Easy steps on how to become a Digital Nomad

Jumpstart your career as a Digital Nomad and work from anywhere in the world

“What if the money runs out?” This is the usual question that people ask themselves during long-term travel planning. It’s also one of the most frequent questions I get from readers of this blog.

I didn’t wake up one day and said, “I am going to be a digital nomad.” I discovered the path to location independence when I left home to travel the world. When I was starting, it was very difficult to find income streams to sustain my life on the road but in the recent boom of travel, digital nomad leapt with that boom to make traveling the world in a modern setting more feasible.

I know you’ve been dreaming of traveling the world but couldn’t find the right answers on how to sustain yourself financially. Learn how to become a digital nomad today and discover the rewards of living a free life!

How to become a Digital Nomad

What is a digital nomad?

A Digital Nomad is a person who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, having the ability to travel the world (work from anywhere). Digital Nomads typically work in foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces and even recreational vehicles. This lifestyle is the best description of a non-traditional occupation while achieving the goal of getting things done in a single, stationary workplace.

How to become a Digital Nomad

The different types of Digital Nomads

Digital Nomad Guide to Morocco
How to be a Digital Nomad

#1: Remote Workers

To cut overhead expenses, a lot of companies let their employees work from home so they don’t have to commute. Companies can just rent small spaces like an office without requiring everyone to come to the office. You might be a full-time employee but the schedule is flexible. Work wherever you want as long as you have a laptop and a good Internet connection.

According to Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, the number of remote workers has increased 115% within 10 years. Larger companies most likely won’t allow their employees with this kind of arrangement but small start-ups will. Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t work with big companies but if you want a remote job, find a company that is willing to adjust to your preference.

How to be a Digital Nomad
Where to find remote jobs

Where to find online jobs

FlexJobs: FlexJobs is one of the top websites where you can find the best telecommuting jobs, part-time professional jobs and other flexible jobs in over 100 career categories, all hand-screened and legitimate. [Membership Fee: $14.94 per month; $29.95 per quarter; $49.95 per year]

The Muse: Your ultimate career finder and guidance destination. The Muse is an online career resource that offers a behind-the-scenes look at job opportunities with hundreds of companies, original career advice from prominent experts, and access to the best coaches to get personalized and private career help. [No membership fee]

Indeed: Search millions of jobs from thousands of job boards, newspapers, classifieds and company websites Indeed. It operates on a location-type basis so it will be easier for you to find a job in a city/place that you really like. [No membership fee]

Remote.co: Remote.co is a resource for companies that see remote work as an opportunity, from hiring to training to managing distributed teams. It aims to make companies to realise how important it is for their businesses to embrace the idea of remote employees. [No membership fee]

SkipTheDrive: SkipTheDrive is geared towards those seeking remote employment opportunities. These jobs are often referred to as telecommuting, telework, online, virtual, & work-from-home. [No membership fee]

Working Nomads: Working Nomads curate the best digital jobs for those looking to start their telecommuting career. Literally work remotely from your home or anywhere around the world. [No membership fee]

Jobspresso: Jobspresso is the easiest way to find remote jobs, careers and other remote work opportunities at interesting and innovative companies.

Europe Remotely: Slightly on a focused market, Europe Remotely is website for developers in Europe. Most of the jobs are about software and development but there are also Marketing, Sales, and Writing categories.

Outsourcely: With over 300,000 remote workers and 25,000 start-ups, Outsourcely connects startups and businesses with talented remote workers from around the world.

Jobscribe: Jobscribe is not a job search platform but if you subscribe, you will receive daily emails with the best jobs at the best tech startups.

Virtual Vocations: Virtual Vocations is a job service that provides job-seekers with hand-screened telecommuting jobs leads that offer real pay for real work. From account management to writing, all of the job openings we bring you to offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

OnlineJobs.ph: If you are from the Philippines like me, this is the best job board! Employers who post their job openings here are specifically looking for Filipino workers.

How to be a Digital Nomad
Resources for Remote Jobs

3. Build your own business aka Blogging

One of the hottest millennial trends, the depth of blogging as a full-time career is not yet very clear to many. Those who want to start a professional blog don’t really know what’s the financial benefits they will get if they create their own platform.

Whenever I tell people blogging is what I do full-time, they all smirk, raise their eyebrows and will slowly utter with discomfort: “How?!” They’ll look at me like I’m a joke and I’ll glance back without talking: “I know right.”

A lot of people want to build a blog but don’t really know where to start. The Internet is a very saturated place now because everyone is writing the same content. By “same,” I mean most bloggers are publishing listicles, things to do and generic guides because this is what sells on Google. It will make you instantly famous if you’ve mastered the art of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Make the Internet a better place to live by telling your story. I will be opening a blogging course soon about how to make your blog thrive (and earn income from it) through storytelling and shying away from traditional listicles, things to do and all that SEO generic articles. 

When I started this blog, I only wanted to share my stories to my friends and family. My mum couldn’t bear the idea that I am traveling the world – the thought that I am not home for years terrified her. In order to give her the benefit of the doubt, I promised to write whatever’s happening to my life on a daily basis. Poof, it became P.S. I’m On My Way, a blog that is read by many young people all over the world who wishes to pursue the life they always imagined.

It took me years to figure out how I can make blogging as an income stream. I did it all alone. No one was there to guide me and teach me the ways of the blogging Jedi but after long hours on the laptop and so much hard work, I finally got my seat on the blog of thrones.

This blog earns from:

Is it hard to be a Digital Nomad?

WHAT ‘I WOKE UP LIKE THIS’ LOOKS LIKE: This is how a “blogger/influencer vacation” looks like. It may seem that I (we) manage to execute smooth sailing trips all the time – sipping gin and juice in a 5-star hotel but this is work. This is the job. During trips, we all work long hours (sometimes up to 12hrs) because we need to get things done. When I chose to live a life like this, like most things, I knew nothing will ever come easy and I am truly embracing it even if I have to Blogging or not, whatever you want to choose to do in life, NEVER ASK FOR EASY. The HARD will push you to do the unimaginable; The HARD will keep you alive; The HARD will give you rewards if you choose to swim through it. Happy weekend!!! #TrishaVxMorocco #Tangier #Morocco #Maroc #Marruecos

A post shared by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway) on

Very hard. Long hours on the computer can kill your back and eyes. There will be times that you have to pass on sunset drinks by the beach because you are still working after 6. The thing with having the freedom to work whenever or wherever you want is that you always end up procrastinating just because you can. This results working three 24-hour days and doing nothing for the rest of the week. It’s very stressful!

When you work in an office, the environment is there. There are desks around you, printers blaring 9-5, keyboards ticking, etc. I know this is not the ideal view you want to see every day but it is so much easier to work in an office because of the hours. After 5, you are free to go. Remember that when you are self-employed, not only that you need to get the job done but you also have to monitor productivity. Sure, you are your own boss but you basically have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes, it makes me cringe.

Becoming a Digital Nomad is not a path for everyone but if you love it and you can swing with it, then do it! Every day, I am piled with so much work and yet I still manage to go out, drink, eat out, do things with friends etc. How can I do that? I love what I do! I think this is the only key to anyone’s success: do what you love and you wouldn’t have to work a day in your life.

Overused. I know. But there’s so much truth in it if you look at it deeply and not just read the words.

10 Best Cities for Digital Nomads 2017

This list is not really the “best of the best” in the world wide web but what makes this list special is that you can live in these cities for less than $1,000 a month. Ranking is based on cost of living + quality of life + Internet speed.

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List of Digital Nomad Resources

1. Communities

You might be traveling and thriving solo but you need a community that can support and enhance your life as a Digital Nomad. Communities enable you to connect, learn and make friends even if you are constantly moving. Go out of the usual Facebook group and explore these Digital Nomad communities:

2. Co-working spaces

“Work anytime you want” is a concept that sounds so easy but all digital nomads know that it is very hard to find the work momentum especially if you’re moving from place to place. A co-working space is a shared office where you can rent tables, rooms or even your own office on a monthly basis. In here, you will also be able to connect to other Digital Nomads and find opportunities for collaboration.

The items above are International platforms where you can find co-working spaces worldwide. However, countries in each websites are limited. Even if you don’t use these websites, finding a co-working space wherever you are is not difficult.

3. The Social Media of Digital Nomads

Running out of freelance work? Looking for a date? Want to be social? Don’t worry! There are websites for that! Below are a few Digital Nomad platforms where you can connect, share, collaborate, and even find a date.

4. Finance Apps

Because of the constant move in the digital nomad lifestyle, the number one struggle for digital nomads is finding channels that will make their financial plans easy. Most of us have banks accounts from home but different countries have different banking dynamics. More often than not, it’s a pain! Below are some apps to easily manage your finances, wherever you are in the world.

5. Better communication channels

Another challenging department, having better communication channels is essential to a Digital Nomad’s life. Here are the apps I use when scheduling meetings with clients and maintaining constant communication with my team.

6. Productivity Apps

Now that you have to do everything yourself, you have to make sure all things are running well. How do you manage all the work you need to do? Try these productivity apps!

7. Insurance

I can only recommend World Nomads when it comes to insurance. I’ve been using it for years and I really love how it works! The best thing about World Nomads is that they have gadgets insurance, a perfect feature for digital nomads like me. It’s more expensive compared to other insurance companies but in general, insurances are expensive anyway. Often overlooked, insurance is very important not just to digital nomads but also for all types of travelers.

8. Podcasts

While working, entertain yourself. Listening to these podcasts will give you an insight on how to make your Digital Nomad life better. People facilitating these podcasts are experts and have years of experiences as a Digital Nomad. Try it! It’s fun!

9. Books

10. Conferences

Maximise your traveling by attending digital nomad conferences! These gatherings will not only allow you to learn new things about being a digital nomad but will also make you meet like-minded individuals doing the same thing as you are!

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Do you have tips on how to become a Digital Nomad?

If you’re a Digital Nomad, what’s your story? How did you start? What’s it like to be one? Share your insights on the comment box below and let’s help other aspiring digital nomads make it!

Trisha is on Instagram!

Explore more

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How to become a Digital Nomad

#2 Freelancer

How to become a digital nomad

Freelancing offers the same benefits and work dynamics as Remote Jobs. The only difference is that in Freelancing, you are often contracted with one-time jobs and you are not employed by anyone. This is the category where Millennials are booming: graphic design, writing, web development, app development, videos, content creation are some jobs that can be in this line of work.

Most people prefer freelancing as it is so much flexible. For example, let’s say you are a graphic designer and Company A wanted a poster for their event. They will tell you what they want, pay around $150 – $200 (depends on your pricing) and once you’re done, that’s it. No other strings attached. They get their poster. You get paid. Everybody’s happy. Freelancing projects have target dates so it will be easier for you to make room for other projects.

Freelancing projects have target dates so it will be easier for you to make room for other projects. Some freelancers I know take 5-10 projects at one time only because they can!

How to be a Digital Nomad
Where to find freelance jobs

Fiverr: If you’re new to freelancing, Fiverr is the best way to improve your portfolio. The jobs here are very easy. From Photoshop editing to transcribing a recording to boosting a Facebook ad, you will find a lot of opportunities on this website that will make you a credible freelancer for bigger gigs.

Upwork: Upwork is the world’s largest online workplace where savvy businesses and professional freelancers go to work. You can easily find time sensitive projects in this website.

Toptal: Toptal was created by engineers and entrepreneurs, all passionate about growing an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world.

Freelancer Map: FreelancerMap is a tendering platform for IT projects and presentation platform for IT freelancers and companies. Freelancermap provides an orderly category structure that makes finding matching projects and experts very easy. A script market to sell self-made scripts, a channel with IT-news as well as a discussion forum complete the offer.

Freelancer.com: Freelancer is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by a number of users and projects. There are over 24,493,379 employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions, and territories. Through Freelancer’s marketplace, employers can hire freelancers to do work in areas such as software development, writing, data entry, and design right through to engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services.

Coworks: Coworks is the #1 job search engine for creatives. Most jobs in this platform are in graphics, photography or any kind of creatives/design.

Guru: Create a profile on Guru and define the freelance services you want to offer. Employers will find you by these services when they search for freelancers to hire. Search and apply for jobs that interest you, in any category. We make it easy to showcase previous work you’ve completed to back up your proposals. We also provide Job Matches daily so you don’t miss out on an opportunity.

How to be a Digital Nomad
Resources for Freelancers
How to become a Digital Nomad

#3: Blogging

One of the hottest millennial trends, the depth of blogging as a full-time career is not yet very clear to many. Those who want to start a professional blog don’t really know what’s the financial benefits they will get if they create their own platform.

Whenever I tell people blogging is what I do full-time, they all smirk, raise their eyebrows and will slowly utter with discomfort: “How?!” They’ll look at me like I’m a joke and I’ll glance back without talking: “I know right.”

A lot of people want to build a blog but don’t really know where to start. The Internet is a very saturated place now because everyone is writing the same content. By “same,” I mean most bloggers are publishing listicles, things to do and generic guides because this is what sells on Google. It will make you instantly famous if you’ve mastered the art of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

When I started this blog, I only wanted to share my stories to my friends and family. My mum couldn’t bear the idea that I am traveling the world – the thought that I am not home for years terrified her. In order to give her the benefit of the doubt, I promised to write whatever’s happening to my life on a daily basis. Poof, it became P.S. I’m On My Way, a blog that is read by many young people all over the world who wishes to pursue the life they always imagined.

It took me years to figure out how I can make blogging as an income stream. I did it all alone. No one was there to guide me and teach me the ways of the blogging Jedi but after long hours on the laptop and so much hard work, I finally got my seat on the blog of thrones.

Awaken the writer in you: Join P.S. I’m On My Way’s Creative Writing Retreat. Learn how to write meaningful content that strangers will read!

How to be a Digital Nomad
This blog earns from...

digital nomad guide to sayulita

Destination Marketing: Destination Marketing is about promoting a town, city, region, or country in order to increase the number of visitors. It promotes the development and marketing of a destination, focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing, and services. In the blogging world, this is called “Press/Media Trips” wherein Tourism Boards will invite Influencers and Bloggers in an all-expense-paid trip with a daily allowance on top.

Affiliate Marketing: Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links. Meaning, if you purchase a product through those links, I may earn a commission. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. I will have a commission if you purchased a product I am endorsing through my website. Please remember that I never recommend a product just for the commission — I only recommend something I genuinely believe in and trust. The small income I make from Affiliate Marketing will help in maintaining this blog.

Brand Ambassadorship: I receive a lot of emails about this but I barely choose any of them because I want to work with someone I truly believe in. I don’t want to mislead my readers to “buy this product” if deep inside my heart, it’s a brand that is shitty as feck. Thanks to you, I am really proud to say I was able to create a close-knit community that has been supportive of what I do. I will never ever journey into something I am not sure of just because of the income it may bring. Influencers nowadays lose their value because they are always saying yes to free stuff and not asking compensation for the work that they do. This is the by-product of the suffrage of the blogging community as a whole. If you are a travel blogger who is not asking for pay for reviews, you should re-think the idea of why you did a professional blog. Big or small, YOU DESERVE TO BE COMPENSATED WITH YOUR TALENTS. Don’t just say yes to freebies.

Speaking Engagements: This is probably one of my favorites. Often (especially when I am in the Philippines), I am invited by organizations, Universities to talk about a myriad of things. The topic covers mostly travel, life and dreams but I’ve had more talks about life. I also discussed blogging once. My most recent talk is by the prestigious TEDx. You can watch the video here! Making a speech/workshop requires work, too. You don’t present anything just to say something. It should be well planned and efforts should be exerted in order to make it sensible and smooth. I did my speech for TEDx for almost 2 months!

Travel Coaching: I owe the success of this blog to my readers and followers so I vowed to myself to be always generous with information with them. Those who were curious have signed up for my Travel Coaching Programs where I talk to people one-on-one via Skype on what they want to know about (mostly on how to afford a life of travel). Each human is different so I wanted to give a personal touch to the coaching sessions. I always try my best to give what fits best on the individuality of the client as not all methods apply to everyone. When I am staying in a city/country for a long time, I also hold travel coaching sessions for groups that are held in cafes or bookstores. The idea of interacting (in person) with people who read your stuff makes me super high!

How to be a Digital Nomad

Is it hard to be a digital nomad?

Very hard. Long hours on the computer can kill your back and eyes. There will be times that you have to pass on sunset drinks by the beach because you are still working after 6. The thing with having the freedom to work whenever or wherever you want is that you always end up procrastinating just because you can. This results working three 24-hour days and doing nothing for the rest of the week. It’s very stressful!

When you work in an office, the environment is there. There are desks around you, printers blaring 9-5, keyboards ticking, etc. I know this is not the ideal view you want to see every day but it is so much easier to work in an office because of the hours. After 5, you are free to go. Remember that when you are self-employed, not only that you need to get the job done but you also have to monitor productivity. Sure, you are your own boss but you basically have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes, it makes me cringe.

Becoming a Digital Nomad is not a path for everyone but if you love it and you can swing with it, then do it! Every day, I am piled with so much work and yet I still manage to go out, drink, eat out, do things with friends etc. How can I do that? I love what I do! I think this is the only key to anyone’s success: do what you love and you wouldn’t have to work a day in your life.

Overused. I know. But there’s so much truth in it if you look at it deeply and not just read the words.

How to be a Digital Nomad

Best cities for digital nomads 2017

This list is not really the “best of the best” in the world wide web but what makes this list special is that you can live in these cities for less than $1,000 a month. The ranking is based on the cost of living + quality of life + Internet speed.

City
Monthly Costs
Internet Speed
Chiang Mai, Thailand
$735 USD
23 MBPS
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
$981 USD
16 MBPS
Lviv, Ukraine
$1,260 USD
24 MBPS
Yerevan, Armenia
$1,305 USD
9 MBPS
Taghazout, Morocco
$1,123
8 MBPS
How to be a Digital Nomad

Best cities for digital nomads 2017

This list is not really the “best of the best” in the world wide web but what makes this list special is that you can live in these cities for less than $1,000 a month. The ranking is based on the cost of living + quality of life + Internet speed.

City
Monthly Costs
Internet Speed
Chiang Mai, Thailand
$735 USD
23 MBPS
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
$981 USD
16 MBPS
Lviv, Ukraine
$1,260 USD
24 MBPS
Yerevan, Armenia
$1,305 USD
9 MBPS
Taghazout, Morocco
$1,123
8 MBPS

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha is an ambassador of Girl Rising, a global movement for girls' education and empowerment. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram: @psimonmyway

Comments

  • July 2, 2017

    Hi Trisha! I love this so much! I’m from Manila and recently shifted to being a remote employee in a Malaysian company. So far, yes, we are in the best positions to travel and fulfill our passions! ?

    reply
  • Roni
    July 2, 2017

    Wow. This is so comprehensive, Trisha. Thank youuuuu. <3

    Maybe I cannot do it now but I have to prepare myself already because I want to experience the Digital Nomad lifestyle in a few years! This will be my ultimate guide.

    reply
  • jastine
    July 3, 2017

    Wow! This is in complete details details Trisha. I did try to be a digital nomad and I can say its not all working in a beach sipping margaritas. Needs discipline and haaaaard work. Im giving it another try and will learn new skills. This is the kind of life I imagined to work remotely and still travel.

    reply
  • JP
    July 6, 2017

    Super informative guide! Wow! Thank you, Trisha! <3

    reply
  • July 23, 2017

    Wow, what a thorough and great resource! I’ve always been tempted by the idea but I’m not sure I’m ready to pull the plug on consistent income quite yet 🙂

    reply
  • July 23, 2017

    Love this post! As a graphic designer, my work is location independent. Being a digital nomad is the ultimate goal. Glad to have come across this post. Bookmarked it!

    reply
  • July 23, 2017

    So much info here that it is almost overwhelming. I am working toward being a digital nomad probably in a few years (still have some ducks that won’t line up!) Thank you for sharing all this to help with the process!

    reply
  • July 23, 2017

    What a fantastic list of resources for remote workers and freelancers! Bookmarking this one.

    reply
  • July 24, 2017

    I love how thorough this list is! I’ve heard many of the freelance sites, but not the job search sites for remote positions. Will definitely be pinning for later!

    reply
  • July 24, 2017

    Wow, quite the comprehensive list! A great resource for anyone becoming a digital nomad and for people that have been working remotely for awhile. I wasn’t familiar with all the sites out there for advertising remote jobs aside from Flexjobs and Indeed. I like to stay up to date on different opportunities, so I am eager to dive deeper into some of the sites that you highlighted. Bookmarking for future reference, thanks!

    reply
  • July 25, 2017

    holly smokes this list is insane! Bookmarking with intent to explore each link… but in reality will check out the podcasts during my commute. Thank for the great information!

    reply
  • July 25, 2017

    What an in-depth list of resources. As a fellow digital nomad, I’m familiar with some of the resources mentioned. However, your list of podcasts and books is great. I’ve already downloaded some of the podcasts to my list. Great list for all those who wonder what a digital nomad is.

    reply
  • July 26, 2017

    What a great guide! I’m spending a few weeks in Chiang Mai this fall, hoping my husband will fall in love with it and we can just move there! 😉 I’m excited to be embarking on the Digital Nomad journey in just over a month!

    reply
  • July 26, 2017

    This has been by far the most comprehensive guide for a digital nomad. I work in a full-time job and though I fret about the monotony some times I do like the certainty which comes with it. However, I have been considering the possibilities of freelancing for some time because I want to explore how the world works beyond 9-5. This post definitely threw light on all the resources available for digital nomads. There sure is a lot of infrastructure and network out there to support eh nomadic jobs. I shall go thru some of the recommendations here and see how it works. I m pretty sure I can bookmark this post as a go to guide if I need any details

    reply
  • Crissy
    June 3, 2018

    Thank you Trisha! This is very timely as I’m embarking the road for a few months to find my passion and try if long-term travel works for me. I’m always fascinated with the idea of DN.

    Take care and hope we can meet someday. ?

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  • July 18, 2018

    Really good post Trisha. I dig blogging because as a digital nomad I can offer so much content, products, eBooks and services through a self-hosted, WordPress blog. Amazing how you can monetize through virtually all channels online. A few moments ago someone reached out about a sponsored post opportunity. I sell my eBook regularly. So much prospering as I circle the globe.

    Ryan

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  • Salma Travel Guru
    December 13, 2018

    WOW thank you for sharing this! You saved me hours of googling by creating this list. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve started the digital nomad life and you’re quite the inspiration!

    reply

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