Becoming a Digital Nomad

Enjoy the freedom of working from anywhere

January 9, 2018

Since the rise of the internet, and in particular, since the advent of powerful but affordable laptops and public Wi-Fi becoming commonplace, a growing number of freelance professionals have decided to become ‘digital nomads’, in that they use their earnings to travel the world and work remotely, free from the constrains of the office lifestyle. Being a digital nomad has become somewhat of a sub-culture, and there are now countless websites and blogs dedicated to this lifestyle.

This may not be suitable for everybody, of course, and it’s primarily younger people who don’t yet have the responsibilities such as having a mortgage on a property or raising a young family. Having said that, it’s not strictly limited to the younger generation, and there are digital nomads of almost all age groups and backgrounds.

Unless you have a large sum of money set aside that you’re happy to use, it wouldn’t be wise to simply pack up and set off on your digital nomad journey overnight. As a freelancer, especially if you’re just getting started, you’ll want to ensure that you have a steady stream of clients and revenue coming in to ensure you’re financially stable and secure on your journey. You’ll also need to make sure you can still manage if one of your clients stops requiring your services. After all, businesses are bought and sold every day, and if the business you work for is sold, the new owners might decide to use a freelancer they’ve worked with previously.

You may be in a particular field, or have such a successful freelancing business that you don’t have to worry about the money you spend on your journey. But for most, it will be a case of living frugally and responsibly, and always ensuring you have enough of a savings account to fall back on, should you require it.

The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t something that would have been possible a generation ago. You’re essentially being paid to be your own boss, travel the world, and visit the places you always wanted to go. In most parts of the world, you’ll find public Wi-Fi available, as most coffees, hotels and bars will offer the service as standard. You might be required to purchase a coffee, but hey, you’d be doing that anyway, right?

What you pack and take with you on your journey will depend on entirely on where you plan on traveling to. You’ll need to create a plan for your travels and make sure you have the necessary vaccinations and insurance policies. Depending on your country of residence, you may still be required to pay the necessary taxes in your home country, and you should seek out professional assistance to find this out, if you’re not yet sure.

How long you decide to travel for and where you go will be entirely up to you. Quite often, digital nomads will travel to countries in Asia as the lower cost of living appeals to them. Depending on your situation and budget, you might decide that you wish to travel around Europe, or discover a particular section of the United States.

There are countless websites which allow you to find cheap hotel and hostel deals, and even deals for dining out. Wherever you decide to travel, becoming a digital nomad can be one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences a freelancer can have.