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Best Digital Nomad Tips for Success: Work From Anywhere in the World

Living the digital nomad or travel blogger lifestyle sounds like such a dream, doesn’t it? Being a digital nomad means that you can travel and live wherever you want in the world. I have plenty of digital nomad tips for you in this blog post to help you get started. You work online and stay in a place for as long as you like before moving on to the next place. It’s an amazing way to see the world and earn a living.

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While being a travel blogger or digital nomad seems glamorous, it comes with its own set of challenges. You might have seen photos of digital nomads working on the beach, beer in hand. While working on the beach might be a possibility sometimes, it isn’t a realistic picture of the digital nomad lifestyle.

Digital Nomad Tips

What is a Digital Nomad?

So, what is a digital nomad anyway? A digital nomad is a remote worker who is completely location independent. Generally speaking, a digital nomad works on a laptop from anywhere in the world. This kind of remote worker can pack up and work from a new country whenever they please, giving them the freedom to see the world.

Pidurangala Rock Sri Lanka

Many digital nomads work on their own schedules and own their own businesses. You can also be a remote worker who works for another company that offers a flexible schedule or flexible working hours. Some digital nomads will work in a country halfway around the world from their employer, and simply gets used to working later in the evening, rather than 9 to 5.

Many people are able to do their jobs from the road as remote work increases in popularity. But, is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you? I’ll show you some examples of how you can make money, what you need to get started, how to take care of your own health and wellness, and show you why being it might not be right for you. Here are some digital nomad tips to get you started.

Reasons to Become a Digital Nomad

Prague - Digital nomad tips

Aside from being able to travel more often, there are lots of benefits to being a digital nomad. Depending on where you go, you’ll be able to save money by living in less expensive destinations. You can immerse yourself in new cultures and environments. If you’re looking to learn a new language, it will become much easier by living in a place where people speak that language.

You’ll also be able to escape the mundane life that comes with an office job, working 9 to 5. I worked for many years inside a dark editing suite with no windows for 12 hours at a time. My only escape from being trapped in that dark room was going for a half hour walk on my lunch break in a circle around the office building. Ugh!

You can also live a flexible lifestyle of working when you want, living where you want, and essentially living life on your own terms. Rather than dealing with office politics, you’ll be able to make new friends on the road. Your new “co-workers” will be fellow remote works, much like yourself, who I’m sure will be able to share lots of digital nomad tips with you as well.

Reasons Against Being a Digital Nomad

A digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone. While I love to travel and work while I’m traveling, I have a place to call home in Ontario, Canada where I spend most of my time. For those who are homebodies that love to travel, it might not be right for you. If you don’t enjoy living out of a small suitcase or backpack, being a digital nomad might not be the best choice.

I personally love working from home, traveling for two or three weeks at a time, and then returning home to write about it. That’s just my preference. If you’re a digital nomad, you likely get to travel way more and visit more places around the world.

There’s really no right or wrong way to be a travel blogger or digital nomad, it’s whatever works best for you. You might consider doing a trial run at being a digital nomad for a few months to see if it’s right for you.

How to Make Money as a Digital Nomad

Working from the beach

There are a seemingly infinite amount of ways to make money as a digital nomad. If you can do your job remotely from a laptop (and your boss is okay with you working from anywhere), you could become a digital nomad while doing your current job. If you’re looking for a career change, here are some digital nomad tips and ways to make money abroad.

Work as a Blogger, Vlogger or Freelance Writer

Many people work as bloggers, vloggers, or freelance writers. I’m a full time travel blogger myself! If you’re able to build a following for your blog, you can make money in a variety of ways: in-content ads, affiliate sales, sponsored articles, partnering directly with tourism boards, sponsored social media content, and the list goes on. You can also freelance write for other publications while seeing the world.

Working as a Virtual Assistant

Many people who work full time as bloggers and writers require outside assistance to help their business. By becoming a virtual assistant (VA, for short), you’ll be helping them with their businesses. You may help them by doing some writing, social media work, or other tasks. Some are able to work as digital nomads doing strictly VA work for other bloggers, or it’s a fantastic side hustle, too.

Teaching English Online

There are so many reasons why you should teach English online while traveling or from home. It’s a flexible job that allows you to work anywhere in the world, maintaining a digital nomad lifestyle. You can teach English online on a part time basis, with the freedom to travel and explore during your downtime. It’s also a fantastic way to fund your travels, so you can travel farther and longer.

First, you’ll need to take TEFL courses before you begin to teach English online. Many companies require that you become certified as a TEFL instructor. You can take these courses remotely as you travel. It’s possible to take the TEFL courses on the side as you do other work as a digital nomad. Or you can take the TEFL courses ahead of time, secure your job as a remote TEFL instructor, and then travel as a remote worker.

If you decide to teach English online, you’ll need to make sure that you have a good Wi-Fi connection. Most of your work as an English instructor will be done over video calls, so you will need to make sure that your audio and video is clear.

Digital Nomad Tips: What You Need to Get Started

Bike riding in Berlin

Okay, so you have decided that you want to be a digital nomad and you know the kind of work that you’ll do. These next digital nomad tips will set you up for success. These are some things to consider when you’re getting started.

Equipment You’ll Need

One of my top digital nomad tips to set yourself up for success is making sure you have the proper equipment. Having a reliable laptop is one of the most important things you can invest in as a digital nomad. I have an ASUS ROG laptop that’s a little bit on the heavy side for carrying around. But, at the same time, it is really high powered for photo and video editing.

Wherever you go, you’ll need to have a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Many digital nomads find workspaces or cafes that cater to remote workers that have high speed Wi-Fi. My friend, Rachel, travels and works remotely as part of her career. She has a great guide about how to find a coworking space that you’ll love.

How to Plan in Advance

If you want to dive head first into being a digital nomad, you’ll want to save money before you go. Have a good amount of savings to keep you going for at least a few months. It will take a little while to get used to this new way of living, and it might be a bumpier road than you expect.

I suggest taking a few months to give it a try. Once you’re sure that you want to live and work remotely, you’ll likely want to sell many of your belongings and find storage for the rest. Many people rent storage lockers or store their keepsakes with their families. Here are some more ways to save money before you travel.

As you start to plan your international trip, there are lots of factors to consider. I suggest reading our guide on how to plan an international trip for even more details that go beyond the scope of this article.

Having a Work/Life Balance

It’s so important to sort out a good work/life balance. This will be different for everyone. Some people want to work in the morning and travel/explore in the afternoon, or vice versa. It’s important that you aren’t working all the time because then…what is the point of traveling? At the same time, you don’t want to work too little or you may not be able to fund this lifestyle.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is incredibly important for digital nomads. You never know when something can happen. It’s even more likely when you’re moving about, doing adventurous activities, or you’re constantly on the go. If you have a medical emergency when you’re away, you don’t want it to bankrupt you.

I recommend two companies for travel insurance: World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can read more about how travel insurance works to choose the coverage that’s right for you.

SafetyWing has a fantastic product called Nomad Insurance. It’s perfect for those traveling long term and short term. This insurance includes medical insurance (illness, accidents, etc.) and travel insurance (trip delay, lost luggage, natural disasters, emergency response, and more).

Staying Safe When You Travel

By being prepared and doing your research ahead of time, you’ll feel more confident traveling and working abroad. One of the best digital nomad tips is to stay safe. Here are some great tips for staying safe when you travel.

Some ways to stay safe when you travel and work internationally include getting your proper immunizations, registering that you’re away with your local government, safely storing your cash and valuables, staying alert, and keeping in touch with loved ones.

Digital Nomad Tips: Staying Healthy

Bike riding in Ireland

When I’m working as a blogger, I sit…a lot. I could spend hours and hours without even getting up. Naturally, this is detrimental to my health. While I might not have the same health risks as someone working a profession that requires a lot of physical exertion, like a painter or a landscaper, working at a computer comes with its own set of health risks.

There are many health problems associated with sitting all day.

  • The development of musculoskeletal disorders are associated with sitting for long periods of time
  • Women with sedentary jobs for more than 10 years have twice the risk of colon cancer
  • People sitting for more than 11 hours per day have a 40% larger increase of death within the next three years, as compared to those who sit for only four hours per day

Thankfully, there are ways that we can stay healthier as digital nomads, travel bloggers, or those working in any office environment.

Keep Moving Throughout the Day

It’s best if you can find ways to move around throughout the day, rather than just once or twice. You might walk across your office or co-working space to speak to a colleague instead of picking up the phone or sending an email. Devices like a Fitbit or even an app on your phone can remind you to get up and move once an hour.

It’s important to incorporate regular activity into your business work day. Even if you can’t constantly be leaving your desk, there are exercises you can do from your office, whether it’s at home, at a workplace, or on the road.

Go for a Walk

Ceide Fields Ireland

This is one of my favourite suggestions. When I’m working on the blog all day, whether it’s editing photos or writing blog posts, it’s always good to take a break. Going for a walk outside can help clear my mind and increase my creativity. I’ve found that it’s helpful to get over writer’s block. But even better, it’s a great way to work some exercise into my busy day.

When I’m travelling, getting more exercise becomes even easier. I love incorporating outdoor adventures into my holidays. Whether it’s a hiking trip or exploring a region by kayak, I find that I get even more exercise when I’m trekking around the globe.

Eat Healthy Foods

When travelling, I often use the excuse, “I’m on vacation” to eat everything in sight. As a vegan, I might be eating healthier in general, but I’m not immune from indulging in unhealthy treats or snacks. I find that it’s even worse because I’m often researching and trying different restaurants to write about them. The food at restaurants is usually not as healthy because it’s made to taste great, so it’s higher in fat, sugar, or salt.

While I encourage you to give veganism a try for a multitude of reasons, it can be a very healthy diet to follow. If possible, I recommend eating primarily vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. Limit your intake of convenience foods, faux meats, processed foods, fried foods, and oils.

If possible, cook your meals from home. I’ll set aside a few hours once a week to batch cook my meals. That way, I’ll always have healthy meals in the fridge that I can bring to work or eat at home.

Position Yourself Correctly

Digital nomads and bloggers spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen. If you find that your eyes become tired or strained, this can be a condition called computer vision syndrome. The symptoms include red eyes, irritation or dryness, headaches, or shoulder pain.

Make sure you practice good posture while sitting at the computer. Ensure that the monitor is directly in front of your face, about four to eight inches below your eyes so your neck is not strained. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, looking at something 20 or more feet from your screen.

Prevent getting carpal tunnel syndrome from overuse of your keyboard or smartphone. Avoid repetitive motions with your hands by taking appropriate breaks or changing positions.

Other Ways to Stay Healthy

It doesn’t matter if you’re a digital nomad, a travel blogger, an office employee, or someone who works a physically demanding job. There are ways we can all be healthier and live life to the fullest.

It’s important to make sure we get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to anxiety and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure.

We also need to strengthen our muscles to stay healthy. Yoga is a great activity to strengthen our bodies, relieve stress, and focus on both posture and balance.

Digital Nomad Tips: Connect With Your Peers

Digital nomad tips - connect with your peers

Being a digital nomad can be a lonely lifestyle if you’re working and traveling on your own. You’ll move from place to place and may not form any connections. It might be a good idea to embrace slow travel so you can form more meaningful connections and take a good amount of time to immerse yourself in a new place. You’ll also form more regular routines and it might be easier to work abroad.

There are also lots of great Facebook groups online where you can meet fellow digital nomads, and Meetup.com is also a fantastic place to meet up with people who have similar interests. Once you start working from coworking spaces or cafes, you’ll likely end up chatting to others and make friends that way. You might make friends by staying at hostels, too.

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Min Kuang

Thursday 9th of July 2020

Great advice , thanks for sharing .

Cassie

Thursday 17th of January 2019

Love This! It's so important to take Care of ourselves. Thanks for sharing - some useful reminders and new advice for me too! Cass x

Alyssa

Wednesday 9th of January 2019

This is great, thanks for posting! I've recently started my online camping/outdoors equipment company, and the upkeep along with the hours I end up putting in everyday to build my community on social media leaves me sitting for a lot of the day. It definitely gets to me sometimes, especially since I, myself, am a lover of outdoor activity and the like, so these are some great things to keep in mind! :)

Emma Johnson

Tuesday 12th of December 2017

Great advice for digital nomads, or anyone! Keeping healthy in life is vital.

Ryan Biddulph

Saturday 9th of December 2017

Excellent advice. Fellow digital nomad here. I exercise for 45 minutes or longer daily, running 6 miles every other day and walking for an hour every other day. I do 40 minutes of yoga and meditate for 20 minutes daily, on waking. I also take hourly breaks to move around, I eat light and jump into an icy cold shower every morning to get my energy flowing. Gotta take care of your meat suit.

Ryan

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