Four years ago, I quit my corporate sales job and went off to travel the world. I loved my digital nomad lifestyle (still do!), and I’ve done a bunch of different things along the way to be able to travel and make money. If this is something you have contemplated, here are some ways you can get started.
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Is the Digital Nomad Lifestyle Right for You?
Stop me if this sounds familiar. Every time you go on a vacation, it seems to end too soon, right? It’s almost as though when you’re on vacation, you’re living in a dream… Why? Because you don’t have to worry about the responsibilities of home and work.
Unfortunately, it’s those responsibilities that make our vacations feel like they’re not long enough… That’s because reality sets in and you realize you have to go back to work and take care of things back home.
The reality of vacations is that if it weren’t for your job and income, you wouldn’t be able to travel in the first place… what a bummer. That reason alone is why so many people say they wished they could travel more. The funny thing about that statement is that “traveling more” has a few different levels to it.
When you say you wish you could travel more, are you wishing you just had a bit more vacation time from your job so you can travel more? Or if presented the opportunity, you would make traveling a complete lifestyle change?
If you’re like a lot of people, you wish you could make traveling a lifestyle but feel as though you can’t. Well, the great news is that if you want to make traveling your lifestyle, you actually can. It’s called the digital nomad lifestyle.
To live the digital nomad lifestyle means that you travel the world and make money by way of telecommunication technologies. So basically, as long as you have access to the internet, you can generate income. And yes, this is a real “thing” that people do all the time.
Lots of digital nomads say that ever since they quit their 9 to 5 job, and started the digital nomad lifestyle, they’ve had the happiest days of their lives. So now that you know what the lifestyle entails on what’s required to start earning (internet access), you now need to know the actual ways and job types that will generate income for you during your travels.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you will work less than you did before. Right now I’m working about forty hours a week while also being a full-time stay-at-home mom. So my life has let me see the world, but I still have to work along the way.
If you’re seriously considering adopting the digital nomad lifestyle, here are some of the top ways to make money while you travel the world.
5 Ways to Travel and Make Money at the Same Time
There are endless ways. Here are just a few.
Build an E-Commerce Store
Building an e-commerce store is what’s not only going to bring you income but it’s going to bring you passive income as well. The only work you’ll have to do would be on the front-end, as far as building and designing your website, and after that, you just need to market your store.
The great news is that if you’re feeling a little apprehensive about building your store, the experts’ marketplace can help you connect with designers and marketers with experience using the Shopify platform. This is a great hack and investment to get your business started and on the right path. Plus, by hiring experts, you’re going to have more free time to do things you like!
What will you sell? I have friends who sell their artwork, drop-ship products they love and even sell merchandise for their brands. The biggest thing is to make sure you have the marketing side set and the technology in place to get started.
Become a Translator
Do you know a different language or picked up on a few different languages during your travels? If so, you have a unique and wonderful opportunity to become a translator. The awesome thing about translators is that they’re needed in every single industry.
According to pangeanic.com, some of the top industries that benefit the most from translation services are medical, finance and banking, and travel and tourism. So your earning potential as a translator is limitless.
I have friends who translate medical texts, which as you can imagine is needed at the moment!
Become a Social Media Influencer
If you have a large enough following on social media, who says you can’t be the next big influencer around? By becoming a social media influencer, you can get paid to use your influence for different brands to sell various products and services to your audience.
This will help those brands gain exposure to a larger audience, which should drive more traffic to their site in hopes of increasing sales. And, of course, this can be done from all over the world. So in addition to beautiful travel photos, start thinking about how your influence can be beneficial to certain brands.
Just make sure that the products or services you’re promoting with your audience are something you believe in, is related to your niche, and will actually benefit your audience because if it doesn’t, you will start to lose credibility as an influencer, and will then lose followers. You’d not only be hurting a client’s brand but they’d be hurting yours as well!
Now, being an influencer is not easy work. While I have social media channels that go with this blog, I don’t classify the work that I do as influencer work because I rarely take paid campaigns. Be prepared to work hard to build your audience before you get any money rolling in. My friends who do campaigns and true influencer work spend years developing their contacts and relationships.
Perform Remote Work
Remote work is growing in popularity now more than ever before. For businesses, they’re starting to see all the lucrative benefits of remote workers. They’re benefitting on everything from increased productivity to increased sales. Remote workers are seeing benefits in everything from being able to travel as often as they want, and working in a comfortable work environment.
The easiest way to get remote work is to have a skill where you can work as an independent consultant on your own contract. I have several friends who do remote work as computer programmers.
Solve Problems in Customer Service
There’s really no such thing as too many customer service agents. Whether it’s a product or service, people are going to find something wrong it or have questions about it and need to speak to a customer service rep. While it’s not a glamorous job, it will help pay your bills.
The awesome part is that you don’t need to commute to an office for this line of work; all you need is a computer, great internet access, and phone to talk to the customers. When speaking with customers, just make sure to always try and have a positive demeanor. It’s very easy for calls to get escalated if customers feel as though their need is not being met.
A lot of times when calls escalate, it’s usually because they’ve had a bad day and are taking their frustrations out on you, and that’s okay because you know you’re handling the situation appropriately. Even when calls escalate, remote workers tend to be even calmer in these situations simply because they’re in a comfortable work environment.
How Much Money Do I Need to Make to Live as a Digital Nomad?
This really depends on where in the world you plan on traveling and how fancy you want your lifestyle to be. I live as a digital nomad in Sofia, Bulgaria, where my rent is under $200 a month. I can live on much less here than if I wanted to be based in London, for example.
The most common places for digital nomads are Thailand, Bali, Eastern Europen, and Colombia. These places are popular because they combine interesting travel experiences with a low cost of living.
More Digital Nomad Resources
Thinking about traveling full-time? Here are some resources to help you. First, here is what you need to know to get started traveling alone. You’ll also want to check out how to make friends while traveling solo and how to find dates while you travel.
5 Things to Pack for Your Digital Nomad Travels
Laptop (I use a MacBook Air)
Unlocked SmartPhone in a protective cover (An OtterBox is basically like carrying your phone around in a pillow)
Headphones (Make sure they have a built-in mic for phone calls)
Phone Charger (I used this phone charging cable)
Backup Charging Bank (You can never have enough spare charge on the road)
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for your new life make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance since you’ll be away for quite a while.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for two years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.
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