Help me become a digital nomad!

how to become a digital nomad

I get frequent emails with “help me become a digital nomad” or how to live a nomadic lifestyle and so does many other notable digital nomads (my friends Pieter, Jay, Youjin, etc.).

Everybody seems to want to know the “secret.” Well, ladies and gentlemen.

There is no secret.

Being a digital nomad means “living wherever you want and leveraging technology to make a living.” This mostly means you are working remotely or make some type of living using mostly the internet.

How do you come about this?

Well, I’ve told my journey on becoming a digital nomad. Excuse the horribly written post. It was written three years ago.

But everybody’s journey is different.

You can become a freelancer (offering any relevant skills for pay), become an entrepreneur, or be a remote worker (like I was myself). Here’s a post on five ways to become a digital nomad.

Be prepared for a lot of work if you go through the freelancer or entrepreneur route. You may be your own boss but nobody’s paying your bills but yourself.  Think long and hard before you make such a jump without a backup plan. Don’t be one of those broke backpackers in Chiang Mai, without a clue what to do but just wanting to stay, do nothing, and somehow earn thousands of dollars.

Me? I took the easy route – fortunately. I found a remote job because my skill set and previous work experience was in technology – a perfect formula to be a digital nomad and I didn’t skip college (some people can but I am not smart enough to do so). My field was in quality assurance (software testing & software automation). That in itself is a job that is technology-related, thus making it easier to transition. Some people don’t know how much QA can make. It simply varies. Gaming companies will pay some testers $10 an hour while some companies (consulting firms or techie places) will easily pay you six figures. My background started in IT consulting and meandered up and down into the start up world as well as small to medium sized companies.

If you want to become digital nomad that’s a blogger or copywriter, etc., good luck. There’s plenty of websites, classes, and tutorials that will help you. Just realize, everybody else around you probably covets that job too. Be prepared to network, make connections, and probably scrimp and save to make ends meet.

become a digital nomad

One word of advice (or two, or three):

  • Don’t sell fluff
  • Don’t make money by trying to teach people how to make money
  • Make something, create something, create a service, don’t sell people pipe dreams
  • Find a remote job. Granted, most of these remote jobs are at tech places so if you can’t do anything tech-related, you have fewer options. You can learn a new skill or you can see what other skill you can bring to the table.