If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a digital nomad and leaving your worries behind to explore distant lands, never fear that your dream is only a dream due to Covid, lack of funds, family ties, or that you’re getting too old.
Now is the time to start preparing to turn your dream into a reality, and the good news is, there’s no better time!
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How My Husband, My Daughter & I Became Digital Nomads
Eleven 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 35 countries later, several 6 & 7 figure online businesses under our belt, and my daughter now 16, 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. (Due to Covid, we’re pretty much the only ones here).
In the not too distant future, when my daughter finishes her iGCSE’s, we plan to don backpacks and head off around the world adopting the digital nomad lifestyle once again.
I am 48 years old. Digital Nomadism isn’t just for the youngsters!
What is a Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad is anyone who can work and earn their livelihood online, freeing up the time to work from anywhere they like!
Many people think of a digital nomad as some twenty-year-old sitting on a beach in Bali, sipping cocktails and making millions.
Though I’m sure this is the case with some, it certainly doesn’t apply to all of us!
Many people choose to work and travel full time, while others are happy to maintain their usual lifestyle but enjoy greater flexibility over how many hours they work each week.
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: 7 Reasons
As I write this, I’m locked down in Phuket, Thailand. Thankfully we’re fairly Covid free because the government shut down all the international airports back in March 2020 and hasn’t let anyone in since!
However, it means we can’t leave as they won’t let us back in, and frankly, there aren’t too many other places in the world I’d rather be right now.
Sounds scary though, right? Locked down in a foreign land, unable to escape with no clue about what the future holds!
There is no argument the last few months have been a nightmare for so many on this planet. The world has been thrown into disarray with no one quite sure what they should do when they should do it, or what will happen next.
But with every challenge, there comes opportunity and if you’ve been thrust into working from home and are now dreading going back to the office, that opportunity couldn’t be clearer.
This is the perfect time to ditch your 9-to-5, escape the rat race, and become a digital nomad.
Who doesn’t love a good quad long shot grande in a venti cup half calf double cupped no sleeve salted caramel mocha latte with two pumps of vanilla two pumps of white chocolate mocha and two pumps of hazelnut toffee?
Digital nomad workplace in Starbucks. Source: Pixabay
Imagine being able to work from Starbucks every day! Rock up, get your favorite seat by the window, the one with the plug under the table, set up your workstation, order your favorite drink, and away you go, my friend – seventh heaven, right there in a coffee cup.
2. You Have The Time
With many of us spending so much time at home right now, there’s never been a better time to start building an income online.
Step away from Bridgerton or dreaming of becoming the next Bear Grylls and consider getting your blog off the ground or growing an eCommerce business so now that the world has reopened, you’re ready to take full advantage of it.
Use your time wisely and take advantage of the fact you’re stuck inside with nowhere to go.
3. You Have The Experience
If your boss has had you working from home over the past few months in light of the current chaos, then they’ve given you an invaluable gift:experience.
You’ve been learning how to manage your time out of the office and how to communicate with your coworkers and boss remotely. You’ve gained invaluable experience in dealing with challenges across the web rather than face to face.
You’ve likely become a Zoom or Google Meets expert and started to get your head around online project management tools.
Starting a Business Checklist in Asana – a project management tool
No matter what you’ve learned, I guarantee by working from home, you’ve gathered a whole bunch of transferable skills that’ll help you on your journey to becoming a digital nomad.
4. You Have The Discipline
The hardest part of being a digital nomad is staying disciplined. It can be tough to find the motivation you need to work when you’re sitting on a beach sipping from a coconut.
The same can be said for sitting at home with Netflix at the click of a button!
But, if you’ve been working from home lately, it’s likely armed you with the discipline to do what you need to do when you need to do it.
Now you simply need to transfer those skills to work on your own side hustle.
5. Your Wallet’s Feeling a Little Light
Unfortunately, a lot of us have had to take a big financial hit recently.
Starting your own lifestyle business now will not only supplement your income but put you in a position to give up your job when the time is right.
And if you’ve been learning to live frugally through these challenging times, you could probably use an opportunity to reduce your monthly expenses when this is all over, right?
Well, digital nomadism can help with that. As a nomad, you’ll be able to relocate to somewhere with a much lower cost of living. You can live comfortably for under $1000/month in countries like Thailand and Vietnam while you replenish your savings pot.
And speaking of saving money…
6. The World is Changing
So many more companies are employing people from home, so many more people are working from home and we have a mental health epidemic that’s making people question whether they even want to work for someone else anymore.
For your own sanity, becoming a digital nomad and being a master of your own destiny is the way forward!
7. You Love Spending Time With Your Family
The chances are over the last few months, you’ve seen more of your family than ever before. For some, this may have been a stressful experience. Still, for many, this has brought families closer together, as the extra time has allowed for a deeper connection and understanding of each other.
We have a 14-year-old daughter and have been traveling as a family since she was four years old. And even though we went the traditional route of sending her to schools in the different places we have lived because our time is ours, we have been at every play, musical event, sports day, and parent-teacher meet.
Becoming a digital nomad isn’t just about travel.It’s about being able to work from anywhere on your own terms.
To be truly present in your child’s life is a gift that you can give yourself starting today.
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 11 years ago, I first built a following teaching people Facebook Marketing. I went on to launch a membership site and generated 7,000 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 blog and helping others build their own lifestyle businesses they can run from anywhere in the world.
To learn more about how you can make money while traveling around the world as a digital nomad watch my video:
But let’s say you already have a successful offline career that you’d love to develop online, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere.
As a quick example, let’s look at somebody who has spent the last 20 years of their life working in real estate.
This person has built up a vast knowledge of how to sell houses and understands how real estate markets work, how to invest, and how much money can really be made in this arena.
Now, from a random hotel room, 5,000 miles from home, how can this individual leverage this 20 years of experience to make money online?
Here are 3 ideas that immediately spring to mind:
Start a blog – Here, they talk about everything they have learned. They can monetize via advertising revenue and affiliate income to recommend useful products readers can buy. They could even expand into writing courses or eBooks that they can then promote through their blog. These can delve into great depth on very particular topics on real estate. Why is this so lucrative? Building these products can be very labor-intensive, but once they are done, they can be sold repeatedly with little to no expense of time or money.
Start consulting – They can start a service-based business where all they do is work directly with people looking to get started in the world of real estate investment. High-level consultants can get paid hundreds of dollars an hour for imparting expertise on very niche topics that less-experienced people need.
Selling physical products – An obvious avenue to go down here would be to write and publish a book on real estate investment. This book could be on any aspect of real estate. A great example that springs to mind is Property Investment For Beginners, by Rob Dix. This guy has spent years building his own portfolio of properties and condensed everything he has learned into a straightforward book for beginners. The book can then be sold, not only through Amazon, but any other physical or digital bookstore.
Jo Barnes is the founder and creator of Your Lifestyle Business and The Working Traveller. Blogs and brands dedicated to helping lifestyle entrepreneurs build a business that funds their ideal lifestyle and gives them the freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world.
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! 😊