How to Become a Digital Nomad

How to Become a Digital Nomad

Travel + work + your own free time = digital nomad. Here's how to become one.

Contributed by Karolina Patryk

digital nomad

Being and living as digital nomad is becoming very trendy. 3 years ago, when we started travelling around the world, we didn’t even know what ‘digital nomads’ are. All we knew is that we wanted to be free and do whatever and whenever we want. Later, we found out that what we are doing is not so special. Many people on this world are living exactly like us.

In this post, we will share with you our insights on digital nomad lifestyle. We will also give you the best tips on how to become digital nomad.

Who is digital nomad?

digital nomad

It is a person who works online and is completely independent of any place. He or she changes countries, cities and places of living very often. He / she is completely free and all he/ she needs from life is fast WiFi to be able to work. Typical place where you can find a digital nomad is cafe with comfortable seats, AC and fast WiFi. Most digital nomads decide by themselves how long are they going to work during a day. They are usually the masters of their time. Sometimes they work 20 hour a day and sometimes they just stay in bed or go sightseeing.

The idea is simple — living a free life wherever and however you want.

Also read: Wanna be a Full-Time Traveller? Here’s How

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a life of digital nomad only for young and single people?

No! Anyone can be a digital nomad. It is a myth that you have to be unmarried and don’t have children to start living a free life. We know many families that are travelling together — parents are working online and children are playing or spending time with nannies. Anyone can live a free life. Age, gender, family status are not limitations. The only limits you have are in your head. Every life can be re-organised. There are only a few people in this world who really CAN’T travel and we bet you are not one of them.

Of course, a young and careless person can become a digital nomad easier and faster. He doesn’t need so much money, he doesn’t have any debts to pay off, and he doesn’t need to live in comfort.

Older people with families need more effort to start living a free life but they still can do it. Everybody can.

2. Are there any bad sides of living a life like this?

digital nomad

YES. Living a nomad life is not all a bed of roses. You need a lot of self-discipline to work online. You won’t have a boss or manager who will push you to do your job. YOU will be responsible for every single second of your life. It is very easy to just waste your time and do nothing all day.

The other flaw of this ‘perfect life’ is that you probably won’t have a solid source of income. Most digital nomads are entrepreneurs and freelancers. Their salaries depend on how many clients they would have each month.

Of course, there are some travellers who work remotely in one company. They are usually writers, computer scientists, programmers, graphic designers, social media experts and coaches. But most digital nomads we know have different incomes each month.

Also read: 10 Professions that Will Allow You to Travel the World

3. What do I need to become a digital nomad?

Just a will to become one, a lot of patience and a willingness to sacrifice your free time to work hard every day.

The beginning is the most difficult part of the whole process. You need to work hard for at least a month to build you portfolio / develop the business / find clients, etc.

Of course, you will also need a computer and fast WiFi. That’s it.

4. How much should I earn to start living a free life?

digital nomad

It all depends on WHERE you live and how much do you want to travel. Monthly cost of living in Thailand is $500-$1000. If you want to live in the UK, US, Australia or New Zealand you will need at least $2000.

Expenses are also very closely related to the frequency of travel. Hotels are always more expensive than long-term rentals. Plane, bus or train tickets are a big part of a monthly budget as well.

5. What skills do I need to become digital nomad?

The only skills you need at the beginning are self-discipline, willingness to work hard and learn new things.

Digital nomads have different jobs — some people need great writing skills, some need to know SEO or a programming language.

The only skill all digital nomads have in common is the ability to use a computer.

6. What are the most important things for digital nomads?

  • fast WiFi that will allow you to work everyday
  • frequent job offers 
  • unlimited access to ATMs, 3G / LTE and all other inventions of the modern world
  • quiet and comfortable place to work
  • fast and good computer, preferably an ultrabook that is light, small and easy to travel with

7. Do I have to have my own company to work online?

NO. You can be a freelancer or be employed in the company that will allow you to work online.

Not every digital nomad is an businessman. It is also a myth that you need to have a lot of money to travel the world. Most digital nomads earn average salaries but they spend their money on travels, not on building a house, buying a car etc.

8. How much time do I need to become full-time traveller who works online?

digital nomad

It depends on how much time you are willing to spend on working at the beginning. Some people can start earning in the first month. And some need a year to make working online their only source of income.

We managed to become digital nomads in 3 months. We knew nothing about making money online and we had to learn everything from scratch.

Click here to read our full story.

Tips for becoming a digital nomad

1. Find your strengths

To find a perfect job for you, you will first need to get to know your strengths. Try to answer to these questions:

  • what do you like to do?
  • what are you good at?

and then:

  • how can you earn using your skills?

For example, if you are an awesome skateboarder, you can become a youtuber. Make a video of the tricks that you do or maybe set up a website or blog about skateboarding?

If you have writing, SEO or programming skills, you can start earning very fast on freelancer websites.

Try to think creatively on how you can earn money online using the skills that you have. Nowadays, almost everything can be done online — you can teach via Skype, send your work via email or even earn money on Facebook or other social media.

Choices are endless. All you need to do is find your strengths and follow them.

2. Learn all necessary skills

digital nomad

Nobody is perfect. Whether you know your strengths or not, you still have to learn a lot to become a digital nomad.

As we mentioned before, every person who earns money online needs to be very disciplined. Most jobs require at least basic SEO skills, knowledge of social media and CMS (Content Management Systems).

No matter what you are going to do, you need to remember to improve your skills everyday. Internet changes extremely fast. People who are experts today may become dummies in a few years.

Working online requires an ability and willingness to learn new things everyday. You need to evolve and follow the changing trends. It is the only way to live as a digital nomad.

3. Don’t be afraid to start

It all may seem to be very difficult. There are so many things you need to do at the beginning! You also may be afraid that you may not succeed.

We have been there and we totally understand your fears. When we started living as digital nomads, we had NO money and NO skills. All we had was our DREAM. Dream to travel around the world, to make money online, to be completely free.

We succeeded and we are sure you will succeed too. All you need to do is to START.


Also read: 15 Common Travel Excuses and Why They Should Not Stop You

4. Create a life plan

The beginning is not the only important thing. You need to know what you will do after you succeed.

How long are you going to live as digital nomad? Is it only for few years (for example only when your children are young enough) or you want to make money online for your entire life?

What will happen to your relationship when you start to travel around the world? Does your partner want to become a digital nomad as well?

These questions are extremely important, don’t underestimate them. if you want to be happy, follow your heart and make your dreams come true. You need to know how your life should look like in every detail.

5. Create a budget

How much money will you need to live your dream life? What are your monthly expenses right now? Will this amount be enough to cover all your expenses?

Setting your budget is very important. You need to know HOW MUCH you should earn to be completely free.


6. Set your goals

digital nomad

If you have already created your life plan and did your budget, it is time to set your goals.

When and what do you want to achieve? How fast would you like to earn money? Remember that the best goals are the most detailed. They also should be realistic — planning to earn $10,000 tomorrow is silly and impossible.

Goals are very important if you want to succeed. They will help you measure the progress. The best are daily or weekly goals. Plan your job step by step. Decide what you will do each day. What steps should you take to live your dream life and become a digital nomad?

Goals breakdown is very important. It is much easier to do a small task than think about the huge goal that may seem too big for you.

Also read: 9 Signs You Are Ready to Quit Your Job and Travel The World

About Author

Karolina Patryk
Karolina Patryk

Karolina and Patryk are young entrepreneurs and travellers who are living a free life of digital nomads. They believe that everybody should follow their hearts and be happy everyday. On their blog they are sharing awesome stories from their journeys, giving tips how to make money online and motivating others to start living their dream lives.


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