How much would you be prepared to spend to travel the world? You’d first have to save up a bit of money in your current job. Then you’d probably have to take significant time off work – or maybe even quit. Not to mention keeping a close eye on your bank balance, while still paying off your rent and phone plan back home…
What if there was a way you could earn and save money, all while travelling around the world?
Live the digital nomad lifestyle
This is the digital nomad era. Enjoying the freedom and flexibility to live your life by your own terms. Where living wherever you want, for however long you want, with no strings attached is very possible and achievable with the right set up skills.
What you might not realize is that it’s easier than you might think.
Consider this lifestyle as being more than just a telecommuter job or remote worker. Digital nomads are financially independent professionals with the freedom to decide where they live, how they work, and which jobs to do all from the convenience of a laptop or mobile device.
The first thing you’ll need to establish is the skills you already possess that you can build on.
What are your skills?
When we think of people who work remotely or exclusively from their laptop, we typically think of those in the technical or internet industry – software engineers, IT support staff, etc. But in the modern digital landscape almost anyone can be a digital nomad.
Some of the most popular digital nomad jobs
- Graphic Design
- Web Design/Development
- Social Media Management
While some skills are usually in higher demand than others, the list of roles you can perform remotely is endless. There are even cases of lawyers running their entire law firm while working abroad.
Start by thinking about your current role and whether you could achieve the same results working from an independent location. You can also research popular freelancing websites to see if your skills are in demand, and the typical rates you could charge. You may also find agencies or companies that offer exclusively remote positions. Alternatively, you could consider up-skilling and learning a new trade, such as graphic design, copywriting, or web development.
Once you grasp a specific or multiple skills that you can leverage in the online digital job landscape you will need to understand what type of nomad lifestyle works for you.
What type of lifestyle would you like to live?
The way that digital nomads live their lives falls into many different categories – some enjoy socialising and meeting others in hostels, while others prefer to hide away and be pampered in five-star hotels. Here are a few of the different types you might consider – the best part is, the lifestyle you choose is entirely up to you.
While typically (but not exclusively) young and independent, these digital nomads love travelling and looking for new destinations to visit. And while they aren’t necessarily living on a shoestring budget, they can often be found in hostel dormitories meeting new people and sharing their travel experiences. These types of digital nomads usually find a cozy coffee shop to work in for a few hours, before getting out into the neighborhood and exploring the local area.
The expat is more of a long-term digital nomad and carries out more long term digital nomad jobs. They’ve likely been through the backpacker route in the past and returned to a destination they really loved to ‘settle down’ (but don’t tell them that). They know all the regular spots, where to find the best food and coffee, and may be found based in co-working spaces or local cafes.
The Fancy Lifestyler
These digital nomads enjoy the finer things in life, normally staying in hotels rather than hostels, and dining in fancy restaurants around the local area. While a bit rarer to come across in the wild, you might find a few in hotel business lounges working away at their jobs and projects.
Don’t be mistaken, digital nomads aren’t always just young men and women travelling the world. Families have also been known to live this lifestyle, bringing their kids and relatives along during travels around the world. While this lifestyle presents its own unique challenges, it’s certainly not an impossible dream.
Which type of lifestyle do you think you’re best suited to? If you’re lucky enough to hold a passport with visa-free access to many countries, you might find you can enjoy a mix of these, or even build your own style! Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.
How do you get started?
The first step is often the hardest – after all it’s not easy to drop everything in your home country and move abroad.
But remember, the point of being a digital nomad is freedom and flexibility – you can decide what jobs and projects you want to work on, where you want to go, when you want to leave, and how long you want to stay. This could even mean staying in your home country and doing the occasional overseas trip – it’s entirely up to you.
Some early steps might be:
- 1. Start looking and applying for positions. Even better, if you’re working in a current role you may be able to negotiate flexible arrangements with your employer.
- 2. Think about where you’d like to travel, and make necessary arrangements – visas, vaccinations, places you’d like to visit, etc.
- 3. Start saving money – if you skip step 1, you might need a bit of dough to get started.
- 4. Get packing!
Things to keep in mind
Even though you are travelling the world and working overseas, remember that you may still have tax obligations back in your home country. Be sure to check the relevant policies from your taxation authorities before starting your digital nomad career.
Also keep in mind that when visiting most countries, you’ll probably be on a tourist visa, meaning working may not be legal. Some countries turn a blind eye to digital nomads, but do your research beforehand (Note: the contents of this blog are not to be taken as legal advice).
In that same sense, be sure to always respect the people, laws, and customs of the country you are visiting and don’t overstay your visa.
And always remember to exchange contact information or become Facebook friends with people you meet along the way – you never know when you might bump into each other again!
The digital nomad lifestyle can be life changing for some, while others might return to ‘normality’ after a few years on the road. The freedom and flexibility to dictate your own path is ultimately what drives most towards this lifestyle.
Do your research, decide whether it’s right for you, and start planning your next destination. And most importantly of all, remember to have fun – life is what you make it, so enjoy it.