So, You Want to Be a Digital Nomad?

Are you sick and tired of the same old routine? Does the office simply not do it for you anymore? Have you been thinking about packing all of your things up and hitting the road? You’re not alone.

Image source

Becoming a digital nomad is a dream of many and more and more people all over the world are taking the plunge, taking their work online and taking themselves off on the journey of a lifetime.

In layman’s terms, a digital nomad is someone who has decided that the daily grind of 9-5 in the office is not for them, and unlike most of the population, they’ve acted on it by building their working life around their travel. One day they might be in Paris, the next Thailand. They can take their work anywhere there’s an internet connection, and that’s exactly what they do! Sound good? Here’s what you need to know before you quit your job and become a fully-fledged digital nomad:

Work Out Your Work Situation

Unless you’re filthy rich or you’ve recently won the lottery, a big part of being a digital nomad is going to be your work. When you want to be location independent, online work is the obvious solution, but before you quit your job and book the flight, you’ll need to think about whether you want to work on a freelance basis, bidding for jobs, or whether setting up your own business would be better.

If you want the maximum level of freedom, working as a freelancer, only bidding for jobs when you’re low on cash is a good solution, but if you want a more regular income, and the ability to build your profile, setting up your own business might suit you better. You can use installment loans, savings or even crowdfunding to set yourself up on a shoestring, so it doesn’t have to be particularly complicated to set yourself up as a digital nomad with your own business.

Location is Everything

When you’re a digital nomad, you have the freedom to explore the world, and that’s definitely what you should be aiming to do, but you can’t just stick a pin in a map and go wherever fate takes you – you need to do a little planning. You see, you’re a digital nomad, and that means that you still need to work. In order to work, you need to have at least access to electricity and a stable internet connection. This will narrow down your choices a little, but actually, most of the world is connected now, so you shouldn’t find yourself being too constrained by your basic work needs, and if you do want to go some place that’s off-grid, well just take a few days off, it’ll be fine.

Simplify Things at Home

Before you jet off to that blistering Bali beach, you need to give yourself enough time to take care of business at home. First and foremost, you’ll need to give notice on your current job. It might be tempting just to leave, but you don’t want to burn any bridges – you have your future to think about, after all.

Next, set about canceling all of your subscriptions, monthly bills and any payments that will be unnecessary now that you’re doing the digital nomad thing.

If you own your own home, try to find someone suitable to rent your place while you’re away, this will help you make the mortgage payments or give you some extra income to really enjoy yourself with if the mortgage is already paid off.

Work on Your Resume/Portfolio

Image source

Before you leave, you should also take the time to tweak your resume or portfolio and set up profiles on any relevant freelancing sites around the world, so that it will be easier for you to get work when you’re away.

If you plan to launch your own business, take some time to work on creating your own website, which you can refer clients to when they express an interest in what you have to offer. If you aren’t in any real rush to get away, you might also consider bidding for and complete a few jobs before you leave, so that you have reviews and feedback that will instill confidence in others looking at you as an option.

Draw Up an Itinerary

One of the best things about being a digital nomad is the spontaneity of it all. You can literally go anywhere you want anytime you want, and that’s great, but when you’re new to the game, it’s always worth drawing up a loose itinerary of where you want to go, where you’ll stay and what you’ll do. You don’t necessarily have to stick to this rigidly, but if you know where you’re going, you’re less likely to become unfocused and have your dream of digital nomadism turn into a messy nightmare.

Think About Potential Problems

Even when you’re just going on vacation, it’s a good idea to think about all the things that could go wrong, not to scare yourself or put you off from going at all, but so you can make backup plans should the worst happen. For example, you should always make sure that someone you trust knows where you are and how to contact you and you should always ensure you have the right health coverage for the area you’re in. As well as that, you should always do a bit of research on the laws of the land, lest you get into a lot of trouble for doing something perfectly normal to you, but which is illegal in your country of choice.

Don’t Forget the Work

When a lot of people daydream about becoming a digital nomad, they think about spending their days sitting around the pool drinking pina coladas and checking their emails, but this isn’t realistic. If you don’t want to be on a flight back home within a month, you need to remember that although you’re there to have a good time, you’re also there to work and some days you’ll have to work 15 hours just to make ends meet. Don’t go into this blind, thinking that you can work for a couple of hours and then rest, some days will be like that, but most won’t, and if you’re not prepared for hard work, you will fail.

Keep a Routine

Image source

Being a digital nomad isn’t always easy. You could be in a new place every day, and that can be pretty discombobulating. That’s why it’s always a good idea to stick to a set routine as far as possible. Even if you’re in a new place, the familiarity of your routine will help to ground you and prevent you from drifting aimlessly through life.

Take Care of Your Body

A lot of would-be adventurers don’t realize just how much of an impact regular travel can have on the body and mind. If you want to avoid burnout, you need to take the time to eat healthily, exercise and do something to help you relax and rejuvenate, like yoga or meditation. The last thing you want is to get sick and be unable to work, forcing you to go back home, after all.

Being a digital nomad is amazing, but it really isn’t for the faint-hearted, nor is it something you should do on a whim. So, think carefully, do your research and do all of the preparation before you even think about stepping on a plane. If you do decide to give it a try, I hope you have the most amazing time of your life!

A reminder of my articles from my post here:

  1. “Things that may cause your fatigue at home”
  2. “How to plan your vacation by yourself?”
  3. “First date tips for women”
  4. “Common mistakes women make in a relationship”
  5. “Why we should be careful with chemicals?”

Find me on social media 🙂 :






52 thoughts

  1. I am thinking about a work from home job. I’m not sure if it will be freelance writing or something else. I guess it will soon be time to experiment. I’m hoping to get off of disability in the near future. Trying my hand at something as a first step would be the time to do it.

    My husband wants to move back to Europe (he’s a European), but he wouldn’t immediately have a job there. He suggests I continue a work from home job, if/when we do. By then I’d want to have something established well enough to be bringing in adequate money.

  2. Good in theory! But I’ve worked as a full time transcriber at home and still couldn’t make ends meet even when I moved to Transcription Manager, so I had to find another PT job. I love transcribing (and my other job) lots, though. Just don’t get paid enough (in either, sadly lol, for the time being!). It’s much easier said than done to go on the road with work, and kudos to those that pull it off!! 🙂 I vote if you can do it, do it!

  3. Heheh…we read and posted some about YOLO and how folks “migrate” to nomadism…
    Well, the one thing you have pointed out about location is what called out to us.
    If one has to be located in one of a few good locations in order to be a nomad, would one still be a nomad?

  4. Digital nomad is a buzzword in our times and it could be a nice work and you need head cos you ain’t living at paradise excerpt in the mass media programs where all citizens are touched by magic finger.

  5. Great thanks for this post. A very useful article for those of us who want to take the step. I’m happily retired from work, but still tempted. Your article gives new nourishment for what is so far but a temptation. I’ll show it to my blog companion Arletta. She’ll be very happy to discuss this with me on a more serious note.

  6. Great and realistic advice, Ula. And, as tomorrow is election day here in the UK, I’d also add: in your itinerary, plan a trip home when it’s time to vote so you can make your voice heard too. 🙂

  7. I love this post! So exciting but scary to think of being a digital nomad! Speaking of which, I am trying to connect my Instagram to the site but am having trouble any​ advice? Thank you!

      1. Oh, I think I did it by copying the html code from instagram and put it in the text (which you choose from the widgets) ☺

  8. I would say it sounds plausible for someone young and single or someone recently retired. With a military wife and a new baby boy (12 weeks)…impossible for me. But then again there’s always a future:-)

Leave a comment