Digital nomadism is gaining momentum, with more and more people jumping on the bandwagon. The main reason why remote work is popular is the freedom it offers, especially for people relying on per-project jobs as opposed to fixed working hours.
While many 9-5 workers claim they wouldn’t have it any other way, even they seem to have come to understand a benefit or two of remote work — due to the pandemic.
However, not every remote worker is considered successful. It’s one thing to make ends meet and another to enjoy the benefits of digital nomadism from some remote beach somewhere in the wide world.
Let’s take a look at a couple of things that make digital nomads successful.
1. A Stable Clientele Base
First of all, people relying on per-project work know how difficult landing a great gig is. Some people simply go from gig to gig to accumulate enough money to travel to the next destination, while others find the opportunities of their dreams.
However, expertise is always valued. For people who excel at what they do, there’s a better option: building clientele.
The frequency and quantity of projects are the two factors to keep in mind when considering the number of clients you want to build. The easiest way to go about things is to calculate your desired budget and thus determine how many clients you need. It’s also a good idea to have a backup option, just in case.
And keep in mind that not all money you earn is yours for the keeping. There are taxes to consider.
2. Managing Expat Taxes
No matter where you are, expat taxes won’t disappear into thin air. Moreover, there are the taxes of the country of your residence to consider. These vary greatly from country to country, so make sure you know in advance what exactly to expect.
Some expats choose to use professional services to help them, while others rely on community advice. The choice is up to you but if you’re uncertain about anything in this regard, make sure to clarify it. Taxes are never something to leave up to trial and error.
3. Other Necessities
There are many other things to consider, and it is difficult to list them all because not everyone has the same requirements (nor indeed the same circumstances), but let’s take a look at some tips common for the majority of digital nomads.
Firstly, if you’re not planning to come back for a while (years on end), make certain to sell your car. Its value is certain to depreciate over time. Still, if you are moving for a shorter period, you’ll probably still need your car once you get back. If you choose to keep the car, make certain to choose the right insurance and ensure a safe place where to park it. A garage is an ideal option because no one will be attending it for a long time.
Secondly, there are a couple of things to consider before moving. We’re not going to bother listing the paperwork because you won’t be able to enter the country you’re traveling to in the first place if you haven’t assembled all the requirements. However, it is good to remember that making copies and storing them with your family or a trusted friend is a good idea. Once you’ve relocated, you’ll have a difficult time obtaining any paperwork back home from abroad. Speaking of the trusted friend, it is also recommended to re-route your snail mail and cancel all unnecessary subscriptions.
Another extremely important thing that should be dealt with beforehand is the choice of accommodations. Yes, there are many people relying on Airbnb, but it is actually not a good idea to make upfront payments for an apartment you haven’t actually seen. Unless you’re relocating for business and your employer has provided accommodations, opt for a short hotel stay. While there, take your time choosing long-term accommodations. If you’re traveling with pets, this may be a bit difficult, but still, most locations feature a couple of pet-friendly hotels and hostels.
And then, be sure that you have the right arsenal of digital tools that help you succeed. Remember, paying $99 a year to help you save two hours a week will pay off the first few weeks you use the app that you purchased. A lot of the tech that is used by companies with frontline employees or who offer remote work can offer some ideas, such as choosing the right corporate communication tools.
Lastly, the issue of proper insurance seems to be especially complicated for digital nomads just starting out. People used to private plans and company-provided insurance plans may have difficulties choosing one option. Also, you may want to learn about life insurance and compare offers before making the final decision, and remember — if it seems you cannot find what you’re looking for, keep looking! Insurance companies are increasingly coming up with plans for digital nomads, and the market is expected to yet reach its zenith.
5. Continued Learning
Last but not least, digital nomads (and remote workers, in general) are known for their diversified skill set, which is never set in stone. It goes without saying that people utilizing their own means to find projects rather than relying on companies to present them with opportunities are tech-savvy and resourceful.
These benefits don’t materialize on their own; rather, digital nomads invest lots of time (and, often, also money) to create a better version of themselves and remain competitive. For, let’s be clear — remote work is highly competitive, with people from around the globe applying for lucrative projects.
E-learning has become a standard over time, but nowadays the trend seems to be shifting once more — this time to mLearning.
It’s important to remember that the digital revolution is changing at a rapid pace. If you plan to become a digital nomad, you should be ready to commit to continual improvements — and no one will be financing it but you.
Digital nomadism is indeed a great way to live your life. Who wouldn’t be happy to travel the world while working on the go?
In fact, many countries have begun to recognize the trend and have started offering specialized visas for digital nomads. Most of them have requirements, notably in terms of wages, so take your time comparing offers before choosing your first destination.
Also, for many people, it is a better option to relocate to one place and stay awhile there. Collecting money takes time, and getting to know the nuisances of the country and its regulations is also not an easy task. Be precise with your calculations, especially if you haven’t secured a couple of recurring clients.
Everything considered, digital nomadism is exciting and eye-opening, but a relaxed lifestyle doesn’t come without effort. Keep learning and keep looking for better opportunities, and you’ll get to enjoy your life to the fullest in no time.