In this day and age, more and more people are living location-independent lifestyles where they are able to conduct business anywhere a decent internet connection exists. All sorts of jobs lend themselves to this life, from freelance writing to web design. No worries about saving up vacation days, quitting jobs to travel for extended periods or sticking to ultra-tight budgets to stretch out a travel nest egg as long as possible.
Preparing to Leave
If you are like most people, you have accumulated plenty of stuff over the years. If you are serious about being a digital nomad, you want to give some serious thought to paring down belongings to maximize your travel funds, and just create a greater sense of freedom. If you think you may want to return to this area in the near future, or you have things that you would like to hold onto in the event you do settle down somewhere at some point in the future, you want to find movers who can easily move stuff to a storage area. Do you want to hold onto your car or sell it for a nice cash infusion?
If you own a home and aren’t quite sure you want to take the step of selling it, you might consider getting housesitters who can keep an eye on things while you are gone. No need to make such a bold move until you are sure this is the lifestyle for you. It doesn’t make you any less of a traveler. If you are going to have mail sent to a family member or friend’s home, make sure you update your address with credit card companies and anyone else who might be sending you correspondence. You might also consider getting power of attorney so someone you trust can take care of any matters for you that could only be taken care of with you in there in person. Think carefully about all aspects of your life before you go to make sure you take care of everything that needs taking care of.
Find a Nice Balance between Working and Enjoying Your Surroundings
The digital nomad lifestyle is very different than simply traveling long-term, living off money you saved for the journey. You are working and traveling at the same time; and it is important you don’t get too off track with your professional endeavors, lest your dream of island hopping while running your business falling by the wayside. But with that being said, you want to make sure to enjoy your location, and all it has to offer. The whole reason you are doing the digital nomad thing is to experience new places, or you would have been happy to stay wherever you came from.
Working for ourselves, and making our own hours is, on one hand, totally awesome. But on the other, it can lead to constantly working all hours of the day and night. Sure, sometimes you’ll get busy with something and there won’t be as much time for fun. But, overall, you want to make sure you are striking as best a balance as you can. Don’t buy into the workaholic, no pain no gain, mentality. You can be successful without working like a dog. Taking in the sights will help ease stress, and serve as inspiration, allowing you to get more done with less effort.
Find the Way You Like to Travel
Some people like moving around every week or so, living out of hotels and hostels, taking in as much as possible. Others like to settle somewhere for a bit—rent a house or apartment for at least a month, and really get a feel for a place and live like a local. When doing the digital nomad thing, it is important to gauge where you are in the moment, and honor that. Don’t commit to staying somewhere six months because you’ll get a great deal on an apartment if you have found you get antsy after one month in a place. Don’t force yourself to move around every week just to see as much as you can, if you are happy where you are now and could stay there a bit.
You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime. Enjoy!