This post is for The How-To Issue, a project by women writers showcasing what they can do. Inspired by the New York Times Book Review’s 2012 How-To Issue, which featured only two women writing about cooking and childcare, the women of the internet are banding together to show we can do much more than that. This is my contribution.
So, how does one become a digital nomad?
1) Pick something you can do from home.
Whether it’s developing software, managing social networks, writing or becoming a virtual assistant, there are many jobs you can do “from home” nowadays. Anything you can do from a coffee shop is a digital nomad-worthy career.
2) Laptop, passport, backpack!
The tools of the trade. You don’t need anything else to take on the world. Though you may want to think about packing some underwear.
3) Get rid of everything else.
No house. No car. No bills. This is the philosophy of the digital nomad. No one will believe you at first, but being location-independent is a fantastically cheap way to live. We don’t have homes, cable bills, mortgages, car payments, or any of the other trappings of “normal” life. This frees up all our money to be spent doing what we love: traveling the world.
4) Book an apartment somewhere awesome.
Whether it’s an apartment in Paris or a room with a view in Panama, it’s time to decide where your first destination will be. What country have you always dreamed of visiting? Want to wake up every morning and take a dip in the Andaman Sea? Or spend each afternoon sipping sangria and watching the world go by in Barcelona? Throw a dart at a map and get thee to the internet to book your first stop! As long as it has high-speed internet and a comfortable place to work, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Mongolia or Marrakech.
Pro tip: Message the owner/host in advance to negotiate a cheap weekly or monthly rate.
Don’t be scared. This may be the path less traveled by, but you’re not the first. There’s a huge network of location-independent professionals that you can lean on for support (check out this post for a list of nomadic bloggers). We’re on Twitter, we blog, we run magazines and create documentaries. If you’ve dreamed of traveling the world without having to come back to a 9-to-5, join us and take the leap!
That’s it! Now you know the secrets of the glamorous nomad lifestyle. Do yourself a favor and check out the other How-To articles by clever ladies from around the internet. So far my personal favorites are “How to Rocket Launch Your Book into Publicity Heaven” and “HOW TO READ INFINITE JEST, IN SIX EASY STEPS!” I feel smarter already!