“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho
I became a Female Digital Nomad out of necessity. Necessity to explore and out of fear that 20 years from now I would be filled with regret. And as luck would have it, the planets aligned and I became a location independent worker after years and years of wishing I had the opportunity to travel.
As I’ve said before, I think working remotely is the key to a happy and successful work/life balance and I could scream from the rooftops how much I believe in its mystical *powers*. So let me give you a brief outline how to become a Female Digital Nomad. Because, let me tell you, the hardest part is 100% buying the ticket. Everything else, you figure out as it comes!
Step 1: Ask Your Boss
I assume, like most of us, you are in the beginning-ish stages of your career and therefore are not self-employed and your day hours are indebted to The Man. Just kidding. I’m sure your boss is great, and so is your office culture. But wouldn’t it be even ~cooler~ if you could make your own hours and feel more inspired than ever before with the flexibility to network with fellow nomads and attend seminars in your industry?
“It’d be a lot cooler if you did” *Matthew McConaughey voice*
Before you do anything else, the first step to become a Female Digital Nomad is to respectfully ask your boss. In fact, go above and beyond “asking.” Prove to them why they should let you work remotely. Statistics like Remote Workers taking fewer sick days, less turnover rate, and that remote workers are 22% more productive are excellent starting points to present to your employers.
You can even let them see how they would benefit: Did you know The Telework Coalition shows that businesses save an average of $20,000 annually for each full-time remote employee.
Step 2: Save Money
Once you’ve got the green light from the HBIC, it’s time to save money. There are many easy ways to save money – I saved $5,000 in 5 months just by incorporating a few habits into my routine. And trust me when I say I had a very modest salary to begin with.
You just have to make saving a priority. Going out twice a week and ordering take-out food for lunch everyday is not going to save you money.
I recommend creating a separate account with your bank specifically for travel savings. Set up an automatic draft for $50 a week to be transferred. That’s the cost of ONE night out drinking and you won’t even miss it. That $50 equals an extra $200 per month and $2,600 at the end of a year. Hey, and you know that $200 from just one month of saving? You can almost pay for an entire month’s rent in Chiang Mai, Thailand with that money.
Step 3: Find your Destination
This is the most fun part! Seriously, the possibilities are endless. I started my Digital Nomad journey in Chiang Mai (as do many other nomads) and I highly recommend it as a first stop to dip your toes in the nomad scene.
Chiang Mai has tons of meetups, a thriving expat scene, rich history, and cheap cost of living.
If Thailand isn’t your jam – Prague, Ubud, and Lisbon all have an exciting startup culture with plenty of coworking spots, good coffee, and strong wifi.
Step 4: The Hardest Part -Buying Your Ticket
I wasn’t kidding when I said actually, physically purchasing your plane ticket was the most difficult part of the process. Everything up to this point has been all talk and all wishing, but once you buy your ticket, you’re in it to win it. Which is awesome!
I scoured Google Flights for weeks before finally hitting the “book” button on my laptop. I settled upon a $600 one way flight from NYC to Chiang Mai on China Southern Airlines. Whoa, it’s now real. It went from a hypothetical situation to I’m for real going to Thailand, you guys.
If you’re interested in doing a stopover on the way to your final destination, I can’t say enough good things about AirWander which I used to plan a stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark between Bali to New York City.
You can also find a list of airlines who provide stopovers to break up a long haul trip and explore an additional city while you’re at it.
Step 5: Get Sh*t Done
You did it! You bought the ticket and you’re at your destination. Now it’s time to kill it as a Digital Nomad. Whether you want to impress your boss so you can keep traveling, or work efficiently to make an income to support your travels, you get to work at your own pace which means some serious time for inspiration and marathon work sessions.
I put together a list of ways to be more productive as a Digital Nomad but it’s truly customizable to each individual. Do what works for you and enjoy your new freedom and take advantage of the opportunity! The world is now your oyster!