What is a digital nomad?
Since the ancient years, nomadism has played an integral part in society — materialized by individuals traditionally travelling from region to region with heavy reliance on their own resources to thrive in a sustainable lifestyle. And as the rapid rise of technology took place, so did the variations for these geographically-unrestricted vagabonds. “Digital nomad” is a buzzword that’s been continually trending on an ever-changing digital landscape, referring to persons who use technology to work and move consistently, transferring workplaces from one city (or country!) to another.
Forget the usual 9-5 setup; the community comprises freelancers, location-independent entrepreneurs, and business travellers who work at their own pace at possibly anywhere across the globe. When a global pandemic hit the world last year, disrupting the workflow and setup of most industries — it only brought a rush of opportunities to accelerate the thriving digital nomad scene’s growth. Below, we share some helpful tips on how to be a digital nomad, regardless of your dream work destination!
Steps in becoming a digital nomad
1. Ensure a steady source of income.
The thing about becoming a digital nomad that can always be intimidating to many is that it can cost you a hefty amount of bucks. That is if you don’t have a comprehensive financial plan which will fool-proof your strategy in making the most out of travelling and working. Create a framework to save more and live within the means of your budget. Since being location-independent isn’t restrictive of time, consider taking more side hustles, establishing your own online business, and generating passive income streams to maximize your resources. Come prepared for the emergencies and unprecedented expenses of living away from home and navigating on your own.
2. Join digital nomad communities.
The nomad communities’ motive might have evolved from initially scouring for natural resources during the early age to offering services at present times. Still, if there’s one thing that was retained: it’s the community’s tight-knit level. There are many benefits to exploring online groups and communities, from learning more about other people’s experiences to finding unique perspectives in travelling. Transitioning to the digital nomad lifestyle can be initially nerve-wracking, but thankfully, there’s a ton of community support available to help you in the journey. Some of the popular Facebook groups for digital nomads are Digital Nomads Around The World and The Solo Female Traveler Network.
3. Find the right environment for you.
More than reliable equipment, a suitable working environment elevates a digital nomad’s quality of work. Whether it’s a far-flung mountainous region, a culinary capital, or a major surfing spot you’re gunning for as a nomad destination, ensure that it will give you the optimal productivity experience. Conducting a dry run in your hometown might help! Try spending a day working at a local library or a nearby beach to get a feel of some sort for your ideal working space.
4. Learn as much as you can.
No one expects you to act like a local in the outskirts of Croatia, but doing extensive research saves you from a lot of unnecessary hurdles on the way. It’s a simple way to ease your own worries and increase preparedness, especially beneficial in alleviating doubts about moving away. Invest in quality guidebooks and other relevant educational resources; it’s the fastest way to understanding the world from a unique perspective, a comparative advantage if you’re constantly moving from one continent to another.
A travelling freelancer is constantly on the hunt for new working opportunities to elevate their portfolio, and in the age of technology, there’s no excuse but to upskill to meet current market needs. E-learning is more prominent now more than ever, as the pandemic put the majority of educational opportunities online. There are a plethora of short courses available for you to take at your own pace on sites like Coursera, Uedemy, and a lot more. After all, what’s a better learning method than supplementing real-life experiences with textbook knowledge? You’ll be unstoppable with your digital nomad skills in no time.
6. Hone your work ethic.
Remote working requires nothing short of excellent when it comes to working ethic — whether it’s being able to communicate effectively with staff and team members regardless of timezone difference, meeting strict deadlines, or delivering the highest quality of work possible. Being location-independent grants one total freedom but also doesn’t exempt from the high expectations of an unmatched level of character no matter the working base.
7. Network like a pro and market yourself.
Engaging with fellow nomads in communities puts you in a favourable position to share insights and industry trends and even seal the deal for business opportunities. Work on presenting well to complete strangers and take advantage of every chance at an elevator pitch; you’ll never know when you’re gonna meet a Silicon Valley executive whose partnership can rack you millions in your bank account or give you a chance to change the world. If you’re more comfortable doing online work, improve your personal branding through your own website or establish a powerhouse client base on freelance sites such as Upwork and Fiverr.
How much does a digital nomad make?
After learning the steps on how to be a digital nomad and eventually practicing them, it goes without saying that you can make a decent paycheck. There’s great opportunity to land yourself a high paying remote career, with 18 percent of remote workers making more than £71,380 annually, a figure higher than what most American employees are earning. Annual income depends on each remote worker’s earning capability, with other factors such as passive income streams and entrepreneurial ventures to take into consideration.