2020 changed the way we work for good. Under lockdown, our step count plummeted as we simple walked from bedroom to living room to open our laptops and the only change of scenery we had was a different Zoom background. Going into the office became a fantasy, let alone travel abroad.
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, employees and business owners alike can now prove that their physical presence isn’t essential to effectively do their job or run their business, which opens up a whole world of possibilities, literally. The digital nomad lifestyle has been growing in popularity in past years, and it’s never felt more attainable. What if, moving forwards out of the pandemic, you created a new office environment for yourself abroad that inspires creativity and productivity? If you play your cards right, you can return enriched by your experiences in more ways than one. It can be an excellent opportunity for personal and professional growth. The cost of living abroad can also be significantly lower than in the UK, meaning you can save for the future (or live like a queen, your choice).
But whilst you pack up your passport and laptop charger, here are 5 key things to consider before becoming a digital nomad:
What are your work essentials?
Make a list of your ‘non-negotiables’, the things you categorically need to fulfil your professional responsibilities. Do you need total peace and quiet? Or a high-speed internet connection that will cope with streaming and uploads? Having this in mind before choosing a destination will help you avoid teething issues and dissuade you from falling in love with that beach hut with no electricity!
Investigate your dream destination.
Some countries are actively encouraging digital nomads in this new remote work culture.
For example, Croatia, Bermuda and Mauritius have all begun to offer specific digital nomad visas that you will need to apply for. Others, like Belize, will allow tourists to work remotely as long as they do not seek employment within the country itself. Do your research, think about any tax implications and take out robust travel and medical insurance. Here is a blog post I wrote with some tropical destinations you can work remotely
Think about ‘when’ not just ‘where.’
Does your new office space come with a different time zone than your colleagues and clients? This can be a blessing in disguise. Decide how much crossover you will need to have with your home base working hours and make it work to your advantage. An early start each morning could mean you get to finish for the day at lunchtime and then? Spend your afternoons exploring. Meet new people, take up that hobby you’ve always dreamed about. Learn to surf, write that book, hike that trail.
Life won’t be trouble-free.
Challenging times might find you, the digital nomad life might look idyllic, but it still comes with bad days and the added lack of home comforts. Loneliness can be one of the main issues faced by digital nomads, especially if your time zone differs from your friends and family and they’re asleep for most of your day. On the plus side, distance can help you gain a fresh perspective on any issues you faced back home, and
Find a community.
The internet is full of online groups for digital nomads. Find a community of like-minded individuals near your destination and connect with them to make new friends and a support network. Ask any questions you might have before you go and think about what you can contribute as well. You might have a skill you can trade, donating your time and expertise in return for something you want to add to your own personal tool kit.
And finally, just say yes! Find solutions and workarounds for any barrier — be it homeschooling abroad, a pet sitter or temporarily air bnb’ing your home. Even short term, the digital nomad lifestyle can be beneficial in so many ways.
For more travel, digital nomad and remote work tips, check out my blog rosannaetc.com