There is really no such thing as a “successful” traveler. You may have accomplished travelers or well-traveled people, but being a successful traveler is quite subjective and should be left up to the opinion of others.
That’s largely because traveling is seen as such a temporary, fleeting thing. You save up your vacation time, look for a great vacation spot, and make sure to actually take that vacation each year.
Even though you may believe traveling to be a temporary thing, there are plenty of people in the world who make it a full-time gig. How? By becoming digital nomads.
Digital nomads are those that bounce around from spot to spot, running a business or working online. The term digital nomad is open, and can be one of many different things.
Below, we’re going to discuss some basic tips to help you be a successful digital nomad and keep the adventure going.
Choose a Path
As mentioned above, there are plenty of options out there for being a digital nomad. Some take their skills and apply it to a regular job, such as IT, engineering, education, editing, writing, translation, marketing, or even running their own business.
Before you hop on a plane and jet off to who knows where, think about what exactly you want to do. It’s much easier to start your career or business in your home country (more on this later) than it is trying to figure it out on the fly.
This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done, but you may not have the flexibility or time to figure things out on the go.
Bring the Right Equipment
No matter which path above you end up taking, you’re going to be relying on mainly two things: a computer and an internet connection.
If you already have a laptop, fantastic, then you’re halfway there. If you’ve got a laptop that’s turning four or five in the near future, then you might want to go shopping.
Whether you go Apple or Windows is your choice. If you’re doing graphic design and artwork, then it’s better to go with the fruit. If you’re doing IT work or need a specific software to do your work, then it’s better to go Windows.
Make sure you ask your laptop manufacturer about different plugs for various outlets you’ll inevitably run into. You could buy an adapter, but if you’re planning on spending plenty of time in one country, look to see if they have a power adapter for that country.
Build Your Brand
Many digital nomads don’t have the luxury of having contracts or salaried jobs while traveling. This means that you need to build an effective brand and work on marketing yourself.
There are plenty of free digital marketing courses to help get you started, show you the ins and outs of building a portfolio, and how to connect with other businesses or clients.
It’s also going to help show businesses, clients, and customers who you are and what you represent. Your brand is more than just a logo, and it’s more about who you are and what you do.
If you’re running an online business, your brand starts with your domain name. That’s the first thing that people are going to notice about your business and how you can bring them in.
Commit to a Schedule
If you’ve never worked from home, it can be hard to manage your schedule. You wake up and there are diversions all around you. As a digital nomad, it can be even tougher. A permanent residence may not be an option for you, and it can be hard to get in a rhythm when you’re waking up in different places every day.
Whatever you do, find a way to commit to a schedule. If you’re an early bird, try to start work in the morning as soon as you wake up. Maybe your job has you working with a different time zone, so get in your leisure time or other errands around that schedule.
The earlier you can commit to a schedule, the easier your work and personal life will be.
Don’t Forget About Bureaucracy
Everyone loves paperwork, right? It’s basically the best thing about traveling!
Unlike the movies, you can’t just wake up one day and decide to move to X country. You’ll have to apply for a visa, and there are many factors that could affect what kind of visa you need.
Some countries offer a non-lucrative visa, which means you’ll be living in the country without earning any money in the local tax system. If you don’t want a visa, then you’ll have to bounce around plenty. Some countries are lax on their visa rules and offer longer visas. Others don’t allow you to renew once you’re inside the country. Some require a laundry list of items for you to even get in.
Make sure you are double and triple checking the immigration laws for wherever you’re going. If you start a business in a foreign country or ship goods to various markets, then you might be liable to local tax laws. This is why it’s easier to start a business in your home country and then move on.