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What’s a Digital Nomad and How Do You Become One?

Digital nomad travel and work

When you’re clicking around the internet, you’re likely to come across the term digital nomad. What is a digital nomad and how do you become one?

Digital nomads are all over Instagram and YouTube. In fact, they have some of the highest-grossing accounts on these platforms, attracting endless attention from those hoping to follow in their footsteps.

What exactly is a digital nomad and what sets them apart? Is it the same as having a successful side hustle? Let’s discuss what a digital nomad is and how to become one in a few simple steps.

What Is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is a relatively new concept that developed with the creation of the internet. Now, it’s more possible to work online than ever before. The idea of a traditional 9-5 is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely. While anyone who works remotely can be a digital nomad, it generally refers to someone who works in differnet locations.

They can work from home, local coffee shops, co-working locations, or even travel destinations. There are a lot of perks to living the digital nomad lifestyle:

  • Location independent: For travelers, this is the best way to see the world while you work. As long as you can connect to WiFi, you can work from there.
  • Set your own hours: As a digital nomad, you likely work in whatever timezone you’re currently in. This means you set your own hours and work on your own schedule.
  • Start your own business: Many digital nomads also start their own businesses. They have the entrepreneurial mindset to build a business from the ground up.

In 2018 alone, a startling 4.8 million US citizens defined themselves as digital nomads. This means they spend a percentage of time working outside of a traditional office setting. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder this is a quickly growing trend.

How to Become a Digital Nomad

So you’re intregued by this lifestyle and you’re ready to ditch the 9-5 and hit the road? You’re not alone.

However, as you might imagine, it’s not always easy to become a digital nomad. You’ll need to ask yourself some key questions before you get started:

  • What job are you good at and what do you like to do?
  • Is there a need for your skill? (In other words, is it profitable?)
  • Can you do this type of work online?

A great way to start is to look at the leading tech industries right now or the influencer niches that are thriving. Not every job is a good fit for digital nomads.

Once you’ve determined how you’ll be making money, you have two other options to consider:

  • Full-time: You can work full-time for a company remotely. More remote work opportunities are popping up each day, and these are more reliable than starting your own business. However, you’ll have less flexibility with hours and roles.
  • DIY: The next option is to take your side hustle full-time or part-time. By creating your own business, you’re in the driver’s seat. However, this comes with the added financial risk.

Becoming a digital nomad is easier than ever in today’s digital world, but it’s still something that takes time and know-how. You’ll also need to recognize whether this type of work/life balance suits you. Traveling is a wonderful opportunity, but it’s also costly and draining. You need to tread carefully.

Things to Know Before You Begin

Before you hit the road, there are some best practices to have in place. Primarily, you need a financial safety net for yourself and your business. Traveling can be done on the cheap, but you’ll still need to prepare yourself before you ditch your 9-5.

First, make sure you have income you can rely on. This means setting up your business before you start traveling. Working from home is a great way to see if you’re ready to take this next big step.

In addition, create an emergency fund to get you by if you experience a loss of income. Working online with your own business is great, but it’s not always reliable. Some months you’ll do better than others, so have enough saved to cover any income gaps.

Work While You See the World

The world is a wide place, and only few get the chance to explore it during their lifetime. If you’re tired of the constraints of the office, it’s time to ditch your 9-5 by becoming a digital nomad.

However, don’t let the glitz and glamour of this lifestyle mislead you. It’s still a job like any other, and there are a lot of things to keep in mind before you strike out on your own. Have you considered becoming a digital nomad?

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