Cara Menjadi Digital Nomad: Panduan Langkah-demi-Langkah

how to become a digital nomad

Have you ever considered becoming a digital nomad? As the traditional office space gives way to virtual collaborations and remote opportunities, the allure of becoming a digital nomad has never been stronger. These modern-day adventurers have cracked the code to a lifestyle that combines work and wanderlust. But, the journey from a stationary professional to a globe-trotting digital nomad isn't without its challenges. It requires a blend of strategic planning, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace the unknown. Whether you're a seasoned professional yearning for a change or a recent graduate eager to design a career path unbound by geographic constraints, this guide is your roadmap to the thrilling world of digital nomadism.

In this guide:

What Is a Digital Nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who travels and utilizes modern-day technology to work remotely in different locations. A digital nomad often relies heavily on internet connectivity and mobile devices. Their lifestyle offers the unique freedom to explore the world without being confined to a traditional office space. Digital nomad jobs include freelancers, entrepreneurs, developers, and anyone who can work remotely while receiving a steady income.

digital nomad working on the beachUnsplash

What Are the Benefits of Traveling While You Work?

Traveling while you work has personal and professional benefits. Most find the freedom of exploration exciting and rewarding. Other benefits include:

  • Flexibility: Flexible destinations, flexible workspaces, flexible time zones. The obvious benefit of becoming a digital nomad is the flexibility of working from anywhere in the world.
  • See the world: Global digital nomads have the unique opportunity to see the world. Digital nomads experience different cultures, meet new people, and explore exciting destinations.
  • Work-life balance: The work-life balance of a digital nomad is often better than those who work traditional 9 to 5 jobs. Choosing your own schedule means working at optimal productivity times and allowing time to balance work with the pleasures of everyday life.
  • Save money: Digital nomads have the opportunity to choose countries and cities with a lower cost of living. Ideally, this cost of living will be lower than that of their permanent residence.
  • Broaden perspective: New environments not only teach travelers about new places, but they also teach digital nomads more about themselves as they adapt and explore. This encourages a broadened perspective, which will benefit individuals personally and professionally.

Related: The 6 Best Digital Nomad Destinations of 2024 (and Everything You Need to Know to Move There)

What Are the Struggles of Traveling While You Work?

While the benefits of a digital nomad lifestyle are clear, there are, unfortunately, a few disadvantages to consider.

  • Loneliness: Working and living in a foreign country often means being far away from familiar friends and family. Meeting new people is exciting, but it can also be difficult. Not having people to talk to can lead to feelings of isolation. This is why it's so important to stay connected while you travel. Consider purchasing an eSIM from Airalo to stay connected. It's a cost-effective and reliable way to chat with loved ones and access data while working and traveling.
  • Time zone: Working abroad means most likely working in a different time zone than your employer and/or colleagues. For some, this is a fair trade for getting the opportunity to work in a new country. For others, this may be difficult as late-night calls or early-morning deadlines may prove tiresome.
  • Less stability: In traditional work settings, you see colleagues daily. You build relationships and camaraderie with peers. While traveling and working, those relationships are harder to build. Long-term relationships and routines may be difficult.

digital nomad working on a laptop


How to Become a Digital Nomad: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step One: Do You Really Want to Become a Digital Nomad?

The first step is a simple question, but it takes careful consideration to answer. Consider your current situation. From a professional and personal standpoint, is working remotely in your field feasible? Do you have a safety net to support your decision? Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone and make the leap to a digital nomad lifestyle?

Step Two: Evaluate Your Skills and Conduct Research

Carefully consider your skills and professional expertise and determine if they are compatible with digital nomad jobs. Whether you have a traditional employer or freelance clients, make sure they're on board with the transition to digital nomad. Determine if remote work is feasible, and if so, make a case for the work-from-anywhere lifestyle.

If you are currently working for a traditional employer that doesn't support the decision to work remotely, what are your other options? Once you've evaluated what you can bring to the table, research remote job boards and industries that hire remote workers and digital nomads. Freelancing is an excellent natural progression into the digital nomad lifestyle. As a freelancer, you'll have the flexibility to choose your own hours, projects, and clients.

Step Three: Secure a Job

There are digital nomad jobs out there, but you'll need to dig to find them. Popular digital nomad jobs include content creation, social media markets, travel agents, graphic designers, online teachers — the list goes on and on. Websites like Freelancer, Upwork, We Work Remotely, FlexJobs, and RemoteOK are great places to start. These sites allow potential digital nomads to choose work that best matches their interests and expertise. Just make sure to choose work that can be done anywhere. But while these online platforms are valuable, they're not the only option. Setting up an online business as an entrepreneur is also another great option.

Step Four: Prepare for Your New Digital Nomad Life

Digital nomads are often constantly moving. Establish a home base with a family member or friend where you can receive mail, especially important documents, while on the move.

Also, being a digital nomad can feel isolating and lonely without human connection. To lessen the likelihood of loneliness, start connecting with the digital nomad community. Find like-minded people abroad through organized activities and events. Forums, social media groups, and apps like Nomadago are helpful. Having a network offers valuable insight into different destinations as well as providing support and a friendly face while traveling abroad. These connections are invaluable.

Step Five: You'll Need a Budget

What are the living expenses in desired locations? How much will you spend on food, rent, etc.? Creating a budget is essential to plan a digital nomad lifestyle. Equally important, how much are you expecting to make? A realistic evaluation of both income and expenses is necessary before embarking. A safety net is always a good idea in case changes in employment or living occur. At least three to six months of living expenses is good to aim for.

Step Six: Choose Your Desired Location

Choose your desired location. Scotland? Thailand? Spain? You can pick anywhere that best meets your specific needs. However, take into consideration where you are legally allowed to live and work. This takes a bit of research. Consider expiration dates for passports, digital nomad visa requirements, health insurance, and tax laws. Also, consider time zones and how they might affect employment.

Step Six: Find a Place to Live

Whether you choose an Airbnb, an apartment, or a digital nomad community, you'll need to ensure the accommodation includes everything you need to do your job successfully. This might include a reliable internet connection. Also, with every role, a reliable phone is necessary, and an eSIM is an excellent, cost-effective option to access data while you're abroad.

Other considerations include a dedicated workspace, quiet meeting rooms, and an ergonomic chair, to name a few. Every job has different needs. Determine what you need and ensure it's accessible in your living space.

Related: The Digital Nomad in the eSIM Age

Step Seven: Get Documents in Order

Find out what documents are required to fulfill your digital nomad lifestyle and get them all in order. These documents will likely differ depending on which location you choose. Start by researching specific documents required for the particular countries you're going to. This may include digital nomad visa requirements, work permits, and proof of health insurance, among others. Obtaining the correct visas and permits for your desired country will help you ease into the digital nomad lifestyle with fewer complications.

Related: Spain Digital Nomad Visa: How To Apply

Step Eight: Take Advantage of Your New Digital Nomad Life

After establishing a work routine, have fun exploring the world. Take advantage of every opportunity and explore as much as you can. Immerse yourself in different cultures, see new places, and meet interesting people. Embracing the unknown can be scary, but the rewards of stepping out of your comfort zone will broaden your perspective and offer the adventure of a lifetime.

Also, remember to give back when you can. Support the community by shopping local, reduce your carbon footprint by walking and riding a bike when possible, and be mindful of water and energy consumption.

Related: 10 Sustainable Travel Tips for the Conscious Traveler

Airalo eSIM

How To Stay Connected as a Digital Nomad

It's important to stay connected while traveling to new countries. Leverage technology to keep in touch with friends and family, stay up-to-date with work, and research new places to explore on your digital nomad journey. 

The easiest and most affordable way to stay connected when you travel is with an eSIM. Here are a few ways using an eSIM from Airalo can benefit you as a digital nomad:

  • No roaming fees. eSIM plans are prepaid, so you don't need to worry about accidental roaming charges while you travel. 
  • Tether your eSIM data. No Wi-Fi connection? No problem. You can tether your eSIM data to another device, like a tablet or laptop.
  • 100% digital. There's no need to keep track of a physical SIM card for every destination — you can save up to eight digital eSIM profiles on most smartphones.
  • Top up your data. Many Airalo eSIM packages have a top-up function, which allows you to top up your data, calls, or messages on the go. 
  • Share your adventures. Use your eSIM data to send emails, connect with your loved ones, and post on social media in real-time.
  • Stay connected. You don't need to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to get online — instead, you can use an eSIM to access data wherever you travel.

Ready to embark on your digital nomad adventure? Visit the Airalo store to find eSIMs for 200+ countries and regions worldwide. 

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