Work on the Move: Becoming a Digital Nomad – A Guest Post
There’s a big chance you’re reading this during your lunch break. Soon, the clock will remind you that it’s time to get back to work. Another beautiful day lost to desk life.
Remote work has been steadily increasing, with 70% of people around the world working at least one day a week from home. Still, that’s another several days where you’re bound to a desk. Fortunately, a growing group of people known as digital nomads have begun bucking the trend, working anywhere, all the time.
What’s a Digital Nomad?
To put it simply, a digital nomad is any person that works remotely while traveling. It may look like these nomads are on an eternal vacation, but they are working. Many of them have blogs they run full-time, or work as writers, marketers, and so on.
This lifestyle might sound like a total pipedream, possible only for a small percentage of people. Surprisingly, 4.8 million Americans identify as digital nomads, working on the go. That number is likely to continue growing, especially with so many people working remotely. (And more joining their ranks!)
Becoming a Digital Nomad
Before you quit your job and run toward the nearest beach with a laptop, there are some things you need to do in preparation for your nomadic life, and some best practices to follow once on the move.
Cut Spending and Save
While you won’t have the usual living expenses that come with renting an apartment, you will have travel expenses, a higher restaurant bill (most likely), and some general living expenses.
In preparation for your nomad life, cut down where you can. If you don’t need those five extra streaming services, cut them. Do you really need unlimited data on your cell plan? Cut that down to a reasonable number. (Your phone settings has a data usage area that you can use to gauge how much you need.)
If you eat out a lot, cut back there as well. Groceries are almost always cheaper than fast food, so find some simple meals you enjoy and stick with them while you save up for your trip. Also, if you own a house, consider turning all or some of it into an Airbnb space to earn some extra cash while you’re gone. (Those mortgage payments will keep on coming regardless of if you’re there!)
Digitize Your Business
It’s likely you’re already plugged into numerous clouds, but just in case, make sure you have all your important documents uploaded in a secure place. If you do any kind of doc editing, start using a cloud-based service like the Google suite rather than a local one like Office.
If your job isn’t digital yet, talk to your manager about going remote. If they’re opposed to the idea, make sure you secure plenty of remote work ahead of time. You don’t want to wind up in another country without a job and no money to get back home.
Have a Nomad Crew
Many digital nomads travel on their own, but that doesn’t mean they’re alone. Join an online community for nomads, of which there are many. These can be a great way to network, meet up with other nomads, exchange tips, share destinations, and so on. Life on the road can get lonely, but the right community can change all of that.
Create a Budget
Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a full-time remote job, you’ll still want a tight budget when traveling abroad. You never know when unexpected expenses will arise, like having to fly back home for an emergency or replace a piece of broken tech. Sticking to a tight budget will ensure you always have some emergency money set aside.
Once you’ve started your digital nomad life, it can be easy to let time get away from you. While it may not sound like fun at first, scheduling everything will help you get the most out of your nomad lifestyle.
Plan out your work days, your off days for play, and everything in between. This can ensure you hit work deadlines and get the most out of your time in a new setting, rather than aimlessly wander until it’s time to move on.
Embracing Your Nomad Life
No two journeys are ever the same, but the above tips will help get you on the right path toward becoming a digital nomad. If you’re eager to get started, that’s totally understandable, but take your time. There’s no rush to start your life on the move, so do things properly and make sure you have plenty saved up for any unexpected expenses!
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