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How to Become a Digital Nomad

Burnout and stress are common issues among startups and corporations alike, but there’s an alternative.


Work-lifestyle balance. A major topic of the 21st century which includes subtopics from the global stress epidemic to unemployment due to job automation. Bottom line — in most major cities around the world work-life has ZERO balance. Burn out and stress are common issues amongst startups and conventional companies alike. However, there is an alternative…

Minimalize your needs, live within your means, and work in an area that isn’t so competitive that it makes you live in a pigeon hole!

The “DREAM” of living and working on a beach in Costa Rica is no longer just that — I’m living proof of this. There are thousands of people around the world that have realized the digital nomad lifestyle has ample opportunities and its benefits far outweigh that free kegerator in the corner of your startup office. I currently live between Costa Rica and my hometown in New Jersey about 3/4’s of the year and spend the rest of the time traveling to a new destination around the world.

My profession: Travel Developer

Ok, no this actually isn’t my average workplace…but I could go there if I really wanted to.

I’m a online entrepreneur that does website design, development, SEO, marketing, and other general freelance work from anywhere in the world.

Now this isn’t the only profession you can do as a location-independent worker (although it’s one of the most profitable:). Actually, pretty much every profession today has the opportunity to become remote. Designers, accountants, translators, etc…it’s more of a mentality than an actual job position. If you want to make it happen you turn any job into full-time or part-time remote. You can find employers who hire mostly remote workers, ask your current employer to let you slowly start working more days from home, or start your own career as a self-sustainable digital nomad.

You just have to be open to getting out of your comfort zone at first, but eventually it all becomes second nature.

Four years ago, I had barely left the East coast of the United States my entire life. I realized at that time I was ingesting a massive amount of information — trying to find the solution that would make me realize my dream of working remotely. After taking in all that information, you really come to one simple idea — it’s really NOT that crazy of an idea.

Seriously, I mean chances are …

a) you’re never going to regret it

b) you’ll make the most memorable stories of your life, and

c) you’re actually going to progress your career gaining new talents and social skills

I know my 4-year-ago self would still want some advice so here’s a few tips and tricks to getting started on your path to becoming a digital nomad

  • Start your own company — if you want to be a digital nomad/freelancer set up a business so you can start accepting payments online. You can start writing off business expenses as well and it will help you get into the mindset of running your own business once it seems ‘legit’.
  • Start testing in your current life — I started by living out of my car and taking a roadtrip around the US. This was a short-term trip but it helped give me the confidence that I really could work anywhere.
  • Learn a nomadic skill— Digital Nomads rarely wear one hat, but by having at least 1 defined specialty it will help you feel confident and keep money coming in.
  • Learn how to say NO. Nomadic spots usually are touristic areas where you’re meeting new people and everyone wants to socialize and have fun. Know when to say NO and stick to your guns. Maybe you only go out on weekends. Maybe you don’t ever work with friends. Maybe you have a threshold of ‘Minimum Acceptable Job Rate’ — i.e. you never accept a gig lower than $500. Saying NO can be your best friend 🙂
  • Find a coworking spot to post up in every location. Being around like minded people is priceless. Whether it’s friendly competition, collaboration, or work connections this will keep you work libido going strong.
  • Go. Just f#{$ing GO!

If you want to find out more about how to become a digital nomad you can check out my free digital nomad guide on my website Travel Developer.

Originally published at medium.com

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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