Tips on how to become a digital nomad

Want to become a digital nomad and work from here? ... photo by CC user novecentino on Flickr

Want to become a digital nomad and travel the world while supporting yourself through your laptop? Its not as easy as it sounds, but there is a formula that will allow you to escape the cubicle and join the ranks of emancipated remote workers on a tropical beach on the other side of the world.

The tips contained in this article will help you begin your journey…

1) Develop sellable digital skills

Before you can become a digital nomad like all the cool people you see on blogs on the internet, building digital skills that can be sold to clients is of paramount importance.

Whether you have a solid background in coding, graphic design, or as a writer, you need to demonstrate the ability to get work done on the level that clients in the global marketplace expect.

If you lack confidence in any of these areas, take courses on Code Academy, write 1000+ words a day, or build that portfolio on your personal website.

Before long, you’ll have a skill set that will allow you to travel the world in the same manner that entrepreneurs that go on Wanderos trips do.

2) Build up an emergency fund

This next step is vital, as the freelance/entrepreneurial life can be an unpredictable one even at the best of times. In order to ride out dry streaks, or to last until your product begins to gain traction, you’ll want to build an emergency fund that will last six months where you presently live.

This will give you a runway that will last even longer when living abroad, something that is essential when trying to crack a lifestyle that requires a certain amount of trial and error.

3) Get to an income that can sustain you in the developing world

Some do this when they land in their destination of choice, but we highly recommend building up your side income on the side while you still have a full-time job at home.

This will give you the opportunity to build your business with the confidence that comes with a guaranteed paycheck as your backup, while avoiding the distractions that are often the downfall of aspiring digital nomads that try to ramp up their income while adjusting to a new culture.

We recommend a minimum of $1000/month, as this is enough to make ends meet in many developing countries.

4) Quit your job and sell your stuff

With a healthy bank account and a steady income stream, the time will eventually come to cut the umbilical cord. Leave on good terms, giving at least two weeks notice.

Having a positive reference is a security blanket that will allow you to reverse course relatively easily if being a nomad isn’t your thing.

Post things you can’t take in your backpack on Craigslist or eBay; if you have things you don’t want to sell, and for things that have sentimental value, stow them with friends or family. Storage lockers are a last resort, as they can be costly depending on the size, and where you live.

5) Book your plane ticket to a digital nomad hub

Once all your loose ends have been taken care of, book your ticket to Chiang Mai, Bali, Berlin, or wherever you have targeted as a starting point for your digital nomad adventure. Integrate within the community, work hard, and have fun!