How to become a Digital Nomad by Franco Boydell

If you’ve had a look at our previous blogs in the series you’ll already know who and what the elusive ‘digital nomad’ is. For those that haven’t, here’s a refresher:

A digital nomad decribes someone who has broken free of the traditional 9-5 lifestyle, using technology to facilitate their work and side projects, living where they choose — all in the pursuit of freedom.

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However, digital nomads come in many shapes and forms, meaning that this lifestyle isn’t out of reach for anyone. So, you might be asking, how do I join them? Of course, it’s not a case of simply quitting your job and jet-setting off to a hot country with great beaches.

The journey to digital nomadism starts at home and it can start today. We have the ability to adjust parts of our routine to allow us to do more, faster, in a manner that suits us. Whether that’s operating from locations we choose or working a different time schedule to the prescribed 9-5 we hope to help you make that first step to digital nomadism.

All work, no play

The key defining factor of digital nomads is their approach to work. Rather than being tied to a ‘safe’ job, which runs by the standard 9-5 hours and offers financial security, the digital nomad lifestyle puts more focus on individual flexibility and creatively rewarding work.

Research by Gallup shows that 37% of us already work remotely in some manner, a trend that is being spearheaded (and expected) by under 35s.  Due to the the number of free online platforms such as Etsy, website builders like Wix or service providers like Fiverr, the amount of people creating, selling, commenting and selling their services is at a record high.

This shift signifies a critical mass of people choosing to do the things they really love in their own time and get paid by doing so. We like to think of this as a step towards a digitally nomadic lifestyle without packing in the day job. There are millions of people selling their unique talents online, a practice that can be done from anywhere (home, a coffee shop or coworking space), in a time chosen by us. People are taking control of the work they’re doing.

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Of course, the dream is to pursue the passion project so far that it becomes the day job. But, for the time being, the basic principle of entrepreneurship is now available without needing to take out a loan, pay overheads or leave the safety of full-time employment.

It’s time to put yourself out there. What do you love? Which part of our job is your favourite? How much could you charge for your skill set?

There are hundreds of online networks and platforms specifically designed for digital nomads, freelancers and remote workers to find work. Choose your network dependent on the type of worker you are, and build your profile to highlight your strengths. Take Speedlancer for example, this focuses on quick turnaround times — great if you work best to tight deadlines and prefer short bursts of intense work rather than longer drawn out projects. Or perhaps you are looking for a more in depth project to get your teeth stuck into, Konsus makes the process easy.

Location, location, location

Like it or not, where you work usually impacts your output - for better or worse. Research on coworking spaces show that 8 out of 10 people feel both more creative and report increased productivity when operating in a flexible, friendly environment.

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Similarly, the argument is made year after year for working in different locations. Both Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein maintained that ideas formed and connected beautifully while experiencing different, everyday tasks - the principle applies to working out of new locations and with new people. Think of it as knowledge-sharing while simultaneously experience-sharing.

In the words of Jacqueline de Rojas, president of TechUK and digital evangelist: “I don’t believe that you have to be in an office to be productive. Great ideas thrive in coffee shops and go to die in the nation’s meeting rooms.”

This is where the ‘nomad’ in Digital Nomadism comes into play. Encourage yourself to wander and explore your creativity and productivity in different locations - and see what works for you.

The amount of co-working spaces are undoubtedly on the rise, with Bisner predicting there’ll be 37,000 co working spaces by 2018, so it’s never been easier to find a place to knuckle down. If you don’t fancy a co working space, never underestimate the humble coffee shop: the very beginnings of the coworking revolution.

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When you’re travelling and getting to grips with a new lifestyle,  it’s important to have all of your essentials with you, tech safe, and everything in order. Our Knomad was designed for this very purpose: to carry all of your must-have travel items. Paired with our large travel bags for women and men , which are made for travelling light but to keep your tech in check, there’s no doubt you’ll have everything you need to make the initial move.

Our final message of the series? Consider your life beyond the screen, surround yourself with people who are as passionate and driven as you are, and also those that you love to spend your down time with.


For more inspiring stories from some of our digital nomads, take a look around our blog. Or to get super organised before you set off, why not invest in our signature Knomad?