In 2017, I distinctly remember sitting at my office desk looking longingly out the window, wondering how to become a nomad.
I asked myself where I would be and what I would be doing if I wasn’t stuck working in one fixed location.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could work from … Peru and ogle at sexy llamas during my lunch break?
Or even ….. Barcelona!
I could amble over to the beach after work, stick my sunnies on and pretend I could speak Spanish by exclaiming ‘Si!’ every time someone asked me a question.
The sky was bright blue, and I wanted nothing more than to kick my work heels off and gallivant free in the sun.
I thought …. traveling is great .. but I need to pay my bills! I want to buy a house one day .. I don’t want to sleep at a bus stop when I am old O_O
It seemed everyone that I knew who worked remotely, was good at IT and coding.
But I had no background in IT, and coding made me want to slap myself in the face.
So, I thought, I there is NO WAY I can become a nomad 🙁
But somehow, through a lot of research, extensive google searching and hard work … I found out ways to make it happen.
I ended up climbing to EBC, traveling around South East Asia, working in NZ, moving to Ireland and then to Spain … while working from my laptop.
I now work where I want, when I want. I am not tied to one location AND I am also not bankrupt.
If you are reading this and feel how I did a couple of years ago, it is time to feel better, because you are on the right track. I did exactly what you did right now – read how other people did it.
I promise you, it’s entirely possible and I am going to try and share as much of my insight with you, so by the end of this article, you will know exactly how to become a nomad.
If you are looking for useful articles to get started on how to become a nomad, read these:
Now I need to disclaim two things:
I’m not super-rich (yet :)) and this may not be a lifestyle that is for the faint-hearted.
You need to hustle, work hard and be prepared for that gut-wrenching fear that you may not meet your savings goal for a while …BUT this lifestyle has great potential to help you live comfortably if you work hard and smart.
Secondly, I know for many, talking about money is bad taste BUT when I was stuck in that stuffy air-conditioned office wondering if I should quit my job and throw caution to the wind… the big questions were:
HOW DO I MAKE MONEY, HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE, CAN I AFFORD TO PAY MY BILLS AND HOW DO I GET STARTED?
So, it’s only fair I am as open and helpful as possible because I found it useful when other people were the same when I started.
How To Become A Nomad?
On my journey on to how to become a nomad, I earned money a few ways:
What is it?
You polish and refine anything written… and make it look sexy 🙂
I began my nomad career as an editor/proofreader. I have always enjoyed helping people with their CVs or essays for fun, and then I found out you can get paid for it!
Weirdly, I launched my digital nomad career by working an editor, climbing up to Everest Base Camp, during my holidays. Just as I got on the plane, an editing job came in.
As I climbed up EBC, I edited the university thesis of a Bangladeshi student.
I made sure his thesis had perfect English and grammar. He wrote the content, I corrected everything else to make it sound seamless and flawless.
I told myself that if I could work remotely while climbing up to EBC, then I could do it full time while sitting in my house.
I completed the editing project the evening after I summited EBC. I submitted it and it paid for my entire trip.
This gave me the confidence that this whole becoming a nomad malarkey was real!
You can charge whatever you want by page or by the hour, but it’s dependent on how much work is required to get it up to scratch. It also depends on the market i.e. European clients are prepared to pay more than Southeast Asian clients.
As a rough guide I charge USD2.5 per page, the average thesis is 250 pages …so that works out to be USD625.
It would take me a day and a half to finish this if I put my head down, stopped having dance-offs with house furniture and didn’t take random photos of dogs, etc.
How to get started
Quite honestly … I stuck an advert up in a university and offered my services. I initially offered my services for free to my mates and used that as samples for my portfolio.
This rule doesn’t only apply to English speakers. If you speak German/Malay/ whatever, offer to proofread and correct the language and content of anything written.
Use Microsoft Tracker and save it, so you can use it as a sample when you approach paying clients. You just need that FIRST client, then that gets the ball rolling.
Once I had a few more samples from paying students, I had the confidence to approach other universities and editing agencies (I just googled: editing agencies), who then sent clients to me, but REMEMBER, the latter takes a cut.
Proofread Anywhere offers an online course to help get you set up as a Proofreader.
Also, here is a guide I wrote on: How To Get Started As a Freelance editor’
I didn’t start with this rate; I charged a bit less to give me time to feel comfortable and build up a loyal client base.
As you become more experienced, you can start increasing your rates. You can’t expect to get rich overnight.
Do it on the side, on the weekends or evenings while you still have your main job. Build a #sidehustle.
DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB UNTIL YOU BUILD A SIDE HUSTLE.
It will help you build your confidence; you can still pay your bills and you won’t be risking too much.
If you want to know how to become a nomad that doesn’t sleep at a bus stop, then don’t quit your job until you have built up a side-hustle.
What is it?
You improve the language/ skills of anyone willing to pay for it! I worked as an online Business English and IELTS tutor.
I used my English language and previous work experience to help people pass IELTS exams and communicate effectively in a corporate environment. I taught all my classes over Skype and Zoom which saved me commuting time and costs.
It also allowed me to teach students from all over the world. I had students from Lebanon, Germany, Russia, Korea, you name it!
I charged between USD30 – USD60 per hour (but I didn’t start with that rate), but I know teachers who charge much more. You can also earn more if you teach more than one student per session.
How to get started
The easiest way is to get yourself a 120-hour online teaching certificate called a TEFL.
I recommend you can get a 120-hour TEFL certificate, which can be done online and at your own pace.
I suggest this one because 1- it specifically trains and prepares you for online teaching in addition to standard teaching and 2- it is endorsed by DaDa and iTutorGroup, as one of their recommended courses. (Both are two HUGE online schools)
Once you have completed the TEFL, if you want to know how to become a nomad and get started as an online teacher, read this:
There are HUNDREDS of online teaching jobs once you have some sort of teaching qualification.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a Native English speaker. There is a huge demand for other languages and skills and a plethora of platforms you can teach on.
If you are looking for a list of schools that hire non-native English speakers, read this:
Also, if you don’t have a degree, read this:
Teach English Online No Degree
And if you don’t have the experience, read this:
3. Freelance Writing
What is it?
You write! Anything and everything to anyone willing to pay you 🙂 I currently write for travel, law and finance websites.
You can charge as little or as much as you want, but I charge nothing less than USD100 per article (unless I REALLY enjoy working for the publication and don’t mind charging less).
I know writers who charge much more, but certain niches pay better than others i.e. personal finance, technology, etc.
I have charged USD500 for an article relating to both law and finance and it took me half a day. There is money to be made if you are willing to look for opportunities.
How to start
To be quite honest, I spent ages trying to google free information on how to become a freelance writer.
But I don’t have a journalism degree and I felt like I was at a huge disadvantage, as all the other writers I knew had years of experience.
After multiple rejections and many tears, I decided to take Elna Cain’s ‘Write to 1k’ course
And, honestly, it launched my freelance writing career within 3 weeks.
I was so angry I waited so long to invest in myself.
Elna Cain is amazing, she is a stay at home mom of twins, who has managed to turn her love for writing into a lucrative full-time lucrative job.
The best part about this course is she gives you pitching templates you can send to your clients. She also created a 30-day plan which, if you follow, will ensure you secure at least one client.
I secured 3 within 3 weeks, the course is that good.
If you want to know how to become a nomad while writing, I recommend Elna Cain’s ‘Write to 1k’ course, as I took the course myself and it genuinely helped.
4. Social Media Manager
What is it?
You manage social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for clients.
So many businesses are looking to increase their online presence, but they don’t have time. So they hire someone to help them manage their social media accounts.
I managed the Pinterest and Facebook of clients to expand their online presence, gain new customers and increase their brand visibility,
This involved me creating posts and pins which would get high engagement rates.
My social media manager rates started at $30 per hour, but if you are just getting started, perhaps price yourself a bit lower, to begin with, and get a few clients under your belt.
It’s easy to increase your rate, as this is a hot and in-demand job.
How to get started
The best way to learn how to become a nomad and work as a social media manager is to set up a social media account like IG, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Start growing it and google ways to increase followers. Once it grows, use it as evidence to get your first client 🙂
What is it?
Coaching is quite similar to teaching, but you may not necessarily have a syllabus as all the knowledge is in your head. There are all sorts of coaches out there, yoga, life coaches, business coaches, you name it!
I am a location independent coach.
I coach people how to transition from their full-time job into a remote working role. I assess my client’s skills and then create a strategic plan for them to follow.
Essentially, I teach them how to become a nomad.
If they follow my advice- they will end up earning money remotely. It’s as simple as following my strategy plan.
So far, I have successfully coached people on how to become online teachers, social media managers, virtual assistants freelance writers, and editors. All the things I have done myself!
My rate starts at USD60 per hour
How to get started
I just started talking about it more and more on my blog. I mentioned how I coached others on how to become a nomad and how they are now successfully traveling the world while earning. People don’t know about it if you don’t talk about it.
If you have any experience and want to share it with others, mention it on social media, set up a website and create flyers.
Maybe start with a few free clients first and then get testimonials and use that as proof that you are credible and good at what you do.
What is it?
Blogging involves you writing and sharing things on your blog, which you are passionate about. On my journey on how to become a nomad, blogging had been my favorite job thus far.
It helps if you write about stuff that is useful, entertaining, inspiring or solves people’s problems. That was, people will continue to follow you.
For example, OutandBeyond.com is a digital nomad website that solves the problems of people not having enough money to save or live more. It also provides solutions on how to work from home, so you have more free time to spend with your family, friends, or things you love.
You can earn an income blogging via:
- Advertisements on your blog
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Selling your own digital products
You can earn $0 to over $100,000 per month, it all depends on how to monetize your blog!
There are bloggers out there making millions, such as Michelle Schroeder
How to get started
Here is my FREE step by step tutorial on how to step up a blog and different ways you can make money blogging.
So, where to from here? Good question.
I think I would like to focus my energy and efforts on creating a passive income.
I really enjoy writing and coaching, but if I am sick or want to hike or ski for a few weeks… I don’t earn any money. So I need to diversify my income streams so money can be made when I am sleeping… or more likely .. scaling mountains. 🙂
This means I will be focusing my attention on this blog and I may create some digital products.
I still enjoy coaching and running workshops, so I will continue doing that when I can.
Once I hit $10,000 in passive income per month, I will share it with your guys, so you can do the same!
If you have gotten to the end of this article, I am hoping you feel a bit better.
It means you now know how to become a nomad too.
Trust me, if a girl who is hopeless at computers and had no idea how to become a nomad a few years ago can now successfully work full time while traveling and saving … then you can too!
The only digital nomad tools you need are a laptop, WIFI, and a willingness to learn and work hard. Once you start earning money remotely, you can move to some of the best digital nomad cities in the world!
I was part of a cool digital nomad community in Barcelona 🙂
If you want other articles on how to become a nomad and earn money on the road or find out jobs for nomads, it’s worth reading these:
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