Me, doing my best digital nomad impression living my location independent life
I often receive emails asking me how to get started as a digital nomad. In this blog post I will do my best to answer it. I have been a digital nomad for a long time and never realised it. This is because what I was doing didn’t have a name, but now it does. If you are dreaming of packing in your 9-5 job to travel the world and make money by working online, like I do, then read on. As well as explaining the life of a digital nomad I have included information on how to start living a location independent lifestyle. Now is a great time to begin your journey, so read on.
What is a Digital Nomad?
To be as succinct as possible, a digital nomad is someone who works online to make money to sustain a nomadic lifestyle. This nomadic lifestyle allows you to be location independent which basically means you aren’t tied to one location. Another phrase you will hear is work remotely or remote work. This is when you work for an employer but work remotely at home or from a van, coffee shop or accommodation in another country.
What are Digital Nomad Jobs?
Digital nomad jobs are basically any professions or jobs that can be done online and that can be combined with traveling. The list of jobs that you can do is growing, but basically, anything you can do from a computer, can become a digital nomad job.
How to Find a Digital Nomad Job
The second most popular question I am asked after how to become a digital nomad is “How do I find a Digital Nomad Job”? So here goes, here are my suggestions on how to find a digital nomad job.
- Ask your current employer if you can work remotely. This can sometimes be an option but if not I suggest,
- Set up a website and/or a social media channel and market, market, market yourself and your services or products.
- Approach potential clients – get yourself a media kit which sets out your rates and send out emails to targeted clients.
- Register through specific websites – there are many online sites to register with such as Fivvr, Airtasker, Upwork, Freelancer, FlexJobs and Remote to name a few.
Tip: Choose one service to offer. Concentrate on that to grow it before expanding. It is better to be a specialist at one rather than mediocre at many.
What Do You Need to be a Digital Nomad
In my opinion to be a digital nomad you need two things. Firstly, skills that you can use on an on-line platform and secondly, the right equipment that allows you to work on-line.
Everyone has skills, even if you don’t realise it. You then adapt these skills to an on-line platform. And if you don’t have skills you can always do a course to help you get skills. For instance, I like to write and travel so I did a travel writing course and then a proofreading and editing course. Now I offer writing services and proofreading skills via an on-line platform, my website. And I have a number of clients that I provide travel articles for and also I proofread other people’s work. The best part is, I get paid to do these things and even better is I can do them from wherever I may be. I also have a travel writing course I teach. Find details about my travel writing course here.
As well as my writing and proofreading skills I have done courses in social media which I found through Udemy. Udemy is an on-line platform that offers courses in many areas. Check them out here. I am also considering doing a TEFOL course so I can teach on-line. I have found a great course through i-to-i. If you are also considering this get details of their TEFOL courses here.
To find out what jobs digital nomads do read my post 10 Digital Nomad Jobs.
The other thing you need to be a digital nomad is the right equipment. Depending on what digital job you intend to do you will need equipment. Essential Tech Equipment I suggest includes a laptop with appropriate software. A power adaptor to so you can use power points no matter where you are. A powerbank to ensure electronics are always charged. An electronics carrier bag to keep electronic bits and pieces in. A camera or GoPro with accessories. And access to a fast wifi connection either at my accommodation or in a co-working space.
Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad
Before you throw in your current job consider the pros and cons of being a digital nomad. They might just help you decide whether or not to make the leap to being a digital nomad.
So the pros. You can live in other parts of the world and make money to support your new lifestyle. By living in another part of the world you can immerse yourself into the local culture and experience the place differently to just visiting for a week or two. Then you can move on to another place. And if you don’t like the cold you could follow the sun! Sound good?
Now the cons. As wonderful as it sounds to travel the world and live and work in amazing places, you need to keep in mind that this lifestyle may not last forever. You will need to work also to bring in an income to enable a nomadic life. The amount of work you will need to do will vary and it has been known when you are just starting out you may be working much longer hours than your previous 9-5 job! Time zones are something to consider also. What if your client is in a different time zone to you and you have been given a deadline – will you meet it? And if you don’t make enough income what will you do? In that case I suggest you save as much as you can to help fund your travels until such time as you are making enough money to sustain the nomadic lifestyle you want. There is nothing wrong with being ‘just a backpacker’ backpacking around the world.
Life as a Digital Nomad
The definition of a nomad is someone with no settled home. They are continually moving from place to place. A digital nomad travels with their devices and use them to make money so they can continue moving. They can live in their transport such as in a van or can set up home in accommodation for a few weeks to months or longer. Maybe house sitting could be an option. Your accommodation should have an area where you can work on-line. If interested to book some accommodation check out Booking.com. I wouldn’t suggest staying in a hostel as you may not receive the privacy you require to work. Many digital nomads rent a co-working space. Most cities have them. So with those things sorted you can immerse yourself in the place you are in.
Popular Cities and Countries to be a Digital Nomad
I personally feel you can be a digital nomad wherever you are, because that is the point of being a digital namad. Many digital nomads though are ranking some cities and countries. They do this by providing details on living costs, the cheaper the better, and availability the of digital nomad infrastructure, such as how good the wi-fi is. What I am hearing from other digital nomads is top destinations for digital nomads are: Canggu, Bali, Indonesia; Lisbon, Portugal; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Medellin, Colombia; Tbilisi, Georgia; Seoul, South Korea; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Budapest, Hungary; Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; Tallinn, Estonia; Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. But remember, you can be a digital nomad wherever you are as long as you have the skills and equipment.
READ MORE: Digital Nomad and Remote Worker Visas
Final words on becoming a Digital Nomad and living a Location Independent Lifestyle
I hope this post has helped you gain a clearer picture of the possibilities of becoming a digital nomad, or not. There is no harm travelling the world as a backpacker who has saved and resigned from their job and then hit the road. If the digital nomad lifestyle doesn’t eventuate you can always pick up physical work along the way. Read my post How to find jobs as you travel the world. Most of all, enjoy your time living, working and playing around the world – however you do it.