Digital Nomad Jobs (How To Create Your Life On The Road)

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This article will help you go from Zero To Globetrotting with Digital Nomad Jobs. If you are looking for a community of digital nomads where you can get support, advice and education check out Location Indie. Now, onto the show…“This isn’t going to work.” I thought it myself as 50 people stared up at me, half drunk and waiting for my next words.Sure, my gig was pretty sweet. There are worse jobs in the world than teaching people about whiskey and this dinner event was all about education…and drinking of course.From history, to aging techniques, how to taste properly and of course the multitude of benefits surrounding particular brown spirits brands.After well over a decade on the road managing touring events, a short stint as an adventure travel tour guide and tour manager of a kick ass 2 piece band I was using this ‘regular job’ to settle into one place for a bit.But working as a “Spirits Specialist” meant spending days in bars, befriending bartenders (the fun part) and being a corporate shill for major booze brands. It’s not that these bottles of booze weren’t enjoyable to drink, it’s just they didn’t care too much for my personal goals, nor I for theirs.After a year of going in and out of bars selling alcohol, a devastating break up and a helluva lot of self exploration my spark for life was slowly beginning to return.And a new idea was forming…What if I could live and work anywhere in the world I wanted?What if I weren’t tied to one place because of my job?What if…there was some way to break free?Stumbling around the internet like a drunken customer at another tequila seminar, I came across the term digital nomad.Apparently there was a whole universe of people living the location independent lifestyle. Creating their own jobs. Generating income while traveling wherever they wanted.Not only that, many of them were doing something that actually mattered to them, and helping people at the same time! I used to love my traveling work, and even enjoyed the booze sales biz for a bit, but knew instinctively it was time for a change. I needed to get back to my nomadic existence.Are you looking to become a digital nomad?Chris’ (Free) Brief Guide to World Domination helped me understand that there were like minded people out there living non-traditional lives. “Doing this on my own terms is possible,” I thought.Now was the time to get my hands dirty, stop talking about ideas and actually do something to make this new dream a reality.This involved, starting a pretty bad blog, attempting to learn new skills through self-education, publicly committing to becoming a digital nomad and getting support by joining the Puttylike community and the location rebel crew run by Sean Ogle.It took about a year but eventually I began consulting, started a business and was working from Europe.I won’t sell you the dream, and certainly don’t want to tell you how to run your life. Being a digital nomad has it’s own set of challenges (I’ll save that for another article), but damn does it feel good to work remotely. It’s perfect for the lifestyle I want to have.Everybody has a different path, maybe you are already on yours or perhaps you’ll find an even faster way to go from zero to digital nomad.If you’re up for walking down this road, the important thing is to get started with something…anything! There is no shame is starting while you are home. It’s a good test to see if you can take your show on the road.Without further ado, here are just a few ways to create digital nomad jobs for yourself. Feeling motivated? Get started on one of these after you read this article.FreelanceEver seen that movie Taken with Liam Neeson?Ok, I haven’t either. But there is that famous line where Liam, being a total badass warns his daughter’s kidnappers;“..What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”You too have a particular set of skills that you can use for good. Choose your best and sell your skills and services by the hour, day or job. If your wondering what on earth you have to offer, the answer is plenty.NEVER underestimate what you know.If you are responsive, professional and easy to work with you’re already 5 steps ahead of many freelancers, even if your skills are average.On the most basic level there are still things anybody can do, for example data entry, administrative assistance or offering transcription services. You could even sing happy birthday in your underwear and get paid. Seriously I actually hired somebody to do this for my buddy (more on that in second).Freelancing is easier than ever. Give it a try before you take off on a long journey and see how it goes. There is everything to gain (extra money, location independence, building a client base, etc) and nothing to lose, except some time.Step #1 – Decide On the Skills and Services You’ll PromoteWhile you are freelancing keep improving that skill through self-study and you’ll continue getting more work.Take free classes from experts to become a pro at creative live or grab a couple of Amazon books with 5 star reviews on your subject.It’s amazing how quickly you can acquire new skills. With just a little self-study you can learn more about your subject than the majority of people on the planet.Step #2 – Advertise You Freelance SkillsFirst, it’s always a good idea to put the word out to friends and family. Word of mouth and referral are always the best sources for new business. Don’t be shy, put your intentions out on your favorite social network or call up everybody you know and tell them what you’re up to.You can also get a profile up on an existing freelancer based website and get the word out. A few possibilities include:odesk.comelance.comfiverr.com (where I hired the bikini wearing singing man)freelancer.comguru.comLook at the top rated freelancers in your category. How are their profiles structured? What makes them stand out? Don’t reinvent the wheel, just do what they do but with your own flare.Some sites specialize in certain industries for example designers might want to try 99 Designs or writers may look at a site like textbroker.comStep #3 – Actively Reach Out and Start Doing Freelance WorkDon’t sit back and wait for the jobs to come, although that may happen it’s always good to be proactive. Bid for jobs and offer your services everywhere you can.Step #4 – Keep You Projects OrganizedClients like an easy workflow. These tools allow you to collaborate easilyGoogle DocsAsana – Free Project Management ToolStep #5 – Get TestimonialsComplete a few projects and have your customers write you a positive review. Keep track of your clients, and check in regularly to see if they need more work.Step #6 – Build Your Personal BrandIf you want to go to the next level build your own website featuring your work, customer testimonials and whatever else you’d like to showcase.Teach OnlineCan you teach people something you know? With Skype, google hangouts and other easy to use online tools you can now do this from anywhere in the world.Is it that easy to build your own online teaching business? No. But is it that hard? Could it be worth a try?If you wanted to teach guitar online, for example, there are a lot of great articles out there on how to get started.If you don’t want to start your own business then teach for somebody else.If you can speak English then you’re in luck! There are individuals looking for people to practice speaking English with all over the world. This organization  hires native English speakers to work over skype.Are you a native Spanish speaker? Teach here!There are people searching the internet everyday trying to learn something. Teachers aren’t just in schools anymore. Options abound if you want to teach something.ConsultingConsulting is just a fancy word for helping other people with something you are better at than they are, thus improving their business.The big difference between consulting and freelancing is that you can get very specific.For example, if you worked in restaurants your whole life you probably know more than you think about helping a restaurant increase their business and acquire new customers. Restaurant owners will pay you if you can increase their business, it’s a no brainer.Services you offer could include:Restaurant Marketing and StrategySocial Media ManagementMenu CreationCustomer ServiceImproving SystemsRelationship ManagementWebsite ImprovementIn some cases you don’t even need many skills to become a consultant.There are countless individuals and companies that basically function as project managers. Some ‘digital agencies’ help client and brands build websites, they secure the budget, outsource the work (hire web designers, coders, graphic artists, etc), manage the project and act as a middleman.Another example…Let’s say you want to help small businesses promote themselves on social media?Great, what next?Research.Find 100 businesses that need your help (start locally), email, call or even visit them and create an excel sheet with contact information and notes.Approach each member of your list with a personal touch, compliment them on certain aspects of their business then make specific suggestions on what they can do to improve. After giving them crazy valuable information kindly offer your services.If you have great ideas they’ll appreciate the advice and some of these 100 will most likely hire you as their personal consultant.Do great work, get testimonials to share with other potential clients and begin getting referral business. This is just another of a billion examples of things you could do.It takes work!To freelance you need to get your hustle on.Got a Job – Negotiate a Remote Work AgreementHave a job already? Any chance you could take it on the road?Tim Ferris laid out a plan to negotiate a remote work arrangement in the 4 Hour Work Week (a must read!). He’s not the only one.Working remotely was a requirement for my current consulting gig, and I made sure I was up front about it.Wondering where to start? Here’s a great article on how to negotiate your agreement.Search For Digital Nomad JobsDoing it on your own isn’t for everybody. Working for somebody else also has it’s perks, just focus the job hunt around positions that can be done from anywhere or join a service like Flex Jobs.Hustle By Pimping Yourself Out On Craigslist (or another classified ad style website) and get work wherever you roamThis is more about using digital technology on the fly to get work.During one stint in Boulder, CO my friends Jason and Kelly were in between event marketing tours and looking to make some extra cash.They had successfully used Craiglist in the past to jump start a new life in Central America, placing an ad sharing their skills/personalities and landing a gig to reopen a restaurant in Honduras. This time they placed another proactive ad, basically saying they were willing and eager to do anything.One day later, they had a 3-day job doing some gardening and landscaping work and getting paid cash. This same model could be applied to any location. Just utilize the craigslist of that country, for example Australia has Gumtree.Instead of searching for jobs post something about yourself and see if you can get the work to come to you.The Final Word On Digital Nomad JobsBecome a freelance copywriter, an SEO ninja, learn how to code, teach guitar, write articles or be an online photo-editing machine. The list of services you can offer clients online is endless.The first step in the journey is committing to your next step in life.If that’s becoming a digital nomad then there are plenty of options. If you need support (and we all do) feel free to check out our community of digital nomads.Set some timelines, take massive action and you’ll be out on the road living your nomadic dreams in no time.Author’s note: I still enjoy whiskey although not as often:)

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Digital Nomads – Your Guide to The New Way of Life

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Digital Nomads - Your Guide to The New Way of Life


“How many people have you met who ditched the 9 to 5 lifestyle and went on to explore the world? There are thousands of people who share such dramatic life stories and encourage others to take a risk. But if you take a closer look at these people, you’ll see that they never knew what to do with their lives, so they’ve chosen the easiest path.

Then there are people who are incredibly passionate about their business and believe that they need to hustle to get results. People who live by this philosophy can be found in every city or town. But when you talk to them after years of hustling, you see that their passion was depleted of fuel. They are still the goal-driven go-getters, but in the quest for success, they lost who they truly are. Their goal has replaced who they are as a person.

While there is no data on digital nomads yet, in 2017 the New York Times featured data from a Gallup survey of 15,000 adults. They found that “43% of employed Americans spent at least some time working remotely” in 2016. While remote work isn’t exactly digital nomadism the finding is mindblowing. In the past you only had two options – immerse yourself in the world or immerse yourself in work. Today there is a third option. Digital nomads are building wildly successful businesses all the while enjoying everything that the world has to offer.

But this lifestyle has only become possible recently due to the shifts in technology and how people perceive and structure work.

Is digital nomadism the future of work?


There are two powerful forces that shape the future of work: technology and people who can be as efficient off-site as they are on-site.

Technology is replacing jobs but at the same time, it’s creating new jobs. The simplest example is task automation. By relying on technology people are able to accomplish more, hence one-man businesses are popping up every day. Additionally, technology creates millions of jobs that cater to the technology sector. Developers and web designers are two most prominent examples of such jobs. So, while Elon Musk’s negative “AI is the biggest existential threat” prediction raises some concerns, the real threat isn’t technology but the lack of skills to fulfill all the jobs created by technology.

People are changing the way we work the same way technology does. Thanks to millennials, the working environment and expectations are becoming more aligned with people’s innate desires and needs. Being the most represented and most capable generation in the US, millennials have the power to demand what they want from employers. And here are the main millennials’ needs: freedom, the ability to express themselves and an immense desire to participate in social issues. It’s not a surprise, therefore, that the workplace is becoming leaner, more humane, and increasingly remote.

Now combine the two trends: technology and the demand for a flexible workplace and you’ll get a breeding ground for a completely new lifestyle, that is more effective due to technology and more enjoyable due to flexibility. The advent of digital nomads is a response to overarching workforce trends.

Who are digital nomads?

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There are numerous definitions of the term “digital nomad”. Until recently digital nomads were defined as people who leverage work as a way to travel. This term isn’t entirely correct, as it implies that travel is the priority for digital nomads. But it’s really not that simple. There are different types of digital nomads. Here are just some of them:
  • Business owners who run startups

  • Employers who work remotely

  • Freelancers and self-employed creatives

Each type of a digital nomad pursues their own goals. These goals are travel goals as well as work goals. Some people have more degree of freedom and can jump from one country to another every three days, others are less fortunate or they care more about the business, so they require some sort of a home base. Ultimately, digital nomads are people who embrace remote work and use technology to actualize themselves or make a living.

What are the benefits of being a digital nomad?

Digital nomads are motivated by a range of goals and motivations. Here are some of them:

1. Freedom


The number one motivation that drives digital nomad is the desire to be free. Digital nomad’s path presents an easy way to escape the pressures of business regulations and social conditioning. Everyone dream of being able to do almost anything they want. Digital nomads have almost unlimited freedom of choice when it comes to countries they want to settle in, lifestyle options, money they want to spend, people they surround themselves with, and the ways they build their lives.
The degree of freedom varies greatly. The remote workers are likely to be tied to certain day hours, while business owners are free to choose when they want to go online.

2. Travel


Travel is another reason why people choose to become digital nomads. Being a digital nomad is an incredibly rewarding lifestyle choice that allows you to explore many countries and cultures. You can spend a month in the bustling city of Chiang Mai, then move to tropical beaches of Bali, and then fly to the concrete jungle such as New York.
Because they can make money wherever they are, digital nomads aren’t restricted in the choice of a country they want to live in. They use travel as an opportunity to see amazing sights, experience new things, and get inspired by cultures and people. They also can fully immerse themselves in culture, making the travel experience inherently richer and more satisfying. Couple that with the opportunity to give and share their own culture with the locals, and you’ll understand why travel is so high on the digital nomads’ priorities list.


3. Expenses


Digital nomad’s life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Some people simply look at the digital nomad lifestyle as a way to reduce expenses. It’s simply a smarter financial set up where you earn a lot more than you have to spend. For the monthly budget you spend on rent and basic necessities in the US you can get a much better deal in the less developed countries.
Same goes for running a business. With due research, you can open a business in a country that has a more convenient tax system and lower taxes. Trying to reduce expenses is certainly not the main motivation for most digital nomads as these people are usually driven enough to succeed financially, but nevertheless, it’s one of the reasons many consider digital nomad lifestyle.

4. Meeting new people and making connections


A lot of digital nomads use travel as a way to meet new people. After all, it’s hard to meet someone new when you’re out of college and go to the same office every day. As a digital nomad, you are presented with many opportunities for interesting encounters and also there is a greater variety of people you can meet.
People are wired to seek social interaction. But when you are surrounded by the comfort of your usual social circle, you’re reluctant to make new connections. Digital nomadism forces you out of this restricting mindset by thrusting new exciting acquaintances into you. Having a community of like-minded people is crucial to business’s success. Similarly, if you’re a creative freelancer then seeking feedback and exchanging ideas are the keys to truly groundbreaking projects. Digital nomads encounter a wider variety of people on a daily basis, so it’s easier for them to find their tribe.

5. Learning and growing


Travel is a great way to acquire new knowledge. Add the training you get at work and you get a highly nutritious cocktail bound to expand your brain. Many digital nomads are on the nomadic journey to grow professionally and personally. Remote work skills are incredibly important these days. The skills to work and motivate yourself whenever and wherever you are will make you relevant as an employee for many years to come.
The mere fact that you have to navigate a new country, learn the basics of the language, establish a routine all the while performing your best at work is a great personal development experience. But you’re also growing professionally as you’re able to acquire knowledge from the best people using technology and traveling to places where high-level people do business.

6. Creativity


Constantly changing environment stimulates all five senses. Digital nomadism teaches people how to think out of the box. This has useful application for entrepreneurs as well as creative professionals and remote workers. Whether you’re solving coding problems or contemplating your next business endeavor, deliberately putting yourself into a different environment certainly helps with generating ideas.

Additionally, some digital nomads derive their income solely from travel. Travel and lifestyle bloggers explore travel destinations and shoot YouTube videos about their adventures. Even industries unrelated to travel such as self-help and business coaching resort to traveling as a means to add some excitement to their content.

Where do digital nomads live?

Best cities for digital nomads:


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Even though digital nomads can travel freely, they usually try to settle in one place for at least 2 months, as work puts certain demands on their travel plans. Because so many people are willing to make a foreign place their semi-permanent home, a number of destinations started catering to digital nomads’ needs. These places usually offer a stable internet connection, thriving community of like-minded people, and a low cost of living.

Here are the best destinations for digital nomads:

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand, is known for cheap accommodation, amazing food, and reliable Wi-Fi connection.

  • Canggu, Bali is a tropical destination with best spots for surfing and thriving nomad scene.

  • Bangkok, Thailand, is another Thai destination on the list, that offers all the benefits of city living in an all-year-round summer weather.

  • Barcelona, Spain, is great for those who want to be at the heart of Europe and enjoy the vibrant Spanish culture.

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is offering great nightlife coupled with affordable rent, reliable internet, and delicious street food.

  • Berlin, Germany, is a hipster mecca of Europe with great coffee shops, good Wi-Fi quality and affordable cost of living.

  • Medellin, Colombia, is one of the raising digital nomads’ destinations that boasts warm weather, friendly locals, and beautiful scenery.

Final Word


Some people claim that digital nomadism is the future of work. However, digital nomadism is a result, not a cause. Digital nomad phenomenon was born out of two overarching trends that define the future of the workforce, such as technology and change in societal expectations. It’s still hard to predict if digital nomads will take over the world. But one thing for sure – most people want to be happier and more satisfied with their lives, and digital nomadism is a great way to get to that goal.”

Yuliya Skorobogatova

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The Rise of the Digital Nomad: How Large Enterprises Are Benefiting from Remote Workers

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“While the concept of digital nomad may be somewhat new, the nomadic lifestyle isn’t.

Mankind has long been a species attracted to the nomadic existence. In our earliest years, we roamed from one environment to the next freely, following nothing but the stars in our efforts to hunt and gather.

Before modern civilisation began, it was common for people to rarely be tied down to a single location. However, now we’re living in a very different kind of society, where the everyday rat race has gripped as all, holding many of us steady in the same place. To continue living and earning successfully, humanity has often had to stay put – tethered to a specific desk or location.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case anymore.

The rise of new technology like cloud communications, collaboration apps and productivity tools means that the internet can now be our proverbial office. We’re free to move around again, and many of us are taking advantage of that fact, with 34% of remote employees spending 4-5 days outside of the office. 

The question is, what does digital nomadism mean to the future of work?

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What is Remote Work, and What is a Digital Nomad?

There are so many different types of digital nomads in the current landscape that it’s hard to find a one-size-fits-all definition. What we do know, however, is that these employees aren’t the ones that you see sitting behind a desk every day. Industries from all over are beginning to embrace remote work, and the digital nomad is a part of that revolution. 

Digital nomads can work for themselves, or complete tasks for another company from a distance. Unlike standard remote workers who usually work from home or a nearby coffee shop, nomads are defined by their passion for exploration. 

These people tend to change their destination frequently, while still making money from a connection on their laptop or phones. 

Digital nomads are risk-takers. After all, in this lifestyle, you’re never 100% sure where you’re going to end up, or whether you’re going to run out of money before you can pay your rent. However, this kind of employee thrives in exciting and fast-paced situations. They get to live among diverse cultures in places all over the world, constantly experiencing life in new and thrilling ways. 

What Does a Digital Nomad Do? Digital Nomad Jobs

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So, how exactly does a digital nomad pay for their enigmatic lifestyle?

Well, as mentioned above, these experts rely on remote working and tasks that can be done from a distance. Fortunately, remote jobs are becoming increasingly popular, with 43% of American employees spending time working remotely in 2018. 

Some digital nomads can continue working for a specific company while they travel. They might deal with things like data input or accounting from a distance, for instance. These tasks rarely require more than the right internet connection, some communication tools, and specialist software. 

Other digital nomads focus on building a career around something that they’re good at. These people are freelancers who work for a wide variety of clients and companies online. As semi-entrepreneurial spirits, they have the extra work of seeking out clients and holding down repeat customers to consider as they earn their daily income. 

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The key to finding the right digital nomad jobs is to look for something that suits a highly active and remote lifestyle. You won’t be able to be a branch manager or a manufacturing floor supervisor when you’re halfway around the world. However, you can do things like:

  • Customer service through cloud communication
  • Design and website building
  • Writing and editing
  • Accounting and financial management
  • IT and administration
  • Marketing 
  • Project management
  • Recruitment and HR (with video conferencing)
  • Software development
  • Teaching and tutoring
  • Virtual assistant

In the age of the cloud and automation, the number of remote jobs available for digital nomads is growing. Virtually any job that you can do online can be done from a distance. All you need to do is find a working strategy that’s suitable for you. Some of the best digital nomad jobs even allow you to choose your own clients, work according to your own schedule, and set your own pay. 

Why is Digital Nomadism so Popular?

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So, what makes the digital nomad lifestyle so compelling?

In simple terms, it’s all about the freedom. 

To “go to work” you don’t need a lengthy commute as a digital nomad. All you need to do is turn your computer on and log into your unified communications platform, or whatever other tools you need. Your desk is your Wi-Fi and your office is the entire world. 

As a result, digital nomads have the unique opportunity to explore the furthest reaches of the planet, without having to worry about living in absolute poverty. As a digital nomad, you can:

1. Work where you want, when you want

Digital nomad jobs put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to things like your work schedule. You can choose to where whenever and wherever you feel the most productive. For some people, that will be at home at a desk, for others, it will be in a local café. 

Like remote workers, digital nomads may also have the opportunity to adjust their working schedule to suit them. If you want to do something for yourself first thing on a Monday morning, then you don’t have to start work until after that task is done – unless you have a specific deadline to reach. You can even take long breaks in the middle of the day so you can recharge. 

Just make sure that you’re setting boundaries for your work/life balance, or you could end up shackled to your computer 24/7. 

2. Be inspired by new environments

If you’re remote working as a freelancer or small business owner, then you get to choose exactly what kind of lifestyle you want to live. Some people jump around from place to place for years. Other digital nomads eventually settle down in a specific location and become remote workers. 

They say that travel feeds your soul, but it can also make you a more productive and creative professional too. A lot of people today find it difficult to innovate and think outside of the box when they’re constantly stuck in the same location. Disrupting your day-to-day patterns with thrilling new environments gives you a chance to build and evolve as a person. 

You may find that the digital nomad lifestyle helps you to become the kind of professional that you’ve always wanted to be. 

3. Eliminate the stress of traditional work

The best digital nomad jobs come with plenty of opportunities for freedom and flexibility. You can decide whether you want to work from the comfort of your own bed one day, or whether you want to head to a local coworking office. This eliminates a lot of the stress that’s associated with things like the standard office chaos and the daily commute.

For instance, did you know that longer commute times are often associated with higher blood pressure and BMI, as well as significant issues with stress and sleep? You can even start to get rid of some financial stresses with digital nomadism too. 

While a lot of people worry about the concept of making money on the go, you’ll find that living in places like southeast Asia and beyond can be a lot cheaper than living in Europe and the US. You may even be able to adapt to living a more minimalistic lifestyle, so you don’t need to make as much money to get by. 

Is It Easy to Be a Digital Nomad?

For remote workers with a passion for travel, digital nomad jobs could conceivably have a lot to offer. When life is going well, the freedom to move around the world and explore new destinations can be a wonderful thing. However, learning how to become a digital nomad successfully isn’t always simple. 

There are challenges to living as a digital nomad that affect all remote workers, as well as specific issues that travelling employees need to overcome. 

1. Digital nomadism is socially isolating 

To some extent, the digital nomad lifestyle can seem to be a socially freeing concept. After all, you get to travel the world meeting new people and interacting with different cultures. However, you rarely get the opportunity to put down roots and form real connections with anyone. This can make the relationships that you do build feel a little hollow. 

At the same time, you’ll have a hard time connecting to either your clients as a freelancer or the other people in your office if you’re working for an employer. Remote working is a very isolating experience. If you don’t have regular meetings over video with your team members, and a means to stay connected each day such as a collaboration app, then you could lose track of your company culture. 

2. Life is unpredictable

For many digital nomads, the fact that their lifestyle is unpredictable is what attracted them to their digital nomad jobs in the first place. These kinds of workers rarely want to be tied down to a specific kind of routine. They feel that working according to a common schedule puts them in a rut. However, an unpredictable lifestyle can be problematic too. 

For instance, when you’re travelling the world, if you suddenly lose your internet connection, you might be stuck unable to get work done for your employer. If you’re not working, then you’re not getting paid. At the same time, there’s always a risk that your laptop or phone could end up broken or stolen, forcing you to find money for new tools as quickly as possible. 

3. It’s so easy to get distracted

As a digital nomad, you’re also at risk of getting distracted almost constantly. While remote working from your desk at home is unlikely to overwhelm you with shiny things to do and see, digital nomadism offers something different. As a digital nomad, you’ll be exploring the world and seeing new things all the time. It can be tempting to ignore your work so that you can experience more. 

That’s one of the reasons why digital nomads need to ensure they have a purpose, a goal and plenty of focus when they work. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, and you don’t have a schedule to guide you, then you could end up getting nothing done. 

Despite these obvious challenges, the remote working and digital nomad movement is growing. Already, the remote workforce has grown by 140% in the last 15 years. What’s more, when digital nomads find the right routine for their needs – they thrive. 

A Stanford University study found that remote workers and digital nomads took fewer sick days than their counterparts, and were 13% more productive overall

How to Become a Digital Nomad

how-to-become-a-digital-nomad

So, if you’re not worried about the challenges, but you are excited about the opportunities that a nomad’s digital life can offer – how do you get started?

Learning how to be a digital nomad isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience. A lot of today’s remote workers figure it out as they go, learning from the other nomads that they meet as they travel the world. However, there are a few tips you can follow to boost your chances of success. 

1. Get rid of unnecessary expenses

Paying for things that you don’t need is never an ideal situation, but it can be particularly problematic if you’re a digital nomad. You can’t afford to travel heavy in this lifestyle, which means that you need to get rid of those extra expenses that could be bogging you down. Banish all the debt you can get rid of, cancel your subscriptions, and forget about gym memberships. All you need is your computer and your cloud software. 

2. Manage your income

As a digital nomad, you need to make sure that you have a safety net. You never know when you’ll end up with a broken laptop that you’ll need to replace, or an issue with your internet connection. When that happens, you’ve got to have something to turn to. Before you go travelling the world, make sure that you have an emergency savings account with a few months’ worth of income to tide you over. Remember, you might be able to live more frugally as a digital nomad, but you’ll still need cash. 

3. Get the right tech

Digital nomads just can’t live without technology. To thrive in any of the best digital nomad jobs, you’re going to need the right technology. For most employees, that starts with a laptop and a reliable internet connection. The chances are that you’ll also need a number of cloud-based tools too, including:

  • Communication tools for video and audio conferencing
  • Collaboration apps
  • File sharing and cloud storage tools
  • Specialist software for your specific career (accounting tools for instance)
  • Cybersecurity services

4. Protect yourself

Travelling around the world can give you some of the best experiences of your life – but it’s not always as simple as it seems. You’re still going to be living in the real world, where emergencies happen, injuries occur, and sickness is everywhere. You’re going to need immunisations to enter certain parts of the world and various other health and safety solutions too. Make sure that you have a good travel health insurance policy to cover you. 

5.  Have a plan everywhere you go

As a digital nomad, you don’t necessarily need to decide exactly where you’re going to be working from one month to the next. You’re not as tied down as a remote worker. However, you will need a plan for wherever you go. That means making sure that you have the right currency for your destination, researching the best spots for Wi-Fi, and knowing your way around the time zone. Do your homework on each place that you’re going to visit so you know you’re adequately prepared.

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The Key Tools to Use as a Digital Nomad

the-key-tools-to-use-as-a-digital-nomad

As we mentioned above, digital nomads prefer to travel light – but they’re nothing without their tools. If you’re leaving the basic remote working life behind in favour of something more exotic, then you’re going to need to make sure that you’re prepped for success. Some of the tools you’ll need include:

  • A laptop: A laptop is the bible of the digital nomad religion. It needs to go with you wherever you are, and it must be something that you can rely on. Make sure your laptop has plenty of processing power to handle your workload, and a long battery life is essential. Extra storage and backup solutions like external hard drives can be helpful too. 
  • A smartphone: When you’re not on your laptop, you’ll probably be using your smartphone, checking for email updates or sharing files over your team collaboration tools. Find a phone that’s suitable for the software that you’re going to be using, and make sure that your phone is unlocked, so you can travel freely. 
  • Headphones and a microphone: Whether you’re communicating with your family, or connecting with your team back home, you’re going to need a good set of headphones. Noise cancelling headphones that can block out the sound of the environment around you are a must-have in a digital nomad lifestyle. It’s also worth choosing a microphone that eliminates unnecessary background noise. 
  • Unified communications (UC) tools: You’re going to need a reliable environment for communication that you can access through the cloud. Your tools may include everything you need for video conferencing, client calls and even instant messaging. This is how you stay connected to the rest of the world when you’re on the move. 
  • Productivity planners: Remember how we mentioned that it’s hard to stay focused in the digital nomad world? A productivity planner can help you stay on track. You can set weekly goals and track your projects with a service like Trello. This kind of service is also useful for showing your team members your progress. 
  • Team collaboration tools: If you’re working with other employees from around the world, then you need a way to connect with them. Team collaboration tools like the RingCentral App make it easier to share files over the cloud, work together on projects, and connect through direct team chat. 
  • VPN services: When you’re travelling around the world and working online, you’re going to need to use a lot of different networks – not all of them will be secure. Using a VPN to access the internet will help to keep your data secure and offer an extra layer of protection for your employers too. 
  • A translation tool: Translation tools like iTranslate can come in handy if you’re going to be travelling to destinations where you don’t speak the language. The app helps you to read and speak in a number of different languages, so you can increase your vocabulary and learn as you go. 
  • Calendar services: For those meetings you have with your team, make sure that you have a calendar service installed which can send reminders to your email and phone. It might be useful to use a tool like Every Time Zone to align yourself with other people around the world too. 

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers for Businesses?

benefits-of-hiring-remote-workers-for-business 

So far, we’ve focussed on all the pros and cons of remote working for the actual digital nomad. However, there are also benefits for companies that are willing to hire remote employees too.

Businesses of all sizes are beginning to embrace the remote work trend, with 16% of global companies now defined as “fully remote”. While there are certainly some challenges associated with hiring and managing remote employees, the reality is that your remote team could be one of the best assets your business has. Benefits include:

1. Higher productivity levels

Remote teams get more done in less time. They can start new projects faster, focus on what needs doing, and improve your bottom line rapidly. They don’t need to commute to work to get a task done, and they can choose the times of day that’s most suitable to their method of work too. 

According to a report from Coso Cloud, 23% of remote workers also say that they’re willing to put extra hours outside of their allotted time into getting the job done well. 

2. You draw from a larger talent pool

If your business is focussed on just hiring local talent, then your options for finding skills are limited. You might be able to convince a handful of people to relocate to come to your office, but for the most part, your talent pool will be extremely small. However, if you’re willing to work with remote workers and digital nomads, then the world is your oyster. 

You get the option to pull the skills that you need from anywhere in the world. What’s more, you could find that you’re more appealing to the current candidate market. 68% of millennials say that they would be more likely to work for a company that offers remote working as an option. 

3. You reduce costs

These days, you don’t need to worry about renting expensive office space and buying business computers to be in business. If you’re working with digital nomads and remote workers, they create their own offices, so you don’t have to. You can minimise your real estate demands and overheads this way, keeping your expenses as low as possible. 

Studies show that the average real-estate savings for full-time teleworkers equate to around $10,000 every year. On top of that, having remote workers also improves your retention rates by up to 10%, so you don’t have to spend as much on recruitment and churn. 

4. Remote workers are healthier and happier

Finally, numerous studies show that various aspects of in-house work are affecting the mental and physical health of employees. For instance, in the UK, workers spend an average of around 58 minutes commuting to work, ending up with higher blood pressure and negative moods as a result. 

Remote workers and digital nomads have less stress to deal with overall, which means that they’re a lot less likely to call in sick when they feel like they need a break from the office. 

Four Digital Nomad Challenges to Overcome

remote-work-challenges-to-overcome

Now that more and more companies are going 100% remote, it could be the perfect opportunity for you to consider the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle. 

However, before you can get started, you’re going to need to figure out a strategy for how you’re going to overcome some of the most common challenges of working remotely. For example:

Challenge 1: Trouble managing your time

Digital nomads, as we mentioned above, are surrounded by distractions from all angles. If you want to stay productive (and profitable) then you’re going to need a way to manage your schedule or your time. Tools like TimeCamp can allow you to log the time you spend on specific tasks, while Trello helps you to organise your days and weeks in order of the most important projects. 

While you’re managing your time, remember to always keep time zones in mind. When connecting with your team members or clients, you’ll need to find a time that works for both of you, so one doesn’t need to get up for a video conference in the middle of the night. 

Challenge 2: Problems switching off

With no commute or physical office to leave mind each day, it can be extremely difficult to keep your personal and work life separate. You can check your emails constantly from your smartphone, connect with coworkers on Glip, and more. 

While constantly working might seem like a good way to fund your digital nomad lifestyle, we all need a break from time to time. Make sure that you set your presence on team collaboration apps so that people know when they can and can’t reach you from the office. It’s also a good idea to turn notifications off from your work life after a specific time each night. 

Challenge 3: Isolation from your team

When you’re not in the office, you’re going to miss things. There aren’t going to be any watercooler chats or impromptu lunches for you. Sometimes it can feel as though you’re missing out on genuine connections with your team members. However, if you can upgrade your communication strategy, then you can take steps to overcome this issue. 

Schedule regular video conferencing sessions with the people that you work with so you can connect on a deeper level through face-to-face communication. Stay connected through the day using instant chat services like the RingCentral App that make it feel like you’re chatting to friends. Schedule appointments regularly with mentors in your team so you can catch up with whatever’s going on in the office. 

Challenge 4: Technology trips you up as a digital nomad

Office technology is usually reliable. Unfortunately, your remote internet connection and laptop won’t always be as dependable as it needs to be. Although you can’t protect yourself against things like sudden internet outages and broken laptops all of the time, you can prepare for success. 

For instance, consider doing your research in advance when you’re going to a new location so you can find remote working facilities and coworking offices near you. You can also track down computer repair stores if necessary, too. Speak to your IT team about the things you can do to fix common problems with your laptop or cloud software and make sure you’re up-to-date on how to use your tools. 

Is Remote Working the Future of Work?

While digital nomadism requires a very specific attitude and a lack of physical attachments to be successful, remote work is a lot easier to embrace. You don’t have to move around all over the world to be a remote worker, you can simply leave the stress of the office behind in favour of the comfort of your own home office. 

The various benefits associated with remote working, including everything from happier and more productive employees, to reduced expenses for businesses, means that many people are beginning to tout remote working as the future of work

Currently, we’re learning that remote workers are generally more productive and efficient than their in-office counterparts. When people have the freedom to work from wherever they want, with the tools that are suitable to them, they go above and beyond to get things done. 

Research from Gallup even finds that people who spend time working outside of the office are generally more engaged by their jobs than their counterparts that are stuck at a specific office each day. Your employees are eager to have more freedom, and they’re happy to prove that they can be assets if you give them the flexibility that you need. 

Aside from the benefits in productivity and happiness that both employers and employees get from remote work, the rise of new technology is making this method of working more appealing too. We now have more reliable cloud technology than ever before, allowing team members to log into useful software over the internet and share files with colleagues in real time. 

As we move forward into a world where remote workers can access things like AI digital assistants to help them get things done without support from a human coworker, digital nomadism is likely to become even more popular. Virtual assistants will be able to assist remote workers in doing everything from scheduling appointments according to specific time zones, to keeping track of their work and daily projects. 

AI isn’t the only disruptive technology changing the way that we think about remote work either. In recent years, we’ve also begun to explore the potential of new mobile connections with 5G. New connections from 5G will eliminate the latency usually associated with sharing files and information over the cloud. Team members will be able to share content with their colleagues instantly, and things like HD video conferencing will become more of a reality. 

The rise of 5G connectivity could even pave the way for innovations in things like augmented and virtual reality, where employees will be able to virtually “step into” their offices from anywhere. 

The Age of Digital Nomads Is Here

The cloud and new technology has transformed the way that we live and work. 

The days of looking at remote working as a distant dream is over. The landscape is changing, and experts predict that remote work will equal, if not overcome fixed office working by 2025

As more businesses continue to recognise the benefits of extending their talent and recruiting reach with remote work, while accessing more productive employees, the digital nomad movement will continue. In the years to come, we’ll continue to see a wider range of digital nomads and remote workers in the world, empowered by tools for productivity, unified communication, and collaboration from RingCentral.

Cloud communications technology can free your employees to become digital nomads and remote workers.





Sam O'Brien

Author

    Sam is Senior Optimisation & User Experience Manager for EMEA. He’s worked at RingCentral for 3 years where he’s helped grow the EMEA business and improve the digital customer experience. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with disbursed teams.

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    How I Built My Business While Traveling The World As A Digital Nomad

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    “I had it all planned out. After a year of hard work at my first job after college, a New York City-based public relations agency, I could finally unlock my two weeks’ vacation time. Cleverly, or so I thought, I would book a vacation over Fourth of July to eliminate a few workdays, allowing for a substantial almost two weeks of travel time! Giddy with excitement, I emailed my boss requesting the time off, outlining that this schedule would require me to use only seven of my fourteen vacation days.

    I patted myself on the back for being so cunning.

    My boss must have laughed out loud, replying to let me know of the company’s policy stating employees can only be out of the office for five consecutive business days, thereby shattering my plans of frolicking through Switzerland and Malta for two weeks. As an avid traveler, I was seriously pissed off. Smoke fumed from my ears as I realized this was common practice for many businesses. How could I truly experience a new country with such little time? My dreams of exploring Bali, Australia, India, and other far-flung locations, now seemed way out of reach. Adult life was looking bleak.

    I left that agency for another one a few months later and this is when I became introduced to a term that would change my life — “digital nomad.” It was 2016 and working remotely was becoming a trend. Graphic designers, writers, social media marketers, and other online entrepreneurs were taking their work with them as they trotted around the globe, sipping cocktails out of coconuts while laying on the beach answering emails on their phones.

    I wanted in. NOW. I already had an online job, sitting behind a computer all day. I knew I could live this lifestyle and the thought of achieving it completely consumed me. I was a girl on a mission to do something that no one around me could even conceive of. All I needed was a few clients.

    Now, that part was daunting, but it wasn’t going to hold me back. I made a list of the brands I wanted to work with and started connecting with them on LinkedIn. After countless emails and an in-person meeting, I landed a dream client — a winery that paid me six months upfront and signed a year-long contract! I was still employed at that point, so I took the opportunity to save all the money I received from my new client as well as a little bit from each paycheck.

    Eventually, I was feeling financially secure enough to quit my job, leave my apartment, friends and family behind and booked a one-way ticket to Nicaragua. No big deal.

    I left New York on October 2nd, 2017. As fate would have it, I met my long-term boyfriend three days into this journey, but I will save that story for another time.

    Breaking the news to my family and friends was nerve-wracking. How do you tell people that at 25 years old you were quitting your corporate job and embarking on a yearlong digital nomad journey with no solid plans? My mother asked if I could just do it for a month and not quit my job. No mom, it doesn’t work that way. It wasn’t just my career she was concerned for. I knew she was also nervous that I was throwing away my chance at finding love. Why would I leave NYC? Surely this is the place to find a suitor. Somehow, I was able to abate her fears. Once they saw how determined I was, both of my parents were pretty supportive. My friends were sad but also excited for me to go on such a life-changing adventure. Everyone, myself included, thought I would be back in a year once I got this out of my system.

    Flash forward to now, almost three years later, and I am still living nomadically with a successful PR business and a loving relationship.

    For the first few months of my newfound nomad life I was traipsing through Central America. I lived and worked in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Then I met up with my boyfriend and we explored Saint Martin, Curacao, and Aruba before I jetted off to Bali, my dream digital nomad locale. After spending enough time frolicking through the jungle, enjoying lush beaches and fueling my avocado toast addiction, I headed to Australia with my mom. Then I moved to Kauai, Hawaii to live with my boyfriend. We spent about a year living in Hawaii, divided between Kauai and Maui, before leaving our stunning home for a campervan in New Zealand.

    I spent my fair share of time working in cafés and hostels with questionable Wi-Fi, but a campervan would be the ultimate test if I could keep my business afloat regardless of where I was. I made it clear to my partner that I would need days where I spent hours dedicated to work, either in a café or at a camp park without feeling guilty.

    There were mornings when I rolled out of the van at 5 am for conference calls with clients located across the globe. It was rough, but doing so proved that I was (and still am) able to adapt to any time zone. It is my decision to live this way and my clients don’t need to worry about scheduling calls that fit wherever I happen to be in the world. That is my responsibility.

    From New Zealand, we moved to Australia on working holiday visas, where we lived and worked on a tiny island resort off the Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island. This was by far one of the best experiences of my life, and it helped me grow as an entrepreneur. I was now juggling my PR business and working part-time as a bartender in the resort. I didn’t need the extra income, but I did want to live on the private island and being a staff member was the only way to do so. I became meticulous with my time, balancing work, the beach, gym, and scuba diving as often as possible. The Gmail scheduling tool became a lifesaver. I tripled my income during these six months, and I proved to myself and my clients that I can be successful no matter what time zone I am working in. Yes, it is harder and requires more personal sacrifices (missing out on a party because I have a client call at 11 pm), but it can be done.

    Now, I am back in the states waiting out COVID-19. I am working with corporate leaders, many of whom are in the healthcare industry, so thankfully, business is going well. Despite any ups and downs, I can still achieve great success for my clients in national media outlets, whether I’m hunkered down stateside for a pandemic or living it up on the other side of the world. I even recently reached a major entrepreneurship milestone — hiring my first employee to accommodate my growing business.

    Sorry, NYC, I don’t think I am ever coming back.”


    By: Sarah Solomon

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    18 Amazing Cities for Digital Nomads Around the World

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    As a digital nomad there are certain things to look for when it comes to the perfect destination to “settle” for a while. One is good wifi, another one is a great digital nomad community, and you of course also want a place that’s safe. Other things you (might) want are fun activities, cheap cost of living, and a location where you can, for the most part at least, get around by speaking English. So which locations fit into those categories?

    We’ve gathered 18 different cities for digital nomads around the world for you. Written by talented digital nomads around the world. Each of these nomads has spent a significant amount of time in their location they wrote about and now they’re sharing their expertise with all of us!

    Are you ready for it?

    Digital Nomad Cities Pin 3

    Here are 18 amazing cities for digital nomads around the world

    #1 – Bansko, Bulgaria

    By Kelsey from Sights Better Seen

    Bankso Bulgaria

    I hadn’t heard of Bansko until recently. I’d seen people post about it in various digital nomad Facebook groups, and it seemed to check all my boxes: small and pretty town, cobblestone streets, a strong digital nomad community thanks to Coworking Bansko, mountains and lots of nature nearby, vegetarian friendly, good local food, a weekly farmer’s market, and very affordable.

    I had no idea what to expect, but I loved it so much I’m already planning to come back in the summer or fall! I even spent part of the holiday season here with about 20 other nomads. We had a fancy raclette dinner and played White Elephant on Christmas Eve, and then most people went skiing Christmas Day.

    There are events at the coworking space almost every single day, and between the weekly game nights, hot springs visits, group dinners, movie nights, and various other gatherings it’s pretty hard to get bored! In the winter, people come for skiing and snowboarding (I’m learning to snowboard now!), and in the summer people love to go hiking and mountain biking.

    It’s amazing for networking, too. I landed a freelance writing job from someone I met here, and other people have helped me with SEO for my website, improved my mission statement, and taken photos for my blog.

    So if you’re looking for some travel job ideas and how you can work and travel then you will make some amazing connections here.

    I also have to talk about the food for a second – I love it! I really didn’t know what it would be like, but I’m already pretty obsessed with several dishes. As a vegetarian, it means I eat a lot of cheese, but Bulgarian cheese is AMAZING so I can’t complain.

    I’m almost at the end of my 90 days (as an American, that’s the amount of time I can stay without a visa) and it will be tough to adjust to my next destination after being somewhere with such a strong community. But at least I know I’ll be back!

    #2 – Tbilisi, Georgia

    By Maggie from The World Was Here First

    Tbilisi, Georgia.

    If you’re looking for the perfect, up-and-coming digital nomad destination, then it’s hard to go wrong with the capital of the Republic of Georgia, Tbilisi. Boasting an incredibly affordable cost of living, friendly people, a great culinary scene, a solid network of other remote workers, fast and reliable wifi and one of the most liberal visa policies in Europe, Tbilisi really checks all the boxes to become the next digital nomad hotspot!

    One of the most attractive aspects of heading to Tbilisi is their visa policy – countless nationalities (including Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and EU citizens) can enter Tbilisi visa free for a whopping 360 days!

    This means that you don’t need to worry about overstaying. However, if you want to find somewhere to post up short-term, there are numerous great places to stay in Tbilisi whether you’re looking for an affordable Airbnb, a hostel dorm bed or a chic hotel.

    Wifi speeds in Tbilisi are also lightning fast, with free wifi available in most cafes and restaurants throughout the city and very affordable data plans available, as well. As it is an up-and-coming destination for digital nomads, there is also a friendly and welcoming community of nomads in Tbilisi and there are frequent events in place where you can meet other like-minded people.

    If you decide to stay longer in Tbilisi, finding longer-term accommodation is very easy and the cost of living is also quite affordable, especially when compared to everywhere else in Europe. There are also countless budget flights in and out of Georgia to elsewhere in Europe and beyond, making Tbilisi an excellent base to travel from.

    All in all, if you’re looking for the perfect place to base yourself as a digital nomad and you’re sick of the crowds in Bali or Chiang Mai, then make sure that Tbilisi is on your list!

    #3 – Cali, Columbia

    By Mitch from Project Untethered

    Night Club in Cali, Columbia.

    When most people think of finding a digital nomad base in Colombia, they automatically default to Medellin. I get it. Medellin is a great city. But for me, Cali is where it’s at.

    I’ve been working remotely from Cali for over three years now and love it just as much today as I did when I first arrived. It’s cheap, has delicious food, great internet, is still somewhat “undiscovered”, and best of all… It’s the salsa dancing capital of the world.

    If you like to dance (and if you come to Cali, you’ll LEARN to like to dance), it is impossible to get bored here. Get your work done during the day, take a salsa class in the afternoon, and go dancing at a different salsa club every night.

    Not only is it an addicting routine and a great way to exercise, but it’s also one of the best ways to make local friends and immerse yourself in the culture (I actually met my wife in salsa class!).

    Apart from salsa, there are plenty of other fun activities in Cali to keep you busy—from hiking to learning Spanish to awesome days trips. When you put everything together, you end up with a truly amazing (and underrated) digital nomad destination.

    #4 – Prague, Czech Republic

    By Dom & Jo from Red White Adventures

    Prague Czech Republic.

    One of our personal favorite cities for living as a digital nomad is Prague, Czech Republic. Cost of living is fairly cheap – especially if you share a place. They have really great wifi, lots of cute cafes where you can sit and work (and drink delicious latte for like 3 bucks), and best of all a great expat community! We actually loved Prague so much that we’ll be going back for 3 months soon.

    Apart from giving you the opportunity to live your best life locally, Prague also has a great advantage when it comes to traveling. The airport is only about half an hour away from the city centre and you can take public transport to get there for almost no cost.

    Prague is located right in the centre of Europe and the airport is pretty big, so you can get to so many places in no time, and for a reasonable cost thanks to RyanAir. There are also a bunch of big bus stations where you can take Flixbus to destinations like Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna in 4-8 hours. 

    Lastly, we want to mention that Prague is a very safe capital city. Different websites tell us different things but we found a few that said Prague was amongst the 10 safest capitals in all of Europe. Also for solo female travellers.

    We honestly have nothing bad to say about Prague, so come visit us! 😉

    #5 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    By Samantha Karen from Sam Sees World

    A street in Amsterdam.

    One of the best places in the world for digital nomads is Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. This is a city with beyond picturesque canals, quirky houses, grand parks, and a friendly atmosphere. Moreover, Amsterdam is very centrally located and is home to one of the largest airports in Europe! This makes arriving and leaving a breeze.

    There are two main things that make Amsterdam a great location for digital nomads:
    Firstly, the city is bursting with cool cafes that are laptop friendly and welcoming to digital nomads. In every area of the city, you can find a welcoming cafe and various other people sitting inside and working away.

    Secondly, Amsterdam attracts a ton of digital nomads from all around the world and finding other people like you in cafes and out and about is a common occurrence. So, if you are wondering if you will be the only one pulling out your laptop at a cafe or in a coworking space you are very wrong and making friends is common.

    When work time is over the excitement only starts in Amsterdam. The city always has something cool and fun to do so finding a work-life balance is more than achievable. Festivals and events are weekly occurrences in Amsterdam and you are more than welcome to join.

    One additional great thing about Amsterdam is that there is no language barrier. English is spoken by virtually everyone in Amsterdam and most digital nomads you will meet will be English natives.

    #6 – Chiang Mai, Thailand

    By Melissa from Nomad Life 101

    Chang Mai, Thailand.

    I wasn’t very interested in Chiang Mai for a very long time since I like the beach and island vibes. My partner and I finally decided to try it in 2019. We stayed in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a total of three months. At first, we struggled to find friends and we were not sure if we would like it or not, but after a few weeks, we started to love Chiang Mai.

    We had found our favorite restaurants (there are so many options when it comes to food in Chiang Mai), a coworking space where we could be super productive and a nice group of friends with a similar mindset.

    We had a comfortable, spacious and modern apartment which was great since we struggled to find spacious accommodation in other cities. Since we like to stay fit abroad, we easily find a gym – although, most condominiums also have a gym on-site. We became members at Punspace, which is the most popular coworking place in Chiang Mai. On the weekends, we were able to plan trips to Pai or Chiang Rai.

    Overall, Chiang Mai became our favorite city for digital nomads. We connected with fellow nomads who are focused and productive. We managed to get a healthy lifestyle there and we were living in a comfortable way which makes a big difference to increase productivity.

    The only inconvenience is that the seasons aren’t always ideal. For example, the burning season and the rainy season are quite long. That said, from October to December, the weather is great.

    #7 – Antigua, Guatemala

    By Sean Lau from Living Out Lau

    Antigua, Guatemala

    Antigua in Guatemala is one of the best places for digital nomads and it is easy to see why.

    A small city of cobbled-stone streets lined with colonial houses, Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala and a present-day UNESCO Heritage Site. Had it not been for the devastating 1773 Guatemala earthquake, Antigua would still be Guatemala’s capital.

    The small walkable city is known for its perfect blend between authentic Guatemalan culture and tourist-friendly features. Unlike other digital nomad destinations such as Bali, Antigua is not overrun by foreigners yet.

    You will find various activities to do in Antigua Guatemala. My favorite of which is hiking Volcano Acatenango and seeing the nearby Volcano Fuego erupt with my own eyes. If the two days 1-night hike is too much for you and you just watch to relax, head over to the stunning Lake Atitlan for a weekend. It is the perfect place to soak up some heart-warming Guatemala sun.

    Being a digital nomad is not an easy task, especially if you are away from home for a long time. I tend to miss the various cuisines my hometown can offer when I am traveling. Antigua is one of the few cities in Central America that offers delicious and international cuisine. Asian Food? Yes. Mexican? Yes. Texas barbecue? Why not! The WiFi in the hotels and hostels in Antigua is also some of the fastest I have ever used in all of Guatemala!

    #8 – Hanoi, Vietnam

    By Lee from The Travel Scribes

    Hanoi streets in Vietnam.

    It’s probably one of the most underrated places for digital nomads to settle: Hanoi, Vietnam. Famous as a city of a million motorbikes, incredible street food and a host of amazing attractions, Hanoi is more than just culture – it attracts travellers and nomadic workers from all corners of the globe. But, why?

    Most digital workers converge on Hanoi for the cheap cost of living. A high-end apartment will cost about $600 per month, with even short-term Airbnb options under $1000, plus the food is particularly cheap. You can dine out at hawker stalls but also relaxed restaurants for less than a tenner, munching on flaky spring rolls, sipping delicious pho and gorging yourself on banh mi, the French-inspired baguettes that have featured in many a travellers’ dreams.

    The city is jam-packed with charm – from the friendly people trying to help you with your luggage, to the incredible sights like Train Street, or the cathedral or even spending an evening (or two) walking around Hoan Kiem Lake and mingling with locals trying their hand at yoga. But, more than that, it’s a great base if you want to explore a bit more of Vietnam – just hopping on a bus to nearby Sapa or to Ninh Binh/Tam Coc to check out the river cruises.

    While the wifi in Hanoi might not be as fast as Vietnamese counterpart, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), it’s undoubtedly speedy enough. You can expect high speed internet in most high rises and can easily spend a day working in the many cool cafes and coffee shops that usually boast quick wifi.

    #9 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    By Emily from Wander-Lush

    Phon Penh in Cambodia.

    Although not as popular as cities in neighbouring Thailand or Vietnam, Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, is a terrific place for digital nomads. I lived in Phnom Penh for a year and found it a very comfortable and convenient base.

    Phnom Penh is a rapidly changing city that offers an interesting mix of the traditional and the contemporary. For example, new apartment buildings are constantly popping up, which makes it very easy to find an affordable long-term studio rental. Alternatively, you can also find beautiful wooden houses to rent right in the centre. Utilities, groceries and internet are all relatively cheap.

    One of the highlights of living in Phnom Penh is having unlimited access to delicious local cuisine. There are plenty of international restaurants, too (many of them run by long-time expats), not to mention a dynamic bar and nightlife scene.

    WIFI is ubiquitous in Phnom Penh and 4G data is cheap (on my last visit, I paid just $10 for 40GB of mobile data). There are literally hundreds of great cafes in the capital, plus a few dedicated co-working spaces that cater specifically to local entrepreneurs and digital nomads.

    Because the expat population is so large, you can always find events, networking drinks and meet-ups throughout the week. And when the city gets too much, you can always take a short trip to one of Cambodia’s charming smaller towns. Kampot on the river just south of Phnom Penh is a favorite weekend getaway.

    #10 – Goa, India

    By Sapna from My Simple Sojourn

    Yellow house in India.

    Goa is one of the most popular travel destinations among international and Indian travellers. The laid back feel, beaches, and its heritage are major attractions. Goa not only attracts travellers but it’s one of the popular places among digital nomads. It is a nice place to work remotely and relax.

    Only two-three years ago the Internet was a big issue in Goa and it was difficult to work online. The WiFi was patchy and due to electric cuts. But the situation changed in the last couple of years.

    Internet connectivity improved. Several co-working spaces came up in different parts of Goa. Many hostels have co-working spaces and they provide a good WiFi connection. Coming back to coworking spaces, the co-working spaces have different ways of working. Some provide fixed desks and some have a casual feel. When renting an apartment in Goa, you can also ask the landlord to provide a WiFi connection with it. All these help in working remotely. You can comfortably get a 2MBPS connection through WiFi.

    Other than these, the mobile internet is also very economical in India. Most of the mobile network providers give 1 GB data per day along with the unlimited calling at approximately 500 INR monthly rentals. They claim that connection is 4G but at lots of places this runs at 3G speed.

    Moreover, Goa has a cosmopolitan feel and is safe for solo travelers. People from across the globe come here so it’s easy to find food from different parts of the world.

    While coming to the safety issue, you just need to follow the common sense and don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do at home.

    Considering all the above factors and the cost of living, Goa is a good option for digital nomads. Since the community is growing it’s easy to find support in case you have any requirements. Other than this there are several beaches in Goa to relax in between working hours and the weather is nice & sunny.

    #11 – Lisbon, Portugal

    By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

    Rail cart in Lisbon, Portugal.

    Lisbon has become a real hotspot for digital nomads, and there are many good reasons for this. For one, the cost of living here is cheap compared with most other destinations in Western Europe. While prices have started to rise with the influx of tourists, Lisbon still offers excellent value, with lots of affordable restaurants and cafés as well as plenty of apartments available as short-term rentals. The locals are friendly, and most people under the age of 40 speak English fluently, so you don’t need to worry about being able to communicate.

    It’s also the sunniest capital in Europe, so you can expect good weather at pretty much any time of year. Though beware that most houses here have no central heating and are not well insulated, so it can sometimes feel colder inside than it does outside. Internet is fast and reliable, with service providers like Vodafone offering speeds of 100 Mbps with even their cheapest package.

    And with so many other digital nomads flocking to Lisbon, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people, and maybe even brainstorm and collaborate together on a new project. Through Facebook and Meetup.com you’ll find several groups specifically for Lisbon-based digital nomads. These groups often organize events, including both casual get-togethers and more formal workshops on topics like SEO and productivity.

    #12 – Lanzarote, Spain

    By Darek and Gosia from Darek And Gosia

    Lanzarote beach in Spain.

    Lanzarote is not the digital nomad capital of the world but it’s a new and upcoming cool place! This is one of the best places in Europe for digital nomads who want a cheaper life, stunning views, and great food. Living costs are also affordable. Their internet connection is reliable, which is a must for every digital Nomad.

    Known for its amazing climate in winter, Lanzarote is the top destination for any digital nomad from Europe. 20 degrees Celsius in winter helps to be more creative than on continental Europe.

    The island is not part of the EU customs union which means it is duty-free! Many products on Lanzarote are very very cheap – yes, this is due to being duty-free, so your savings are massive! In the Canaries, they are exempt from VAT, but they do pay a local sales tax on most goods, which is just 6.5% (compared to 21% in continental Spain), so that’s another reason things often seem cheaper here.

    #13 – Valencia, Spain

    By Lauren from Always Find Adventure

    Beautiful building in Valencia, Spain.

    Valencia, Spain is a really great city if you want to be a digital nomad. It’s Spain’s 3rd largest city, so you will still get that metropolitan feel, with the coziness of an old charming Spanish town. The history runs deep here, even including The Holy Grail.

    Valencia is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, so you have the beach as well as the city. You can easily access Barcelona or Madrid within 1-3 hours. There’s an airport here as well as 2 major train stations that give you access to travel cheap to other destinations within Spain, as well as within Europe and Northern African countries.

    The city is very safe – you don’t need to worry about pickpocketing like you do in Barcelona. You can even feel safe walking home late at night by yourself.

    In comparison to larger cities in Spain like Madrid or Barcelona, Valencia is far cheaper with rent being significantly less. In comparison to the US especially, food and drinks are very affordable here.

    Meeting other people here, especially other digital nomads, is very easy. There are lots of expat meetups and digital nomad groups that co-work at different coffee shops every week. There are awesome coworking spaces like WayCo as well. Wifi is available in most cafes and restaurants so you will not have to worry about that.

    The city of Valencia hosts many celebrations every month, and there are lots of events to attend so you’ll never be bored. They have street fairs, fireworks, and events almost every weekend. Valencia also has a great club scene from the beach, to the famous Russafa neighborhood, as well as MYA which is located in the Arts & Sciences complex. If you’re here in March, then make sure to come for Fallas which is one of the most unique festivals in the world.

    #14 – Bali, Indonesia

    By Rai from A Rai of Light

    Beach in Bali.

    Bali is one of those destinations that steals the spotlight when it comes to destinations for digital nomads. And with good reason.

    The island boasts numerous co-working options, friendly locals, a diversity of natural landscapes, and good food attracting travellers from all walks of life. You can’t go wrong with the choice of either Ubud or Canggu offering something for everyone.

    On any given street you can reliably find a variety of cafés, restaurants, and supermarkets with goods from around the world. There is also a multitude of yoga studios, parks, and nature reserves within a reasonable distance.

    I have spent quite a bit of time on the island and fortunately, there is also a whole lot to do from discovering the temples and rice terraces to hiking the mountains and snorkeling in the abundant waters.

    This cheap tropical island is also particularly safe increasing its appeal for both female nomads and the solo traveler. Bali is cheap and for a fraction of the cost in other places, one can live well, eat well, and work well in this paradise.

    #15 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

    By Daniel James from Layer Culture

    Digital Nomads in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    If you are looking for a new location to base yourself as a digital nomad, I suggest you check out Buenos Aires. Named as the Paris of South America you can come here with your online business and work in style.

    Traveling around South America as a backpacker I chose Buenos Aires as a location to set-up one of my first online ventures. One reason for this was because of the great social life and the sheer amount of events going on in the city. At times it felt like I was in a major European city and really enjoyed working out of the many coffee shops on offer.

    I wrote some do’s and don’ts when it comes to safety in Buenos Aires so you can feel at ease, but all the main neighborhoods in the city appear safe. You just have to follow the regular safety rules you’d expect, especially when walking around with your laptop or other expensive electronics.

    With zones like the Palermo and Recoleta, you can also meet other like-minded individuals and digital nomads if that is your thing. All in all Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities for working online and after living there for 6 months I will return time and time again.

    #16 – Medellín, Colombia

    By Iris Veldwijk from Digital Nomads Guides

    Medellin, Colombia is becoming a digital nomad hotspot.

    My partner and I traveled around South America for two years while working online. People we’d met before had enthusiastically talked about Medellín, Colombia’s second-biggest city. So when we came to the country, we wanted to see with our own eyes why everyone reps Medellín. It did not disappoint!

    The city of eternal spring is full of work-friendly cafés, comfy Airbnbs, fast internet, and great munch places. Especially compared to Southeast Asia, you can get almost every type of food there at an affordable price. It’s even possible to get your motorbike license within two weeks! And yes, the climate is indeed very pleasant throughout the year, without any marked rainy season. We loved it there so much that we extended our 90-day Colombian visa to double that amount and returned to Medellín after a short stint in the San Andrés archipelago.

    In total, we spent five weeks working on a digital nomad-centric travel guide to Medellín. We met many people – Colombian and foreign – who are pursuing their location independent dreams in this city. They organized co-working sessions, built co-living spaces, and organized relaxing events in the evening.

    Our favorite neighborhoods were Laureles, El Poblado, and Envigado. They are all very different in terms of availability of affordable accommodation, social events, tranquility, and walkability. It’s a good idea to either book accommodations for a short time to sample all neighborhoods or to really research into what it is you’re looking for to live your best life.

    The country ‘Colombia’ and the city ‘Medellín’ make some people uncomfortable for fear of their personal safety. But the country has changed a lot over the years. As long as you’re not pursuing a career as a narco and keep your wits about you, there’s no reason to fear a visit to this lovely country.

    In my experience, Colombians themselves are a friendly bunch – and I hitchhiked with many of them from socioeconomic estrato uno to estrato seis. Many Colombians are very entrepreneurial as well, so you might just find a great friend to talk about your online business while doing a language exchange to improve that Spanish. Colombia is a country to watch, and Medellín the city of those exciting developments.

    #17 – Cape Town, South Africa

    By Alya from Stingy Nomads

    Cape Town is an up and coming digital nomad hotspot.

    Cape Town is a great place for digital nomads who love outdoor activities, being squeezed in between it’s famous mountains and the ocean. If you are a foodie or wine lover, the spectacular wine estates and restaurants all the way from Costantia to Franschhoek, the foodie heaven in South Africa, offers plenty to fill your Cape Town itinerary.

    The blogging community in Cape Town is quite active so it’s easy to find people in the same niche and to connect with them. There are many great coffee shops and coworking spaces for online entrepreneurs where you can meet new people.

    As digital nomads returning to Cape Town every summer we enjoy living in the Bloubergstrand area, the Big Bay neighbourhood near the beach is relatively safe with shops within walking distance, it is great for running on the beach, surfing and is a world renowned spot for kitesurfing.

    Other popular areas for digital nomads are Seapoint, great for bloggers who want to stay near the ocean and close to the center of the city. For those who prefer to stay in an upmarket area close to the sea, Camps Bay is the place to be. The V&A Waterfront is one of the safest areas to stay, on the water’s edge with great views of Table Mountain and walking distance from the vibrant harbour and a luxury mall.

    The weather around Cape Town is great for digital nomads, it’s warm and sunny most of the year, basically from October till May you can enjoy being outside, with the temperatures really picking up in January and February. Renting a place in Cape Town is quite affordable, especially if you can rent longer term.

    #18 – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

    By Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz from GettingStamped

    Playa del Carmen is a great digital nomad city!

    Playa del Carmen, or known as “Playa” by the locals, is not just a favorite vacation destination to us, rather it was our home base for six months. Playa is said to be Cancun’s little brother – a little bit smaller and more condensed which is great for digital nomads.

    Unlike Cancun where the main town is a little further away, the town and beach in Playa are close together. This means that Playa is a very walkable city so getting around is relatively easy. Also, for the duration of our time living here, we felt very safe.

    There’s also a community of expats in Playa that meet up a few times every month and it was awesome to get to meet other nomads like ourselves.

    What we loved most about living here was the amazing work life balance we had in Playa, as the beach and all nearby attractions are close by to visit easily. Besides visiting the beach almost every day, we were able to check out the amazing Mayan Ruins in the area, explore nearby cenotes and even visit nearby Tulum a few times. Plus, Playa has so many great food spots and bars. It truly was the best of both worlds!

    There you have it! 18 amazing digital nomad destinations to live as a digital nomad around the world. This modern lifestyle really amazes us! It’s so cool how you can just pack up your laptop, your passport, and your suitcase and then you can live basically anywhere around the world – while financially supporting the life of your dreams. How cool is that?

    Let us know in the comments which one of these locations you found to be most exciting, and if you’ve already been living in any of them!

    Have fun!

    Dom & Jo

    Red White Adventures

    red white adventures logo with swan and moose

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    How to become a digital nomad

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    was overpaying for a run-down, tiny room in a bad Brooklyn neighborhood with sporadic hot water and a roommate who forgot to flush. Overnight — literally, overnight—I was renting a gorgeous room in Florence, Italy from a friendly art teacher who loved to share her cooking, and a balcony that overlooked the city’s legendary cathedral (the same one that helped kickstart the Renaissance).

    And I was paying half as much on rent and living expenses.

    Freelancing is all about the perks: making your own hours, working wherever you want, and sidestepping the doldrum cubicle life. But taking the plunge into becoming a digital nomad, the ultimate perk, is a scary one that often goes unexplored.

    Becoming a digital nomad isn’t easy. But it is so much easier than everyone thinks! What often scares people off is the laundry list of obstacles that seem to be in your way, namely:

    • Working without the security of a steady paycheck or the camaraderie of your colleagues
    • Leaving behind friends and family
    • Abandoning your comfort zone
    • Language barriers
    • Meeting new people (the “I’m shy” myth)
    • What to do with all your stuff
    • Irrational fears like: “what if I lose my passport?” or “isn’t is dangerous to live abroad?”
    Fierce traveler logo
    It can be scary to take the first step to becoming digital nomad, but there is a fierce traveler in you just waiting to come out! Fierce Traveler logo by pmo

    These obstacles are much are scarier in your head than in reality. When you focus on everything that could go wrong, you forget all the amazing things that could go right. Sure, sometimes the language barrier will cause trouble and, sure, sometimes you’ll get homesick. But sometimes you’ll also have magical experiences with fascinating people that will make it all worth it.

    When I started freelancing, it took three years of navigating horrible housing situations and exorbitant living costs before I worked up the courage to do what I really wanted to do: buy that first plane ticket and a gigantic backpack and head overseas. Twelve countries and five continents later, it was the best decision of my life. No question about it.

    Remote jobs are steadily on the rise, but that doesn’t make the thought of traveling to, and working in, a foreign country any less scary. Here, I share what I learned along the way so you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.

    Get paid in Belgrade

    cartoon of a home office by Odius.
    For a home office, both “home” and “office” can be relative. Illustration by Odius

    First things first, you need a source of income independent of location. I’m a content creator for digital marketers, which is a fancy way to say that I’m a pro blogger. But digital nomads come from a variety of different industries, although most tend to revolve around the internet. Some common remote jobs are:

    • Graphic designers
    • Programmers
    • Videographers
    • Social media professionals
    • Editors and proofreaders
    • Ecommerce proprietors
    • Customer service representatives
    • Virtual assistants
    • IT technicians
    • Business owners

    A lot of these positions are client-based, but don’t think you have to find clients in the country you’re visiting. As long as you’re happy with a 3-month tourist visa (see the Visa section below), you can continue finding clients from your home country.

    One thing to be aware of is the late-night business call. Considering the time zone differences, I regularly attend phone meetings with American clients at midnight or later. As a night person, I don’t necessarily mind this — in fact, it’s a bit of a thrill to talk business in the alley next to a bar or with a special someone waiting for you in bed. But even if you’re a bit rigid on this, I’ve noticed my clients are more than willing to shift their schedules to find a time that suits us both. In all my years of doing this, scheduling a business call has never been a problem.

    If none of the jobs above appeal to you, or if you want to avoid the hassle of learning a new skill, there’s always one golden-ticket job that anyone from anywhere can pursue: language teacher

    I taught for a couple years in Milan before I got into pro blogging. Teaching English is a risk-free way to earn a long-term visa, and it streamlines meeting new people and making friends. However, you’re glued into a school/city for however long your contract is, so it’s not for the rapid traveler.

    If you’re a native English speaker, you have your pick of countries as an EFL teacher (although competition is worse in some cities). But regardless of your mother tongue, someone, somewhere, will pay you to teach it to them. Getting a teaching certificate is fairly cheap and easy, too, so you can’t use “I’ll never find work” as an excuse not to become a digital nomad!

    Manage money in New Delhi

    Buildings for multiple banks.
    Citibank, HSBC, and many other banks have branches all around the world, so that’s one less thing to worry about. via Pexels

    Keep in mind, you’ll still need to pay taxes in your home country if you’re traveling under tourist visas. I use my father’s address for my taxes, and as long as the IRS gets their check, they’re happy.

    If you’re not using a tourist visa, i.e., you have an actual job in the country you’re visiting, then obviously the rules are different. Each country handles taxes their own way, but you should be able to ask any questions you have before signing your documents. If an employer is willing to hire you, they’ll be willing to explain how taxes work.

    As for banking, I use my U.S. Citibank account with minimal drawbacks. They’re pretty popular internationally, and I can use at least 80% of ATMs around the world. My biggest complaint is sometimes they’ll freeze my card because they see activity in a new country. Of course, I usually forget to tell customer service where I’m headed. A more responsible nomad won’t have this problem.

    My goal is to get an HSBC account. Of all the banks in the world, HSBC is the one I see most frequently in different countries, and it seems to cater to travelers. Check out NerdWallet’s Best Banks for International Travel 2017 for more useful information about banking overseas.

    Stay a while in São Paulo

    Choosing where to go on a map.
    Anyone who said “it’s the journey, not the destination” never spent a 9-hour flight in the middle seat between two snorers. via Pexels

    When choosing where to set up your digital nomad headquarters the world is literally your oyster. I tend to go for places with warm and open cultures (it makes it easier to forge friendships), cities on the smaller side, and those that are known for being affordable. But if you want to check off all the world-famous tourist destinations or live in a shack in the Australian outback, I won’t stop you.

    Figuring out what neighborhood to live in can be a bit trickier. I usually take the advice of people who’ve been there before about where the good bar scenes are or which areas to avoid at night. If I don’t have a personal reference, I just poke around online until my questions are answered. Although I try to distance myself from the tourists on Trip Advisor, I can’t deny that their forums come in handy when learning about a place. When scoping out areas to live in, make sure that the neighborhood has what you need, and that you can afford it. I always look into the coffee shop scene beforehand and try to rent rooms in areas that have wifi cafes for work.

    As for the how, I usually use Airbnb. It’s convenient, and I like the guarantee (you’ll soon learn the world is full of swindlers who prey on out-of-towners). I book the first 30 days through Airbnb because there’s usually a price break for a month. Then, if I like the place, I rent the additional months directly from the host to avoid the site’s fee. The hosts prefer this too, especially if you pay in cash.

    If you know someone in the area before you go, they can usually help you find a place, too. Friends of friends have invited me to Facebook groups that exchange sublets and those tend to be cheapest. I’ve also heard good things about Couchsurfing, but have never tried it myself as I’d rather pay extra for more privacy.

    Make friends in the Netherlands

    Illustration of friends for a social net website by WolfBell.
    Strangers are just friends who haven’t added you on Facebook yet. Social net website by WolfBell

    Making friends seems to be what causes the most fear in the prospective nomad—and for good reason. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: lonely periods are par for the course for digital nomads, lasting weeks or even months, but if you hang in there, you’ll cultivate two essential life skills: thriving in solitude learning how to make friends in any situation.

    Making new friends is a muscle that gets strengthened with use, but there are some tips that can help to make the process a bit easier:

    1. Make the first move.

    I was shy for most of my life, but traveling has trained me to be much more outgoing. It’s now second nature to start a conversation with a stranger. So much of traveling is learning about who you are and pushing yourself to become a better person. With practice you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

    From personal experience, I know how excruciating making new friends can be at first, especially since a lot of work-at-home positions attract the introverted type. But the good news is, it gets easier every time you do it. So start practicing today—right now, in fact! If you begin talking to people you don’t know now, by the time you’re ready to leave you’ll be a lot more confident.

    On top of that, the country’s culture will determine how easily you can meet the locals. In Italy, all you have to do is step outside your apartment to make friends.

    2. Find your niche.

    There are meet-ups, activity groups and classes all over the world that can help you meet people, and at the very least there are always bars and clubs. Determine which ways are best for you to meet people.

    Language exchange sites like Conversation Exchange have been a huge help for me. Just as it sounds, these sites connect people that want to learn the a country’s native languages. It works well because if you’re in a foreign country, your mother tongue will usually be in demand. You can even start using it today to meet a pen pal in your next location. Just refrain from hitting on anyone—it’s not a dating app! Speaking of dating apps, they can also be a shortcut to making “friends.” I’ll sometimes set up an account in my next city a couple weeks before arriving just to get a head start.

    3. Don’t be afraid of being alone.

    Inevitably, there will be lonely times, even if just for a night or two. Learn to make the most of it, whether attending an event by yourself, or staying in and watching TV. It will save you a lot of distress if you learn to become comfortable in solitude. That’s not just good advice for traveling, but life in general.

    If having travel companions is important to you, you can also join a digital nomad group. There are talks about gangs of digital nomads that travel together gypsy-style around the world. While I like the freedom of going solo (in groups, you don’t always get to choose where you go), I can see the appeal of traveling in groups, especially if you’re new to the whole nomad thing or want to travel to a location that may be a bit sketchy to navigate solo.

    Pack in Peking

    Luggage print design with famous world destination theme by Prim.
    If you were going to a desert island and could only take 66 lbs of luggage, what would you take? Luggage design by Prim for K Chen

    Before I did it, the thought of selling and getting rid of my things was horrifying. After I did it, I never felt better in my life.

    There’s something so liberating about fitting all your worldly possessions into a single piece of luggage. The act of deciding what to keep and what to let go forces you to examine the role of material possessions in your life. Would you rather hear a captivating tale from a Russian painter in a snowy bar in Moscow or hold on to that second hair-dryer?

    In my giant Samsonite, I have a small wardrobe of summer and winter clothes, my laptop and accessories (including all socket adapters), a spare bag for small trips, a handful of art supplies for fun, and backups of a few hard-to-find brands for things like mosquito-repellent and acne cream. I keep everything of sentimental value in two shoeboxes at my dad’s house, and add my new souvenirs to it every time I make the trip back there.

    Books are the worst because they’re heavy. I’d recommend investing in a Kindle or just reading off your phone.

    You want to get your bag down to less than 30 kg, about 66 lbs. Anything more requires extra fares on airplanes. Unfortunately my bag is up to 33 kg at the moment with souvenirs I haven’t dropped off yet, and it’s frequently an issue during airline check-in.

    If you’re struggling with letting go of possessions, I think it’s time you sat down and rewatched Fight Club.

    Get a visa in Vancouver

    Travel documents for a flight.
    The golden rule of visa laws: hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Via Pexels

    Visa laws are the bane of my existence. Almost every country permits a 90-day stay on a tourist visa, at least for Americans. I’ve heard the requirements are stricter for citizens of some other countries. My poor Norwegian buddy wants to take his Nepalese girlfriend to meet his family, but they’ve been cutting red tape for months just trying to get her a vacation permit.

    Some countries are more relaxed about visa laws than others. In Argentina, I had to pay a fine for overstaying my visa by one day, and missed my boat because the fine could only be paid in a special government building. After a misstep in Japan, true to form, they pulled me aside and politely explained the rules of their visa program. Meanwhile, countries like Nepal encourage multiple returns because they charge per visa and have a large tourism industry.

    Some countries turn a blind eye to “visa runs,” where you leave the country for a weekend or so and return with a fresh new 90-day visa. But pulling this off takes thought, so do your research beforehand about how acceptable this practice is in the country you’re visiting. Often, it will come down to the officer you work with at the immigration office. Look for a friendly face.

    Be sure to research visa laws online before planning a trip; sometimes you need to buy a visa online before they even let you board the plane.

    Bring fido to Hokkaido

    A pug dog poses in front of a traditional Japanese building.
    Like people, some pets love traveling, while others prefer to stay at home. Via Pexels

    My first year as a digital nomad, I took my cat with me. Pets will restrict you in terms of where you go, both in where you can rent a room and which countries you can travel to without quarantines (island nations have the strictest rules). But traveling with your furry companion is doable, if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices.

    My cat hated traveling and was not nearly as happy as I was, but luckily my ex offered to take him since they were familiar with each other. If you look hard enough, there’s always an alternative to dumping them in a shelter.

    Take the leap!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: becoming a digital nomad was the greatest thing I’ve ever done. When I think about who I was before and who I am now, I feel grateful and humbled that I was lucky enough to have this opportunity. Throughout your journey, you will see your insecurities and bad habits melt away, and you’ll discover new, admirable traits that you never knew you had. It’s clear that some things can only be learned through traveling.

    If you want to learn to fly, at some point you have to jump off a cliff.

    Do you have questions about becoming a digital nomad? Ask me anything in the comments section now!

    The author

    Matt Ellis

    Matt Ellis

    Matt Ellis is a freelance content writer, specializing in web design and ecommerce. For over a decade he’s been sharing his industry knowledge through ebooks, website copy, and blog articles just like this one. You can learn more about his career and writing services at https://www.mattelliscontentwriter.com/

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