Who doesn’t want to travel the world? There’s just so much to see, from the different sites and natural wonders to explore new and exciting cultures to enjoying as many different kinds of food as possible, it’s hard to imagine staying in one place your entire life. What if you could go on a trip and never come home – would you do it?
That is the whole premise of a digital nomad: someone who continually travels from city to city, country to country, without having a return ticket back home. The open road is their home, and their reward is seeing as much of the world as they want.
How is this possible? It’s actually easier than you think to become nomadic, especially in today’s connected world. Here is a guide to becoming a digital nomad so you, too, can travel the world.
Save as much as possible
Traveling isn’t always cheap, though in some parts of the world it is, other countries can be quite expensive. Furthermore, leaving an old life behind to become nomadic does require some initial capital, so it’s a good idea to start saving as much as possible right now. Create a high-yield savings account as a safe place to keep your money and get a bit of a higher return on it than what a bank would offer. Limit your frivolous spending on things like movie tickets, shopping trips, and dining out; when you’re traveling, you can enjoy so much more, so keep your goal in mind and save like crazy. When the time comes, you’ll be happy to have that security net in case there are unexpected expenses or struggles.
Move your work and education online
In the age of the Internet, everything can be done online. Having a job doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be tied down to a location and go into an office every day; there are plenty of remote work opportunities you can do from your laptop anywhere in the world. If you work in an industry where transitioning to freelancing is fairly easy, start the process of establishing yourself as a business and finding your own clients.
If you can’t easily transition to freelance, start looking for a remote position. They also don’t necessarily need to be in your current field, if you are open to a change; there are quite a few opportunities that don’t require formal education, and if your skills are transferable, you can qualify. Some examples include teaching English online, being an executive assistant, transcription work, and many more. Say goodbye to traditional office life, and say hello to working in coffee shops, in Airbnbs, and on beaches around the world.
If you’re thinking about going to school and upgrading your education, or are currently in the middle of pursuing further education, you can easily transition your program to an online program. Reputable schools, like Suffolk University Online, offer full graduate programs that are 100% online, so you can continue your studies at your own pace on your own schedule from anywhere. Online programs are even flexible enough so you can work while you study as well. The amount of fields of study available is growing each year, which makes it easier to find an area you are interested in studying; there is no need to settle for whatever is available when you can choose from such a great variety of programs. So why not grab your laptop and turn a coffee shop in Paris into your classroom?
Start cutting ties
Not relationship ties of course (you’ll need solid connections when you’re traveling on your own to keep you grounded!), but rather location-based and financial ties. Don’t sign another long-term rental lease or lease a new car because you’ll just lock yourself down for another long period of time. Start cutting back and ending contracts like gym memberships, recurring deliveries, or subscription-based services. The goal is to free yourself from one specific place, and a bonus is that you’ll also be freeing up cash flow that is better spent on your travels than on buying materialistic goods you won’t need when you leave.
You also will want to start settling up debts you have, like credit card debt or student loans. Credit card debts should be paid down first and as fast as possible to avoid the high interest rates, so make that a priority. Student loans can be paid down on a payment plan, so worst case scenario, you can’t pay it all off before you’re ready to start traveling and you set up a specific bank account just for your student loan payments to be automatically deducted from every month. Just make sure you keep that account healthy to avoid missed payments and the stress that follows.