Learn How You Can Become a Digital Nomad as an Expat Abroad
For a number of reasons, people become “expatriates” (that is, people who live outside their native country), and this process of becoming an expat happens in many ways./
One of the most recent and popular ways to become an expat has materialized through a number of technological innovations, and that is to become an expat as a “digital nomad.”
What is a digital nomad?
This is a term used for a person who is “location independent,” and relies on technology to perform his or her job. The great thing about being a digital nomad is you can work virtually anywhere, allowing you to move easily between countries and regions.
How exactly do you begin to become a digital nomad?
It seems to be an appealing life, one where you can travel and work simultaneously. Imagine sitting on a beach somewhere in Thailand working on your laptop (while also working on your tan!) The thing that digital nomads have in common is that they usually spend months in a year traveling while working online. But it takes a lot of hard work to reach a point where you can both work and travel.
As a recent movement that works for many, it can be rewarding. but there’s usually some confusion about how to live this lifestyle.
We’ve put together five core things you need to do if you’re interested in becoming a digital nomad. There’s a lot of hard work involved, but these five steps will help to set you up for success.
1. Be creative.
There isn’t one blueprint that everyone can follow in order to get the digitally savvy life of independence that so many (particularly the millennial population) dream of. Everyone arrives at the digital nomad lifestyle through a unique path.
In order to find out which route to go, figuratively and literally as well as digitally, to become a digital nomad, you have to figure out where your strengths lie and come up with a creative way to make that work for you.
Are you good at graphic design? Blogging? Photography? Are you good at creating communities online through your relationship-building or networking skills? Let that work to your advantage and help leverage you on your way to becoming a digital nomad.
2. Join a digital nomad community.
There are tons of people who are doing this and have been in the same situation as you before – figuring out where to begin and how to start travelling while working online. Find these people and learn from them. Use them as resources and as peers who are like-minded. They have a wealth of information on how to start reducing your ties to your current location, where to find new homes for cheap, how to find a creative way to earn money online to fund your travels, etc.
3. Decide on how you’re going to earn money.
You need money to travel. Start by freelancing through your graphic design, photography, or blogging skills, or work or study abroad. These are ways to start traveling and get you on the path to becoming a digital nomad. While studying and working abroad is less risky than trying to earn your way by being a freelancer, it’s not as easy to be location-independent. It may take you longer. So weigh the pros and cons. Generally, it makes sense to secure your contracts or employment before you leave from a company that is accepting of your digital nomad existence while living abroad.
4. Figure out how you want to live.
If you’re interested in having solitude and quiet, and wish to retreat somewhere, go for it! Or if you’re a social butterfly and need to be around people to thrive, then go for that. But make sure you know what you want.
Have a look at our country and city guides to get more of an overview of regions in the world that Expat Financial provides medical coverage for.
This includes researching where to live, the currency, and the culture of your destination (for some areas that are more conservative, you want to dress appropriately). It makes sense to make sure you are living in an area that is safe and secure, has excellent internet coverage and speed, inexpensive housing and for some a great climate and interesting culture.
6. Get international medical coverage BEFORE you become a digital nomad
International health insurance coverage is essential for anybody becoming an expat, no matter where they’re going or for how long. If you are a digital nomad, there is a good chance your employer will not provide health coverage for you or will ask you to obtain your own. In fact, most digital nomads are self-employed or working on a consulting basis, so you most likely need to obtain adequate global health coverage to cover unexpected medical expenses, evacuation, dental and more. Digital nomads can easily obtain a quote for excellent international medical insurance from our insurance partners. Our most popular global medical policy for digital nomads is the Cigna Global Health Options plan. It is vital that digital nomads obtain a high-quality plan and also discuss their needs with us if required.
Expat Financial provides international health, life, disability and travel insurance to expats (for both those who are interested in going abroad and those who are already living abroad). Contact us today to get have your questions answered and obtain a quote online.