So what is exactly a digital nomad? A digital nomad is someone who uses telecommunications technologies to make a living and often works remotely across different countries, in various areas such as coffee shops, libraries and other public places.
The internet has brought about the concept of flexible working. A significant number of jobs can be done solely from the comfort of a laptop or even a tablet, internet connection and battery charger! This flexible working approach allows many to address their tasks and projects in more convenient hours of the day, abandoning the traditional concept of eight to five.
So what are the benefits of living the dream as a digital nomad?
The fact that you are changing places all the time, makes work feel like an adventure. You will be more keen to close off tasks at the earliest. You are less likely to feel demotivated with your usual surroundings since you are constantly exploring new spaces where to work.
Having the opportunity to work in different places is beneficial for your creativity. The fact that you are constantly exposed to new surroundings helps you combine different ideas together, allowing you to constantly re-invent yourself.
Travelling to new places on a regular basis will build independence. You are more likely to develop your problem-solving skills since you are out of your comfort zone. This is especially so as you are meeting new people and need to adapt to different cultures when you engage with the locals. Such continued exposure makes our brain more open to change.
Apart from the increased productivity which comes when working flexibly, you will also have more time to allocate for the things you love doing.
The element of adventure brings people together and forms new relationships. You will get the chance to meet new digital nomads and make friends. If you are travelling with your better half, you will have several episodes to look back at with nostalgia and joy.
Before taking the leap to becoming a digital nomad, you need to address a couple of things. You will need to determine what you are good at and how you can contribute to different companies who will see value in the service that you offer. You will also need to ensure that there is a demand for that particular skill and that the job can be done online.
Apart from these, you will also need to develop a certain degree of self-discipline as a digital nomad. Here are some tips to get prepared.
First off you will need to get rid of unnecessary expenses. This is especially so if you rely solely on freelance income which may not always be consistent.
Make sure that you have enough money saved to last you for a number of months as back-up if things start off less attractively than the way you anticipated. As an extra layer of safety, you may consider selling things you may not need, to make some additional income before you start your new adventure.
Travelling will most likely lead to good memories and key learnings. With that said, you will need to cater for the unexpected, and your health should be the number one priority. So, get that insurance!
Plan a budget
Accurately calculating your income versus your expenses is paramount to make a budget plan. As much as possible, you will need to stick by it to live comfortably and according to plan.
Set contingency plans
Nothing ever really works the way it is supposed to. Make sure you have backup plans for when things take an unexpected turn. Usually having sufficient funds should help you out in most scenarios.
Establish contact with other digital nomads
Building a network of like-minded individuals is also key for your learning curve. Talk with other digital nomads and get to know their stories and struggles.
Plan for 24/7 internet connection
Access to the internet is a digital nomad’s bread and butter. Plan accordingly so you can do the work required and communicate when necessary.
If all these prospects excite you, then a digital nomad career may be the one for you. This could be one of the best life decisions you make and with organisation, discipline and thirst for knowledge, you can lead a successful lifestyle.