How to Become a Digital Nomad

Being a digital nomad provides a lifestyle that offers many benefits, such as the ability to travel the world while still earning an income. Imagine you’ve been working a traditional 9-to-5 job for years, and you’re starting to feel a little bit restless.

You’ve always wanted to travel the world, but you never had the time or money. Now, thanks to the digital age, there’s a new way to do things. With a laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world and make money online. All you need is a little bit of discipline and some basic skills.

A lot of people are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. It can be tough to juggle work, family, and social obligations while also trying to stay connected online. The good news is that there’s another way to live and work, and it’s called digital nomadism.

There are a few common challenges, though, when people attempt to become digital nomads. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is learning how to make money online and staying productive while traveling. It can be difficult to adjust to a new environment, and it’s easy to get sidetracked by all the new sights and sounds.

In order to stay on task, you’ll need to create a daily routine and stick to it. Additionally, it’s important to find a healthy work-life balance. Don’t forget to explore your new surroundings and have some fun! You’ll need some basic equipment and skills first, but once you have those, the world is your oyster!

Steps and Tips to Becoming a Digital Nomad

1. Find the Ideal Remote Job

Find the Ideal Remote Job

How do you become a digital nomad? First, you need to have a job that can be done remotely. This might mean working as a freelancer, having your own online business, or it could mean finding a full-time job with a company that allows telecommuting.

As a digital nomad, you’ll be able to work from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. This means that you can travel to any country and still earn a living.

You’ll need to be able to stay productive while working from coffee shops or other public places, but with a little practice, this will become second nature. You’ll also need to be comfortable with living out of a suitcase or backpack, as you’ll likely be moving around frequently.

But what kind of work will you do? Start your own business? Perhaps your own freelance business? Where will you find freelance clients?

If there are any companies or organizations that interest you and are available outside your home country (or even just overseas), look into how they might be able to help with visas and other paperwork issues. But don’t stress too much about finding something right away; this is just one step towards making sure everything is set up properly later on down the road when it comes time to move abroad!

To get started as a digital nomad, there are a few things remote workers will need:

  • A laptop or tablet with internet connectivity
  • A means of income, whether that’s freelancing, a full-time job with remote work options, or some other source of making money online
  • Basic organizational skills and the ability to stay on task
  • A sense of adventure to embrace the full nomadic lifestyle

2. Find an Optimal Situation and Destination

Digital nomad

Now that you know what it takes to become a digital nomad, it’s time to start planning your nomadic lifestyle. Your goal is to become completely location independent. If you’re not sure where to go, consider checking out some of the most popular digital nomad destinations:

Bali and Chiang Mai, in particular, are bustling digital nomad hubs. Keep in mind the varying time zones of these different countries.

Many digital nomads that work online have to adjust their work hours to suit their bosses or potential clients. If you’re living in Southeast Asia, you might have to be available from 9 pm to 5 am if you’re working for a company back in the USA. Be prepared for potential situations like this.

Another thing worth considering at this point would be finding a place to live: whether through an Airbnb rental or staying with friends/family until finding somewhere permanent (which doesn’t necessarily mean buying property). Those who prefer renting over buying could make use of HomeAway or Airbnb because these services tend to offer cheaper rates than hotels or hostels during high-season periods (i.e., summer vacation weeks) when prices go up considerably due to demand being higher than supply on both fronts.

When you’re planning your trip, be sure to research the cost of living in each destination. You’ll also want to make sure there is a good internet connection and plenty of things to do in your spare time. Once you’ve found the perfect place to call home, it’s time to start packing your bags.

See Related: Insured Nomads Review: Is it Legit?

3. Prepare For Your Journey

Packing for a digital nomad

The first thing you need to do is get your finances in order. You’ll need to save enough money so you can support yourself while you travel and work online from different places. This can take a while if you don’t have enough money saved up or the discipline to save money.

But getting as much money as you can beforehand is totally worth it for the freedom and flexibility that digital nomad life provides. And unless you have an online job lined up before you leave, you’ll likely need to support yourself for at least a few months while you get settled in your new destination. Keep this in mind when factoring in how much money you’ll need.

And before you finally set off on your digital nomad adventure, you should brush up on your internet and computer skills. If you’re not comfortable working online, now is the time to learn. There are many sites online that provide a digital nomad guide relating to using computers. Additionally, make sure you have all the necessary equipment, such as a laptop, charger, and portable internet device.

See Related: World Nomads Insurance Review: Is It Worth It?

4. Start Reducing Location Ties and Expenses

People should start paying attention to and understanding why they’re attached to certain places. Long-term rental agreements are only one of the many issues that need to be dealt with first. You may want to begin eliminating excess expenses, such as membership fees and subscriptions, so your income can go towards other things you’ll enjoy while traveling.

Digital nomads often travel light, so get rid of anything that you won’t use on your journey. This is also a good time to repay any debts you have accumulated up until this point.

5. Research Your Health Insurance Options

Health insurance

You’ve sold your house, quit your job, and bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok. You’re ready to embark on the next chapter of your life as a digital nomad! But before you land in Thailand, there are some important things to consider. First and foremost: health insurance.

Health insurance is arguably one of the most important aspects of being a digital nomad because it will protect you financially if anything unexpected happens while abroad—and it can be expensive to get sick or injured while traveling.

Many countries require visitors from certain countries to have proof that they have adequate medical coverage before entering the country; this is especially true for countries that see many tourists from certain parts of Asia where residents may not be able to afford health care in their home country due to its expense or lack thereof.

Health insurance policies vary by country, as well as sometimes by state within each country (some states offer lower premiums for certain plans). Age plays into how much money an individual should expect to pay for coverage; meanwhile, occupation and income may also determine certain details of whatever insurance plan you are looking into.

Always read the fine print and double-check! Generally, you can consider notable nomad insurances like Safety Wing, World Nomads, and Insured Nomad.

See Related: Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads

6. Get a Visa

Image of a passport

Visa requirements vary wildly from country to country. Some countries are more welcoming to digital nomads, while others will require you to have a home address in the country. Most digital nomads are constantly dealing with the varying requirements of different countries’ visas.

Depending on your nationality and your passport, some countries don’t require a visa for entry. However, some do require a visa even if you only plan on staying for a few weeks or months while working remotely – so make sure to check with your destination country before planning your trip.

If you end up needing a visa before heading abroad, there are many different types of visas available: business travel/tourism visas (for short-term stays) or employment visas (for longer stays). You can apply online or through your target country’s embassy or consulate near where you live; whichever method suits your schedule best!

7. Plan for the Unexpected

As a digital nomad, you’re not immune to the unexpected. You need to be prepared for it. There are plenty of things that can go wrong while traveling: your flights could get canceled or delayed; your phone might die, and you won’t have access to any maps; you might get sick and stuck in bed for days with no medication; your laptop might break down at an inconvenient time…

So what are some things you can do? I suggest having an emergency kit with things like ibuprofen, bandages and pain relievers (or whatever medications you may need), extra water bottles, snacks like nuts and protein bars—and maybe even a spare pair of shoes!

If something happens to me when I’m abroad on my own (which happens quite often), one thing that helps is knowing that there’s someone back home who knows where I am and how much money I’ve got left over. It also helps if they know what my plans are by asking questions before going away – so make sure they’re keeping track of all this information too!

See Related: Best Travel Jobs to Make Money

8. Embrace the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The digital nomad lifestyle can be an adjustment, but it’s important to embrace it and enjoy the freedom and flexibility it provides. One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that you can work from anywhere in the world. So if you get tired of one location, you can simply pack up and move to another. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and experience different cultures. So go out and explore.

9. Get the Right Equipment

Equipments for a digital nomad

The right equipment is essential for becoming a digital nomad. You’ll need a laptop and an internet connection to work remotely. Make sure you have everything you need before you start your job search. Having the right equipment will make it easier for you to transition to working remotely.

Some digital nomads also recommend getting a separate phone line for work so that you can keep your personal and work life separate. This can be especially helpful if you’re working remotely for an employer who is based in a different country.

10. Create a Daily Routine

Image of a To Do list

When you’re working from home, it can be easy to let your days become a blur. This can lead to a lack of focus and productivity. To avoid this, it’s important to create a daily routine and stick to it as much as possible. Successful digital nomads stay on track and focused. A daily routine for your location-independent business can include things like:

  • Getting up at the same time each day
  • Having specific hours set aside for work
  • Taking breaks every few hours
  • Eating regular meals
  • Staying organized
  • Setting aside time for exercise

Creating and following a daily routine can be key to being a successful digital nomad. It can help you stay focused and productive, and keep making that money online, while also ensuring that you’re taking care of your physical and mental health.

See Related: Best Travel Agent Tools to Use

The Logistics of Nomadic Life

Digital nomads are not just about being digital. With location independence, things you didn’t think of coming into play: wireless accessibility, company registration, banking, and communications – where to stay is also important. Do you want to be around other digital nomads and like-minded people?

If you’re a digital nomad, your job is to be prepared for anything. You may not know where you’ll be staying from one week to the next—and that’s okay. It’s part of the nomadic life. As long as there is a reliable connection to the internet and you have a laptop, any place can become home.

Taxes for Digital Nomads

Image of tax papers

What are your tax plans as an online nomad? Depending on your home country, you may still have to pay taxes while living abroad in other countries. If you are a US citizen and plan on living abroad for an extended period of time, you should look into the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion on the IRS website.

If you qualify, this exclusion allows you to avoid paying taxes for a sizable portion of your income. It won’t be the case in all other countries. Many people are starting online businesses in digital nomad-friendly nations like Singapore to cut their taxes.

If you want to go into the digital world and get into digital life, a good accountant should be hired to help with a lot of work.

Stay Connected

Image of wifi

Tell me about the biggest and most common question that digital travelers often ask. How much bandwidth does a WiFi connection provide? You can’t become a digital nomad without a good WiFi connection. Thankfully, the internet is available at almost all of your sites today.

There is plenty of internet speed testing software to determine the speed of your current connection. Virtual phone numbers have become extremely helpful such as Skype and Google voicemails. It also allows you to use US numbers to use something such as 2FA authentication.

Making Friends

Image of a group of friends

Can a digital nomad feel lonely? It depends. For some, it may. But there are things you can do to reduce the feeling, prevent yourself from being too isolated, and have an actual social life while being a digital nomad.

Depending on the city you choose, there may be a prevalent digital nomad community right under your nose. Pop open Google Maps and visit any highly-rated coffee shop, and you’re likely to spot digital nomads working.

Backpacker hostels are great for bringing people together, but it is often tough to get work done in what sometimes turns into a heavy party environment. Working in cafés or co-working spaces can allow a person to meet others. There is also plenty of great digital nomad Facebook groups out there and other online communities related to digital nomadism.

See Related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends

Emergency Backup Plans

When traveling abroad as a digital nomad, it’s important to be prepared for any situation that might arise—from being mugged and having your wallet stolen to not being able to find a place to exchange money.

A quick return flight and the right accommodation are your primary concerns. It’s important to have a stash of reserve funds in a secondary account that you can easily access if things go wrong.

Banking for Digital Nomads

What about digital nomad banking? It is highly recommended that you sign up for a Wise or Payoneer account, or both! Use the best travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred! It has no foreign transaction fees, and free flight rewards help make this a low-cost card for travelers.

For US citizens, Charles Schwab has a checking account that reimburses you every month for any ATM fees you incur at any ATM worldwide. At the end of every month, whatever fees you incur will be deposited into your bank account.

Picking A VPN To Stay Secure

While connecting to the internet in various locations abroad, it is a good idea to protect yourself from intruders and viruses by downloading a reliable VPN or Virtual Private Network. The Proton VPN app also supports smartphones—I love that!

If you’re traveling abroad, it is highly recommended that you download a VPN. A VPN allows you to browse the internet in a private and secure way. It will also allow you to access content that may be blocked by the government in whatever country you are currently traveling in.

Insurance for Digital Nomads

Accidents happen. Without insurance, they can cost you dearly. One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that there are many health care insurance and travel insurance options from which to choose—including SafetyWing, one of the most popular health insurances for digital nomads.

See Related: Best Cancel Anytime Travel Insurance

Final Thoughts

If your dream is to become a digital nomad, to be successful, you’ll need to be disciplined and organized. You’ll also need to be good at time management and able to stay on task. Additionally, it’s very important to find a work-life balance that makes you happy.

After all, what’s the point of traveling the world, living abroad, but being bogged down with endless work? It defeats the purpose of the nomadic lifestyle. So, explore your new surroundings and make sure to have some fun!

FAQ

What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to earn a living while also taking advantage of the location flexibility that comes with working online. This type of lifestyle allows you to work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop and a reliable internet connection.

What are the benefits of becoming a digital nomad?

The benefits of becoming a digital nomad are many. More freedom. Fewer office politics. But perhaps the most appealing aspect is the ability to travel and see the world while still earning an income.

Additionally, digital nomads often enjoy a high degree of freedom and flexibility when it comes to their own schedules. They have far more choice over their work-life balance compared to typical workers stuck in one in-person location.

What do you need to get started as a digital nomad?

First, you’ll need a laptop and an internet connection. Additionally, you should have some basic skills in areas like writing, graphic design, web design, or programming. Don’t worry, though.

These are just a few examples. Many office jobs can be turned into remote positions. Any kind of job that uses computers can theoretically be done remotely. Many digital nomads are virtual assistants. Accounting or bookkeeping. Sales jobs can be done remotely. Ask yourself: Can I do my current job remotely?

Once you’ve studied all the resources, have the necessary equipment, and all the skills, you can start looking for work. There are several ways to find work as a digital nomad.
You can search for remote jobs on various job boards. Sometimes in the job description, it will clearly state they are looking for a remote worker. You can also contact companies directly and inquire about opportunities for location independent workers.

How much does a digital nomad need to make?

The range of income required for a digital nomad depends on a lot of things. It depends on your lifestyle, and it also depends on which country or country you plan on traveling to or living in.

Some people can get by with just $1,000 – $1,500 per month in certain countries in Southeast Asia, while others in Central and Western Europe will need more money, upwards of $3,000 – $5,000 per month. Make sure to do thorough research on the cost of living in your target countries.

What do digital nomads actually do?

As a digital nomad, you’ll be able to do just about anything. When it comes to remote work, there are numerous possibilities to earn a steady income. You can be an entrepreneur.

Some digital nomads start online businesses or their own blogs. You can learn to invest for passive income. Or maybe you want to freelance and work as a consultant with clients all over the world.

Maybe you’re a programmer who wants to work remotely from exotic locations where the weather is perfect year-round. Maybe you just need some time off from your job and want to live in Thailand for a while before returning home.
Whatever it is that inspires you—the possibilities are endless.

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