Working and travelling doesn't seem like your average pairing, however for many people like myself, I've found it's worked out well to not only see the world but to also provide an efficient way of making money at the same time. Becoming a digital nomad, wasn't my original plan but it couldn't have worked out any better in my personal experience. I generally travel to Mexico and the USA for at least six months of the year and along the way I've learned so much on how to successfully work and travel simultaneously. For those who are looking to start their journey as a digital nomad, here are my tips on how you can work and travel at the same time based upon my years of experience.
Prioritise Your Time And Be Organised
When working and travelling simultaneously you need to keep organised and know what you’re going to do each day, before the next day begins. Try and plan your days around your business location time. This can allow you to plan your days better as most of the time if your business is in Australia you can work later at night in other countries and be in the middle of the day in Australia. Also make sure you set periods of time when you work and when you’re allowed to have some downtime. Don’t over-commit yourself, as this will cause disappointment if you can’t get everything done in time.
Realise Internet Isn't Always Available
The internet is vastly used across the world; however, don’t just assume it’s going to be everywhere you go. Commit yourself to realising that you’ll have periods of time when you won’t have internet connection. You can work this out by researching your next destination first about internet availability. If you know you're going to be moving into a black zone, prepare your work beforehand so you can still continue working even without the internet.
Learn To Say No
The key in balancing your work and travel life is to know when to say no. If you find you’re becoming loaded with work and you’ve reached your limit, it’s important to be confident and say no to any more work that’s assigned for the week. Working too much while travelling isn’t a true digital nomad lifestyle, instead know your work capabilities and say no to any new jobs until you’re on top of the old ones. This way you won’t get behind on your work.
Buy A VoIP Number Such As A Skype Number
Buying a VoIP number such as a Skype number allows for customers and family to still keep in contact with you, even when you’re travelling. Buying a VoIP number allows you to have the same number even when you’re travelling overseas. Family, friends and customers will still be able to keep in touch with you using the same number no matter where you travel to. It’s an affordable way of keeping in touch with people back home so they know how you’re doing and where you were last staying if you happen to go missing.
Know Your Free Hotspots
When travelling it’s a good idea to know where your free hotspots are. Most airports, Starbucks, and McDonalds are great examples of free internet hotspots and are available to access right across the world. If you aren’t in areas where free hotspots exist, you can also use services such as Skype Wifi or Telstra Air which enable you to find and use thousands to millions of hotspots across the world without costing you a fortune.
When travelling the world while working, don’t forget to take your time and travel slow. Travelling slow allows you to get more work done without missing out on seeing the sights along the way, improves your language and understanding of different cultures, and gives you plenty of time to explore new places and see new things without missing out on anything that you may regret.
Don't Have High Expectations
Many people starting their journey as a digital nomad have high expectations including how much money you’ll make, where you can work, staying motivated, the friendliness of people and unplugging from the day. Don’t set your expectations too high as it’s not all glamorous with thousands of dollars coming in each month. Some people only make enough money to get by and have trouble separating work and travel along the way. Others also have the expectation that everyone is friendly when travelling to new areas, this isn’t always true. When travelling through new areas make sure you’re on the lookout for dangerous areas as some countries have crime hotspots.
Have Fun and Enjoy Yourself
The most important and key aspect of becoming a digital nomad is having fun and enjoying yourself along the journey. There’s no point working and travelling abroad if you’re not enjoying every minute of it. If you feel it’s become all work and no play, it’s time to reassess your situation and balance things back out again.
Aaron is the co-founder of Studio 56. He has been working in the digital marketing field for ten years. Aaron loves to travel the world to not only enhance his cultural experiences but learn and enhance his skills in the digital marketing industry.