Let’s face it – most people would relish the chance to travel around the world while still holding down a regular job to make ends meet. Well, the good news for you is that it is completely possible, provided, of course, that your career allows you to. While being a digital nomad might seem like a rather wild idea, you can make it happen with lots of planning, the right equipment, and the proper guidance. You will find all of this and more here:
Make Sure Your Career is Compatible with Your Goal
As you can imagine, the first thing you will need to do is to determine if your current career is compatible with working remotely. Fortunately for you, there is a good chance that it is. According to research, it is estimated that more people are working from home now than ever before. Even if you don’t work from home on a regular basis, there are probably a few occasions where you can complete your workload from the comfort of your own couch.
To figure out whether or not your career is compatible with a digital nomad lifestyle, you first need to identify what resources you need for your job. As long as the list is limited to a laptop, other digital devices, and an internet connection, then you will be fine. If you are currently working full-time, you need to realize that you will have to switch to being a part-time worker or a freelancer. So, if you intend on working with the same company or organization, you will need to speak to your superiors about this change.
Start a Rainy Day Fund
In an ideal world, even as you are traveling, you will be able to find steady work and ensure that you have a proper income. In reality, though, if you are a freelancer or part-timer, you may find that you are only just about making ends meet. This is why you should start saving for a while before you actually set off on your big journey. You will then be able to accumulate an emergency fund that you can dip into whenever you see that your bank account is running low. This can also be a great way to make certain that you will still be in good financial standing when you return from your travels.
Get the Right Gear
When you work in an office, much of your tools and gear will be already provided to you. This is why you may not comprehend just how much you need on a daily basis. Well, before you decide to buy a plane ticket, identify the items you need for your job. Now, for most people, the list is pretty simple. This includes a good smartphone, a laptop with all the features that you need, a power bank, and external hard drive.
However, if you are working in a specialized job such as graphic design, then you may actually need more equipment, or at least, more powerful devices. It is important to keep in mind, though, that you will be moving around quite a bit. This is why you should only take exactly what you need.
Figure Out Your Communication Options
Since you will continue to work while traveling, it’s important to find a way to communicate with your employers or your clients. In most instances, people are content with simply e-mailing one another. However, there may be some need for face-to-face meetings at a certain point. Since you can’t just hop on a plane to meet with these individuals, you will have to rely on the next best thing – video calls.
It is a good idea to have a couple of different avenues. While most people are acquainted with Skype, this may not be an option that is available to everyone. Therefore, you will need to familiarize yourself with some of the video chatting platforms. These include Whatsapp, Viber, and IMO.
Always Have an Internet Connection
If you live in a first-world country or a thriving city, then you may have gotten used to the idea of having WIFI wherever you go. As such, you may not have to think too much about where you will be finding your next hotspot. However, in certain countries, the situation can be drastically different.
Now, considering that your income is hinged upon your ability to stay connected to the internet, you can’t really take this matter lightly. This is why you should always check and double check the internet status in the area that you will be staying in. Remember to check forums and online resources for IT Support Companies rather than simply relying on what the local government or travel guides may be reporting.
Even with all the reassurance in the world, you can’t afford to take chances with your internet connection. So, you may want to consider investing in a portable Wi-Fi router. This router works in a similar manner to the device you have at home, except that it relies on a SIM card, ensuring that you can take it with you wherever you go.
Try to find an unlocked portable router as these allow you to use local SIM cards, regardless of where you are traveling. Thanks to this feature, you will find that it is a lot cheaper to connect to the internet, reducing your expenses quite a bit.
Give Your New Lifestyle a Test Run
While you may be itching to head out onto the road, it is best to make certain that you are actually cut out to be a digital nomad. After all, it can be rather isolating and require you to possess a considerable level of organization and focus. This can be managed rather easily – simply inform your employers that you will be working from home for a short period of time.
Then, move from place to place within the city limits to see how you can bear up with this particular way of living. If you find that after a few weeks of working in this manner you are still enjoying yourself, then becoming a digital nomad may be a good fit for you.
Do Your Research
The next thing that you will need to do is to thoroughly research the area that you hope to visit. Since you will be living there for weeks or months at a time, you will need to familiarize yourself with the culture a little more. This includes finding out how they go about their daily lives. You may also want to look up important occasions and holidays so that you know if they will be taking place during your stay. You should keep in mind that while these are certainly wonderful to witness, they may derail your work schedule a bit.
Find Appropriate Lodgings
In the same vein as the above points, you also need to find adequate accommodations for yourself. Now, on a typical vacation, you may find that a hotel may suit your purposes. Or, if you are backpacking across the country, then a hostel will suffice. Nonetheless, when staying on for longer periods of time, you may discover that these aren’t the greatest options.
For instance, living in a fancy hotel for a few weeks may exceed your budget quite a bit. On the other hand, if you choose to live in a budget accommodation such as a hostel, you may find that it doesn’t foster the ideal working conditions for you. Due to this, you may want to consider either renting your own apartment for a short while or staying at a 3-star hotel.
Create a Schedule
When you head to an office every day, your work-life balance essentially sorts itself out for you. All this will change once you decide to become a digital nomad, as the lines tend to blur. For one thing, you may not be working regular hours anymore and so; you will have to create your own schedule. For another, you will have to do this on a project by project basis as each job will be different.
To make sure that all your work is completed on time, you should set a proper agenda for yourself. One of the first things that you should do is to identify when you are most alert and ready to work. This way, you will be able to get things done much faster during this period. At the same time, you should keep in mind that you may have to be in contact with people on the other side of the world. So, you will need to accommodate them as well.
One key point to remember though is the number of work hours you will have to manage, at least in the beginning. Most people think that just because they are freelancing, they would get fewer work hours, but this isn’t necessarily true. Until you establish yourself and have a steady stream of clients, there is a chance that you may have to work even longer than you are used to. This will even out after a while, though.
You are also going to need to decide on a proper timeline for yourself. If you don’t want to live a digital lifestyle for too long, then it can be tempting to visit several countries within the span of a few weeks. While this sounds like non-stop action, you have to understand that it is a rather tiring way to live as well.
See, you aren’t just on vacation and doing as you please – everywhere you travel, you will be spending much of your time doing serious work. Due to this, you have two choices. If you can’t spend too much time traveling, then limit yourself to just a few countries.
If you have decided to devote about a year or more to your digital lifestyle, then you do have more traveling opportunities. You just need to bear in mind that it is a good idea to spend at least a week or two in one area so that you don’t burn out too quickly.
Learn to Live By Yourself
One of the things that most long-term travelers admit is that it does get quite lonely moving from place to place by yourself. This is one of the things that make people want to give up such a lifestyle rather early on. Since you are aware of this fact, you need to take the necessary precautions to avoid such a fate.
Thus, you should work on making friends wherever you go. Thanks to social media sites and various other travel apps, this is easier than ever to do. At the same time, you can do it the old-fashioned way as well – chat with the locals you meet and make new connections.
Inevitably, you are going to have moments where you feel rather alone, which is why you need to find a few ways to occupy your time. A great idea is to keep in contact with family members and friends that you have left behind back home. Even if you can’t call them due to the expense and time difference, simply write them a long e-mail. You will find that it is rather cathartic.
You may also want to pick up a hobby – you can learn to play a guitar, teach yourself a new language, or even try to write a book. Just make sure that you have a plan to fall back on when you are left to your own devices.
Embrace Your New Lifestyle Fully
There is no denying that there are both negative and positive aspects of being a digital nomad. This is why you will need to enjoy every experience, even if it isn’t living up to your expectations. After all, you are on a life-changing journey so you should make the most of it.
These are all of the things you need to know about being a digital nomad. Now, keep in mind that everyone’s experiences are different, so you will have to keep adapting to new challenges brought about through your exciting lifestyle.