Work From Anywhere! How to Set Yourself Up to Become a Digital Nomad in 2019 and Beyond

6 min read

Millennials have made a major impact in the workplace, especially in terms of where and when they like to do their work.

For starters, it’s no longer in a stuffy office cubicle.

In the last 14 years, telecommuting has grown substantially as more and more people are commuting less to work and instead, working from the comfort of their homes.

According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, regular work-at-home employees have grown by 140% since 2005.

Moreover, there are many benefits with telecommuting. It helps increase productivity and engagement among employees.  And on the employer side, it can increase retention rates and help organizations save money.

But, what about taking telecommuting a step further? Instead of simply working from home, you can work out of coffee shops and co-working spaces around the world!

As a digital nomad, you can experience the joy of traveling with a job that allows you to work anywhere with an internet connection.

Below we will discuss everything you need to know in terms of becoming a digital nomad and what skills you’ll need in order to successfully make the transition as you manage your business from anywhere.

What is a digital nomad?

According to Hubspot, a digital nomad is “a remote worker who usually travels to different locations. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces or public libraries, relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smartphones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever and whenever they want.”

As a digital nomad, the world is your office.

Typical remote professions can vary from graphic designers to software developers, writers, internet marketers, and more.

Furthermore, not all digital nomads work for an employer — many are entrepreneurs.

But all digital nomads are similar in that their work can be completed wherever there is an internet connection.

What is a digital nomad lifestyle?

The digital nomad lifestyle can come in many forms, just as everyone travels and works differently.

As we mentioned above, unlike a typical job, a digital nomad is not tied to a specific city or region.

Because digital nomads have the liberty to travel wherever and whenever, the majority don’t have a homebase and instead, venture from city to city.

In addition, a digital nomad lifestyle can be customized and allows you to work whenever you are most productive — whether that’s in the middle of the day or late at night.

For instance, some may enjoy working four 10 hour days so they can always have a three-day weekend, while others may like to work 5 or 6 hours every day.

As long as you meet your goals, you have the freedom to create the best work schedule for yourself.

Tips to help you live a digital nomad lifestyle

– Set clear goals and have a plan

First, you’ll need to create goals and deadlines for yourself.

What are looking to accomplish as a digital nomad? When will your first adventure begin as a digital nomad?

As you take the time to figure out your journey, you will create meaningful personal and professional goals.

Next, sit down and map out as much as you can — how you’ll be able to support yourself, where you want to go, where you want to stay, cost of living in each city, etc.

Especially if you’re looking to do this long term — the better planning you do, the better you’ll set yourself up for success.

Also, create deadlines for yourself so your productivity and management of your work doesn’t lag.

– Gain online industry skills to better market yourself

Because the online industry is versatile, you too must become versatile in order to stay ahead of the curve and continue to succeed.

This means you’ll need to be comfortable becoming a self learner. When you have downtime, learn a new skill that will help you succeed at your current venture and set yourself up for future success.

The internet is chalk full of guides and tutorials to help you grow your skill set. You can also reach out to fellow digital nomads and train each other on new skills.

– Learn to go with the flow

Not everything will go according to plan. So when difficulties arise, use them as learning and growing experiences.

Being flexible is all part of the adventure.

– Network

Another part of the adventure as a digital nomad is getting out and experiencing new cultures, including meeting new people.

Now, it’s easier than ever to meet people in your area thanks to online social media groups and other websites dedicated to connecting people.

In addition to Facebook groups and LinkedIn, the Nomadlist is another great resource to meet fellow digital nomads. This website gathers the best places to travel to and answers questions you may have about the area and other important information.

It’s here that you can build not only business partnerships, but make new friends who are also embarking on the same adventure as you.

Before becoming a full-fledged digital nomad, talk and meet up with current nomads to better understand the lifestyle and gain additional tips and advice.

How to become a digital nomad — what you can start doing today

Looking to make the leap from remote worker to digital nomad? Here’s what you can do starting today.

– Save money now — especially if you don’t have a significant amount of savings. You don’t want to start the digital nomad life only to ditch it three months later because you’ve blown through your savings.

Look at the fixed costs you currently have and start reducing them. Move to a cheaper apartment, sell your car, and find alternate and cheaper modes of transportation, etc.

Furthermore, create a passive income, such as renting out a room in your home or apartment. This is a great way to help you save money and eliminate fixed costs.

– Try working remotely

If your current job allows it, try to work remotely in order to test it out. Even if it’s only for a couple days of the week, it can help you see how well you work at home or in a public setting and what distractions to avoid.

By testing the waters, you’ll get a quick sense if this is a lifestyle you want to pursue, before taking the giant leap.

– Start marketing yourself

Especially if you’re self-employed, you’ll need to brush up on your marketing skills and not undervalue the services you provide.

You may think charging less will get you more work, but in reality, you’ll have a harder time growing and moving up in the industry.

– Figure out logistics

Before becoming a digital nomad, you’ll need to figure out logistics, such as banking and healthcare needs.   

As for banking, sign up for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and plan to use cash as much as possible. While in country, get cash from ATMs instead of exchanging money at the airport. It will help you avoid high exchange rates.

Always have back up credit and debit cards in case you lose your wallet.  

Another thing to consider is your healthcare. There are international healthcare plans for those that travel abroad extensively, but do some research and find the plan that works best for you.

Also when traveling, always pack essentials that may be tricky to find abroad, such as ibuprofen, toiletries, etc.

Lastly, be sure you have the correct immunizations before traveling abroad.

– Decide where you’ll travel to first

Lastly, part of the planning process will be narrowing down where you’ll first set up as a digital nomad.

Although cities like London may be appealing, you will most likely need to start in cities where the cost of living in significantly cheaper.

In addition to cost, you’ll need to consider other factors such as the safety of the city, speed of internet, and what you plan to do in your spare time.

You’ll want to find areas that allow you to work, but also give you the ability to explore.

After you’ve settled on a city, do some research of the neighborhoods in order to find good and safe lodging.

Again, reach out to fellow digital nomads and see where they first started. Also, create a budget and stick to it as you start your new lifestyle.

As a digital nomad, you will not only be able to work in new and exciting locations, but you will be able to learn more about yourself, create new relationships and grow your career.

The Journey to Becoming a Digital Nomad Starts Today

With these tips in mind, the path to a digital nomad lifestyle can happen sooner than you think!

Are you already living the digital nomad lifestyle? What tips have you found the most useful? What did you wish you knew beforehand? Sound off in the comments below!
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