When I stared the business 5 years ago I knew that freedom was the ultimate goal, being in the position to work from anywhere in the world last year we decided to grab it with both hands and move to Valencia in Spain for 3 months! We set up a business office right on the beach, we were now digital nomads! The 3 months flew by and we were soon back in the Manchester office pining to once again live the digital nomad life!
How the trip went and what we got up to is a completely different blog that is yet to be written but we can answer the question:
What is a ‘Digital Nomad’? How to Become One
Your 9-to-5 doesn’t have to be in an office. In fact, you don’t have to work 9-to-5 at all.
What about becoming a digital nomad, working from anywhere and at any time?
It’s a lifestyle that’s perfect for those who love freedom and don’t want to stay sit behind a desk all day and have awkward canteen chat.
We’ll let you in on what it’s like being a digital nomad, including its pros and cons and how you can try it out for yourself.
A digital nomad is someone who leverages modern-day technologies to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
Typically, digital nomads work from faraway places and strike a much better work-life-travel balance than old-school office workers.
To become a digital nomad, all you need is an internet connection, a laptop, and a website to create a powerful digital presence. (contact us about a website)
That said, to become a full-time digital nomad, you’ll need a certain set of skills.
Being self-disciplined and organised, for instance, are essential skills to be able to separate work and personal life. Setting up a dedicated home office space can also help to create boundaries.
To make the most out of the gig economy, schedule your work hours, stick to them, and you’ll be free to explore your new city and country later on.
Other necessary and useful skills for a digital nomad are:
• Great written and verbal communication skills
• Some knowledge of marketing and sales
• Experience in budgeting and decision making
What are the pros and cons of living as a digital nomad?
Working remotely and being location independent has its good and bad sides. Understanding both of them will help you prepare to become a full-time digital nomad.
Remote work has a lot going for it, like:
• Non-stop travel. Visit all of the places in the world you want to explore, meet new people, and experience different cultures.
• No office politics. You are your own boss, and you’re safe from having to navigate the intricacies of office life.
• Freedom. Full control and flexibility over your work time, and location independence too.
• New opportunities. Build a network with the people you met, write a traveling blog, and make money from it, or learn new languages.
However, some challenges of digital nomadism include:
• No guaranteed income. Unless you’re an employed remote worker for some company, digital nomads are always on the lookout for clients or are busy building their online businesses.
• Blurry work time. It can feel like you’re always working, especially if you’re not good at managing your time.
• Loneliness. If you’re going at it solo and are moving around a lot too, it’s hard to form deep and long-lasting relationships with the people you meet.
How to become a digital nomad
Many people are looking around, searching for the perfect answer to the question of how to become a digital nomad. On just the surface, it may sound like an exciting but frightening experience, but if you have the right tools and the right frame of mind, you can make it work. There are a number of steps that you can take into consideration before starting your journey as a digital nomad and hopping from one place to another.
Many people hate their jobs. But oftentimes, when we hear the stories of digital nomads, we realise that they don’t hate their jobs. They really, really, really hate their jobs, like I did!
Suffocated. Trapped. Depressed.
These are just some of the ways digital nomads feel right before they take the leap. The extreme need to make a drastic change in their lives ultimately leads them towards the nomadic lifestyle.
They’re desperate for freedom. This helps motivate them to do whatever it takes to succeed. It’s the desperation that pushes them to go all in.
Without this desperation, you might not properly set yourself up for success. The urgent need to leave your old life behind will also help motivate you during the challenges you’ll face as a digital nomad.
The fantasy of relaxing on a beach, drinking fine wine without having a care in the world can cloud what being a digital nomad is all about.
If you love travelling, being alone, constant change, and are a pro at jumping over obstacles, you might fit into the nomadic lifestyle. Digital nomads will be exposed to loneliness so you need to be able to cope with that.
Keep in mind loneliness isn’t only about the absence of people. It’s also about feeling alone in your mind. A lack of true connection. You’ll also need to be prepared to deal with change and challenges. Each country has its own set of laws that you’ll constantly need to be aware of as you travel within them.
You might connect with strangers in ways that you haven’t before. There are co-working offices around the world for you to meet new people and create a routine for your work-balance. There are also digital nomad groups and events so that you can travel the world with new friends.
The truth is, there’s good and bad within both lifestyles. Whatever you decide to do, the reality is that the nomadic lifestyle is almost always temporary. Digital nomads eventually do settle down. They might choose to go back home to their friends and family or create a new home somewhere abroad.
Maybe you need to escape the 9 to 5 for a year… or 10. But ultimately, you’ll find a place that you can call home. And more importantly, you’ll discover that you really can live life on your own terms.
See you in the sun?
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