Do you dream of learning how to become a digital nomad? Today, I'm going to share with you how I run a business while traveling 365 days a day – yes, we travel full-time! You'll learn how to work and travel, find remote working jobs, and how to manage digital nomad life.
Around two years ago, my husband and I bought an RV and unknowingly became digital nomads.
We thought the RV would just be a weekend thing or for short trips back home to see family.
We fell in love with the RV lifestyle as soon as we bought our first RV, and we quickly decided to get rid of our house and move into our RV full-time.
And, we were able to do this because of our business.
See, I started Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011. It was all just a hobby at the time, and I never thought that I would make money blogging, that it would turn into my full-time career, or that I would learn how to become a digital nomad.
Eventually, Making Sense of Cents was earning enough for me to quit my day job to blog full-time. I now earn around $100,000 a month through my blogging business AND I am able to travel full-time.
Life is great, and I know that being able to work and travel is a dream for many others as well.
No, you definitely do not need to make $100,000 a month in order to work and travel, but you probably do need a business or job that will allow you to work remotely.
Being a full-time blogger is absolutely amazing, and being able to travel full-time too just makes everything much more fun.
If you’re interested in learning how to become a digital nomad, check out these other blog posts on Making Sense of Cents:
- 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money
- What It’s Like Living In An RV
- 9 Work From Home and Travel Careers
- How Much Does It Cost To RV?
- Are You Interested In Traveling The World And Working At The Same Time?
How To Become A Digital Nomad – How I run a business while traveling 365 days a year:
I found a business that allows me to travel every single day of the year.
As I said above, I started Making Sense of Cents in August of 2011 just as a hobby, and I really had no idea that it would turn into a full-time career that allows me to travel full-time as well.
You can find all of my income reports here that detail exactly how I earn a living with my digital nomad business.
My online business allows me to travel wherever I want, and I am not bound by any in-person work.
And, if you are wondering how to become a digital nomad, the first step is to find a career that allows you to work remotely.
This factor is something that holds many potential full-time travelers back, but it shouldn’t! If you really want it, then you can find ways to make money that do allow you to travel at the same time, especially if figuring out how to be a digital nomad is part of living your dream life. This may seem like a big step, but it’s something that can be figured out.
There are many ways you can make money while traveling full-time, such as:
- Start a website to travel and work if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad.
- Telecommute for work travel through remote working jobs. Sometimes your employer may allow you to take your current position and make it a remote one. Other times, you may have to search for telecommute positions. These jobs do exist and are growing in numbers.
- Check job boards in places that you're traveling to. There are often jobs listed on bulletin boards. Someone may need help in the local area, a business may be hiring for temporary work, and so on.
- Work where you travel. This could mean working in the local area, or even finding a job at the hostel you are staying at.
- Become an au pair.
- Become a WWOOFer. WWOOF is a worldwide organization that allows people to live and volunteer on a variety of organic farms. Volunteers help on the land and home for 4-6 hours a day and hosts provide food and accommodation in return.
Related blog post if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad: How To Make Money While Traveling
My average day as a digital nomad.
Traveling full-time means I don’t have an average day, and that’s what I love about being a digital nomad.
My husband and I have a flexible schedule that allows us to see new things and explore new places one day, or we can stay in and work if we want.
Sometimes we stay in one area for over a month, other times it's just a few days. I'm currently writing this while in Arizona, a very popular state for RVers during the winter months. The weather is great here and there are lots of things to do outside during this time of year.
My husband does all the driving and managing of travel/home (including dumping the tanks!), and I am the one who primarily runs the business. It's a good trade off, as both sides require a decent amount of work!
The great thing about having a blogging business is that I am my own boss and I can create my own schedule.
I had to find the best way to manage my time for work and time for travel as I was learning how to become digital nomad. For me, this means I dedicate as much of the daylight hours as I can to enjoying new places and heading outdoors. Then, I dedicate the evening and night hours towards working.
By having this balance and great schedule, I can enjoy where I am traveling to while still having plenty of time to work each day.
Conducting business without a traditional office.
With my business, all I really need is my laptop and internet. Due to that, I can travel nearly anywhere I want.
I communicate with others that help me run my business almost entirely through email. To create new sponsorships with companies and to diversify my business, that can be done on the phone or online as well.
By having a business that is primarily run through my laptop, I am able to be digital nomad and travel full-time.
Finding internet as a digital nomad.
How to get internet while traveling is one of the top questions I receive. After all, in order to learn how to become a digital nomad, you probably need the internet for either business or personal reasons.
Internet isn't always the easiest to come across and there are many options that are both good and bad, but internet can be found nearly anywhere that you travel to.
I have a Verizon MiFi for internet. It's the most common internet device for those that travel full-time in the United States.
With this internet device, I can access the internet from almost anywhere in the United States.
RV park or campground internet is usually quite bad. Plus, you can't rely on free wifi at restaurants or stores 100% of the time either. So, if you plan on working online while traveling full-time, I highly recommend having an internet device such as this one.
The packages aren't cheap, so it is something that will have to be budgeted for. The basic plan is around $50 for 5GB a month. It does get cheaper with the more GBs that you use each month, though. There are grandfathered unlimited plans as well, but those have a high upfront cost and there are rumors that Verizon plans on cutting them soon.
Related read that will help you learn how to become a digital nomad: How To Travel On A Budget And Still Have The Time Of Your Life
How fast I travel as a digital nomad.
Many people wonder if RVers and other full-time travelers pick a new place to live every single day. Some might, but that is not something that we do, unless we are trying to quickly get to a specific destination.
There are pros and cons to traveling slowly or quickly, and we like to have a slow travel speed.
- Traveling slowly is what we prefer to do because it is usually more affordable, there is less fuel waste, and more time to enjoy the area that you are visiting. Our main reason is the last one – you have more time to enjoy each place that you are visiting since you will not be in a rush to move on to the next destination.
- Traveling quickly means that you may be able to visit more places. If you are in a time crunch, then this may be what you decide to do. However, since we plan on traveling full-time for a quite a while, we are not in a rush and can travel more slowly to enjoy each place a little better.
If you are thinking about how to become a digital nomad, this is an area that you will want to think about as it can determine what kind of job that you have. For example: If you need to find work as you go (such as in local areas), then you may want to travel more slowly so that you can hold a job for longer.
We plan trips home, of course.
Traveling full-time and being a digital nomad is a lot of fun, but we still try to balance it with going “home” and seeing those that we love when we can.
We try to visit family and friends for about one month at a time. Thankfully, our friends and family are mostly located in one kind of close area – Chicago, St. Louis, and Memphis, so it doesn't make traveling home to see everyone too difficult.
For 2017, we don't plan on going back home until the fall, which will make it our longest stretch without visiting friends and family.
The first few months of being digital nomads were tough as we weren’t able to see our friends and family like we were use to, but it gets much easier. Now, we stay up to date with our friends and family through texts, phone calls, and social media. This is a great thing about traveling full-time in today's world – it's easy to stay in touch which makes being a digital nomad even more enjoyable!
Managing a good work-life balance is key.
Running a business and being able to travel probably sounds great to the average person, and trust me, it is.
But, like I mentioned earlier, managing a good work-life balance is important if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad. It can be easy to let your business or job take over, which may lead to stress rather than the ability to enjoy where you are traveling to.
The toughest thing I deal with while traveling full-time is unplugging from my work.
Being location independent means you are able to bring your work wherever you go, which means it may be hard to separate your work from the rest of your life.
Both planning and working ahead are what keeps me sane and helps me manage a good work-life balance. So, if I come across an area with no internet, if I really love an area I’m visiting, or if I am unable to work for some other reason, then I can still have fun and not feel as stressed out.
I try to always be a few months ahead when it comes to content for my blog so that I am not frantically trying to get writing work done. This helps me enjoy where I am even more because I am not working on a strict deadline.
If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad, then finding ways to manage a good work-life balance is extremely important.
Passive income sources are ideal for those learning how to become a digital nomad.
For me, passive income goes along with managing a good work-life balance while being a digital nomad, so I am always looking to improve my sources of passive income.
One of my sources of income that makes traveling more enjoyable is affiliate income.
Affiliate income is great because you can create a post, review, etc., and that post may earn you money years down the line with minimal work needed to maintain it.
But, It’s not entirely passive. You will need to build a following, publish content consistently, build trust, and more. You can earn income from one affiliate link or one blog post for a long time, with little work needed to maintain it.
In case you don't know what it is, affiliate marketing is when you try to earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website, social media account, etc. and have people purchase a product through your link. This can be ideal for those wanting to find ways to make money as they learn how to become a digital nomad.
An affiliate is a person or business who promotes a product or service offered by other businesses, and you become an affiliate when you promote an affiliate product.
An example would be Amazon book sales, where you link to a specific book on your website and try to get people to purchase the book through your affiliate link. Amazon and other companies want quality affiliates under their belt, because they want all the help they can get to promote the products and services they are selling.
If you get someone to sign up through your affiliate link, you are then rewarded by the company for promoting their product.
This is what is known as a conversion. A conversion is when a person completes a specific action designated by the affiliate program. It may be when someone enters their email address on a company’s website, when they make a purchase, fill out a form, or some other action through your affiliate link.
You can share an affiliate link with your audience in many different ways, such as:
- Adding an affiliate link to your blog (you can do this by inserting a link within a blog post, page, email, etc.).
- Promoting it on social media.
- Sharing it in a podcast or webinar.
- And more!
One of the best benefits of affiliate marketing is that you can do it from anywhere, which makes it perfect for those wanting to learn how to become a digital nomad. As long as you have a loyal following (even if it’s just a few people), a laptop, and an internet connection, you can grow your affiliate income well into the future. If you want to learn how to become a digital nomad, then affiliate marketing may be an income source to add to your business.
Due to my blog and affiliate marketing I am able to travel full-time. It’s really a great thing!
I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you need this course.
Learn more at Why You Need To Grow Your Affiliate Income.
Keep yourself motivated when working remotely.
Whether you are working for someone else or you are your own boss, you will need to find ways to motivate yourself. As a digital nomad, you won’t have anyone hovering over your shoulder telling you to get work done, and while that probably sounds great to most people, you may find it difficult to stay on task.
If you’re having a hard time staying motivated and completing work, then you may want to set a designated work schedule for yourself. This can help you stay on track just like if you were going into an office.
Another thing you will want to do, like I mentioned above, is to work ahead. This can prevent you from feeling stressed about a close deadline.
Learning how to become a digital nomad has changed my life.
I'm extremely happy that I learned how to become a digital nomad.
I am able to travel full-time, see new places, go on new adventures, and more, all while working on building a successful business.
Plus, you cannot beat the amazing views that we’ve had out of our RV window.
We’ve seen beautiful national parks, amazing mountain ranges, all different kinds of landscapes, and more.
In the end, being a digital nomad means that you should enjoy yourself. Traveling all over the world yet only seeing the inside of a hotel room wouldn’t be any fun.
Get out there, become a digital nomad, and see the world!
The next step if you want to learn how to become a digital nomad.
Many of you are probably really interested in learning how to become a digital nomad and the location independent lifestyle.
I know it’s a dream for many, but there are things to think about. Being location independent still means that you have to work and earn money!
Here are the things you will need to think about if you want to become a digital nomad:
- Figure out how you will support yourself. There are many ways to support yourself and travel at the same time. Whatever you decide to do, figuring it out ahead of time is a good idea. You may find an employer who allows you to work from your laptop and phone, you may decide to run your own business, or you may decide to find work as you go.
- Have a plan. Having a plan is important if you want to travel and work at the same time. Part of learning how to become a digital nomad is planning for traveling and working at the same time. To come up with a plan that works for you, you should think about: How much will you need to earn in order to survive? Will you need to save money before you leave? How long do you plan on traveling for? What will you do for health insurance? Will you have a home base? How will you receive mail? What will you do for internet? Will you need a visa in order to work?
- Determine your pace. This can help you determine where you will work, if you need internet and from where, and so on.
Do you want to learn how to become a digital nomad? Where do you want to travel to?
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