Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Guest Post: What It's Really Like to Travel & Work Remotely



Thanks so much to Sarah for publishing her article. Her site is a fantastic place for tips and tricks about traveling, fashion and lifestyle. After reading this, be sure to check out her travel bucket list for some great trip inspiration!




Digital nomads are a rare and unique species that have evolved alongside the internet. This group of people—driven by a lust for travel and a life more fulfilling than paper-pushing and 9-5’s—have stepped away from their desk and left the world of the office for good. Instead, they have moved online to find careers and ways to make money in order to pack up, jet off and embark on the trip of a lifetime.


There are many different jobs that digital nomads take but a few factors tie them all into the same category. Whether you’re making income from your own travel blog, writing for others, digital marketing or just picking up any bit of online freelance work that you can find, there are a few factors of every digital nomad’s life that can be summed up easily! These five points are all essential and defining features of a lifestyle that so many of us dream about.  


Freedom


This single word is probably the simplest definition of life as a traveler who works online. It’s the motivation to pack up and go and the thing that gets them through all of the stress, worry and uncertainty that inevitably comes along with the lifestyle.


With nothing to tie you to one location, you can easily pick a place anywhere in the world that you would love to see and simply go there! No more worrying about saving up vacation days at work or being back in time for that big meeting that you can’t miss; no more forcing yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn to get to work on time. Wherever there’s a WiFi connection and a place to sit down, you can call your office, and in the modern world, there are very few places that this leaves out!


Of course there are some drawbacks to this lifestyle, but the overarching promise of complete and untarnishable freedom means that, for many, they’d never consider doing things any other way.

Making Ends Meet


Unfortunately, no matter what you do for a living, there’s no escaping the need to make enough money. Although for some lucky individuals who create enough revenue off their own websites and projects, finance is no longer a pressing issue. But for many, the times of low employment and bad pay can result in a real struggle to continue the adventure. This means that it’s essential to have a back up plan in place.


Some can rely on their pot of savings; however, not everybody is lucky enough to have that luxury. This means that, from time to time, it’s likely you’ll have to take jobs in the place you’re staying. Whether you offer to do a bit of maintenance at the local guesthouse in exchange for food and board, try your hand at busking or even aim for some seasonal work in resorts, having a fall back for when money’s tight is smart and essential!


Sticking to Schedules


Another important, but often overlooked, element of life as a digital nomad is the importance of scheduling! What people regularly fail to consider is that anyone working and traveling at the same time is actually attempting to live two lives consecutively: that of a traveler and a full time employee. This means finding the time to fit everything in is a nightmare! Because of this, having a good schedule and the dedication to stick to it is an essential part of the lifestyle.


Whether you chose to work in the morning and explore in the afternoon or put in the hours during the week and give yourself the weekend off to adventure, if you don’t ensure that you successfully balance the elements of work and play, then you’re creating a recipe for disaster! Although the life of a digital nomad may look exciting and glamorous from the outside, it requires an incredible amount of motivation and hard work to make it work practically.


The Flaws of Traveling Technology
Working online is great; however, as most people know, all technology has the potential for some serious headaches! Especially when regularly on the move, looking after and making sure you have all the right equipment to work wherever you are can be a complete nightmare. Although internet caf├ęs are widely available, when working full time online, the cost of using them starts to add up, so it’s essential for all digital nomads to have their own laptop. This means extra care needs to be taken to avoid it getting broken or corrupted.
This must be done physically, by investing in the right protective casing and gear to stopped it getting smashed up when moving around, but it also needs to be done virtually. Falling victim to a cyberattack when you rely on the internet for your work can be a disaster, so it’s essential to take the steps to protect yourself.


Alongside having good anti-virus software and a proficient firewall, it’s important to ensure you’re using a Virtual Personal Network (VPN). This is because using public WiFi—a necessary evil when traveling—is extremely risky. Cybercriminals regularly exploit these unsecure connections to intercept data and information, which could lead to hacks of important accounts, such as your email or banking. However, using a good Virtual Private Network encrypts your data and allows you to access the network securely.  

Getting to Say “I Love My Job”…and Meaning It!


It’s no secret that the majority of people in the world hate their jobs. However, very few ever do anything about it. Being a digital nomad means you’ve refused to accept whiling away such a large portion of your life doing something you don’t enjoy. Creating a job and lifestyle that you love is one of the most fulfilling things you can do with your life, and most long-term travelers have done exactly this.


Whether you’re setting up your workspace on a tropical island in Thailand or in a ski-resort in the Andes mountains, the invigorating feeling you get when you sit down, take in the breathtaking views and realize just how amazing your life is, is completely unmatchable. Nobody should settle for mediocre work in a mediocre place. If you’re not happy, then it’s time to pack up, grab your laptop and embark on your new career as a digital nomad!


Part of the brilliance of this lifestyle is that, although these five similarities ring true for every digital nomad, each adventure and experience is completely unique. Leave a comment below and to share your experiences of working online or on the road with fellow travelers!  

About the author: Jess Signet is a full time traveler who is passionate about her travels and her work as a blogger and writer. Combining a career and travel isn’t always easy but she hopes this post gives you a little insight into what it’s really like. You can follow Jess on Twitter at: @Jessstravels or read her blog at www.tripelio.com.

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