The concept of working from wherever you want, whenever you want, can be quite alluring. Just a few years ago, such a proposition would have seemed like pure fantasy. Thanks to modern technology and high-speed internet connectivity, however, such a lifestyle is now a possibility.
In fact, many people from around the world are leaving the constraints of walled offices in fixed locations and adopting the digital nomadic lifestyle. Chief among these are freelancers. Whether your skill set is that of a freelance writer, graphic designer, programmer or marketer, the ability to successfully earn a living as you travel around the world is within your reach.
How Freelancers Are Becoming Digital Nomads
If you are a freelancer and the idea of becoming a digital nomad appeals to you, there are a few things that you should know. First, the process is made easier if you do a test run of the nomadic lifestyle while you are still close to home. Take a short trip to a location that is driving distance from your current home. Test out your current mobile computing equipment. Does it provide you with the computing and communication power that you need to stay properly connected to your clients and prospects?
If the answer to the question above was “no.” then it is best to upgrade your equipment while you are still home. Purchasing technology, such as laptops, tablets or cell phones while overseas can be gravely more expensive than in your home country. Once your mobile setup meets the demand of your freelancing operation then you are set to undertake your nomadic voyage.
Next comes choosing a location. Make a list of the places that you would like to visit and determine the cost of getting there and the cost of living for each location. Compare that to the amount of income that you can generate in a specific time frame and choose your destination accordingly. Remember to take into consideration contingencies for illness, equipment repairs, etc.
Becoming a digital nomad, especially for the first time, can be lonely and scary. To make the transition easier, it is not a bad idea to choose a location that is already popular with other digital nomads. Places like Bali, Thailand or the Philippines have burgeoning digital nomad communities. Networking with other digital nomads can help you to get a better lay of the land and avoid any potential local pit falls. They will know the best places to access high speed WiFi, where to find affordable places to eat and live, etc.
Is It Acceptable to Have a Home Base?
Being a digital nomad does not require you to be traveling around the globe 365 days of the year. Many digital nomads live the lifestyle exclusively for a set period of time every year. It can be for 3 or 6 months, with the remainder of the time spent at your home base. Others prefer adhering to the nomadic mantra for years at a time. The choice is entirely up to you and what makes you feel comfortable.
What Can You Expect to Get Out of the Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
The obvious response is experiencing different parts of the world, meeting people and immersing yourself in other cultures. However, being a digital nomad affords you much more than just the benefits that come with travel. Not being tied down to a specific location allows you to free your thought process. You are able to conceptualize new ideas that can broaden your business and income streams. The reduced cost of living in many areas of the world also allow you to take certain business risks which you may not of had taken back home where your financial responsibilities were higher.
While the digital nomad lifestyle may not be for everyone, it definitely offers freedom and opportunity for those who do seek it.