very helpful. A little planning and organization can help you enjoy this lifestyle while being productive at work.

Digital Nomad Todo List Organisation
Photo by That's Her Business on Unsplash

In Conclusion

If the idea of pursuing your dreams while seeing the world sounds exciting, you should definitely consider becoming a digital nomad. With the right mindset, organizational skills, and discipline, you can have a very rewarding and exciting life on the road.