6 Myths about Digital Nomads You Need To Let Go

It’s quite incredible what some people believe about the digital nomad life. Whenever I scan the many questions of the wanabes I’m left dumbfounded. Do you think digital nomads live in paradise? Are we modern-day gods to you?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it isn’t anything like that.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what I do. I’ve met tons of awesome people, visited lots of countries (I’ve long since lost counts) and done some awesome things. For example, a few weeks ago in Nicaragua, we climbed a volcano and swam in a crater lake, near Granada. Last night we were in a hostel located beautiful old mansion in Costa Rica called Tripon 2. There the owner plied us with free rum as we discussed how we could work together.
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How to Learn the Skills You Need to Be a Digital Nomad

What holds most people back from being a digital nomad isn’t the ‘nomad’ part (though there are plenty of [myths] (/myths-about-digital-nomads/) about that). It’s the part where they aren’t sure how they’re going to be able to make their money online so they can take to the open road. If they could just learn that, then they’d be set. After all, once you’ve got income you’ve got the space and the time to learn the skills you need – including how to be a nomad.

For that reason, in this article, I’m going to look at the digital side of things. More precisely, I’m going to look at ways that you can learn the digital skills that you need.
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How to Effectively Market Your Blog on Social Media

Many bloggers still seem to function under the premise that ‘if I build it, they will come’. They spend hours and hours crafting blog posts, put them up, share them on a few social media pages and that’s it.

Of course, the people don’t come and naturally, that’s disappointing. But as every article says that blogging is a long game these bloggers don’t get discouraged. Instead, they return to their keyboards and start writing up the next blog post. They’re convinced that if they just keep at it, sooner or later, if they just write well, they’ll get discovered. And then, then they’ll be famous.

If you’re one of these bloggers then here’s some tough love for you: This doesn’t work.

It’s like trying to get rich by winning the lottery. I mean, how many blogs make it? Let’s be extremely generous and say it’s 10,000 per year. Well, there are about 152 million blogs out there.
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Do you have the right personality to be a digital nomad?

It’s terrifying to take the step from a sedentary existence into a digital nomad life. It’s a leap into the unknown. After several years out here, I’d kind of forgotten that. But the more I talk with those who want to take up the life, the more I’m reminded of how I too used to wake up in a cold sweat at night. I spent days worrying at the question if heading out or staying in was the bigger mistake.

Just like these people I was talking to, I’d wished I had a bit more certainty. I wondered if I knew enough about the travelancer life. I questioned if I had the right personality to be a digital nomad.

I dealt with the first question last week. So this week I’ll deal with the second one. And if you’re going to ask any questions about personality, well then you have to turn to psychology.

So, for a second time in a month, I’ve put on my psychologist’s hat. After a bit of research, I realized there’s a lot out there – far too much to cover in one article.
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8 Things You Need to Know About the Travelancer Life

Many are attracted to the traveling freelancer life. Does that include you? Do you sometimes think, “I could be a digital nomad. I could lounge around in fancy hotels, fly first class and work two- hour days with a Mai Thai in one hand”?

I hear you. I sure could.

The thing is, the digital nomad life isn’t some drawn out hotel commercial. Because of the many myths floating about, it is probably nothing like how you imagine. What digital nomad put in their travel mags and Instagram is just as filtered as the baby pictures your friends fill your social media feed with. The digital nomad life isn’t heaven. It isn’t hell. It’s a life. Nothing more or less. Like any life, it has its ups and downs. It might be perfect for you. It may not be. That’s not for me to say.

Instead, this article is about making you aware of some of the realities of setting up a freelance life on the road. It will discuss the things you need to know – like what you should do before you leave, what you can expect, and how you can make things easier for yourself.
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How to Launch a Successful Freelance Writing Career

I’m not going to pretend I’m raking it in as a freelance writer. Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t do so in the future. I’ve only been doing it full-time for a little over a year. Who knows what the future may hold? More importantly, I have achieved one thing. I’m making enough money for my girlfriend and me to see the world.

In this year we’ve gone from barely scraping together enough to live, to being able to travel across three continents (If you want to know more about that kind of life read my article 8 things you need to know about travelancing). Most months we break even and some we even end up ahead.

The best part? I’ve become a better – and faster – writer because of it. That means that for the most part I only work around four hours a day. So we’ve got plenty of time to see the sights. And so I’d say I’ve succeeded at my attempt to launch a successful freelance writing career.

So how did I do it? And how can you?
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Freelance Abroad From Coroico, Bolivia

Much like Sucre, where we spent a month and a half, we ended up in Coroico almost by accident. We heard about it while having a few beers in a bar. Some Scandinavian guy was singing its praises (or maybe he was just speaking, I can never tell with Scandinavian English). As it was only three hours away, we decided to give it a try.

And boy, are we glad we did!

It was an absolute gem. What’s more, as I’ve explained in Slow Travel, when you hear about a place like that it might be the real deal. Why? Because it hasn’t yet been advertised in ever magazine and website. That means they aren’t as likely to be overrun by tourists. Nor are the locals as keen to gouge you.

Like I’ve said before, on the road a place is a lot like a lover. You don’t want too many people to have gone there before you.
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Freelance Abroad From Sucre, Bolivia

It’s hard to be working on projects while you’re folded up around your laptop on a 24 hour bus ride without a wifi signal. Similarly, you’re going to struggle to work when one eye is watching your bags and the other is scanning when your plane boards. For that reason when you freelance abroad, you’ve got to stop and go.

The question is: Where can you go to stop a while?

For if you just pick at random chances are you’re going to end up in some horrible dingy motel without any windows. The veteran travelers know the kind of place I’m talking about. Those locales where the internet is even flakier than the paint on the walls. The kind of places where it is a running question if you’ll manage to finish your article before the bedbugs have finished with you. (When I’m in one of these places, I always worry all they’ll find of me after a night is a mummified husk).

Of course, you can follow the suggestions of other travelers. Sometimes they’ll point you true. The thing is, they don’t freelance abroad. Instead, they are therefore focused on completely different things like hikes and adventure. And so, they often steer you wrong despite their best intentions.
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Freelancer Success Stories: Grain of truth and a bucket of salt

I’m sure you’ve read those stories where they claim: I made 5000 dollars in my second month! I paid off my university debt in less than a year! I only have to work an hour a day! They’re all over the internet – freelancers and their claims of success.

For a time as I worked to launch a successful freelance writing career, I read them all, trying to figure out their magic. I analyzed them, dissected them, put them back together again and tried to apply all the advice to my life. I woke up early, worked ten hours per day, applied in certain ways, put myself out there, and wrote pitches till the cows came home.

It didn’t work half as well as they suggested.
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11 Characteristics of a Successful Traveling Freelancer

Being a traveling freelancer is awesome. You get to live on the road, see beautiful places, get numerous physical and mental benefits and find unexpected inspiration. And today there are more reasons to leave than ever. At the same time, it is not the same as a never-ending backpacking trip. This is a life, not an escape from one. And let’s face it, for most people backpacking is far closer to the latter than the former.

That means that though having traveling experience certainly helps, just because you’re good at backpacking, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily also a good traveling freelancer. A little more is needed.
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