How to be a digital nomad (and get work done while on the go)
If you're familiar with the term digital nomad, you likely have a picture-perfect idea of a solo traveler freely roaming the world, stopping only in the most incredible and luxurious of destinations to work from their laptop along the way.
While digital nomads can work from anywhere (as long as there's WiFi), the internet's portrayal of the digital nomad lifestyle isn't entirely accurate. Being a digital nomad requires determination, persistent study and skill development, and a self-motivated and creative spirit.Read more +
So what exactly is a digital nomad and what does a digital nomad do?
A digital nomad is a person who works digitally, as in online, and who travels frequently with no set home base. Digital nomads work remotely to support their nomadic lifestyle, which might appear glamorous from the outside, but is actually incredibly demanding.
The truth is, being a digital nomad is a constant balance of work and play. A digital nomad is expected to manage their schedule and work routine while growing their business, getting more clients, and creating new content. There's a lot of trial and error involved, but for nomads, it's all well-worth the ultimate reward: location-independence.
If you're an avid travel enthusiast, the freedom to work from anywhere in the world can be exhilarating. You know the saying "home is where the wifi is"? This is a nomad's reality, as advancing technology and online tools enable them to work from virtually anywhere, be it a coffee shop, library, hotel lobby, or even hostel!
If you dream of full-time travel, or even if you're feeling beaten down by the 9-5 grind, nomadic life might be for you. Being a digital nomad is about more than a profession; it's an alternative way of life that, if pursued for the right reasons, can be infinitely rewarding and fulfilling.
There are many skills that are transferable into the digital realm. Monetizing your skills online takes passion and an entrepreneurial spirit. If you're an innovative thinker, love learning new things and are committed to a path of growth, you already have what it takes to become a digital nomad.
If you're thinking "I want to be a nomad" but aren't quite sure how or where to start, Worldpackers is the perfect way to ease your transition towards becoming a digital nomad.
With Worldpackers, you can work and volunteer all over the world in exchange for accommodation and other benefits. This means you can travel without having to spend hardly any money at all!
Additionally, many Worldpackers projects include opportunities to build your digital portfolio. Whether you want to manage social media accounts, become a content writer, program and/or design websites, or produce compelling visual content, there's an opportunity for you to develop and hone your digital skills with Worldpackers.
Traveling with Worldpackers is the best way to get firsthand experience of what living a nomadic lifestyle actually entails. Not worrying about the overhead cost of accommodation is a huge advantage when embarking on any new venture. As a Worldpackers community member, you'll be able to learn online skills and establish yourself as a freelancer while comfortably jump-starting your full-time travel lifestyle!
Worldpackers has helped thousands of travelers embrace their dream of living an alternative, remote working lifestyle. No matter what your current profession, your success as a digital nomad depends on your ability to adjust and adapt the skills you already have to meet the demands of the online world, and Worldpackers offers the perfect safety net for you to experiment doing so. By expanding your digital skill-base while already on the road, you'll not only open up a world of remote work possibilities, but also enable yourself to start creating your own unique travel content and build your digital nomad brand.
Check out these top digital nomad blogs for inspiration!
As a digital nomad, you have the power to work when and where you want. You have the flexibility to create your own schedule and routine, and the freedom to choose where you want to live, and travel.
That being said, all of this requires tremendous self-discipline. Being your own boss is liberating, but summoning the motivation to manage your routine and effectively fulfill your work responsibilities while still allotting yourself leisure time is no easy feat.
Many people have a difficult time adapting to the uncertainty and unpredictability of nomadic life. Being a freelancer doesn't have the same guarantee as a salaried, paycheck-to-paycheck job. Sometimes, getting new clients can feel like an uphill battle, and at others, it's a struggle just to maintain the clients you already have. This can be especially in the beginning of your freelance career; it takes time to grow a business and create a name for yourself and your services.
That's why starting your digital nomad journey with Worldpackers can be instrumental to your success. By working with Worldpackers host projects, you'll gain exposure to the worldwide nomad community, while easing the financial strain that inevitably accompanies the earlier stages of becoming a freelancer.
There are hundreds of jobs for digital nomads, from Graphic Design to Freelance Writing to Teaching English to Affiliate Marketing to Translation to pretty much anything you can think of that can be done using only a laptop and a strong WiFi internet connection.
If you can write well and have a basic understanding of SEO, you can become a freelance writer and work online. If you are passionate about photography or videography, you can work online. If you know how to use social media, you can work online. And if you're proficient in coding or software development, you can also work online! And, if none of the above apply, if you have excellent communication skills and are organized, self-motivated, and resourceful, you can also work online!
Basically, if you have a skill, there's a way to monetize and market it online. Of course, some remote jobs are more highly paid than others. The more qualified you are for the job — the higher your skill level — the greater you'll be compensated for your work.
You might end up focusing on one skill and design a business for your skill's specific niche, or you might choose to do several different types of work and launch a freelance business. Whatever path you choose, know that with steady persistence, one project will inevitably lead to the next and the momentum you create can become a full-time career.
Choosing to become a digital nomad can be scary and overwhelming. Making the leap to traveling the world full-time as a digital nomad isn’t easy, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. In pursuing an alternative lifestyle, it can often feel like you’re challenging everything you’ve been taught to believe about stability, comfort, and success. But that’s precisely the whole point.
Being a digital nomad requires a willingness to step out of your comfort zone and experience the world in a different way. It’s not an easy path, but once you set out upon it, you’ll find a whole community of like-minded people who share your passion for an unconventional way of living.
By joining Worldpackers, you’ll become part of a global community of travelers, many of whom have successfully made the transition to full-time nomadic life. As you set out to find your place in the freelance world, having a network of support is an invaluable resource.
Ultimately, your success as a digital nomad depends on... you.
Volunteer abroad with Worldpackers
Get experience, save money and expand your digital skill base by volunteering abroad. Build your digital portfolio in content writing, social media, photography, videography, marketing and programming by working with hostels, NGOs, ecovillages and thousands of other Worldpackers hosts.
Content from the Community
Find out how to take the step from traveling for pleasure to becoming a professional digital nomad.
Learn about the top jobs available for digital nomads and the best ways to make money while traveling the world.
Discover the best places to work and live as a digital nomad including cost of living, WiFi availability, crime rates, and how difficult it is to secure a visa.
Read amazing stories from nomads around the world and get inspired to create the lifestyle you want for yourself.