In the age of wanderlust, more and more people aspire to be able to travel the world and live a location-independent lifestyle. Hundreds, if not thousands, dream of leaving their conventional desk jobs but don’t know how to make the transition. Many believe that becoming a Digital Nomad requires a special skillset or a brush of luck. What if I tell you that all you need is determination?
In the Fall of 2014, I made the decision to move abroad. By Summer of 2015, I quit my full-time job in Toronto and flew out of Canada. Since then, I have embraced and lived the location-independent lifestyle. I worked remotely as an independent contractor and freelance designer from anywhere with a decent internet connection – my balcony in Barcelona, countless cafes, a hostel lounge on an island in the Philippines, and even on a sailboat anchored in a secluded cove in Costa Brava.
Here’s how I did it:
1. I made the decision.
This first step is very important. Make your mind up and prepare to follow through.
2. I set a goal and a timeline.
Ask yourself these questions: What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? When do you want leave and for how long?
3. I planned out a budget.
Consider how much you will need to buy and maintain equipment, live abroad and travel? Do not forget about health and insurance.
4. I saved up.
Travel and accommodation aren’t cheap. What if you don’t earn enough to sustain your travels? Save up enough money to at least get you through months of rent and travel.
5. I leveraged the skills and contacts I already had and acquired new ones that I thought could be useful.
I learned that the key to becoming a successful Digital Nomad is resourcefulness. You’re a Graphic Designer? Make an online portfolio and start freelancing. You’re proficient in English? Get certified to be a teacher or a tutor. You play guitar? Make online tutorials. You already have or found a job? Ask if you can work remotely.
6. I determined my locations and time zones, and planned accordingly.
Make sure that you will have internet access at the right time wherever you’re going.
7. I made the move.
Do it and take the calculated risks involved.
The reality is that there is no clear-cut path to becoming a Digital Nomad but those seven steps are a good way to get started. They worked out for me.
[ Published in Wow Air’s in-flight magazine ]