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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in digital nomads around the world.

What is a digital nomad?

Working online while travelling the world sounds like a dream job for many people. But what exactly is a digital nomad? A digital nomad is an individual who earns a living while working online at different locations. There are digital nomads who travel for years, and regularly move across countries and continents while working remotely, while there are some who travel for shorter periods of time, taking “workcations” which last a few months. Digital nomads enjoy the opportunity to work anywhere, as well as the excitement working in various environments brings.

How to be a digital nomad?

Being a digital nomad means you can now work from the restaurants in Buenos Aires, beaches in Bali, or in the comfort of your hostel room. If you want to pursue the digital nomad lifestyle, here are a few steps to get you started with:

1. Identify your skills

Do not let the potential complexities of working anywhere intimidate you from taking the first step. In truth, things are easier than they seem. The fact that you can use a computer to navigate the internet is already a crucial skill in and of itself.

The very first step to becoming a digital nomad is to identify your skills or an area of work you would like to focus on. You can start by engaging in self-reflection and looking into your interests and hobbies that can potentially be turned into money-generating work. Alternatively, you can search online for remote jobs that are right up your street based on your previous experiences. There are plenty of available job search websites with career advice, events and webinars features that digital nomads can take advantage of such as:

2. Prepare your gadgets

Another important thing to note before getting started with your digital nomad journey is to choose your working gadgets and tools. Most digital nomads bring with them travel-friendly and lightweight laptops and headsets. If you plan to travel abroad, make sure you also purchase a SIM card and a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so you can work without interruptions and browse sites/apps not available in the country you are visiting.

3. Pick the right bank account

Next, choose a bank that is digital nomad-friendly. A bank account that requires high transaction fees, ATM fees, and currency exchange rates may not be a good choice for you, depending on your budget. Pick a bank account that offers unlimited worldwide ATM fee rebates, works with different currencies, and can be opened easily so you can work anywhere with peace of mind.

Here are some of the international bank accounts that are popular among digital nomads:

4. Get a travel and health insurance

In case of an emergency, it is important that you purchase travel insurance or health insurance that covers you internationally. For travel insurance, make sure that it covers travel-related risks like flight delays and cancellations to minimise losses.
Here are some global insurance companies with 24-hour customer service:

5. Choose a location with digital nomad communities

When choosing your location, it is also important to consider whether it is a popular place for digital nomads and whether there are existing digital nomad communities. Digital nomad communities can help guide you with recommended accomodations, co-working spaces, and tips to make the most out of your work experiences in the countries you are going to. Not to mention that you can also find like-minded people within these communities whom you can share your life stories with and rely on when you face any challenges.

PROS of being a digital nomad

Sense of freedom

You can choose when to work and how much you want to work in a day–at the end of the day, you are your own boss. Although there are some digital nomads who work remotely for a company that follows a 9 to 5 schedule. This is not an impediment to digital nomads as many remote-first companies allow the flexibility for their employees to work anytime and anywhere as long as they get their tasks done.

Travel opportunities

The ability to travel constantly may be one of the biggest benefits of being a digital nomad. If you love adventures, digital nomad would be an ideal lifestyle for you. Requesting time off or leave becomes optional when every day feels like a vacation.

Meet new people

Aside from unlimited travelling experiences, digital nomads also get to connect with others from different backgrounds and cultures through travelling. Immersing in different cultures encourages you to be more open-minded and holistic, making you more resilient towards obstacles in life and work.

Personal growth and improved life

And as a digital nomad, you discover more about yourself and you upskill along the way as you pick up new skills and interests. For instance, you may have started off as a writer, but travelling to Paris and mingling with the local people made you realise you are into fine art as well so now you can hone in on your artistic skills and sell your artworks. In short, the possibilities are endless.

CONS of being a digital nomad

Loneliness and homesickness

You can choose when to work and how much you want to work in a day–at the end of the day, you are your own boss. Although there are some digital nomads who work remotely for a company that follows a 9 to 5 schedule. This is not an impediment to digital nomads as many remote-first companies allow the flexibility for their employees to work anytime and anywhere as long as they get their tasks done.

Financial instability

As a beginner digital nomad, the lack of funds may be an issue. Hence it is important to choose your work location wisely. Consider the expenses involved and the amount of savings you need before you can comfortably sustain yourself as a digital nomad. Due to the uncertainties attached to the digital nomad lifestyle, it is also important to build an emergency fund where you can fall back to in case of emergencies.

Adaptability

As a digital nomad, you always have to adapt to new cultures, environments, and you may even have to spend the extra effort to learn new languages from time to time. And adapting to these changes can be very frustrating at first, but once you accept that all these are part and parcel of your everyday life of being a digital nomad, you will notice that the positives are more than the negatives in this journey.

Burnout

There is an increased risk in burnout among digital nomads because you may feel as though you are constantly working around the clock, without anyone there to set work boundaries but yourself. Burnouts among digital nomads can also be associated with adapting to new cultures and living conditions. So, as a beginner, it is important to take things slow and recharge.

THE BEST REMOTE JOBS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

If you have decided to embark on a digital nomad journey, here are some online jobs you can do anywhere:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Copywriter
  • Social Media Manager
  • Blogger
  • Web Developer
  • SEO Specialist
  • Translator
  • Transcriber
  • Podcaster
  • Videographer
  • Voiceover Talent
  • Data Entry
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Bookkeeper or Accountant

Being a digital nomad is a commitment. Hence it is important to weigh all the pros and cons, as well as do a thorough self-reflection on whether the lifestyle of a digital nomad is suitable for you. Truly, the digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone, but there is nothing to lose for you to give it a try.

Follow Globelise’s blogs to keep you updated with the latest remote work trends and information.

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