I’m going to come right out and say it. I quit my job to travel the world. Perhaps a decade ago it was something new, but with the digital age and our constant connection (no pun intended) to social media, it seems like every other week another person is quitting their job to do the same. As the age-old saying goes though, nothing is free. So how are people affording this lifestyle? What is it they are doing differently to fund the #travelforever life and be a successful digital nomad? And how do you get a piece of the pie, too?
Whether you work your ass off to fund a four-week holiday, save for three years to take a gap year or work while abroad, there is always work involved. So, if, like me, you never planned to become a digital nomad but find yourself enticed by the freedom and life of travel, this article is for you. I made all the mistakes (yes, there were many) so that you don’t have to – here’s what not to do if you want to be a successful digital nomad.
1.) Don’t Pigeonhole Yourself, Skills-wise
Ugh, we’re kicking this off a little seriously, eh? OK, so here’s the thing: At one point or another, most of us had no idea what the heck we wantedto do with our lives. I, actually, wasn’t one of those people. I wanted to be a lawyer, so straight from high school, I went on to study for 6.5 years and came out a qualified lawyer. My mother was very proud. Needless to say, telling her that I was now leaving my law career (which, before you ask, was nothing like Suits) to pursue a life of travel blogging did not go down well.
The biggest struggle for me in transitioning from a lawyer to a travel blogger was my lack of transferable skills. Legal writing is so far from creative writing that studying law was a disservice to me! I found that I was starting from absolute scratch – I have had to learn how to find my voice in my writing, how to build a website, how to manage social media and how to run a business.
I’ve worked on improving my photography and videography skills, and my plan is to never stop learning. I made sure to broaden my horizons so that I don’t rely on blogging alone and all of these skills can lead to many alternate, successful digital nomad career options.
So, if you are still figuring out what you want to study or you’re considering being a digital nomad, pick courses and skills to learn that are transferable and will leave the maximum amount of options available to you. If you’re unsure of what you want to do and feel pressured to pick something, look at online courses (there are a lot of cheap or free courses on sites like Udemy) and try your hand at coding, design or social media management. You can also look at TESL certificate courses to teach English abroad or online!