Imagine having the flexibility to choose your lifestyle and having the opportunity to wake up every few months in a different nation. Many people wonder how to become a digital nomad as the need for remote employment increases exponentially. On Instagram, you may observe individuals touring the globe and posting pictures of their laptops in front of the Caribbean’s emerald waves. You may have heard that some governments are introducing digital nomad visas to attract remote employees. The phrase “digital nomad” was just formally introduced to the lexicon! With all the talk about the digital nomad lifestyle, it makes sense that individuals would want to know how to join this lifestyle.
But how do you get started? You’ll have a head start on your quest to being a digital nomad with the help of this seven-step guide filled with tools and advice from my personal experience. Remember that there is a significant distinction between remote employees and digital nomads. While many of us stayed home during the pandemic and started working remotely, we weren’t digital nomads. You must travel and move around frequently to be a digital nomad.
How to Become a Digital Nomad
There is no unique technique for becoming a digital nomad; instead, it is each person’s path to adopt this way of life. But with just a few easy actions, we can help you realize your dream.
1. Analyze if a Digital Nomad Lifestyle is Right for You
How challenging can working from your laptop while traveling to a distant country with lovely weather and beautiful vistas be? Before starting your trip, you must ascertain whether becoming a digital nomad is something you want and if it aligns with your objectives and preferences. Understanding that being a digital nomad will provide challenges, such as discomfort, loneliness, and moving outside of your comfort zone, is crucial. These are only short-term, and if leading a nomadic lifestyle is something you genuinely want to do, you’ll be able to get past them and grow to love them even more. So, how do you tell if being a digital nomad is for you? Speak to those who are already following the lifestyle, read blogs, and join online communities to get knowledge from their experiences. You can use this information to understand the lifestyle and decide whether you want to work for it.
2.Decide What You Want
The most crucial question to ask yourself when you decide to become a digital nomad is, “Why do I want to become a digital nomad? Answering this question will help you better understand your goals and driving forces behind being a mobile remote worker. Additionally, it can help you plan your trips and way of life as a digital nomad in accordance with your objectives. When you’re feeling defeated or questioning why you choose to live this lifestyle, reflecting on your initial goal can be helpful when you decide to become a digital nomad.
3. Become Knowledgeable About the Ins and Outs of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
It would help if you researched before deciding to change your lifestyle, pursue a different professional path, or make any other significant life decision. Join online digital nomad networks, read about other people’s experiences, listen to podcasts, or enroll in online courses. Many occupations cater to a range of skill sets; all you need to do is discover your passion and talent. A digital nomad job is anything you can perform online to earn money.
4. Start Generating Income Online
There are two ways to generate revenue as a digital nomad: one is to work online, and the other is to have a passive source of income. Many people have discovered themselves working remotely full-time and have yet to make plans to return to the office. If you already have a job, you can accomplish it from your computer and are in this situation. Look for advice and helpful resources on how to get a remote job if you are looking for a way to earn money online. There is an unending variety of digital nomad jobs you can work to support yourself.
Some people work remotely for someone else full-time as employees. In contrast, others work for themselves as freelancers or business owners. Being a freelancer as a digital nomad is more advantageous if you already have expertise or are willing to learn one. You now have more control over your business’s hours, fees, and clientele. You should consider forming an LLC to safeguard your assets if you want to make a name for yourself as a freelancer. If you choose to work for yourself, you may immediately start looking for jobs and marketing your services online. When looking for a strategy to make money online, be inventive and think about what you genuinely enjoy doing.
5. Choose your Destination
Where will you go if you can travel anyplace in the world? Unfortunately, being a digital nomad makes things more complicated. People decide to live as digital nomads primarily to design the life they want. They are not confined to a single place where they must commute daily to the office. Instead, they are free to live how and where they like. When choosing your locations, be strategic and ensure they offer the tools and services you need to operate online. It would help if you also considered the complicated process for obtaining a tourist visa and how long you can remain in a particular location. What benefits do you want to gain from a location-independent way of life? Do you want to see museums, eat at novel restaurants, and discover a new city? Or you’d prefer a carefree tropical lifestyle where you could spend each day in the sun.
6. Make a Logistics Plan
Finding an online job and traveling to other locations are only two aspects of becoming a digital nomad. There are numerous details you must consider and plan for. It’s possible to wait until it’s too late to realize you must prepare for anything. Living this lifestyle involves learning from our mistakes, which can occasionally be challenging. It would help if you did some of these preparations before you depart. Others you’ll carry out while you’re out and about.
7. Budget your Spending
When visiting a new place, you typically have unlimited resources. If you lead a full-time traveling lifestyle, it’s easy to fall into this mindset. Unfortunately, it could cut your journey short if you don’t take charge of it quickly enough. A monthly budget based on your income should be made before you depart for your first vacation. Decide how much you can spend on travel, meals, entertainment, and lodging. Be sure to consider the time of year when visiting such locations. During the peak season, tourist destinations increase the cost of lodging and transportation. Your ability to live as a digital nomad can grow when you establish (and adhere to) a budget. Keeping an emergency fund on hand is a wise recommendation. With this way of living, you’ll encounter some unforeseen costs. Once more, this is a live-and-learn scenario. always having enough cash on hand to cover a return flight in an emergency.
8. Keep in Touch
You should think about how you’ll stay in touch with friends and family back home if you’re going on a long trip overseas. Having an overseas phone plan is typically relatively inexpensive. But what other choices are available? When you reach your destination, buy a local or e-SIM card. It is the most cost-effective way to maintain connectivity. Purchase a data-rich plan to enable the use of social media applications. Before departing, you can study which business is the most significant choice. It’s yet another excellent inquiry to make in an online forum. Before you go, let your loved ones know the best way to reach you while you are away.
9. Adapt to your new surroundings.
You could experience unease and confusion when adjusting to the culture and transportation in a foreign location or nation. Everything is normal. Give yourself compassion and time to absorb new information. Only some can enter a new nation prepared to establish themselves there. Be kind to yourself and take it all in. Try new foods, pick up a few words in a foreign tongue, mingle with new people, and even earn money from your laptop.
Additionally, keeping a journal of your experiences can be helpful. Express your annoyances, tell fascinating tales, and record your most significant moments. Later, you’ll want to reflect on it.
10. Learn from the Experience and Grow
After embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, nobody is the same when they return home. They can now see the outside world. They now have different goals and values. They frequently improve upon themselves. Make the most of this fantastic way of life to study and develop. Be receptive to new experiences and people. Throughout this voyage, you will never know where life will lead you.
Additionally, it’s a great time to learn more about yourself. Traveling alone often means spending much time alone as digital nomads. Make the most of this time to think about yourself and learn to love yourself. It’s an underappreciated yet crucial component of leading a prosperous nomadic existence.
The Best Digital Destination in the World
Now that you know what you want in a location, let’s make sure it is conducive to digital nomads. A few factors, such as dependable wifi and simple transportation, make a place digital nomad-friendly, such as a digital nomad community, a low cost of living, and fantastic weather. Inquire of other digital nomads who have experienced it! To find out about other people’s experiences in those places, post in an online community or browse through existing posts. First-person accounts are precious. Other locations are called “digital nomad hotspots,” which are excellent starting points for your journey. They fit every need and have a sizable population of individuals like you. Here are some of the places that most digital nomads usually choose.
1. Prague, Czech Republic, is the best historic city for digital nomads.
Thanks to its outstanding transportation, culture, and international connections, Prague has recently risen to the top of the list of preferred locations for digital nomads. Prague is a growing star in the digital nomad scene and an excellent option for remote workers looking for culture and walkability because of its affordable cost of living, vibrant nightlife, and stunning architecture. Prague has a wide selection of hostels, inns, and Airbnb flats. Although you can walk to many parks, tourist attractions, and coworking spaces in Prague if you stay in a central area, the city boasts excellent public transportation, including trams, buses, and metro trains.
Numerous coffee shops and coworking spaces with top-notch wifi are dispersed along both banks of the river that runs through the city. Prague’s stunning architecture and tranquil green spaces are always close, even in coworking spaces. Prague is rated highly by Nomadlist as a city with exciting entertainment and nightlife. Suppose you stick to free classical concerts in historic cathedrals, explore lovely public parks, and take inexpensive walking tours. In that case, you can have a great time in Prague without spending much money. Prague offers a variety of specialized doctors, several big hospitals, and good healthcare. Regarding female safety, Prague has a strong reputation as a safe city to live and work in.
2. Koh Lanta, Thailand, is the best island paradise for digital nomads.
Thailand has long been a favorite location for digital nomads due to the pleasant climate, active expat population, and quantity of useful coworking spaces. The lovely island of Koh Lanta offers all the benefits of nomads living in Thailand without any drawbacks of some of the more popular locations. Koh Lanta provides affordable lodging alternatives, including hotels, hostels, and Airbnb. Taking a tuk-tuk or hiring a motorbike for a few bucks daily is the most convenient way to get around Koh Lanta. You can eat well in Koh Lanta, mainly if you stick to the affordable, delectable local Thai cuisine. Although Koh Lanta doesn’t have a lot of nightlife or attractions, it boasts kilometers of sandy beaches, beautiful roads, and accessible places to appreciate the beauty of nature.
3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is the best place for foodies and digital nomads to travel.
Playa del Carmen is gaining popularity because of its stunning beaches, delicious dining options, variety of coworking spaces, and potential for affordable housing. In Playa del Carmen, you may discover hotels, Airbnb rooms, and residences. The town of Playa del Carmen is conveniently walkable. You may find reasonably priced cabs or buses for longer distances inside the city and to neighboring cities like Cancun and Tulum. With temperatures in the mid to upper 70s throughout the winter, Playa del Carmen is an excellent location for digital nomads, even though it may get hot during the summer.
The most alluring aspect of Playa del Carmen is the outdoors. There are always new beaches, dive shops, and gorgeous vistas. You will only spend a little on entertainment if you limit yourself to swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches. You can find all the required medical treatment with quality travel insurance. Numerous clinics and hospitals in Playa del Carmen accept insurance from all the leading companies. Despite Playa del Carmen’s image as being relatively safe, Mexico has a horrible reputation for crime. Despite organized crime in the city, it rarely targets tourists or other visitors. You should only encounter a few issues if you use prudence and common sense.
4. Taipei, Taiwan, is the safest destination for digital nomads.
Anyone looking for a relaxed and open city should choose Taipei. Excellent Asian cuisine, a secure and orderly city, and many direct flights from cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or the digital nomad center of Chiang Mai are all available. Aside from the peak months of May to September, when it may get rather hot, you can expect mild days even in the dead of winter. In Taipei, a vibrant population of digital nomads uses large coworking spaces and welcoming, spotless cafés as their workspaces. You don’t have to go far to find fantastic hiking and bike paths because Taiwan is a small country with gorgeous, varied terrain.
5. Belgrade, Serbia, is the friendliest destination for digital nomads.
Belgrade should be high on your list if you’re searching for a cheap, friendly, and cozy European city. There are many coworking spaces, good internet access, affordable meals, and an extremely colorful nightlight. However, the one feature about Belgrade that draws universal praise is how kind and kind the citizens are. Foreigners are generally treated with very little hostility, and everyone is relaxed. There are many affordable lodging alternatives in Belgrade, including magnificent flats. For digital nomads who want to stay a little longer, a private one-bedroom rental in the heart of Belgrade may offer the best value.
Digital Nomad Essentials
Being a digital nomad is fantastic, but if you’re following the nomadic way of life, there are several things you should have but may have yet to think of. This is a guide to nomadic essentials and suggestions to make being a digital nomad much more straightforward, not a packing list for nomads.
1. Use a VPN to Protect Your Information
Consider how upsetting and challenging it would be if your wallet were stolen while traveling abroad. Imagine your wallet has all your personal information, passwords, and credit card details. Still, you only realize it’s missing weeks later. This is precisely what occurs when hackers steal your computer’s data. There are several ways to prevent stealing your wallet, but how do you safeguard your online personal data? Using a VPN is the solution. A virtual private network, or VPN, hides your data and location when connected to a local network. It’s ideal for digital nomads who prefer public internet and work from cafes. To keep you safe, VPN services are relatively economical and conceal sensitive information. Additionally, it can make traveling overseas more efficient and cost-effective.
2. Know the tax laws that come with being a digital nomad.
Taxes are a significant worry that comes with being a digital nomad. Some people wonder whether it’s legal to be a digital nomad. A digital nomad will typically pay taxes to their nation of origin or the location where they have their business registered. But things can get tricky when they apply for a digital nomad visa. While some nations exempt visa holders from paying taxes locally, others do. A decent rule of thumb is that you do not owe taxes in a country if you reside there for fewer than 183 days out of the year. It’s advisable to engage an accountant because tax situations for digital nomads are so particular and autonomous. Someone who specializes in or is knowledgeable in traveling remote employees can provide greater guidance based on your specific circumstances. But take your time with tax time to do this. Make arrangements with accountants before you depart so that you are ready. They might even have secret write-offs and valuable advice for you.
3. Obtain Digital Nomad Insurance
Have you heard of digital nomad insurance? You’ve probably heard of travel insurance. Insurance for digital nomads covers more than travel-related mishaps. Additionally, it can pay for typical doctor visits, testing, and occasionally medication. Now that you’re healthy and in terrific shape, you might question why you should pay this additional monthly charge. You can never predict what will happen when you are constantly on the road. Therefore, purchasing insurance is the most excellent method to safeguard both you and your finances. Please don’t put off getting an insurance policy until it’s too late.
4. Sign up for an overseas phone plan with an eSim
Having a failsafe phone plan is one of the necessities of the nomadic life because having an international roaming plan on your regular phone plan for your home country may get very expensive very quickly. It’s not unusual to hear of travelers being hit with phone bills in the hundreds or thousands when they arrive home from a trip, so it stands to reason that if you’re on the road constantly, your phone expenses may spiral out of control.
5. Trustworthy Technology Equipment
Since you’re a digital nomad, having dependable technology to work from while traveling is a necessity. Even on a basic level, you need dependable technology to work, earn money, and maintain your lifestyle. There are many digital nomad vocations, and the technology and equipment required will vary. An external hard drive to back up important documents, files, or photos and a pocket wifi or booster if you anticipate being in areas with a poor connection. A dependable, quick, and portable laptop that you can use comfortably. Additional mouse, keyboard, or other comfort enhancements like a second screen.
Being a digital nomad has the advantage of letting you choose from various lifestyles. You unwind for a few months in a tropical paradise before spending the following few months strolling around a busy city. Spend some time reflecting on how you envision living your life. Make a list of the activities you wish to perform during the day, the types of weather you prefer, and anything else that would make you happy. You’ll start whittling down options from this list.
Being a digital nomad can be a beautiful lifestyle. It can be challenging to resist the feeling of independence, the ability to choose your schedule, and the year-round enjoyment of gorgeous landscapes and other cultures. We caution you to thoroughly prepare before choosing a spot for your digital nomad lifestyle and packing your bags. Take the necessary actions in advance to prepare yourself for the challenges of the digital nomad lifestyle and to increase your chances of success.