The digital nomad life is one that many professionals in all industries aspire to. Whether you’re just starting out in your career, or have spent years in the corporate world, it’s not hard to understand why you might want to work remotely. The opportunity to travel the world while earning an income is incredibly attractive! Many remote workers make their own schedules, work part-time, or work for themselves. Head to any digital nomad hotspot around the world, and you’ll find remote workers from every corner of the globe, and in every industry.
Of course, not every position or company lends itself to the nomad lifestyle. That being said, the first element of having what it takes to live and work while traveling is flexibility in your work. If you don’t already have a job or position that allows you to work flexible hours, from flexible locations, it’s time to look for one. These roles used to be few and far between, but that’s no longer the case. As many companies and industries hire younger and younger workers, they’re increasingly offering flexibility and travel benefits.
The Covid-19 pandemic really sped up the remote-work transition for many larger corporations, while smaller startups were already known for their flexibility. Finding a job that will work with your nomadic aspirations is the first and most important step. From there, you’ll also need a few key qualities to succeed.
A sense of adventure
The number one requirement for a successful global nomad is a sense of adventure. Be ready for anything! The trademark of these world-traveling remote workers is a love of all things new and exciting. Try new food every week. Explore ancient temples and incredible natural wonders. Plan exciting adventures. Meet new people. Learn a new language! If these things excite you, you’re probably ready to pursue the digital nomad lifestyle.
The ability to go with the flow
The most amazing opportunities tend to present themselves when you least expect them. As a nomad, if you can go with the flow and allow your plans to change, you’ll undoubtedly have some incredible adventures. As you meet people, explore new places, and become more confident, you’ll find your lifestyle changes. Trust your instincts, ask for help, and do what feels right, rather than always what you had planned.
The ability to problem solve is one of the most essential qualities of a successful nomad. When living and traveling abroad, you might not have the same support network you would in an office in your home country. Whether the obstacles you encounter are small or large, there’s a good chance you’ll be relying on yourself to fix them.
A cool head
Things are going to go wrong sometimes. It’s inevitable when you’re living the global nomad lifestyle. Whether it’s a canceled flight, a lost suitcase, or a stolen laptop, unexpected roadblocks will pop up from time to time. Long-term nomads are able to keep a cool head when these things do happen, and problem solve rather than panic.
While earning and saving money might not be the most glamorous part of the global nomad lifestyle, it’s one of the most essential. If you’re not already used to budgeting and saving money, it’s time to get started doing both. This is absolutely essential if you’ll be working as a freelancer or a contractor. If you have a full-time salaried job, you probably have the same steady income every month, and might not have to be as careful. But no matter what, it’s important to have a nest egg, in case anything goes wrong while you’re traveling.
When working remotely and from different parts of the world, you won’t have a manager looking over your shoulder. In order to be successful and keep a paying job, you’ll need to be organized and self-motivated. Of course, these are excellent attributes for all employees, even those in offices. But they’re particularly important for digital nomads.
If you’re exploring different cities and living out of a suitcase, you can’t have too many possessions. If you’re very attached to your furniture or are always shopping, those habits are hard to take with you. Get used to spending money on experiences, rather than things. Consider how to minimize the possessions you take with you from place to place.
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