Becoming a full-time digital nomad is a daunting task, there is much to consider and plenty of mistakes to be made. You should be willing to accept a few risks and plan for flexibility. Getting started as a location independent professional is not much different than starting a long-term travel adventure. Your goal is to combine and simplify many aspects of your life and to plan for the additional burden of working remotely while you travel.
A mobile office is a essential to being able to work on the road. A laptop computer, accessories, phone and Internet connection are the core components of a mobile office. Although your choice of gear maybe be deeply personal, you should build your mobile office based on reliability, redundancy and restraint.
Software is another important part of your mobile office. Make sure you have what you need to do your work and stay connected. Test everything before you leave! Dealing with software problems on the road is frustrating, especially in a foreign country. Know how to back up your important files and how to restore them in an emergency. Also consider online software storage solutions that may reduce risk and make life easier.
Financial planning is an important aspect of being a digital nomad. It is a skill that is often overlooked, especially in today’s society. Many live on credit or paycheck to paycheck and rely on social programs to assist when hard times come. For a digital nomad these are rarely options.
Financial planning is as much about peace of mind as it is about keeping a roof over your head. It is difficult to enjoy a life of freedom if you second guess choices because you’re worried about money. A little budgeting will allow you to live flexibly and respond without fear to the ever-changing situations a nomadic lifestyle presents you.
It is important to a bit of soul searching before you start planning your location independent lifestyle. Figure out what you want to do and define short and long term goals to achieve it. For us this process was a long time in the making.
We’ve always preferred to work remotely and keep our own schedule. We made the most of this and traveled as much as possible. Unfortunately it took us several years to realize that we needed a new lifestyle instead of different ways to live the same.
Digital nomads are successful because we use technology to maintain first world jobs remotely. We often live in less developed regions and enjoy a life that is cheaper than the location of our employer. This allows us to work less, if we choose, and spend more time doing what we like.
Having a source of income that can be earned from anywhere is the key to becoming a digital nomad. Your choice is to adapt your existing career or start a new profession that can be done remotely. Depending on where you start this can be easy or life-alteringly difficult. The good news is that once you’ve got work figured out, the rest will fall into place without much trouble.