The Blog

How To Become A Digital Nomad

What if instead of working on someone else's terms, you were able to parlay more money to more freedom and live/work on your own terms?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

What's the thing you want most out of your current job? Chances are it either boils down to more freedom or more money (which gives you more freedom). What if instead of working on someone else's terms, you were able to parlay more money to more freedom and live/work on your own terms?

The new wave of this ability to pick-up-and-go, yet still hold a job, is referred to as being a "digital nomad." Being a digital nomad doesn't necessarily mean being freelance, but instead it means honing the ability to remain fluid enough with your responsibilities that you're able to be productive and profitable, while residing in areas where your home currency goes further than it would in your home country.

So if you're thinking this might be a switch for you and you're willing to take the challenge, charge up your laptop and hit the ground running with these three steps.

Make Sure You Have a Valuable Skill
Sounds like a no-brainer, but other than freeing up office space, what skills can you provide to an employer that would be valuable enough for them to be alright with you being out of city, state, country, or even continent? Start making a plan to make your experience and skillset irresistible to an employer or client by expanding your knowledge. You can start with distance learning courses that allow you to learn on the go, or head to your local community college for continuing education if you're still sticking around to one spot. Once you've become proficient in a skill that doesn't require you to be in one area, start drafting up a proposal for your boss that shows the benefits of keeping you on the payroll even though you're going to become less accessible.

Plan Your Budget
If you have $0 in debt and few responsibilities or familial obligations, then this part is easy. Start making a budget for how much you'll need each month to survive comfortably in a location of your choosing, and make a plan for how you'll achieve that. If you're able to, I'd also suggest publicizing the fact that you're a digital nomad and cataloging your journey via a blog or social media. The more fans you pick up, the more opportunities you may have to supplement your income via sponsorships or advertising, though it will take some time (but better to start than never try, right?). If you think you might want to try a blog, I've written a ridiculously comprehensive guide on how to be a successful blogger from Day 1.

Research Your Options
As with most things, there's a fantastic subreddit dedicated solely to being a digital nomad, so start there for tips on best countries, safety, and most importantly, best ways to get internet access aboard.

Becoming a digital nomad may feel like a terrifying leap, but it doesn't have to be if you follow these three steps. Make a plan, research your options, and then take a chance and see what happens. As long as you go in with your eyes open and do your due diligence, you'll be on your way to responding to emails on a beach (or boat, or highrise, or whatever you want) in no time.