The 7 Step Roadmap to Freedom – A Guide for Aspiring Digital Nomads
Becoming a digital nomad means becoming a pioneer. This is a way of working that would have been completely unthinkable even 15 years ago but now, thanks to the available technology, there’s no reason that we can’t take our laptops and start travelling around the world.
It’s taking a while for the world to catch up though. Many of us still work 9-5 jobs in stuffy offices, feeling stressed and far too exhausted at the end of the day to do anything worthwhile with our lives.
There’s an incredible, beautiful world out there and so much to see, do and explore. And yet most of us spend our lives working and sitting in the same dull rooms. We’re stressed, we’re bored and we’re exhausted.
Is this really what life should be like? And when the alternative is right there in front of you why would you continue to subject yourself to such a style of living? It’s time to make a change – and I’m going to show you how in 7 easy-but-powerful steps.
Step 1: Envision Your Journey
Notice I didn’t say plan yet. That’s because you’re not going to plan your journey just yet but you do need to have an idea in mind of what you want to do and where you want to go. Think about the countries you’d like to see, look for any particular landmarks or activities you’d like to get involved in, and decide how long you want to go for.
While this isn’t a set-in-stone plan yet, what you are going to do is to try and be a little realistic at this point and decide exactly the kind of travelling you want to do and how you want to do it. And it also means thinking about the kind of travel you can do. Because being a digital nomad can mean different things to different people.
If you’re married with kids, then you might find it hard to up and leave. You’d have to either take them out of school or be without them for long stretches. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still live the lifestyle – how about being a digital nomad within the country and working in different amazing places around where you are? Or how about going on lots of smaller trips?
If you choose to go for an open-ended trip, even better. But in that case, think about whether you want to go somewhere touristy, whether you want to go to Europe, or whether you’re going to climb mountains. Maybe you’ll do all three and you’ll plot a map through multiple countries.
Step 2: Ask Your Boss
A lot of people don’t feel terribly comfortable about starting an online business. Does that mean that they have to give up on the dream of being a digital nomad?
Not at all! Actually, they can just as easily become digital nomads by doing a ‘regular job’ but taking it on the road with them. Try speaking to your boss and see if you can do your current job while you’re travelling. If they say no, then try speaking with your current boss about the possibility of doing a different role within the organization. It’s nerve-wracking but you’ll probably find they’re more amenable to the idea than you expect. It is the 21st century after all…
No? Then another option is to look for other jobs. Again, this can be ‘normal’ employment just like you’d normally look for. The only difference is that you’re going to look for jobs that specifically lend themselves to working online. That could mean working on web design (which of course can easily be done online in most cases), being a copywriter, or anything else. Some jobs will even mention in the job description that they allow you to work from home (which means ‘from anywhere’ to us!). Always be sure to double-check in the interview though.
Step 3: Create Your Own Online Business
Failing that, you can create your own online business. This is a relatively easy thing to do, you just need to provide a service online and find clients who are willing to pay for that service.
So you might be a writer, a web designer, or a consultant. Alternatively, you could sell photography, you could run a blog or a vlog, you could look for a company to sponsor you on social media or you could sell a digital product or an affiliate product. There are tons of different business models you can run easily online and this is something you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with.
Note that this doesn’t mean you have to hand in your notice tomorrow (as much as you might like to). There’s no need to take unnecessary risk, so instead, why not try creating an online business in your spare time to test your model and then quitting your day job only once you have proven that this method works.
Step 4: Find Your Gear
Now you need to get your tools and gear for travel and working on the go. Whenever you go travelling for a long time, your travel gear is going to be an essential consideration. However, when you go travelling for a long time and you’re going to be working online – then it becomes even more important still!
So what does the budding internet entrepreneur need to take with them on their travels?
In terms of your general travel equipment, you’ll of course need a bag. Invest in a good bag because this is going to be a highly important tool for you in the future. You’re going to use this every single day to keep your things in and thus it needs to be light and convenient to carry, while also protecting your worldly possessions and keeping them safe. Look for something with plenty of pockets and that is going to be small enough to stow under your seat on the plane (this will save you a TON of time).
It’s also important to think about your clothes and any necessary accessories. Choose clothes that are thin and light and that will wash easily. Choose clothes that don’t need ironing and then try to roll them into thin tubes for easy packing. A microfiber towel is a very thin and light towel that dries almost instantly and can be folded to fit into a pocket.
Other useful tools include a Kindle for reading on the move, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones (for sleeping on planes and drowning out background music while working).
For work meanwhile, you’re going to need a laptop that is thin and light while still being powerful enough to handle all the tasks you might throw at it and having a battery life that can go all day.
You’re also going to want a charging brick that you can use to top up your juice if you decide should run out, some kind of dongle (tethering will do) for the internet on the move, and a Bluetooth keyboard as a backup for working on a smartphone.
Step 5: Use Smart Tools and Apps
There are going to be a number of challenges that come from working online while moving from coffee shop to coffee shop. These involve issues involving different time regions and issues involving collaboration. Luckily, there are a ton of tools and sites out there that can help you to get by. Sign up to these before you head off and you can save yourself a lot of trouble on the go.
For example, Asana (www.asana.com) is a site that will make it much easier for you to collaborate on projects with clients and business partners. You can create tasks and from here, anyone can edit those tasks, view the latest updates, and make comments. You can also add attachments.
Another useful tool is Slack (www.slack.com), which is essentially a group IM for colleagues and partners. You can use this to check in with your partners, to arrange meetings, and just to stay in touch – it creates much more of a community feeling for your team even though you might be scattered around the globe.
Skype (www.skype.com) is what you will use to have those video conferences and this is a very well-known and appreciated tool. You can also use this as a way to stay in touch with loved ones and with friends. WhatsApp is also great for this, especially thanks for VoIP calls.
World Time Buddy (www.worldtimebuddy.com) is a site and app you can use to find the time in any given country and to make sure you’re actually meeting online at the right time!
Oh and check out #Nomads. This is an online community that is all about the camaraderie that you miss when you leave an office. You’ll find people to discuss the lifestyle with, friends and even dates! And of course, you can sell and buy services here.
Step 6: Start Booking Your Trip
With that all up and running, you can have a ‘trial run’. Go on a small trip or even just spend a day in a coffee shop and check your business is really able to be run from a café or otherwise online.
Once you’ve proven it works you can set a date and start booking – this is the exciting part! To do that, you can again rely on a ton of different online tools, which include SkyScanner for finding cheap flights for example (www.skyscanner.com). This works by comparing lots of different flights and helping you to find the best ones. Meanwhile, AirBnB (www.airbnb.com) has quickly become one of the very best tools for finding cheap accommodation. Or how about free accommodation? For that, try Couchsurfing at www.couchsurfing.com.
Book your flight out to the first destination and book accommodation for nights that you’re concerned about. You can also book a few of the activities you really want to try. But just make sure that you don’t make it all set in stone. Have some flexibility to follow your impulses and to go where the wind takes you!
Step 7: Get Everything in Order
Finally, it’s time to do the last prep before you set off. This will mean not only actually packing but also working your notice (if necessary) and preparing all the paperwork etc. that you’re going to need.
For example, print out all your confirmations and make sure that you have copies too in case those go missing. Likewise, make sure that your passport is up-to-date. You actually need to ensure that your passport is good for 6 months following your return date. You need 6 months at least remaining on a passport to travel to many countries and if you go away for 2 years then this is something you can easily miss! Make a copy of your passport too, which will help in case you lose yours.
You’re also going to need to make sure you have visas for all the different countries you visit. Make sure to apply early to avoid disappointment.
Arrange someone to look after your home if you are a property owner. And if you want to make a little additional money, why not lease the property to someone else through AirBnB or through a property management company?
You also need to think about cancelling subscriptions you no longer need (internet, Netflix, cable TV) and you need to set-up banks and mobile contracts to work abroad wherever you’re staying.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll have everything in order and be ready to set sail and explore the world! All that’s left to do is to take the leap and go!
Of course, all this can be somewhat frightening if you’re not used to travelling and there is still a lot we haven’t covered here about launching your business and managing it from across the globe. For more information, check out the full ebook and get ready to throw off the shackles and embrace a life where you’re truly free!
How to Work From Anywhere and Live a Nomad Lifestyle
Becoming a digital nomad and working while you travel is a fantastic goal and one that can help you to live a much richer and fuller life and to see more of the beautiful planet that we are fortunate enough to live on.
But it is also not as easy as a lot of people make out. What if you’re not accustomed to working online? What if you can’t find WiFi?
Here’s how you do it…
Make the Transition
A lot of people think they have to quit their job and start an online business to become a digital nomad and this can be very off-putting if you’re scared at the prospect of not making enough money.
Luckily, you don’t have to be so reckless.
Instead, consider making the transition more slowly: start running a business in your spare time and build it up to the point where it is making enough money that you can live off it and quit your ‘day job’.
Or instead, why not ask your current employer if you can continue working your job on the road? Or maybe working another job within the organization. You might be surprised at just how eager they are to help!
If that fails, you can consider looking for a regular job that will give you that freedom. In other words: there are plenty of options here.
Know Your Budget
The next step is to simply know your budget. This means you need to know precisely how much you need to earn to fund your travels. It might surprise you to learn that you can actually earn enough with a part-time job. Look at ways to make your travel cheaper too: for example, by staying in Air BnBs, or by using CouchSurfer to find accommodation.
Overcome the Practical Challenges
As for the practical challenges of working online, there are plenty of solutions again. For instance, you should always research where you’ll be visiting in order to make sure you can find WiFi easily and that you know good places to sit and work. Make sure that you use an app to keep up with local time zones and get a computer with good long battery life.
If you are willing to work around the challenges, you’ll often find that this is actually quite rewarding and one of the enjoyable things about working abroad!
GO DO IT!
Thank you again for reading and don’t forget to Enrol in the FREE online Course below: The Digital Nomad Secrets and to subscribe and leave your comments below.
– Steve Harrison –
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