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How to Live and Work as a Digital Nomad
Close your eyes and imagine living the life of your dreams—a life where you’re following all of your wildest desires, making money doing something you love, having the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. Imagine waking up each day in a new city or beachside location, surrounding yourself with friends who speak every language, checking off every bit of your bucket list, all while supporting yourself.

person using laptop with mug of coffee to the side
Traveling the world and making money while you do it—the digital nomad lifestyle is calling!
You can make this dream a reality by learning how to become a digital nomad. If travel is one of your deepest passions, it’s likely you’ve at least thought about life on the road once or twice, living the digital nomad lifestyle.

It’s easy to talk yourself out of living as a digital nomad—after all, isn’t traveling while you make money too good to be true? The truth is, this lifestyle is possible for anyone—all you need is the courage, self-reliance, and stable internet connection to make it happen. Here you’ll find all the ins and outs of how to become a digital nomad so you can be well on your way to creating a life filled with adventure and abundance.

What is a digital nomad?

Before you decide if working as a digital nomad is the right move for you, it’s important to know—what is a digital nomad? As exciting as it sounds, “nomad” isn’t exactly a job title.

It’s more of a lifestyle that allows you the freedom to work from anywhere in the world without being tied down to one place—whether that’s from a hotel, cafe, coworking space, poolside, halfway across the world or while exploring your own country. If you’re looking for the true digital nomad meaning, it is any job that allows you to work remotely online.

Because there are so many pathways to living life on the road, there’s no rule book or digital nomad guide to tell you what that lifestyle could look like for you. It all comes down to building upon your skills to find work you can do from anywhere so you can make the world your home.

How to become a digital nomad

While the digital nomad lifestyle looks different for everyone, there are essential steps you can take if you want to learn how to become a digital traveler making money from your laptop. Here’s everything you need to know about how to become a digital nomad that will set you up for success.

1. Identify your skills and build upon them.

person sitting at desk surrounded by windows and plants using laptop
What skills can you draw on to find jobs that let you work remotely?
What are you good at? What gets you excited to wake up every day? The first step if you want to become a digital nomad is to figure out what you have to bring to the job market.

Perhaps you have a passion for writing or graphic design, or you’re skilled in communication or numbers. If nothing comes to mind, consider what you might enjoy or what you’re interested in that could be done remotely online.

Digital nomads often come in the form of freelancers, bloggers, coaches, website or graphic designers, marketing experts, bookkeepers, or even entrepreneurs. Often, it’s not as simple as quitting your day job and jumping straight into the digital nomad lifestyle. It takes time to identify and build your skills.

Don’t be afraid to take your time, invest in yourself, and take courses to improve your digital nomad skills or learn new ones. The more time you take in the beginning of your journey to build your CV, the greater the payoff.

2. Launch yourself as a digital nomad.

Once you’ve built up those digital nomad skills, it’s time to make it official. Before you hit the road or even decide on a job, you’ll need to move your work entirely online.

This could look like creating a website for yourself to showcase your skills, filling your online portfolio with previous work, or creating new work to show off to future employers. This is an opportunity to market yourself, to let your work shine, and to impress future employers or future clients so they can get a taste of who you are and what you do without having to meet you in person.

3. Begin the job hunt.

There are a few routes you can take as you become a digital nomad: You can work for a company as an employee that allows you to work completely remotely online, you can launch yourself as a freelancer, or you can start your own business entirely and be your own boss.

Once you decide which route you plan to take, it’s time to start the job hunt. Browse through the most popular digital nomad jobs and check out job boards for remote work and freelancing, like Upwork, Remotive, or PeoplePerHour. Begin to create, or launch your own business and market yourself through your website and social media to build your following so you have clients to take with you on the road.

4. Network, network, network!

person sitting at table using a laptop
What skills can you draw on to find jobs that let you work remotely?
This is one of the most crucial parts of working as a digital nomad: Talk to people. Before you hit the road, reach out to others in your industry—whether those are individuals or companies.

Research those who are influential and connect with them. Go to workshops, classes, and networking events to expand your community; check out local coworking spaces to connect with a diverse crowd of remote workers; and even join a digital nomad community online so you can feel more support in how to live as a digital nomad and build your inspiration before you embark on your solo journey around the world.

5. Cleanse yourself of physical possessions.

If you’re living the digital nomad lifestyle, you’ll have no choice but to simplify your life. Take it as an opportunity to cleanse.

Get rid of the material things you don’t need or want—the furniture, the clothes spilling out of your closet, the car, the knick knacks sitting on shelves—and keep only what you truly love. If you have anything you can’t part with that won’t fit in a suitcase or backpack, this is the time to find a storage unit to hold onto your most important possessions.

6. Create a budget and save.

One of the biggest challenges of living life on the road is the digital nomad salary. Freelancers and entrepreneurs often don’t have a stable income, which means it’s crucial to budget for those times when you may not have consistent money flowing in.

Consider how much money you need to survive overseas and how much money you have in savings, and work on building this up before you leave. This will come in handy especially in the beginning of your digital nomad career when you’re finding your feet, as well as if emergencies or unexpected events arise while abroad.

7. Choose your destination.

person looking at map on street corner
Where will life as a digital nomad take you first?
This is your moment to live where you want and build a home in some of your most desirable locations. Of course, there are a few things to consider when choosing your destination.

It’s a good idea to check out some more affordable destinations, like Southeast Asia, Central America, or Eastern Europe, so that your money can take you a long way. You may want to do your research into what kind of visa will allow you to work if you’re planning on staying long term, as well as looking into places that are easy to get around so you can explore with ease.

8. Work out the logistics.

What do you need to work on the road as a digital nomad? Usually, the go-to answer is just a laptop and reliable internet connection, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

To truly live the digital nomad lifestyle with ease, you’ll need to invest in travel insurance, a working SIM card if your work requires phone access, and a VPN to keep your internet traffic encrypted and safe in public spaces.

Logistically, you’ll also need to set yourself up with an international bank account with low transaction fees or a travel credit card, and make sure you have a valid passport and visas. If you’re working for yourself, you’ll also need to make sure your business is registered before you leave.


3 FAQs about working as a digital nomad

How do digital nomads make money?

There are endless ways to make money as a digital nomad. Because there’s no specific digital nomad salary, your income will depend on your industry and skillset.

Some of the most popular ways to make money as a digital nomad are through freelance writing, marketing, accounting, and online sales. Entrepreneurs can also make money through facilitating online courses, teaching, blogging, or coaching, or developing websites and doing graphic design work.

Some digital nomads even choose to supplement their income by finding jobs abroad in various countries around the world, giving them an opportunity to make money while also integrating deeper into the culture.

Can I be a digital nomad if I have no experience?

person sitting on bed in front of laptop computer with phone and camera off to the side
Take some time to build your skills before launching into life as a digital nomad to set yourself up for success.
As with any field of work, the less experience you have, the more difficult it will be to land a job. If you’re wondering how to become a digital nomad with no experience, the answer is baby steps. Take classes, build your digital nomad skills, and create a portfolio before you quit your day job.

Take your time networking, creating connections, and building a solid foundation before you take the leap. And if you’re antsy to get started right now, explore entry level remote jobs on job boards when beginning your job hunt and be prepared to dip into your savings as you build your career as a digital nomad.

Is being a digital nomad worth it?

It’s easy to imagine sitting in a hammock beachside with a laptop and a good tan, or saying “yes” to any adventure thrown your way, but the reality is, the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t all sunshine and coconuts. It means giving up stability, feeling lonely if you’re moving a lot, and letting work take priority over the fun sometimes.

It takes discipline to create your own schedule, perseverance when money isn’t flowing consistently, and adaptability as you adjust to an ever-changing environment. Yes, you have the freedom to go anywhere you want, make new friends, network globally, and immerse yourself in new cultures and languages, but there may also be times when travel begins to lose its magic. Ultimately, you are in control of your experience, and only you can decide if being a digital nomad is worth it.


Working as a digital nomad is your ticket to see the world!

person riding bicycle on road surrounded by palm trees pointing at sign that read FOLLOW THAT DREAM
You’re well on your way to achieving your dream of working as a digital nomad!
Despite the challenges that come when you become a digital nomad, there’s no arguing that living life and working on the road is an adventure of a lifetime. It’s an opportunity to see the world and live life on your terms—create the career you’ve always dreamed of, make money doing something you’re passionate about, and quench that wanderlust that just won’t go away. Are you ready to live life as a world wanderer?


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