Topics Covered Hide
- 1 Exploring the freedom to go anywhere, anytime
- 2 Becoming familiar with the digital nomad concept
- 3 Gaining more flexibility in work
- 4 Finding inspiration in new places
- 5 Pushing finances to another level
- 6 Designing a brand new lifestyle
- 7 Meeting new people
Now, what are the steps to become a digital nomad?
- 8.1 Thailand
- 8.2 Sri Lanka
- 8.3 Singapore
- 8.4 Cambodia
- 8.5 Maldives
- 8.6 Assessing the disadvantages of being a digital nomad
- 8.7 Conclusion
Technologies have advanced, and so did communication and the overall attitude. Throw in the recent coronavirus pandemic, too, and people have already had a taste of what it feels like to work remotely. It can be done, so many companies will implement such concepts in the future.
Technology is definitely the main reason wherefore so many people turn to this lifestyle. What do you need, after all? An Internet connection, which you could get anywhere. Perhaps a camera too and an application, so you can see anyone, regardless of your location.
Exploring the freedom to go anywhere, anytime
Now, if you think about technology overall, it looks like more and more corporations focus on improving the possibility to travel in no time. Cars are more powerful. Many of them are electric, only to ensure greater sustainability.
Jet engines are not to be overlooked either. All these things shorten the time needed to go from one place to another. But technology takes things even further. You may not even need to be in that place anymore, which makes everything even better.
The general idea is fairly simple to understand – there is no need to stick to one place only. Sure, you could stick to a warm beach somewhere nice, but then, you have the overall freedom to move wherever you can.
Being a digital nomad is more accessible than ever today because it translates into working from home. Your home could be anywhere – travel the world, get a van, turn it into a camper van and maybe enjoy the van life. You might as well change countries for more variety.
There are certain things you need to know before adopting this lifestyle. No matter how attractive it seems, it is definitely not for everyone. For instance, unless you and your partner work remotely, it might feel a bit lonely. But on the same note, it is great if you want to meet new people.
Becoming familiar with the digital nomad concept
To keep it simple, a digital nomad is an individual who travels – a nomad. This person is digital because they work online in order to sustain their lifestyle – food, healthcare, accommodation, and other common needs. The location is irrelevant, and technology represents the way to perform their job.
The job is irrelevant – it could be anything. You could work for a particular company, or maybe you run your own business. Many digital nomads work as freelancers. At the end of the day, it makes no difference – if it can support your lifestyle, go for it.
This type of lifestyle is now more possible than ever due to various improvements in technology, as well as the possibility to find an Internet connection pretty much anywhere. Smartphones are more accessible than ever, too, and VoIP is ideal for connecting with others.
Before moving on, it is worth noting that a digital nomad is someone who works for this lifestyle. Having a big fat bank account and traveling around the world does not really count – after all, what is so digital about traveling?
Digital nomads can work from anywhere. Some of them work from coffee shops. Others try to find co-working spaces in different cities. Some others work from their temporary homes, hostels, and so on. As long as there is an Internet connection, they might as well work from the beach or their cars.
Once you get into this lifestyle, chances are you will plan to do it like this for the rest of your life. There are more benefits, as well as the possibility to embrace the opportunity to travel. After all, what can be more boring than a monotonous 9-5 job and a boss looking over your shoulder?
There are certain steps you must take before embracing this lifestyle. But before getting there, you need to understand the benefits associated with it, as well as what pushes more and more people towards the idea.
Gaining more flexibility in work
Becoming a digital nomad means you are in charge of your life – more flexibility regarding your schedule and work as well. Sure, it may not always work like this – if you work for a company, you may need to be online at certain times of the day, but there is nothing wrong with that.
Most people will find projects and jobs with deadlines, so they can adjust their working hours. They work whenever they feel more productive. They may also mix environments – choose a coffee shop today and the beach tomorrow.
The possibility to come up with your own lifestyle is a plus too. You can work early in the morning and spend the day meeting with new friends or hitting the gym. If you find yourself more productive at night, work then – no one cares. If it works for you, why not?
Finding inspiration in new places
Inspiration is clearly a plus. Going to the same office day by day or being in the same city may get boring after a while. Inspiration tends to come with new things. How about traveling to a completely different culture? You never know what you may find there.
Traveling will most likely feed your soul, but at the same time, it will make you much more productive. It will boost your creativity and can help you prevent routines – which normally block your capability to see things outside the box.
Traveling allows you to disrupt these patterns, so you gain access to new environments. You need to adapt and think – change some of your perceptions. Disrupting patterns will boost your innovation and creativity – colors, sounds, sights, people, and others.
Pushing finances to another level
Most people associate the digital nomad lifestyle with extra expenses and good jobs. Indeed, you need an income that can support your lifestyle, but this is pretty much it. The location will change everything. Get a job with a company in the UK and live in Thailand, for example.
Being in a place with a low cost of living will make you feel rich, but also boost your finances. You could pay debt much faster than normal, not to mention the possibility to save some money for further plans – such as investments.
Moving to an inexpensive place will seriously reduce your expenses – from the actual accommodation and bills to food and entertainment. You might as well work less and still be able to support your lifestyle – whatever works for you.
Designing a brand new lifestyle
Being a digital nomad will give you the possibility to redesign your lifestyle – your terms and preferences will come first this time. Choosing where you want to live or work is an incredible benefit – most people will never experience it. Forget about outer forces – they are no longer there.
There is no one else reshaping your lifestyle, but yourself. These are the most important choices in life, after all – where you live and what you do for a living. Working schedules are extremely flexible, meaning you can spend more time with your loved ones or find new hobbies.
If you think about it, a digital nomad is a holiday lifestyle. You would rather do this than spend the whole year for a couple of weeks of holiday in an exotic country. The digital nomad lifestyle is about experiencing things that only the rich could benefit from a few decades ago.
Meeting new people
Globe trotting might have been a dream before – it is a pure reality now with all the advancements in technology. Most nomads will choose different countries, rather than different cities. What does it mean? The possibility to meet all kinds of people and cultures.
You will learn from different ways of life and cultures. It is not all about locals and residents, but you may also find communities of digital nomads – learn from others, find new opportunities and discover friends in the same industry.
As if all these were not enough, you will develop skills of cultural communication. You will be familiar with different concepts and ideas. Even if it sounds useless now, such skills may help later on in life if you will ever work with multinational clients.
Apart from all these, being a digital nomad will also help you get over the stressful traffic jams. You will no longer spend a couple of hours a day commuting, five days a week – 520 hours a year on average or more than 21 days. Forget about bad winters, too – especially if you choose an exotic place.
Now, what are the steps to become a digital nomad?
Step 1 – Get rid of unnecessary expenses
Unless your main reason is to pay the debt, getting rid of it is the first step. Again, some people become digital nomads in order to pay their debt or save some money. If your debt is not too big, get rid of it upfront. You don't want stress over this new lifestyle.
With these thoughts in mind, get rid of things that you do not need. First, pay all your credit cards. Get rid of all the payments for your car. Lose everything that you will not be taking with you – what is the purpose of keeping these things anyway?
For instance, get a large backpack. Make sure you have enough clothes for a week and shoes – you do not want to do laundry on a daily basis. Get your laptop, phone, and camera. Limit your expenses too – do you really need Netflix when traveling the world? Exactly…
Step 2 – Concentrate on the income
If you already have a job and you can work remotely, this step is covered. While on the road, you will need to make money in order to support this new lifestyle. Those without a job will need a source of money – luckily, there are plenty of opportunities over the Internet.
The point is to avoid working 10 hours a day, but maybe 20 hours a week. You want to enjoy this lifestyle, rather than feel like a slave – otherwise, what is the point of traveling anyway? You do not need to worry about the next paycheck.
Furthermore, a form of passive income will also help. No matter what it is, to be successful, it is highly recommended to have a plan B. You need two sources of income for a while – even if they are not great. You want some backup. What happens if you lose your job 7,000 miles away from home?
Step 3 – Get travel insurance
Travel insurance may not always be a legal requirement, but it is quite important for you. Unless you make enough money to work for a month and live for a year and you have a good stash for emergencies, you will need this type of insurance.
Accidents can happen. Emergencies may arise out of nowhere. The insurance must be international – focus on finding a policy that will cover the countries you hope to visit. It makes no difference if you want to visit Africa or perhaps each country in Europe.
The health insurance is mostly aimed at emergencies. Health-related incidents can also be covered, but most of these things can be handled with low expenses. Many countries will not be able to provide the type of healthcare you are used to, hence the necessity of insurance.
Step 4 – Sort your banking out
There are more steps to consider here. For instance, contact the bank and make sure you let them know about the traveling experience you are about to start. You do not want security triggers to block your card while trying to pay for a hotel in Singapore and another one in Sri Lanka for the next week.
You want a reliable bank, too – one that can sort your problems out without getting there in person. This is the last thing you want – you may end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. Signing up for a credit monitoring service may also be a decent idea to ensure your funds are safe.
Unsurprisingly, many digital nomads aim to find international cards. There are also travel cards that provide rewards and a bit of extra safety. Try to have more cards with you – if you lose one or it gets blocked, you can transfer money and use another one.
Step 5 – Unlock your phone
This is an important step – often overlooked. You do not want your phone locked to a particular carrier. As you go abroad, you may need to use different SIM cards. This is not always the case – for example, countries in the European Union have no roaming costs.
But then, if you travel around the world, other places will charge you. You may need to buy SIM cards in different countries – do your homework upfront and become familiar with the top networks and their bundles.
An unlocked phone will give you the freedom to choose whatever plan suits your necessities.
Now that you understand what it takes to become a digital nomad, what are the best-rated countries? Different people have different goals. Some people travel the world and move every few months. Some others are looking for a new and inexpensive place to settle for a long period of time.
ThailandThailand has grown to become one of the leading countries for digital nomads. Enjoy the serenity and paradise views associated with some islands, swim in crystal clear waters, and enjoy a relatively safe place where lots of people can speak English.
Sri LankaSri Lanka is another inexpensive country where plenty of digital nomads chooses to settle. The living cost is low, while the green mountains and beautiful coral reefs stand out in the crowd. It is a unique working experience that will surprise you with its beauty and simplicity – plus, it is mostly hot.
SingaporeSingapore is one of the premier Asian destinations for digital nomads. It is probably Asia's main digital hub. However, this is not the type of chilled paradise-like Sri Lanka. Instead, expect technology, plenty of tech hubs, lots of freelancers, futuristic technologies, and a relatively high living cost.
CambodiaCambodia is a mix of culture, peace, and low living costs. It is a world of wonder – spend a few hours a day working and spend the afternoons exploring ancient temples and unique architecture. The living cost is low, meaning you can enjoy numerous experiences without having to pay a fortune.
maldives" data-toc="1" >MaldivesThose who like a bit of luxury and cannot survive without a beach will most likely appreciate the Maldives. It is known all over the world for its white beaches and turquoise waters. Living costs are low, but you obviously need to settle in a modern place. There are plenty of opportunities there in terms of fun too.
There are definitely other countries you can take into consideration too. When not sure where to go, consider the overall safety standards, cost of living, and opportunities – as well as the activities and weather you would like. Here are a few other options:
No matter where you choose to go, keep in mind that every paradise has both good and dangerous places. A dangerous country is likely to have very safe areas for foreigners, while a safe country may have some rough areas that you need to stay away from.
Assessing the disadvantages of being a digital nomad
Working from anywhere in the world is a dream for many. At the same time, you are aware of the benefits associated with such a lifestyle. But then, it is definitely not for everyone. So, what are the potential disadvantages then?
- Exhausting lifestyle – to some, moving all the time can be an exhausting experience, even if you do it every few months. Obviously, it does not have to be like this. You can just find a nice country and live there for a few years before moving on.
- Less productivity – you will always feel like being on holiday, meaning your productivity is likely to suffer. There will always be some activities to do, or maybe you keep thinking about a frappe on the beach. Distractions are always around.
- Loneliness – it is definitely great meeting new people, exploring new cultures, and maybe even finding the love of your life. But on the other hand, you should know that plenty of digital nomads tends to struggle with loneliness.
- No wow factor – with time, travel is just another activity. Your holidays will no longer have the wow factor. Living out of a backpack for so long may lose its charm with time. But then, different people see things differently.
ConclusionAs a short final conclusion, the digital nomad lifestyle can go in more directions. To many people, it is about finding a new purpose in life – go somewhere else, start a new life from scratch, meet new people, and get involved in a different community.
To others, it is about traveling. They will not settle in one place for a long period of time. Instead, they will move every few months or perhaps a few times a year. They will try out new experiences and see the world. After all, this is their primary goal.
Then, there are also people with other goals – a country with low living costs where they could save enough to pay their debt, for example. Some others may move in order to play for retirement in such a country – different goals everywhere.
What is worth remembering is the fact that the digital nomad lifestyle brings in plenty of opportunities for people. It has a series of benefits, but it also comes with some drawbacks. It is definitely not for everyone, and it requires lots of planning.