Transitioning from the 9 to 5 grind to a life of working remotely from anywhere in the world is one of the most freeing decisions you can make. However, while you may be eager to throw in the towel at work and start your journey to becoming a digital nomad, it’s not a transition you should jump into.
Before you become a digital nomad, you need to know what to expect so you can decide whether the lifestyle is right for you and plan all necessary precautions in advance.
Here are 3 of the most important things to consider before living and working remotely.
1. Know the right locations for digital nomads
You may think you’ll have the entire world at your feet, but not every city or country is suitable for digital nomads. There are several things you’ll need to consider before deciding on the locations you’ll live and work in.
One of the most important factors to look at is visa policy. Most countries have a limit on how long you can reside there without a visa application. On top of that, tourist visa work rules can be very strict—in some countries, you may not even be allowed to work remotely as a tourist. If you don’t thoroughly research visa policies in advance, you could find yourself at risk of being deported.
Another crucial consideration is internet connectivity. As a digital nomad, you won’t be able to make money without speedy internet access. Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful countries in the world—including Egypt and India, for example—have very slow speeds. You’ll also need to be mindful that internet connectivity is often more reliable in bigger cities than in rural areas.
While it may seem tempting to throw a dart at the map or head wherever the wind takes you, these possible problems mean it’s important to know the right locations for you before you start travelling.
Here you can find a list of the best cities to work and travel as a digital nomad.
2. Know what to do if your computer dies
A dead computer can feel like a real death sentence for digital nomads. Without your computer, you won’t be able to work, earn money, and keep yourself afloat. You could also lose valuable clients if a computer breakdown makes you miss deadlines.
Unfortunately, not all countries are filled with great laptop repair shops. That’s why you need to have a backup plan in case your laptop gives out on you while you’re travelling.
The best backup plan is to have a cheap, spare laptop for emergencies. A tablet with a keyboard attachment is also a suitable temporary replacement for most nomads. Of course, if your work requires powerful software that won’t run on tablets or low-end computers, it’s better to just keep a reserve of money to buy a new laptop if necessary.
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If none of the options above will work for you, make sure you research internet cafes in every location you stay in. That way, you’ll have somewhere you can go and rent a space to work while you work out your next step.
3. Know how to protect yourself
On the topic of internet cafes, it’s important to remember that not every wi-fi connection is trustworthy. From cafes to restaurants to hotels, most cities are filled with numerous unsecured, free wi-fi networks.
These networks are very attractive to most digital nomads since they allow you to work without having to settle down and take out an internet contract. However, not all that glitters is gold; these alluring public networks are often very unsafe.
That’s because digital nomads aren’t the only ones who love free wi-fi networks—hackers love them too. Since the connects aren’t secured, hackers can easily intercept all the data you send over a public wi-fi network, including everything from credit card information to sensitive emails. They can even send viruses over the network, allowing them to keep recording your data even after you leave.
Thankfully, protecting yourself is easy when you know how. All you need is a VPN. VPNs reroute your internet connection through a secondary, secure server, encrypting all your data so hackers can’t access your connection.
As an added bonus, you can also use a VPN to access content from your home country when you’re abroad. If you’re a Brit who loves UK Netflix, for example, a VPN can mask your IP and trick Netflix into thinking you’re in Britain when you’re really in Peru. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of great VPNs.
Also, here is a video of top 8 digital nomad jobs to work from anywhere in the world:
While the list above only shows a fraction of the things you need to know before becoming a digital nomad, it’s a good place to start. If you can handle country restrictions, emergency plans, and digital safety, you should have no problem taking on the rest of the challenges that come with living and working remotely.
The journey to digital nomadery may take some time to get to grips with at first, but once you’ve worked out all the precautions, it’s a decision you won’t regret making.