Set your own hours, be your own boss, travel the world.

These are just some of the perks of being a digital nomad. It’s no surprise that there has been a huge wave of people starting to pursue this sort of lifestyle in recent years, tendency growing!

This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to become a digital nomad.

So before we jump into those steps let’s cover the bases first.

What Exactly Is a Digital Nomad?

The first question you might have is, what is a digital nomad?

A typical digital nomad is someone that makes a living working online, only from their laptop and a WiFi connection.

Many digital nomads spend several months abroad every year. They typically don’t stay in one place for very long as they travel and work remotely from coffee shops, coworking spaces, libraries, some work from their RVs or on trains, planes and buses.

Best digital nomad jobs
What is a digital nomad

In truth, it’s actually hard to define who a digital nomad is. Interchangeably, you could call them location independent as they leverage technology to do their jobs and run their businesses.

The digital nomad lifestyle was only made possibly by the worldwide access to affordable Internet and smartphones.

Is It Easy to Become a Digital Nomad?

If you’re looking for the short answer and my personal opinion: yes, it is! Others would say, it really depends. For some people, becoming a digital nomad can be a massive undertaking. For others it could be as simple as acquiring some specific skills and ramping up their business contacts.

Regardless of what situation you are in, if you already have some skills that can be used and leveraged to work online or if you simply have the willingness and drive to make this work, becoming a digital nomad can be as easy or challenging.

With this guide, you’ll have a solid foundation and the process should be a bit smoother.

One other thing to keep in mind when choosing this life: becoming a digital nomad isn’t always a life-long lifestyle. I have seen many digital nomads move back to their home country in under a year while others have been at it for over 10 years.

I myself have wandered the globe and worked from some incredible places for about 5 years before finding a home base where I am happy and taking thing easier.

I want to be absolutely honest with you and speak from my own experience, travelling full-time for months or even years, hopping between countries, always meeting new people and trying to build a business along the way, is challenging, heck yes, it is exhausting!

And surely, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, my personal development (but not always for my business growth) and outlook on the world and I wouldn’t change a single thing!

Step by Step How to Become a Digital Nomad

Step #1 Identify Your Skills

The first of six steps to become a digital nomad is to look at the skills that you already have.

Initially, you might think you don’t have any skills that can be helpful for working online, but you’d be surprised how those office skills translate into something completely different to help you hit the road and to becoming a digital nomad.

Your existing skills may be admin-related, marketing or sales skills, or being general computer savvy, that already helps! And if I’m being honest, those simple skills can be all that you need to start a successful nomad career.

That being said, I love learning new and it doesn’t hurt to turn to courses on Udemy, edX or any other platform that provide digital courses. There are even some universities that provide free digital courses on various topics. Mr. Google is your best friend when trying to find those.

digital nomad careers

And that’s all before we get into books (I love Audible!) and even conferences where there is a lot of information from great minds.

So there is honestly a plethora of information at our fingertips that we can tap into. But what skills should you focus on if you have like zero idea what your skills are or what you want to do to ear money online?

Well I’m all for acquiring the basics, and then building from there. If you’re good at social media, then a reasonable upgrade to that skill is learning to write blog posts, email newsletters, or up skill with SEO knowledge.

That’s exactly what I did. I had about a year of social media experience working in an agency, was always quite computer savvy and just up skilled with web design and SEO from there. That’s actually how this website, came about, I wanted to put my newly acquired web design skills into action and after many hours of trial and error and googling, the site was live!

Related Article: How To Start A Travel Blog

If you have experience as a marketing coordinator or manager you could consider upgrading those skills by learning about affiliate marketing or drop shipping. There is so much you can learn.

Whatever you decide to do, start with one thing and don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s okay to not know everything from the get go.

Step #2 Ways to Make Money Online

Once you know what skills you have, the next big decision is what do you want to do with them?

In the beginning it might be easiest to just cut your cost and get by on $50 a day. I found that this super low-cost lifestyle can’t be sustained over a long period of time, even though it was a great start for me to fly to Chiang Mai, the digital nomad capital of the world and live on the cheap for a few months while I got started freelancing and finding clients.

You’ll be in need of a solid plan how you’ll making money!

Location independent careers
Location independent jobs

Better yet, having a few different ways that you can make money on the road. Fortunately for you, the skills I outlined above can be a good starting point to start to get your feet as a digital nomad off the ground.

There are numerous ways to make money as a digital nomad. All you need to do is look around. I started with the simplest option: freelancing! Offering my social media and web design services to small businesses around the world. It was actually easier to find clients that I thought.

At the same time, I worked on building up my second income source, my blog. I discovered affiliate marketing and soon started working in brand partnerships too. You can turn to affiliate marketing networks like CJ, Awin, ShareASale, which all have a plethora of travel (and many many other categories) products you can sell and earn commission on.

For more artistically inclined people, you can sell you designs for commission, or even place them on various items like t-shirts, mugs and more and build an online store.

And for those of you, who have writing skills you can turn to starting a blog, writing on platforms like Medium, or taking up transcribing jobs.

What’s amazing about all this? This is just the tip of the iceberg, over the past years, remote jobs have sprung out of the grass like it’s eternal spring!

Some other exemplary jobs you could consider doing:

  • Become a Virtual Assistant, and execute and coordinate a wide range of simple admin and marketing tasks;
  • Manage someone’s social media accounts, it’s time-intense and small business don’t have time;
  • Create helpful online resources and charge for your expertise;
  • Set up a consulting business and work across a variety of clients.

Those jobs require a few more skills but they’re not impossible to pull off, making them great digital nomad job ideas.

Step #3 The Easy Way In: Become a Freelancer or Get a Remote Job That Pays $$$

Nomad careers

In short, a freelancer is someone some who performs a service for businesses and has a client base they have access to. So essentially, you’ll be a remote freelancer, someone who works for a business, but doesn’t have to go to their office.

But how easy are those remote jobs to get into? They actually sound pretty challenging, right?

Well, lucky for you, there are actually a number of platforms that make finding freelance gigs easy. Sites like and give you the opportunity to build your skills of pitching, building your client base and in general preparing yourself for doing your own outreach.

For full or part-time remote jobs, there are multiple sites like Flexjobs, which provides thousands of pre-screened remote jobs. I have actually written a whole guide on the best remote jobs sites, feel free to check it out if you are on a job hunt for that first remote job.

Not to mention, if you have a day job that you like already, it’s not out of the question to turn that job into a remote job. It’s a matter of asking your boss and seeing if you can make it work somehow.

Step #4 Save Money, Cut Expenses and Downsize Your Current Life

Once you have figured out what you want to do and what skills you need, the next step is to start saving money. The digital nomad lifestyle doesn’t have to be a lavish lifestyle or anything, but it’s a good idea to have some savings while building up a reliable and consistent source of income, so you don’t stress out.

One way to ensure that you are on track to saving money and setting yourself up right for this lifestyle, is to start cutting expenses and downsizing your life. After all, cutting expenses will reduce the amount of money that is coming out of you every month.

Starting with downsizing your life is something I recommend as it makes cutting expenses much easier. Downsizing your life also means cutting off ties that are keeping you in your current location, things like a gym membership for example.

You can downsize by selling your home and moving into a smaller apartment, or selling your car and get fit by biking around town.

Look at all the things you’re paying for that you don’t really use. Maybe you have habits, that eat through your hard earned cash, that you can work on.

This process is not always easy or quick, but there are several good guides out there to help with the process. On the contrary, this also means some cash you might want to invest in new equipment like a reliable laptop, headphones and a mobile WiFi hotspot, after all these are the tools that will help you make money. I always carry a mobile Internet hotspot from Skyroam with me everywhere!

Digital nomad job ideas

Step #5 Decide on Your First Destination

Once you have cut expenses and are on track to saving a good amount of money to start with, the next step is to pick where you want to go.

For a lot of digital nomads I know, their first spot was Thailand or Indonesia. Since the cost of living is pretty cheap for foreigners, I still recommend Chiang Mai or Bangkok in Thailand or Canggu or Ubud in Bali as great digital nomad starter hotspots.

The most important things when you become a digital nomad, is finding a community and leveraging hubs of remote working people, it makes things so much easier, it makes you feel less along!

Maybe you want to travel somewhere else, closer to your home country? A good site to check out is, which has an extensive list of cities with thriving nomad communities and ratings for internet speed, safety, cost of living and much more.

Digital nomad blogs
How to become a digital nomad

I was lucky to meet so many incredible people in my first couple of months in Thailand. Many from who I learned a lot about blogging, business and nomad life and who are still friends to this day.

Step #6 Organise Your Visa, Travel Insurance and Bank Account

But before you jump onto a plane and start travelling the world, the last step you want to do is ensure you have a valid passport, visa, good travel insurance and bank account that let’s you bank internationally. I also recommend having a look at N26, an all-digital bank in Europe.

To get a visa for your desired travel location, check on the immigration website of the respective country. When looking for visa regulations, always make sure you go directly over the official immigration website and don’t take detours with agents, as there are a lot of scams out there, especially when travelling to Southeast Asia.

Once on the ground, it is okay to use an immigration agent to extend your visa if you need. Make sure, you ask other digital nomads who they have used and choose the agent by personal recommendation.

Always tell your bank, that you are travelling overseas and that you’ll be making purchases from a foreign country as the bank may otherwise freeze your account and cards if they see unusual activities.

This step is merely to cover your bases and ensure that every important person knows that you’ll be travelling a lot in the coming year or years.

On paper, being a digital nomad isn’t complex. So long as you have a plan, are eager to learn and able to cut costs while starting out.

If you are longing for an exciting lifestyle, and having more freedom, to travel, and spend with family and friends, becoming a digital nomad and working from anywhere is definitely possible for anyone.

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