How to Become a Digital Nomad and Travel Around the World?
Have you ever seen people with a laptop next to a coconut, on a gorgeous beach, or someone inside a van, laptop in hand, majestic mountains in the background?
Traveling full-time without quitting your job or working online whilst discovering the world sounds like a dream job for many people. It absolutely excites me, and we think you do too.
Welcome to Dynu In Media’s blog. Congrats on landing in the correct spot if you’re looking for how to become a digital nomad, and live the life you desire on your path!
What is a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are remote workers who’re in love with displacement and usually travel to different locations.
They earn a living by working online while following their dream – living anywhere, any destination just based on their decision instead of a specific work location.
Since their job is entirely remote, digital nomads can be full-time travelers as long as they have access to Wi-Fi and the modern technology needed to do their work, like smartphones and mobile hotspots.
However, keep in mind that there are huge differences between remote workers and digital nomads. Digital nomads can be seen as remote workers, but not quite in the opposite direction.
As a digital nomad, you must be on the move every few months or so, while the remote worker term is broader. They are someone who is not required to go into an office every day but have a permanent residence, they also have the freedom to work from anywhere they choose.
For digital nomads, the ability to work and live from nearly anywhere all over the world opens up a world of possibilities to create the lifestyle they desire.
How to become a digital nomad?
There isn’t a specific path to becoming a digital nomad. In order to be a digital nomad, you have to take the right steps in research, education, training, and self-management.
Here are tips on how to become a digital nomad and what you need to consider at each point in your journey.
Figure out how you want to live
The first and foremost step in becoming a digital nomad is to identify how you want to live, what your forte and honest love are (like an Ikigan concept). Ultimately, determine whether you could make money online based on those skills or not.
“Why do you want to become a digital nomad?”
If you only want to travel the world, then something like a sabbatical or gap year would be better.
If you’re tired of the long commutes to your workplace, a work-from-home job without traveling would be better.
Make a budget
Make sure you have an income you can rely on for months in advance, right after you find out the lifestyle you want.
In order to create a good budget, calculate your living expenses, the cost of traveling, staying fees, the activities you’ll do, the cost of working, and how all of these affect your savings if you can’t earn a buck for a while.
Build your savings
Before quitting your job and packing your bags, you must ensure that you can do this.
In your imagination, the nomadic lifestyle is perfect for you. In fact, all digital nomads eventually face burnout and loneliness from the nomadic lifestyle.
The first step to preparing for the digital nomad lifestyle is to start creating a side income.
Most digital nomads prefer passive income, such as working as remote freelancers, selling information products, or dropshipping.
You should have the cost of basic expenses saved up in case of emergencies. This cost varies depending on which country you’ll be staying in.
Get rid of unnecessary expenses
This is when you should pay down or set up payment plans for any debts you may have.
For example, you should eliminate your credit card debt as soon as possible due to the high-interest rates.
You have to set up a payment plan, or you need to open a special account for your payments if you have student loan debt. By this, you will be stress-free if you start digging into savings when you’re traveling.
Also, think about selling your car if you have one. You’ll save more money in the short term by not having to pay for gas, maintenance, registration, or insurance.
Identify your skills
Identifying your skills before becoming a digital nomad is an essential thing to do at this stage. You first need to find out what skills you possess that you can monetize online.
By building your skills and knowledge, you can increase your chances of getting remote work with higher-pay
Commonly, remote work skills include marketing, writing, computer design, or engineering.
Most digital nomads start by finding freelance gigs or remote jobs that allow them to earn a small income.
After you secure your first income source, decide if you will develop that income source into a larger business or if you just want to find similar jobs to make more money.
Keep in mind that the situation will depend on your skills, knowledge, and how willing you are to put yourself out there.
Build a portfolio & Start researching remote jobs
Being a freelance digital nomad, you must build up a portfolio that can show recruiters about your experience. It’s like a passport for you to step into any “dreamland”
Squarespace and Wix are some sites that you can refer to. These websites allow you to create professional websites in which potential clients can see your skills and experience.
If you don’t have much to put on your site yet, you can create your projects that represent the things you want to be delivered to your “future clients”.
Search for digital nomad careers and see which appeals to you. Digital nomads commonly pursue majors including:
- Computer science
- Graphic design
- Information technology
- Creative writing
The digital nomad lifestyle can suit many different work styles, like full-time employment, freelancing, and running a small business.
However, not all remote jobs allow you to work as a digital nomad.
When you’re thinking about a destination, there are a lot of things to consider, so at first, take a note of all your desired destinations, then consider the pros and cons of each one to have the most overview.
Do not stop there, it’s necessary to connect with a community of nomads, where you can get access to like-minded individuals with years of experience living in a location that is currently your top choice.
Before coming up with any decision for your upcoming destinations, ask for experience. For sure built-in support would be the things you’ll get back from them. Reddit and Facebook groups are two sources you can consider to find your appropriate community.
And if you still don’t know where you really want to go, then Bangkok, Medellin, Colombia, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, Canggu, and Bali are popular digital nomad destinations according to Nomad List, where are created equal when it comes to “nomad friendliness”.
Stick in mind that it is illegal to work remotely on a tourist visa. Fortunately, some countries have developed “digital nomad” visas for remote workers, including Spain, Costa Rica, Barbados, and Germany.
Plus, take note of technical concerns like the availability of Wi-Fi and the time zone differences. You may want to purchase equipment such as a Wi-Fi booster to avoid emergencies or a local cell phone and data plan.
What suits someone else might not suit you, so you won’t be pressured about anything that doesn’t fit your goals or budget.
Join a digital nomad community
Join a digital nomad community means you are connecting with those who are ready to kick ass and take the world by storm with you.
They can be a useful source of information for you when you are new to this lifestyle, and even inspire you to pursue your very first goal of becoming a digital nomad.
As mentioned before, Facebook and Forums make things easier to have contact with other digital nomads or specific ones that can give you plenty of helpful advice or feedback.
A very popular online community today is Nomad List (as mentioned previously), an extremely active forum of digital nomads worldwide.
Create A Plan and Stick to It
To make the nomadic lifestyle work for you, you need to clarify what you want and what you have to do is make it happen.
Setting goals and plans and following through with them is extremely important.
A good part is that you can choose your routine. So get organized and have a to-do list. Then make a plan!
And in case you fail at one path, it’s best to have backup plans, alternative passive income streams, or a safety net while you reset your plans.
Get health insurance (or travel insurance)
Traveling can give you tons of awesome experiences in your life, though it’s not always blissful. Think about when you’ll get sick, have emergencies and accidents, and need regular checkups.
You should put your health first during your travels, so buy a health insurance plan that’s valid in all the places you visit.
Be sure you buy health insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, and some sort of car insurance if needed.
However, there may not be certain types of coverage available in your country.
SafetyWing, World Nomads, and IMG Global are top-rated travel medical insurance for digital nomads. You can contact them for more information.
Tips to start your digital nomad life
Here are tips to start your digital nomad life:
Pick the right credit cards and bank account
While on the road, you’ll definitely need to make some large purchases like flight tickets, hotel rooms, etc. So it’s essential to pick the right bank account and credit cards to make those purchases. The suggestion is you need to open a travel rewards credit card that has NO foreign transaction fees and gives you points or miles each time you use them.
Most ATMs in the U.S. may charge you a fee when you use another bank’s ATM. And your banks also charge you another one for using someone else’s ATM. This means you have to pay twice by adding up double fees.
So if you don’t choose your bank wisely, you may “lose” money unnecessarily
Consider your technology requirements
One travel hack is buying a prepaid SIM card with a data plan at your international destination.
By this, you don’t have to constantly keep your phone on airplane mode and search for a Wi-Fi network.
If you’re about to live and work abroad, it’s best to purchase a Virtual Private Network.
VPN will make things easier via logging in to any sites in the country you want to stay in.
Plan for the worst-scenario
It’s essential to have multiple backup plans in case any emergencies come in your nomad life. Nothing ever works out the way it’s supposed to.
So you really need to set the processes in place to handle the inevitable bumps in the road.
Make sure you can communicate with locals
In Rome do as Roman do.
The better you understand where you live (we mean here is the culture via locals), the easier it will be to live and enjoy the place you decide to live in.
Knowing the local language, even just a little, will increase your odds of a successful trip. So if, on the contrary, you can’t understand anything people say right in the place you choose to live, that’s something quite risky.
If you travel to a place where you don’t know their native language, try to challenge yourself by learning some basic words, then let Google Translate take care of the rest.
And don’t forget to bring some important documents
As a digital nomad, you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time. So it’s essential to gather all your documents and make copies of everything before you leave, such as your passport and credit cards.
Some of the most essential documents that you should bring are here:
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Medical records
- Insurance documents
Remember to call your insurance providers and alert them of your international travels to help you with any concerns while abroad.
Don’t forget to ask about things relating to COVID-19.
So far, perhaps you have a better understanding of how to become a digital nomad, and here come some pretty common questions that a newbie frequently asks:
How much do you need to live as a digital nomad?
To tell the truth, It’ll totally be based on the countries you want to spend your time in. Some affordable places to travel to are within Southeast Asia, like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and more.
By choosing countries that have cheaper living costs, you’ll have an easier life.
Create your realistic budget by answering the question: Which countries can you afford to live in based on your income from your digital nomad jobs? Then plan to make more money to stick to your budget.
Aside from that, you’ll still need to pay taxes when working abroad, so remember to save for taxes.
Which country has the most digital nomads?
Most digital nomads are from western countries, especially those developed countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and more.
Our list of top countries that could best fit your needs as a digital nomad includes:
- United States
Is being a digital nomad worth it?
A digital nomad is a lifestyle requiring plenty of hard work, a strong and adaptable mindset with a sense of curiosity and passion for new places and people.
You must find out if the nomadic lifestyle is right for you. If you love traveling, being alone, constant change, and are a pro at jumping over obstacles, you might fit into this lifestyle.
Digital nomads have to be exposed to loneliness, so you need to be able to cope with that. And you’ll also need to be prepared to deal with change and challenges.
If you’re family oriented and require stability, the digital nomad lifestyle may not be the right one for you.
The truth is that there’s good and bad within both lifestyles. So, is being a digital nomad worth it? It depends on how you prepare yourself for this lifestyle and how you see it.
>>> Wanna discover the industry that many digital nomads pursue recently? This post about Affiliate Marketing is what you need!
That’s all about how to become a digital nomad that Dynu In Media would like to share with you. And the most important thing is that you have to understand deeply whether you’re suitable for this lifestyle, then prepare everything you need to kick off your own journey. Hopefully, you can find yourself the most suitable working lifestyle and gain the best results from that!