Due to major advances in modern technology, more and more people are quitting the traditional 9-5 work routine to lead the Nomad life or location independent lifestyle. The statistics show this figure is raising every year and it is attractive to many to be able to explore the world whilst working remotely. Living the Digital Nomad Lifestyle means relying on the internet to financially sustain the nomadic life.
Some of the reasons people are taking up the Nomad Life are:
The improvement of internet speed all over the world and modern technology advance, has made this form of work easier to do.
Companies and individuals are more accepting of allowing freelancers to work for them with flexible contracts.
There has been a rise all over the world of nomad communities and places to work such as, Co-Working spaces.
There are a lot of travel apps and services that allow nomads to work easily and effectively (for things such as: (accommodation, flights, wifi, jobs etc)
Many travel bloggers, nomads and companies have taken to writing and videoing life on the road, sharing their experience with others – which has made the lifestyle attractive to others.
“The term Digital Nomad consists of two words: 1) Digital, which implies online remote work, and 2) Nomad, an individual or family who constantly change locations without a permanent stable home”.
We have written over 23 TOP TIPS if you are considering the Nomad way of life or if you are currently working as a Nomad.
Research is vital to the nomad life style. Doing a freelance work has may challenges such as being in different time zones to clients or companies you are working for. Prior to planing this lifestyle many have found doing a trial to see what difficulties arise they can work around prior to quitting their 9-5 lifestyle. Also research visa’s and working in other countries as well as paying your taxes and most importantly how you will get paid, where you will live and the potential costs of each place or country you planning to stay in or visit.
Planning + Strategy
Prior to starting the nomad way of life or even if you are already living here nomad life, planning is a major factor. From planning where you will go to, accommodation, finances, workspace, wifi, what equipment you will need are just a few of the things that need planning when considering this type of lifestyle. There are numerous jobs you can do depending on your skills such as drop shipping, website building, graphic design, tutoring, teaching english, photography, creating digital products, working for others and companies the list is endless.
Be prepared that sometimes funds can run low, or getting work might be difficult, it would be wise to have some sort of backup funds for these periods. Costs of where you are staying vary so consider that if you think work will be difficult to get a times, how much money you will need to make your savings last.
If you did a trial run consider some of these things: such as: how much money did you make? was it enough? , were you able to stay motivated and productive?, what issues arouse and how did you overcome them? etc..
Whilst on the road it is important to find a good balance between work and fun. A good way to achieve balance is setting your self goals and tasks each day to achieve by set times where possible. Remember to have some downtime from your daily work schedule and take regular breaks whilst working.
When you are self employed or working as a freelancer for people or companies, it is important to set some sort of work routine, to maximise your time and to allow you free time for other activities. Lack of routine can lead to you feeling you are working round the clock and can lead to burnout. Try out different work routines and see what suits you the best.
Leaving your country or quitting your job requires various types things that need organising. Here are a few practical suggestions.
If you are leaving your home country don’t forget to get a medical / dental check up, using insurance or getting unwell abroad may lead to unnecessary expenses, also ensure you have the right vaccinations for the places you will be visiting if needed. If you take medication for any health related issues or other, find out how easy your prescriptions will be to get once abroad. If you have already reached your destination, find out where the nearest hospital or clinic is located, and which ones accept insurance, or how much medical expenses are, and where you can get prescriptions etc.
Equipment: Planning for all eventualities such as equipment failure or loss, for example: what will you do if for example your laptop or other equipment stop working? Most people rely on their laptops to work, think about your back up plan if you lose it or if it stops working. How quickly can you get back to work, what if you have clients waiting for work to be sent etc. Some remote places for example may not have shops where you can just buy another on or get it repaired. Also think about what equipment you need to carry around with you, to be able to work as a freelancer / nomad, for example you may need to invest some money prior to starting this lifestyle and other things such a software, computers, and cameras, etc.
Savings: We have covered this already briefly above, it is always wise to ensure you have access to some backup funds, to help you whilst work might be slow or for emergencies.
When leading the nomad / freelancer life it is important to connect and network with others. This will help you obtain more opportunities and maybe work. Look out for other nomads who are arranging meet up’s, facebook events, local events were you are staying or even arrange a meet up yourself. Many freelancers have found joining networks such as LinkedIn useful in establishing connections.
There are a numerous number of apps and services out there, to use for working freelance and as a nomad. Research these and ask questions in freelance /nomad communities prior to purchasing.
Some of the ones we like are:
1password for managing passwords
Harvestapp for time trackin
Xero for accounting
Asana for project management
Canva for design
Hootsuite for social media management
Dropbox for storing and sharing files in the cloud
The digital nomad life is definitely not all “fun and glamour”. There will be challenging times for some people at times. Learn to embrace things that go wrong and learn from them, everything is an experience and part of the journey and learning curve. It is important to have a positive mindset and flexible attitude when living this way of life.
Outsourcing is another way to increase productivity for some, this allows you to focus on your main work rather than dealing with other aspects of it that might be time consuming. There are many people working as VA’S and that are able to do other tasks. There are also some great communities on facebook for example to find other freelancers to outsource to. Ensure if you are doing this you have a system in place for monitoring how much time you are paying them for and how many hours per week. Ask VA’s or anyone you book for references and a for examples of previous work to get an idea of their skills and abilities to ensure you are a good fit to work together. Another important factor is to communicate your expectations clearly to the worker.
There are many places you can work from when doing freelance work, such as co-working spaces, cafes, your hotel or home rental. Try and find somewhere that suits you, some prefer lively environments whilst some prefer quiet spaces. When taking up this lifestyle or if you are already living this way of life, check each destination for places you can work in. Other things to consider are: WIFI, internet speeds, printing facilities, quiet places to have video conferences / phone calls / space to record videos etc.
In the last few years co-working spaces and hubs have become very popular with the nomad community and with freelancers, as they are usually fantastic places to make friends, exchange ideas and skills, learn, and maybe even to collaborate with. Many co-working spaces all hold events that might be beneficial to you and your business, so keep an eye out for them.
Time zones are an important factor when working as a freelancer or nomad. You may have clients in other parts of the world that you need to speak to at different times of the day or even for example to teach clients in other countries, you will need to figure out how to ensure this runs smoothly and you are able to work with people across different time zones. As you might have to work hours according to your clients time zone as opposed to the time zone you are in.
Connections + Friends
Having connections with other people is especially important for digital nomads and freelancers that are away from home. It is also very important for some people to have social contacts, events, co-working spaces, hostels and other types of accommodation environments usually make connecting with people easier there are also many nomad communities on facebook to make connections. Always ensure your safety when meeting up with fellow nomads / travellers especially if arranging meet ups via online route. Don’t forget your friends and family back home too – Skype / What App / Facebook / Video calls all make it possible to still see your friends and family whilst roaming the globe.
When working as a freelancer / nomad staying fit and healthy is important to function.
Establishing a good sleep pattern is vital to work working effectively / decision making, and productivity. Getting a good nights rest will allow you to do more work, feel less stressed, and enjoy your time working a freelancer / nomad, whiteout the added stress of feeling tired and irritable.
Taking breaks from your computer screen through out the day is important too, as well as eating properly and having adequate fluids to maintain a healthy balance.
Some freelancers / nomad join local classes such as yoga, fitness, and doing things such walking groups, joining the gym, and other things such a meditation, surfing, diving, etc.. Staying in shape improves our energy, health, reduces stress, and improves your mood and mental state.
One of the biggest stresses of living the nomad / freelancer life is finances is MONEY!! Planning your finances and savings along your journey and prior to starting your freelancer / nomad life.
There are many posts online on budgeting and travelling cheaply and many things you can do to cut down some costs, such as home sitting, booking cheap flights, where to eat cheaply, living costs on various countries, volunteering in exchange for something, and many more. Try and think outside the box when budgeting and planing your finances, some people keep records on how much they are spending along the way, which helps for longer term planing.
There are many ways to meet people wherever you are. Use meetups, social events, professional networking events, guided tours, coworking spaces and Facebook groups. It’s easy to meet locals who are keen on showing you around their city and who know all the lesser known and fantastic places that maybe tourists won’t be able to locate, It’s also great to meet other digital nomads, expats and visitors to explore together. These meetings can also lead to networking opportunities with other location independent people.
Remember Why You Started
Everyone travels for different reasons, but it’s important to know yours. If your intention was to live in a country near a beach, remember that and give yourself enough time to actually enjoy it too. If you left your home country because you wanted to get away from something, use your traveling experience to replace it with something positive. Set yourself realistic goals to work towards.
Have Fun + Time Out
Try and find something that gives your mind a break from working and that will give you some rest and relaxation. Don’t forget to take care of your body, mind, and soul. Treat yourself to maybe a massage or spa day or even why not try some activities local to where you are staying that you have not done before? Don’t forget to explore your local area, many nomads have taken to the freelancer route to be able to travel and explore other places and countries so remember to try achieve that.
Leave room for flexibility, when setting off on your freelancer / nomad journey. At times you may need to alter your plans and financial situation. A place could end up for example being more expensive than anticipated or you might get somewhere and hate it. Try and keep an open mind and give yourself time to settle and adopt to new situations, places and challenging situations.
Dealing With Unforeseen Situations
Traveling can be as exciting, but it can also drive you insane, things like hotels who fail to find your booking, clients who fail to pay on time, laptop technical issues, ATM not working, to loss of electricity or internet and the possibility of becoming unwell or losing something are all challenging sitautions. Learning ways to overcome these experiences will make you more capable of handling them in future and make you more prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Experiment with your schedule; to whats times of the day your productivity is better, find the tools and routines that help you be more productive, self reflect and make changes to see what improves your productivity.
Reflect and Evaluate
Throughout your freelancer and nomad life style it is important to keep a record of how things are going, some write daily journals / daily notes and bullet journals etc. After living this way for a while it is good to reflect and evaluate to see if it is still inspiring you to carry on this way of life and if not, what changes you need to make for you to carry on this lifestyle. it is also good to reflect on your productivity are you being productive enough? or even are you being too productive and are getting burnt out by doing too much? Whichever it is self reflect and remember it is ok to make changes to they way you do things, and we all learn by trial and error.
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