Digital nomad concept on laptop, tablet and smartphone screen

How to Become a Digital Nomad

Would it be nice if you could just work online while traveling the world? You have probably read some articles on how to become a digital nomad as this type lifestyle continues to emerge its popularity up to this moment.  Becoming a digital nomad is a dream job for most people, especially for the younger generation, because the ideal lifestyle for most of them is to travel. Besides, you only live once, right? 

The best part of becoming a digital nomad is that you can live and work anywhere you want. You only need your laptop and a good internet connection.

There are different ways to become a digital nomad. You can use your current skills and look for online gigs such as Fiverr gigs or freelancing with UpWork, WordPress, and YouTube that pays well so that you can support your new nomadic lifestyle. 

But before you pack your bags and head out of the country, there are few things you should consider first before you embark on your journey to becoming a digital nomad.

Things to Consider Before Becoming a Digital Nomad

1. Health Care and Travel Insurance Plans

It is important that you look after your health if you are planning to go out of the country. This includes getting immunizations and taking tests because some countries expose you to serious illnesses that are not commonly seen in the U.S. You will be protected and, at the same time, you will avoid becoming a primary disease carrier back in the U.S. 

You should also do research on the hospitals or practitioners who know how to speak English in case you have an emergency. 

Most travel insurance plans offer emergency medical benefits, as well. You can reimburse any medical fees you have paid following your illness or injury. There are also tons of perks that you can take advantage of if you have travel insurance like getting refunds for a canceled trip, travel delay benefits, and even baggage delay benefits.

2. Banking

Of course, you will need money when you go to different countries. Banking can be a challenge for digital nomads—since you are always on the move, you will be handling different kinds of currencies and expensive transfer fees, as well as international ATM withdrawal fees.

There are different digital banking nomad options that you can check out and try depending on your needs. Some of these banking options offer ATM or international transfer fees for free, and there are also some where you can store multiple currencies.

3. Location and accommodation

The important points to consider in the location and accommodation for a digital nomad is the budget and the establishments or places you want to live nearby. Since we live in a modern world, you can easily find places to live outside the country. 

Because you will be working remotely, a critical note in finding your accommodation or even the country you are going to visit is checking if that location has a good internet speed. Also, you need to diligently research if you are safe at the neighborhood of the place you will be staying. 

Woman working with laptop while on vacation in Mediterranean

4. Communication access

Every country has different cell phone providers. That is why if you are traveling to a different country, your cell phone should be unlocked so that you can use a sim card from the country’s local cell phone provider. This way, you will avoid roaming charges and other expensive fees when using your cell phone.  

There are two things you should consider before deciding if you need to buy a local sim card. First, think about how long you will be staying in that country. Second, check the Wi-Fi access if it’s limited or slow. If you are planning to stay in a country for a short period, let’s say, five to ten days, and the Wi-Fi access is almost everywhere, then you do not need to buy a local sim card.

It’s also a good idea to buy a cheaper phone if you are afraid that you might break your expensive phone during your travel.

5. Learn the language

Learning to communicate with the locals by using their language can help you have a successful journey. There are countries where most of their population knows how to speak English. However, there are some places like provinces in those countries where locals are not fluent or do not speak English at all.  

Although you don’t need to be fluent in their language, you need to learn the basic phrases and words that you could use in everyday communication. For example, if you are planning to be a digital nomad in Japan, then learn how to speak Japanese.

Downloading and using the Google Translate app can also be handy when you need to communicate with a local.

6. Have a backup

When you are traveling, it is essential to keep your files safe in case of accidents, loss, and theft. Make backup copies of all your important data by saving your files with an external drive, USB drive, or Cloud storage.  

You also need a backup for your laptop in case it breaks so that you are still able to complete your work.

7. Join communities for digital nomads

Digital Nomad Community (DNC) and Nomadlist are just some of the groups that you can join. By joining these groups, you will learn tips from fellow digital nomads based on their experiences and you will have the chance to ask advice for suggested accommodation and internet options, as well as what digital nomad lifestyle is all about. Fellow members will also be glad to answer any of your questions about your new lifestyle and the countries you will be visiting.  

Becoming a digital nomad is life-changing and exhilarating. It won’t be easy at first, and people may also judge the stability of your career. A digital nomad is a lifestyle of a person and not a job. The only difference is you work remotely in different places.

Remember that even if you are traveling, you still need to work. That is why you should know how you prioritize your work schedule and manage your finances to survive and enjoy the perks of being a digital nomad.

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