Let’s kick off with some statistics about Digital Nomads:
● There are now more than 55 million in the US alone.
● The 2 million Freelancers in the UK are now contributing £156 billion annually.
● From 2008 to 2016, the number of people dropping their office jobs and moving to self-employment at home grew by 151%,
● There are now 77,000,000 freelancers worldwide working in the digital industries contributing $1.500,000,000,000 (yes trillion), to the world economy.
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Everything you heard lately about the gig economy is backed up by reality my friend. Moving into freelance work, and moreover moving to a different country is a liberating and terrifying step to take. Shedding your work contract and relying upon yourself to make money, yes, it can offer great benefits but it can also feel like staring at a big black void. How do you become a digital nomad?
What if I can’t find enough work to survive?
What if I get ill?
Of course, these questions will whizz around your head. They never really go away for digital nomads.
But if there’s one advantage that can knock all of these worries out of the park, it’s the ability to work when you want, more importantly for where you want.
Just what is a digital nomad?
It seemed obvious back in 1999 that since the internet became the number one communication tool for business, that people would migrate away from the office, but it didn’t happen.
Though many people are now working from home, many, many more are still sitting at their desks from 9 – 5:30 with 45 minutes for lunch.
But times they are a changing and we are seeing massive growth worldwide as freelancers take advantage of their mobile communications and up-sticks.
“Why not rock up on a beach in the South of Spain and do what I always did but under the sun with a nice cold beer?” Thought many people.
So this is digital nomadism, taking off the shackles and travelling, seeing new things, making the most of the freedoms we have today to both work and play. Be organised, be professional, but be free.
Ok, so how do I do that? Become a digital nomad
There are some things to bear in mind, starting off with a massive change in lifestyle which you may not be fully prepared for. So here are some key tips to bear in mind before you set off out of the door. Stick to the 7 Cs they’ll help you from making rookie mistakes as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Go light. Look at your possessions, if you doubt you need it then ditch it. Realistically more than one suitcase becomes an issue, it costs more to get it about in luggage holds and it makes moving around more complicated. Buy lighter clothes. The weight in your suitcase is important, and the 15-year-old Metallica T-shirts mean more weight. Most travellers are heading to warmer climates so think about what clothes you need. Also, many of the places you go to will have cheaper places to buy clothes if you need to.
Having a separate amount of money in Bits can help in various ways. You won’t need to carry so much money around. You’ll have a secure way to pay for hotels, flights, etc, and you can get some great deals. And it will give you the security of having a go-to fund for when things may get a little hairy.
Get something light and fast. It comes down to two options for most people; Microsoft’s surface is near perfect, and obviously, a Macbook (Pro may be overkill) will suit the need of most people.
There are lots of things you can do to keep the money coming in. You may have a job with a high-flying-tech-startup but you don’t need us to tell you that that could fall through. Have a side hustle to fall back on when things don’t work out, Freelancer, Upwork and PeoplePerHour are good places to find, frankly monotonous, but paying work.
Whilst on your travels you’re going to visit some pretty amazing places. Some of the coolest cities such as Bilbao and Skopje, that you would never have imagined were so amazing. But it’s not so great to see these places alone. A lot of people are happy travelling alone but even the most solitary get a little tired of their own company. Co-working spaces are one of the best ways to get around this. You meet new people, share skills, and everyone is in the same boat so you’ll find a lot in common.
Before you go, buy a flight home open-ended. Out in the world, there may be moments when you say “nope”, having a paid for flight home will give you better peace of mind, and for some people, it actually works to spur them on in moments of adversity.
To use the Irish term for a good time. “Have a Craick and enjoy it!”
Give us a call if need any information on how to become a digital nomad. We have helped lots of people both in long-term and short-term stays and we’re here to help. It’s a big thing, we get that.
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