Last Updated on January 10, 2019
Do you have a case of wanderlust? Do you have dreams of untethering yourself from the corporate world and spending your life traveling from country to country with nothing more than pleasure on your mind?
While there are certainly perks to being a digital nomad, you shouldn’t embark on the lifestyle without a plan. Even a lifestyle of excitement and freedom needs some structure to keep it on course.
4 Keys to Success
The growth of the internet and advances in remote working technology have made the digital nomad lifestyle – traveling full-time while using the internet to run a business – much more practical and commonplace. Millennials, who are especially fond of this unique setup, tend to be drawn to benefits like:
- The freedom to go anywhere and do anything
- The ability to travel and see new cultures, sights, and scenery
- A chance to start life fresh – free from the distractions and roadblocks back home
- The ability to find happiness and embrace a new lifestyle
But to make the digital nomad lifestyle work for you, it’s crucial that you have a plan. In particular, you need to pay attention to these keys to success:
1. Stay Organized
There’s a general assumption from outsiders that digital nomads are carefree people who just sort of let the wind push them from city to city and country to country. But this is a big misconception. To find success as a digital nomad, you must stay organized.
Staying organized often means consolidating. The more you can consolidate information, communication, and work tasks, the less your brain will feel like it’s in multiple places at once. Become a pro at single-tasking and learn when to turn down opportunities that promise to overcomplicate your life.
2. Pack/Travel Light
“For digital nomads trying to craft the perfect packing list, a lot of what you bring will be very personal to you, your lifestyle, and your line of work,” writes Jessie Beck of Packsmith. The key is to pack light and to stay organized. But you also don’t want to leave out things that are meaningful to you.
“Pack the things that support your lifestyle,” Beck encourages. “You’re traveling for a long time, and if you’re a coffee drinker, don’t give up coffee. If you want to stay fit, bring your jogging shoes.”
If at all possible, stick to carry-on luggage (one personal item and one small duffle bag or roller suitcase). Not only will you spend less time in baggage claim, but you’ll also be able to maneuver much more efficiently.
3. Arm Yourself With Apps
You have resources today that people decades ago couldn’t have even fathomed – and they’re literally at your fingertips. Your smartphone may be your single greatest asset as a digital nomad, but it’s only a platform. To make it useful, you need to arm yourself with apps and solutions that can accomplish specific tasks and overcome hurdles.
Setapp, a subscription service for apps, says there are must-have apps for the digital nomad. Included among these are Pagico, MoneyWiz, Unibox, and NetSpot. The more useful apps you can keep on hand, the less time and energy you’ll have to use on repetitive tasks.
4. Find Some Balance
“Like most digital nomads I know, I’m not that interested in work-life-balance,” entrepreneur Jenn Miller writes. “Instead, I strive for work-life-integration and creating a rhythm of work and play that meets all of my needs, not just my deadlines.”
The importance of balance can’t be overstated. While there will be some days where you spend 15 hours working and other days where you only check your email a couple of times, balance has to be a priority. Being too busy or too carefree all of the time will cost you. Find a happy medium and enjoy yourself.
Remove Failure From the Equation
Being a digital nomad isn’t as easy as some make it out to be. For all of the carefree globetrotting that most people seem to flaunt on social media, there are plenty of logistical details and points of friction that have to be dealt with on a daily basis.
But by making smart choices with how you plan and structure your daily life, you can clear these hurdles and enjoy your untethered lifestyle. Best of luck!