How to Become a Digital Nomad: The Ultimate Guide to Location Independent Living
The digital nomad lifestyle is becoming increasingly intriguing to people the world over. The ability to make money in a location independent job and generate income online has never been easier. More and more people are becoming long-term remote workers and moving from place to place taking their job and lives with them. So long as you have an Internet connection and Wi-Fi, there are plenty of digital nomad jobs that can help you to realise your dream of digital nomadism.
Loosely defined as an independent worker making a living purely on the Internet, a digital nomad lifestyle comes with many benefits. However, there are still plenty of things to consider before you sell everything and buy a one-way plane ticket around the world. Below is a list of steps to take to become a digital nomad:
1. Build Your Skills
Before you can start to travel the world and earn money selling your products or services to make money online, you need to know what you’re doing. One of the best ways to build your skills is to find a job that will teach you the new skills you want whilst still providing you with a steady income and a secure base in your home country to start saving. To complement this, try your hand at freelance work. This is a great way to build new skills whilst also pushing you outside of your comfort zone and giving you a chance to hone your skills you are learning in your full-time job.
Try looking on freelance sites such as UpWork or Fiverr, which allow you to offer your services to clients from all around the world. Jobs such a social media or digital marketing or web designing are great for digital nomads as they are online by nature. This also means that potential clients and employers are more likely to accept your desire to always be on the move, and thus not likely to be able to meet them for in-person meetings. Fortunately, Skype and other video calling applications are always an option! Another method is to learn new skills through online courses, which can teach you the basics of many different industries, all from the comfort of your own home.
2. Get Rid of Barriers
Once you have built your skill-set and are ready to take the plunge into the digital nomadic lifestyle, the next step is to remove any potential barriers that may be already stopping you. These include things such as existing debt, location dependency, debt on your credit card, or rental payments for assets such as houses or cars. You do not want to be dealing with these things whilst you are moving between time zones and working your remote job. Try arranging a garage sale or something similar to clear out your old things. Not only is this a great way to make money in itself, it will also help you declutter your life and help you on your quest for location independence.
3. Choose Where to Go
Probably the most exciting step is to choose where you would like to live. Whilst the digital nomad lifestyle by definition is not location dependent, it is a good idea to research where you are going thoroughly. There are many factors to consider. The cost of living is one of the most important things digital nomads tend to think about when choosing where to set up. Asia has been traditionally the destination of choice, with countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam becoming home to large amounts of digital nomads.
In particular, areas such as Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Chiang Mai are popular due in a large part to their relatively cheap costs of living. Another factor to think about is the culture. Whilst many countries may be cheaper to live in, cultural differences can make living abroad difficult. Lack of English language skills combined with foreign food and living conditions can be a shock to some. For others, it’s part of the fun! One of the best parts about the digital nomad community is that everyone is in the same boat.
For this reason, hotspots around the globe have thriving co-working spaces filled with digital nomads, while dedicated Facebook groups and many a job board can be found almost anywhere. Whether you’re an American, from Europe, or somewhere else on the globe; you’ll be sure to find others in the same boat. Booking an AirBnB or hotel room for the first week or so is a good idea, as this will allow you to get settled in before finding a more permanent place to live, and saves you from couchsurfing in your early days.
4. Sell Yourself
If you want to compete against the thousands of freelancers and digital nomads on the Internet, you’ll need to know how to sell yourself . Differentiating yourself is crucial if you want to work online. Creating a business plan, including a budget setting out how much you have to work and how much you need to charge to maintain a profit is a great idea. Many digital nomads also create a blog to help sell themselves, and make money on the side. This can help establish yourself as a thought leader and show potential clients you know what you’re talking about.
This passive income method also works great whilst you are travelling because you can build up a library of articles on your blog and let them make money for you whilst you focus on other projects. A difficulty of the digital nomad lifestyle can be the inability to sit down and meet with clients, making it harder for you to close sales. For this reason, it is recommended that you work diligently in Step 2 and build your client list along with your new skills.
5. Go For It
Whilst this digital nomad list is a great way to help you plan your future, there’s no time like the present to get started. Whilst it may be daunting at first, many people have already paved the path for you, and most are more than willing to help you out. If you want to become location independent long term, plan ahead, work hard, and then just go for it. You’ll never know until you try, and many digital nomads are already living their dream. Why not join them!
Start travelling the world, and bring your career with you. Once you’ve developed into a sustainable digital nomad there is nothing to stop you travelling your entire life whilst still earning money. Every journey begins with a single step; maybe it’s time you took yours!