What does a digital nomad do?
There’s a lot of buzz lately, amongst millennials mostly, about the excitement that being a digital nomad brings to a freelancer’s life. So, what is a digital nomad and the so-called movement, anyway?
A digital nomad is anyone who works remotely and uses the internet to do their job. This could mean a contractor or even an employee working for a company, without actually having to be physically present at the office.
With the help of technologies such as email, VoIP and Skype, an internet nomad is subsequently “location independent” (another buzz word). Nothing particularly “buzzy” about that, right? We know!
The reason why this topic is trending these last few years is the fact that there are freelancer nomads who travel the world while working on projects. Their location independence means they have the ability (financially mostly) to be working from literally anywhere. So the money earned is spent on exploring new places and cultures. Now, this sounds really creative and adventurous!
A digital nomad may be working at a cafe in Paris one week and decide they need some sunshine to boost their productivity the next week. What it means to be a digital nomad is booking a flight to Thailand to stay there for a few weeks before changing location again, according to your needs and dreams.
5 things to consider before becoming a digital nomad
Who wouldn’t like this change of scenery in between projects? All you need is a suitcase with the absolute essentials, your laptop and an internet connection (fortunately available almost anywhere in the world now).
However, there are some things to consider before becoming a digital nomad. In this article, we are going to outline what this nomadic lifestyle entails and things to look out for while making the transition from a “standard” career.
#1 Living the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
While writing countries off your “Places to visit before I die” bucket list sounds ideal, there may be times that living the digital nomad lifestyle can be lonely.
Travelling alone can be boring and even scary when you don’t have someone to share your experiences with.
That said, you have to evaluate your current state and how much you’re actually willing to give up to pursuit this lifestyle. You cannot bring along your friends and family to this journey, but you can make new ones, which is one of the many perks of being location independent!
Also, bear in mind that the cost of constantly travelling and having to pay for accommodation is far from inconsiderable.
You need to plan ahead and be constantly aware of your cash flow and budget in order to avoid being left hanging dry. Ηowever, there are some destinations that are nomad-friendly money-wise, such as Bali, due to their low cost of living. You want to search for those digital nomad hubs before giving this lifestyle a chance.
#2 Personality traits of a digital nomad
Not all people are cut out to be digital nomads though nearly everyone likes the idea of becoming one. If you want to enjoy the freedom that everyone embracing this lifestyle talks about, you need to be organised and be able to focus no matter where your “office” may be set.
This requires a certain level of self-discipline because drinking margaritas on the beach with your laptop can really impair your productivity levels (who knew, right?) and put you in procrastination mode.
So, you need to set limits and set your own working hours; but you have to have working hours that you keep sacred, for your own sake!
The next personality trait required by those pursuing to become digital nomads is proper cash flow management skills. The majority of nomads will tell you that making ends meets is their number one superpower but this doesn’t mean it’s how a professional should manage their finances. Regardless being a digital nomad, running a business needs close monitoring and keeping up with your expenses. Also, making sure you get paid on time is crucial to your erratic schedule!
#3 Work from anywhere. Really!
Work from anywhere has undeniable perks, but there are certainly some drawbacks to it as well.
Not having a standard working station can be challenging, especially when your location is unknown to you.
While it is exciting to discover a new destination every now and then as a tourist, it can be frustrating when looking for a quiet spot to do your job. Of course, the workspace environment of a nomad is totally subjective.
One’s quiet place is another one’s creativity killer. This is why your location should match your personality and preferences.
Some find comfort in the sound of the ocean waves crashing the shores while others find them distracting. Fortunately, you’re not alone in this struggle (which is absolutely real). In some places, there are digital nomad communities where they have their own spaces to work comfortably and exchange experiences with each other. Which brings us to the next thing to consider...
#4 Digital Nomad Resources. Do your research
Nomads everywhere have created online communities where they recommend nice locations you can visit that can both facilitate your work but also satisfy your inner tourist. In addition, you can find digital nomad websites that offer resources about common challenges faced as well as equipment that will help you along the way. So, do your research!
The more you learn about what it means to be a digital nomad, the more confident you’ll be about your decision.
Travelling around may be hard at first, but it is also a chance for you to be open and develop some people skills while networking with fellow nomads. In a previous article, we have given you some of the best places for digital nomads, known to have excellent networking opportunities for digital nomad wannabes.
#5 Change is the main keyword for digital nomad wannabes
The most important of digital nomad skills you need to possess in order to make it is flexibility!
Not everything is going to go according to plan all the time and you should be able to adjust to the circumstances.
Picture travelling for 12 hours to a destination with a different time zone from your last location and having to Skype with a client in a 3rd time zone. If this seems exhausting to you, maybe you need to rethink going nomad.
Constant change and uncertainty can be drivers of creativity for one person or be draining and annoying for another one. Therefore, if what you seek as a professional aer predictability and a stable income, the nomadic lifestyle most likely doesn’t suit you.
Living as a digital nomad: A challenge or an adventure?
If you want to take your freelancing to the next level, becoming a digital nomad is fun but challenging at the same time. You are infinitely free to work whenever you wish from but only as long as your finances allow it.
Digital nomads have to keep adapting to a constantly changing environment so it is important to understand that this lifestyle is not for everyone. Before making the decision to pack your bags and relocate somewhere tropical consider the topics discussed in this blog and ask yourself what you value most: stability or adventure?
Whatever you decide, you can always keep Elorus with you to help you organise your finances and get paid on time!