Over the last couple years, my wife and I have been living in interesting places around the world while continuing to grow our web platforms, build more apps, create and distribute more books and effectively grow our businesses.
Many refer to this lifestyle as that of a Digital Nomad.
From the outside looking in, the life can look magical, even confusing for many.
From the day-to-day it offers many benefits and interesting cultural experiences but it comes with many challenges, like always looking for that next place, coordinating visas and trying to figure everything out online through Google.
There just comes a point where you gotta roll the dice and go for it...
But there are a few things to do that can help make the process easy and fun.
First off, make sure your remote income situation is rock solid.
Showing up and needing to make money will not only add stress to your situation but you will be competing with locals and other travelers who want to stay and that is not a great situation.
Either negotiate a remote working agreement, or have enough clients or web properties generating income that you are able to support yourself and have a 3 month emergency fund to help you support yourself and move along if your income stops or something happens.
Secondly, don't try to book the whole trip before leaving...
There is just too much unknown and way too many opinions out there. You can find positive and negative reviews for just about anywhere and only you can tell if a place is for you or not.
We prefer to go to a country that offers at least a 60 day visa with extension, but prefer 90 day visas or 180 day visas.
Then, we book two weeks to one month in what we think will be a centralized location that will allow us to be a pedestrian and access stores, restaurants, nature hikes, beaches, etc.
This allows us to vibe out the location and look for longer term furnished places if we want to stay.
The best deals on accommodations always go to locals...
So if you are wandering around, talking to people and keeping your eyes open, you can find amazing deals compared to airbnb or vrbo.
Secondly, the less we move, the more productive we are. This ties back into the longer visas, but also comes from a truth about this lifestyle that we are not on perpetual vacation here...
We are building businesses that will sustain us for our lifetime... This is important work and needs to be treated as such.
When we decide to get a car, move to another city or area every week or so, we are not only spending way more time traveling than we need, but we are also always curious about what the new restaurants are like, wanting to hike and explore the new locations and it is flat out tiring.
The businesses are the engines and the daily publishing content, optimizing and creating new products are the fuel...
No fuel and the engine won't run, no matter how powerful of an engine you had built.
The inverse of this last point is that you must get away from your computer daily for exercise, whether it is walking, hiking, SUP'ing, surfing, biking, etc.
Stick with what you love and get out and do it!
It can be easy as an entrepreneur to 'always have something to do' and spend all day and night on your laptop working on the next most important project, but you really need to take time away to clear your mind, brainstorm solutions to problems and to get exercise.
Lastly, for this post...
This lifestyle can be much, much less expensive than a 'traditional' suburban lifestyle where you rent a long term home, furnish it, commute to an office and essentially plug in to the rat race.
Now, there are places like New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii that are quite expensive, and every place (even Mexico) has million dollar villas you could rent for a pretty penny...
But when done right, we have been able to live very comfortably in beach houses with maid service and plenty of eating out for $2,000 - $3,000 per month including all utilities, rent, food, maid service, fun and the occasional evening out in the local hangout to meet and greet other locals.
Whether you are just starting your Digital Nomadic adventure or you are a seasoned vet, the easier you make this lifestyle on yourself by having stable cash-flow.
Your willingness to move in to an area with only 1/3 of your trip booked and a solid work and exploration balance, the more fun you will have and the more enjoyable the tech nomad lifestyle will be for you.
If jumping in with both feet sounds too scary... Check out this post by Tom Johnston about the 'better way to become a digital nomad...'
Have you been traveling and working already?
Is this a lifestyle you are planning on experiencing?
Drop me a comment and share a bit about your story!
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