How to Become a Traveling Nomad and Run a Successful Digital Business

For anyone looking to change their way of life and find an alternative to the typical 9 to 5 working day, becoming a traveling nomad can be the perfect choice. It gives you the freedom to pursue both your professional and personal goals – you can define your business parameters, design your own work schedule, and follow lucrative work opportunities, while also experiencing new countries and cultures. But this isn’t something you can just jump into without a little preparation and planning, so read through the following list of important things to consider before setting out. 

Building a Business

Choose Your First Location

You may already have a country in mind, or have no idea where you want to go, but whatever the case, do your research. Get to know the local lifestyle, the living expenses, the culture, and the travel requirements. Many countries will require a Visa, for example. And, of course, you’ll need to make sure your passport is up to date. You may like a larger passport, with more pages in it, if you’re planning to make many stops in your nomadic journey. 

Wherever you decide to start your journey, make sure to learn enough of the language to get by – there are plenty of free apps like Duolingo which can help you and also just carrying a phrase-book is a good old-fashioned reliable method to have on-hand.

Find Your Niche

Finding a source of income which isn’t location-dependent is at the center of this process. With widening opportunities through the internet, there are plenty of resources for training and education for any line of digital entrepreneurship. 

Common businesses for traveling nomads are blogging, freelancing, digital media (graphic design, software programmer, web developer, etc.), photographer/videographer, or running an ecommerce business. Mark Brooks, a blogger at Writemyx and Nextcoursework, says: “Consulting work is another popular choice, as it allows you to capitalize on your existing skills and expertise.” Whatever it may be, invest in preparation for the foundations of your business, do your research, get trained, etc.

You could also look into getting a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or similar qualification so you can make a little extra money teaching English to locals no matter where you are currently based. This is even another role that can take place online.

One other such job is field sales – checking the availability of products, and persuading stores to stock them if they aren’t. In cities and other built-up areas, there is truly high daily demand for this role across stores, often with the ability to claim back mileage expenses.

Things You Will Need

Save Up Your Money

One of the most obvious yet still most important things to start with is money. Having some savings built up before you embark on this journey is a huge advantage, so try to plan for this in advance. Consider where you plan on beginning your travels and research the cost of living in your starting location, including travel costs and living expenses, and work out exactly how much you are going to need to get started. You may also want to have some extra money set aside as a rainy day fund to act as a buffer for any unforeseen expenses or the occasional luxury purchase. You may also be able to look ahead and find a part-time job online before even setting off for the area.

Set a Budget

It can be easy to overindulge, especially when you are exploring new and exciting places, so it is important to define a reasonable budget and do everything you can to stick to it. This is particularly important for the first few months of your new traveling business venture, as you will need to be continually putting money back into your business. Throughout your time as a traveling nomad, you will need to constantly reinvest into your business and simply stay afloat, let alone be successful. If you work out the cost of living and accommodation per month for the place you’re going to, this should serve as a fine total estimation for your budget.

Pack the Essentials

It is important to travel light and only pack the essentials – but this doesn’t just mean knowing what weather-appropriate clothing to bring. James Wiens, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and Australia2write, reminds us: “You need to protect your livelihood which, for a digital entrepreneur, is based on your computer.” This means investing in anti-theft software, online cloud backups, external hard drives, and device insurance. 

There may even be some items that turn out to be unobtainable in your chosen location – items that are not strictly essential, like your certain favourite snack foods, or items of clothing. If this is so, consider stocking up on these rarities before you leave, or find out if you can source them in your chosen country.

No matter what business venture you choose to pursue, deciding to become a traveling nomad can be life-changing, as long as you are properly prepared! It gives you the freedom to travel while you work, explore new places and cultures, and be independent from the societal constraints of the professional working world.

Katrina Hatchett is a lifestyle blogger at AcademicBrits and PhDKingdom. She has been involved in many business projects, during which she enjoys identifying problems and their solutions. Katrina’s goal is to improve the effectiveness of our communication. She also contribute to Origin Writings writing service blog.