Dream of travelling around the world? Unless you’re born with a trust fund, how do you do that when you need to work? Is it really possible? You now can by becoming a digital nomad.
Digital Nomad What?
Digital nomads are not new. These are individuals that choose to live off of a backpack while travelling the world. Digital nomads earn with location independent income sources, either operating a business or working with clients or online jobs from a laptop.
When you earn from anywhere, why stay in one place if you have the option to go around the world? That’s how they make long-term travel sustainable.
Before the pandemic, people see digital nomads as just a quirk for young millennials. But with the shift to the new normal, more and more Filipinos are embracing living outside the Metro as COVID cases stabilize.
Most are stuck working from home. And a change in scenery might be long overdue. You can’t blame people. But this supposed “vacation” turned into a new kind of lifestyle.
Again, do you dream of travelling the world? Hold your travel shoes. First, here are 11 crucial things you should consider before becoming a Digital Nomad.
Try It First
Travelling around seems to be an exciting concept. But it’s not for everyone. Some became over-committed and sold all their belongings to live a life of travel. Only to regret it because it’s not for them.
It might be lonely. You don’t have constant people you’re with. You change locations every so often. There’s a drawback when you are a digital nomad.
So remember, try it first. Try a mini trip of a few weeks. And then, ask yourself, did you enjoy it? Is it something you want to do in the long run?
Check Your Finances
After testing, and you still want to embark on the digital nomad lifestyle? Don’t book your tickets yet. You should check your finances first.
Do you have an emergency fund? Do you even have an online job now? Expenses can differ from city to city. And when sudden expenses shoot up, you don’t want to beg for money just to fund your trip.
At least have an emergency fund and a travel fund just in case before you start indefinitely travelling the world.
Buy Travel Insurance
Emergencies can happen anytime. Even if you have an emergency fund, it might not be enough to cover some expenses. And with COVID in place, that risk can never be more real.
So make sure to buy travel insurance. It can go as low as a few hundred to a full-on plan per year. Some plans like the ones with Pacific Cross has travel perks with their HMOs. Stay protected.
You’re Not on Vacation
The allure of travelling indefinitely is certainly attractive. You can post #travelgoals and brag to the world of your supposed envious lifestyle. But that’s far from the truth. You are not on vacation.
Being a digital nomad is like a regular working-from-home setup. You are still stressed with deadlines and client demands. You can’t lounge around the whole day sipping your fresh fruit juice across the beach.
You need to work and deliver the best output possible. The difference is, you can go out to the nearest beach after your working hours.
Have Clear Working Hours
And speaking of “not on a vacation,” you should have clear working hours. I mean, if you have interesting sites to explore, how can you stop yourself?
Some remote working setups are on call, and you might procrastinate if you don’t have a structure in place. You can’t just leave your source of income that’s allowing you to live this lifestyle.
So set a clear distinction between working hours and travel hours. For example, you can work in the morning until around 4 PM. And then, go around after. You can also utilize your weekends for exploration.
On the other hand, if you’re a night owl, you can schedule all your work at night. And travel in the mornings.
The balance will allow you to travel indefinitely without jeopardizing your career.
Imagine this. You are staying in a beautiful tourist area but you need to finish your tasks. You have a clear schedule but you just have this urge to stop all your work, because you fear missing out on the things other people are doing in the area.
When you are a digital nomad, you should stop yourself from this FOMO. You should accept that you can’t do every tourist activity there is while you have a tight working schedule.
As Much as Possible, Travel Long Term
What if you really want to maximize all the activities? How can you do all these when you have a limited time? When you’re a digital nomad, as much as possible, travel long term.
These can span from weeks to months at a specific location. It can reduce the FOMO because you have the time to stretch with work and with your travels.
The more time that you spend on place, the more you can travel slowly. You can focus on your work and have enough time to explore the areas you’re interested in.
Experience Life Like a Local
Have you been on a travel tour where it’s so jampacked and fast-paced? It feels like you’re on the set of the Amazing Race. When you’re a digital nomad, you don’t want to travel like tourists.
You should experience life in a specific place like a local. It doesn’t mean that you don’t go on paid tours. But if you are staying for quite a while, you can embrace their lifestyle to make your travels cheaper. And then, you can travel longer sustainably afterward.
Have a Spare Internet Connection
Internet is the lifeblood of your income stream. When there’s a faulty internet connection, you can’t earn money to fund your travels.
And sometimes your free hotel wifi isn’t enough. That’s why you should have a spare internet connection. Get a spare local sim card for data. Sometimes, it’s more than enough. If you’re in the Philippines, you can check this link for some Internet connectivity tips.
Especially in the provinces, expect random power outages on a normal day. Be prepared. Ask your place if they have a generator just in case. Also, some laptops can be charged by power banks. It’s best to have it in your arsenal as well.
In the worst case, you should have a plan for asynchronous working and inform your clients before your juice runs out.
You Will Never be Alone
Will you be lonely on your travels? Yes, there will be times. But I assure you, you will never be alone. A lot of Filipinos are now embarking on this journey.
Just find a community in your chosen destination. And you will see how warm and welcoming they are with your presence. If you’re open, you can meet new friends. And these people might be for keeps in the long run.
Are you excited to become a digital nomad? Pack your bags and try at least once in your life. It’s a rewarding experience!