Full time travel is becoming an increasingly available option to many people thanks to the Digital Age in which we live. Those who can work remotely and travel have been labeled Digital Nomads. But how exactly do you get started on this path that others only dream of? Below I’ve listed the three main things to have in order before becoming digitally nomadic. These include income, a travel spirit, and patience.

Income

many different coinsIt’s no secret that to live and travel around the world you must be able to sustain yourself. While living nomadically you will need a job that can supply income while you work remotely and provide some extra cash to explore the world. (Later on we will talk in depth about finding online work, setting up a budget, and the cheapest places in the world to live.) There are very few of these jobs which do not require you to work from a laptop with access to internet.

If the idea of making money over the internet gives you a mild anxiety attack, don’t fret. Almost anyone can sustain themselves with online income providing that they are willing to learn new skills and be flexible. oDesk and Elance both offer freelance work for those working remotely. Take a look and you may be surprised that some of your talents may line up with what others are looking for.

If you can’t possibly earn income over the internet you can save up and travel from place to place finding work where you go. If it’s not online it isn’t considered digital nomadicy but you’ll still be a nomad, which is pretty rad.

Travel Spirit

It seems like this should go without saying, but you need to have a travel spirit to live and work nomadically. Having a travel spirit can mean numerous things but the most important characteristics one has while embracing their travel spirit is the willingness to be flexible, embrace change, and be comfortable moving around a lot.

Having been to a foreign country previously will help in deciding to live as a digital nomad. Getting rid of expectations based on your own cultural knowledge and embracing others will prove very helpful to you. In developing countries you will need to be prepared to go without running water at times, indoor plumbing, and the challenge of street beggars. Culture shock, lack of air conditioning, long train rides and flights mixed with unclean water at times and bouts of illness can leave you feeling less than enthused for your new lifestyle. Although many digital nomads list the benefits and claim that living from a backpack is home to them, you must be aware of the foreseen difficulties.

When traveling it is essential to have an open mind. There is no need to give up your religion or personal beliefs but you must be prepared to show humility and respect while traveling to other places. If you continue to have a closed mind and can’t find a balance between being flexible and being responsible while traveling, you may consider yourself disqualified for the life of a digital nomad. Having a travel spirit can mean being able to make new friends easily, using the bathroom in any condition, and being comfortable sleeping in hostels or low budget hotels.

Patience

bright and happy highway near the coastBecoming a Digital Nomad is not something that happens overnight for most people. Normally most people are tied to a job and place of residence. Freeing yourself will take some planning. If you’re traveling abroad, passports and visas will take planning. Who are you going to leave kitty with? More planning. It can become overwhelming for sure.

Take your time, but don’t give up and get side tracked. There are many people that blog that can keep you inspired and on the right track. Of course we are one of them, and currently many others are located at the bottom of this website. What are you waiting for? Set goals, and get excited!