How-to Guide: Becoming a Digital Nomad

Have you ever thought about pulling up your roots and setting sail on your own adventure? Do you want to find a way to prioritize experiences and relationships over material things and owning land or a house that would just cement you in one location? This guest post by Lance Cody-Valdez (the creator of free-lance-now.com) shares some things to think about before you turn the world into your office.

Digital nomads live these kinds of lives. They use online work and technologies to earn an income while traveling, sightseeing, and spending time with the ones they love the most, instead of being chained to one desk or one city. There is plenty of research to suggest that this kind of lifestyle improves creativity. These creative people don’t want to be saddled with the burden of the traditional office environment, instead opting for the open road.

How do you make money?

The life of the digital nomad may not require a mortgage, but you still need to fund travel, computer costs, internet expenses, and sustenance. There are countless ways for digital nomads to make money, including publishing an eBook and marketing it online (creating a passive income stream for you) and joining sites like Fiverr to do odd jobs for people in need.

Another interesting way to make money would be to start your own freelance business. Depending on your skillset, you can set up a freelance practice to do myriad things, like blogging, tax preparation, editing, or offering resume writing services. It’s easy to create a profile on an online job board, where potential clients can read reviews, weigh your average delivery time, and determine the cost before hiring you.

How do you find the right working spot?

When you’re living the nomadic lifestyle, you don’t have one specific work location, but you still need access to the internet to do your work. So, where do you go? Coffee shops, libraries, and even bars offer internet access. Choose a place where you know you will be comfortable enough to get your work done, and then close your laptop and explore!

One option would be to find a coworking space. This is essentially a place you can go to work “with” people — or, in other words, in the same physical space as others, even though you are doing different work or working for different companies. These places offer a comfortable environment to put in a few hours of work and allow folks to share ideas, community, conversation, and costs.

How do you afford it?

Speaking of costs, it’s probably one of the biggest questions about embracing the digital nomad lifestyle: How do you afford to pack your bags, move away, and keep moving? The first step toward saving up for this kind of lifestyle is to determine how much you’re spending now — and how much you can cut. Once you ditch the mortgage or rent payment and hit the road, that will be one big expense you can do away with — but you should also take a look at your discretionary spending and start putting more money toward your future.

When it comes time to start traveling, don’t discount the usefulness of travel websites that can get you good deals on lodging. Stay in hostels or book a stay at an Airbnb. You should also learn how to cook, as homemade meals are much less expensive (as well as more nutritious!)

As a digital nomad, you’ll be able to earn an income from any location you choose. Instead of working in a traditional office, put these tips into practice today!

Lance Cody-Valdez is the creator of free-lance-now.com, which helps others to use freelancing to escape the 9 to 5 daily grind. Lance worked in corporate marketing before, but decided to quit his job the following day and used his meager savings to stay afloat as he built a career as a freelance writer and content marketer.

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