How to Be a Nomad
So you are wondering how to be a Nomad?
Then brace yourself for this.
What if I told you in two years time you could be your own boss, running your own business, while making enough money to travel the world freely?
Not a week vacation in Orlando, or a long weekend in Ibiza. But a lifestyle that would enable you to travel whenever you so wished. The freedom to travel life at your pace. A few months in Thailand? Sure. A few weeks in Central America? Yes please. You want to know how to be a Nomad. You want the freedom to be where you want to be, when you want to be.
Now brace yourself for this.
What if I told you that in the two-ish years it would take to build your business that you could still travel the world freely?
Bear with me. I’m not messing with you.
You can live a lifestyle of perpetual travel. And you can begin now.
I know you’ve been thinking about how to be a nomad for a while… Everybody dreams of ditching their desks and exploring the world; the good news is that it is totally possible to turn those dreams into a reality…
I’m going to show you a multitude of resources, tips and hacks that will enable you to travel indefinitely. Adventures. Experiences. Excitement. All of it. And in the time you are traveling the world, you will build your business, and be on the path to full time sustainability.
Ditch Your Desk
It can be scary to go against the grain. Friends and family may think you’ve lost the plot when you tell them you don’t want that mortgage, that 9 to 5 job, that car and to ‘live for the weekend’.
Change can be hard for people to bite down on and chew on.
But, by psyching yourself up, asserting who you are and listening to your own instincts, you’re going to be doing yourself a big favour.
At the end of the day, many people will tell you that you are taking a big risk; they are simply projecting their own fears on to you, do not be troubled young padawan, step forward, man (or woman) up and take the plunge…
But how? How the heck does one actually ditch their desk and hit the road in search of adventure and a different standard of living?
This is achievable with something I call my Three Step Process. With The Three Step Process you can confidently begin your path to living a lifestyle of travel. I know this because the lifestyle I’m pitching to you, is the exact lifestyle I’m living.
So you might be thinking “Come on bro! I want to know how to be a Nomad, but I get it, you’re a successful travel blogger, I can’t ditch my desk and do that. I don’t even want to be a travel blogger, I hate writing!”
To which I retort. I’m not a travel blogger.
Travel blogging is only one part of what I do.
I am a blogger. I am a Digital Nomad. But most importantly, I’m an entrepreneur. I make a comfortable income running multiple income streams – all while traveling the world.
My life might seem magical. People often tell me how lucky I am.
But let me tell you something. My lifestyle has nothing to do with magic. And it has nothing to do with luck.
So, how did I start living like this?
The biggest part was knowing what I wanted. It was discovering my desired lifestyle.
I had spent years backpacking the world on an extreme budget, and once I started, I knew with 100% certainty that I would never be able to go back to living a normal life in the UK. I knew that no matter what happened in the future, travel had changed me. I would never be the same, and I would never want to stop.
So I made a decision. I wanted this to be my life. I wanted to wake up every day with the freedom of choice to be wherever I wanted to be.
So I spent a few years building my business.
I started my blog in November 2014; it was crunch time, I had years of adventures up my sleeve and was ready to teach people how to be a Nomad. I had met many inspirational individuals on my travels and had constantly been impressed by those who were travelling the world, working just twenty hours a week from a laptop whenever they felt like it.
Check Out The Backpacker Bible – Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building an online income.
For every five steps back I took one step forward. But finally after two years, I made it. Hundreds of thousands of hours learning and failing and researching and struggling… but now, here I am. Living the Digital Nomad dream!
And please believe me when I tell you, that this life could be yours as well, you just gotta use…
The Three Step Process
What is The Three Step Process? It’s a simple three step system I’ve created to help you become a nomad. Easy as that. The steps allow you to identify your wants, create a plan, travel the world, build your business, and take over the planet!
Ok, maybe taking over the planet is a bit… aggressive… but I want you to feel empowered! I’ve seen thousands of people implementing this system, and I need you to know just how simple and achievable it is. I need you to know this isn’t some get-rich quick scheme. I need you to know that you have every resource and opportunity at your fingertips and you have no reason not to put this into motion.
In Step One I’ll show you how to get started on the path of your dreams. I’ll show you how people are making money online, what options are available, how much income can be made, and how to decide which Digital Nomad careers are best for you.
Step Two focuses on how to travel on a budget like a boss. You’ll be traveling the world, building your online business, but you’ll need to reduce the amount of money you spend and maybe even pick up some work while on the road.
Step Three focuses on monetization. Whatever your business is, it will start picking up traction. This step varies based on which digital nomad path you choose, but I’ll show you real life examples of how people took a $1,000 a month travel fund to a full-fledged business.
I know The Three Step Process works because it’s being replicated by hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and Digital Nomads across the planet.
Let me show you exactly how.
Step One – Choose Your Digital Nomad Career(s)
Step one of my Three Step Process revolves around a few things, but most importantly deciding your path of income. Digital Nomadism is a large topic, with many people doing many different things. So let’s take it from the top…
The Digital Nomad Revolution
If you are wondering “what the hell is a Digital Nomad?”
Let’s start with what a digital nomad isn’t.
A digital nomad is not somebody who saves up 100k working a job they hate only to quit, enrol on a 5k bullshitting course, move to Chiang Mai and enter the boasting brigade.
This is not some elite club, anybody with a laptop and some drive can become a digital nomad.
Digital Nomads are people who make money online. A laptop + Wifi connection = Unlimited income potential.
Your income could be $500 a month, it could be $50,000 a month.
I’ve taken the Digital Nomad plunge along with thousands of others.
There are literally endless ways to make money online, and therefore there are endless “jobs” or “careers” for Digital Nomads, but some of the most popular are…
Bloggers. Day traders. Coders. Web developers. Graphic designers. Freelance writers. Drop-shippers. E-commerce-ers. Content marketers. Affiliate marketers. SEO experts. The list goes on.
Some may sound familiar, some may sound foreign. Some Digital Nomads focus on just one of these things. Some Digital Nomads focus on launching many different revenue streams (hence why it’s sometimes difficult to pen exactly what a Digital Nomad does). But no matter what exactly they do, digital nomads make money online which then enables them to travel the world freely.
It’s a choice of lifestyle. Freedom to travel over material possessions.
In my travels I’ve met hundreds of Digital Nomads all living the same dream. We travel. We build our businesses. We travel more. Our businesses grow. Repeat. We are a group of people who don’t feel the need to live within the expectations of society. We are people who say – screw the cubicle!
Call us dreamers. Call us idealists. Call us irresistibly outrageous. But at the end of the day, cubicle jobs are no longer the norm for us.
In fact. They aren’t just the norm for us. They are completely and utterly unacceptable for us.
Let me run you through it…
As long as you have a wifi connection, a travel friendly laptop, a bit of resourcefulness and a s**t ton of dedication, you can create a successful online business in a few years. You can learn to blog, drop ship, create niche markets or dive deep into the fascinating world of SEO. Then, this business will allow you to live and travel anywhere in the world.
That. Is. A. Fact.
So. With that information… how could a cubicle job be acceptable?
If that’s what you want, then that’s great for you! But there’s no way you’ve invested 10 minutes reading this article to get to this point thinking “yea, I want to keep working my 9-5!”. The world isn’t like it used to be; you no longer have to submit to ‘the 9-5 plan’.
You’re here because you’re thinking “screw the cubicle!”
You’re here because like hundreds of thousands of people, you’ve seen that there is a path out. It’s not an easy path. But there is a path, and it is being replicated, refined and revolutionized by people like you every single day. The Digital Nomad Revolution is legitimate and verified, all it takes is a bit of time to get there.
Ok. You get it. Digital Nomads are awesome.
I’m going to guess I’ve got your adrenaline pumping! You’re ready to build a lifestyle of freedom and travel!
So… which is the route for you? Blogger? Drop shipper? Affiliate Marketer? Day trader?
To complete Step One, read this article. This is where I go super in-depth, explaining the best Digital Nomad Jobs. I explain what they are, how they work, how much time it takes to see them pay off, how much they pay, and more, so you can select your Digital Nomad career with confidence.
Once you pick your Digital Nomad path, we can move on to Step Two.
Step Two – Travel the World while Building your Business
In a word… Step Two is spec-fucking-tacular-wesome.
Great word, eh? I should trademark it…
Why is Step Two so cool?
It’s all in the title. You get to literally travel the world while building your business.
Step Two is when you get to start pursuing the dream whilst living the dream!
Now, I don’t want to mislead you. Yes I want you to get amped up, but I don’t want you to have unrealistic expectations. Plainly put, in Step Two you master the art of budget travel while mastering the art of you chosen Digital Nomad career.
Let me give you some backstory.
How I Used To Travel
When I first hit the road, I did so with no money
I travelled on an extreme budget of about fifty bucks a week – I Couchsurfed as often as possible, and I often went hungry. I picked up random work wherever I could; I herded goats, I dug trenches, I laid foundations, I served beers, I flipped colourful shirts in festivals, I sold weed on the beaches of Goa.
I did whatever I had to in my quest to prove to myself that it was possible to travel the world, even without any money.
I bounced around the globe for several years picking up odd jobs here and there but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I decided to have a stab at being a digital nomad and to try and earn an income from the great mystery that is the internet…
This is the part where you learn from my mistakes.
While budget travel is one of the greatest experiences you can have, it can be difficult to maintain for years on end. It’s more than possible! But long term budget travelers usually start craving some consistency after the 2-3 year mark (AKA not wanting to haggle for everything!)
This is why you need to start your Digital Nomad career now. Your future self will thank you.
These days, I still stick to the adventure basics – hitchhiking, camping and eating local food, but I no longer have to worry about money in the way that I used to.
This is why Step Two is so cool. You’ll travel the world, you’ll work some s**t jobs, you’ll master the art of broke backpacking. But you get to build your business while treating your wanderlust… speaking of which.
Cue cliche travel blogger talking about wanderlust being this incurable disease.
Only, the problem is… sometimes cliche travel bloggers are right.
Call it wanderlust, call it a love for travel, call it a need to experience, any name you put on it, it doesn’t matter!
95% of people that get a taste of travel, become full fledged travel addicts.
It doesn’t mean they become Digital Nomads. It doesn’t mean they end up traveling the world till they croak. It doesn’t mean they figure it out.
But you better f**king believe they want to.
And if I may be so bold, that’s probably an enormous reason why you are here to begin with.
Once you get a taste for travel (or if you haven’t yet but feel it SCREAMING your name) you will never be the same. I hate to build on cliches, but this one has the scientific data to back it up. Every traveler I’ve met on my path is either A) trying to live a life of travel or B) trying to travel more.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many friends I’ve made on the road – first time travelers, long term travelers – who tell me something along these lines…
“Will, this is my last trip! After this I’m going to get a job and settle down.”
And I quietly laugh to myself.
Not because it’s funny, but I’ve seen it a million times and I’ll see it a million more times! Once you get a taste of the road, your feet will inevitably start itching again. It might be a week after you get home, it might be a month, it might even be a year!
But the itch will return. Because frankly, traveling freely is a feeling that cannot be replicated in any other facet of life.
Why do you think people follow so many travel bloggers on instagram and snapchat? They want to live vicariously through the experiences of someone who is living a life of travel.
So stop living vicariously! Stop fighting your instincts! Accept the fact that you are doomed to chase your wanderlust. Don’t fight it by trying to convince yourself this is your “last backpacking trip and then you’ll be able to settle down”. Because you likely won’t.
Which again, is why Step Two is so crucial. Yes it’s about learning to travel on a budget, but it’s also about accepting that you are require a certain lifestyle, and you will do anything to achieve it.
Ok. Wanderlust aside. You’re inspired. Let’s talk money.
Why the Best Place to Build your Business is on the Road
You’re probably envisioning building your business. You’ve seen The Social Network. You know that Mark Zuckerberg built his business a certain way, and that’s probably how all businesses are built.
The greatest way to build a Digital Nomad lifestyle is through a life of travel.
Allow me to explain.
Traveling is Cheaper than Living at Home (In the Right Places)
Rent. Mortgage. Phone bill. Car payments. Car insurance. Health insurance. Utilities. Internet. Cable. The list goes on!
Do you know how much you’re spending a month on these bills?
Thousands upon thousands of dollars every month.
Do you know how much it will cost you to travel a month?
Less than $1,000 a month.
This isn’t an average for the whole world! (I know this because Northern Europe exists) but there are extensive regions on this planet where you can get by for $500-$1,000 a month – and you can get those expenses down to $0 if you apply my budget travel tactics with a bit of travel work!
This is the great advantage of traveling while starting your Digital Nomad business. You get to live for significantly cheaper than you would at home, and when you do need to find work, options exist that can fit your needs.
Work and Travel
What sounds better? Working 40+ hours a week at home to pay your bills, break even, and maybe find some time to build your Digital Nomad business?
Travel the world, live on the cheap, get unlimited amount of time to work on your projects, and pick up work when needed. If you don’t need money, you don’t need to work. If you need money, there are plenty of options.
Whether you are going to make your money travel blogging, building niche websites or starting a dropshipping venture – the best way to do it is on the road!
Don’t I need to Save Money to Travel?
If you saved money before starting your travels, good on you.
And if you didn’t, don’t worry about it. I never did. I didn’t save a penny for my travels. I just kind of…. Started traveling.
I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a goal. And I didn’t have a savings account. I just had a burning desire to walk the earth and experience life to it’s fullest. This illustrates what I’ve been proving with The Broke Backpacker for the last two years. You do not need money to travel.
But, having said that, if it’s possible for you to put a bit of money away, I wouldn’t argue with you.
Don’t feel the need to work for three years to save $15,000 to fund your trip. If that’s what you require as a person – then go for it. There are obviously enormous benefits to starting your journey with a cushion of cash. But it’s not necessary. I’ve spent the last two years highlighting all of the ways you can travel the world with no money. Packing my camping hammock saved me a bunch of money on accomodation, maybe you should try it too?
I don’t support waiting three years to travel to have enough savings. But if you’ve got a few months left on your lease, or need to stay in town a few weeks for a wedding, or just need a few months to get your s**t together – try and save a couple bucks! You certainly won’t regret having a bit of a cushion, just don’t let the lack of a cushion put you off from embarking on this adventure…
Step Three – Monetize and take your Business to the Next Level
So, in Step One we discussed making the decision to ditch your desk, and selecting which Digital Nomad career is best for you.
In Step Two we looked at why traveling is the best way to build and grow your business. I showed you how I used to travel on an extreme budget all while growing my brand.
Well congratulations! You’ve made it to Step Three!
Step Three is the best part of how to be a nomad. It’s the part you’ve been waiting for. You’re cool being a dirty vagabond building your business for a year or two, but after a while you might want to be able to afford the occasional flight, premium cocktail, or dare I say… private bedroom?!?
I’m obviously very aware that everyone’s path to the top will vary. For me it took two years to get to a point where I could live a pretty damn good lifestyle. For some it takes one year (lucky bastards). For other it takes three to four years!
But mark my words. You will get there. And when you do. It will be so. F**king. Sweet.
I know because I love where my life is! I’m living a lifestyle where I’m my own boss, where I choose my hours, where I can take six weeks off work altogether to drive a tuk tuk across India.
I make enough money for it to be beer o’clock at every o’clock. I’ve been travelling this awesome planet for nine years now. Yes, how I fund my travels has changed throughout that time. This is how…
How I Travel Now With My Blog
It seemed like a dream job. There are many ways to become a digital nomad but, since I had been on the road for years, I decided to go down the travel blog route.
It took me just four months to make my first hundred bucks and today I have sponsors that include RedBull, GoPro, Berghaus and others. I make more than enough money to travel indefinitely, worry free, and to save up cash in the background for my grand project; backpacker hostels around the world.
I bring in an average of about $4500 a month from my travel blog; some of that is from sponsors or advertisers, some of it is from affiliate sales on travel insurance and hostels and the rest is from brand partnerships.
$4500 a month is a lot of money, no doubts about that but ultimately I end up investing almost all of it into launching new online ventures.
The sky really is the limit when it comes to building an online income and my objective is to up my income to $20,000 a month by the end of 2017 – so far, with my first amazon niche site bringing in $2000 a month after just four months, I’m off to a good start.
Ultimately, I want to live an off-the-grid existence. My objective is to earn enough money over the next four years, and to teach others how to become a digital nomad along the way, so that I can delete social media forever, buy a large chunk of land somewhere in South America and set up a commune in the jungle.
That may sound nuts to some of you but that’s what I want to do and creating online income streams is how I am going to get there.
Monetizing your Business
Whatever Digital Nomad career you choose, after some months of researching and growing, you are going to start seeing some real traffic and some real money.
This step is difficult to specify because everyone’s Digital Nomad path will vary.
But this is where things get interesting…
As you build your business and create income, you will find yourself with even more opportunities to create more income.
Let me explain.
Taking your Business to the Next Level
So you’ll have your business plan, and work on making money online while traveling the world. After a bit you’ll get to the ubiquitous “$1,000 a month goal.” This number is often thrown around the web as it’s a benchmark for Digital Nomads. $1,000 a month gives you the ability to travel the world fairly comfortably.
But why stop there?
While I love writing and blogging, there’s so much more I want to do, and because of my blog and audience, so much more that I’m able to do!
In October 2016 I put together my first ever tour, The Broke Backpacker Adventures – Discover Incredible Pakistan.
I did the research, put together an itinerary, priced it out, and published it on The Broke Backpacker.
Was it a success?
It sold out in five days.
I’m beyond excited about this. I was planning on effectively testing a new venture using my blog but within five days I had collected twelve deposits (and had another thirty people on the reserves list) for my first adventure tour. Moving forwards, I intend on expanding this side of my business as well.
Step Three highlights the potential of what you build. If you want to be a blogger for the rest of your life, good on you!
But if you want to really make a thriving business, the options will present themselves. And it’s not just me who’s broadening my income horizons…
Like Johnny FD, a dropshipping whiz based out of Chiang Mai, Thailand. After living broke as a Muy Thai Fighter and Scuba instructor, Johnny started a drop shipping company.
He made over $90,000 in 2016 from drop shipping alone.
But now, he’s actually starting to steer away from drop shipping. He made his money, but because of the attention his success brought him he’s more interested in teaching people how to drop ship.
Want some more examples?
How about travel bloggers Nick and Dariece from Goats on the Road getting invited and paid to do public speaking?
Marcello Arrambide who used his successes as a day trader to launch The Day Trading Academy.
Steve Kamb from NerdFitness utilized his audience to create an annual five day fitness camp and launch a bestselling book.
Gary Arndst (from Everything Everywhere) started blogging and this led him to being an internationally awarded photographer.
Ryan Koo from NoFilmSchool utilized his audience to Kickstart his first feature film (which has now been picked up by Netflix).
I could literally go on and on endlessly.
But that’s the point of Step Three – you need to be aware that as your brand (and audience!) grows, so does your ability to build into into something even bigger. The possibilities are endless.
This is the whole learning process for how to be a nomad. You are planting yourself in the digital economy, where the payoff and exposure can be infinite.
But, in order to get there, you first have to invest some time and money. A laptop is essential if you want to be a digital nomad – check out this post for a breakdown of the best value laptops for nomads and travellers.
The Bottom Line
It all comes down to what you want. And if you’re still here reading, I can tell you with a fair amount of confidence what that is.
Freedom to travel. Freedom to live. Freedom to earn. Freedom to choose.
The answer, is in the path of the Digital Nomad.
So let’s get going. To get tips and tricks on how to ditch your desk, hit the road and earn an online income, sign up to the newsletter…
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