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Tips for Getting Started as a Full-Time Digital Nomad

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If you’ve ever dreamt of leaving your full-time job to live as a digital nomad, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for people to want to travel more and work less at some point in their lives. But turning that dream into reality is difficult: It takes a lot of planning, especially if you’re used to regular paychecks and an employer who provides health insurance. Still, it can be done and this article got some tips on how.

1. Set Goals and Do Some Research

Once you decide to be a digital nomad, the next step is to make a list of your priorities. What are the most important things for you in your new location? Do you need a beachfront property or quick move in homes in a quiet neighborhood where no one will bother you? Are there specific amenities that must be present in your home base? Do you want to live somewhere popular but still off the beaten path, or do you prefer to be in the thick of it all?

Once this list is finished, research some potential places to live and work and travel. Your goal should be to find locations that match up with as many items on this list as possible while being affordable and accessible.

2. Start Building a Network Before You Go

Start building a network before you go. This can be one of the most valuable things you do, and it doesn’t have to cost much money or time. It’s important to have a network of people you can trust in your industry, no matter where they are in the world.

You can start building your network by joining some local meetup groups for digital nomads in your area. If there aren’t any groups nearby, find out what other kinds of meetups are happening in your city that might attract other digital nomads like yourself: TEDx events or TED Talks; tech conferences like SXSW; hackathons and code jams; self-improvement classes like yoga or meditation even language exchanges. You don’t necessarily need to participate at all these events as an attendee yourself (though doing so is great), but making connections with others who share common interests is key for creating a strong support system when traveling abroad without family or friends nearby.

3. Figure Out How to Control Your Money from Afar

The first step to getting your money in order is to figure out how you’re going to control it from afar. If you haven’t already, open a bank account in the country where you intend on living and working full-time. This will make it much easier for you to get paid, keep track of the money coming in and going out, and make sure that everything is being done legally. If this seems too complicated or time-consuming for now, consider opening an online bank account instead or asking a friend or family member who lives abroad to help set up your finances.

Additionally, if you have multiple jobs at once (like freelancing), consider opening separate accounts so that each company has its own place where they deposit their payments instead of having them all go into one big pot with which there could be confusion later on when it comes time for tax season. When opening a new account at an international branch of one of the major banks (or any other bank), bring copies of all documents required by law especially if yours are not in English. This includes a passport, visa, proof of address, and proof of income (e.g., pay stubs).

4. Learn the Language of Your New Home

Learning the new language of your new home is one of the most important things you can do to stay happy and healthy as a digital nomad. If you don’t, you will find yourself isolated in your own bubble, which makes for a difficult experience. Besides, learning a language is never a waste of time.

It’s important to start learning the local language before you arrive in your chosen country so that people will understand you when they speak to you. This can be done through online classes or by taking lessons with an instructor once there. It may seem like an unnecessary step when trying to get started as a digital nomad, but it really isn’t and it won’t take as long as most people think.

5. Create a Budget for About Two Years

A budget is the first thing that you need when planning your travels. You need to know how much money you will be making and spending during your trip, and it’s important to make sure that the two match up. This means that if your expenses are higher than your income, then you should consider lowering them or finding a way to increase your income (by picking up freelancing gigs).

When creating a budget, try to include all of your projected expenses for at least two years of full-time digital nomad life. This includes things like:

  • How much does it cost per month or year for rent in each city
  • How much does it cost per month or year for food/entertainment/traveling/etc in each city
  • Any fixed bills such as the internet or phone plans

6. Bring the Right Gear with You

  • Bring a laptop. While a desktop computer is nice to have at home, it’s not really necessary for digital nomad work. A laptop will give you more flexibility when traveling and having access to a keyboard and mouse is preferable to using your phone or tablet as an impromptu computer. If you do have a desktop in the United States, consider bringing it along with you so that you can keep doing all of your regular tasks from anywhere in the world (or just back up your important files).
  • Bring an external hard drive. An external hard drive will come in handy when working abroad because it allows for easy backups and accessing large amounts of information quickly without having to worry about internet speeds or making sure someone has space loaded onto their computer for video editing programs. You can even set this up as an automatic backup system where files are automatically saved onto both internal drives on the computer and then copied over to external ones regularly.
  • Bring a USB hub if necessary so that there aren’t any issues with connectivity while transferring files between devices while abroad (which may take longer than usual due to poor signal strength). It also helps if multiple people need access at once because there will only be one cable needed instead of separate ones running throughout each apartment room which could get tangled easily during travel time especially if there are other people staying with you. And you don’t want anyone getting hurt trying out new things like yoga classes after work or riding bikes around town together.

7. Keep Important Documents in Order

Keep all important documents in order, including visas, as applicable.

  • Before traveling internationally: If you are planning to leave the country for an extended period of time, it is important that your passport be valid for at least six months longer than the date on which you plan to return. This is because immigration officials may refuse entry if your passport expires before then. Additionally, if you plan to work while traveling abroad or on a tourist visa (which requires proof of employment), some countries require that you have a valid multiple-entry visa or resident status in order to do so. It’s also important that all traveler’s checks and credit cards have plenty of funds available so that they do not expire before their intended use. The same rule applies when traveling by plane: make sure your flight leaves with enough time left in the ticket so that it doesn’t expire while flying.

If something happens while abroad: If a traveler loses his/her passport when abroad and needs another one issued immediately (e.g., if there are no more available copies), there are several ways this can be done but only under certain circumstances. In most cases where someone has lost their original travel document due to theft or accident rather than simply leaving it behind somewhere after crossing off the list of “to-dos,” there will still be time before reaching home again either within reasonable limits determined by local rules set out by airport staff based on how far away from home.

8. Have a Retirement Plan

After your finances are in order, it’s time to start planning for what comes next. This article recommends that you should have a retirement plan in place. If you’re lucky enough to already be retired, or if you work remotely full-time, then this isn’t as pressing an issue for you. But if not, it’s important that your financial house is in order before making the decision to travel full-time as a digital nomad.

If possible, also make sure that any health care coverage from your employer will continue when you begin traveling full-time (or after leaving). This may mean paying higher premiums than usual or having additional out-of-pocket costs but at least having insurance coverage can help offset some of those expenses while abroad. In addition to health care insurance, make sure all other aspects of life are taken care of: home/rental insurance; possessions/property insurance; auto/traveler’s insurance; and business liability coverage (if applicable).


The digital nomad lifestyle can be a great way to live. You get to travel, meet new people and see the world. But it takes some planning and preparation before you start your journey. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated just make sure you don’t miss any important details.

Author Bio: Sally Smith, is a woman who loves to read and write. At the present, she is very delighted to work with many aspiring small businesses. The rise of the age of social media led her interest to center around digital marketing and blogging.

More on this topic:

Becoming a Digital Nomad

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