Remote work in a hammock in Koh Phangan - How to become a digital nomad

How to Become a Digital Nomad and Travel the World

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The term “Digital Nomad” has become increasingly popular, but I think many people don’t really know what it means. Some may see it as a way to shirk responsibility just to travel the world. So, it’s time to set the record straight.

A digital nomad is someone who can work from anywhere, thanks to technology and the internet. They’re not tied down to a specific location and have the freedom to choose where they live and work.

In today’s world, this should actually be seen as normal, as advances in technology have made it possible for digital nomads to communicate with clients and colleagues from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.

However, society’s expectations have not caught up with this idea yet, and many people – especially those from my generation and the ones before – are still trained to live a traditional life. This is why the digital nomad lifestyle is somehow still seen as a revolution.

In this article, I’ll focus on how to become a digital nomad. To be honest, I fell into this lifestyle somewhat unexpectedly. It all began when I experienced a near-burnout in my corporate job in the financial sector. I decided to leave everything behind and travel around Europe, thinking that a change of environment would do me good and that I could just find a new place to live.

But, I quickly discovered that a change of environment wasn’t enough to solve my problem. I realized that what I really craved was more freedom than a traditional lifestyle could offer. When the pandemic hit and I found myself stranded in Mexico with no way to get back to Europe due to border closures and with my savings running out, I had to find a way to earn money online.

This experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it led me to discover my passion for freelancing and the digital nomad lifestyle, which I had never even considered before. Of course, like any lifestyle, it has its pros and cons, but what doesn’t in life?

Now, let’s talk about how to become a digital nomad. The truth is, anyone can do it, even families. You don’t need to be special, and it’s much easier than people think.

How to Become a Digital Nomad in 2023

1. Get the Right Mindset

First and foremost, to know how to become a digital nomad, it’s important to evaluate whether the digital nomad lifestyle is a good fit for you. Of course, you won’t know for sure until you try it out, but there are a few things to consider.

Now, you might have this idea that being a digital nomad means sleeping in every day, sipping on coffee in the sun, and posting on social media all day. And, well, it can be like that sometimes. It’s true that this lifestyle can help you achieve a better balance between work and personal life, but the key is self-discipline and organization. And, of course, having the right mindset!

Digital nomad lifestyle in Panama with a swimming pool and the sun

But, it’s not always that easy. The digital nomad lifestyle can be filled with uncertainty, a lack of strict rules, and potentially loneliness. You may encounter unexpected challenges and issues, like losing wifi during an important call or experiencing the worst rain falls of the last 10 years. But that’s just part of the adventure. Just stay open-minded and accept whatever comes your way, whether it’s good or bad.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone will understand your choices. Some people might even criticize you for living a non-traditional lifestyle. But that’s okay! You’re not alone. Thousands of people – actually, over 35 million around the world now in 2023 – are already living as digital nomads, so why not you? If you think this lifestyle might be for you, just give it a try and see how it goes.

2. Reduce Ties and Expenses

If you want to know how to become a digital nomad, it is essential to reduce ties and expenses in order to free yourself from the constraints of a traditional lifestyle.

Here are some tips to help you do this:

  • Get rid of unnecessary possessions: Start by decluttering your belongings and getting rid of anything you don’t need. This will not only free up physical space but also reduce the mental burden of having too many things to manage.
  • Minimise expenses: Living a nomadic lifestyle requires financial flexibility, so it’s important to reduce your expenses as much as possible. Cancel any subscriptions or memberships that you don’t need, and consider downsizing to a smaller living space, renting out your apartment or even selling it.
  • Cut ties with unnecessary obligations: This might include getting out of a lease or selling your car. Be prepared to let go of anything that is tying you down to a specific location or lifestyle.

3. Think Finances and Jobs

When it comes to how to become a digital nomad in 2023, finances and jobs are essential topics to consider. It may not be the most exciting part, but it’s obviously crucial for making the transition to remote work.

First, assess your financial situation. Do you have savings to support yourself while you look for work online? Are you currently employed and able to make the transition to remote work? Or are you looking for ideas for remote jobs? If so, check out this blog article for inspiration on remote job opportunities.

It’s also a good idea to focus on building your skills and creating a portfolio to increase your chances of getting remote work. Investing in yourself can go a long way in the long run.

Living and working remotely doesn’t have to be expensive, but having a budget in mind is always helpful once you’re on the road. To assist you, take a look at my article on money-saving tips while travelling.

And remember to keep building your savings even after you’ve transitioned to the digital nomad lifestyle. Having a financial cushion or backup plan can provide peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your travels without constantly worrying about money.

4. Prioritise Networking

Networking is essential for anyone looking at how to become a digital nomad. When you work remotely, you don’t have the same opportunities to chat with colleagues or ask your boss for advice in the office. Building connections is important for building relationships, sharing experiences, and finding new opportunities.

Digital nomads networking in a room

There are several ways to start networking, such as joining online groups, attending meetups and conferences, and connecting with people on social media.

You can join Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups related to digital nomadism, remote work, or your industry. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you can join a Facebook group for freelance writers where you can connect with other writers, share job opportunities, and ask for advice.

There are also several digital nomad meetups and conferences happening around the world. Attending these events can be a great way to meet other digital nomads, learn new skills, and get inspired. For example, the Nomad Summit and Digital Nomad Conference are popular events for digital nomads.

Participating in forums or groups related to your industry or interests is another effective way to meet like-minded people and potential clients. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you can participate in a forum or group like Behance or Dribble, which are online communities for designers, where you can share your work, get feedback, and connect with potential clients.

Remember that networking isn’t just about finding work or clients. It’s also about building relationships and learning from others. So be genuine and interested in other people’s stories and experiences, and don’t just focus on selling your services.

5. Get the Right Gear

Step 5 on how to become a digital nomad is all about having the right gear. As a digital nomad, your laptop is your primary work tool, so it’s essential to have a reliable laptop that is powerful enough to handle your work tasks. Take the time to research and invest in a laptop that fits your needs and budget.

How to become a digital nomad: invest in the right gear as on the picture with a laptop and so on

In addition to a reliable laptop, having a secure and reliable VPN is a good thing to protect your online activities and keep your personal information safe. Some popular VPN services include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. A VPN is also useful to watch Netflix or access geo-restricted content – like football games – while traveling.

Consider any subscriptions or tools that you may need for your work, such as cloud storage, project management software, or graphic design tools.

Don’t forget travel gear like a proper laptop backpack, a power bank – check this one out – and a travel adapter. These items will make your travel experience more comfortable and efficient.

Finally, consider opening a bank account that works well for international transactions and offers low fees. I personally recommend Revolut, which works really well for me.

Remember that the right gear can make or break your digital nomad experience, so invest wisely!

6. Choose your First Destination

Choosing your first destination as a digital nomad is an exciting step on how to become a digital nomad, and there are several factors to consider when making your decision, such as weather preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs. With the whole world at your fingertips, you’re free to choose wherever you want to go.

Some digital nomads may need to stay in certain time zones, but the choice remains usually quite vast, or you can work at night to accommodate business requirements.

If you prefer hot countries, consider Asia or South America for affordability or Australia if budget is not an issue. I mean, the world is huge, and you can easily find a place that fits your needs. For instance, I personally love Koh Phangan, in Thailand!

Nomadlist is a great resource for finding digital nomad-friendly destinations. This website provides a wealth of information on different cities around the world, including cost of living, weather, safety, and more.

Nomadlist to help you to know how to become a digital nomad in 2023


Once you’ve identified a few potential destinations, it’s time to start digging deeper. Look for accommodation that fits your needs and budget, whether that’s a shared hostel or a private apartment. Consider the location and accessibility to amenities, such as grocery stores, coworking spaces, and transportation. Renting long term is usually less expensive, but you can also go for a shorter stay. What I usually do is stay for one week and then extend if I like the place and environment. You don’t have to decide everything immediately.

I think it’s great to have a general plan, but don’t hesitate to deviate from it as long as it fits your budget. Determine what you want to accomplish during your stay and how you’ll manage your finances and work obligations while on the road. Having a plan in place will help you stay organized and focused as you embark on your digital nomad journey.

Do you want to immerse yourself in the local culture and language, or would you prefer a more expat-friendly environment? Do you want to be close to outdoor activities or nightlife? Make a list of your priorities and use that to guide your decision-making process.

Surveys have showed that 80% of digital nomads stay in a location for up to 9 months, while two-thirds may remain there for 3 to 6 months. Only a third of digital nomads linger in one place for up to a year. Ultimately, it’s all up to you to decide how long you want to stay in a particular place.

7. Last Minute Details

Ah, the famous and dreaded last-minute details. As much as we all hate them, they’re an important part of how to become a digital nomad.

First and foremost, don’t forget to choose a travel insurance plan that will cover you in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Personally, I always look for a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers medical emergencies and repatriation.

Next, check the visa requirements for the country you’ll be visiting and make sure you have all the necessary documents. Some countries offer visa-free entry or visa on arrival, while others require a visa application beforehand. Make sure you have enough time to process your visa application before your trip.

It’s also important to check if your passport is valid for the duration of your trip. Typically, it needs to be valid for at least six months from your planned return date. Some countries also require that your passport have at least two to four blank pages.

And don’t forget to pack smartly! As a digital nomad, you’ll be carrying your life with you, so packing wisely is crucial. For example, pack clothes that are versatile, comfortable, and lightweight.

If you need help making sure you’re ready, feel free to consult my international travel checklist. And double-check your list before you leave to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything important.

8. Take the Final Plunge

Once you’ve done all the preparation and know how to become a digital nomad, it’s time to take the final plunge and start your digital nomad journey. This may be scary, but it’s also exciting! Remember that you don’t have to do everything perfectly from the start. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn as you go. Take that first step, book that flight, and go for it!

Beach and cafe in Thailand

What Will it Be Really Like?

Ah, the million-dollar question – what’s it really like to be a digital nomad? Well, I’ll write about the good and the bad of digital nomadism but let me already tell you, it’s like a rollercoaster ride. Full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and unexpected surprises.

It can be exhausting, both mentally and physically, so taking care of yourself is essential – check out this article for healthy tips while travelling. But with a little planning and a lot of determination, you can easily make it work.

Remember, being a digital nomad means learning to adapt to new cultures, languages, and ways of doing things. You don’t have to be perfect at everything, but you should be open to trying new things and seeing what works best for you.

The best part is the freedom to explore new places, try new foods, and meet new people. It’s not all work and no play! Living a simple life can be key to making the most of the digital nomad lifestyle. It’s not about accumulating more stuff or living in luxury, but rather about enjoying experiences and the freedom to choose how you spend your time.

And if you’re feeling homesick, just remember – home is wherever you make it!

In the end, if it turns out that the digital nomad life isn’t for you, no worries! You can always go back to your old routine, or who knows, you might even discover a new passion or calling along the way. Too much planning and preparation can anyway kill the excitement. The key as to how to become a digital nomad is adaptation. Take that first step, and see where it takes you.

Personally, I’m still working on finding the perfect balance, but I don’t regret one second of it.

Final Thoughts on How to Become a Digital Nomad

In short, do you need to be special to be a digital nomad? Absolutely not.

Anyone can embrace this lifestyle as long as they have the determination, and willingness to adapt to new situations. It’s not about being the best or the most talented, it’s about being flexible and open-minded. Remember, it’s a journey, not a destination.

You will face challenges and setbacks, but that’s all part of the adventure of life. And in the end, the reward is the freedom and flexibility to create your own path and live life on your own terms.

So, are you ready to take the leap and put into practice the tips on how to become a digital nomad?

The world is waiting for you.

One Comment

  • Debbie

    I love everything about this post. I’m working toward this and your tips and information on how to become a digital nomad is amazing! Thank you for sharing!

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