The 2019 MBO Partners State of Independence in America study reveals that about 7.3 million workers consider themselves digital nomads – people who travel to different destinations, where they work remotely using the internet.
Digital nomads enjoy perks that those working in traditional workspaces do not experience. They get to travel and meet people from different cultures while being able to work and earn money to support themselves. The lifestyle also offers an opportunity for some to pay off their debt and save money since working in places with low cost of living allows them to incur lower living expenses.
The most challenging part about becoming a digital nomad is getting started, so if you think of pursuing a life working on the road, here’s how you can begin your journey:
Identify Feasible Ways To Earn Money While Traveling
Before embracing a nomadic lifestyle, you should have an idea of how you can realistically earn a living while traveling. It’s great if you already have an existing job or gig that will allow you to work anywhere, but things are a little different if you will be switching careers to become a digital nomad. If this is your case, make sure to identify jobs and other earning opportunities that will allow you to work remotely.
A host of sites such as Upwork and Freelancer allow you to monetize your professional skills if you are a graphic designer, accountant, or programmer. If you are unsure about your qualifications and are still exploring career options, you can start by providing virtual tutoring, social media marketing, and writing services. You can also create a new business and manage it on the go.
Take into account your skills, educational background, interests, and experiences when looking for a career to pursue. You should also consider your target market and do feasibility studies if you want your business to take off.
Prepare Yourself Financially
Despite the financial promises of being a digital nomad, it is smart to have a safety net in money matters. The job you pursue may turn out to be not well-paying enough, or there will be times when you experience inconsistent income. Emergencies and unexpected expenses may also arise.
Before you start, you must have enough savings that you can use in case things do not go as planned. Avoid unnecessary expenses even before you begin your nomadic lifestyle. Have a budget that you should strictly stick to. Make sure to calculate your living expenses, the cost of moving places, and your work-related expenses.
Research Your Destination
Living and working in a different state or country is far different from working just a few blocks away from your home. You get to experience cultures, languages, and practices that are different from what you are accustomed to.
Before moving to a new destination, make sure to do ample research about the place. Research on where you can find a safe and affordable place to live in. If you opt to live overseas, you should also familiarize yourself with the locality’s basic everyday phrases, the weather, and common cultural practices. Lastly, check out places where you can work and even meet other digital nomads.
Ensure That You Are Easily Accessible
Wherever you are in the world, your clients should be able to reach you easily. You do not want to lose good business deals simply because you are someplace with no internet, or it is difficult to contact you.
Make sure to have a gauge of the accessibility of the internet in your target destinations since you will be relying on it for work and communication.
If you do not want to lose opportunities, set yourself up so clients will not have any problem reaching you. All it takes is a virtual office. Virtual offices can provide you with a permanent business address and phone number regardless of your location. So even if you are working in Thailand or Iceland, you’ll have the same contact information and address in prestigious locations like Beverly Hills or New York. Virtual offices also provide receptionists to answer calls for you, so you can be assured you never lose important communications.
You can learn more about virtual offices and how they can help maximize your productivity as a digital nomad by checking this useful handbook.