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What You Need to Know Before Becoming a Digital Nomad

What You Need to Know Before Becoming a Digital Nomad
Written by Emma Miller
It’s the 21st century, the office is out, the backpack is in, and it seems that everyone as well as their dog is ready to pack up and have a taste of digital nomadism. However, the journey is not all unicorns, waterfalls, and rainbows, and it takes a very specific mindset to enjoy traversing unknown destinations to spend time building a career. It’s rewarding, beautiful, it opens up your mind and your soul to entirely new experiences, but it’s also challenging and often exhausting.

So, if you are eager to take on this incredible challenge that is bound to change your life, you might as well learn the most relevant aspects of working and living as a digital nomad. The following tips are here to make the journey more comfortable, but rest assured you’ll still come across your fair share of unique experiences.

Always have a supplementary source of income

Unless you have a sizable wealth at your disposal to cover all of your travel, accommodation, and sustenance needs, you will need to have a financial plan to support your goal. In fact, no matter where you come from, you’ll come across destinations that have quite a price tag precisely due to their overwhelming popularity for digital nomads, which will mean securing your budget with a few online gigs. You might already have a main income source, such as your blog or your tutoring job online, but you should always have a backup plan.

You never know when your employer might decide to end your collaboration or when your website will suffer a slow streak of visitors in the upcoming months. That said, you should always secure your finances with a support plan, whether it’s a freelance project or looking for a local job in case your visa permits working in your destination. When money gets tight on the road, it pays to have a few sources of income.

Gear up with the right tech and apps

There can be no nomadism where there is no “digital” in the equation. The vast majority of nomads already have an established remote career to rely on, which means they also have the gear to support it properly. First and foremost, you need a powerful laptop along with a reliable internet connection to work hassle-free. These are the very basis of your nomadic operations.

Furthermore, if you’re loyal to iPhone, you’ll need to learn how to use airdrop and similar handy tools to exchange photos and other relevant data with your teammates and collaborate with ease. These nifty solutions will simplify your workflow, and you can always rely on time-tracking apps to ensure you’re eliminating any time-wasters and distractions in order to focus and deliver your projects on time.

Do your homework on destinations

Unfortunately, we still don’t live in a borderless world, and you need to be familiar with the rules and laws of the countries you intend to visit during your digital nomad adventure. It also depends on where you come from, as different passports have different permissions across the globe, so you may have restrictions in one region, while you can spend as much time as you please in another. For example, if you are a US citizen, you can spend up to three months in the Schengen countries in Europe, while others may allow a longer stay.

On a slightly different note, as popular as a destination may be, it might not come with all the needed prerequisites for conducting your job on a daily basis. For example, Greek islands are beautiful and brimming with historic hotspots, but their internet is notoriously unstable, making it almost impossible to commit to a work schedule.

Prepare to balance work and exploration

The representation of digital nomadism you commonly see online is often not the entire story. Of course, you will get to see extraordinary places and meet incredible people, all of which will expand your views beyond your wildest dreams, but there’s still the need to stay professional and dedicate time to building a career. There will be times when you have to abandon your sightseeing goals to meet a tight deadline for a demanding client, or work nights to be available in a different time zone.

What matters most is to begin your journey by crafting a flexible work schedule and enforcing healthy habits that will allow you to handle occasional setbacks. That way, you’ll be able to spend several months in a single location and fairly allocate your time for work and exploration.

You might get lonely

On a final note, if you plan to become a solo nomad, it goes without saying that all the excitement of travel can never replace the connections and bonds you have with your friends and family at home. Of course, you will meet plenty of travelers and locals on the road, but rest assured, these will be mostly fleeting connections.

That’s why you need to make sure you include plenty of socializing on your travels, enjoy different events, and head back home when you feel the need to reconnect with your roots and spend some quality time with your loved ones.

Ultimately, being a digital nomad is an incredible adventure you can use to grow both as a human being and as a professional. Just make sure you’re prepared to tackle the challenges, and the journey will not disappoint!

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s. 1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned. I’m sure many can relate…the challenges of being a single working mom—an entrepreneur. 2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating? I really appreciate the freedom my work allows me. Being able to stay at home when necessary, travel and communicate with people from different backgrounds. 3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have. Definitely building my career and raising my kids. 4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity? My Perfectionism and stubbornness for sure. 5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?” I’m lucky and I Love my life as a mom and an entrepreneur.

About the author

Emma Miller

Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. Works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.

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