If you’ve been a regular reader for awhile now or you took a minute or two to check out some of the photos on my About Me page, you know that I love to travel. Becoming a digital nomad has allowed me to see spectacular sights and experience unforgettable moments all over the world.
I’m just a regular guy who got fed-up with the whole 9-to-5 thing. I was sick of feeling like a rat in a cage and one day I told myself, “Enough’s enough!” Right then and there, I vowed to figure out a way to live a comfortable, happy life without setting foot inside an office again.
I’m not gonna lie—it didn’t all happen in an instant, but it’s gotten to the point that my affiliate marketing and product creation businesses are just about automated. I don’t have to work 24/7 and I can work anywhere I choose to work. I like to think of myself as a digital nomad, someone who uses technology and the internet to work remotely, whether it’s from the local Barnes and Noble or Starbucks or a country that’s thousands of miles from home.
Working from “Home”
Times are changing. Many large corporations are striving to save office space (i.e., money) and as a result, working from home is allowed and often encouraged. With unemployment rates sky-high, a lot of people have become freelancers in their field of expertise, tackling projects as independent contractors as opposed to being tied down to one specific company.
Even so, who’s to say where “home” is? I managed to run my businesses and earn a respectable income while traveling through Europe for most of 2010.
5 Things You Need to Become a Digital Nomad
It wouldn’t have been possible without:
- A quality laptop. I bought a new laptop before hopping that flight to Europe and the trip wouldn’t have happened without it. I’m not saying that you have to purchase a new computer before you head out of town, but if you’re going to be away for a long period of time and you plan on running your business successfully, you need a dependable computer.
- An internet connection. Free Wi-Fi is pretty common in the United States, which is why I like to work at coffee shops and restaurants. On a couple occasions I ran into minor problems getting online in Europe, but it was nothing devastating. Do a bit of research before hitting the highway or getting on a plane—will your hotel have Wi-Fi?
- An income. My online businesses have provided me with a steady income for awhile now, but had something gone drastically wrong and the cash flow dried up, I would have had to cut my trip short. If you want to become a digital nomad, you need a business that allows you to make money from anywhere in the world—you need to be “location independent.”
- “The cloud.” If my laptop had crashed on me while I was traveling, I would have lost everything. Oh, wait, no I wouldn’t have– I save all of my documents and photos to an online storage service! A few weeks ago I urged you all to “Go to the cloud” and I’m reiterating that point right now. It’s especially important if you’re collaborating on projects with people back home, wherever that is!
- A positive outlook. Call me cheesy, but having a good attitude about being a digital nomad is just as important as your laptop and your internet connection. Being a business owner isn’t always a piece of cake, and dealing with problems while you’re out of your element can make small problems seem huge. I had to return to New Jersey after I’d been gone a few weeks, but I managed to get back overseas and finish what I started. My positive outlook helped me through it all!