I have been a digital nomad since January 2012, when I decided to quit my job and go backpacking in Europe for 70 days. I meant for it to be a “brief break” from my work as a counselor for abused kids; that break has stretched to 7 years, and I still have no plans of quitting my lifestyle! While I have yet to write about my journey, here’s a contributed article from a fellow DN about what’s it like to be location independent.
Traditionally, the word “nomad” conjures images of people riding camels and going from one desert oasis to another, packing up when they have exhausted their resources.
Nowadays, just about anyone can become a nomad. You don’t have to move to the desert or learn to ride a camel. All you need is a suitcase, some marketable skills, and you’re good to go.
More and more people quit their day jobs to travel the world and make it on their own. There are plenty of success stories out there (like Aleah!), people who create a successful online business and make it work.
There are lots of horror stories, too, like this couple who quit their job and ended up penniless after selling all their possessions to sail around the world and then crashed their boat one hour outside the harbor.
How can you make sure you succeed and become a successful digital nomad? We’ve got some tips below.
Gain Some Job Experience Before Becoming a Digital Nomad
You might have dreams of immediately graduating college or high school, buying a suitcase, and jet setting around the world. While it’s a great dream, the majority of digital nomads do have experience before embarking on their adventures.
If you’re planning on becoming a freelancer, you’ll want to build up a client base. Other digital nomads take the entrepreneurial route in something like e-commerce. It’s an exploding business, but it does require a bit of business savvy and capital in order to get started.
Just like anything else, it’s going to take some time and effort. It is not as easy as most online articles will have you believe.
Establish a Work-Life Balance
As a digital nomad, you’re going to be the master of your own time. You might be five time zones from other team members or the home office, so it’s important to set up a solid schedule.
If you’re an early riser, make sure you stick to an earlier work schedule. If you have to adjust your working schedule during the day, then make sure you are leaving enough time to work properly while also being able to enjoy other activities.
The most important thing is to be consistent and set up a solid routine.
Bring the Right Equipment
When traveling around the world, you’re going to want to bring electronic equipment that is portable and easy to use.
While having a 17-inch monitor may be great, those are pretty hard to fit in the majority of backpacks. You don’t need an Nvidia 1070 GTX graphics card either. Choose whether you’re going to need Windows or Apple. Aleah has a Dell XPS and she loves it.
Invest in a VPN, too, so you can change your digital location at the drop of a hat. Buy a good universal adapter. Purchase one that will last and has adapters for all countries. You may never know where you adventures will take you next!
Hate to break it to you, but the life of a digital nomad isn’t going to make you a multi-millionaire anytime soon. But that’s OK because you’re going to be traveling all over the world and seeing plenty of places people only usually dream of.
Let’s go back to the idea of being an entrepreneur in e-commerce. With the global market projected to have a value of around $6 trillion by 2022, it seems perfect for a startup business. And with it being e-commerce, you can perform this job from just about anywhere.
As with any big project, it’s good to start out small before you jump in to try and compete with others. With such growth, there are going to be tons of people out there looking to jump into the game as well.
Take baby steps before you start running to your next objective.
Be An Open Book
There is no perfect formula out there for becoming a successful digital nomad. Everyone’s situation and path is going to be different. But, one thing you can carry with you is always lending an open ear and being an open book.
With e-commerce, there is going to be a lot to learn. Even if you have a degree in business, marketing, digital marketing, or supply chain management, the real world is the best teacher.
Try to learn as much as you can through free tools online, like YouTube or Google. You’ll learn the importance of a great domain name, how to improve your SEO, e-commerce options like dropshipping, and much more.
With such a rapidly growing market, there are bound to be new tips and tricks floating out there every day, some of which you may even discover and invent on your own.
Don’t Forget to Travel
Even though your professional life may bog you down from time to time and consume most of your day, it’s important to remember the “nomad” part of your title. You’re out here to see the world, experience new cultures, and try new foods.
Make sure you’re taking time for yourself to add new stamps to your passport and relax from time to time. You don’t have to be told that traveling is good for the soul, so take some time just for you.
Would you like to be a digital nomad? Ask me anything and I’ll try my best to help you!