The digital nomad trend was well underway, long before the pandemic hit, but now that millions of us have experienced working remotely it is a lifestyle that is likely to become more and more popular. Not only did the pandemic show employers and employees that remote working had benefits for both, but it also left millions of us with a strong desire to get out there and travel just as soon as restrictions are lifted. In the U.S. alone there are 15 and a half million people working remotely, their average age is 32 and 70% of them are women. The digital nomad lifestyle is one that allows you to experience other cultures, work fewer hours and generally have a better quality of life, but you need to go into it with your eyes open. It is a solitary lifestyle, of course you’ll be meeting new people, but they’ll be moving on and so will you and it’s not all beachside barbeques. Working life will always have its stresses and a working life on the move is no different.
Choose destinations which are digital nomad friendly
Ideally, you want somewhere cheap, beautiful, with good Wi-Fi and where you’ll be able to hook up with like minded people. Chiang Mai in Thailand has long been a popular digital nomad destination for those very reasons, but before setting off for South-East Asia it might make sense to test your wings in a slightly less challenging environment. Most European cities are keen to welcome digital nomads, they have plenty of co-working spaces and fast Wi-Fi but even in the more affordable cities, like Lisbon, accommodation costs can be high. A good first stop alternative are the islands of Madeira. Ponto do Sol is a digital nomad village, a short drive from the capital Funchal. It offers free workspace and Wi-Fi for nomads staying a month or more and rental prices are far lower than Lisbon.
Invest in mobile Wi-Fi
Good Wi-Fi is what will enable you to sustain your travels while you earn a living so it’s well worth investing in a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a gadget which will turn a mobile signal into a Wi-Fi signal for as many as ten different devices. This means that you can go online anywhere that you can get a mobile signal and it will be a secure as your home router.
Is your skill set up to scratch?
If you’ve got an employer who is happy for you to travel the world and work remotely, then that’s great, you’ve got a degree of job security, but if you are intending to freelance, you need to be confident, before you set off, that you can sustain an income. The freelance market is competitive and will become even more so. Don’t even think about establishing your income while you’re on the road, get those income streams flowing well beforehand.
Freedom is unpredictable and it can be scary so make sure that you’ve got six months living expenses behind you, just in case things take an unexpected turn. You are not on holiday, so don’t walk around thinking I’ll do whatever I fancy, because you can’t.