How to Become a Digital Nomad

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

In recent years we often talk about the “Digital Nomad”, which in the collective imagination means traveling the world, working on a tropical beach and earning a lot of money. In short, the dream job.

This is what we often see on social media, people on the beach or in the pool with laptops and maybe a nice cocktail.

But the reality is not always like this, becoming a digital nomad requires commitment and dedication.


It is not simply a job but a real lifestyle, working remotely allows us to live anywhere in the world and this is the part I love most about digital nomadism.


The great thing is that becoming a digital nomad is not that difficult, everyone has their own skills and everyone can start an online career.

In this guide we will see how to become a digital nomad, thanks to my experience I will share with you all the tips for working remotely and at the same time travel around the world.

Who are the Digital Nomads

Unfortunately, on the one hand, disinformation, on the other, social media have generated an image of the stereotypical digital nomad, that is, that of the young traveler who leaves his job indefinitely to travel and create financial freedom.

But in reality this is not exactly the case, the digital nomad is simply the one who thanks to digital technologies can work online and from anywhere in the world.

Basically the main characteristics of digital nomadism are two:

  • Working online
  • Not having a fixed location

 The digital nomad can therefore be a freelancer, entrepreneur or employee, there are no special requirements and there are no age limits.



How to Become a Digital Nomad

There are many types of digital nomads, some travel continuously others have a fixed base but spend a few months abroad (generally during the winter). But the common feature is that they all work remotely.

So in order to become a digital nomad you need a job you can do online, a laptop and an internet connection.

As far as remote work is concerned, you have 3 possibilities:

  • work as an employee
  • work as a freelancer
  • start an online business

Regardless of which of the three strategies you choose, it will be important to define your skills first. Evaluate what you can offer, what your passions are and whether your skills can benefit other people.

Becoming a Digital Nomad: Skills

First you need to be able to use a computer, but fortunately this is a skill that many have today.

In my digital nomad experience I have noticed that the most popular profession among digital nomads is certainly the programmer and software developer, but there are tons of interesting methods to work and earn online.

Professions such as copywriter, social media manager, translator, language teacher, SEO consultant, blogger, but also lawyer or accountant, the important thing is to be able to work from home.


You will only have to decide whether to work as a freelancer, collaborate with companies or open your own business.

Also keep in mind that if you decide to live in some countries like the Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia it will not be necessary to earn exaggerated figures, given the low cost of living.


The advice I want to give you is to try to create your job and generate an income before leaving. Think about your skills, update yourself, take training courses, test your project and build a successful business.

If you want to learn more about the topic, I suggest you read the article Digital Nomad Jobs, where I describe the best professions, but above all the skills to work as a Digital Nomad.

Tips For Becoming Digital Nomads

Digital Nomad: Where to Go

Once you have started your business or found an online job that guarantees you a fixed income, you are ready to go.

But now you have to decide the destination, the possibilities are many but we must carefully study the various destinations by analyzing various factors.

First and foremost, the speed of the internet connection. Depending on your job you will need a more or less fast connection, but basically for a digital nomad it is important that it is stable and not too slow.

For example Thailand generally offers a rather fast connection, in particular Chiang Mai is considered the home of digital nomads.


On the contrary, in the Philippines, especially in the more remote islands, the internet is rather slow and sometimes it is difficult even to check e-mails.

In any case you can take advantage of the site Nomadlist.com to find the best destination. Each country is classified according to various parameters.

Council: at the beginning the best thing is to choose destinations not too distant, more comfortable to start the adventure as a Digital Nomad. Staying in Europe will make it easier to manage things like money management or health care. Me for example I started by leaving for the Canaries where I stayed for a few months.


Digital Nomad: Where to Stay

As for the choice of accommodation there are many options, it depends a lot on the destination and how long you plan to stay.

For short periods, let's say less than a month, you can search for accommodation online through sites such as Airbnb or Booking.

I also recommend to subscribe to facebook groups where rental advertisements are posted. Usually you find the name of the destination plus "property" or "accommodation".

In addition there are also groups of digital nomads for each location, for example “Bali Digital Nomads”.

However, if you decide to stay for several months then it would be better to look directly on the spot, often there are excellent opportunities especially talking with the locals.

Another solution are i Coliving, or the structures made available by coworking, where you can rent rooms or apartments to share with other digital nomads. A good choice especially for those traveling alone or for those in their first digital nomad experiences. There are usually packages of a minimum of 1 month that include a work station, accommodation and meals.

You will also have to decide whether to prefer an apartment with a kitchen or a hotel room. Also in this case the choice depends a lot on the country and the length of stay. For example, if you travel to Asia, keep in mind that eating out is very cheap and is often more advantageous than shopping and having to cook.

Where to work

This is the most important aspect, given that as we have seen the digital nomad is not the one who does nothing and stays all day on the beach, but on the contrary, he works and in some cases he could have particular needs.

The options are mainly two:

  • Working from home
  • Work in Coworking (common areas that offer a workstation and internet connection)

The fundamental thing is to have a stable and fast internet connection, which is generally guaranteed in coworking while at home you will not always be able to find a good connection.

The advantage of working in coworking is above all social, you will have the opportunity to meet other digital nomads, network but above all make friends with people who come from all over the world.

Coworking generally offer a workstation and rooms for making calls or conferences online.

I personally find it very good to work in coworking, I find it more productive than staying at home. Keep in mind that it is an extra cost, so also evaluate according to your budget.

If you choose to work from home, make sure your internet connection is fast and stable enough, ask the property directly and read the reviews. Often on Airbnb the speed of the connection is indicated.

In reality there would be a third option, that is to work in internet cafes but in my opinion it can be an alternative only for a few days and not for long periods.

Necessary Documents

The documents you need to reach a particular country depend on the destination.

 Usually you need:

    • Entry visa
    • Passport
    • Driver's license
    • Travel Insurance

As for the insurance I recommend World Nomads, made just for digital nomads.

Flight Out: some countries may ask for proof of exit, i.e. a return ticket or to another country. This is the case, for example, of Thailand or the Philippines, which will not let you in without the so-called “exit proof”.

To find out more, read the article: leave on a one-way flight.

Digital Nomad: Pros and Cons

Like everything, digital nomadism also has its advantages and disadvantages. So let's see why choose to become a Digital Nomad:

Disadvantages Digital Nomad

Traveling the world is the most beautiful thing ever, but remember that you will always be bound to your work, it is not like taking a sabbatical and above all it does not mean being permanently on vacation, but it certainly gives you more freedom.

Advantages of the Digital Nomad

Higher quality of life: if you choose destinations with a lower cost of living (such as Southeast Asia) you will not be forced to generate huge profits.

Independent Business: you will not have to go to the office every day but you will be the one to choose where to work.

Travel the world: it is certainly the most beautiful aspect of the Digital Nomad, the possibility of living anywhere and traveling the world.

final Thoughts

In this article I wanted to better explain what it means to be a digital nomad. If that's what you want, get ready to revolutionize your life, to work hard if necessary, but once you reach your goal, it will be really worth it.

Summarizing these are the steps to become a Digital Nomad:

  • Find a job you can do remotely;
  • Start your profession before you leave;
  • Attend coworking and join digital nomad communities;
  • Find the ideal destination.

Now you are ready to live the life of your dreams!

Word of Digital Nomad.

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