How To Become A Digital Nomad (no matter your age!)

When I explored the option of travelling and working remotely 14 years ago I’d never heard the term ‘digital nomad’.

I presume it existed, but it wasn’t as big of a trend as it is nowadays. As the years have passed and we’ve been bombarded with images of youngsters in bikinis and board shorts, galavanting across the globe, running through waterfalls and consuming floating pool breakfasts, the term has become synonymous with millennials & more recently Gen Zers.

But there’s a new and growing crowd in town!

Since Covid, remote work has exploded and along with it a new type of desired lifestyle, and not just just for the youthful adventurers. The 50+ crowd, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers alike, have started to carve out their own niche in this nomadic world.

This burgeoning group, now making up over 25% of all nomads, is reshaping the landscape. They’re bringing a wealth of experience, a touch of sophistication, and a dash of seasoned wisdom to the digital nomad community.

Working online and travelling the world is most assuredly not just for the young, and according to The Economist, an estimated 1 billion people could be nomads or location independent by 2035.

So, if you’re hesitating to jump on board, thinking you’re over the hill or past this kind of tomfoolery, think again!

We have never had the kind of technological opportunities we have today to literally generate an income from our pockets as we traverse the globe, and now, it’s your turn. Whether you’re 25 or 65, the digital nomad lifestyle is a tangible dream, ripe for the taking.

How My Husband, My Daughter & I Became Digital Nomads

14 years ago, my partner and I, tired of the cold & dreary UK winters, sold everything we owned (which wasn’t much), scooped up our four-year-old, jumped on a plane to Cyprus, and haven’t looked back since.

Some 40+ countries later, several 6 & 7 figure online businesses under our belt, and my daughter now 17, we’ve lived the lives of both digital nomad and ex-pat respectively ever since.

As I write this intro, I am sitting on a sunbed on a slightly windy beach at the beautiful Coconut Island beach resort in Phuket, Thailand.

my picture working using my laptop in front of the beach

In just a few weeks, when my daughter finishes high school, we plan to don backpacks and head off around the world adopting the digital nomad lifestyle once again.

I am 51 years old.

What is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely, from anywhere in the world. This could mean working from a coffee shop in Paris one week and a beachside villa in Bali the next.

The key here is the freedom and flexibility to choose your workplace, breaking free from the traditional office setting.

Digital nomads typically rely on the internet to connect with clients or manage their businesses, using tools and platforms that allow for communication, project management, and service delivery from any corner of the globe. This lifestyle is supported by a variety of jobs, from freelance writing and web design to online teaching and consulting services.

The beauty of this lifestyle lies in its adaptability. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee with a remote-friendly job, or a freelancer juggling multiple gigs, as long as you have a reliable internet connection and the tools of your trade, you’re set to go.

In essence, being a digital nomad is about merging work and travel, allowing you to explore new cultures and experiences while earning a living. It’s a lifestyle choice that values freedom, adventure, and the opportunity to live life on your own terms.

The fantastic thing about the internet and much-improved smartphones and laptops is that absolutely anyone can become a digital nomad. And you can do almost any type of work as well.

Below, I’m going to dive into much greater depth about the different ways to make money as a digital nomad.

But rest assured, no matter what your skills are or what you are passionate about, there is every opportunity for you to become a digital nomad if it appeals to you.

Whether that means working on a beach in Thailand or from your balcony at home in your pajamas. That part is up to you!

Why Now is the Best Time to Become a Digital Nomad

The allure of becoming a digital nomad has never been stronger. In a world where the lines between work and life blur, the freedom to blend the two on your own terms is not just appealing; it’s becoming essential for many.

Here are some compelling reasons why now is an opportune time to consider this lifestyle:

  1. Technological Advances: We live in an era where technology enables us to connect and work from virtually anywhere. High-speed internet, cloud-based tools, communication platforms and AI have made remote work not just possible but highly efficient. The digital infrastructure that supports the nomadic lifestyle is stronger and more accessible than ever.
  2. Shift in Work Culture: The traditional 9-to-5 work model is evolving. Companies are recognizing the value of remote work, not just as a necessity but as a sustainable model for the future. This shift has opened up new possibilities for those yearning to break free from the office cubicle and explore the world without sacrificing their careers.
  3. Global Networking: As a digital nomad, you’re not just working remotely; you’re expanding your global network. Every new destination is an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, learn from diverse cultures, and collaborate on international projects. This global networking can enrich your professional and personal life in unexpected ways.
  4. Personal Growth: Embracing the nomadic lifestyle is a journey of self-discovery. It challenges you to adapt, grow, and become more resilient. The experiences you gain from navigating different cultures and environments can foster a sense of independence and confidence that transcends into all areas of your life.
  5. Cost of Living Flexibility: One of the pragmatic aspects of being a digital nomad is the ability to choose your living costs. Depending on your destination, you can significantly reduce your expenses without compromising on quality of life. This financial flexibility can allow for a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
  6. Sustainability and Wellness: More people are seeking a sustainable lifestyle that prioritizes wellness, balance, and environmental consciousness. The digital nomad lifestyle can align with these values, offering a way to live more intentionally and mindfully.
  7. Life Beyond Borders: At its core, becoming a digital nomad is about creating a life that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries. It’s about crafting a personal and professional life that’s defined by freedom, choice, and the richness of global experiences.

In a world that’s rapidly changing, the digital nomad lifestyle offers a path to navigate these changes on your own terms. Whether you’re seeking adventure, personal growth, or a more flexible work-life balance, the time has never been better to explore what it means to be a digital nomad.

How to Make Money as a Digital Nomad

I believe that anyone and EVERYONE who wants to, can become a digital nomad.

These days no matter what your skills or passions, there is a way to monetize them online.

When I first started online some 14 years ago, I first built a following teaching people Facebook Marketing. I went on to launch a membership site and generated £117,000 in 7 days. As my site grew, I became an affiliate marketer, sold ebooks, dabbled in software, and made a lot of money over the years with video courses.

Eventually, I built a 7 figure Amazon business with my partner and subsequently bought and sold some Shopify businesses.

My latest project and the one that wraps my whole journey up and that I have very long-term plans for, is what you’re reading right now. My goal with The Working Traveller is to share my travel experiences and help you build your own source of monthly income that can fund world travel.

To learn more about how you can make money while traveling around the world as a digital nomad watch my video:

NB: This video is a few years old now and we’ve actually sold our Amazon business, but the principles and advice in the video is still very relevant!

Almost all online money making ideas tend to fit neatly into three very distinct categories.

  1. Creator Economy Business – monetizing digital content & products
  2. Service Based Businesses – providing a service
  3. Ecommerce – selling physical products

Strictly speaking, eCommerce refers to selling anything online, be it physical or digital products. But for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to group the sale of digital products into creator economy, keeping eCommerce as the sale of anything physical.

Let’s now look at each of these categories in a little more depth …

1. Creator Economy Business

Perhaps the broadest of the three categories, here are four main types of the creator economy.

The Educator

An educator is someone who provides information in exchange for money. This could include writing eBooks, creating courses, recording videos, hosting a podcast or writing blog posts. Anything that they can then package and sell for a fee.

The latest craze taking the internet world by storm is that of newsletters as a business.

Years ago, email marketing was part of your overall business strategy. These days, if you have a specific interest in a topic that has a passionate audience, you can grow a successful newsletter-centric business.

A prime example of this is The Hustle, a daily newsletter that curates engaging content on business and tech, delivering insights and trends directly to the inboxes of millions, effectively turning readers’ interests into a thriving business model.

This is just one example, of course. Other education models include, podcasting, online courses, youtube, blogging and more.

The Author

This is somebody who successfully packages information or stories into a book format. These books can be either digital or physical. There’s a lot of crossovers here with eCommerce.

And to be honest, when it comes to making money online, there are many crossovers!

A great example of a successful author is Joanna Penn. In recent years, she’s published dozens of books, many of which have become international bestsellers.

She writes a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and has leveraged her experience as a successful author to expand into the realms of information marketing.

  • How to market a book
  • How to make a living with your writing
  • Audio for authors

She teaches others how to become an author while diversifying her income into an entirely new market. If you want to go down this route of being a digital nomad, I recommend buying some of her books!

The Creative Penn - resources that help you write

The Creative Penn – resources that help you write and make a living with writing

The Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is when you get paid a commission for recommending somebody else’s product. These products could be physical or digital; it doesn’t matter.

As long as a reader clicks through an affiliate link online and then makes a purchase, the affiliate marketer will have made a percentage of the sale.

Initially built by Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com is a fantastic example of a successful affiliate marketing site.

Martin Lewis is a huge public figure in the UK, speaking out regularly on a wide range of financial topics, aimed at the every-day person who’d like to do a better job with their finances.

His rise to fame came alongside MoneySavingExpert.com, which is fundamentally an affiliate site though it may not be immediately apparent.

It covers a wide range of topics such as sourcing the best mortgage, consolidating credit card debts, and saving money on energy bills.

The overall end goal for most of his content is for readers to take action, such as picking a mortgage provider, choosing a new credit card, or switching to a new energy provider.

MoneySavingExpert then gets a commission for referring that customer to the chosen company.

The personal finance niche is perhaps one of the most profitable affiliate marketing niches (and also one of the most competitive).

In 2012, Martin Lewis sold the website to MoneySupermarket.com for a whopping £87 million! That’s roughly $120 million.

Money Saving Expert

MoneySavingExpert

The Influencer

The fourth category which is what the creator economy has become known for is becoming an influencer. Influencers tend to be associated with bikini clad youngsters, with tens of thousands of followers on Instagram or popular gamers on YouTube.

But these days it’s a huge industry spanning young and old, celebrity and person next door.

A couple of accounts that stand out are;

Celeste Barber – a comedienne who by parodying super models has grown to 9.6 million followers and worldwide acclaim

Jenna Kutcher – a Mum, entrepreneur and podcast host. Her tips on business, body positivity and living your best life have brought her over 1 million followers on Instagram alone.

Anyone can become an influencer and as there are so many different niches, interests and people online these days you don’t need millions of followers to be successful anymore.

Many brands and companies actively look for ‘micro influencers’, to endorse and promote their products as they tend to have a smaller but extremely engaged audience.

But promoting other people’s products isn’t the only way to monetize your influencer status. Both examples above sell their own brands and products alongside sponsorship deals.

The ideal scenario is to be a mix of all of the above diversifying your audience and your income streams, but no matter which you choose they all share one main secret to success and that is to have an engaged audience interested in you and your topic.

2. Service Based Business

This is more straightforward than many of the techniques mentioned above. Making money through services simply refers to doing a job for someone over the internet and getting paid for it.

You are essentially taking your skills and knowledge and selling them to people looking for those same services.

Here are 4 common routes for those looking to become a digital nomad and earn their living by utilizing their skillset.

Freelancing

This is the most straightforward and fastest way to get started. You are simply replacing your full time job, which requires you to be in one place, doing your prescribed tasks for a specific number of hours, for freelance work which you can do in your own time, picking the jobs you want to do and completing them from wherever you want in the world.

Typical freelancing work includes:

  • Copywriting
  • Social media management
  • Web development
  • Graphic design
  • Video editing
  • Virtual assistant
  • Accounting
  • Translating
  • Blog writing
  • SEO
  • and loads more

To get started as a self-employed freelancer, your best bet is to head to sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Here, you can create a profile and list the sort of work you are happy to do.

The more experience you have, the more you can charge.

You will likely need to start small and work your way up. As you build up positive reviews from clients, you can slowly increase your rates and pick and choose work you would prefer.

The freelance sites will earn a fee for all the projects you take on, but they’re a great way to get started.

Alternatively, you could leverage your existing client-base to find freelance work or ask friends and relatives if they know anyone looking to hire.

Upwork Main Landing Page

UpWork – start working as a freelancer

Starting an Agency

If you have a range of skills in one industry and don’t want to pigeon-hole yourself, why not start your own agency? Agencies provide an all-in-one solution, helping clients in a range of areas all under one roof.

For example, a digital marketing agency can help a company with tasks such as:

  • Writing new blog posts
  • Creating videos other types of content
  • Posting on social media
  • Getting publicity through other blogs/media outlets
  • Email marketing

It’s a step up from freelancing and offers the chance to build a team of people, rather than just being a solopreneur.

Coaching

If you’re an expert in your field and want to teach others how to do what you do, then coaching could be an excellent route to go down.

Depending on your experience you can coach people in literally anything, be it how to grow their business, how to be a better web designer, or how to find more happiness. For a quick rundown on the different coaching models and how to get started, check out my full coaching guide.

And for inspiration, I recommend checking out Tony Robbins. There is perhaps no better example of a successful life coach.

Ignite Your Life by Tony Robbins Main Landing page

Building a SaaS business

SaaS (Software as a Service) is a business model that requires you first to build a software tool and then license it out for others to use. There’s a good chance you use multiple SaaS tools yourself every day.

Big names in the industry include Salesforce, Shopify, and Hubspot.

With the advent of AI, it’s going to become easier than ever to create a software business with little to no coding knowledge required and in terms of profitability, developing a SaaS business can be extremely lucrative.

However, based on personal experience, I can tell you this … be wary of starting a SaaS business without some technical knowledge or deep pockets. It can end up being extremely expensive to bring your product to market and take a lot more capital than you first expect.

3. Ecommerce

The third category I want to talk about is Ecommerce.

As mentioned above, I’m referring here strictly to the sale of physical products.

So, can you start an eCommerce store while living as a digital nomad?

You sure can! Gone are the days of needing to be at your store every day at 6am to open the doors and welcome guests.

In fact, gone are the days of even needing to touch a single product you sell online. Sounds crazy right? Stay with me.

Plenty of nomads make a full-time living selling products through an eCommerce store and utilise market places, print on demand or dropshipping to handle the physical side of the business, namely production, stocking, distribution, etc.

That’s what my Amazon FBA business was all about. We built our Amazon business to more than $3 million worth of sales in just a few short years, and never had to touch a product.

The process goes something like this …

  • Negotiate with factories to produce a product to your specification.
  • A freight forwarding company organizes the transportation of the products to whichever countries you need.
  • Amazon takes hold of the product at their warehouses and handles everything else.

That’s it!

Customers find products through Amazon and make purchases. Amazon ships it to the customer and even handles returns if there are any issues.

If you want to build a successful eCommerce store independent of Amazon, this is also possible. Compared to working with Amazon, this can offer some unique benefits. Such as;

  • Higher profit margins
  • Full control of the customer experience
  • Greater ability to build a trusted brand

I’m not going to go into much more detail here, as the world of eCommerce and starting an online store is an incredibly in-depth topic. Just bear in mind that it’s entirely possible to sell anything you like.

It could be a product you’ve developed yourself, or it could be an existing product that you have dropshipped and branded as your own.

Your job is to remove yourself as much as possible from day-to-day minutia and focus instead on the big picture of bringing more people to your store and expanding into new product ranges.

You can read my full step-by-step guide to starting an ecommerce business here.

Also, watch my video walking through how to build an ecommerce business you can run from anywhere in the world.

How to Become a Digital Nomad in 8 Steps

Now I’ve walked through how many great ways there are to make money as a digital nomad, it’s time to get to work on actually becoming one!

Step 1 – Map Out Your Dream Lifestyle

This is a technique that I love to do once a year in early January. On my own, I take time to map out exactly where I see myself at the end of that year.

I like to be very visual here, describing the exact place I am, what I am doing, what I see, how I feel. The goal is to create a very clear vision of how I see my life one year from now.

I don’t go much further than a year as my life changes dramatically one month to the next let alone a year, but it’s always a good idea where possible to start with the end in mind as Stephen Covey says.

start with the end in mind quotes

A good strategy however, is to write out your bigger life goals and then create a very clear vision of where you’d like to be one year from now on route to those goals and then work back from there.

Here are some guiding questions to help you visualize a perfect day a year from now, in your dream lifestyle;

  • Where are you?
  • Who are you with?
  • How do you feel?
  • What are you doing that day?
  • How’s business?
  • What have you achieved this year?
  • What have you achieved personally?
  • How do you feel your year went?
  • How do you feel about the next year ahead?

Step 2 – Create Goals

I also love creating goals once a year, to steer my vision into reality.

I find that one year is far enough away to make some profound changes, but not so far that your dream seems unattainable.

And I can safely tell you that one year is plenty of time in which to become a digital nomad.

A very successful one at that.

And now you have your dream life in mind, you need to turn it into some tangible goals.

Your goals will help you turn your hazy dreams into reality. Whereas stage one was more about how you felt, this step is all about what needs to be done to make your dreams come to life.

For example, to achieve your visions of a nomadic lifestyle, you might need:

  • To be earning $5,000 a month
  • To be working no more than 20 hours a week
  • To have visited 5 countries
  • To be finished working every day at 4pm so you can spend the evenings with your family

These are just examples, but as you can see, they’re clear and tangible. You have a deadline of 12 months to reach them, and you can work backward in deciding out how you will hit them.

Goals like the following are simply not clear enough.

  • “I want to be making lots of money”
  • “I want to be skinnier”
  • “I want to be happier”

As a bonus step here, you can set yourself a BHAG. Big … Hairy … Audacious … Goal!

This is a ridiculously ambitious goal that you would really love to hit deep down in your wildest dreams. Dare to believe and dare to be outrageous.

Perhaps it’s to generate a million dollars, become a New York Times bestseller, or be invited to speak at a major conference. It doesn’t matter.

What do you want in your heart of hearts? Go ahead and add that to your list of goals.

The final step with this is to make these goals ever-present in your life. Becoming a digital nomad is a big shift, both mentally and physically, so the more you can keep your why, your dreams and your biggest goals front and center of your mind, the better chance you have of continuously moving in the right direction and not getting side tracked by life!

I have my goals as a screensaver on my phone, maybe they’re pinned to the top of your notes app, a sign on your bathroom mirror or taped to your fridge. Wherever makes the most sense to you.

Your goal is to be reading, consuming, and visualising your ideal life and dreams as often as you can.

Step 3 – Decide Your Ideal Business Model

You’ve come this far, so now would be a good time to start making some big decisions and getting on the road to your new nomadic lifestyle.

It’s time to decide how you would most like to earn your living.

If you read the first section of this post, perhaps you are already filled with inspiration. If not, scroll back up and give it a read.

To recap, there are 3 main ways to make money as a digital nomad.

  1. Creator Economy
  2. Services
  3. Ecommerce

There is no right answer here. Everyone is different, and everyone will have a different preference as to which one they choose.

If you’re still really unsure, here are some things to consider …

  • What do you love doing? Cooking, teaching, web design, helping less privileged people, yoga, playing video games, exercising. List out all the things you love doing.
  • What are you good at? List all the things you are skilled at. This could be a skill, such as carpentry or graphic design, or a character trait, such as leadership or motivating others.
  • What will people pay you to do? Remember, earning money online doesn’t necessarily require someone to physically hand you cash for a service. It could include companies paying you for ad revenue or promoting their products.

If you answer each of these questions fully, then you should start to see some crossover. The ideal opportunities for you lie at the intersection of all three of these questions.

Also, check out my list of 190 online lifestyle business ideas. I’m sure you’ll find something you’d be willing to go for!

The best way to make money online is to do something you love, do something you’re good at, and have a way to monetize it. For example …

  • I love helping others to build dream lifestyle businesses and travel the world.
  • I’m a content creator at heart and love writing blog posts, making videos, recording podcasts. etc.
  • I monetize via affiliate offers, sponsorship, courses, books & products.

Intersection? The blog you are reading right now!

Step 4 – Begin Your Journey TODAY

journey of a thousand miles quotes

You don’t have to alter every aspect of your life all in one go.

Becoming a digital nomad doesn’t require you to pack up your belongings, head straight to the airport, jump on a flight and go to Jamaica without any idea of how you will actually make money.

In fact, this is the LAST thing I would expect you to do. That’s coming from someone who loves the idea of making big changes in life (and kind of did exactly that, except to Cyprus, not Jamaica).

Instead, what I mean is that you should immediately start taking small steps to begin your life as a digital nomad. The best way to do that is to start making efforts to earn money online.

That could mean launching your new eCommerce store, signing up to Fiverr, looking for people to coach, or finding a developer for your SaaS product.

Remember, being a digital nomad doesn’t require you immediately start travelling.

You can be a digital nomad in the same place you are right now. And by starting your new business, you have the chance to dip your toe in the water and see if it is viable.

If not, great!

Rather than being 5,000 miles away in an apartment, looking at a rapidly dwindling bank balance, you are instead at home, ready to try a new idea.

While I started my online adventure, we rapidly transitioned to a travelling lifestyle. I honestly had no idea of how I was going to make money online.

This was a pretty stressful experience, and we found ourselves chained to our laptops for 12 hours a day, terrified that our new lifestyle was just one big house of cards about to collapse at any minute. In fact, as credit card debts began to pile up, there were moments we considered giving the whole thing up!

Thankfully we kept going, and the rest is history. So, I urge you to take those first steps and make changes TODAY. Once things become profitable, you’ll be in a fantastic position to follow the next steps.

Step 5 – Decide Where You Want to Travel

This isn’t an obligatory step. Perhaps you simply want to catch the next flight to anywhere and see where it leads!

However, it’s worth thinking about the sorts of places you would like to live in or visit over the coming years.

There is no one set rule to follow here. You might take on the traditional nomad backpacking lifestyle hopping from one place to another, you might prefer the slomad lifestyle (that’s my preferred lifestyle), or you may want to keep a home base and just have lots of extended trips through the year. The choice is yours!

Like us, right now as our daughter is at school, we’ve spent much of our year in our home in Phuket, Thailand. And then used this as a base for shorter trips elsewhere around Asia. Sometimes, these trips ended up being months-long, sometimes just a few days.

Now my daughter will be finishing school, we’ll start a new life on the move, spending just a few days or weeks in each new city or town or village before moving on to the next one, living a backpacker lifestyle full time.

Another option of course is to take your home with you! The rise of Covid led to a massive surge in the number of van lifers out there. People who bought a campervan or converted one themselves and then used it to travel and work.

This option saves a lot of money on accommodation while offering total freedom over where you park up each day.

If this option appeals to you, check out my friend Bradley’s site, where he and his partner Cazzie do exactly this. They converted a campervan and now live in it full time while running their travel blog and YouTube vlog.

Step 6 – Buy The Right Equipment

If you are new to the realm of making money online, then you’re going to need to invest in the right equipment/tools. Regardless of how you decide to earn your living, you will need:

A laptop

These days, you get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to buying laptops.

However, if you’re just starting, then they may seem relatively expensive. Look at it this way; your laptop is the most critical asset in your arsenal for making money online.

A low-quality device will make working online a chore and greatly slow you down in the long run.

I’m not going to recommend any specific laptops, as I don’t have that much experience, and it depends on what you plan on doing.

If you just need to carry out more basic tasks, like emailing or writing, then you won’t need something as high spec as someone building websites. It’s best to do some research online to see what others in your chosen niche are using.

NB: I use a small 12inch MacBook. I love it, as it fits in my handbag. Ideal for travel 🙂

WiFi/data

If you plan on living in the same place for a few weeks or months at a time, then make sure that your chosen hotel/apartment has good WiFi.

Common nomad destinations, like Chiang Mai, have great broadband connections almost everywhere, including when working in cafes.

But other more remote destinations that don’t have the infrastructure and limited accommodation choices may not have WiFi connections up to the task.

If you plan on moving around a lot, it’s worth picking up a local sim with a high number of gigabytes of data. That way, you can just hotspot yourself when on the move and work from anywhere.

AIS - Traveller SIM for digital nomads

AIS – traveller sim card for digital nomads in Thailand.

Two years ago, we were lucky enough to be invited on a boat trip to French Polynesia. We picked up a mobile dongle at the airport and were able to get a signal from way out in the Pacific. That’s how good they are these days.

Website

Your website’s complexity will depend mainly on what sort of business route you decide to go down.

If you’re opening an eCommerce store, then you can build one yourself with a tool like Shopify. Or instead, pay a developer to make you something more bespoke.

Shopify online shop tool for digital nomads Main landing page

Create an eCommerce website with Shopify

If you are offering courses, consulting, or other services, then a professional website is useful to serve as your online portfolio. You can get started with a simple WordPress site and update it in the future by paying a developer.

If your business is going to be all about blogging and expanding into other services from there, then spend some effort getting a professional site love from the outset. For more help, check out my guide on how to start a blog.

Email

When starting, a free email account with Gmail or Outlook will be sufficient.

Once you become more established, however, you’ll need a custom email account, which you’ll get when you purchase a hosting package and set up your website. You’ll then be able to use the URL of your website in your email address.

Business bank account

It’s a smart idea to separate your business and personal finances. I’m not going to go into the realm of advising on business banking here, as it’s personal depending on where you are from.

But, if you are going to be receiving payment from abroad, then your best bet is probably Wise. They offer the best foreign exchange rates and allow you to open up a local bank account in dozens of different currencies.

TransferWise - Sending money from abroad for digital nomads Main landing page

TransferWise – Sending money abroad for digital nomads

If you’re going to be living & working abroad, then be sure to get a personal travel banking card as well.

Depending on where you are from, you have a few choices here. Revolut and Monzo are becoming increasingly popular for travelers from Europe and even the USA.

Alternatively, your current credit card provider may offer travel banking solutions and even give you perks for booking. It’s best to look into what’s your best choice locally.

Other equipment

There are plenty of other things to buy, but this will depend so much on where you plan on living, what work you want to do, and which country you are from. Be sure to consider things like:

  • Visas
  • Passport
  • Travel insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Luggage
  • Clothing
  • Travel tech (camera, drone, GoPro, etc)

Step 7 – Eliminate Existing Ties

One of the biggest things stopping people from becoming a digital nomad is “giving up” existing parts of their lives.

Unfortunately, it is a trade-off. If your dream is to work remotely and live in different parts of the world, you will need to give up some of the things that tie you down, such as houses and cars.

If you are financially stable already, there’s no reason you can’t keep your house and rent it out. For many, this can serve as a great way to diversify your income source.

However, for just as many others, paying a huge mortgage every month is one of the most significant expenses weighing them down. And by cutting this out, you’ll be surprised just how cheaply you can live.

Monthly rent in many countries around the world is far less than the monthly mortgage or rental payments in western countries.

If your plan is to head abroad and live the digital nomad lifestyle for a few years or more, you will need to arrange a plan to sell many of your belongings or put them into long-term storage.

One of the beauties of traveling long term is realizing just how few of these things you actually use or need.

Trust me when I say, a minimalist lifestyle is incredibly enjoyable and freeing.

When we left in 2010, we listed everything we owned for sale on Gumtree (the UK equivalent of Craigs List) and sold the lot within a week! As we had decided to pack up and leave so quickly, we did end up almost giving some things away, and from our sofas, beds, drawers, books, CDs, daughters toys, kitchen equipment, etc., we only walked away with about $1000!

You have the opportunity to be far more prepared than we were and get a much greater return for some of your possessions.

If parting with things that you have thought to be important to you for so long is a scary thought, then it’s best to take baby steps. Head to online stores like eBay and list a few items that you know you don’t need anymore and start to sell them.

This process does become easier and can be done over a few months as you start to make more money online and become more prepared to become a full-time digital nomad.

Before traveling abroad, here’s a list of things you may need to deal with:

  • Selling or leasing your home
  • Handing in your rental notice
  • Handing your notice in at your current job
  • Canceling direct debits (gym, food deliveries, etc)
  • Selling unnecessary items
  • Putting other items into storage
  • Making friends and relatives aware of your plans

Step 8 – Revisit Your Plan Regularly

Congratulations! If you’ve taken a few weeks or months to follow these steps and make changes in your life slowly, there’s a good chance you are already a digital nomad or certainly on your way!

It can be an entirely different experience for everyone, but no less liberating. You now have the chance to live your dream lifestyle all on your own.

The final step I encourage you to take is to revisit your plan and try new ideas regularly.

What do I mean by this?

The world is always changing. The way you make money today as a nomad may be entirely different in 5 or 10 years. Stay alert to evolving trends and try to get ahead of the curve.

Just look at my journey over the last 14 years. It started purely on social media, helping newcomers to Facebook find organic ways to build their email lists. It grew into a membership site, affiliate marketing, coaching, a multi-million dollar Amazon FBA business and finally into my dream business of helping 50+ nomadic solopreneurs build a business that gives you the freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world.

And what a rollercoaster it has been!

If you’re not sure what it is you really want to do yet, don’t worry! Just get started and a world of opportunites will unfold before you. As Marie Forleo says – ‘clarity comes from action‘.

How to Become a Digital Nomad – Summary

In the journey to becoming a digital nomad, remember, the most significant step is the first one out your front door.

You’ve armed yourself with the knowledge, strategies, and insights needed to transform your work and life into a global adventure. The road less traveled isn’t just a path you walk on; it’s a lifestyle choice that opens up the world in ways you’ve never imagined.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take it one step at a time. Start with a short trip, a new project, or even just a conversation with a fellow nomad. The community is vast, supportive, and always welcoming to those who share the spirit of adventure and independence.

Remember, the best time to start is now. Your journey to becoming a digital nomad isn’t just about the places you’ll visit, but along the way you’ll discover a new way of being, working, and connecting with the world.

So, what’s your next destination?


Subscribe to the Working Traveller Newsletter and alongside weekly money making and nomadic lifestyle tips, get instant access to my FREE ebook – 200+ Ways to Generate an Income While Travelling the World!

Free ebook image - 200+ ways to generate an income while travelling the world

Digital Nomad FAQ

How much do digital nomads make?

Digital nomads make anywhere between a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. The sky’s the limit with how much you can earn.

Yes, being a digital nomad is 100% legal. You just need to follow the same principles as you would working in a regular job, such as paying taxes.

Google ‘accountancy services for digital nomads’ in your home country. As this is such an expanding area, there are specialists who can guide you to ensure you’re living above the law no matter where in the world you visit.

How do digital nomads make a living?

There are a multitude of ways to make money as a digital nomad. I like to group them into three categories for ease of understanding and to help solopreneurs & digital nomads quickly and easily see which business model is best for them.

The categories are information marketing, offering services, and ecommerce. Above, I go into much greater depth about what jobs are available under each of these categories.

What skills do I need to become a digital nomad?

All digital nomads need basic computer skills, as well as self-motivation and creativity. Beyond this, it depends on what work you plan on doing.

If you have skills from previous employment, then these can usually be transferred towards a digital career.

How much money do you need to be a nomad?

To become a nomad, you need enough money to get you started in whatever job it is you choose to do. For example, if you want to become a copywriter, you need enough money to buy a laptop and pay for your other monthly expenses, like rent and food.

Other Useful Resources for Building a Digital Nomad Lifestyle

I’ve compiled a list of useful resources from around the web, to help you in different elements of building your digital nomad lifestyle.

Banking

Visas, Taxes, Insurance

Online Communities

Packing

Family life

Productivity

How to Start Your Digital Nomad Journey Today!

There are many ways to become a digital nomad as I’ve discussed throughout the article.

You may choose to start your own website or blog, sell products on Etsy, Amazon, or your own online store, become a YouTuber or Instagram Influencer, or start your own Joe Rogan style podcast.

The world is truly your oyster in the online digital world we currently live in.

However, the fastest route to becoming a digital nomad is undoubtedly freelancing.

Assess your skill sets. What are you good at? What do you love to do? Where can you add value?

Perhaps you’re a great writer, good at graphic design, love to edit videos, or are a master at TikTok!

Maybe you’re a project manager, a consultant, a career advisor, or work in a legal firm.

Whatever you do, there is someone out there who needs your services on a contractual basis.

Use sites like upwork.com and fiverr.com to pitch your services and start to work your own hours from wherever you want in the world.

Then when you’re ready, you can turn your freelance work into a fully-fledged business that funds your lifestyle.

Anyone can do this, given enough time and dedication.

So go for it! You could be on a plane tomorrow. Good luck!

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊