The ‘digital nomad’ has become a commonplace term, career path and lifestyle in the millennial and generation Z vocabulary. Most people under the age of 30 know someone living, working, traveling and making their money online from where ever they happen to be around the globe; or we at least follow someone doing just that on Instagram.
Digital nomads usually work on a freelance basis, fitting in making money via their laptops around worldwide travels. Sound like a dream? It is for those who make the lifestyle work – and that takes more plotting and planning than you might think.
If you’re thinking of packing your life and laptop into a rucksack and jet-setting to warmer climes as a digital nomad, read this breakdown of all the important stuff you’ll need to have sorted before you go – there could be more to think about than what meets the eye on social media.
1. You need tons of self-motivation
This is not so much a specific problem for digital nomads, but freelancers in general. Even if you love your craft, many people will tell you it’s incredibly difficult to wake up and be your own self-starter every day.
When it’s down to you to set your work and play times, it requires a lot of willpower not to let play overtake the show. But when your pay packet depends on working, and your motivation doesn’t match your bank balance’s needs, things can get stressful.
It’s wise to get yourself established as a freelancer at home before you encounter the drawbacks of the career choice in a foreign setting. Ultimately, if you think you’ve got the drive to get up every day and head to your local coffee shop to get your orders fulfilled, you will have no problems at all!
2. What about your bank account?
Don’t assume it’s so simple that you can use your bank account from moving to a new city anywhere in the world. There are myriad hidden charges related to using your card abroad that are ready to catch you out and drain your funds without you noticing if you’re not careful.
To get around card charging problems, there have been banking solutions developed with frequent travelers in mind; but there is no one solution best for everyone. It all depends on your country of origin and where you intend to go. Visit a branch of your current bank and book an appointment to discuss your options for using your account abroad. If their plans don’t sound appealing, remember that you can shop around to get the best deal for you and your money.
Then there’s the issue of money itself. You need a big reserve for your initial travel, accommodation, and settling into your new town before you get back out to work. You also always need to have enough money for a flight home should things go pear-shaped – this is often a visa requirement as well. For instance, when entering Australia with a working holiday visa, they may check that you have enough money in the bank to sustain yourself and to fly home. Prepare to save more money than you think you need before you decide to jet off.
3. How will you run your website?
When your entire method of making a living is online, the running of your website should be a priority. When deciding to emigrate or travel, it’s probably not a great idea to leave your web host servers behind in your home country. So, what can you do?
Your first course of action could be to switch to a local server. MangoMatter’s web hosting comparison for Singapore shows all the hosts and servers based locally in Singapore; and there are plenty of other sites that will point you in the direction of local hosts elsewhere in the world.
The second option is to use a cloud-based server, which can be used and accessed anywhere, any time. So long as you use a reputable web host with a great support system, you shouldn’t encounter any problems that can’t be fixed where ever you are on the planet.