Funding my digital nomadic existence

The life of a digital nomad, bliss and happiness. Right? No worries in the world, just great food, great photos and constant sunshine. 

But how can you live the carefree life of a nomad for as long as your heart desires?

The good intentions of being a digital nomad quickly fade away as you become victim to the same pitfalls as a static life. 

It’s money, it’s always money. You can’t escape the need for it, the need to have it and have a source that won’t dry up. So the question quickly becomes how can I continue to fund my nomadic lifestyle.

Once you get a taste for nomadic life the thought of anything else can bring a bitter taste to your mouth. And you begin grasping at straws to prolong living the dream. 

My first piece of advice is have lots of money, more than you’ll need and then some more. Not great advice, right? Okay then how about having a source of income before you leave for nomadic bliss. Investments, freelance gigs, anything, ANYTHING that pays. 

These ‘anything that pays’ gigs are harder to come by once you’re nomadic and in a state of ‘I’ll take anything’.

Segway into my attempting to fund my Italian coffee addiction by transcribing … whilst it worked in theory with the time I could commit to transcribing I was barely able to pay for more than my morning espresso. 

Us nomads need to consider the reward for effort when it comes to money. Transcribing – whilst it can give you some money – is barely enough and I would even go so far as to say not worth your effort. A side note though, I have read a few useful blogs and if you’re able to start your own transcribing business, and not be the end guy in a supply chain, it can pay off. This could be one of the options you have set up before you leave home.

Okay so now in reality if you haven’t connected with your home network before you’ve left – I strongly recommend you do this before you go, chances are they’re so envious of you after you’ve gone they won’t want to help you.

For my purposes here I’m going to assume that the latter is true and you haven’t managed to find an income source from home, I mean why else are you reading this post.

Don’t fret there are still a few options available to us digital nomads, and in fact there are growing opportunities. The first thing to do is get out of the traditional mindset, whilst you can find remote or home-based jobs on your Seeks, Monsters and Indeeds of the world. Depending on your industry these can be fairly limited and often have the same old work-visa-status restrictions. 

Okay so we’re thinking outside of the box, outside of the traditional way to do things. Who else is doing this? Disruptors! That’s right, disruptors. Why not look for some non-traditional jobs with the guys doing non-traditional things. They’re far more likely to be open to new ways of working, that could be remote, from anywhere in the world. Ideal for us nomads, and let’s face it they’re far more likely to be doing things of interest to us than your standard finance and tech companies. As a writer and content manager, there are a plethora of young start-ups looking for contract/freelancers. 

I’m currently using AngelList, it’s great to find options that are outside of the box and not geographically specific, much like myself these days. 

Another resource that I have stumbled across is remote4me, it’s an aggregator site that filters through all of the noise to simply show jobs that are offered remotely. It makes the search for remote roles a little clearer than the traditional job sites, that more often than not show roles that have remote options, but not primarily full-time remote roles.

My key take away though of course is be flexible, think outside of traditional models and be patient and persevere. Why not volunteer in the meantime, you know what looks great on a resume? Doing anything, doing nothing concerns people. And additionally it helps to keep your skills up to date. Additionally, the cash strapped NGO industry is completely open to digital nomads working from anywhere. They can’t afford expensive overheads like rent anyway. 

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