‘Digital Nomad’ has become quite a buzz word among those with a thirst for adventure and itchy feet. It’s been on our list of aspirations for some time now and those who have been following our journey will remember our blog on preparing to work and travel.
Since then, we’ve taken the necessary steps to cut ourselves loose from the corporate world on a full-time basis. To help those of you thinking about taking the plunge, we’ve put together a list of four vital steps to help prepare to be digital nomads.
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What is a digital nomad
With an increasing number of people valuing their time and lifestyle, digital nomadism has become a fast-growing trend. While the stereotype of a digital nomad is typically the image of a freelancer sipping cocktails on the beach, the reality is far more nuanced.
Ultimately, digital nomads have the benefit of being able to work from anywhere in the world – as long as there is a good WiFi connection. Their careers rely on technology and the internet in order to support themselves financially. This allows them to travel freely and work from anywhere in the world.
Our four steps on how to be a digital nomad
We work in IT and content creation roles, which allow us this flexibility. Once we decided to become digital nomads, we took certain steps to make our dreams a reality. Here are, what we believe to be, four of the most important steps.
Find a job
Before you book your tickets and venture off, it is really important to have a revenue stream. After our digital nomad trial period, two things happened.
- Ollie’s company agreed to a long term digital nomad plan
- Candi’s company wanted her to stay in the office (understandably given the position)
So, while Ollie was good to go, Candi needed to secure an income before committing to travel. After putting in the notice period, the job hunt began. There are loads of really great digital nomad job search platforms that you can filter by salary, skills, and location. Some of our top remote writing website suggestions include:
These are just a few of the many websites available. All are easy to use and are constantly updated.
Handy tip: a lot of these websites ask for your personal website. Candi built herself a website, Candice Creator, to serve as an online portfolio and it has made the world of difference in applications.
2. Map out your journey
Although it comes with increased freedom and flexibility, digital nomad life requires planning, budgeting, and dedication. Take the time to carefully select your destination of choice as well as how long you want to be there.
Our digital nomad trial period was one month, and so we bumped our first ‘real’ experience up to two months. Next time, we are hoping to go for three months. The last thing that you want to happen is to be stuck in a country and realize that the digital nomad life is not for you.
Time zones different are an important point to consider. We decided to visit Brazil which has a five hour time difference to South Africa. As a result, we are up at 5 am to work alongside our South African colleagues. On the bright side, we knock off at lunchtime and have the rest of the day to explore the city and sip Caipirinhas on Copacabana beach.
3. Find accommodation for your digital nomad lifestyle
Some people give up their home base and travel full-time. We love Cape Town and would miss our friends and family far too much to do this. As a result, we’ve had to be very careful about budgeting for accommodation while traveling.
We found our first month’s living space on Airbnb. It is in the perfect location – close to the beach and coworking spaces – and we have the whole place to ourselves, which is great considering a third person would never fit in the tiny flat. We booked this spot for a full month and Airbnb offered us a 50% discount which is a great deal!
4. Coworking is essential for the nomad life
Co-working spaces are one of the suppliers that have grown in popularity with the rise of digital nomadism. In fact, we met at a co-working space called Cape Town Office. In addition to each other, the people that we met there will forever have an impact on our lives.
One of the first things that we organized after booking our tickets was a co-working space. Most shared office spaces offer various deals depending on the working situation. In Rio, we have booked one month’s worth of half-day packages so we work from home in the early morning and then walk to the co-working space from 9 am.
A co-working space is a great way to get into a routine, meet new people and leave the house – maybe even fall in love ;).
We are really excited to be on this incredible adventure of becoming a digital nomad and can’t wait to share our lessons and experiences with you in our future digital nomad blogs.