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Are you ready to become a Digital Nomad?
You’re not alone! There are a lot of people ready to break away from the mundane of a 9-5 or take their remote job on the road.
But real quick let’s define what is a Digital Nomad? A Digital Nomad is simply someone who works online (digital) and travels (nomad).
Which is a pretty broad definition. So, the first thing I want you to know is- there is no right or wrong way to be a Digital Nomad. There is just the way that works for you.
With that said, here are the 5 steps you can take right now to become a Digital Nomad and start living your dreams.
1. Make a Plan
While the “I quit my job and bought a ticket to (destination)” may work for some, it doesn’t work for many. In fact, most people who take this approach and take off without a plan return home within a few months..
If you’re serious about starting a life as a Digital Nomad you need to make a plan. After all, being a Digital Nomad is a lifestyle choice so make sure you know what you’re getting into ahead of time.
Here are some things to think about ahead of time:
- How will you earn a living?
- Can it be done online or remotely?
- Do you already make money this way?
- If not, how long (realistically) will it take you to start making a decent income?
Many nomads and long term travelers, find that life on the road is actually less expensive than living in one location. But it still takes an income to live.
When I decided to become a Digital Nomad, I had an office job and knew I would have to switch careers to make it work and began building up my freelance resume.
Within 6 months I quit my job and moved me and my cat into my mom’s house. Another 6 months later I was off to New Zealand to start my new life. Sometimes a major income change takes some planning.
- Where will you go first & why?
- What kind of visa will you/can you get?
- How long will you stay there?
- Where do you think you may go next?
For me, I started in New Zealand on the working holiday visa that allowed me to stay for up to 12 months. I knew that I also I wanted to travel to Australia and explore Asia so starting in NZ was perfect as it put me on that side of the world.
It’s not practical (monetary or energy wise) to be jet setting from Asia to Latin America to Europe every month. Make a some thoughtful plans on the locational journey you will take and know what the visa restrictions are for each before arriving.
- Where will you stay in each location?
- How much does that type of accommodation cost?
- How often will you be moving places?
- Is that type of accommodation available in each location or will you have to mix it up?
About 3 months before heading to New Zealand, I discovered the world of house sitting.
From there, everything started to fall into place a bit more. In between house sits I typically stay in hostels, Air BnB, or with friends. These are all common digital nomad housing options.
You can also consider renting an apartment short term if you are staying in one place for a few months and it’s more monetarily beneficial.
If you’re new to Airbnb, use my link to get $40 off your first booking!
2. Get an online job or remote job
If you don’t already have an online or remote job, this will be an important step.
Digital Nomad careers vary so don’t limit yourself to thinking you have to learn a new skill or change jobs. You may decide to do both of those things (I did) but it’s not a requirement.
Most people think you have to be a coder or work in tech to be a nomad. And while that may be one of the best digital nomad jobs, I’ve also met writers, real estate agents, arts consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs, and more.
If you love what you do, maybe consider asking your boss if you can work remotely. And if that doesn’t work start to think about how you can take the skills you already have and turn it into a lifestyle you want to live.
Watch this if you need inspiration on turning your current skills into a remote position.
3. Figure out how you want to travel
Will you travel solo or with someone else? How long will you stay in once place? What’s required to do your job effectively?
Usually at the very minimum good wifi is required. Which is why you’ll find nomads picking destinations based on internet speeds.
And chances are however you start out traveling won’t necessarily be how you travel forever. You’ll likely start to incorporate some different types of travel into your plans. But getting a good idea at the start how you want to travel will help.
And let me tell you, there are a lot of different ways to travel long term. If you’re not sure reach out to the digital nomad community in facebook groups or digital nomad reddits.
Remember what I said at the beginning? There is no right or wrong way to be a nomad. There is just what works for you. So find what that is.
4. Make some travel plans
Travel doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of time and energy to get to each destination. It’s something you get better at the more you do it, but it still takes time. Here are some of the best digital nomad cities to get you started.
I usually try to have at a very minimum the first 2 nights booked when I arrive in a new location. Typically I have at least a week or more already figured out. House Sitting really helps figuring out dates in each location, but I still like to take breaks and roam with no responsibilities.
When I arrived in New Zealand I had the first month figured out. This gave me some breathing room to enjoy and adjust to my new country. Because if you spend all of your time planning travel and not enjoying it, then what’s the point?
Also, don’t forget to think about Digital Nomad insurance.
5. Go for it!
Once you made some plans- you just have to do it!
I’m a planner and I advocate planning, but you can only plan so much. Eventually you have to book that ticket and get on the plane.
Before I became a freelancer I was a study abroad advisor constantly calming students’ fears of the unknown and assuring them they would have an amazing time. I knew the experiences they would get to have and the personal growth they would see.
Eventually I had to take my own advice. If you find yourself scared of taking the first step, I recommend the (super) short book “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung or “Chasing Failure” by Ryan Leak.
They’ll both inspire you to stop waiting for perfection and create your own reality. (I have a lot of other good book recommendations on this topic if you’re interested. Just leave a comment below!)
But ultimately you’ll learn so much more by doing than by reading. Living your adventure will be much more enjoyable to living vicariously through someone else you see on instagram.
So take the leap and go for it!
Are you ready to take to join the Digital Nomad Community? Still have questions?
Leave a comment below and I’ll answer the best I can.
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Other Digital Nomad Posts:
- My Top 10 Essential Travel Items
- How to Convince Your Boss to Work Remotely
- Choosing the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
- Best Cities for Digital Nomads
- How to Successfully Work from Home
- Work and Travel Productivity Tips from Successful Bloggers
- How to Be Productive Working from a Coffee Shop
- How to Generate Fresh New Content Ideas
- Washington D.C. Cafes & Coffee Shops for Working