How To Be A Digital Nomad – How To Travel The World and Work As A Freelancer

How To Be A Digital Nomad, How To Be A Digital Nomad – How To Travel The World and Work As A Freelancer

How To Be A Digital Nomad

INTRODUCTION

  1. MAKING MONEY ONLINE
  2. ELIMINATING BARRIERS
  3. CHOOSING A LOCATION
  4. LET’S GET BOOKED
  5. WHAT TO PACK
  6. MOTIVATION

Welcome to my “How To Be A Digital Nomad” Guide. My name is Nomadicnava, a freelancer working online and traveling. Months ago I left my marketing management job, sold most of my possessions, and now I’m traveling and living out of a backpack and carry-on.

This guide will help you through many of the steps to becoming location independent. It will provide you with the fundamental STEPS, TIPS & RESOURCES to begin your digital nomad life. I want to share what I’ve learned, experienced, and researched so that you can have the flexibility to work from where you like, and at some point, whenever you like. The fact that you’ve expressed interest in this guide means you are one step closer to achieving location independence. That’s an awesome goal and you should be proud of yourself for taking the steps to make your dreams come true!

Before moving forward, here is my video that explains more on What is a digital nomad?

(1) MAKING MONEY ONLINE

Find a Remote Job

Remote jobs are jobs that can be done from anywhere as long as you have a laptop, and wifi. While many remote jobs cater to web development and graphic design, there are a lot of companies now hiring for a variety of remote positions. Everything from marketing managers to copywriters to customer service specialists.

The following list below contains some great job boards for finding remote work:

Flexjobs: telecommuting jobs, part-time professional jobs

Working Nomads: curated list of remote jobs for nomads

Remotive: newsletter on remote tips & jobs

CloudPeeps: best freelance jobs

Fiverr: small project opportunities

Remoteok: small project opportunities

We Work Remotely: jobs aren’t restricted by commutes or a geographic area

Convince your employers

The best way to secure a job is to stay with the one you have right now, especially if you enjoy doing it. Convincing your employers can be a difficult and long process or incredibly easy depending on your company culture. I’ve found both corporations and startups to approve and reject a remote lifestyle for their employees. Have a proposal ready and speak with your manager. If your company has multiple offices across the world, use that as a starting point. Go where the offices are.

Alternative Ways to Make Money

Just in case you aren’t a fan of sticking with your company or working for someone, there are alternative and extremely effective ways to making an income online.

1. Freelancing: when a self-employed professional picks up projects as opposed to being contracted to a single employer with a salary based position

2. Drop Shipping: a retail fulfillment method where a retailer does not keep the goods in stock but transfers the orders and shipment details to a manufacturer or wholesaler such as Amazon. Check out Shopfiy’s Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping

3. Affiliate marketing: performance-based marketing where you are paid or rewarded by how much visitors & customers you bring to a particular business

4. Start your own business: for those that may already own one, automate your business

5. Create and sell your own product: this can range from e-books to courses to creative prints, etc.

6. Virtual assistant: usually a self-employed individual who provides administrative, technical, and social assistance to a client

7. Word of mouth/network: oftentimes your client base can be found through friends or their connections. Do not be afraid to reach out to them with your skills and what you can offer. In the upcoming months, I’ll be exploring more of each alternative ways on my Youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe and stay tuned for these informative videos.

On Freelancing

Because freelancing is my main source of income I want to dive deeper into this subject. Know this: almost all jobs, from corporate to in-person, can be turned into a freelance opportunity. You can be a freelance social media consultant, a freelance photographer, a freelance yoga instructor, a freelance translator, a freelance web designer – and MORE.

The fear factor of doing freelance is finding clients. Let’s breakdown how to find your first client:

1.REACH OUT: The first thing you need to do is send an e-mail out to your friends, family, and network. The fact that people KNOW you are searching for projects or leads puts you at the front of the line for potential projects. You will find people sending you leads even months after you’ve reached out.

2.NEGOTIATE: For those who are leaving their corporate job, see if there’s a possibility the company can continue to hire you as a contract or freelance worker.

3.PITCH: Do not be afraid to send out pitch e-mails to clients you want to work for. If a company or entrepreneur is lacking something that you can provide, shoot them an e-mail explaining what you can do for them. Note: what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. Before chasing this nomadic lifestyle I spent a tremendous amount of time researching networking, interviewing, and job hunting strategies. You can read them all on Oppin.co.

4. SEARCH: There are a variety of websites listing freelance jobs and platforms where you can set up a profile to be found by potential clients. Getting yourself out there is the key to finding leads.

These sites are:

Upwork: the largest freelance freelance job board

Cloudpeeps: network of top freelance marketing, content and community professionals

Toptal: network of top freelance software developers & designers

Craigslist: local classifieds and forums for jobs

Freelancer: where small businesses hire freelancers

(2) ELIMINATING BARRIERS

Eliminate the barriers in your life that keep most people from making drastic and unknown life changes like giving up everything and moving to another country to live and work remotely. Being a digital nomad means you’re living a life on the road. You do not have a home and you’re constantly on the go. This is a concept that is frowned upon by many traditional minded individuals that expect you to live the classic westernized lifestyle of “go to school, get in debt, find a job, buy a house, start a family, then die.”

This comes with some resistance so you’ll really need to learn how to let go of things that are holding you back or that are not necessary for your new life.

1.Losing Family and Friends

Its hard to leave your family and friends, but sometimes you need to make difficult decisions to live the life you want and your family and friends won’t always be able to join you. In my case, leaving my family was the most difficult part, although I do stay in touch with them via video chats, I just can’t be with them physically. Your real friends will always be there for you whether you are away or when you come back home. Important people will always continue proving to you and providing reasons why they are so important to keep you in your life. You shouldn’t let the fear of losing friends you’ve known for years replace the possibility of meeting new ones you can know for years to come.

2.Letting go of “stuff”

I owned a lot of things. I sold all my gym equipment, dual monitor workstation setup, flat-screen tvs, shoes, clothes, almost everything… But living a minimalistic life comes with the digital nomad lifestyle. Simply because carrying a ton of crap around the world is tiring. When you finally give up lugging around all that stuff you will feel a literal and figurative weight has been lifted. Don’t just throw stuff away though for the sake of “cleaning house”, there are plenty of donation opportunities you can give your things to for less fortunate individuals. If you keep things back home with your friends and family, you’ll carry with you this need to return home for them. This may be a burden you don’t want to carry around but if your decision. I personally only have my car and some clothes to go home to.

3.Debt A lot of people won’t like this – I understand. Don’t buy things you don’t need and don’t go on extravagant vacations if you really can’t afford to. If you leave on a trip running on credit you will only return in a worse situation than when you started. People who cannot handle their finances will have a difficult time living the digital nomad life. It requires budgeting, and a constant awareness of how much things are and how much longer your money can go.

A lot of people won’t like this – I understand. Don’t buy things you don’t need and don’t go on extravagant vacations if you really can’t afford to. If you leave on a trip running on credit you will only return in a worse situation than when you started. People who cannot handle their finances will have a difficult time living the digital nomad life. It requires budgeting, and a constant awareness of how much things are and how much longer your money can go. Truth is a lot of people end up saving money living the digital nomad life. A $2k studio apartment in Seattle will be like $400 in Thailand.

(3) CHOOSING A LOCATION

Deciding Where, Now here comes the fun and exciting part! Being location independent means you can go ANYWHERE, but there are particular cities that are more suited for digital nomads. There are also cities that are more well established within the nomadic community. These cities allow you to show up, make friends, and get access to a ton of resources for remote workers. The best websites to deciding WHERE to go is NomadList.

You can see the cost of living, places to work, and even gain access to chats and forums to connect with nomads that are already at the cities you want to go to. Some of the most populated cities with digital nomads (in no particular order) are:

• Berlin, Germany •

• Chiang Mai, Thailand •

• Bali, Indonesia

• Prague, Czech Republic

• Koh Phangan, Thailand

• Oaxaca, Mexico

Before picking, remember to consider:

1.SEASONS: How will the weather be like there?

2.LANGUAGE: Do majority of the people speak English? Do you speak their language? Are you willing to learn their language?

3.CULTURE: Cultures vary dramatically from Asia to Europe or South America for instace. Do your research in understanding how the locals act in the places you’re going, what’s appropriate, and if you can respect and live in those standards.

4.HOW MUCH TO $ Worth: If you’re from the US, the dollar is very strong. $1 USD equals 34 Thai Baht. You can live quite well in other countries for a way lesser amount than in the US or say, UK and Australia. Find a place where the money you have now can help sustain you for a few months as you begin finding online work.

5.TOURIST VS NOMAD: There’s a huge difference between where tourists live and nomads live. Well, aren’t nomads tourists? Yes, they are but they choose different areas to live. For example, in Bali all the tourists flock to Kuta as that’s known to be a party area. Digital nomads, on the other hand, will choose quieter areas such as Ubud or Canggu. Why is this important? Because as digital nomads you are working, not partying, and not necessarily exploring all the time.

(4) LET’S GET BOOKED

Logistics

Figuring out how to make money online, eiminating your barriers, and figuring out your destination are HUGE steps in becoming location independent. Now let’s figure out transportation and accommodations. There are sme things you will want to figure out before heading to a new country which I have listed below.

• PROOF OF LEAVE: Some countries such as Thailand will ask to see an exit flight from their country. They don’t like the idea of foreigners coming in and taking advantage of their economy and living on the fat of their land and low costs. What you can do is book a cheap flight to a nearby city/country for like 3 months after your arrival and have information to that flight handy, or if you want to do what I did and get a “Thai Multi-Entry Visa” then watch my video on how to get one and stay for up to 9 months.

• FIND ACCOMMODATIONS IN-PERSON: Even though Airbnb is a great option for finding a place to stay in any city, it is still cheaper to look for accommodations IN-PERSON. The best way to find a place for long term stay is to book a hostel/hotel/airbnb stay for 2-3 days and spend those few days searching for an apartment. Trust me, you’ll always get the cheaper deal that way when you show up and ask for a nightly rental cost then counter with a monthly rate of 50% of the quote x 30 days.

•VISA IS KING: Having a VISA is so important to a digital nomad. Without it, you can’t live there and even with one, you eventually have to leave. To figure out whether you need a visa at a particular country, here’s the best website.

•When your visa period expires, it is necessary to do a border run. A border run is when you fly to another country for a weekend and fly back to renew your visa for the country you were just at.

•TAX EXEMPTION: If you are a US citizen, you are eligible for some major tax exemptions if you are not physically in the States for a year. For a comprehensive breakdown of this, check out this information.

(5) WHAT TO PACK

The Packing List As a digital nomad you want to travel light. I initially TOTALLY overpacked…Considering I am going to Europe in the winter I not only packed for hot beach weather on the islands but also for October in Germany. It’s a hassle carrying around a ton of luggage and I eventually had to send a bunch of stuff back to America.  This was everything I packed for a year around the world. The best part about being a  digital nomad is you can sacrifice having a massive wardrobe for more functional technical equipment, which is way more important than looking good.

CAMERA: The Nikon Coolpix AW130 Shock & Waterproof GPS Digital Camera is a 16 Megapixel beast, its Waterproof, Shockproof and Freezeproof. Was able to film some incredible underwater footage scuba diving with whale sharks at sail rock in Thailand, checkout my video! It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication Technology (NFC). Shots video in Full HD 1080p and has 5-axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction (VR). This camera is awesome!

BACKPACK: I needed a large and rugged back to lug around 45 pounds of clothes and gear so naturally I got a Northface Hiking weather proof back for my trip. This bag has a ton of utilities and space for packing a variety of clothes and other items.

LIFESTRAW GO WATER BOTTLE: Clean water can be tricky in some countries. This water bottle removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria. It’s a traveler’s best friend against stomach problems and thirst. When you’re in some of these third-world countries and towns it can be difficlut to find clean filtered water, so do yourself a favor and get one of these.

PORTABLE BATTERY CHARGER: Having a high-quality high-capacity power bank with multi-device compatibility is vital to long days on the road, when you need your devices to work when you reach the next location with WIFI.

Some highly recommended free Mobile Apps.

• Workhardanywhere: beautifully designed and intuitive mobile app to help you find laptop-friendly cafes and spaces

• Slack: team communication platform, fervently used by remote teams

• Foursquare: helps you discover nearby restaurants, cafes, grocery, etc. Works great for international finds, more than Yelp.

• Tripadvisor: world’s largest travel site featuring hundreds and thousands of traveler reviews for like, everything.

• Duolingo: the best FREE, language app to learning other languages

• Whatsapp: a FREE mobile messaging app, alternative for those who are canceling their number from their home country and alternating between SIM cards. This is a MUST to stay in contact with others.

• Couchsurng: An awesome app and social site for meeting people around the world willing to host travelers

• Trello: This is a great project management tool for working remotely

• Slack: team communication platform, fervently used by remote teams

• Foursquare: helps you discover nearby restaurants, cafes, grocery, etc. Works great for international finds, more than Yelp.

• Tripadvisor: world’s largest travel site featuring hundreds and thousands of traveler reviews for like, everything.

• Duolingo: the best FREE, language app to learning other languages

• Whatsapp: a FREE mobile messaging app, alternative for those who are canceling their number from their home country and alternating between SIM cards. This is a MUST to stay in contact with others.

• Fiverr: Browse and apply for freelance projects and tasks posted from around the world

• Maps.me: This app lets you download maps of your local area and navigate around without an internet connection

• Freelancer: The main go to freelance job resource, browse higher paying freelance projects

• Bumble: Another dating app for meeting people who either live where you are or are also traveling

(6) MOTIVATION

You can do it!

I’m not sure what your’re doing for a living or what it is that you’re considering this lifestyle to get away from, but I know that I came to a point in my life where I had several reasons and prepared for the right time to make this happen. I gave up on a long-term relationship that was no longer working out for me, no matter how hard I tried or how badly I wanted it to work. I quit a job that I felt unfulfilled and underutilized, escaping the monotony of returning to work everyday, doing the same repetitive tasks and then going home not looking forward to doing it all over again or the impending emails that come through in between shifts.

The fact that you’re reading this guide means you are interested in something different, something more. There’s a lot of instability in this lifestyle that can range from money to health. The hardest part is making the actual move. The next the hardest part is sustaining it. You may not get support in this decision or if you do, people will not fully understand the extent of your new life. Becoming a digital nomad is not an escape or a vacation. You’ll find yourself working twice as hard in an attempt to make something unconventional work. So why even become one? Because you can. You can wake up, go to your office to work, come home, and repeat. Or you can wake up, be somewhere you daydream about, have the whole world be called your home, and repeat. You can do one or the other, which are you going to choose?

Becoming a digital nomad is not an escape or a vacation. You’ll find yourself working twice as hard in an attempt to make something unconventional work. So why even become one? Because you can. You can wake up, go to your office to work, come home, and repeat. Or you can wake up, be somewhere you daydream about, have the whole world be called your home, and repeat. You can do one or the other, which are you going to choose?

As good as it sounds to travel the world and live in amazing places, you also need to keep in mind that this lifestyle is not going to last forever! There is an increasing trend of digital nomads returning to their home countries. Even those that have lived and loved the lifestyle for many years. Some people work and travel for 6 months, others for 10 years but none of us will do it forever. Keep this in mind before you spend all of your time and energy taking this path.

If the only reason you want to become a digital nomad is to travel, a one-year world trip as a backpacker can sometimes be a better option. It’s a lot less stressful and really doesn’t have to be that expensive. At one stage in our life we all want to have some kind of homebase/constant comfort zone we can eventually return to, like I will want to eventually be with my family again and take care of my mom when she is older because she was always there for me and supported me and all my crazy ideas. That’s why it’s so important that you actually take the time to build a business that gives you true freedom and enough income to live anywhere you want. Because in the best of the both worlds you should be able to have both.

THANK YOU!

Hey you, thank you for reading this guide and I hope it helped you gain clarity in becoming a digital nomad. If this helped you in any way could you help me do something small? I’ve been working hard on  my Youtube channel and would appreciate it so much if you could head there, and share your favorite video. Any video! I will continue improving my content and posts for my followers and friends. Here’s some to consider:  “5 days in Bali” , “3 Months Around The World in 6 Minutes“. I appreciate you so much and am so excited for more adventures to come.

Never give up on your dreams!

Have anymore questions? Please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] or visit my blog nomadic-travel.com. Subscribe to Youtube.com/nomadictravel for adventure vlogs, travel advice, and more digital nomad content in the upcoming months. Remember, You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!

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How To Be A Digital Nomad, How To Be A Digital Nomad – How To Travel The World and Work As A Freelancer

Author Nomadic Nava

"Travel the world, live a better life, be who you want to be." @nomadicnava

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