5 Tips to Being a Digital Nomad

Digital nomads use technology to work in some of the world’s most beautiful and exciting destinations by discarding their permanent addresses and working remotely. This popular lifestyle option has a thriving international community that supports each other by sharing experiences, knowledge, and advice. Being a digital nomad or location-independent entrepreneur is a prominent and convenient way for people to work, travel, and connect to other like-minded individuals.

So how does one start? Here we outline 5 tips and a simple list of digital apps to get you thinking about your next adventure.

1. Identify your skills and opportunities

First, research the digital nomad lifestyle and communities to decide if it suits you. Then the rest is easier than you think. Identifying the skills you currently possess and which skills are in demand is essential. Can the job you currently hold be accomplished on the move? If not, there are many popular remote-working jobs available today. Some options include virtual assistants, freelance writing, graphic design, and online teaching. Want to start from scratch? Project Untethered offers 15 entry-level digital nomad jobs for 2023 with no experience needed.

2. Join digital nomad communities

Hundreds of free online communities exist, providing valuable information and tips for digital nomads to connect with like-minded people and learn from their experiences. Some popular digital nomad communities include Nomad List, Remote Year, and Digital Nomad Girls.

3. Invest in technology

Chances are you have the right tech already. Laptops, smartphones, and portable Wi-Fi devices will get you started. Also, ensure you have the most appropriate apps on your phone for your work and travel, and do yourself the favor of upgrading memberships to get all the perks. Check out digital nomad Chris Guillebeau on Instagram. He claims he can work from anywhere with just his iPhone. For peace of mind, take insurance out for gear in case of any damage while traveling.

4. Choose how you’ll sleep

Deciding how and where you want to sleep influences how you travel. Some digital nomads love the van life, such as VanGirl, who lives in a van with her golden retriever. Nora Dunn (The Professional Hobo) enjoys hotels and has worked remotely for over a decade. I’ve always preferred Airbnbs as they offer significant discounts for stays up to a month, and the locations are peer-reviewed. The benefits of Airbnb stays include better security, Wi-Fi, electricity, plumbing, comfortable beds, and safe spots to leave my guitar.

5. Keep good habits

Routine is essential for balancing travel and work. Everyone structures their time differently, but I found working during the week and traveling on weekends helpful. Mapping out public transport options before arriving in a new location can keep your schedule running smoothly. It’s important to stay on top of exercise routines as a digital nomad. Bodyweight training is a great option that can be done in any environment. Local gyms often offer punch cards for weekly or monthly stays. Having a specific place to go every day to exercise is motivating and good for mental health. Digital Nomad Soul describes 27 ways to stay fit while traveling as a digital nomad.

Short List of Recommended Apps:

  • AirVisual allows you to check the air quality in specific cities. This information is valuable because some areas have higher pollution or brain-fuddling amounts of pollen at various times of the year.
  • Skyscanner checks the best rates for air travel.
  • Omio checks the best rates for bus and train travel.
  • Google Maps provides up-to-date, free directions. 
  • Airbnb is still one of the most accessible options for digital nomads looking for reliably comfortable beds, working bathrooms, electricity, and WIFI with reviews. Make sure to read them.

Being a digital nomad can be a fun, adventurous, and incredibly freeing experience. However, it can have its drawbacks. Some digital nomads suffer from loneliness, stressful situations, and trouble maintaining a work/life balance. But fortunately, many of us are in a position where we can give it a try and see if it works. If you’re already a digital nomad working somewhere exciting and exotic, drop us a line and tell us about your experiences.

About the Author

Donnie Rust
Donnie Rust is an Edinburgh-based writer, business owner, and published author. Prior to settling in Scotland, he traveled extensively as a digital nomad and has written for publications such as TNT Magazine, Endeavour Magazine, The South African Mag, TechDrive, and The Logbook (published by The Lost Executive, which he co-founded). Donnie’s portfolios include topics such as business, entrepreneurialism, life and lifestyle, travel and hospitality, food and drink, and entertainment. He is a fitness and martial arts enthusiast holding certifications in both, an avid reader, traveler, and coffee fanatic.

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