Why stay in one place when there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored? That’s the question that many young people have asked themselves before becoming digital nomads and becoming free.
What are digital nomads? Digital nomads are individuals who earn a living working remotely, using the latest technology, freeing them up to move from place to place. Basically, they are freelancers who travel the world working to their own schedule. Picking and choosing the projects that interest them most.
Approximately 47 percent of millennials who work are now freelancers and becoming a digital nomad is just another way of working for yourself. If the idea of being your own boss and working in far-flung destinations sounds like a great idea to you, check out these tips for digital nomad success:
Speculate to Accumulate
Many people who try to go freelance fail to pick up much work because they are not willing to spend a little money to make money, but as that old cliche goes, you have to speculate to accumulate and this is often as true in the freelance world as it is in business. For instance, spending a little cash on a website and hosting from www.hosting.co.uk will allow you to increase your visibility and ensure that there is a place where potential clients can communicate with you, and paying to attend conferences and trade shows in the locations you visit will help you to build up a network of contacts. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot, and you often can pick up work without investing any cash by using freelancer sites, but investing in yourself as a digital nomad will almost certainly pay off.
Learn New Skills
There are lots of jobs you can do as a digital nomad from freelance writing and graphic design to bookkeeping and social media marketing. Chances are you have one specific skill that you plan to make a digital nomad career out of. That’s fine, and it may work out well for you, but if you can invest some of your time and money – although there are lots of free educational tools out there – in learning more and more digital skills, it will be a lot easier for you to find work because when one market becomes saturated, you’ll be able to switch to another.
Utilize Digital Tools
Being a digital nomad is a lot of fun and you have a lot more freedom than you would have as a traditional employee, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. When you work freelance, you have to take a lot more responsibility for yourself and that means you need to organize your own time, do your own filing, invoicing, bookkeeping and contract creation, as well as, y’know your actual work. That can be a lot to deal with, but you can make things easier for yourself by using the best digital tools on the market. Whether it’s using Slack for communication, QuickBooks for your accounting needs or Mural to help you brainstorm, using the tools at your disposal will help you to stay organized, efficient and on top of your workload.
Warmer Climates are More Practical
As a digital nomad, you’re free to travel where you want when you want, and if you want to visit Iceland or see Alaska, there is nothing to stop you from doing so, but there is no denying that traveling to countries with warmer climates is far easier for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you’re a digital nomad, you’re probably going to be traveling light, and winter clothes are heavy. If you have to lug around a bunch of heavy coats and winter clothing along with your computer equipment, it could be a drag, and you could end up paying lots of excess baggage fees. Then there’s the fact that, in hot climates, you can often work for free on the beach instead of having to pay yo access libraries and internet cafes, providing you have a good data connection or nearby wi-fi hotspot, of course.
Remember the Tax Benefits
Depending on where you’re from, you could take advantage of significant tax benefits if you’re off traveling for most of the year. For example, if you’re a US citizen, but you spend less than 35 days in the US in any one tax year, you can use a Foreign Earned Income Exemption to significantly cut down the amount of taxes you need to pay. Talk to an accountant and see how being a digital nomad could benefit you.
Work While Traveling
If you are traveling via train, bus or plane, it’s always a good idea to plan your day so that you can work while you travel. That way, you have a safe and comfortable place to do your work without having to pay extra for the privilege. Obviously, this may mean downloading any resources you need ahead of time to account for a lack of internet access in the case of planes – but it will mean that you have more time to actually explore when you reach your destination, which can only be a good thing.
Network with Other Digital Nomads
Digital nomadism can be amazing, but it can get pretty lonely at times too. Luckily, as more people pursue the nomadic life, more networks are being built where digital nomads can get together, talk about their experiences and form friendships. Not only can this help with isolation, but it’s a great way to make connections that lead to future work opportunities too.
It’s too early to tell whether digital nomadism is a soon-to-be-forgotten trend or a way of earning a living that could catch on in the long term, but right now it is allowing many millennials to see the world while still earning and income and racking up lots of experience. If you have a skill that can be utilized remotely, trying something different and doing your own thing could be the best things you ever do!