Do you dream of being a digital nomad? The type of person who can travel the world and work from anywhere they want. Maybe you have no skills, or maybe you do – either way, this blog post is for you! In this blog post, we will cover how to be a digital nomad with no skills, how to get started as a nomad if your skills are limited, how much money it will take to start out on your own terms, and how flexible you need to be in order for this lifestyle to work for you.
When I quit my job as a nurse specialist 8 years ago to start my own business while traveling, I didn’t expect it to be forever. However, after the taste of freedom that working from anywhere gave me, I knew that I could never go back to a corporate job. Also I was able to build a six-figure business my first year.
I didn’t have any specific skills that would allow me to work online but I still managed to start my own business and be a digital nomad. That being said, I strongly believe that anybody can do it if they put their mind to it!
Here are my best tips on how to be a digital nomad with no skills and no degree.
Is Digital Nomad Life For You?
I know how you feel. You’re tired of the daily grind and want to be your own boss. You want to be able to travel the world while being able to work from anywhere. But how do you make that happen?
The first step is to figure out if becoming a digital nomad will work for you! Not everyone can just pack up and leave. You need to be self-motivated, willing to learn new things, and able to handle a little bit of uncertainty about how you will make money online while traveling. This lifestyle is best for people who are creative, entrepreneurial, and willing to work hard at honing their craft. You will also need some money in the bank to help you get started on your nomadic journey!
There is a lot of fear and uncertainty when it comes to how to start out as a digital nomad, but this lifestyle isn’t all rainbows and butterflies – you need self-discipline, motivation, and the will to keep working hard even when things get tough.
A lot of people quit their digital nomad journey early on because they are not prepared for how difficult it can be! You need a positive mindset that you can overcome all challenges before starting out as a digital nomad.
The freedom and the advantages of being a digital nomad are numerous, but there are also some downsides such as a lack of security, missing connections with friends and family, and the struggle to maintain self-motivation to work.
How To Be A Digital Nomad With No Skills?
Now you might be wondering, how to become a digital nomad with no experience or with no skills. And what skills do you need to be a digital nomad?
The truth is, you don’t need any specific skills or experience to be a digital nomad. In fact, I never had any of the typical digital nomad skillsets when I started out! I was just an average person with no experience and very little money who wanted more freedom in her life. It can be scary to give up a steady paycheck, but if you have the drive and follow these tips on how to be a digital nomad with no skills or degree then it can totally work for you!
Think About What Skills You Do Have
If your skills are limited, don’t worry – there is still hope for you as a digital nomad! You can do a lot with creativity, hustle, and resourcefulness.
Do your research. Find out what skills are in demand in countries that interests you.
Using the skills you already have will help when you are looking for suitable online jobs that will allow you to become a digital nomad. Everyone has some sort of skills that they can use (or learn) to be a digital nomad.
Be Flexible With Your Skills
You need to be flexible when you are trying to become a digital nomad because it is almost impossible for one person to have all of the skills necessary in every location that they go on their journey. That means you will have to learn how to do a lot of things on your own.
However, this is also what makes being a digital nomad so rewarding! You get the chance to experiment and try new things out without worrying about how it might affect your career or education because you already quit those in order to be able to travel. Plus, every new experience is another story to share with your nomadic community!
Do You Need to Go Digital?
The other thing to consider is if you can combine your online work with other jobs while you travel. If you love the outdoors, you don’t have to only work at a computer when there are lots of other jobs you can combine with your online business that allows you to work and travel.
Some nomads work in hotels or other tourist enterprises near the beach over the summer, then go to the mountains for a ski season work in the winter.
I think it’s a good idea to not put all your eggs in the same basket. You could maybe do some work as a virtual assistant online and work at a restaurant at the same time. Or start a blog and take on some freelance writing missions until your business takes off.
This is a great opportunity to make some money while your starting and growing your online business.
Personally, as I’m a nurse specialist, I worked at different hospitals while traveling and building my online business.
How Much Money Will It Take To Start Out As A Digital Nomad?
The amount of money you need depends on on how long it takes for you to get started. If this is something that excites and inspires you, then I encourage you not to give up on your dreams just because you don’t have that much money right now. There are many ways to make extra cash on the side while you work hard at starting your own business!
It might be costly to travel, but if you plan ahead of time, you may be surprised at how much money you save by eliminating all of the non-essential things that you were buying previously. Just try to stay focused on your desire to travel and keep the pennies in your pocket!
The freedom that comes with being a digital nomad is priceless. You will have the world at your feet, so try not to worry about how much money you need in order to get started. If you are passionate and work hard then it’s possible for anyone who wants more freedom can become a digital nomad.
Use Work Exchange Programs
Now you might be wondering how to be a nomad with no money. Work Exchange programs are an excellent way to work abroad without paying anything. Working for a few hours in return for accommodation, food, and other perks is known as a work exchange. This is one of the ways that made it possible for me to travel for long periods of time while building my digital online business. When you don’t have to pay for your accommodation, your spendings go down significantly, and you don’t need to make a lot of money in order to continue traveling.
This means that when you go on your travels, you can use these programs while trying to find a job.
Popular work exchange programs are for example WWOOF, HelpX,, and WorkAway.
Work Exchange programs aren’t available everywhere, but if they are available in your destination of choice then consider using them as you travel around!
How Do I Start a Digital Nomad Career?
When moving towards how to be a digital nomad, there is some thought needed on how exactly life will work while living on the road.
Choose a City With a Digital Nomad Community
If your nomad lifestyle will be long-term, how can you find a community to connect with? How can you meet friends and maintain relationships with family back home? Do co-working spaces exist in the area where you’re going or do they have an online platform that allows access from anywhere?
Having a community with other digital nomads to connect with is crucial. If you visit a city with an established nomad community, you’ll have more help.
Popular digital nomad destinations are for example Chiang Mai, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia, and Medellin in Colombia.
There are also digital nomads who live on a boat sailing around the world! This might not be for everyone but it’s definitely how some people choose to travel while building their online business or freelancing career.
Choose a Location That Aligns With Your Working Hours
If you have a remote job (or clients) based in the United States, working from locations that share time zones with the U.S will be ideal. Avoid locations with large time differences, where it may be difficult to maintain a social life or maintain a healthy routine in addition to work.
Pick the Right Bank Account and Credit Cards
Some banks in the United States charge a fee if you use an ATM at a different bank. In turn, the other banks or ATMs may impose their own fees. You may be charged two separate sets of ATM fees if you don’t pick your bank carefully.
Choose a bank that reimburses ATM expenses so you don’t have to worry about it. A popular choice for digital nomad banking is Charles Schwab. If you don’t want to pay extra fees, consider using a credit card at ATMs and paying it off each month so that no interest charges accrue.
Get a Travel Insurance
Picking the right health care plan can be an important part of your decision when considering how to be a digital nomad. The costs of health care in other countries can vary significantly from what you’re used to paying, so it’s important to get the right insurance plan before traveling abroad.
You should also consider how long your trip will last and how many places you’ll visit if any at all. If you aren’t going far or roaming about a lot, you might be able to get by with only the base amount of insurance.
It’s also possible to buy travel health insurance from your country that will cover you in other countries if anything happens while you’re abroad.
Decide What To Do With Your Belongings
Moving abroad means you’ll need to decide how and what things will work for your new life. You can ship or store some of your belongings, but it’s important that whatever choice you make is affordable.
You might want to consider downsizing the amount of stuff you have to make moving easier. Travel lightly when you’re on your new lifestyle adventure. Make sure your items are travel-friendly.
If you own your own house or apartment at home, consider subletting it to a long-term renter. This can be a good way to reduce your overhead costs.
Think About How You’ll Finance Your Nomad Lifestyle
This is one of the most important questions for how to be a digital nomad – how will you pay for everything? Will it be with cash, credit cards, or another method? How can you save money while traveling so that expenses don’t spiral out of control?
The answer may be different depending on how long your trip is and where you’re going. If it’s longer, consider opening a savings account that pays the interests while keeping cash at home for emergencies.
Digital nomads might also choose to go the route of credit cards with travel points or using other methods (like Bitcoin) to transfer money.
Consider Your Technology Requirements
Computer and Internet Connection
You’ll need some essentials when you travel and work as a digital nomad. First, consider what your computer needs are and how much space is required for bringing it along with all of its accessories. You may want to purchase a smaller laptop without the typical bulky hard drive if you’re traveling light.
Other tech needs may be more specific to how you work, so check your client contracts and how much technology will be required before starting a new business as a digital nomad. A good rule of thumb is that the faster the internet connection in the place where you’re working, the better off you’ll be.
If you want to live and work abroad, invest in a good VPN (Virtual Private Network). A virtual private network (VPN) will allow you to log in to U.S.-based sites more easily, as well as watch Netflix and other streaming services (which may or may not be accessible in the country you’re visiting).
If you have a phone plan with a U.S. provider, you’ll almost certainly incur additional charges for international use or your data will be capped at a slower speed after you’ve used up your free worldwide data allowance.
Buying a prepaid SIM card with a data plan while traveling abroad is a great tip for saving money.
This is a far superior alternative than constantly turning your phone off and looking for a Wi-Fi hotspot. That’s just not a long-term option when you’re a digital nomad (as opposed to someone who’s on vacation).
Where to Find Digital Nomad Jobs?
As a digital nomad, how can you find work online? There are many ways to go about it.
Some sites to look into are UpWork, Fiverr, and Remote.com.
There are also several remote work conferences around the world where you can meet with potential clients in person or get a feel for how to be a digital nomad.
How Do You Succeed As a Digital Nomad?
So what are the secret to success as a digital nomad? These tips are my top recommendations:
Work-Life Integration Instead of Work-Life Balance
Strive for work-life-integration instead of work-life balance. Creating a rhythm of work and integrating work with your needs, not just your deadlines is crucial. This is key when you’re doing freelance work and want to live life on your own terms.
Be Prepared To Work Hard
Expect to hustle hard especially in the beginning. Don’t expect to work less than you would at your “real job” for an extended period of time. Maybe a few years even.
Make The Most Of Your Flexible Schedule
There are pros and cons with everything, including being a digital nomad, but there’s no doubt that it’s the most flexible way to live. Once you minimize your belongings and your location-based liabilities, you’ll realize that living and working anywhere really is possible.
You’re free to work the hours that are most productive for you most of the time. For me, that’s between 5:00 a.m. and noon. Your performance will not be graded on the number of hours you work. Instead, efficiency key: you just need to get the job done.
For me, this is the big benefit of being a digital nomad. I can be there in a matter of minutes if anybody in my family or close friends needs me. If I need a few days of yoga and peace to clear my head, I can just decide to take some time off. I am able to go places on my own timetable and conditions. This is what I call freedom.
Give Yourself Time To Get Past The Learning Curve
Be prepared that it will take some time to get your groove living and working nomadically. Do not expect to leave your old life and just fall seamlessly into the new remote lifestyle. Remember to be kind to yourself. Know that challenging moments are normal. It will take some time to become great at what you’re doing.
The key, in the beginning, is to slow down. When the instinct is to run a million miles per hour you need to set boundaries, around work time, family time, playtime, self-care time. Whatever time you need to consider. This is particularly crucial if you’re new to the whole notion of managing your own schedule.
Don’t be scared of trying things, change things up, admit mistakes, celebrate and grow on your success.
At least three months is about the time it takes to adapt to your new nomad work life and get over the learning curve. At the end of three months, you’ll know more about what’s working for you. Everything will not be perfect by then, but you’ll be getting there and you will see results.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, have patience, and give it a chance for at least three months.
Streamline Your Workflow
Explore workflows and systems that will streamline your repetitive tasks and increase efficiency, this will save you hours when you’re in a pinch on the road.
You Can Have a Real Career As a Digital Nomad
Working remotely has become more common due to the pandemic, bringing the nomad lifestyle into the mainstream. Many people mistake the digital nomad lifestyle for one that sacrifices financial stability or holds unpleasant employment. That is not true at all.
The last year has shown that many of us can work from our laptops without having to go to an office. There are several remote work employment search sites that provide a comprehensive list of open job opportunities.
Working remotely has become more common in recent years and with it the digital nomad lifestyle. The freedom and the advantages of being a digital nomad are numerous. This blog post is just one example of how you can live anywhere around the world while still taking on projects that contribute to your livelihood. You’ll have access to an international network which could open up possibilities for new business opportunities as well as meeting people from all over the world who share similar interests or goals. If this sounds like something you might be interested in what are you waiting for!?
Related article: How to start write for a digital nomad blog