Insider Tips to Become a Freelance Digital Nomad
Looking to be inspired to live the digital nomad life? My guess is that this change has been on your mind for a while. You’ve looked into options, and toyed with a few ideas, but you haven’t made it happen. I’ve been there. I can relate.
The reality is that there’s never a perfect time to begin something new. Stop waiting and do it now!
With that, here are all the best tips to shift your mindset to this amazing lifestyle.
First, what is a Freelance Digital Nomad?
“Digital Nomad” is a term given to remote workers who travel to different locations.
No office, no hours, just the requirement to have a laptop and a WiFi connexion.
Digital Nomads work in cafes, co-working spaces, hotels or wherever they want.
How to be a digital nomad? Coffee Shop, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico | @ Gurvi Movement
Why did I decide to be Digital Nomad & Freelance?
I caught the travel bug quite early on, when I left France 8 years ago, and started working and traveling across the globe. I have lived as an “expat” in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Mexico; while exploring many other countries in each region.
By working independently I can :
- forget about daily commute, traffic and office outfit
- have the freedom to choose my clients and my projects
- work at my own pace and organise your days as I wish
- have the ability to discover the world while working
- no longer depend on a boss to validate my vacation
On my freelance journey I learnt early on :
#1 You got to have self-discipline and motivation. While it is a dream lifestyle (it really is!), to have the freedom to travel and work on your own terms, your career and success will be determined by your own daily decisions. which can be sometimes exhausting or overwhelming. Becoming the only decision maker sometimes can bring a lot of stress and fatigue.
#2 Do NOT accept all the missions available to you. If something feels off (client personality or project), that’s probably because it is. Trust that gut feeling.
#3 Your working environment is one of the most important factors in being productive. Make sure to choose cafes, hotels or coworking spaces in which you can work in good conditions: table or desk, space, natural light, internet connection, good playlist, …
Being a Freelance Digital Nomad & catching the sunset, in Casapueblo Uruguay | @ Gurvi Movement
What are some nice digital nomad hacks?
→ Get a SIM card from a good network service provider
This is more reliable in case you travel to remote places, and if your hotel WiFi is poor 💩
It will free you from relying on hotel or coffee shops WiFi.
→ Find a cool hostel AND co-working
Selina Hostels offers unique destinations around the world, each hostel providing a nicely designed co-working area and high speed WiFi. Perfect for networking, and working remotely.
→ Looking for great recommendations & inspirational content?
Culture Trip always makes my travel planning easy, having up-to-date articles relating to food, coffee shops with good WiFi (yaaas!), art, music, books, film and design experiences.
→ Find networking events for digital nomads and remote workers
→ Remote Year runs work and travel programs for professionals who want to live and work in different cities around the world without having to compromise their professional pursuits.
How to become a digital nomad? In Tonga | @ Gurvi Movement
How to find freelance work?
Now it is time to talk about how to make money.
As a freelancer, you can work for different clients and projects.
To find them, there are specialized platforms that act as intermediaries between you and a potential client.
→ 9. 99Designs (exclusively for designers)
→ Writer Access (exclusively for writers)
Do not forget to activate your social medias profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, …). Word to mouth recommendation is still very effective in finding new clients and projects.
New Zealand Digital Nomad (Tongariro National Park) | @ Gurvi Movement
My favorite cities / countries as a digital nomad
#1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
With a rich culture and incredible weather, Buenos Aires is a perfect destination for freelancers & digital nomads.
The cost of living is low, there are incredible coffee shops with fast WiFi everywhere, and no doubt that you will also find a lot of fun and excitement in that city.
#2 Ciudad de México, México (DF)
Mexico is a beautiful country with lovely people, rich culture, delicious food 🌮 and an overall low cost of living.
If you are a freelancer/coffee lover looking for a coffee shop in Mexico City (CDMX), you ought to head to the hipster neighbourhood of La Roma.
The area Condesa also hosts some of the best coffeehouses, as well as a ton of art deco masterpieces.
#3 Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua is a town that is spectacular from many angles having ancient volcanoes that loom in the background, to cobblestone streets and brightly coloured colonial buildings that line the streets. Coffee shops with good WiFi makes it perfect for a freelance digital nomad.
Digital Nomad Experience. Coyoacan, Mexico City, Mexico | @ Gurvi Movement
What skills should I gain in order to become Digital Nomad?
Non-exhaustive list of the best digital nomad jobs:
- Web and Mobile application developer
- Graphic – Visual designer
- User Experience – User Interface Designer
- Expert in online marketing
- Advertising expert (Facebook or Google)
- SEO expert
- Community Manager
- Web writer (SEO or freelancer)
- Translator, transcriptionist
- Virtual assistant
- Online trainer or teacher
- Youtuber / Vlogger
- Travel blogger
- Online Psychology
What is the challenging part about being a freelance digital nomad?
I wouldn’t change my decision to become a digital nomad for anything, but there are challenges.
The thing that I miss the most (apart of my family and friends) is not having a team around, and the human connection I could find in an office.
But of course, I quickly made new friends and develop new social circles.
Here are the other challenges of choosing digital nomadism :
→ Dependence on equipment and WiFi
→ Uncertainty about month-to-month income
→ Overcoming feelings of loneliness
→ Finding others to engage in new perspectives, knowledge, methods and tools
→ Visa concerns and bureaucracy in some countries
→ Digital Nomad Health Insurance
→ Creating a new sense of home
Freelance Digital Nomad in Petra, Jordan | @ Gurvi Movement
What if I don’t have the skills needed to look for any of the above jobs?
You have skills. Everyone has skills.
Assess your skills set and what you could sell; make lists of your interests
Take online courses, view You Tube tutorials, listen to podcasts, read articles, learn a new language, above all be open to what is around you.
If you learn quickly, you will develop a marketable skill quite quickly, and begin seeing the extra cash roll in. 💸
Hi 👋 My name is Julie. I am the founder of Gurvi Movement. French by passport, world citizen by heart, I am currently based in Mexico City.
As the travel-a-holic I am, the digital nomad lifestyle has always been calling my name.
I left France 8 years ago, and since then I work and travel across the globe.