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Small Business and Self-Employed

What is a Digital Nomad and How to Become One

More and more people are taking up the “digital nomad” lifestyle these days. While not a job title in itself, being a digital nomad is a lifestyle choice that’s strongly tied to the type of work you do.


It sounds like the dream job: travelling the world with few belongings except your laptop and a cocktail budget, exploring the far-flung corners of the globe, all while earning money doing something you love.


If this sounds like something that interests you, keep reading to learn how to become a digital nomad and travel the world.

What’s a Digital Nomad?

In short, a digital nomad is someone who can work from anywhere in the world and takes the liberty to do so.


It’s a big commitment to a particular type of lifestyle because it means you are not tied down and have little stability. However, you unlock the freedom to live your life the way you want to; for some workers, it’s incredibly freeing and rewarding.

Who Is a Digital Nomad?

People do not become digital nomads just because they work from home. Although remote work, in general, is on the rise, digital nomads make up a particular subset of this work style. Remote workers become digital nomads when they decide to pack up their belongings and hit the road, working from multiple locations around the globe.


Statistics estimate that the majority of digital nomads worldwide have an annual income ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Additionally, fewer than ten percent of the digital nomad population earn below $25,000 annually.


The thing that ties them together is a non-traditional, nomadic lifestyle that sees them working from co-working spaces, internet cafes, and Airbnb.

Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad

There are many benefits to being a digital nomad. Here are four of the significant advantages.

Working from Anywhere

Being a digital nomad means that you only really need an internet connection. As a result, you can work from anywhere in the world and go where the wind takes you. This is the main selling point for the digital nomad lifestyle, as many workers want to give themselves ample opportunity to see the world using the money they earn.

Flexibility

Like other forms of remote work, digital nomads can say goodbye to commuting. Plus, there is a greater degree of flexibility around hours, which means you get to decide when you work.


Choosing your own hours is a benefit of freelancing and remote work in general, but digital nomads also get to choose the location.

Productivity and Creativity

For many people, having this freedom allows them to be more productive when they are working. There’s little better to get the creative juices flowing than new experiences, too. That’s why many digital nomads work in creative fields.

A Better Work-Life Balance

Digital nomads work to live rather than live to work. That said, a great many of them enjoy the work they do. During time off, they get to decide precisely how they spend their time. Travel is a great way to broaden your horizons, and there’s a significant chance you’ll meet some new and exciting people along the way.

How to Become a Digital Nomad

The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone, and it’s not without its challenges. If you’re wondering how to become a digital nomad with no experience, consider the steps below.


1. Have a Plan

The first thing you need is a plan. Primarily, you need to know how you will make money. According to Allwork, 34% of digital nomads make between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. However, this figure can vary drastically depending on your field, experience, and more. The nature of freelancing means that a steady income is not always possible.


Make sure you consider the time zones you will be working in and how much money you will make. One of the most significant challenges digital nomads face is a lack of financial security, so ensure you account for slow months when planning your budget.


You also need to look into Wi-Fi access and have a plan for staying online throughout your travels.


Finally, plan your travel arrangements accordingly, remembering to check everything down to visa requirements.

2. Get Rid of Your ‘Stuff’

When planning how to become a nomad, you need to consider the things you own. Roaming around the world might seem glamorous, but there is not much room to take things with you. Invest in a large, sturdy backpack, then whittle your belongings down to the essentials.

3. Prepare for Travel

Embarking on a journey is exciting. The step many people forget to consider when planning how to become a digital nomad is general travel planning. Ensure you unlock your phone to stay in contact with people while you’re abroad - remember, you are not going off the grid.


For financial purposes, you will need travel credit cards. Look into bank accounts without transaction fees, too, because if you are paid in US dollars but are spending money in another currency, things might become increasingly expensive. 


Finally, arrange solid travel insurance that covers all your belongings. The last thing you want is to become stranded without your laptop or phone.

Save time with QuickBooks

How to Be a Digital Nomad Successfully

There’s a lot to consider if you want to become a digital nomad. If you already freelance, you might find the transition easier. However, if freelancing is also new to you, then the learning curve will be steep.


As a small business owner running a digital nomad enterprise, you’ll also need to look into tax arrangements and potentially navigate visa schemes


Find your feet with QuickBooks cloud accounting software to help you manage all your accounting while you’re away, no matter where you are in the world.


That said, the payoff is often worth it for the freedom you earn. If you want to become a digital nomad, 2023 is the year to take the plunge. 


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