So you’ve been thinking of becoming a digital nomad for a while now but you’re just not sure whether it’s going to be the right path for you. Everyone’s doing it right? Well there are certain skills you inherently need to have or need to learn if you want to make this your lifestyle choice.
First off, what is a digital nomad?
Simply put, a digital nomad is anyone who is able to work remotely (generally online), and who travels while doing so. There are no rules when it comes to being a digital nomad. You could travel locally or internationally. Be a solo traveller or travel with your kids. You could be road tripping in a van or jetting off to work on an exotic island – it doesn’t matter. The common denominator for being a digital nomad is working independent of location and seeking more freedom and flexibility.
So if anyone who works online can technically become a digital nomad – why do you need certain skills?
Well, when choosing to quit the 9-5 and choose this as your full time lifestyle, there are going to be some growing pains, and these skills will help ease you into it.
So here they are:
If you are someone who sees opportunities and jumps right at them – you are going to fit very well into the digital nomad community. Leaving you stable office environment with a monthly paycheck to set out on a travel escapade around the world all alone can be daunting for anyone. But, instead of looking at it with fear and hesitation – you look at it as an exciting adventure filled with endless possibilities for your career and personal life. If that sounds like you, you’re ready to take the plunge and try this nomad thing out. They say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward – we know from experience this is 100% true and we’ve never looked back.
If you are more of a risk averse person but would love to be a digital nomad and do believe it is possible but need a helping hand there are two options. One is to transition into a full-time remote job that allows travel. This will allow you to maintain your financial security while still being able to travel and dip your toes into the lifestyle. The second option is to work on your mindset and get passed the limiting beliefs holding you back. This can be tough on your own and that’s why we created the Digital Nomad Accelerator online coaching program to help you quit the 9-5 and build a successful online career so you can become a digital nomad faster and with loads of support. If you think that could be perfect for you – put your name on the waitlist for the next intake.
When travelling – more often than not – things go wrong. Delayed flights, disappointing Airbnb’s, unexpected weather, slow WIFI, you name it, we’ve been through it. Being adaptable as a digital nomad is a key skill to have or acquire as change is a huge part of daily life.
Not only do you need to be adaptable in the above situations, but also in your routine. You may have to fly on a Tuesday at lunch-time – can you move things around to make that work. Productivity and routine are some of the pain points digital nomads face, but getting around these hurdles is extremely important long term.
If you are a remote worker or manage a remote team – you need to be great at communication. There are tons of tools which make online communication and collaboration simple and effective but you do need to be in touch more regularly.
Not only is this important for productivity, but it is also vital for team morale and rapport. Keeping good lines of communication open fosters a better team environment and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Now you don’t need to be the most extroverted person dancing on the table tops at 3am, but travelling as a digital nomad can get lonely and meeting other like minded people is one of the best parts of this lifestyle.
There are abundant communities of digital nomads in hubs around the world who are mostly solo travellers and keen to share ideas, listen to your story and learn about your business or culture. Growing your nomad network and making friends from all corners of the globe is a huge perk to being a nomad – and not one you should miss out on.
If you’re more introverted, join a coworking space and ease into it, attend local nomad meetups or get an instant community with no fuss by joining a coliving retreat – check our upcoming ones here.
If you’re leaving the 9-5 to become a freelancer or you’re starting your own biz, first of congratulations for taking this massive step! You are breaking boundaries and choosing to live a lifestyle you love so be proud of that.
Now, we need to ensure that it is sustainable. Starting from scratch will be touch. You will need to grow your audience, build you business, create an online presence and get clients. It’s possible, nomads are doing it all over the world as you read this.
Expect it to be a roller-coaster and push through the low moments, holding on to the belief of why you started. Being persistent is a key when branching out on your own. You got this!
When travelling as a nomad you will be living in various destinations for extended periods. It is important to be open-minded as you will encounter various cultures, nationalities, customs, regulations and beliefs.
Being mindful that you are travelling to a country outside your own and respecting their ways of life, is key to being a digital nomad and immersing yourself in your new home for a few months.
Also remember, other nomads will be different from you – and that’s what’s so exciting right? Be open-minded on what you can learn from each other and the stories they have gathered along the way.
Now these aren’t hard and fast must-have skills. They will just help you ease into the lifestyle and assist on your nomad journey. Luckily skills can be learnt, so don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t completely sound like you. If you want to design your lifestyle and are ready to get on top of these skills and start travelling – it really is in your hands.
See you in the world somewhere!