Have you been dreaming about working from the beach, a campsite, or your favorite city in the world? You’re not the only one.
Digital nomads get to live and work wherever and whenever they want!
Being able to have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world may seem out of reach, but nowadays, anyone can be a digital nomad.
It just takes some planning and action.
If you’re ready to take control of your life and have the freedom you’ve been craving, here’s how to become a digital nomad and how to succeed in the digital nomad lifestyle.
What Is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad travels the world, or even just through their home country, working remote jobs.
These people can work from coffee shops, their van, and a bench at a park.
The one important thing they need is internet access.
So, are you wondering how to become a digital nomad?
The lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but most digital nomads move around pretty frequently.
Of course, you can take your time in each new place.
That’s the beauty of a nomadic lifestyle.
You can up and leave whenever you feel like it.
What Jobs Do Digital Nomads Do?
It depends! There are dozens of places where you can find remote work online.
Especially since COVID-19 happened, more and more employers are allowing their employees to remain remote as we transition back to “normal.”
Many digital nomads remain in their current job with their companies, but they will transition from the office to a remote office anywhere in the world.
Others will look for jobs online.
You can be a content writer, editor, virtual assistant, and work on data entries, customer service, graphic design, and freelance work.
You can even pick up seasonal jobs if you plan to stay in one place for a month or more.
Where Do Digital Nomads Work From?
You might have wondered how to become a digital nomad in different countries.
This aspect is arguably the best part of the lifestyle.
Digital nomads can work from anywhere in the world.
You can wander around the United States, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, or anywhere else you want to.
Keep in mind that some places may require you to have a tourist visa to visit.
These visas will allow you to stay for a specified number of days.
How to Be a Digital Nomad
If you’re reading this and thinking that being a digital nomad sounds like the dream life you want to live, you’re in luck.
Are you wondering how to become a digital nomad?
It’s within anyone’s reach but takes hard work and research.
Here’s everything you need to know to take the leap and transition to the lifestyle you want for the aspiring digital nomad.
Set Your Intentions As a Digital Nomad
Becoming a digital nomad takes more than finding a remote job and planning out where you’ll travel to.
It takes hard work and a total mindset shift.
Setting your intentions for the lifestyle and understanding what you want to achieve will drastically help you succeed as a digital nomad.
Identify Your Digital Nomad “Why”
Knowing why you’re doing something is essential with most things in life.
If you don’t have your “why,” you may not enjoy the lifestyle as much as you initially thought you would.
Ensure that you explore your “why” while researching how to become a digital nomad.
Many digital nomads have similar goals.
The main one is to have freedom.
It could be freedom from a classic nine to five job, freedom to travel whenever and wherever they want, and even financial freedom because you won’t have as many regular bills.
Why Is It Important To Define Your Intentions of Becoming a Digital Nomad?
Defining and knowing your intentions as a digital nomad is crucial to your success.
There will be times when you’re struggling emotionally, you have to step outside your comfort zone, and the lifestyle will challenge you.
Remembering why you started your digital nomad journey in the first place will keep you on track and lead you to success.
Whatever your reason for transitioning to this lifestyle, remembering it will keep you on track when things get tough.
Is the Digital Nomad Life Right for You?
Before you set out on this journey, understanding whether this life is for you is crucial.
While it sounds fantastic on many levels, digital nomadism doesn’t come without obstacles and hard times.
Learning more about the lifestyle from other digital nomads can help you decide whether this lifestyle is for you or not.
Remember, no two digital nomads are precisely alike.
While the lifestyle basics are the same across the board, everyone’s journey is different, so yours won’t look identical to another person’s.
A great way to learn more is to join digital nomad Facebook groups or other social media platforms.
Even if you haven’t transitioned to this life yet, seeing other women and men succeeding and having a place to ask questions can help you know if this is the right fit for you.
Making Preparations to Become a Digital Nomad
Now that you’ve decided that becoming a digital nomad is what you want, it’s time to prepare.
You don’t just want to pack up everything you’ll need and head for the airport or hit the road.
There are things you’ll need to prepare for beforehand that will make your life much easier.
How Do You Make Preparations to Become a Digital Nomad?
A lot more goes into transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle than you may realize.
It’s not as simple as booking plane tickets or packing up your car and leaving.
If you’re looking at how to become a digital nomad, you must know where to start preparing.
First, you’ll need to sort out your finances.
You’ll want to calculate your new expenses and how you’ll afford them.
Even though you won’t be paying rent anymore, you’ll still need to pay for places to stay, your phone bill, WiFi or another internet source, food, travel expenses, and more.
You’ll want to find remote work before leaving.
While you may have savings set aside that can help you out, for the time being, having a remote job lined up before you go can reduce the financial stress you may feel later on.
If you have gym memberships and other financial commitments, you need to cancel these before you leave.
You may want to keep the gym membership if you go to a gym where there are several locations around the world or country, but if it’s just local to your hometown, it needs to go.
You should pick where you want to go first before leaving.
Great places to start are those that don’t require tourist visas, have a digital nomad community, and a city where you’ll feel happy and safe.
Oh, and a location that gives you access to good WiFi so that you can work.
In addition to choosing a city, you’ll need to look into where you’ll stay.
You can select Airbnbs, other vacation rentals, hostels, or hotels.
Having this lined up before you head out of town will make your life ten times easier regardless of your choice.
Why Is It Important To Make Preparations to Become a Digital Nomad?
Making the above preparations ahead of time will only make your digital nomad life easier.
You won’t have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from if you have a job lined up, where you’ll sleep at night if you have a place to stay planned, and more.
Switching to a nomadic lifestyle isn’t easy, no matter how bad you want it.
However, preparing ahead of time will make your transition smoother and less stressful.
Map Out Your Digital Nomad Plans
Once you’ve made your preparations, you can start to map out your plans.
Mapping out your plans is arguably one of the most exciting parts besides traveling and exploring each new place.
You don’t necessarily need to map out your plans for the next two years, but having a plan, at least for the first place you’ll go, is beneficial.
Where Will You Live As a Digital Nomad?
Even though you’ll be traveling around the country or world, you’ll still want to have what many people in the community call a “home base.”
Your home base can be your parent’s house, a friend’s house, or another place with your permanent address listed.
As for where you’ll live as you travel, you can go almost anywhere you want!
You can spend one week in France, the next in Thailand, or wherever you want to.
Remember to keep a home base where you can receive any important mail or information when it arrives.
How Will You Support Yourself As a Digital Nomad?
Remote work or seasonal jobs are great ways to support yourself as you travel the world.
You can look online for remote jobs that allow you to work full-time, part-time, or as an independent contractor.
Other methods to support yourself that you’ll want to consider are freelance work, gig work, and seasonal positions.
Many national parks offer monthly work during the high seasons, which is great to consider if you love being out in nature.
You can always pursue passive income methods like blogging, Youtubing, or posting your travels on social media too.
You can always change your income source as you seek digital nomadism, but having a starting point is vital.
How Do You Find Accommodation As a Digital Nomad?
Finding accommodations as a digital nomad isn’t as tricky as it may seem.
If you’re concerned about how to become a digital nomad with permanent housing, the main thing to consider is how long you’re planning on staying in one location.
Some rentals don’t allow for long-term stays, while others do.
Typically, those that offer long-term stays provide a better price for extended stays.
You can search on vacation rentals and other accommodation websites for the dates you’ll be in whatever area and then choose one in your price range.
A lot of digital nomads opt for hostels since they’re very affordable.
The one downside to hostels is that you’ll share a small space with other travelers unless you pay extra for a private room.
The positives about staying in hostels are meeting new people and connections if you’re ever traveling to wherever they live.
Airbnbs and other similar vacation rentals are great options too.
They are apartments or fully furnished homes which make you feel like you have a home while traveling.
Many Airbnbs offer long-term stays if you plan to stay for more than a few weeks.
One of the most affordable accommodation options is to stay with friends.
If you know you have friends in the city you’re traveling to, asking to stay with them for a few days is another great option.
As you pursue your nomadic lifestyle, where and how long you’ll stay may change from place to place.
When Should You Move As a Digital Nomad?
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that you have the freedom to stay in a place as long as you want.
Most people choose to stay in one place for five to eight weeks to explore the area thoroughly, but you can stay longer if you love the city you’re in.
If staying in one place for five to eight weeks sounds like too much for you, you can always spend less time there.
As you visit new sites, you can always return if you miss a specific city or extend your trip as you enjoy the area more.
Start Learning or Strengthening Your Digital Nomad Skills
Being a successful digital nomad means having stable work.
Whether you work remotely for the company you worked for back home or freelance, you must make enough money to sustain your lifestyle.
Whether you’re a writer, designer, virtual assistant, or something else, knowing how to find potential clients and consistent work is essential.
The good news is that you don’t need to have any experience or specific skills to start your nomadic lifestyle.
How Do You Become a Digital Nomad with No Skills or Experience?
If you’re not sure how to become a digital nomad, there are dozens of remote jobs that don’t require you to have a specific skill.
You have to know where to find them.
When searching on job boards, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking for remote jobs, but you may want to enter keywords like “no experience” or “entry-level” if you feel like you don’t have the experience or skill set.
If you’re thinking of going the freelance gig route, getting your first client, experience or not, will help you land more in the future.
Most freelancer platforms show clients how many clients you’ve worked with, how long, and your skills.
Building a happy client base will help you gain the experience and skills you need to make a living.
Digital Nomad Job Ideas with Skills
If you already have a specific skill set, like graphic design, writing, accounting, etc., you may have more luck finding remote work.
Honing your skills and pursuing something you already are knowledgeable about and that you love will make living a nomadic lifestyle easier because you’ll be able to secure clients or jobs regularly.
For those who already have experience or skills, you can set up your own business and begin to earn passive income too.
Even if you don’t have the skills or experience yet, this is a goal you may want to try and reach.
Following Through and Settling in Your Destination As a New Digital Nomad
One of the hardest things about moving to this new lifestyle is pulling the trigger and heading to your first destination.
It can be exciting, nerve-wracking, and sad all at once.
You’re embarking on a new adventure, but you’re also leaving behind a past life.
Moving to your new destination will take some getting used to, especially the first time you do it.
You can do things to help yourself settle into digital nomadism easier.
Digital Nomad Logistics
Knowing where you’ll be staying is the first thing that will help you settle into a new destination.
Having a place where you can leave your belongings and feel safe will make the transition easier.
The same goes for where you’ll work.
You should consider the following logistical points:
- Do you plan on working in coffee shops every day?
- What about co-working spaces?
- Will your accommodation offer WiFi, or could you get WiFi installed?
- Are there any power interruptions in the country?
- Will the time difference of the country you’re staying in make it possible to communicate with your clients or office?
What Are the Things To Keep in Mind to Become a Digital Nomad With No Experience
Many people believe you have to have experience before becoming a digital nomad, but that’s not the case.
While it’s beneficial to have experience working remotely or traveling abroad, you can still learn as you go.
As a digital nomad with no experience, you need to keep in mind that it’s a learning process.
You’ll have good days, and you’ll have bad days.
Having a positive mindset and remembering why you chose this lifestyle in the first place will help you succeed.
What Are the Important Tips to Help You Succeed As a Digital Nomad
Some important tips that will help you succeed as a digital nomad are:
- Remember your intentions
- Have a remote job lined up or a list of clients before you venture off
- Make sure you have access to WiFi wherever you go when you need to work
- Enjoy yourself
What Are the Things You Should Do to Help You Succeed As a Digital Nomad?
You can do many things beforehand to ensure you set yourself up for success.
The main thing is getting your finances sorted out and knowing how much you generally want to budget per month.
Knowing what you plan to do to make money is another thing you need to figure out if you want to succeed.
Whether you’re a gig worker or a traditional employee, having the proper equipment to perform your job duties will allow you to succeed.
It means suitable phones, laptops, WiFi access, or the internet.
How Do You Make Yourself Stand Out?
When looking for jobs as a digital nomad, standing out is how you’ll likely land a job or client.
Knowing the market for what you’re offering and what your competitors are offering allows you to expand your services to ensure you’re offering everything the competitor is.
For example, if you’re a content writer, maybe your competitor and you are charging the same amount, but they don’t offer free revisions.
You could offer one free revision if necessary to appease the client.
Clients will most likely go with you because you offer something slightly different.
Where Should You Look for a Job?
When looking for a job, there are dozens of great options.
You can browse classic job boards for remote work like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn.
While these are all great job boards, there are a few options you’ll want to look into that are geared specifically for digital nomads and remote jobs.
Here are a few you can check out:
If you’re interested in more gig work, explore other options.
The two top gig worker platforms right now are Upwork and Fiverr.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a Digital Nomad
Digital nomadism is a beautiful path, but just as there are several pros to the lifestyle, there are cons too.
Pros of Being a Digital Nomad
The pros of digital nomadism greatly outweigh the cons of the lifestyle if you ask most people.
The pros are why digital nomadism attracts people in the first place.
Why Become a Digital Nomad?
The prominent reason people explore a nomadic lifestyle is to have freedom.
You’ll have the freedom to work remotely from almost anywhere globally, travel and see new places, and learn more about yourself.
Pros of the lifestyle are:
- You can work and live in a new city every few days if you want to
- You can see parts of the world you may not ordinarily be able to
- You have almost no attachments to worry about
- You get to meet new people often
- You have the freedom to do what you want when you want
Cons of Being a Digital Nomad
While it may not sound like there are any downsides to this lifestyle, there are some cons you need to be aware of.
What Are the Downsides of Digital Nomadism?
The nomadic lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but even if you’re dead set on it, you need to remember the main cons:
- You may spend extended periods away from friends and family
- It can get lonely when you’re traveling alone
- You may experience laziness more than you realize
- It can be hard to find a work-life balance
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning about digital nomadism is important to understand the lifestyle and if it’s the right path for you.
Check out the top questions people ask about the lifestyle if you still have questions.
How many digital nomads are there?
As of 2020, there were a little over 10 million digital nomads in the United States.
This number doesn’t account for the rest of the nomads worldwide.
How much do digital nomads earn?
How much someone will earn will vary from person to person and position to position.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, most digital nomads make anywhere from $55,000 to $90,000 per year or $10 to $30 per hour working remotely.
How do digital nomads make a living?
Digital nomads make a living in several ways.
Almost everyone works remotely, but the position will vary.
Some work in customer service, digital marketing, social media marketing, writing, editing, data entry, and more.
How long does it take to be a digital nomad?
Everyone is different, and it may take you longer to become a digital nomad than someone else.
It depends on how quickly you can transition to remote work, consolidate your finances, and ensure your finances are in order enough to begin traveling the world.
Some people can do this in weeks, while others take months and even a year to get to where they want to be.
Do digital nomads pay tax?
Yes! Digital nomads will still have to pay taxes.
Most jobs they hold are independent contractor positions which means they need to take money out for taxes on their own, unlike a traditional full-time or part-time employee position.
Traveling the world is something many people only dream of doing.
Transitioning to a life of digital nomadism isn’t for everyone, but it’s obtainable if you want!
Now that you know how to become a digital nomad, you can see that it takes a desire for freedom, planning, and hard work to work from anywhere while seeing new cities.
As long as you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, enjoying yourself, and have work and accommodation lined up, you can enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle for however long you want.
So brush up on those digital skills and start looking for jobs to start your nomadic life!