Becoming a Digital Nomad (everything you need to know and how TeacherTee can help)

Everybody loves to take a nice summer-vacation. But what if travelling to fascinating places in beautiful countries wasn’t the once-in-a-year exception, but your everyday life? The absolute freedom of living out of your backpack, spending your days on the beach (or in the mountains – you decide!) and making good money while on the go excites you, but you don’t yet know how to get started? Don’t worry, we at TeacherTee are here to help you take the leap! With this blog, we are going to tell you everything there is to know about becoming a Digital Nomad, from reparation and organisation, to choosing destinations and making money while travelling. 


Why become a Digital Nomad?

But before we dive into the logistics of becoming a Digital Nomad, let’s discuss the most important question first: Why would you want to become a Digital Nomad at all? Because it’s, well, amazing. Think of all the benefits that come with living so independently: You can dive into new cultures and make new friends all around the globe, you can develop new skills and learn new languages, all of which help you broaden your mind. Working on your own, you can set up your own schedule and take time off whenever you want to. Moreover, you will not have to deal with tiresome office politics or annoying co-workers… We could go on like this for a while! Let’s just summarise it by saying that living as a Digital Nomad, you have absolute flexibility in almost all aspects of life.beach life

What do the plants in your office look like? Photo by Pedro Monteiro on Unsplash 

“This sounds absolutely fantastic”, you think, “but where is the catch?” Well, you are right, living as a Digital Nomad does come with certain challenges. To begin with, constantly moving from one place to another can get exhausting, and thus affect your productivity, so maybe you would like to consider staying for a while longer before moving on. After all, how long you stay in one city, region or country is totally up to you. Upon arriving at your destination, you might feel a little bit lonely sometimes, which is absolutely normal. You are in a new place, probably in a foreign country, and you just didn’t meet your soon-to-be friends yet. Backpacker hostels, co-working spaces, local Facebook groups or even simply ‘going out’ can help you in getting into contact with likeminded people. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone working with TeacherTee? The last challenge for Digital Nomads is that, although it seems completely impossible in the beginning, over time travelling can actually lose it’s fascination. Visiting the same kind of places over and over again could start to feel like a routine, so if you’ve spent your last three years strolling along beaches, maybe you would like to give the mountains a go for a change?

man on top of mountain

It doesn’t always have to be the beach… Photo by Simon English on Unsplash 

Getting ready for your Digital Nomad life

You have decided you really want to live the Digital Nomad life (Congratulations!) – what to begin with? We know that you would love to hop onto the next plane right away, but please make sure to prepare your adventure thoroughly to get the best out of it. Probably the hardest part of becoming a Digital Nomad is saving up. Before leaving, you should definitely make sure that you have an emergency fund that could get you home in case it is urgently needed, and enough money on the side to bridge two to three months without income. One of the experiences you do not want to make is running out of money in a foreign country! This is also the perfect time to look for a new job that will earn you good money online while travelling. There is a growing number of options to make money while on the go ranging from working with one or more companies to starting your own business. We were wondering if you have taken teaching English online into account yet? Read everything there is to know about becoming an online English teacher in our latest blog post here! Please also check our Job Board if you’re looking for esl jobs with a company, and don’t forget to get your TEFL certification and your TEFL CV! It’s always a good idea to earn money on the side (have we mentioned you might do it with an online TEFL job?), and it will make it easier to quit your day job once you are actually headed for the airport!

woman working on laptop outside

Maybe she is teaching English online with one of TeacherTee’s lesson plans. Photo by Windows on Unsplash 

Speaking of airports, the only things that will accompany you during your travels will be your backpack and maybe an additional suitcase. As you can imagine, you won’t be able to carry all of your belongings while moving around, and just leaving your flat the way it is and paying rent every month when you are not going to be there for years on end is also not an option. So take a deep breath, and be completely honest with yourself: Which of the things you own do you really need? No pressure, you don’t have to get rid of everything at once! Maybe the couple living next door would enjoy taking care of your house-plants? Maybe your friend who just moved out still needs a desk, a coffee machine, or a collection of shot glasses? Maybe you would like to sell some of your belongings? Selling things is a win-win-win situation: Things don’t have to be thrown away, someone else gets to enjoy them, and you get a little extra money for your savings account. Put everything you want to keep into boxes and think of places to store them. Maybe your parents have some space in their basement?

Now that your belongings are taken care of, a few words concerning organisation: In case you decided to set up a business on your own (maybe as an online English tutor?), make sure you do it properly and register it as required by your home country. If you’re not a pro in tax laws, we recommend hiring a good accountant. It might seem like an unnecessary expense in the beginning, but it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run! Get a good travel credit card and a bank account you can access from everywhere around the globe. Some have extraordinarily high fees if you withdraw money from a foreign country – and this is definitely not something a Digital Nomad wants. An expert’s opinion on Visas you need might also be of value. Furthermore, adequate health-insurance is also vital. Though we sincerely hope you will not need it, having a good one is absolutely priceless once you do! Plus, it will save your family and friends a lot of worries knowing you are taking care of yourself. 

Where to go as a Digital Nomad

Here it is. The question you have been waiting for this entire blog. The question every Digital Nomad has asked him- or herself countless times. Where do you want to go? The answer, future Digital Nomad, is completely, entirely, and absolutely up to you! Can’t decide on which country to go to? Well, what about visiting them all? Just make sure that wherever you go, you have a decent internet connection and a VPN ready on your device. Check TeacherTee’s website for more information on technical requirements and our Facebook and Instagram for more tips and tricks on travelling and working online. The last thing we recommend to consider is how much private space you need and to keep that in mind when looking for accommodation. In case you struggle to concentrate when you are surrounded by people, a shared Airbnb or a co-working space might not be the ideal places for you to stay. Also, if you want to go for teaching esl, a noisy background might interfere with your teaching. In case you are a very outgoing person enjoying the company of others, a shared Airbnb or a co-working space might be just your thing! There is no right or wrong way to do this, just go for whatever you prefer.

world map
Where do you want to go? Photo by Andrew Stutesman on Unsplash

Phew! That was a lot. Who would have thought independence takes so much preparation? You have saved up, taken care of your belongings, booked your online TEFL course, set up your business, gotten your credit card and insurance, decided on where to go, you know what TeacherTee has got in store for you, and – hello, what is that? Have you just boarded your plane? You made it! Congratulations, Digital Nomad!

Written by Johanna Brand