What I Did to Become a Digital Nomad
Over this past year, my life has completely changed. I now have complete control of my work schedule and able to take trips or stay in places as long as I want. This freedom is something I longed for since college. Two years later and I am finally here a full-time digital nomad.
This blog is the five things I did to become a digital nomad. This is the best advice I could give anyone who trying to escape the corporate wheel and be able to do what they want on their terms.
1. Find Remote Work
So obviously if you are not going to an office you need a job that allows you to work from anywhere. Regardless of whatever you have been told in the past, there are remote jobs in every industry. Whether it be a fully remote company or full-time freelance these exist. There are a lot more people doing this than you think too.
Below are the resources I used to find my current remote job and freelance work.
Linkedin: This resource is outstanding for finding jobs, but also finding people who currently work at the company. It is the reason I have my current job today.
For many of the jobs, I applied for I would connect with people working at the company. I would often message 2-3 people explaining my interest in the company as well as informing them I just applied.
- Pro Tip: Be sure to set up notifications for remote jobs on Linkedin it’s easy to have your resume lost when there are hundreds of applicants before you. Plus these job postings close quick.
FlexJobs: This is the best remote job finder out there. The reason being all the jobs posted here are background-checked for being legit jobs. If you have ever applied for remote jobs out there you know there are tons of fake positions. Applying and interviewing for these can easily waste your time. The monthly subscription to this site and eliminates the possibility of that.
- Pro Tip: Avoid Ziprecruiter and Monster job boards these tend to be full of fake remote positions. If you are questioning the company check them out on Glassdoor. I would use this a lot to find more insight into the companies I should target and avoid.
Fiverr and Upwork: These are two of the best freelance websites around. Both having new jobs posted all the time. I use both of these to pick up extra work. However, have quite a few friends who provide solely for themselves off clients they have gotten on these sites. There are short and long term projects offered on both websites.
2. Start Saving Now
Even before I got a remote job knowing I wanted to travel for extended periods and I needed to have a saving. While you are traveling you’re going to want to experience everything. So saving before can put in a position to do that and allows you to come back home to money in the bank. I would recommend saving at least 10 to 15 grand.
Though traveling I do not use this saving it’s good to have if something goes wrong. Also if your remote job isn’t enough to cover expenses at your home base and your travels having this money ready is perfect. Below are a few things I did to save as much money as I could quickly.
Budget: Sit down and do the math to figure how much money you need to put away. For me, I started with wanting to save 1,000 to 1500 a month. Living in Florida this took work. I would write down what I could spend per week and how much I put away in savings each paycheck. Surprisingly I was able to reach my savings goal in 6 months instead of a year.
- Pro Tip: Buy off-brand food I know this sounds silly, but for a year I would get down to the penny with items. This can make a huge impact in the end. Also, check out resale clothing shops. By cutting money on clothes and shoes it helped me meet my budget quicker.
3. It’s a Grind, Work Hard
I cannot emphasize this enough getting this lifestyle is hard. I can remember spending 2 to 4 hours every day after I got off work applying for jobs. Anytime I was not working I was applying. Finding these “unicorn” of jobs is solely a numbers game. The more you apply the more likely you are to find something. It took me a little over 3 months to lock in a remote job.
Also even after you get a remote job/ freelance project the work is just getting started. Managing a full-time job and traveling takes even more discipline. To be living this lifestyle you have to be self-motivated.
4. Believe You Can Do This
Now I know this sounds cliche, but I often would find myself with other nomads now talking about how important this is. You have to believe you can live this lifestyle. For a year I would tell people I was going to travel and work. At the time I had no foundation of actually doing, but believed I would.
I didn’t know anyone who did this so I had to find them. The resources below helped me change people I knew and keep a positive perspective in the process.
Join Facebook Pages: There are tons of Facebook pages out there for nomads. Whether it be by city or country getting involved in the conversations and messaging others can help immensely with meeting people who do this. Like I said this community is huge you just have to find it.
- Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to message people on social media and ask how they did it. I would message so many people trying to understand what they did. Do not try to reinvent the wheel learn from others it’s faster I promise.
Stay inspired: So much of your thoughts are what you consume. During this transition into becoming nomad, I felt alone and questioned if what I was doing was possible. To stay on track I would listen to podcasts daily, motivational speaking, books, and pin motivation pins on Pinterest.
My favorite podcasts are:
- Don’t Keep Your Day Job
- The Influencer Podcast
- Magic Lesson with Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Highest Self Podcast
- The Minimalists
Check out My Soundcloud playlist for my favorite motivational speaking:
Books that changed my life:
- The Power of Now
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
- Sister Sister
- How Win Friends and Influence People in a Digital Age
Follow Me on Pinterest!
5. Take Risks
I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for taking a risk and leaving my big corporate job. Switching from a W2 job to a contract can always be risky, however is so worth it.
Also holding out for the perfect job is risky. In my case, I interviewed with six different companies before finally finding the perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to be bold and tell companies they aren’t what you are looking for.
In my case, I wanted something that is never in an office or works certain hours. Waiting for this was worth it. Instead of settling for something then having to make the job switch again.
Pro Tip: If you work remotely now and want to travel, book flights and ask for forgiveness later. On my first trip, I did my work and then connected with my boss. Later when he learned I was in Peru he was supportive. The reason being I proved I could. Now my boss supports my traveling 100 percent and loves hearing about my upcoming trips.
In conclusion, as you can see becoming a digital nomad isn’t exactly the easiest thing. However, I wouldn’t trade a night I missed watching my favorite show to now have the ability to work and travel. It’s a hard lifestyle to get but is so worth it.
I love to hear any questions or tips you have in the comments. Best of luck you future nomads and always remember to travel safely with a mask.
“Fear tricks us into living a boring life”Donald Miller
For more insight on traveling Post-COVID check these out: