6 Simple Steps to Become a Digital Nomad in 2021

6 January, 2021

Staying at home for almost a year has taken a toll on many a person's mental and emotional states. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen the wonders of how technology has made it possible to do things that previously seemed impossible. Thanks to technology, we were able to travel the world inside the safety of our own homes by means of virtual tour experiences.

Families and friends have joyously celebrated the holidays together via video conferencing. And now, many companies have adjusted to a work-from-home set-up to ensure everyone’s safety. Really, with the Internet and your digital gadgets, you can stay close to anyone wherever you may be. Plus, you can take your work with you anywhere.

While it is fun to travel the world virtually, nothing beats the actual experience of being there. This 2021--with the possible availability of COVID-19 vaccines--people can now begin to safely explore the world again. This is why now’s the perfect time to leave the comforts of your home and be a digital nomad.

What is a digital nomad?

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A digital nomad is someone who works remotely and travels regularly to different places. Such an individual maximizes the use of technology like phones, tablets, laptops, and internet connection. They are frequently found in coffee shops, hotels, co-working spaces, or anywhere around the world where they can plug and surf.

The perks of living a digital nomad life

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Imagine that today you’re working inside a spacious and cozy room in Boracay. The following week, you’ll be working in a cafe in Cebu City; and the week after that you’ll be working on the sandy shores of Banol Beach in Coron. This kind of lifestyle is only possible if you work remotely.

Although adopting the digital nomad lifestyle has its share of challenges, there are also perks that can be enjoyed, including:

  1. You are free to work anywhere at any time you want.
  2. You will enjoy the experience of traveling to new places and adapting to new cultures.
  3. Every day can be an adventure.
  4. You have the opportunity to widen your connections.
  5. You’re able to grow more as a person.
  6. A lot of freelance and online work can open up to you.

Becoming a digital nomad

Being a digital nomad is not for everyone. This is why it is worth giving it a try before determining if this lifestyle can work well for you or not.

Good thing, with many companies still in a work-from-home set-up in 2021, there’s no need to worry about working while traveling even for a couple of months. This will allow you to see for yourself if this is the right path for you.

On the other hand, if you’ve landed an online freelance remote job during the pandemic, it is going to be easier for you to live the digital nomad life.

However, having remote work is not enough to lead a full-time nomad life. If you’re interested in becoming a full-fledged digital nomad in the Philippines, below are 6 practical tips to make this happen:

1. Learn skills that will help you land an online job.

Time and budget go hand-in-hand, in terms of travel. To support your digital nomad lifestyle, it is important to have at least a part-time job; so you can sustain your needs and wants as a digital nomad. If you’ve always been working at the office, and this is your first time to work outside, acquiring a skill will come in handy.

You can enroll in online courses such as SEO writing, video editing, photography, proofreading, or teaching English. After completing a course, you’ll be one step closer to landing an online job in these fields.

2. Scout for locations where internet connection and electricity are stable.

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To become a successful digital nomad, it is important to determine the best places for nomadic wanderings. It is better to start in the Philippines.

When scouting for locations, choose those that are safe and have a stable internet connection. If you have pocket WiFi, make sure that the signal of your network is strong in your destination.

If not, make sure that there are nearby establishments or co-working spaces where you can connect to a strong internet connection. Also, if you’re looking for a wild adventure in a remote destination, make sure that there's stable electricity in the area.

One of the best places to stay as a digital nomad is in Boracay. This island is safe, and you can score hotel rooms that are spacious and have a WiFi connection for a reasonable price.

If you prefer a quiet spot by the beach, stay for a few days at the Alta Vista de Boracay. This hotel is situated in a quiet part of the island along the Puka Puka Beach. So you can concentrate on working while taking in the beauty of Boracay island. After your working hours, step away from your gadgets and take a tech-free vacation. Head over to the beach to swim, party, and have fun.

3. Adjust to living and working as a nomad.

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Traveling from one place to another can be tiring. And apart from secular work, you will still have to perform your household chores as a digital nomad.

To lessen the stress of having to constantly move, why not stay in an area for at least a week or longer? When transferring to another location, make sure that it is near your current location to save time and energy in traveling. You can also plot your travel schedule, so your travels will be organized and won’t get in the way of your remote work and deadlines.

4. Learn how to live on less.

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The salary of digital nomad jobs can be lower or higher than that of full-time office jobs, depending on the company or client. Learning how to budget your income will help you go to enchanting places that require a bigger travel budget such as Batanes and Babuyan Islands. Moreover, if you know how to manage your money wisely, you can even go to international destinations ideal for digital nomads.

As a digital nomad, you have bills to pay such as internet connection, accommodation, food, and personal necessities. So leading a simple lifestyle will help you save more money. Since you are a traveler and not a tourist, why not go to the public market to purchase fresh produce you can cook for yourself instead of eating out constantly? This way, you will get to know more about the culture and lifestyle of the community you are staying in.

5. Join a digital nomad community.

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During your travel, you are bound to meet fellow digital nomads. And thanks to the internet, you can also join online digital nomad communities and find new friends, potential business partners, or clients.

Take this as an opportunity to learn from others' experiences on how they have made adjustments to continue being a digital nomad. From this community, you can even learn about new destinations to include in your travels.

To benefit others, you can also share your experiences and help out others who are just starting to adopt the nomad lifestyle. You can even suggest types of online courses to try online to help them land online freelance work.

6. Build your own brand or business.

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Being new to digital nomad job-hunting, one goal you can set to ensure your ticket to forever being free from the shackles of the corporate world is to build your own digital nomad business.

When looking for long-term clients you can work for as a freelancer; so you can be your own boss, find possible opportunities on Upwork and PeoplePerHour.

Being a digital nomad is both work and play. Careful planning and some imagination coupled with faith will come in handy. Being one won’t happen overnight, but if you follow these practical tips, you will successfully achieve your dream of becoming a certified digital nomad this 2021 and in the years to come.