Let’s face it — digital nomadism is an emerging trend. However, even though it sounds idyllic, not many people know how to go about it in the beginning. Old habits die hard — people are generally afraid of losing “secure” jobs (even if such a thing doesn’t exist in this neo-liberal age) or don’t know where to look for remote jobs.
The thing is, becoming a digital nomad is not that difficult if you know where to look for jobs and have decent skills. Let’s see how to get started!
1. Familiarize Yourself With the Gig Economy
This weird term is actually all the rage. With the onset of the latest pandemic, more people have gotten familiar with remote work and become aware of alternative ways to earn money.
The concept of the gig economy isn’t difficult to comprehend. However, finding well-paid jobs is absolutely crucial for turning digital nomad for good. That’s why you need to look hard to find the best opportunity and beat the competition. Highly skilled professionals rarely have difficulties securing good jobs, but even data entry and online language lessons can help you get started.
There’s another way to consider: establishing your own business and employing the above mentioned model of outsourcing for extra profit.
2. Establish a Stable Client Base
Recurring clients should be your aim from day one. If you’re relying on project-based work, make an effort to brainstorm every task so that the client will contact you again in the future.
The main trick here is in brainstorming the right rates — starting smaller is all fine, but charging for your efforts is also crucial.
3. Learn Bookkeeping, Financials and More
Once abroad, you’ll need to think about a number of things you normally wouldn’t if you stayed at home. The first two things digital nomads need to learn are bookkeeping and the tax system. Normally, each country has its unique tax system, which should be one of the main factors to consider when choosing a country to relocate to. In addition, there are U.S. expat taxes to consider, so it is essential that you know what’s going on at all times.
4. Download the Right Tools
It goes without saying that the choice of tools is absolutely essential for people working remotely. Not only do you need to familiarize yourself with the current trends, but you also need to remain tech-savvy in the long run.
Here are some examples of workflow automation tools to help you get the idea of the scope of the endeavor, and there are also other useful tools. Notable examples you’ll be unable to bypass are communication tools, task management tools and, in most cases, team management tools.
5. Learn the Ropes of Money Management
For many people, the idea of digital nomadism is synonymous with constant vacation. This couldn't be further from the truth. Many people just getting started often opt to establish a base in one country with decent costs of living before engaging in further travel.
Reasons for this strategy are numerous, and the most obvious one is that securing an amount of money beforehand is simply a clever idea.
In addition, there are also many factors to deal with before leaving home. For example, you’ll want to terminate all unnecessary bank accounts back at home and make certain that you have at least one credit/debit card that isn’t charging outrageous fees abroad.
Mobile banking is extremely important, but you may need to look hard for the best option as, naturally, banks make profits from other people’s money.
6. Choose the Right Insurance
Choosing the right insurance is another big concern. While most people are more or less familiar with at least the basics of domestic insurance plans, things stand differently with international insurance policies.
First of all, many countries’ visa requirements stipulate a health insurance policy that is rarely cheap. On the other hand, an increasing number of insurance companies are coming up with alternative plans for freelancers and digital nomads. The market is huge, after all.
Make absolutely certain that you have familiarized yourself with the insurance requirements and look for the best insurance company abroad while you’re still at home. Comparing offers takes time, so think ahead.
7. Secure Accommodations
Last but not least, you should think about accommodation. While many adventurous digital nomads simply book airbnb, this is rarely the best option. You’ll want to see the accommodation before paying for it, so booking a hotel (or a hostel) prior to arrival is the best idea.
Take your time choosing the right accommodation once there and by all means compare the prices. It’s also a good idea to get to know the local expat community, as their advice is invaluable.
Digital nomadism is achievable, viable and enjoyable if you’re ready to lower your initial expectations. Bide your time in a cheaper country before launching a whole scale expedition to other locations. Listen to fellow expats’ advice and — enjoy the change!