How many times have you sat in that tedious meeting dreaming of lying on a stunning beach instead? How often have you changed your laptop screen saver to that shot of Santorini, Mayan ruins or a Maldivian island? The urge to travel, explore and make new memories is real. But once you begin a career, you have too many ties with work to up sticks and discover the world – don’t you? Thanks to the power of global connectivity, there are now more opportunities than ever to develop a career which is location independent. That means that you can carry out your job from wherever in the world you find yourself, and gives you the chance to combine travel with developing a career or even setting up your own business – becoming what is frequently referred to as a ‘digital nomad’.
Working remotely isn’t all sitting on your laptop by the pool sipping Pina Coladas though – it requires hard work and discipline, and it’s own measure of sacrifice – get it right though, and the rewards can be unforgettable.
Reduce Your Expenses
If you’re serious about combining work and travel, you will need to begin severing your connection to things which obligate you to stay in a single location. This means any long-term rental accommodation arrangements or vehicles. You will also need to go through your budget and identify commitments such as gym memberships, subscription packages and mobile phone contracts which you can cancel or alter. This both frees up your life, and your bank account so that you can begin to build a cushion of money. You will need this in order to begin your travel adventures, pay for flights and initial accommodation and cover any unexpected events.
Find A Tribe
Just because you aren’t location dependent, doesn’t mean that you have to be alone. Joining a digital nomad community is a brilliant way to connect with others who are experiencing the same lifestyle and can offer support and friendship. Networking in your destination country is hugely important – make sure you book to attend trade shows and conferences, kitted out with business cards, personalised lanyards and pop-up display banners to showcase exactly what you do and meet others. Forums and social media groups are another great way to find like-minded people who may have faced similar challenges and have really valuable advice.
Understand Your Skills
Whether you are seeking remote work or planning to set up a business, you’ll need to understand exactly what skills you can bring to the table. Things which are usually a good complement to location independent work are design, engineering, writing, accountancy or marketing work. Building websites or teaching English as a foreign language online can also work. You can either opt to be freelance or try to find clients who will give you repeat business. Many digital nomads opt for portfolio careers, where they split their time between two or three different occupations to be sure of having a diverse income stream to keep them going. You can always choose to specialise later when you’re more established and understand how much income you can make. Don’t be afraid to start off by supplementing your income with temporary or seasonal work in your destination location just to get you started. The biggest ingredient is courage – put yourself out there with an open mind and the opportunities are endless.