How to prepare for life as a digital nomad

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Published on 2024-04-08 at 10:00 by Lama
Life as a digital nomad sounds like a lot of fun and allows for a lot more freedom. Those who love to travel will especially be drawn to this lifestyle. However, it's important to remember that it's still considered work (not a vacation!). While it may seem that it's as easy as packing up and flying somewhere new, there's a lot more thought that needs to go into it. To successfully sustain life as a digital nomad, there are a couple of things to consider to ensure that you're fully prepared.

Secure work before you go

Life as a digital nomad can sound like an exciting experience you'll want to jump into immediately. But to make it sustainable, it's important to ensure that you have work secured before you start moving around. Whether you're working for a company, freelancing, or have your own business, it's a good idea to have a steady income set up before making this big move.

Map out your career

Aside from having work lined up, it's also a good idea to think about the direction in which your career will be headed as you start your life of working remotely. Think about pursuing a career that can quickly progress and evolve, even while embracing being a digital nomad. Determining a career path that aligns with remote work will allow this to truly become a lifestyle rather than just a one-time experience.

Determine a reasonable work-life balance

Before taking the leap, it's important to understand and clearly set the divide between work and experiencing the new places you will be working from. While this new lifestyle allows for a lot of travel, freedom and exploration, it's crucial to keep in mind that you will still need to set working hours for yourself. Getting into this mindset before you head out will put you on the right path to success.

Sort out your finances

Having a steady income before traveling definitely helps, but you should consider all the different expenses you will have as a digital nomad. It's highly recommended to research the destination you'd like to work from and look into what costs look like for flight tickets, accommodation, food, transportation while you're there, and other day-to-day expenses on the side.

To prepare for this, you can start by reducing your current spending and saving as much as you can. This will allow you to move with a little bit of extra cash should you need it. It's also advised to ensure you don't have any outstanding payments where you currently live to avoid any issues when traveling.

You should also speak to your bank before you go and let them know that you will be using your account and cards in a different country to avoid having them blocked while you're abroad. It's also a good idea to ensure you have the right debit and credit cards (that will work in your new destination).

Life as a digital nomad can be fun, but being responsible with your finances and planning ahead of time will save you a lot of trouble later on.

Pick a suitable time zone

Now it's time to decide the more fun part—where will you go? Since you'll be working while traveling, one of the main things to consider is the time zone. Depending on the nature of your work, you may be required to be available at certain times to jump on calls or meet specific deadlines. Ensuring that you pick somewhere with a reasonable time zone will save you from having to wake up at awkward hours of the night for a quick catch-up with your team or client.

Find a digital nomad-friendly place to live

Working out of your chosen accommodation might get a little routine, and the whole point of embracing the digital nomad lifestyle is to be able to have the freedom to explore different countries. It's a good idea to research your planned destination and see if they have suitable places you can work from, such as cafes or coworking spaces. That way, you can ensure that you'll be able to take a break and get a change of scenery whenever you need to. This also allows you to meet fellow digital nomads and become part of a community.

Check connectivity

Another crucial element for digital nomads is staying connected. You definitely don't want to be working with a choppy internet connection that could slow things down. Before booking your tickets, do a little research into the internet connection and wifi speed in the countries you're interested in working from. It might also be wise to look into the cost of the internet, as this is something you will need to factor in if you're planning to set up your own connection in your accommodation.

Find out about visa requirements

Now that you've narrowed down your options, it's time to look into visa requirements for each country. Things you will need to consider are how long you will be allowed to stay in the country on your visa, if you will be able to extend the visa should you decide to stay longer, and if there is a specific visa required for remote workers. These requirements will vary from one country to another, as well as all the supporting documents you may need in order to apply. It's best to check with each one's official government website to get all the most up-to-date information you need.

Decide on what to do with your belongings

Once you're all sorted out and ready to go, you should decide and plan what you are going to do with your personal belongings. For example, if you're currently renting your home, check to see if you will be able to sublease it while you're away. If you plan to sell your home, think about whether you will want to store the rest of your belongings or sell those as well. Figuring out what to do before heading off will save you a lot of hassle in case plans change while you're abroad.

Pack everything you need

While a lot of things can be purchased when you arrive, such as toiletries and other small things, it's important to make a list of things you will need to pack. From clothing to your laptop and other tech items, make sure you're well-packed before you go. Consider how long you will be gone to ensure you have everything you need before you set off.

Deciding to work remotely marks the start of an exciting adventure. Being able to travel freely and explore different parts of the world while working can be an experience unlike any other. With proper planning, it can be one that you can sustain for as long as you choose.