Caption: One of the best parts about being a digital nomad is having the freedom to work from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Digital nomads have the unique privilege of traveling across states and countries while earning money remotely. They do not set roots in any particular place and they only need a computer and an Internet connection in any location to get the job done. If becoming a digital nomad is something you are considering, this article will help you learn how you start your journey and how to make the best out of the situation.
Tips to Help You Become a Digital Nomad
Getting started as a digital nomad will require some careful planning, and may require you to build a whole new skillset. The tips listed below will help you start your journey to becoming a digital nomad:
1. Get a Job That Allows You to Work From Home
The first stage of becoming a digital nomad is finding a job that allows you to work from home. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies initiated remote work policies that gave workers the chance to travel without compromising their jobs. Alternatively, you can work as a freelancer who gets different clients from the gig market or an independent contractor who moves from company to company.
Some of the best jobs for digital nomads are writing, photography, digital marketing, social media influencing, travel blogging, software engineering, and other similar tech jobs. In-demand tech skills can be acquired quickly in any one of the best coding bootcamps in the industry, such as App Academy or General Assembly.
2. Create an International Bank Account
If you intend to leave your home country and visit different countries every few months, you need to make sure that you can perform financial transactions freely irrespective of your location. This way, you will never be financially stranded in any location and you will be able to make payments to people who work with you remotely.
If you have a social security number and a savings bank account in the United States, find out if you can use your account across the borders from your service provider. Make sure that you can perform financial transactions with the USD, as well as other currencies.
3. Research Countries With a Presence of Digital Nomads
It is a good idea to find out if each location you are planning on visiting has a presence of digital nomads before you hit the road. You can get all the information you need from the Internet and start communicating with the digital nomads there before you travel. According to Statista, the most common destination for digital nomads is Bangkok, Thailand, but there are dozens of other popular cities.
If you are visiting a country for the first time, ask the digital nomads there about their experiences. What is the cost of living? Are there affordable housing options for temporary guests? Are you required to pay taxes?
4. Get the Right Tech Tools Before Your Journey
As a digital nomad, you will need a laptop, a router, sim cards, and a host of other tech tools that will keep you connected to your clients or employees. You shouldn’t wait until you get to your new destination before you start making inquiries or purchases. Find out which routers work internationally and what sort of subscription you will need to stay connected.
Beyond hardware, you may also need to familiarize yourself with remote work and communication software like Slack, Trello, Google Workspace, VPN, or ClickUp. Some of these tools require a paid subscription for full access so make sure you sort it out before your journey.
5. Make Sure You are Covered
Travel insurance is a must for all digital nomads. You may feel like it is expensive but the cost of paying for certain emergencies out of pocket isn’t worth it. There are different companies that provide travel insurance so research thoroughly and go for the one that provides the most coverage and value for your money.
Good travel insurance should cover medical emergencies, baggage loss, trip cancellation, trip interruption, and emergency evacuation. Make sure you read the fine print for a clear picture of what is and isn’t covered in your insurance before paying for it.
If you want the freedom to travel at the drop of a hat, the life of a digital nomad might be perfect for you. Many common remote jobs are known to come with a high salary, especially in the tech field. For example, according to BLS, web developers have an average income of $77,200 annually.
After securing a remote source of income and all the tools you need, you can pay for accommodation in a nomad-friendly city and start your first journey as a digital nomad.