10 Tips on How to Become a Digital Nomad

Most modern workers in the Western world are fed up with the daily grind. A recent survey showed that well over half of Americans feel unfulfilled in their jobs. One way many people are breaking out of this modern malaise is by becoming digital nomads. As long as you have a laptop, and online job, access to Wi-Fi, and an adventurous spirit, you too can embark on your own digital nomad journey. In this article, we’ll go over a few essential tips on how to become a digital nomad.

how to become a digital nomad

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1. Figure Out Your Line of Work

We’ll start our list of how to become a digital nomad with finding a reliable online job. Some common jobs ideas to consider include freelance writing, teaching English, and creating an online business. Some of the most helpful websites out there for people interested in getting started freelance writing include Textbroker.com, UpWork.com, and ProBlogger.com.

If you’re thinking about going the teaching route, the two most popular countries for ESL teachers now are South Korea and China. Check out Dave’s ESL Café for more information on English teaching positions around the world. Whatever you decide do, just be sure you have a steady stream of income online before starting your digital nomad adventure.

2. Examine Your Values: Security vs. Freedom

Anyone trying to find out how to become a digital nomad should have a personality that values freedom over security. Some people need the structure of a 9 to 5 office job lifestyle, and that’s totally fine. However, you can’t expect the same degree of security and comfort from a digital nomad lifestyle, especially as you’re starting out. You need to motivate yourself to set and accomplish goals every single day.

Digital nomads also have to be able to embrace the challenges and inconveniences of living in a foreign locale. Be sure you have a mindset that values freedom more than security before starting down this exciting (and challenging) road.

3. What Country Suits Your Lifestyle?

People trying to figure out how to become a freelance writer have to find a city that fits their budget and lifestyle. It might be a good idea to take a vacation to your chosen city beforehand. Better yet, book a month-long language learning program in your city of choice to get better acquainted with the local culture of your country. Just so you know, the most common areas for freelancers (due mainly to their low cost of living) include Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

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4. Get A Skype Address

If you don’t already have one, you should get a Skype account and send it to all your friends and family at home. The great thing about Skype is that you can use it all over the world. There will be times when you get homesick on your adventures abroad, so it’s always nice to stay in touch with those you care about back home. Also, put together a list of contacts you can rely on in case of an emergency.

5. Invest in Quality Health Insurance

Speaking of emergencies, anyone trying to figure out how to become a digital nomad should have a great insurance plan for their health. Figure out what the health care system is like in your chosen country and ask your healthcare provider whether it works there. Of course, the best medicine you can take to give you optimal energy and health is a nutrient-dense diet full of veggies and fruits. You don’t want to be living off of McDonald’s as you travel around the world!

6. Know How to Do Web Research

You must be an “eternal student” to become a successful digital nomad. Always refine your entrepreneurial skills by researching online, visiting local libraries, and signing up for workshops in your area. Some helpful skills to learn include SEO, WordPress, HTML, and online marketing. Becoming more and more proficient in these web-based skills will definitely make you more competitive in the online marketplace.

7. Connect with People in Your Destination

Digital nomads need to know how to network. Before you head off to your chosen destination, you should’ve already connected with locals and expats living there. Nowadays, you can easily use websites like Facebook, Couchsurfing, and even various PenPal sites to get a good sense of what life is like in that country. Also, try to network with groups that are dedicated to your line of work like freelance writing groups or ESL forums.

social networking connects

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8. Get Rid of Your Debt

Believe it or not, economists estimate that eight in ten Americans have some form of debt now. Common causes of this debt include student loans and mortgages. If you have a ton of debt in your life, you’d better get that squared away before embarking on a digital nomad lifestyle. You’ll have enough to stress about as you’re traveling around the world, so you definitely don’t want debt to be a lingering issue in the back of your mind.

9. Meditate

There are limitless benefits to meditating . Why do you think so many powerful CEOs take time out of their busy schedules to close their eyes and follow their breath every day? Because it works! Only 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation every day will improve your mood, help you concentrate, and lower your blood pressure (all skills you’ll need to survive as a digital nomad). Of course, there are so many other spiritual benefits to daily meditation, but you’ll only discover those for yourself if you actually commit to a daily practice routine.

10. Take A Cold Shower

OK, we know this is a weird tip to be on a list of “how to become a digital nomad,” but hear us out. Most people in the world have what’s known as a “victim mentality.” This basically means that people blame their life circumstances on external situations rather than their own inner failings. If you truly want to be a successful digital nomad, you need to get over this mental hang-up ASAP.


One easy way to shake yourself out of these negative thought patterns (and improve your overall health) is to take a cold shower every morning. You’ll probably come up with a ton of excuses why you shouldn’t take this shower…but that’s exactly the point! You have to confront your lame excuses, push through them, and just do what needs to be done. This is a great psychological training tool every digital nomad can use to get motivated.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know some of the greatest strategies on how to become a digital nomad. It is possible to work anytime you want anywhere you want…but you need to be willing to put in a lot of work at the start of the journey. If you consider yourself a self-starter, then you probably have what it take to make this lifestyle work for you. Just put these strategies into practice and begin to build the life of your dreams!