Hi there good-looking! My name is TJ, quirky travel vlogger and digital nomad.
Wait…what is a digital nomad?
Good question! A digital nomad is a location independent professional, meaning you can work from ANYWHERE in the world. All you need is a laptop and good wifi.
Being a digital nomad means you don’t have to put your career on halt in order to travel the world. It means you can make a sustainable living while venturing from countries to countries.
Although becoming a digital nomad takes lengthy preparation, I’m going to break it down into four digestible steps for you here. I’m want to help you transition from that 9-5 office life into a full-time nomadic globetrotter.
Step 1: Making your income ONLINE!
The important step is figuring out how you’ll make money ONLINE. This way you can work as long as you have wifi. Nowadays, you can find wifi connection in almost every part of the world. Here are some ways to make an online income:
- Convince your current employer. The easiest, fastest way is to turn to your current company and convince them to let you go remote. Some company culture adore remote lifestyle while others can be skeptical. You can also propose that your position be turned into a contract role.
- Find a remote job. There are a ton of remote jobs catered to developers and graphic designers. But luckily, we’re seeing more and more nontechnical jobs popping up in the market. Recommended websites to find remote positions include Flexjobs, Working Nomads, and We Work Remotely.
- Become a freelancer. Skills transferable to freelancing include anything from web development to social media management/consulting, SEO, copywriting, etc. Any skills you use at your current job can become your skills as a freelancer. You can find clients and projects on websites such as Upwork, Cloudpeeps, and Toptal.
More technical, unconventional way include starting your business, dropshipping, kindle publishing, investing, and real estate flipping. These are by no means all the options available. Get creative with how you can earn money online. There are countless ways to make an income over the web. You can even start a kickbutt travel blog or vlog channel -wink-
Step 2: Remove barriers aka “sticky things”
I call the following “sticky things” because if you weigh your decisions on them, you’ll get stuck and not want to make any moves. It’s important to remove the following barriers and free yourself from things that may hold you back.
- Material possessions: everything from your car to your clothes to your furniture count as material possessions. Having possessions back home is like an anchor preventing your ship from sailing. As a digital nomad, you’ll be bouncing around all the time. It’s important to be light. Ridding your possessions will free up your ability to travel freely and without worry. The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up helped me throw away 12 LARGE trash bags of things in my apartment. It is astonishing how much stuff we hoard over the years.
- Debt: starting out as a digital nomad is difficult as you’re not going to get paid the same amount as having a full-time corporate job. I know this is not the case for well-established freelancers or entrepreneurs but for most, it’s a slow climb to the top. That means if you have any previous debt from credit cards or loans, the stress of paying that will only get heavier. I suggest dealing with your debt first before diving into a nomadic lifestyle or make a conscious effort to pay a portion of it each month while traveling. Debt is one of those things, if not dealt with, will only get stickier overtime.
- Relationships: your relationship with your friends, family, and lover can be affected with this lifestyle. I cannot provide solid advice because everyone’s relationships with their loved ones is different. I only hope that those who support and love you will continue to support and love you no matter what lifestyle you choose to live.
Step 3: Decide where to go!
This is the fun part! Yay! Being location independent means you can go anywhere your heart desires but there are particular cities more suitable for digital nomads. On NomadList, you can search by cities and see everything from the cost of living to the how good the wifi is,. Some popular digital nomad cities include Berlin, Chiang Mai, Koh Phangan, and Bali.
Keep in mind the following factors:
- How far your currency will go. For example a dollar goes extremely far in Asia whereas not so much in big European cities like Paris or London. You can get a studio apartment for $200/month in Thailand but almost $2,000/month in San Francisco.
- What language do they speak? If locals don’t understand English, are you able to overcome this language barrier? Are you willing to learn other languages?
- Ease of access to other countries. Staying around Southeast Asia makes for easy, cheap travel when you want to move but so does staying in Eastern Europe.
- Culture. People from different parts of the world will act differently, believe in different things, and may even treat you in a different way. Learn what a country’s culture is like before deciding to pop in. This is so when you go, you are able to go there and treat the people there with understanding and respect.
- Visa. How long can you stay in that country with your passport? 30 days? Is extension available? Digital nomads often perform border runs, where they spend a weekend in another country and then return to renew their visa in their original country.
Step 4: Make the move!
Establishing your online moneymaker, removing “sticky things”, and deciding where to began your digital nomad life are HUGE steps. Now have the courage to take this leap of faith. I am so excited for you to start your new, nomadic life.
Thank you travel bug for reading this post! For a more detailed breakdown of becoming location independent, you can grab my FREE e-book on How to Become a Digital Nomad.
It’s been such a pleasure to meet you. Please stop by my channel for quirky adventures, travel guides…or just to say hi!
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