- Author: Paul Arnesen / 8 Sept 16 -

PIcture of a person sitting with a computer under a palm tree


- Author: Paul Arnesen / 8 Sept 16 -

PIcture of a person sitting with a computer under a palm tree


Sofa, macbook and desk
Picture by: Diginom Solutions

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I really wanted to travel around the world while working. I love to travel, but found it hard to travel as much as I wanted with a job were I had to be at one location all the time.


Also working 9 - 5 Monday to Friday with only weekends and holidays off scared me more than excited me. I wanted to do with my life whatever I wanted to do.


So I sought my passion and I managed (with some luck) to get an income working from my computer. I was curious about this lifestyle and the term “digital nomad” showed up. This is what I wanted to become.


However as I did my research I found out that just calling yourself a digital nomad is not for everyone according to this post on Reddit.

Defining a Digital Nomad

This reddit post by MR_3381 says it very simply “digital nomad = work using laptop”.


That is what it is, Right? I agree to some extent, as I will explain later, but for now, let us go with that definition.


Finding work that you can do from your laptop is simple just because of how connected we all are these days. However it also means getting a skill that you might not currently possess. Also you need to be good at what you do. Which means practice, trial and error. Finally  you need to find someone willing to pay you for your services.


Networking, building a reputation, getting your stuff out there. These are given to anyone. Or, like me, you can get lucky (see this post where I explain more).


My experience with people that talk about wanting to live a location independent lifestyle is that they really would like to pursue that dream, but there are other things than skills that are holding them back.

Pursuing dreams means sacrifice

I talked to a close friend of mine, he is past 30, single and happy and he works in sales. He has all the time in the world and told me that he would love to do what I do.


Why won’t he? He really don’t want to sell his apartment, he doesn’t want to quit the soccer team. Basically he doesn’t want to sacrifice friendships and the current non stress life he is living now.
I understand this, I had to make the same sacrifice. But also, I am still friends with my friends. Real friends keep in touch, no matter where you are in the world.


Also, which is a point often made by current digital nomads, life is not only beaches, sun and happy days. We are like everyone else, but we have decided to remove ourselves from the fixed one-place lifestyle.


That doesn't make becoming a digital nomad any more different than changing jobs back home.

Who becomes digital nomads?

Most digital nomads I have met are very adventurous, open-minded, happy and content with life. They are also organised, flexible and hard workers. We all know people like this, not all of them are remote located workers.


A good lesson I learnt when I was a manager for a small business some years ago is that it is easy to teach a new skill, but very hard if not impossible to change someones personality.


The fact of the matter is, claiming or wanting to be a digital nomad is something everyone can do! There are no rules, the only one holding people back are themselves. Their personality and willingness to sacrifice.


So to say, no you can’t be a digital nomad is just stupid. Of course you can, if you really decide to become one! Make the decision mentally first, then do the work towards it.


But acknowledge the hard work you need to put in, because it is not something you just sign up to become.

The digital in digital nomad

And by the way, as I mentioned earlier, who says that you only need to do the work from a computer to earn the living and define yourself as a digital nomad?


The computer is the tool you need to keep yourself organised. So why not be a dog sitter? Or nanny? Maybe work at a vineyard for a season. If you have organised your company it is just your imagination that keeps you from getting work.


No one owns the phrase digital nomad. These days we are all digital.

Start the journey towards it today!

If you dream about it, make some moves, and with time you are location independent.


A couple of books that helped me make the decision is


A good place to start is one the job section of my website. Look for what companies are searching for, and see where you could start.


Also, I am currently advising and coaching people wanting to become location independent. Send me an e-mail if you have the dream, but don't know where to start. The first consultation is free.


Good luck!



Relevant reading:


DIGITAL NOMAD - 3 BASIC TIPS ON HOW TO BECOME ONE is a site with curated resources for those looking for venturing into a location independent lifestyle and for those already living a digital nomad lifestyle. Some links on this site are affiliate links that makes this site possible to stay open and free for you.


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