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The 5-Minute Guide to a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The 5-Minute Guide to a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Work Remotely and Travel The World

While browsing Facebook, you might have come across some images and some adverts of people calling themselves ‘digital nomads’. These are people who grab a laptop, come up with a way to earn money online and then head out into the great open world.

They might be gone a few months, they might be gone for a few years! But because they are able to earn money online, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from staying as long as they want and from going wherever they please. These people have truly achieved real freedom – which is something that many of us can only aspire to or dream of!

But it’s not an easy transition to make. Many of us have spent our entire lives working 9-5 and we usually have a number of crucial responsibilities that make it very hard for us to just drop everything and go!

So the question then becomes: how do you go about making this transition?

This guide is going to show you just how easy it really can be to create an online business and run it from a sunny beach while sipping cocktails. At the same time though, it’s also going to go a little further than your typical guide and hopefully give you some tips on how to make that trip absolutely incredible.

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Making the Transition to Working Online

Of course the big road block for many people is making the transition to working online.

If you’re not someone who has experience with running a business, or working online, then you might not have any ideas as to how you can go about making money on the road or feeling safe enough to quit your current job.

Like many things you’ll find in this guide though, working online doesn’t have to be a big or scary task and actually there are many ways you can make it work.

For instance, you may actually find you don’t need to change your current job at all! You can often find within your current organization that there are opportunities to work online. Speak with your manager, supervisor or CTO and see if they are willing to let you continue with your current job online.

If they say no? Well at least you tried! But actually, you’ll find that more and more companies are happy to help these days – especially if you demonstrate how it can be done. You might even offer to take a pay cut or to alter your responsibilities somewhat. Just hash it out!

Another tip is to look for other work that you can do online. Search for jobs in your free time as you normally would but look for jobs that are likely to be remote friendly. Some will advertise themselves as allowing you to work from home, while others will just be better suited – like digital marketing companies, or web design companies.

Failing that, you’ll need to start your own online business. That sounds scary but it can actually be very straightforward and simple to understand. Why not become a freelance writer for example? That’s not exactly a complex online business but if you find a few clients it will be stable enough. You can do the same with web design too, or with programming.

The other thing to keep in mind here is that you don’t need to match your current salary. In fact, you don’t really need to be making a full-time income at all! A part time income is normally more than enough if you’re able to cut back on your expenses.

Another tip is that you don’t need to give up your job right away – only do it once you’ve proven to yourself that you can make enough money! You can do this by running your business in the evenings or at the weekends and then only quitting work once you see that you’re making a steady and healthy income.

Cutting Costs

You can help yourself along by reducing the costs of travel while you’re out there. That might mean that you decide to stay in hostels, or it might mean that you even use couch surfing! 

You can find cheaper flights on SkyScanner and by flying with budget airlines – or you could make it cheaper still by going on a road trip rather than flying! 

The key is to work out what your budget is and what type of travel you want to do. That way, you can work backward in order to find out what the smallest amount of money is that you need to earn in order to have a great time!

How to Enjoy Your Travel and Balance Work

Now you’re on the plane, you have a working business model in mind and you’re ready to start putting that plan into action as soon as you land.

It’s a scary feeling though and probably you’ll be wondering how you’re going to manage a business when you don’t have an office or how you’re going to balance your work with your travel!

The first thing to do is to make sure that you have prepared to work abroad and that you have the right technology and the right knowhow.

There are plenty of apps you can use in order to make working abroad that much easier for example. These include the likes of Slack, World Time Buddy and Asana – which all make it easier to collaborate over thousands of miles!

You’re then going to be looking mainly for cafes and other places where you can find free WiFi and power in order to work in. Somewhere where you can get a strong coffee and ideally, watch the world go by a little.

If you’re unsure as to where you can find WiFi, then some common solutions include:

  • Coffee shops
  • Restaurants
  • Public libraries
  • Train stations/trains
  • Busses
  • Hotels

Always ask if the WiFi is working before you sit down and check around for plugs! Another tip is to bring a power brick, which is something that you can use in order to charge your device in case it runs out and you aren’t able to find a plug. You can also bring a Bluetooth keyboard, which will allow you to work from a phone potentially if you have to!

This is also why it’s important to always research where you’re going to make sure you can find spots to work in.

This will help you to avoid a situation where you need to get work in by a certain deadline but you can’t find a place to sit down and get it done!

Another tip is to try and get into a rhythm. The temptation will be to work at whatever hours suit but this can make it hard to stay productive. Instead then, find a working schedule that works for you and allows you to travel and see the world. Remember: you only need to earn enough to travel, so there is no reason this can’t be a part-time schedule. Likewise, there’s no need for you to stick to the traditional nine-to-five. Work a few hours in the morning and a few in the late evening if you prefer. 

Another tip is to make sure that you don’t drink too heavily or stay out too late on days when you’re going to be working early the next morning!

Amazing Moments

If you find the idea of sitting in bars and cafes working off-putting, then try to think about it in a different way. One of the surprising benefits of being a digital nomad is just how inspiring some of the situations you’ll be working in are. 

I distinctly remember a trip I went on with a friend who also worked online. We went to Brussels and then Zadar, Croatia and we both had a laptop and some work to do.

One of the best moments for me was working one evening in a bar, listening to a band called ‘Schiller’ (I discovered them that night and they’re amazing) and drinking a few beers.

There was no-one else inside the bar but the door was open and some warm air was coming in from outside. The streets were cobbled and wet and there was a lot of nightlife and commotion just outside.

It was the perfect moment to work because it had such an incredible vibe and we both felt highly creative in that place.

With the same friend I once worked in a library in Switzerland. The library was located in the rafters with lots of wooden beams and through the windows we could see amazing snow-capped mountains.

Meanwhile, we drank free coffee and I worked on developing a virtual reality application for a company I’d just started working with. It was another amazing moment and felt like everything I hoped life would be as a young kid.

On another occasion, I have worked in the British Library alone. That’s an incredible place to work – it has this feeling of history and of knowledge with a huge internal pillar stacked to the roof with books.

It is also highly conducive to working online – lots of other people there are doing the exact same thing and there are even seat with lamps and desks built-in. If you visit England, I highly recommend this as a place to visit!

In other words then, don’t think of the work as being the downside. If you are someone who loves to find a spot with great atmosphere and to feel inspired, then you’re going to love this aspect of your travel too!

Making the Most of Your Freedom

Of course though, the real highlight will be the time in-between! It will be the moment when you’re sitting on a swing bench in the evening, listening to the ocean lapping on the shore and the sounds of a distant party.

You hold your drink and you look into the eyes of an amazing person you just met, who is telling you about their incredible travels – and you wonder if you might kiss?

It will be the moment when you’re hiking up an amazing mountain and you find your path blocked by a massive pile of snow. You turn to your friend and laugh and decide to go straight through it!

Some tips that will help you to enjoy this freedom all the more are:

  • Do the things that make you happy and be open to exploration and impulse. Don’t set out with a fixed itinerary or you’ll just make your trip stressful! You can even find things hotels on the go – no need to book ahead.
  • That said, it is a good idea to research the areas you’re going to before you set off. Not only for the WiFi but also so that you won’t come home only to realize you missed one of the seven wonders of the world right on your doorstep!
  • Speak to people! Meeting people on your travels is one of the things that makes them so incredible. Strike up conversations and sign yourself up for group trips that will make it easier to meet people. Staying in hostels is a good way to encourage more interaction.
  • Pack light – if you’re carrying too much you’ll weigh yourself down and this can actually make the trip a lot less enjoyable! There are plenty of tips that can help you to travel with less, one key thing to remember for now is that nearly anything you don’t bring with you can be easily bought while you’re travelling!
  • Stay safe – stick to well lit areas, get insurance and ask for help when you need it. Having your things stolen can really ruin a trip!

These are just a few tips that will help you to start making more out of your travel and transitioning to the life of a digital nomad.

If you want much more detailed advice and help though, be sure to check out the full ebook.

For now: Bom viagem !

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