Imagine this: one day, you’re in Bali enjoying its mesmerizing beaches and discovering the breathtaking ancient temples, and after a few months – you’re exploring the vivid culture of Berlin and feeling that urban vibe. What’s your next destination? Who knows.
Everybody says they’d love to travel the world and yet just a few actually go for it. Well, maybe “a few“ isn’t the best designation: according to the last year’s prediction made on the DNX (global digital nomad conference), there will be around 1 billion digital nomads by 2035!
Before you start making your excuses, allow me to introduce you to this growing global community. They’ve said no to a 9-5 job and embraced the exciting life on the go; their job is basically on their laptops and mobile devices as they work remotely from any corner of the planet, traveling from one place to another; they are the true cosmopolitans, constantly learning more about the world and discovering new parts of their identities through encountering different cultures.
Sounds tempting? This lifestyle is not a far-fetched scenario but it does require a specific mindset. And some guts, if you take in mind the pitfalls. But it is extremely rewarding: here’s where to start.
Choosing a Profession
Most people think that becoming an entrepreneur is necessary to obtain the digital nomad lifestyle. Sure, there are undeniable advantages of leading an online business and being your own boss in that sense but it’s unlikely you’re about to start big right away. It’s a different story if you already have an established business and so you decide to travel while taking care of it. Usually, people that look to become digital nomads start as freelancers. It’s best if you already positioned yourself on some of the freelancing platforms and have regular clients.
However, if you’re just getting started, here are a few tips:
- Aim for jobs where you’ll get a chance to learn; don’t allow yourself to fall into a skill rot; learn new skills that will help you raise your value on the market.
- Ask your current boss to work remotely; if your office job doesn’t require your presence, this may be a good solution.
- Start with a job abroad; making the first step is the hardest; the moment you leave your country, you will find you’re getting more confident and open to challenges.
In addition to entrepreneurship, digital nomads usually work as all kinds of writers (journalism, blogging, ghostwriting, copywriting), designers, developers, photographers but also as virtual assistants, online language teachers, and SEO specialists.
The key to choosing the right profession lies in the following: assess your current skills, figure out what you want to do, be open minded, and learn whenever you get the chance. Consider holding multiple job positions and adopt the “trial and error“ philosophy.
Embracing the Globetrotter Vibe
In order to figure out your first destination, there are several things you should consider:
- The internet availability (and the speed): your job depends on it so ask around before making your trip.
- Living costs: make sure you can handle the lifestyle in the foreign country you’ve chosen
- Visas: most digital nomads work and travel on their tourist visas but keep in mind that different countries have different legal regulations.
- Travelling opportunities: see if your desired location is in the middle of nowhere or if it is connected to other sites you want to visit.
- Culture and weather: these factors should not be overlooked; if you’re a part of a creative industry, you have to ensure inspiring surroundings and enjoy a climate that suits you best.
Some of the favorite places that digital nomads love working from include Ubud (Bali), Chiang Mai (Thailand), and Berlin (Germany).
Renown Hubud is the eco coworking sanctuary in Ubud, offering you a perfect ambient for working. Ubud is great because of the lifestyle: healthy food, freedom, connection to nature, yoga opportunities. You get all of this for approximately $50 per day.
Chiang Mai is a very popular spot in Southeast Asia because of the finger-licking cuisine, inspiring surroundings, strong wifi, and most importantly – incredibly low costs. For as low as $15 per day, you can live like a digital nomad king! Punspace Nimman is the most popular coworking space where you can get weekly memberships and 24/7 access.
Berlin is basically the European mecca for digital nomads. With affordable costs of living, you are in the heart of the action. Short-term rentals are great and so are the cultural offer and the world-class beers. The Workspace is one of many coworking places where you can peacefully work or join the community’s workshops and meetups.
Don’t forget to check out the Nomad List as it constantly updates the database of best cities for digital nomads. You can filter your search in a dozen of different ways so to find the perfect destination for yourself.
Technology has Your Back
When you live your life on the go, it can be challenging to stay productive and focused, respect deadlines, manage tasks, communicate with your team members during a group project, or manage your employees. Luckily, there are plenty of tools you can use so to stay on the right track and maximize your job efficiency:
- ShiftPlanning: This is a great employee scheduling app that helps your whole team stay organized. Organize working shifts easily with the drag-and-drop system, supervise attendance as staff can clock in, and manage vacations and off-work time. It’s transparent and easy to use.
- Hitlist: This app ensures you get the best possible deals on flights, making the planning of your trip less-stressful.
- Pocket: Forget about hectic bookmarked lists: Pocket is an app that helps you store articles you want to read later so you never miss anything.
- Workfrom: Do you love working from cafes but are afraid of the slow wifi? This app helps you find best places in a foreign city where you can get the job done.
- Toggl: a great time-tracking tool that ensures you become a master of time management and never miss another deadline.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of innovative tools that aim to make your life easier. Mingle and ask around, join online digital nomad forums, attend meetups and conferences. Technology can significantly boost your productivity so take the full advantage of it.
Try Your Luck
Pitfalls of the digital nomad life include being away from your family and friends, postponing major life events, handling health insurance and safety independently, and being completely on your own. However, you’ll see just how easy it is to meet new people and adapt. It can be extremely rewarding and it’s not as hard as you might think. We set unnecessary limits to ourselves. The world is your oyster, give it a shot! You can always come back to wherever the place you call home.