The Digital Nomad Life

Date:September 14, 2019
Time:2 min read

Digital Nomad Life

There's been a lot of buzz about the digital nomad life. Social media has spread images of people work on beaches, working in exotic locations around the world, etc. It's the dream, right?

I explored the digital nomad life a while ago. Here are some questions I'd suggest you consider if you want to explore this too:

  • How do you travel?
  • What are your typical costs?
  • Will the work sourced from your digital nomad life be enough to sustain your travel costs?
  • How often will you be on the road vs. stationary?
  • Is this enough time to see what you want to see at your given location and complete work for your clients?
  • How many hours are you setting aside for work vs. play?
  • Are your rates able to sustain your travels?

And so on, and so on. Think through these kinds of questions and either type them up or write them in a journal. It's important that your reasons for moving into this lifestyle is clear so that you can decide how best to plan your transition into this lifestyle.

This is where planning is important. There are many ways to earn money while traveling. The article focuses on the digital nomad options (i.e. working with a laptop and internet connection).

The Work

Remote Work — An increasing number of employers support remote employees. You can be anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection and can commit to being available during meeting times. This has the added stability of regular income, but you’ll still be tied to some desk during normal business hours, which may or may not be at odd hours depending on your company’s operating hours relative to where you will be.

Project-Based or Short Term Contracts —These can be sourced from a number of sites, but the rates vary wildly, as do the clients. They can also be sourced from clients you meet in person, but this is not always as flexible in terms of travel options. I won’t bother to list the sites here for finding work, as many others have already listed such sites, but this is also an option and would support a more relaxed travel period. The downside is unstable income streams.

Hybrid — There’s also the combination of these two — work some hours, play some hours. Perhaps you can find part-time work that’s remote and stable.

Passive Income and Retainers — this works better in some industries than others. Retainer contracts or maintenance contracts may offer a steady stream of recurring low-effort income for both you and your client. This is an area I plan to invest a bit more time in over the next year but cannot speak about from personal experience just yet. Additionally, some entrepreneurs also are able to sell valuable content they produce for passive income. This may come in the form of e-books or courses.

These are some high-level options for income streams. Take a deeper dive, and you’ll find slight variations within each that may be specific to your industry.