The term “digital nomad” is becoming increasingly popular and it’s no surprise. It refers to people who can make a living working on the web and are therefore able to live anywhere on the planet. Those who are living the new dream.
And let me tell you right now, there’s no magic formula you can follow to instantly become part of the tribe. But there are a few things you can begin to align if you want to get there.
Choose a career that will allow the nomadic lifestyle
1. Sometimes the easiest solutions are the simplest ones. So simple you may not even think about it… Start by asking your potential employer if you can work remotely. Or better yet, ask your current employer if working remotely is an option, and leave on a 6-12 months long adventure to find out whether this long term travel thing is really for you. Don’t be shy to pose the question. The reply may surprise you.
2. Work freelance. Whether you want to visit Paris or Buenos Aires, you can find contracts that may never need a live meeting. Think copywriter, journalist, photographer, graphic designer, web designer, consultant or translator. You can even turn your travels into your specialty and work as a consultant for hostels, hotels, airlines or tourist associations.
3. Become a professional blogger. This needs a lot of work to get off the ground, but it’s possible. As you travel you may discover destinations very few have visited. Take the opportunity to snap fabulous photos and share them. Beware! This is way easier said than done. You’ll need talent and determination. As a blogger, you’ll have to be a writer, a photographer, a marketing manager, a PR specialist, a web marketer, an SEO wizard and a community manager, all wrapped into one. Ouch! Right?
4. Find a local gig at your destination. This may or may not be digital. Most importantly, it will likely require a special visa. If you are less than 31 or 35 years old (depending on the country), the world’s your oyster. Young Canadians can easily get work and travel visas for Australia, New Zealand and UK, to name a few. Local full time jobs can be a great way of saving up before setting off to discover more. Some of the most popular options amongst travellers include fruit picker , au pair, and teacher. If you speak more than one language, you can consider work in hospitality or as a tourist guide. Depending on where you are and what skills set you have, you may even find work as a surf, yoga or diving instructor. Oh! And several hostels hire travellers. Ask at the reception, or look ahead online and you may be pleasantly surprised!
Know where to go
There is a huge community of digital nomads in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Why? It’s a no-brainer. Cost of living is low, internet is stable enough, food is delicious and the place is magnificent. Most countries with low costs of living are attractive digital nomad stations, so you have several options. But many of these places have wonky internet connections, so do your research before you purchase your plane ticket!
Get the right visa
This will differ from one country to the next (duh!). You can usually get away with a tourist visa, which is cheaper and easier to get, as long as you continue declaring your revenue in Canada. And speaking of permissions to live and work in a country, you should also research ahead to make sure you’ll be welcome amongst locals. Try online searches for things like your destination + digital nomads. See if there are past or current stories of others that have done it and what they tell. Learn about the current political situation. And when it comes to paper work, it’s always important to tell the truth, so you avoid deportation and focus on (almost) vacation!