4 Tips to Pursue the Digital Nomad Life
When you look at the most successful blogs and come across those success stories of digital nomads globetrotting into the most exotic countries of the world, all of these make it seem like a breeze. Yet, making the actual change and switching to such a way of life is anything but. It’s challenging, financially difficult, it puts a strain on your relationships, it shifts your very core and pushes you to leave anything resembling your comfort zone.
No more “hey neighbor” greetings in the coffee shop down the street, or simply prancing into your favorite hair salon and saying “just like that last time, Viv”. No more using one currency, knowing exactly where you want to go on any given Friday night, or fully comprehending tax laws for that matter.
Still, this level of adventure comes with freedom, exploration, and endless beauty, all of which helps you make the most of this change of pace and allows you to become a different self. Before you can actually call yourself a digital nomad, though, there are some steps you should take to make sure your journey has a better chance of success!
Get rid of any debt you might have
The very first mistake many eager digital nomads make is leave their jobs and start traveling without paying off their loans and getting rid of any debt. A clean financial slate is a must when you want to change locations and careers indefinitely, and especially if you’re not certain about your position in your new remote career.
So, before you start packing, check if you need to take care of your finances. Give yourself enough time to clear out your debt, earn a little nest egg for emergencies, and look for a stable position that allows you to work remotely. Otherwise, you should give yourself some time to have a stable source of income even if that means managing a few different clients.
Find local work as an English teacher
If you’d prefer to explore different cultures by immersing yourself in them, then finding local work can be a perfect way to do just that, especially if you’re a native English speaker. This is one of those lucrative skills that can help you earn as you travel, especially if you want to see different regions in Asia. So, for example, you can even perfect your teaching with local schools such as Monkey Tree in Hong Kong and get certified to teach the locals English.
This is a brilliant, yet simple way to earn your way through your travels, meet new people, and truly experience the local culture no matter where you go and how long you wish to stay. Plus, teaching English is certainly not something that will lose relevance, and it can always be useful to look for work in that field.
Create a routine that you can actually follow
Too many people believe that being a digital nomad means leaving a place at a moment’s notice and spontaneously visiting exotic places where you have spontaneous access to flawless internet. The truth is, you need to plan your trips carefully, as well as your work schedule, especially if you work for a single business remotely and need to deliver your work on time every day.
Make sure that you have a schedule for your every day, plan out your meals, your exercise routine to keep your energy levels up and your immune system strong, and always plan for travel and health insurance. Schedule your client calls and email responses so that you prevent disruptions while you work. Similar steps can make a huge difference for every single job that you do while you’re on the go.
Let go of idealistic nomadism visions
Do you know what comes before that idyllic image of a woman typing away at her laptop with a mojito by her side, overlooking a beach sunset somewhere in the Maldives? Well, countless hours on countless flights, sleepless nights, lost luggage, hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, sleeping on airport benches, and dozens of Instagram filters, for one. She is probably exhausted, she is likely not drinking and working, but she finally has some free time to bask in the view before she starts a new project, and she likely doesn’t have a clue where the nearest bathroom is.
Being a digital nomad can never live up to a fantasy concocted by unrealistic expectations and those perfect images you see online. Let go of them all, and you’ll do yourself a great favor, one that will help you shape your own vision of being a digital nomad.
Becoming a digital nomad is certainly not a single leap into something you know. Much like it takes time for you to get used to a new job in a new company, or a home in a new neighborhood, treat your new career path as somewhat of a life-changer, because that’s precisely what it is. The beauty of it is that you can truly prepare for the journey and take the reins to craft the kind of life you wish to live – give or take a few canceled flights and such. Get creative and get ready for a nomadic adventure of a lifetime!
Lead photo by Hu Chen