According to research, working culture across the globe will be a lot more flexible and location independent by 2025 with more and more people working remotely. It is great that people are moving in this direction because this will help people lead fuller, richer lives instead of feeling bored, fed up or exhausted. It is clear that people are desperate for a sense purpose and want to more from life. But very little in society teaches people about what lifestyle options are out there. That’s why the Digital Nomad movement is refreshing. It is time for people to move towards location independence and start thinking about what they want from life outside of work. Let’s change how we work!
To become a successful digital nomad, you need to:
Have a set of online skills and knowledge
Learn an online skill that you can develop a business around either as a freelancer or as a business owner. This could be coding, software developing, marketing, coaching, Instagram, virtual assisting, or maybe you can think of your own?
If you’d like help or someone to talk to about this, then why not send me a message?
Able to work on your own
So this is a big one… you need to stay motivated, energised and ready for clients or your company always. So you must have discipline and stamina to work on your own. However, amazing apps like Wunderlust, Google Calendar, Facebook (for networking and sharing ideas and knowledge), etc. exist to help you manage your workload efficiently.
Research good wifi spots in future destinations
Always focus on wifi when choosing destinations when you know you have to work. The best bet is researching co-working spaces in your destination and working from there.
Put Work First
Although we are all in it for the travel and freedom, we are all working and/or managing our businesses. It takes a lot of time and dedication so we all work a lot, I promise you! It’s not all fun and games as a serious digital nomad. Make sure that you put work first, so a good tip is to always keep your laptop close.
Check out how many days of the year you can be out of your native country
This is important. You need to have a resident address in your home country. You can do this by either choosing your family address or a friend’s address. Your business can have a paid business address. You also need to check with your country to know how many days you must be in your home country to qualify for tax and national insurance. You can find this out on your government’s website.
Insurance as a Nomad
The best insurance is World Nomad Insurance for Nomads.
When working on your laptop, these are the basics that you need to succeed. If you can juggle the above then you can maintain a healthy lifestyle as a location independent/nomadic person. The above applies for any entrepreneur.
As for travel.. here are some of my personal tips.
Make sure you know the visa requirements of wherever you’re going, and get that sorted BEFORE you book your flight! However, you can SOMETIMES get a visa in the airport on arrival, but it’s more fuss and can take hours. Plus there is no guarantee as every country has its own rules and you might not even be able to get on the plane without meeting the full requirements. Not ideal and be safe rather than sorry.
Also, if you lose your passport what you’ll need to do is go online and tell your government straight away. They will most likely issue you a temporary one in 24-48 hours which you can pick up from your nearest embassy (probably in the capital city of the country you are staying). It might take a valuable day away from fun or work, but that’s life. C’est la vie!
The first thing I can say is… 40% of travellers have been there and mistakes happen so don’t beat yourself up about it! Just chill and buy yourself the next available flight or the next cheapest flight if you have time. It’s a story to share, so take it for what it is!
Accidents happen everywhere. You can honestly have an accident or something bad happen just around the corner from your house, but you leave your house everyday to get on with life. So don’t let it get in the way of solo-travel adventures.
There is a fully functioning hospital in every big town/city in the world. All of which are full of trained staff ready to help you so you’ll be fine. I have met people who have been in scooter accidents and come out recovering as you would expect. Just make sure you have insurance or money ready for any possibilities.
Off-beaten tracks and adventures are a little harder to get to hospitals, but if you are unhappy with that… maybe stick to cities and towns or places where you feel more safe. At the end of the day, your happiness is important so make sure you make that a priority.
And now the fun bit! Making friends.
There are so many good events available for nomads to mingle and connect. Here are some of my favourites:
It’s 350-500 entrepreneurs on a boat for 12 days full of workshops, luxury food and drink, great company and adventure. They do two a year, one from Barcelona to Brazil and the other around the Mediterranean coast. It really is the place to learn about this type of lifestyle and connect with many different people at different stages of their journey. It’s a great place to network and make connections.
Starting at 1000 euros (all-inclusive). Check it out here.
This amazing group do small pop-up events across the world and also big outdoor festivals teaching people on location independence. A wonderful bunch of hosts and a great place to start on your location independence journey. This is a truly holistic and wonderful community that all nomads should be involved in.
Collaborate, innovate and create with fellow Coboaters aboard one of the most inspirational coworking environments in the world. It’s a co-working, co-living set up so you can live and work in the caribbean with fellow nomads. They are starting up in January 2019. I’ll hopefully be joining them next year as a coach.
22Stars workation is an amazing experience. You learn about how 22stars creates social impact and business for the woman war survivors in Uganda. So you spend time in Kampala and Jinja at the 22stars Foundation and go on a Safari in Murchison Falls National Park. I did it last year and it’s really worth it!
Bright Tribe organises remote co-working retreats in exquisite destinations for entrepreneurs and nomads. It is a great way to intimately network with 10-15 entrepreneurs, so you all get to know each other well. And they organise great excursions so you can get to know the local area. Well worth checking out!
Mingle with hundreds of motivated entrepreneurs and nomads. DNX is usually a week long when you include all the meet-up events and workshops. Filled with loads of useful knowledge and talks to get you motivated and inspired on your nomad journey.
Nomad Summit is for those who are looking for a freer life away from the rat race, who want to take charge of their own lives, for those who want to be their own boss and be the controller of their own lives. This one I haven’t personally had a connection with as it is never where I am, but I always hear good things.
Starting at $119. Check them out here.
7in7 Digital Nomad Conference
Great intimate conference to connect and learn with other nomads. They are usually held in Barcelona, but the last one was in Medellin.
Price starts at $579. Check them out!
Another interesting way to travel while you hang out with fellow digital nomads is the Nomad Train. Running from Russia to Mongolia on the trans Siberian railroad with stopovers along the way, this sounds like an unforgettable two weeks. Included in the price of your ticket is a SIM with 35GB of data and access to co-working spaces at every stop off so you’ll never miss a beat. Plus being on a train, you’ll have plenty of time to meet all the other digital nomads that think this is a good idea!
An event that strikes me as an incredible opportunity and a totally WILD idea is the Co-working Safari. 10 days or two weeks starting and ending in Cape Town, South Africa. The trip includes safari, beach time and co-working in the city. It covers all bases and is sure to attract the more adventurous nomads among us. With groups limited to 10 people you’ll have the time to really get to know your travel mates and deepen the connections as you share those once in a lifetime experiences.
Less of a one-off event, more of a journey. They collect nomads and put them into one massive group, so everyone can work and travel together. It’s a great way to make friends and not feel lonely on the nomad journey. You have to stay with them a maximum of a month.
Starting at 1100 euros. Check them out here.
There are tons more that I will be adding, however, I tend to write about events I have had personal contact with or are well-known, so that I know they are good! Keep an eye out on this space!
And here are a few ways to get to know people when you’re not at events…
Stay in hostels
This is simply the easiest. You will most likely share a room with 4-8 other travellers who are all ready and willing to make friends. If you hate the idea of sharing your room then some hostels offer private rooms, so you can still mingle and have your space. If you do your research on hostelworld.com, you are likely to find the perfect thing.
There are so many Facebook groups online. If you simply introduce yourself and tell people where you are going, chances are someone in the group(s) is going too! Here are some of my favourites:
Girls Love Travel (for women)
Exercise or sports classes
This is a great way to make friends with people who have common ground with you, and it’s a great way to share experiences with new people.
If you want to keep things a bit more chilled and you like your independence, an airbnb with or without a host could be more up your street. For keeping costs down couch surfing is a great option, and you get to meet the locals and maybe experience a different side to your destination.
Make friends with hotel or hostel owners by offering a skill on workaway.org for a place to stay and food. So if you have a skill like photography or marketing or teaching yoga,why not reach out and see if you can swap your skill for a room?
Have a look at local meet-up groups on meetup.com to see who’s doing what. It’s great way to meet the locals and do something that interests you.
If you want your own space…
Hotels can be lovely and relaxing if you prefer a little luxury- see if you can find smaller, boutique hotels for a more personal touch.
Make days for just you. Go for a walk, hike or simply take days off. You don’t have to do something everyday. Go with your flow… you are travelling solo after all!
This is what I would say are the basics of becoming a digital nomad. Any questions or if you want more information, please send me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org