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How to Become a Digital Nomad as a Freelancer

How to become a digital nomad
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Have you always been envious of people posting on social media from sandy beaches, laptop next to a coconut wearing nothing but tank tops and shorts using hashtags #worklife or #digitalnomad?

If the thought of working remotely by the ocean intrigues you, then maybe becoming a digital nomad might be the thing for you!

You see, being a freelancer doesn’t necessarily mean you are tied to your “home office” to deliver work. As long as you’ve got a functional laptop and good Wi-Fi to connect to, you can work from anywhere in the world and make a good income. Even though it all sounds woo-woo to you and easy for me to say, we are living in times where becoming a digital nomad might be much easier and necessary.

In the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed a surge in remote work positions, especially since the Covid pandemic. With life being more uncertain than ever, worldwide recession on the brink, and inevitable wars, many individuals including companies have decided to go the remote working route. So, as freelancers, the ability to work wherever and whenever is ideal in these circumstances.

If you’re the type of person who wants to live that life of excitement and freedom, I’ve put together a guide on some of my best tips for becoming a digital nomad. And F.Y.I., these aren’t specific paths you need to take, but rather to give you a sense of direction.

But first…

Related Reads:

Pinterest Pin How To Become A Digital Nomad

What Is A Digital Nomad?

Simply put, a digital nomad is someone who makes a living working remotely (primarily online) while traveling the world. An important point to note is that being a digital nomad is not a job but rather a lifestyle. It can be applied to anyone who has the ability to do work or run a business online as long as they have access to their “work equipment” and Wi-Fi.

To give you a perspective, around 4.3 million are remote workers in the US alone. And by 2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote employees.

Being a digital nomad is about creating a balance between work and having adventures, fun, and excitement. Some freelancers make $10-$15K a year and prefer simple lifestyles living in countries like Indonesia or Thailand, while there are others that prefer making 6-figure a month and live a baller lifestyle traveling to places like London, Paris, or Monaco.

Whatever your income goals are, being a digital nomad gives you a wide range of options to travel and work from any corner of the world.

Cool Benefits Of Being A Digital Nomad

Now that you know why there are people out there who pursue this lifestyle, let’s look at some of the reasons why you would want to be a digital nomad:

Health and well-being should be everyone’s number 1 priority I believe. And enjoying a good quality of life for a lot less money will certainly provide that for you. As I mentioned above, you don’t need to be making big bucks to get started. There are countries out there where you can enjoy an amazing way of life by spending no more than $1,000. Don’t fall into the false impression that there won’t be the so-called “facilities” that you have in the west. Every country has its own unique offerings that you wish you had back home.

In your digital nomad journey, you often will connect with many like-minded individuals. There are so many active communities around the globe where members are open for collaboration and helping each other out. A great place to search is on Facebook groups. Many of them offer great advice and tips, insights on different cultures, answering lots of practical questions,… etc.

Another great advantage of being a digital nomad is that you get to discover new parts of the world that are full of surprises, try local cuisines, and immerse yourself in cultural activities. There are studies showing that people who spend money on experiences rather than on things are much happier. And that’s what being a digital nomad is about!

Setting your own time schedule for work and for your time-offs is a luxury you’ll experience first-hand. What always seemed impossible to have will be given to you on a silver platter. It’s up to you if you want to work in the early mornings till noon and enjoy the rest of your day or work late nights. Whatever seems the most convenient to you.

Going geo-arbitrage! Meaning earning the same or more money as you used to back home and taking the advantage of living a higher standard in a cheaper country. That’s why you see many people move to nomad hubs like Indonesia and Thailand living to their fullest.

Since you’re location-dependent, you can experiment with living in different places and choose the ones you like most. The majority of people take a vacation only once or twice a year. While as a nomad, on the other hand, you can travel all year around.

The Challenges Of Being A Digital Nomad

Getting started living a nomadic lifestyle can be daunting. As amazing as it sounds to travel the world and work anywhere, you need to constantly remind yourself that all of this can come to a halt without notice. Here are some of the downsides:

A common challenge with being a digital nomad is not having a stable income. One month you may earn an absurd amount of income and then the next couple of months may not bring you any money at all. That’s why it’s important, especially in the very beginning to choose an affordable destination and be intentional with your money.

Then you have taxes… Dealing with them can be complicated when you’re a digital nomad. If you’re staying in a foreign country for a long time, that country might assume that you’re becoming a tax resident there.

Since you are going to be on the road most of the time: you can’t own a lot of stuff. Forget about owning furniture! You have to be okay with packing a limited amount of clothes, essentials, and most important of all, your work tools. And if somehow you get all excited going on a shopping spree, most of the stuff may need to be sold or left behind in a storage unit somewhere.

Being a nomad can get you carried away with either too much work paired with too little fun or vice versa! It can be quite intimidating to stick to a strict schedule as work and leisure time can overlap sometimes.

And finally the most important of all, if you’ve reached a destination where there isn’t really a good internet connection, this might be a real issue for you as a digital nomad, especially when you need to do video calls often.

How Digital Nomads Make Money

As a digital nomad, you can make money either by working for a company with a remote contract. Or you can have your own company and make money selling digital products or offering virtual services.

Here are some common “virtual” services you can provide as a digital nomad:

  • Virtual Assistant / Personal Assistant
  • Copywriting & Creative Writing
  • Social Media Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Programming
  • Mobile App development
  • Digital Marketing services such as SEO, social media ads,…
  • Coaching & Mentoring
  • HR services such as recruiting, payroll, …
  • Project & Team management

How To Become A Digital Nomad in 2022

If you are willing to give this lifestyle a shot, understand that it’s not going to be an easy ride – especially if haven’t got a lot of experiences under your belt. The most favorable route that people take is either getting started with remote work or freelancing. This gives you the freedom on working on your own term, build some experience and discover your niche.

Let’s look at some of the tips to get you started on how to become a digital nomad.

1. Start A Remote Work/Job

If you have identified the skills you are good at and know there’s a demand for them in the market, it’s time to monetize them. Scout the internet or ask through friends/family for projects that can help you gain experiences and make you money. Freelancing has become one of the most sought-after jobs post-pandemic (I talk about how to get started with freelancing here!).

2. Build A Portfolio

If you want to sign clients that are going to pay for the type of lifestyle that you want, having a portfolio that shows what you’re truly capable of is essential (check out my blog post here where I teach you how to create your portfolio, with a free template!).

3. Be Part Of A Digital Nomad Community

What better way to start your journey than to connect with like-minded individuals who have been there where you are right now? There are countless groups, forums, and meetups where you can get information on the ins and outs of living a nomad life.

What’s more, is that you can grow your freelance business and get critical feedback on how to run things. Try reaching out to professionals in your specific industry who could help boost your career to new heights. The more you connect with the right people the higher chances of you getting referrals and recommendations for future work.

4. Determine Location

Decide where you want to set up your business/remote work. Understand the rules and tax regulations of your target destination.

For instance, if you’re based out of Europe and want to access the European market and banking system, running your company in Estonia might be a great option with their e-residency program. The e-residence program allows you to start your company there WITHOUT having to live there, which is very interesting since it has a very low tax rate. Or there are several other countries like Germany, Brazil, and Portugal that provide Freelance or digital nomad visas.

5. Get A Travel Insurance

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Mishaps happen and having insurance can help cover all that trouble for you. You want to make sure the plans that you choose to cover – your health, travel, and belongings. Depending on your destination, check out what sort of insurance are mandatory to have.

Fortunately, there are several medical insurances for digital nomads/freelancers. Some of the most popular ones are World Nomads and SafetyWing.

6. Streamline Your Digital

You need to determine the most optimal payment services in order to get paid when working remotely. Platforms like PayPal, Wise, and Stripe allow you to easily withdraw funds at little extra charge. Getting an international credit card with banking systems like N26 or Revolut is great allowing you to save money on currency exchange rates.

In addition, VPNs and accounting software are great tools to streamline your business. A VPN allows you to access restricted sites than cannot be accessed in certain countries while keeping your information secure from cyber-attacks. Accounting software on the other hand helps you keep track of your cash flow.


Go to and research your ideal digital nomad destinations. This website rates cities worldwide on a whole range of factors such as cost of living, safety, weather, fun, and friendliness of the locals…

8. Get Rid Of All That “Baggage”

If your plan is to remotely work and travel the world, you know for a fact that you’ve got to leave all those physical possessions behind or stored away in storage.

Selling and donating your stuff can be discomforting but it’s a great way to callous your mind to not create attachments to physical objects. Some find it therapeutic to give away stuff to people who need it the most.

9. Save Some Money

Once your freelance business starts flourishing, it’s good to save up some cash before you start your newfound adventure. Have enough in your savings to cover some of your expenses in case things go south and spend only on what’s necessary.

Living in a foreign land is a risk in itself and you probably won’t have close friends or family members around. Separate some funds for emergency use only.

10. Take The Leap!

So, what are you waiting for? If you’ve got all the above points covered, then it’s time to take action and live that digital nomad lifestyle you always dreamt about. There will always be events and moments in life that are going to stop you from pursuing your dream. It’s how you respond to them that will determine your path.

To conclude, anyone can make money online and be a digital nomad these days. Whether you want to run an agency, be a highly paid copywriter or sell online courses, it’s all possible.

Related Reads:

Are you a digital nomad? What’s the most amazing experience you’ve had on your journey? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. S.M. says:

    This is amazing, I would totally do this if I had the luxury to do so. Amazing tips! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Alex says:

    I love this idea! I wish I knew about it before I became an engineer. But hey, it’s never too late to take the leap right?

  3. Awesome post with tons of helpful advice! Thanks for sharing!

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