The Digital Nomad – old hat for hippies trying to make their way around the globe in low-cost countries or, more than ever, a lifestyle that ensures more freedom and personal happiness – especially in the current Corona era?
A digital nomad is – in short – someone who earns their money online and regardless of location and who can run his business from anywhere in the world.
Usually, digital nomads travel full time and no longer have a permanent residence. But as with many things, there are also flowing transitions here.
But what all digital nomads have in common is a certain mindset that makes their lifestyle possible in the first place.
So what is it about this particular mindset that allows digital nomads to live a free and self-determined life?
First of all, it is important to determine where you are at in life. If you cannot count yourself to the digital nomads yet, you are most likely “trapped” in the mindset and beliefs that 99% of us have received through social upbringing through family, school, training, etc.
One of the most important tasks in our life is to take responsibility for ourselves. To define our own life, how, where and with whom we want to live it. To do this, you first need courage and will to question yourself and your current life to reflect. And in the next step to get an idea of what you want to implement and achieve in life.
Once you know what you want, you can work very specifically to make your lifelong dream come true. It is not something that changes overnight. Rather, it is a process that for many people takes years.
But the good thing is that if you keep working on it, one day you will achieve it.
What do you want?
This is probably the most important question you need to ask yourself. It’s the basis for defining what you want your life to look like.
Do you want to fly business class and stay in expensive hotels or travel around in a camper? Are you more of a lone wolf and travel alone or do you prefer to join a community and live in different colivings around the world?
How do you feel about partners and family? Yes, there are also whole families who live nomadically and travel the world with children.
How much money do you want to make until you say it’s enough?
What do you really need to live a more fulfilling life?
Have you ever heard of the concept of minimalism? There are quite a few nomads who travel all year round with hand luggage (approx. 8kg). Sounds crazy because the laptop often weighs a few pounds.
At the end of the day, everyone has to decide for themselves which lifestyle they will be happy with. Whatever your lifestyle and whether you live on 500 USD a month or need 8000 USD be able to pay for all your “luxury”.
One thing is for sure, you need to have a steady and reasonably reliable income.
What do you want to achieve in terms of your work?
Would you rather work for yourself whenever you want and be your own boss? Earn a bunch of money that you can buy whatever you want?
Do you want the freedom of not having to do things you don’t like and retire early?
Or would you rather have others work for you so you can have regular time for recreation and adventure?
Do you want to do something meaningful, create real value, and still make a lot of money?
Do you want more overall quality, more time and less clutter in your life?
If this is what you want in your life and you’re willing to work on it, the next step is to define goals.
What does it mean to be a nomad?
What do most people think of digital nomads – constant travel, eternal partying and working under palm trees from time to time?
That’s certainly fun and may work for a while. But one thing is for sure, there comes a time when money gets tight, work doesn’t have the drive it needs, or maybe quality is lacking because you’re still hungover from the night before.
In truth, it is a lot of work to build a functioning online business. It takes a lot of courage and a high degree of self-discipline. Setbacks have to be coped with emotionally and financially.
But if you keep your eye on the ball and develop the right mindset, you’ll soon be able to reap the rewards and fully enjoy your new life.
The nomadic life requires a lot of self-discipline – and that on several levels. In addition to the challenges and imponderables that come with any business, such as customer acquisition, developing new products, cushioning sales shortfalls, etc. There are also those on a private level.
One “mistake” that many Digital Nomads make in the beginning is traveling too fast. It takes a lot of energy to get used to a new environment and culture each time. Finding a suitable apartment, stable internet, locating the nearest supermarket, etc. The social aspect should not be forgotten either. Where can I find opportunities to meet like-minded people?
Slower travel and longer stays in one place combined with individual daily routines help keep the focus on work and personal goals.
One should also not waste a lot of money on tourist offers, try to travel and eat like the locals. Of course, there are countries where more comfortable travel and restaurant meals are fabulously cheap compared to the Western world.
The party lovers among us should also ask themselves whether an excessive nightlife will help achieve personal goals. It is better to have a real party once as a reward for achieved goals and otherwise focus on them.
If you have the necessary self-discipline and above all believe in yourself, the time will come when you can recalibrate your work-life balance.
Never give up!
Pursuing your goals and never giving up should go without saying.
But if you’re serious about living as a digital nomad, you can’t afford to give up when things get tough. And rest assured, they will. Constantly adapting to new environments, perhaps a personal stroke of fate, loss of sales, etc. can take a toll on you mentally.
Previous friendships may expire, as it can be difficult to maintain your old contacts with a 12h time difference. Building new relationships can also prove to be a challenge.
In these moments it is important to become aware of your goals, what you want to improve and achieve for yourself and your life. And above all, to look at what you have already achieved.
Never before in history has it been so easy and possible for so many to pursue their (dream) job while being able to travel the world and live in different countries.
It is always good to think about alternatives. Especially in the current Corona times, when lockdowns and travel restrictions change daily.
True to the motto “I’ll go where I’m treated best!”, you can change your plans at short notice thanks to your smart setup and choose more livable countries or areas.
But your business can also suffer unpredictably. For example, if you have built up an AirBnB business, it may well be that you will not receive bookings in the current Corona situation. You may have to give up rented apartments or sell properties that you have bought in order to get cash.
Building up multiple income streams is certainly a good way to better cushion events like the current corona pandemic.
Do you feel unsure about your plan to become a digital nomad or start your own business? Then you will definitely find suggestions and assistance on the countless websites, blogs and videos on the Internet.
But you can also opt for professional coaching, in which you receive compact knowledge in a targeted manner. With a little money you can gain knowledge and experience that others have taken many years to build.
What is often neglected in conventional education is the financial mindset.
If you stay in the “hamster wheel” of permanent employment with conventional pension provision, then with a bit of luck you won’t fare badly. But you’ll be slaving away your whole life and the fruits of your labor will be reaped by others.
A completely different approach is to work for your own projects/businesses and reinvest most of the money you earn. Thus, over time, you build a passive income stream from a variety of sources. The focus here should be on the word passive. You let others work for you and can gradually live off the returns.
Once you’ve built up enough stable passive income streams to sustain you completely, you suddenly have time to devote to things you’ve always wanted to do.
But living on the hamster wheel didn’t allow you, not even to think about alternatives, because you just didn’t have the time.
If that sounds cool and desirable to you, then you can now learn what activities you can start doing to become independent.
You can certainly build up your online business quite well on your own and drive it forward successfully. But on the other hand, there’s no denying that good contacts can give you creative input, perhaps develop partnerships or get you to more potential customers.
While socializing isn’t necessarily for everyone, here are some basic networking steps.
Meet up with other nomads
There are plenty of opportunities to network with like-minded people.
Topic-related forums and groups are plentiful on Facebook. Often, local events are also offered there. Therefore, it can make sense to stay regularly for a certain time in such Nomad hotspots.
In Asia, the most popular are Chiang Mai and Koh Phangan in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia. In Europe, you can find a large community in Lisbon and Berlin, for example. In Central and South America, Tulum and Playa del Carmen in Mexico and Buenos Aires in Argentina are the most popular.
Another good place to network are coworking cafes and coworking spaces. So-called “coworking cafes” are normal cafés that offer good conditions for working. Free and good internet would be mentioned here, good cafe, healthy food and for the work-intensive tasks enough sockets, so that your computer does not run out of air.
You can find community events as well as coworking cafes super easy on the Nomad Radar app on the integrated map. Of course, you can also create your own community events and coworking cafes in the app.
As with any human relationship, it takes time and commitment for a relationship to deepen and solidify. That’s why it’s better to stay in one place longer, attend the same events regularly and go to the same coworking space.
Social networks, like Nomad Radar help you maintain your connections.
The best contacts and connections are useless if they are not cultivated.
Since many nomads have different preferences for different places and countries, it is difficult to exchange ideas directly due to the sometimes large time zone differences.
On Nomad Radar you can always see where in the world your nomad friends are and, if necessary, plan your travel route in order to realize a reunion.
Many so-called Nomad Tribes have also formed, which travel together in a group to different places and perform many activities together on site.
Nomad Radar can help you support your nomad lifestyle.
Like-minded people, events and coworking cafes are displayed on the integrated map.
With the help of the cooperation with remote-worker.io you can also view the latest remote job opportunities and filter them according to your criteria and skills.
If you need help in a specific area, you can search for skills via the talent search and get in touch with other nomads.
More information about Nomad Radar can be found here.