As each hour goes by and each day passes, the very real road to becoming a digital nomad is hitting me harder and harder (phrasing).
Working on finances, what to pay off, what can wait, what has priority, what to do when the time comes, what needs to be done, etc.. pretty much making a whole lotta life decisions in a span of several hours.
The astounding amount of debt a typical 26 year-old guy has, to eliminate all the credit cards and loans in less than a year is a very bold move. Let’s just say that I have over $13k USD to pay off by September 2018. That’s $1300 a month! From what my friends have figured out is to take control of credit card debt. After that, to tackle the bike and car payments, and basically triple the payment of that a month. It’s going to be a very ambitious goal to meet, but something I’m willing to do.
Money sucks. What I’ve seen in how-to’s, blogs and any other type of resource out there about being a digital nomad or an expat is to rid yourself of your financial obligations before you head on your journey. The last thing you want is to have some type of large financial obligation back at home taking your income while you’re abroad. It totally makes sense.
Another large part of prepping yourself for your new life abroad is to create some type of income that can be done from pretty much anywhere. Unless you’re rich, a location-independent income that you can generate either passively or whilst working online is going to be key in your endeavors.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t have any type of passive income in the form of rent income or another business you own. You need to have marketable skills that are in demand and can be performed while away from home. One of the most common ways to earn an income while abroad is to market yourself as either a web developer (front and/or back end development), publishing or drop shipping through Amazon.
Since I don’t have any type of marketable skills that I can do away from home, I learn all of my skills through Skillshare. With Skillshare you are able to learn pretty much anything and everything. For me, I’m learning about digital photography, post-editing, iOS app development and front-end web development (website building). Those jobs are definitely something where you can work from a computer abroad and earn some type of income to fund your living costs and travel expenses.
I’ve threatened to move away from home so many times, it’s actually almost sad to even write about. From California to Michigan to Virginia to Arizona, each of those ‘attempts’ have been half-baked at best. Surprise surprise, I’m still in Minnesota. The income I make at my day job, my friends and family have always kept me in Minnesota. Content is one helluva word to describe the life I’m living. Not doing anything particularly exciting in my life, just literally living it day-by-day, earning an income, spending said income to live somewhat of an exciting life traveling around the US with whatever little time off I had.
This transition to becoming a digital nomad has been a very unique one for me. With the little time I have away from my day job, I spend now honing in on my photography, coding and blogging skills. Usually with Josh, Rezal, Sam and Veronica. My best friends Carrie, Ryan and Tiff (hey guys! I miss you!) I haven’t been hanging out regularly unfortunately.
I want to spend more time with my friends I haven’t seen in a long time, with what little time I have left here in the States, however I need to continue to work on my marketable skills to truly work online on a location-independent basis.
My mother has probably been the most skeptical about this whole ordeal, citing that I’ve failed to move to closer places within the US, what makes moving to a different country in Asia different? She’s right you know. I definitely do not do well in hot and humid climates, I definitely don’t speak any other language besides American English, I don’t have a steady-paying job abroad to earn me a guaranteed income to sustain myself.
Who knows whether or not this will be another half-baked attempt on moving to a different location to start a new life. One thing is for certain though is that my drive to travel and work online at coworking spaces is much larger than the other motivational factors I’ve had in moving to those other states.
Work hard, play hard — but don’t forget about your friends and family. They’re forever.