One of the most common inquiries we get from Long Islanders is how to be a digital nomad. People quickly ask how they can do that too when they see images on social media of remote workers sitting on a white sand beach with a laptop in hand and earning money. In order to assist you in finding ways to be location independent, we have produced a preliminary roadmap.
Working remotely is more complicated than just lounging by the pool with a computer on your lap to work on your tan. Setting up the correct revenue stream takes effort, and maintaining it demands even more commitment. You’ll need to be attentive and disciplined to meet your deadlines and stay on track because it’s easy to put off working and go exploring instead.
There isn’t really a set model for living the digital nomad lifestyle that everyone may adhere to. All of you have slightly varied skill sets and levels of professional or job experience, so some of you might be able to skip a few steps while others might need to put in a little extra effort in the beginning.
Thus, even though there isn’t a single route to follow, we’ve produced this guide with an eye on newcomers or those who are just beginning to show interest in the location independent movement.
What Is a Digital Nomad, Exactly?
Let’s begin by outlining what it really means to be a digital nomad. The phrase “digital nomad” is used to describe a wide range of location independent workers, including individuals with passive income sources and those that perform gigs while on the go. Get a detailed look at how the modern nomad movement came to be and discover more about the location independent movement here.
All digital nomads share the traits of being frequently on the move, earning a living while working online, and spending several months overseas each year. In South East Asian nations like Thailand or Bali, a digital nomad can easily live comfortably on an annual income of $13,000. If you move the same digital nomad to London, New York, Paris, or Sydney, things won’t go as planned. Because they can operate their businesses from any city on earth, even the most expensive ones, location independent nomads have true freedom.
The objective here is to become a digital nomad so you can have the freedom to work and travel all over the world, regardless of the amount of revenue you can muster from remote employment.
Let’s first outline how to become a digital nomad.
Steps To Being A Digital Nomad
The next steps are intended as rough guidelines to aid you on your journey because, as I said before, there is no one particular method to becoming a digital nomad. You might have to start over a few times or skip a few steps, but with a little perseverance and hard work, you can succeed!
- Starting to Cut Back on Location Costs and Ties
Recognizing what in your life is connecting you to a certain place is the first step toward becoming a digital nomad. The first issues that need to be resolved are sometimes lengthy leases on residences or cars. To free up your cash for the things you really need when you’re on the road, you’ll also want to start cutting costs like subscription services and gym memberships. Being a digital nomad typically entails traveling lightly, therefore you should get rid of clutter and other possessions that don’t add value to your life.
Additionally, you should now begin paying off any debts you may have or creating payment arrangements for them. The high interest rates on credit card debt should be paid off as quickly as feasible. If you owe money on student loans, you can set up a payment schedule or open a dedicated account for your payments so that you won’t have to worry if you have to deplete your resources while traveling. If you own a vehicle, consider selling it. In addition to saving money in the near term by not having to pay for gas, maintenance, registration, or insurance, keep in mind that you won’t be using it in the long run.
- Determine your skills.
You must first identify the skills you have that you can use to earn money online. It goes without saying that you’ll need to be able to type, operate a computer, and access the Internet. The good news is that most people already have that competence in the modern world. By expanding your knowledge and abilities from previous studies or work, you can raise your chances of finding higher-paying remote work.
Writing, marketing, financial services, graphic design, or engineering are common remote work talents. If you are a developer, you should look for work developing the front or back end of websites. Another fantastic alternative for native English speakers is to teach English online, and organizations like VIPKID make it simpler than ever to recruit students and establish a digital nomad lifestyle. You could even make teaching English a full-time career with enough hours and repeat customers.
The majority of digital nomads begin by locating freelance or remote employment opportunities that enable them to start making some income. Once you’ve found your first source of revenue, you’ll need to choose whether to turn that income stream into a bigger business or whether you’ll just discover a number of occupations that are similar to combine to earn more money. Since there is no set route to being a digital nomad, your situation will differ based on your knowledge, skills, and willingness to take chances, maybe fail, and put yourself out there.
- Go Into Freelancing
You need to find a job once you’ve determined what abilities you have that will allow you to work remotely. Searching for distant, targeted employment sites is, arguably, the simplest way to do this. Fortunately, a ton of websites are now available online that only provide remote or location-independent jobs, such as UpWork. To locate freelance jobs for anybody, from virtual assistants and photographers to accountants and consultants, check out Freelancer.
While the most common positions are frequently technology-focused, like programming and design, you may discover a ton of customer service and support jobs on these websites as well. Positions in writing, editing, and transcription are also excellent for persons who may lack strong technical skills but have excellent communication skills.
- Another option is to begin by working or studying abroad.
If you’re having trouble navigating the remote work sector, you might start by looking for a job in your area or applying to study abroad. This route provides greater structure and a backup plan in case you decide that being a digital nomad isn’t for you. Although there is considerably less chance of failure with this route than with becoming a freelancer, it also means that the journey to becoming a digital nomad may take longer. This approach will require you to obtain a visa or residency status. Working vacation visas are available from nations like Canada and Australia, allowing you to see cities like Vancouver or Perth while adjusting to life abroad.
You might also attempt to persuade your manager to permit you to travel in your current position. You’ll need to put some advance planning into this strategy in order to succeed. Create a proposal that covers all of the crucial facets of your job and outlines how you’ll convert them to a remote role without losing momentum. Consider using remote management tools like Slack to facilitate communication with your coworkers and be careful to indicate any areas of concern. Many office tasks can now be completed remotely with the correct preparation, communication, and confidence between staff and supervisors.
- Expand Your Company
After working as a freelancer for a while, you can begin expanding your company. If you perform well, it will be simple to receive recommendations for new clients, and your income streams will expand. To market your company and broaden your clientele and reputation, you might also think about designing your own website and business cards. You should plan your work and jobs in the appropriate time zones because you can be working from different locations throughout the world.
You can start a marketing company that assists businesses and blogs in attracting more readers and customers if you are a writer or have experience with social media. Online copywriting positions are common and might be a wonderful place to start while you develop blog post content. By producing content, distributing it online through social media channels, and generating cash from advertising, you may transform your skill set into a full-service marketing firm once you’ve honed it.
If you already have a remote job or freelancing business that brings in passive revenue, you can forego the first few stages and simply carry your work with you. Alternately, if you have some money set aside, you may purchase an existing web company to help it get off the ground. Finding internet businesses that are for sale and their annual revenue is simple thanks to websites like Flippa. Successful digital nomads are a broad bunch, including those who run their own businesses as well as those who look for clients online or take odd jobs while traveling.
- Select your initial destination.
It’s time to leave the grind and travel to your first destination now that you have a source of income established. There are several options available, from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to America and Europe, and choosing one can be difficult. You must be completely honest with yourself about what you require from a place in order to be content. You’ll find a wonderful spot to live if you’re realistic about your wants and income. You can always change your mind if you don’t like where you’ve landed or simply want a change of scenery because you are a digital nomad, so keep that in mind.
Finding out the cost of living in each location is the first step you can take to reduce the number of places on your travel wish list. You should be realistic about your salary in relation to the cost of living in certain locations because you’ll need to be able to pay everything from rent to food and entertainment. You should also consider the kinds of activities and adventures you wish to engage in as a digital nomad because low cost regions allow you to live more comfortably than in high cost ones.
If you wish to be surrounded by other like-minded people, you can also travel to hubs for digital nomads like Lisbon, Portugal. NomadList is a fantastic tool for finding hot travel spots and provides rankings based on Internet speed, fun, safety, and affordability to assist you in choosing where to go. To make your selection more informed, you can search for particular weather conditions, activities, or health indicators.
- Identify your ideal lifestyle
After deciding on a location, you must either arrange the house or, at the very least, decide on the type of accommodation you desire. Living in a hostel or co-op where you can quickly make new friends can be a good place to start if you’re a people person who worries about being lonely when you move out on your own. Perhaps having privacy or a peaceful setting to withdraw to is what you prefer. In such a situation, Airbnb is a fantastic alternative because you may feel like you have your own property by renting complete apartments for a month or a predetermined amount of time.
Hotels and homestays are fantastic options if you want the advantages of extra services. Hotels may provide laundry and dining services so you may concentrate on a challenging project or simply get acclimated to your new environment. Additionally, it will be simple for you to locate people that can give you advice about your new residence. Remember that you now have genuine freedom, so you may mix it up and change your accommodations anytime you need a change, no matter what you choose to do.
- Make a plan and follow it
Setting and sticking to objectives and strategies is extremely crucial for digital nomads. You must be certain about what you want, where you want to go, how long you might want to remain, and what you need to do to make it happen if you want the nomadic lifestyle to succeed.
Get organized and make a to-do list! Plan ahead! Even though a “routine” may sound disgusting, it’s necessary to get something done. You can select your own routine, which is a plus. Want to run in the middle of the morning? No problem! Would you spend a leisurely lunch catching up with a friend? Do it! You continue to check items off your list!
It’s also a good idea to have backup plans or additional passive income sources in case you take the wrong turn and require a safety net while you reevaluate your strategy.
Remember that your ideas shouldn’t be centered just on how much money you’ll make working from home. You should also talk about practical aspects of healthy living, such as local rules and regulations, insurance, and healthcare. You’ll need to do some studying because you’ll be living in a foreign country to make sure you understand any new laws and to make sure you have the necessary help if you become sick or hurt while traveling.
Start your efforts by taking the first step now! This is the first thing you must do if you actually want to become a digital nomad or location independent. It starts much more quickly than you anticipate. With perseverance and a little luck, you may launch your firm in a matter of weeks and grow it into a successful enterprise within a year or two.
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