Running a successful blog is not the only way to make money while travelling. A digital nomad is any individual whose expertise in web-based technology doesn’t require them to report to an office. Having no permanent address, website developer Pieter Levels calls himself a citizen of the world in an interview with The Guardian. Remote work can take you almost anywhere, provided there is a stable internet connection.
If you’re trying to make it in the world of hemp-clad, laptop-operating freelancers, chances are you are already tech-savvy with the willingness to leave everything behind. Those are two main requirements into digital nomadism— aside from actually having an income-generating strategy. In line with this, Lottoland stresses that there are already too many travel bloggers in existence so it might be challenging to break your way in. But worry not, as there are other jobs you can maintain while travelling such as social media marketing, writing, web development and graphic design to name but a few.
For many, this kind of lifestyle can be a major change so here are some tips to make the transition easier for you.
1. Clear your debt
Just because you traded in your flat in Dublin for a Balinese hut does not mean that your debt magically disappears. You can take the slow transition into this lifestyle with Business Insider’s suggestion of snowballing or paying off your smallest debt and working your way up. For a quick overhaul, some people have sold all their belongings to pay off everything and have a little bit of seed money left. Either way, you’ll have a more relaxing time if you don’t have to constantly look over your shoulder for debt collectors.
2. Harness real-world skills
Don’t always rely on your entrepreneurial skills to support your nomadic lifestyle. The reality is that you won’t always be on the move, giving you some down time. Practical know-how like tending a bar, instructing yoga, or teaching English are good ways to pass the time and make a little money on the side. You can even do it for room, board, and of course, internet access.
3. Live within your means
While exotic locations like Buenos Aires or Bali may sound appealing, it’s not going to be a total luxury. Remember that you wanted to break from your routine, but continue making money. The Journal listed housing and everything that it comes with owning or renting, as the biggest expense in an average Irish household. This is one of the main reasons why digital nomads choose countries like Thailand, where the cost of living is cheaper than in Europe or North America. In choosing a country to move to, carefully weigh up all of your expenses and find what would work best for your finances.
4. Find a productive workspace
The beauty of it all is that you get to choose the location. Be it an island, rice terraces, or a busy city somewhere; no more stuffy offices for you. Take a look at Bali’s “Hubud”, a paradise-like co-working space. Anna Hart shares with The Telegraph that such a space was bound to appear, considering the rise of digital nomadism in recent years. Working remotely gives you a lot of freedom, but don’t take that as invitation to slack off because you have to keep the cash flow going. No matter what corner of the world you’re at, find a workspace with reliable Wi-Fi and it must be conducive to the kind of work you do.
5. Make friends on the road
In a previous post I recommended getting a local SIM card with a 30-day promo as you might be moving off to a new location after a few weeks. This will give you the option of keeping in touch with new friends and reaching your family back home in case of an emergency.
Before you jump ship, you need to understand that even with constant contact with the people you left behind, digital nomadism can get pretty alienating. You will be visiting far-flung countries; the chances are you won’t speak the language, and you’ll miss your family and old friends. These are realities that you have to accept.
Nevertheless, don’t hop on a plane back home just because of homesickness as is not a permanent feeling. Pretty soon, you’ll get used to the life of a nomad. What makes things easier are the connections you create along the way. Make friends not just so you don’t feel lonely but think of it as a trick for survival. Message people who’ve been to your destination as they might be able to connect you with lodging or even a part-time job. Join online communities of like-minded people worldwide as there are plenty that can be great resources to help make travelling easier and more cost-effective.
If you’re unhappy with your current surroundings or just want to travel more, give digital nomadism a serious thought. It is an appealing way of life but it is not for everyone. Give it a 6-month test run, and extend that when you’re convinced it’s right for you. If you decide that you’ve had enough of it, you know that you always have a home to go back to.