The holidays are a whirlwind of activity. For some that might mean binge eating their family’s amazing cooking, traveling to new places, or even just staying home and relaxing. Whatever it is that you’re doing this holiday season, now is the perfect time to lay out your path to becoming a digital nomad. If you are looking to use this extra time to work on side projects or find a job that will allow you work remotely, here are some tips that you can carry into the new year:
Determine what you want to get done
Are you trying to launch a blog? Are you looking for a company that’ll let you work abroad? Start off by determining what you want to get done during your holiday break. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself why you want to become a digital nomad in the first place. Is it for the freedom to work on your own time or are you financially motivated to move somewhere less expensive? Understanding why you decided to work so hard to pursue this goal will help you when life starts to get busy again.
Once you’ve decided what you'll to be working on during your holiday break, start incorporating it into your daily routine. I know this is easier said than done, but if you struggle with keeping a consistent schedule, consider using productivity tools. The Lanes Chrome Extension allows you to monitor the time you spend on daily projects. You can also use the app Clear to track tasks and set reminders easily from your phone.
Once you’ve started working towards your goal, introduce yourself to other digital nomads.
Connect with the Digital Nomad Community
If you want to become a digital nomad, you have to stop lurking behind your computer screen. There are a number of great online and local resources for meeting people doing exactly what you want to be doing! Some communities I’ve found to be invaluable resources include:
- We Are Freedom Seekers - This small, supportive group is for adventurists seeking to escape the 9 to 5.
- Digital Nomad Girls - Swap stories, share advice, ask questions, and network with awesome nomad girls from around the world.
- Digital Nomads Around the World - Great community for connecting with nomads and locals who might already be living in a city you’re interested in traveling to.
- One Salon - A weekly gathering of people who are passionate about social, cultural, and intellectual conversations. Find a Chapter near you or start your own!
- Nomad Pass - Casual in-person and digital meetups for nomads
- Zero to Travel - Jason hosts a great podcast that explores the various routes people take to become digital nomads. You can email him with questions and hear what other challenges people face during their transition to location independence.
- Extra Pack of Peanuts - Travis and Heather talk about flying, travel hacks, and easy ways to save money while traveling.
Figure Out Your Finances
How much money do you think you need to live in another country for 6 months? How about a year? A lot of us will be quick to throw out huge numbers without actually grasping our daily expenses. Your lifestyle will determine how much it will cost you to become location independent, but creating a budget can give you a better idea of the exact numbers.
I’ve developed this Monthly Budget and Cash Flow Projection worksheet for you to map out your expenses for the next year and determine the actual amount you can live off of before you start traveling.
After you have your finances on track, you need to take steps that’ll put you on a path to becoming a nomad.
Why not kick things off by buying a ticket?
Book a Ticket
Do you have a hard time following through with the goals you’ve made for yourself? It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a new idea, but when it comes to actually executing on that idea, it often never happens. That’s where the “Against the Wall Theory” comes in. Essentially, the point of this theory is to put your back against the wall, so you have no choice, but to follow through with your decision.
For example, let’s say in six months you want to be living in Portugal. Find a ticket to Portugal and buy it! Tell your friends and family about your goal. Post on social media and tell people you meet in person. At this point, you’re being held accountable. You can’t back out easily and the only path is forward.
This worked for Matt Inglot from Titled Pixel. He explains that he wasn’t able to run a remote business until a two month trip to Poland forced him to make his business virtual.
If you really want your freelancing business to be nomadic, then force yourself to succeed by putting yourself in a nomadic situation from the start. Take a several month trip to somewhere far, and start or move your business there. This will force you to acquire clients remotely and to build a remote business infrastructure. - via Money Nomad
Whatever you do this holiday season, treat yourself to the gift of an adventurous future by using these tips to become a digital nomad.