Living by the sea, drinking cocktails and working all in one might seem like a bad idea for only few (and I haven’t met anyone of them yet). Is this trendy lifestyle a utopia that’s achievable only for those who are really successful, super productive or unbelievably rich? Well, let me tell you the shocking truth – actually, digital nomadism is accessible for anyone.
There are only a few basic steps to becoming a successful digital nomad:
Location independent skills. Most often, anything online world related: designing, writing, development, managing, social media, etc.
Then, most likely, also some kind of tech equipment you might need: laptop, camera, etc.
List of countries you want to visit.
Basic savings for first months and/or unexpected situations. (Which is also not obligatory. I started without any savings!)
So, let’s take a closer look at things to consider before leaving.
What skills to use as a digital nomad
The first thing to decide on is what kind of skills are you going to use to bring in some money for your location independent lifestyle. Most digital nomads are freelancers or remote workers. Meaning, they can work from wherever they want. How do you decide what kind of skills to use or learn?
First of all, take a look at what you already have. Many digital nomads already have experience in their fields and they might have worked 9-to-5 jobs within the same profession. At the same time, this is the moment when you have a complete freedom to choose your further path! So consider these questions:
– Can you continue doing what you’re doing now by being location independent?
– Maybe there’s something you’re not directly related to right now but you have some basic knowledge of and you’re really interested in? For example, social media or writing.
– Is there anything completely new you’d like to learn?
Whatever you choose, remember that:
You can get money with everything. You just have to find a way.
Learning a new skill will take a while longer than using existing one but it’s mission impossible.
It’s always better to start off with one thing you like the most and then upgrade your skill-set along the way.
Other thing to consider…
Whenever you’ve decided on what kind of skill-set you’re going to work with, it’s time to understand what do you actually need for that.
The answer to this question is rather simple in almost any case. At the end of the day, all you need is a laptop. If you already have one – great, you’re covered! If you have a shitty laptop and you think that you can’t become a digital nomad with that one – that’s not true. I did have a shitty laptop when I first started and I actually still had it when I went into freelancing full-time but I survived and my laptop did as well (rarely, tho). If you have a vision that you can’t become a freelancer without a Macbook, then marketing is working good on you! But that’s also not true.
As long as you have something to work with – start working!
Do you need any savings? Kind of. Everyone will say that yes, you do! But it also depends on many things. If this is not your first time freelancing and you know that you can pull this off – you won’t need any savings. Yes, it’s always a good idea to have few hundreds in your bank account “just in case,” no doubt about that! At the same time, don’t hesitate on leaving if you don’t have this money and you’re confident about your ability to get it (for example, you already have some freelance/remote clients).
It also depends on where you’re going! For example, if it’s Thailand or Indonesia – you’ll, most likely, survive with the basic amount of money in your pocket. If that’s someplace in Europe or you’re aiming to cities like New York then, well, you know…
So… Where should you go now?!
You can go wherever you want to. Is it a blessing or a curse? I often feel it as a curse, to be honest… There are so many options! How do you choose the best one?!
Things to keep in mind:
– Access to good Internet (never underestimate this!)
– Nomad community (cafes to work in, events, etc)
– Sea and warmth?!
– Cost of living
For starters, choose cheaper places and, maybe consider sticking closer to home to start, just in case! Some ideas: Balkans countries in Europe are really cheap and beautiful but nomadism is just getting starting up – Albania, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria. These days Thailand and Indonesia both are very popular nomad destinations, some might even feel that it’s over-crowded. Then we still have countries in South America, for example, Brazil or Argentina… Just open that map already!
Few other things before you go…
Digital nomadism is not always as beautiful as it seems. Recently, I published a post covering this topic: Is digital nomadism always a story of success? It definitely seems so! But whether it’s a success or no, depends on what you do for it! There will always be some bumps on the road and, hey, please be prepared to work hard for those cocktails!