Are you interested in learning how to become a digital nomad? If so, you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to get started. We’ll discuss what a digital nomad is and what they do. We’ll outline how to become a digital nomad and, we’ll provide some tips for making the most of your new lifestyle. Let’s get started!
How to Become a Digital Nomad
Looking for more digital nomad resources? With 24 years of experience, we have several articles and advice on working abroad:
Who Are Digital Nomads and What Do They Do?
In recent years, there has been a growing trend of people choosing to become digital nomads. But who are these mysterious “nomads,” and what exactly do they do? Let’s take a closer look.
Who are digital nomads? Digital nomads are remote workers who often travel as they work. They run a location-independent business that can be managed anywhere in the world. Digital nomads have the freedom to work from any country, as long as they have reliable internet access.
The digital nomad lifestyle has gained increasing popularity in recent years, as more employees are looking for ways to escape the traditional 9-5 lifestyle. For many people, working remotely is a dream come true; it provides an opportunity to travel and explore different places, while still supporting themselves financially.
What do digital nomads do?
The answer as to what a digital nomad does varies, as there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Most digital nomads are self-employed and work for an online business or other companies that allow them to telecommute. In sum, they are a location-independent business.
You don’t need to start your own business to become a digital nomad. There are many freelance opportunities for working online. Some digital nomads are bloggers, web designers, or software developers. Others may work in online marketing, SEO, or social media. And still, others may work as virtual assistants or provide other services online.
To get ideas for remote work, read Best Travel Jobs to Spark New Ideas for Your Future Career. But, in case you don’t want to leave this page right now, here are a few ideas to help spark your imagination for becoming a digital nomad.
- Travel Blogging, Social Media Manager, Virtual Assistant
- Teach English Online
- Youtuber, Video Editor, Social Video Editor
- Graphic Designer and Website Management
- Freelance Writer
- Website Technical Support
- Travel Photographer
- Read more: Best Travel Jobs
Of course, this is just a small sample of the types of jobs that can be done while traveling. With the advances in technology and today’s gig economy, there are no limits to what kinds of jobs you can do while traveling.
The digital nomad life is not for everyone. Digital nomads tend to have a certain level of independence, self-motivation, and discipline. However, for those who thrive in this environment, the nomadic lifestyle can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
The Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad
There are many benefits to becoming a digital nomad. If you enjoy a nomadic lifestyle and enjoy working online, this is a great choice for you. Running an online business has many benefits from creating passive income, to earning more money and setting your own schedule. But it takes discipline.
Most digital nomads work very hard and long hours (especially in the beginning) but when you love what you do, it is easy to put time and effort into a remote job to achieve location independence. Here are a few of the top reasons why you might want to become a digital nomad.
Flexibility and freedom
One of the biggest benefits of being a digital nomad is the flexibility and freedom it affords you. Remote work allows you to be anywhere in the world, as long as you have internet access.
This means you are not tied down to one location and can travel wherever you want, whenever you want. The true nomadic lifestyle! You also have the freedom to set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. Some digital nomads work a few hours a day.
We (Dave and Deb) tend to travel for a couple weeks and then when we are finished our contract, we sit down and work for a couple of weeks before we take off and travel again. Every remote business is different, and you’ll want to find what works best for you.
When you’re not tied down to one location, you can save money on expenses like rent and utilities. You can also take advantage of cheaper cost-of-living options in different parts of the world. For example, you can live very well on just $1000 per month in Southeast Asia or Costa Rica.
Plus, when becoming a digital nomad, you can decide how much to work. If you need more cash flow you can pick up freelance gigs.
Many digital nomads find that they are more productive when working from remote locations. This is because they are free from distractions and can create their ideal working environment.
In addition, most digital nomads find that they have more time to focus on their work because they don’t need to commute to an office every day.
Make new friends
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that you get to meet people from all over the world. You’ll never get bored when there’s always something new (and exciting) happening around you. And since many other digital nomads are looking for ways to connect with others, it’s easy to make new friends no matter where you go.
There is a strong digital nomad community where people can exchange ideas and information.
How To Become a Digital Nomad
If you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad and embracing the nomadic lifestyle, there are several steps you need to take to make it happen. Here is an outline to help you get started:
1. Figure out what type of work you want to do remotely
Many remote jobs can open the door to location independence, so there is no need to limit yourself. Do some research and find something that interests you. In today’s world, there are many ways to make money online and create a steady income.
Consider talking to your current employer, as well! In recent years, more companies have started offering remote work opportunities to their employees. There’s a chance you may be able to negotiate a remote arrangement in your current position.
Successful digital nomads aren’t stuck in one box, there are many ways to make money as location-independent workers. It could be through scouring job boards like UpWork, Fiverr, Linkedin, Weworkremotely, or Flex Jobs to get you started. There are countless job board sites online, these are just a few to get you started.
2. Decide what to do with your belongings
Are you planning to become a long-term digital nomad or is this a lifestyle you’d like to try out for a couple of months? Getting clear on your timeline will help you decide what to do with your belongings.
Remember, when you’re traveling, you won’t want to have more than one checked bag and one carry-on bag.
If you are planning to travel full-time on a semi-permanent basis, you’ll need to store your belongings such as furniture, technology, and clothes in a storage unit. You might also consider hosting a garage sale to downsize.
If you’re traveling for a few months, you might be able to sublet your house or apartment, in which case you won’t need to pack everything up. However, organizing your space and storing away valuables and personal items is still a good idea.
3. Get comfortable with technology and time zones
To work remotely, you’ll need a good working knowledge of technology tools like laptops, smartphones, Zoom, etc…
If you’re planning on working from a foreign country, consider how the different time zones will affect your work. Will you need to adjust your work hours? Is that something you would be comfortable with?
4. Set a tentative budget
It’s hard to know what all of your expenses will be while traveling, but it’s good to set a budget before embarking on your journey. How much would you like to be spending on accommodations? What about airfare? Food?
This will also help you determine what city or country is the best fit for you. Research the cost of living in different countries to get an idea.
It can be easy to get carried away with spending in a new city. Especially if all the prices are in a different currency! Adjust the numbers in your budget as you go, but having a grasp of your financial standing before you begin traveling is really important.
5. Choose the right city
When considering where to start your digital nomad journey, do some research to find out how many digital nomads already live in this city. Joining a digital nomad community can help to spark creativity and productivity.
Going to a digital nomad hub city will make it easier to make friends and connections in a new place. And since there will be more people in a similar situation as you, they can offer advice and support as you get settled into your new lifestyle of remote work.
Some popular digital nomad destinations are:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Playa del Carman, Mexico
- Bali, Indonesia
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Berlin Germany
- Budapest Hungary
This is just a taste of the best destinations for location independent workers. There are lists all over the internet writing about the best digital nomad hubs and places to enjoy location independence.
6. Don’t forget travel health insurance!
This is an important one! Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you leave on your trip. This will help protect you in case of any emergencies that may come up while you’re away.
We (Dave and Deb) have written extensively about travel insurance. Having been hospitalized on four continents, we know the value of medical insurance.
There are many different types of travel insurance, so make sure to do your research and find the best policy for you.
How To Stay Productive While Traveling
Traveling can be an amazing experience. It gives you a chance to see new places, meet new people, and learn about new cultures. But if you’re not careful, it can also be a distracting experience. Whether you’re taking a short trip or embarking on a lifetime journey, here are some tips to help you stay productive while traveling.
1. Create a daily routine
While it’s important to be flexible when you’re traveling, having a daily routine can help you stay sane and prevent distractions from getting in the way of your productivity.
Wake up at the same time each day, take care of essential tasks like showering and eating breakfast, then get started on your work. If possible, try to stick to the same working hours you would at home.
We find that creating a daily work schedule of tasks that need to be done helps a lot. Create a to do list and finish that off before getting distracted. You may want to set aside time in the morning for working on your own projects or developing new skills to make you more attractive to employers. The afternoon may be for scouring job boards for new clients.
And don’t forget to schedule some time for sightseeing and relaxation!
2. Find a comfortable place to work
This may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s so important. When you’re trying to work online while traveling, it’s crucial that you find a comfortable place to set up shop.
This could be a quiet café with good coffee and plenty of outlets, or even just a corner of your hotel room where you can spread out and focus on your task at hand. Wherever you end up working, make sure it’s somewhere you feel comfortable spending several hours each day.
3. Consider joining a co-working space
Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads and remote workers. And for good reason! When you work abroad it can be lonely. These shared office spaces offer a great way to stay productive while traveling.
Not only do they provide a comfortable and convenient place to work, but they also offer the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated while working on the road, a co-working space can be a great way to connect and build a network with other remote workers in a new city.
4. Invest in the right tools and resources
Having the right tools and resources will make all the difference when it comes to staying productive while traveling. Make sure you have everything you need before you leave home, whether that means investing in a good laptop or tablet, signing up for a reliable VPN service (a virtual private network), or packing the right adaptors. For the especially tech-savvy, you might want to consider trying out some AI travel tools to help simplify some of the logistics around travel.
When talking about the right tools, that includes banking and credit cards. Look for cards with low or no foreign transaction fees, create a business account to receive payments and make sure you have an account that accepts different currencies.
And don’t forget the basics like pens and maybe a notebook! Yes, even digital nomads sometimes need some old-fashioned pen and paper.
5. Set boundaries with family and friends
If you’re traveling with family or friends, it’s important to set some boundaries so that you don’t end up wasting time socializing when you should be working.
Explain to your travel companions that there will be times when you need to focus on your task at hand and might not be available for exploring new places together. Let them know that it’s nothing personal—you just need some alone time to get things done.
Conclusion: With a little planning and effort, it is possible to stay productive while traveling. By setting realistic goals, creating a daily routine, finding a comfortable place to work, investing in the right tools and resources, and setting boundaries with family and friends, you can make the most of your time.
Tips for Finding the Best Places To Live and Work as a Digital Nomad
Deciding to become a digital nomad is a huge decision. It can be a daunting prospect, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you’re planning on making the move to a life of digital nomadism, here are some tips on finding the best places to live and work.
Do your research
The first step is to do your research and figure out what kind of lifestyle you want to lead as a digital nomad. Do you want to live in a big city or a small town? Do you want to be near other digital nomads or go off the beaten path? Once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can start narrowing down your options.
Once you’ve got a few places in mind, it’s time to start asking around. Talk to other digital nomads who have been where you’re going or who have lived in the places you’re considering. They’ll be able to give you first-hand advice on what it’s really like and whether or not it’s the right fit for you. Consider joining some Facebook groups. This can be a great way to connect with people already living abroad.
Consider your budget
Budget is always an important consideration, but it’s especially important when you’re choosing a place to live as a digital nomad. Make sure you take into account, not just the cost of rent or accommodation, but also the cost of living in general in your chosen location.
When you first start, make sure you have enough money to float you for a few months. We set aside 6 months of savings to build our business. When we worked from India, we had the low cost of working from there and were able to save enough money to sustain ourselves until we kick started our freelance career.
Other questions to ask is Can you afford to eat out often? Or do you get an apartment to cook at home. In places like Thailand, eating out is so cheap, you can probably afford meals out. Is a public transportation affordable? Will you need to get around by car? All of these factors will play into your decision-making process.
Test it out first
If possible, try spending some time in your chosen location before making the move permanently. This will give you a chance to make sure that it is the right fit for you and that you’ll be able to make a living there as a digital nomad. Rent an apartment for a month or two, or stay in an Airbnb if that’s more affordable.
Try working from coffee shops and co-working spaces in different parts of town. Get a feel for what day-to-day life would be like before making any major decisions.
Pay attention to visa requirements
If you’re not careful, you could end up somewhere that doesn’t allow long-term stays for foreigners—and trust me, that’s not fun (or cheap) to deal with. To avoid any unwanted surprises down the road, take the time to research visa requirements for all of the different locations on your shortlist before making any final decisions. Some foreign countries may be able to provide a digital nomad visa, which is a good idea if you are planning a longer stay.
If you’re planning on making the switch to the digital nomad lifestyle, use these tips to help you find the best places to live and work—places where you’ll be able to thrive as a digital nomad. And remember, even if something doesn’t work out exactly as planned, it’s all part of the adventure!
Tips for Living Out of One Suitcase
Becoming a digital nomad often means downsizing to one suitcase. This is important to be able to travel easily and maintain mobility and flexibility.
Packing efficiently can be a challenge, especially if you’re used to having a house full of stuff. Here are some tips to help you get started.
One of the hardest parts of packing light is letting go of the idea that you need to bring everything with you. The reality is, you probably don’t need as much stuff as you think you do. So, start by taking inventory of what you use daily and only pack those items. Everything else can be replaced if necessary.
Next, focus on packing versatile items that can be worn in multiple ways or serve more than one purpose. For example, a sweater that can be dressed up or down, or a scarf that can also be used as a blanket. And remember, if there’s something you forgot, chances are you can buy it while you’re traveling. There’s no need to overpack and lug around things you don’t need.
Finally, make use of compression packing cubes to maximize space in your suitcase. These handy little devices allow you to squeeze clothes tightly into smaller bundles, so you can fit more into less space. They’re great for storing socks, underwear, and other small items that tend to get lost at the bottom of your suitcase.
Packing doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to streamline your life and make travel a breeze. So next time you’re getting ready for a trip, remember the golden rule: less is more!
Digital nomads are people who work remotely, typically from a laptop, while traveling or living in different places. This location independent lifestyle has become more popular in recent years as technology has made it easier for people to stay connected across the world.
The digital nomad lifestyle is all about flexibility and choosing the setup that is right for you. Maybe you want to spend six months in one place. Maybe you want to travel to a new city every few weeks.
Whatever your goals are, there are two important things to keep in mind as you get started.
- First, research your chosen location thoroughly and make sure it’s a good place for work. Consider connecting with others already on the road to find out about cities with digital nomad communities and easy visa requirements. You want to be well-prepared for your transition.
- And second, embrace different cultures while traveling! Perhaps the most exciting part about being a digital nomad is spending long periods of time in a new city and fully experiencing what it’s like to live there. So go to the local grocery store, find a meet-up event, and try new food! Your life will soon become full of adventure and unforgettable memories.
If you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad, the tips in this blog post will help you get started.
- For more ways to make money online or to run your own business online read:
2 thoughts on “How to Become a Digital Nomad – Tips for Getting Started”
What an amazing article! I really enjoyed reading it, congratulations!
Thanks for sharing this post! I just started my digital nomad life this year and can relate to all of the points you made 🙂