A few months ago, while in Thailand, I wrote a blog entry all about that sweet digital nomad life. Since then, I have connected with many other digital nomads and wannabe digital nomads through various meetups and online forums. The networking has been invaluable for me since I work alone and (mostly) travel alone. But it has also been a meaningful experience to answer questions about this lifestyle for those who want to be digital nomads. They usually have a plethora of questions; everything from how to get started to how to make long-term travel work.
But first the basics. I am guessing that most readers of my blog already know what a digital nomad is. But since this is a fairly new trend, many, especially outside of the travel community, do not know. Therefore I shall briefly explain the term “digital nomad.” A digital nomad is someone who is not bound to one geographic location. Some of us are freelancers. Some of us are in tech. Some of us teach English (or another language) online. Some of us do customer service. Some of us are tele-therapists. Some of us are entrepreneurs. Really, the job possibilities are endless (I know digital nomads who are personal trainers, all web-based). Without being bound to an office, we are free to roam. And roam we do! We are truly a global travel community. Personally, my 2018 will be filled with “offices” in several countries all over the world. Traveling and working from beautiful places all while I help make your travel dreams come true!
There are very few things that I can say I did “first,” but I truly was a digital nomad before the trend became such a global phenomenon. Over six years ago, I took a remote job with (back then) a small startup travel company. And the digital nomading has not stopped since then. As such, I am an expert on this lifestyle and can offer some tips on how to get started if this appeals to you too.
If you already have a job that you love and do not feel like you need to be bound to an office, your first step should be to talk to your current boss. There are many great talking points, but productivity and your happiness should be part of the discussion. Instead of going all in at first, it might be a good idea to ask your boss if you can work from home (or cafes) a few days a week to test the waters. Just make sure that on those days you work incredibly hard because you are trying to prove a point. And of course, I can help you with additional talking points.
But what if you have a job where there is no way you can’t be tied to an office? You still have options. Many companies are hiring remote workers because they understand the economic benefits (for them) and the benefit of freedom and flexibility (for you). If you have the right skills, Upwork is always an option too!
And if you ready to take the plunge and do something crazy like I did, perhaps you are also in a position to quit your job and travel the world. Yes, I will not lie. It is terrifying. And no, it is not an easy decision to make. But perhaps you are in a place of your life where you are willing to try something new, be your own boss, and make a big change. And the good news is, if it does not work out, there are always jobs out there. I’ve been there, done that, and am happy to chat about my experience.
Figuring out what you want to do is your first step, and a really big one, in becoming a digital nomad. But once you’ve figured it out is when the fun really begins! Where to? There are so many wonderful locations for digital nomads. As long as the WiFi is strong, it is doable (and even if it is not, you can bring your own!) How to plan several months to years (to a lifetime) abroad? There are so many ways to go about doing this. One way ticket, round-trip ticket, or round-the-world ticket? You have options now! Finding housing? Airbnb is great, but it is not the only resource out there. How to connect with others who have the same lifestyle and passion for travel? (Hint: Facebook groups are amazing. My absolute favorite is for female digital nomads. I’ve met so many cool likeminded women through this group, and have been able to network and expand my own horizons. But if you are not female, don’t fret. There are plenty of other resources out there.)
Yes, there is a lot that goes into it, but if you really want it, it is doable for just about anyone. And you do not have to be single or childless either. I’ve met many nomadic couples and digital nomad families with children of all ages.
As part of my travel consultation business, I am helping my clients become location independent. And I can help you too! if you are interested in living this life too but have no idea where to start, please reach out to me. I am currently offering free 15 minute Skype consultations, and together we can explore ways that you too can become a digital nomad.
As a traveler, I am so thankful for this lifestyle. And now that I have lived it for over six years, I can not imagine anything else.