How to Become A Digital Nomad And Work From Anywhere
These recommendations will help you develop a plan to work, save money, and build a community overseas so that you can become a successful digial nomad.
As a digital nomad, you are able to travel to wonderful locations, learn about new cultures, and work whenever and wherever you choose – genuine independence.
As the realities of a global recession becomes more apparent, geographical independence and remote employment options are in more demand. Recently, I have received inquiries on how to become a digital nomad.
So I decided it was time to compile a free guide with some of my finest recommendations and advise for others who wish to attempt it now.
What is a digital nomad and why is becoming one so simple?
There are so many varieties of digital nomads that it is difficult to provide a single definition. All of them, however, spend at least a few months of the year abroad, move their locations regularly (typically every few weeks, but they can remain for up to six months), and make a living working online.
Keep in mind, however, that the terms “digital nomad” and “location independent” are frequently confused, although there is a significant distinction between them. In actuality, hardly all digital nomads earn sufficient income to live and work anywhere in the world.
As a digital nomad, you may run your business and live a high quality of life for less than $1,000 per month. You will be limited to the South East Asian countries with the lowest cost of living, as well as many additional places detailed in the destination guide. You’ll need a great deal more than that to become truly location-independent and run your firm from cities like London, Munich, or San Francisco.
This is why becoming a digital nomad is far easier than becoming location-independent, which should always be your ultimate goal.
What Are The Activities of Digital Nomads?
If you’ve heard of digital nomads, you’re probably intrigued by their way of life. A digital nomad works remotely (usually via a laptop or smartphone) and can simultaneously travel the world. They are not confined to a single location and can work from anyplace via WiFi.
Digital nomadism is a distinct way of living that enables individuals to operate in a variety of industries and for themselves or an employer.
The Skills Required to Become a Digital Nomad
You may believe that you lack the abilities necessary to work online, but you are likely mistaken. Knowing how to type and use a computer could be sufficient to secure you a simple remote job that will allow you to work from anywhere within a few weeks. It is even more advantageous to mix your knowledge in multiple domains.
When starting out as a digital nomad, you may not be able to utilise your current knowledge and feel like you’ve wasted time studying the wrong skills. It is up to you to decide whether or not the effort is worth it, as this can be the greatest drawback of adopting this lifestyle.
Before describing how to become a digital nomad, I would want to elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of this lifestyle.
The Advantages of Digital Nomadism
- Save money by relocating to a low-cost-of-living area.
- The freedom to live wherever you want
- Leave the toxic environment of office politics behind.
- Discover new cultures and make new friends.
- Can learn new skills or languages.
- Travel experiences will broaden your mind.
- Make your own schedule and take time off as needed.
- Winters at the beach, summers in the mountains!
However, before you quit your job and book the first trip out of town, you need consider a few factors; becoming a digital nomad is not an easy task. Before you can adopt this lifestyle, there are a number of measures and considerations you must take.
Working from anywhere in the globe may sound like a dream to most people, but the reality can be quite different.
Negative Aspects of Being a Digital Nomad
- No guaranteed, stable income: the digital nomad lifestyle (and often freelancing in general) entails the possibility of income instability.
- The complexity of visas varies from country to country and it is exhausting to constantly move.
- Regarding money earned outside the United States, we advise international individuals to research up on IRS tax regulations and consult a tax specialist to avoid tax difficulties.
- It can be lonely, losing out on things back home, friends, and family, and not having face-to-face coworkers.
- Planning your vacations, managing work logistics, and even learning a new language can be difficult (but well worth the effort)
- There is a general lack of private space
Steps You Should Follow To Become A digital Nomad
Being a digital nomad is an exciting journey and a new way of life. There are many exciting elements to consider as you embark on this adventure, from leaving your country to spending hours at a cafe or coworking space to travelling around different countries. You’ll learn useful skills, meet new people and places, and see the world beyond your own! Here are ten suggestions to get you started.
1. Check Out Your Skills And Improve Them
To be a successful digital nomad in this year, you must first identify your current skills and which skills are in demand among small businesses. Next, make a plan to hone your most marketable skills by enrolling in courses or organising shadowing opportunities with industry professionals.
Essential Skills For a Digital Nomad
- Excellent written and oral communication abilities
- Marketing and sales abilities
- Budgeting and decision-making abilities (Obvious but hugely important)
- Excellent digital abilities
2. Create Your Portfolio And Start Searching Job Openings
Building a portfolio and looking for your first few gigs can be daunting, but breaking it down into actionable steps makes it less so.
Create a Portfolio
A portfolio is essential for a freelance digital nomad. Squarespace and Wix are two sites you can use to create professional-looking websites where potential clients can see your skills and experience. If you don’t have anything to put on your site yet, make your own projects, such as logos or graphics that represent the type of work you’d like to do with future clients.
These platforms aid in the creation of a website and are relatively inexpensive. A good portfolio website will showcase your best work, be SEO (search engine optimization) optimised, and include a “about me” page that tells potential clients why they should hire you (this is where testimonials come in handy).
Visit Job Boards
Once you have the right skill set and mindset to be a successful digital nomad, there are numerous opportunities for remote workers to start their own businesses or find jobs on websites like Remote OK and We Work Remotely.
There are also global freelancer job boards such as Upwork for freelance writing gigs and Fiverr for graphic design gigs. You can find online teaching and other jobs abroad on the Go Overseas job board!
3. Make Money Online With Your Skills
There are a few viable options for making money online. Freelancing or starting your own business is one of the most popular options. Freelance work can range from article writing to website design.
If you want to start your own business, there are numerous options that can be done remotely, such as podcasting, virtual assistant services, or even selling items on Amazon. However, if you already have some skills (such as writing or graphic design), why not give it a shot?
Invest In Yourself
Assume you don’t have any skills that could be turned into freelance income. In that case, another option is to invest in yourself by taking an online course through Skillshare, Udemy, or FutureLearn and then applying those skills to lucrative remote work opportunities.
Use what you already know to confidently promote yourself! Do you enjoy interacting with others? Do you think you know everyone on the planet? Consider becoming a social media manager! Perhaps the thought of coding causes you to break out in hives.
You could then consider running paid ads for small businesses. So, whatever your skill set is, concentrate on it and really hone in on what makes YOU unique and marketable.
4. Start Your Networking With Others
Building relationships with other companies and people in your industry takes time, so the sooner you start, the better. Contact other professionals in the digital nomad space or in your industry. If you’re a freelancer, make a list of publications that might be a good fit for your work. Consider joining a professional association if one exists in your industry.
Try reaching out to someone prominent or influential in your industry who could help you advance your career even further! Attending webinars or in-person workshops in your industry is a great way to network while also learning how to advance your skills and gain industry knowledge.
Also, after you’ve finished working for or with a client or colleague, don’t forget to ask for referrals or recommendations! This provides future clients with a reference for your previous work. You can display these glowing testimonials on your website.
Participate In Digital Nomad Communities
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” this step will be a great first-hand example. Joining online or in-person groups with like-minded people will help inspire you to pursue your goal of becoming a digital nomad.
A community of nomads will not only encourage you to become one yourself, but making connections and friendships within these groups can be beneficial in finding your community while travelling and working abroad.
There are fantastic community-based digital nomad sites like Work Wanderers, as well as incredibly supportive Facebook groups like Nomadbase and Digital Nomads Around The World.
Don’t forget to look into co-working spaces when you arrive at your destination; they are often crowded with other remote workers and travellers!
5. Start To Simplify Your Lifestyle
While many people believe that travelling the world while working from their laptops is glamorous, the reality is often far from it. In fact, you’ll leave 90% of your belongings behind.
If that isn’t a deterrent and you’re ready to commit, you’ll need to reduce the amount of stuff you own. But be warned: getting rid of all your worldly possessions can be extremely therapeutic and, for many nomads, addictive. If you can’t bear the thought of getting rid of something, consider renting a storage unit if you’re willing to pay the monthly fee.
6. Save More Money
Building a safety net before making a big leap is a good idea for any big move. This does not have to be a large sum of money. Be wary of delaying the start of your digital nomad life until you feel completely prepared. However, having enough savings to last three to six months without working is a good start. This will cover any emergencies or unexpected costs that may arise during your trip (e.g., medical bills, flight delays, or cancellations).
Regardless of where you go or how crazy your work schedule is, you need to know how much money you’ll need to survive on the road and what steps you should take to save. You would like to know our expert’s tips on how to book a cheap flight for your international travel.
7. Make Preparations For The Worst-scenario
When you live in another country, it is essential to have several backup plans in place in case of any unexpected events. Nothing ever actually turns out the way it was planned to, not even close. Things can and do occur. What are you going to do if your truck stops working? What if you are unable to communicate with anyone back home while you are in a different country? Where do you stand with plans B and C? You absolutely have to put these procedures into place so that you can deal with the inevitable hiccups along the way.
8. Make Your Budget And Choose Your Locations
You’ll need a location that works with your income, so think about your job and its potential for growth. Before you hit the road, adopt a frugal mindset. If you choose a major city with a low salary, it will be unsustainable in the long run. The most important thing is to find a low-cost location.
Next, consider the standard of living in each location you’re considering. For many digital nomads, a fast internet connection is a must. Some people prefer a more social environment, while others prefer a location that is safe. What makes sense for someone else may not make sense for you, so don’t feel obligated to do anything that isn’t in line with your lifestyle goals or budget.
Fortunately, there are many destinations around the world with lower cost of living than the United States. These locations frequently have excellent transportation systems and infrastructure, making a nomadic lifestyle more affordable by saving money on gas and car payments.
NomadsList.com is an excellent resource for determining the best locations to suit your budget and income.
9. Ensure That You Can Communicate With The Natives
It is essential to know the language of the place you are visiting or that they speak your language in order to travel successfully. Assuming there must be someone who understands English is a risky assumption. If you must travel to a location where neither you nor the locals speak the native language, utilise Google Translate or another translation programme to navigate your new surroundings.
10. Get Your Travel Insurance
The next item on the agenda is to obtain travel insurance. You should have health insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, and car insurance if you’re going to be driving. Certain types of coverage may not be available in your country depending on where you go.
It’s critical to think about which insurances you’ll need. There are also various types of insurance to consider. Many countries, for example, require health insurance if you visit for an extended period of time. SafetyWing, World Nomads, and IMG Global are among the top-rated travel medical insurance providers for digital nomads.
11. Know Digital Services
We recommend trying out some of these digital services to keep your workflow optimised and your life organised while on the road.
Banks And Payment
When working remotely, you’ll need to know how to get paid. The most common payment methods are bank transfers, Payoneer, PayPal, and Wise. Most of these options make it simple to withdraw your money, though some will charge you more than others.
A business bank account is also required when conducting business online. Most banks make it simple to open one, and it offers more benefits than a personal bank account.
Get a business credit card as well—they often offer more rewards than regular credit cards, allowing you to accumulate miles and points that can be redeemed for free travel or other benefits later on.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) like NordVPN are essential for digital nomads. These services enable you to encrypt all of your internet traffic. So, even if you connect to a public Wi-Fi network in a cafe in Paris, your banking information will remain secure and private.
If you do not have a permanent address in the United States, consider getting a virtual mailbox, such as Anytime Mailbox or Post Scan Mail, which allows you to view and manage your mail from anywhere.
It’s critical to track every expense associated with your new lifestyle, as well as any income generated from freelancing gigs or other projects, for tax purposes, so use accounting software like QuickBooks or Mint for this (or even Excel).
Collect The Necessary Documents
Prepare your documents. You’ll be away from home for an extended period of time as a digital nomad. But before you leave, you must gather all of your documents and make copies of everything. As a result, if your passport, credit cards, or other important information is lost or stolen, you’ll have copies on hand.
These Are Some of The Most Important Documents To Become a Digital Nomad
- Passport: Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months.
- Any visas or travel permits required for your intended country/countries
- When you arrive in your new country, you will need to show your driver’s licence. If you intend to drive while travelling abroad, consider obtaining an international driver’s licence before you leave.
- Social Security Card
- Medical records: To aid in the expediting of any potential medical procedures required while abroad.
- Documents pertaining to insurance, such as health, flight coverage, and other areas pertinent to your personal situation.
It is also critical to contact your insurance providers and notify them of your international travel plans so that they can assist you with any issues that arise while you are away. Before travelling abroad, make sure to inquire about vaccination requirements. Inquire about COVID-19 waivers if anything happens as a result of the pandemic. Travelers are frequently required to sign a waiver acknowledging that they are leaving their home country and entering another with the knowledge that they may become infected with the virus and become ill. It is critical to keep this information online in a secure, easy-to-access location.
Digital Nomad Job Examples
- Customer Service
- Freelance Writers
- SEO Agency Work
- Virtual Assistants
- Software Developers
- Website Designers
- Selling On Amazon
- Creating Online Courses
- Language Education
Countries With Special Visas For Digital Nomads
Living abroad can be an incredible experience, but it is critical to plan ahead of time. If you do not have the necessary visa or work permit, you may be forced to leave your new home sooner than expected.
One of the simplest ways becoming a digital nomad is to visit a country that provides a visa for digital nomads. Several countries allow foreigners to stay for extended periods of time if they can demonstrate a sufficient income. Other countries offer special visas to self-employed people and entrepreneurs. If you only want to work abroad for a year or two, some countries offer working holiday visas.