How To Prepare to Become a Digital Nomad
Some people are very lucky in that they chose their career path wisely and love the work that they do. Others simply put up with working a job they hate because of the salary and stability it provides.
There is a third group that rejects both of those and decides to forge their own path. They work from anywhere in the world and do jobs that are more fulfilling than any kind of career could afford. They are called digital nomads and are a quickly growing group.
They don’t like working in a traditional office setting preferring to use the world as their office. They travel from country to country and work from anywhere there is an internet connection. Not only are they seeing the world while they get paid, but they also save a lot of money by living in very low cost of living areas.
If this sounds enticing, read on for the ways that you can prepare to become a digital nomad yourself.
Research, Research and Research
Before quitting the 9 to 5 and hopping on a plane, it pays off to understand what you are getting into and what your needs are. The only way to figure these things out is to do a lot of research.
Long-term travel is much different than being a tourist and you need to make sure that you have the logistics planned out well. For instance, your health needs to be a top priority, so you have to have insurance. But, since you aren’t a permanent resident in any of the countries where you plan to work, you won’t qualify for the public health care system. In some cases, you wouldn’t want to anyway.
There is health insurance for US expats that will cover a number of countries. Yet not every country is covered so you should plan where to want to go based on where you will have coverage.
Internet speed and a stable connection are the lifelines of every digital nomad. Destinations need to have the infrastructure necessary to provide high-speed internet that doesn’t go down. The ideal itinerary includes countries that have a good reputation for the quality of their internet. Within the country, there are areas where the internet doesn’t function as well as in others. Take the time to settle on a city or region where there is a better chance of finding a place to get the work done. Having to shuffle around looking for a place with good internet not only wastes time, it directly results in making less money.
Identify Your Skills
The most natural way to start out as a digital nomad is to ask your current boss if it’s alright if you work remotely. Since many people are still working from home, the answer is likely to be positive.
However, different time zones pose a problem. Deadlines are difficult to stick to and communication is not always fast enough when out on the road.
In this situation, it is best to go off on your own. Many digital nomads simply start freelancing in the sector where they were already working. For instance, if you were doing accounting, then you could set yourself up as a freelancer and find clients based on your authority in the field.
Luckily, the internet allows people to start a business doing just about anything. Many digital nomads use their creativity to open an Etsy store and sell homemade goods. Others use their organizational skills to work as virtual assistants.
Figure out what you’re good at and find the thing that intersects with what you’d like to do and focus there.
Build Before You Go
Use your spare time to see if the business idea will fly. Try finding clients for your freelance career or, start selling your crafts on Etsy before you buy your plane ticket. Being established before you leave will make the transition smoother and ensure that you can stay afloat financially while you get your travel legs under you.
Many digital nomads work in areas that allow them to make a passive income which is the ideal way to go. If it is already making money before you leave then you can breathe easy and make money while you travel. Things like an affiliate marketing site or a dropshipping business are two popular ways that digital nomads make passive income.
If there is one silver lining to the pandemic it is that remote working has become normal now. It has shown that we can live anywhere and still work. This means that there is little reason to stay tied down to a desk in an office.
If you have a long travel bucket list, then don’t wait to retire to start ticking them off. Become a digital nomad and see the world on your own terms.