What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a remote worker who performs their work from anywhere in the world, travelling on a regular basis to various countries. Anybody who has a remote-accessible internet job might be referred to by this word.
Digital nomadism is a lifestyle. People deciding to embrace it are able to travel the world while working remotely (usually via their laptop or smartphone). They are not confined to one single place and may work from any location as long as it has good Wi-Fi. They work from coffee shops, co-working spaces, bookshops, or rented flats and campervans.
Although this lifestyle might have begun with travel bloggers and artists, now you can see independent contractors, business owners, and various professionals choosing it. Location independence and freedom of movement are the key aspects of digital nomadism.
Pros of being a digital nomad
There is a long checklist of things to do and think about before you may start this lifestyle. While the idea of working remotely appeals to many, the reality often differs significantly from the ideal.
Some important benefits:
- Freedom. To live and work from anywhere you like in the world.
- Savings. You can save money while living in a low-cost location.
- Experience. Chance to experience new and interesting cultures and make new friends.
- Chance. Opportunity to learn new skills and experiences.
- Your own boss. You can decide on your schedule and take a break whenever you need.
Cons of becoming a digital nomad
Working from anywhere might be a dream for many people. But as with any other lifestyle, it is not suitable for everybody. Make sure it’s exactly what you want and need.
- Visa and immigration processes can be complicated since requirements change from country to country. Applications for some of the most popular destinations with digital nomads may be completed entirely online, while for others, you’ll need to visit the embassy in your home country. We advise you to check your eligibility with immigration experts in that country.
- Tax challenges must be taken into account. You’ll be earning money in a foreign country, so we advise you to be in touch with tax specialists there to avoid any problems.
- It takes quite an effort to be constantly on the move. To learn new languages, organize job schedules, and plan for all those trips abroad. At some point, it might affect your productivity.
- Many digital nomads fight loneliness – as you’re changing places often, you leave behind good friends
How to become a digital nomad: 10 easy steps
1. Work on your skills
If you want to make it as a digital nomad, you’ll need to take stock of your existing abilities and the types of work that are in demand. Make a strategy for enhancing your skills through the completion of relevant courses.
Key skills you should possess no matter the activity sector:
- Digital skills (duh, it goes without saying!)
- Highly organized
- Marketing skills
- Excellent communication skills
2. Stock your portfolio
It’s mandatory to have a readily available portfolio to show your potential clients as digital nomads. You can create your own website where clients can see your skills and experience. Your greatest work should be showcased on your portfolio website, which should also be SEO-friendly and explain your qualifications and convince prospective clients to employ you.
The next step is to find those clients! There are numerous remote jobs available on the internet on specialized websites, you can check a detailed list here.
Some of these websites might be focused on certain types of jobs, so make sure you search thoroughly for whatever suits you.
3. Start your business
You can either decide on freelancing jobs or start your own business. Some businesses are actually looking to work with digital nomads, given the current labour market difficulties.
Make the most of what you already know to confidently market yourself! Decide what your skill set is, concentrate on it, and really home in on what makes you special and marketable.
4. Join a community
You will find it easier to become a digital nomad if you hang out with other people who want to do the same thing, whether they are online or in person.
Making friends and connections within nomad communities can help you find your community while you’re travelling and working abroad.
You can check out various digital nomad communities around the world here.
5. Adjust your lifestyle.
The word “glamorous” usually comes to mind when thinking about people travelling around the world while working from a laptop. The reality is different. In fact, you’ll learn what minimalism means and have to get rid of most of your stuff.
It can be a very difficult thing to part with your worldly possessions, but apparently, for many nomads, this is like therapy. Whatever you can’t part with, leave it with relatives, friends, or find a storage space.
6. Start saving money.
Just as with any other major life change, it’s best to save up a cushion of money first. It’s not necessary to have a huge amount and make sure you don’t put off the start of your nomad life until you feel ready. Chances are, you’ll never feel ready.
A good starting point is to have enough money to last for three to six months. Thus, you can cover any unforeseen costs or problems that might arise during your travels.
One thing is certain: you do not want to run out of funds in a foreign country. So, plan ahead and make sure you know exactly how much you need to survive during your trip and what you need to do to save up.
7. Choose the destination.
Think about your career and how far it has room to expand before deciding on a place that is too expensive for your current income. Prior to leaving, get in the habit of thinking like a frugal traveller. A low-income and a large city are a bad mix. First and foremost, you should settle on a reasonably priced location.
Then you should assess the standard of living in each potential location. As a digital nomad, a high-speed internet connection is an absolute must. Some people are looking for a place with a high safety rating, while others want a more social environment.
Make a decision that is in line with your own personal values, goals, and budget. When deciding where to live, NomadsList.com is a great place to start.
8. Purchase insurance.
Getting travel insurance should be the next item on your list. You should obtain a variety of insurance policies, including medical, travel, life, and auto insurance.
You should pay attention to the types of insurance coverage you’d like to get. Furthermore, several countries make it mandatory for people to stay longer on their territory.
9. Make use of the digital
Check out some of the digital services below to help you stay on top of your work and keep your life in order while you’re travelling:
- Banking. Choose a money transfer service that allows you to transfer funds between bank accounts in different countries.
- VPNs. All digital nomads need a Virtual Private Network. The use of these will ensure that your data remains secure when travelling.
- Accounting. Keeping detailed records of your new lifestyle costs and revenue from freelance work or other initiatives is essential for filing taxes.
- Digital notepads. Apps that allow you to keep important notes, set reminders, upload work documents, etc.
- Project management. Try a PM tool that allows you to generate project boards, schedules, and various to-do lists. You can organize projects, calculate the time needed for certain tasks, and share.
- Time trackers. The use of these applications allows you to keep tabs on how much time is devoted to various clients’ projects and responsibilities. Freelancers, who must keep careful track of their time in order to avoid going over budget on a project, may find these very useful.
10. Sort out your paperwork.
You will spend a great deal of time away from home as a digital nomad. Before you depart, though, you should compile all of your paperwork and make duplicates of everything.
Make copies of your important documents in case you ever need to replace a passport, credit card, or other forms of ID that were lost or stolen.
You might want to start with:
- Passports. Make sure it’s valid for at least 6 months.
- Visas and work permit
- Driver’s license.
- Medical records.
- Social security card
Is this lifestyle for you?
The impact of digital nomads is immense, as they bring fresh ideas, creativity, and expertise to rapidly developing sectors.
If you decide to become one, you need to be ready for a variety of barriers—and forget about spending all day on a tropical beach sipping a margarita while working. This lifestyle demands great effort, a resilient and flexible state of mind, and endless curiosity.
Are you a digital nomad or a remote worker and need specialized services like social security, tax advisory or immigration and visa support? Get in touch with us!
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