How to Become a Digital Nomad: The Ultimate Guide

Do you want to become a full-time digital nomad?

Hey, we are Josh and Kevin. We are determined to help people live the lives they have always dreamed of. My only question is, will it be yours?

I am a full-time digital nomad, and that means I can work and live anywhere in the world.

In fact, over the last few years, I have been able to work from Portugal, Germany, Canada, the United States, Prague, France, Bali, Thailand, Greece, and the list goes on.

This is a topic that I am very passionate about as it changed my life forever. You see, I was a University student told I needed to get a job, get a car, buy a house, and start a family.

But I had other ideas.

I wanted to travel the world and see as much of it as possible. And I didn’t want to do it on someone else’s schedule or timetable.

I wanted to travel to the most remote locations on the planet, climb the tallest mountains, and compete in adventures I had read about and seen on the discovery channel. And working 300 days per year at a corporate job was not the way I would ever achieve this dream.

However, I want to note that I am extremely financially driven… There is a common misconception that being a nomad or backpacker means you do not have any financial drive or goals. For me, this is the complete opposite. I need to be financially successful while waking up every morning excited to take on the day. I need a hybrid life.

After living the last 6+ years as a full-time digital nomad, there are many things that I have learned. This article is for anyone interested in living a hybrid lifestyle—a combination of financial success and time and location freedom.

Here we will answer all the basic questions you may have about living a digital nomad lifestyle.

What is a digital nomad?

Let’s start with the basics. What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is “a person who uses telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner.”

In other words, a digital nomad can work from anywhere worldwide with an internet connection. This can be achieved by working online, freelancing, running an online business, or any other creative endeavor. Remote work can be an excellent option for those that want the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere.

The barriers to entry are shallow, and anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit can make it happen.

Why Would Someone Want To Become A Digital Nomad?

There are many reasons why people choose to become digital nomads.

For some, it’s financial freedom and the ability to earn an income anywhere in the world.

For others, it’s the desire for more time and freedom to travel and explore the world on their terms. And for some, it’s a combination of both.

I became a digital nomad so that I could live a lifestyle that allowed me to travel and work simultaneously. It was vital for me to have the flexibility to pick up and go whenever I wanted or needed to and not be tied down by office jobs.

Advantages of becoming a digital nomad

As mentioned, one of the best parts about being a digital nomad is that you can travel anywhere at any time. However, many other benefits may be less obvious from the outside perspective.

Financial savings

One of the most surprising things to people is when I say living a digital nomad lifestyle saves me thousands of dollars monthly. But it truly does. Yes, traveling costs money, but if you decide to stay in a destination for a few months, you save a lot.

Let’s take a quick look at monthly spending in Bali versus Canada (where I am from).

In Canada, my monthly expenses are as follows:

Rent (single bedroom downtown apartment) = $1250

Transportation (vehicle + gas + insurance) = $900

Food (groceries and eating out) = $700

Activities (movies, gym membership, excursions, etc.) = $300

Misc. (cleaner, laundry, phone, etc.) = $500

This is a monthly total of $3,650 dollars.

In Bali, monthly expenses are as follows:

Rent (a nice villa on the water) = $600

Transportation (motorbike and gas) = $50

Food (groceries and eating out) = $400

Activities (excursions, gym membership, scuba diving, etc.) = $200

Misc. (cleaner, laundry, phone, etc.) = $120

This is a total of $1,370 every single month.

Now, as you can see, monthly spending is a big difference when you live a digital nomad lifestyle. And this is just one example. There are many other places where your costs can be much lower than living in North America or Europe. 

Even if you add in a monthly flight of $1000, you are still saving hundreds of dollars as a nomad, and the quality of life is dramatically higher on the Bali budget than on the Canadian budget.

Quality of life

And that brings me to the next point: the overall quality of life is much higher as a digital nomad, and this is because you are able to live in places that offer an excellent quality of life for a fraction of the cost of living in Western countries.

For example, I am currently living on an island in Thailand called Koh Lanta. It’s a beautiful island with white sandy beaches, clear blue water, and a lush jungle. I can rent a waterfront villa for $600/month, which includes a full-time maid. I eat fresh seafood daily, go scuba diving on the weekends, and spend evenings relaxing on the beach.

Try doing that on a $3650/month budget in Canada, and you will quickly see why the quality of life is so much higher as a digital nomad. There are endless low-cost alternatives to western lifestyles, and it is all about going out and finding the one that fits your needs!

Cultural experiences

One of my favorite parts about being location independent is experiencing different cultures.

When I travel, I prioritize immersing myself in the local culture as much as possible. This means learning the language, eating the food, and participating in activities that are unique to that culture. Cultural experiences give me a true perspective on life and are a huge reason I continue to live a nomadic lifestyle.

Controlling your time

One of the most ridiculous notions to me is when someone works a job they hate from Monday to Friday. And then they are only able to live their life on the weekends. This is entirely backward, in my opinion.

As a digital nomad, I am able to control my time and work when I want to work. If I want to take a day off, I can take that day off. I can work on a Saturday if I want to work on a Saturday.

I am not tied to a desk from nine to five, which gives me a huge sense of freedom I could never experience working a traditional job.

Earning as much money as you want

This is something we will dive into later in this article, but one of the most significant advantages to working online is that you have the potential to earn as much money as you want.

There are no limits on how much you can make, and this is a massive game-changer for those looking to live a nomadic lifestyle. There is an infinite number of ways to earn a full-time income online, and it just takes hard work and creativity. I like to think of life as a game.

We are given all the puzzle pieces we could ever need to earn any money through internet access. Our job is to find the most effective and efficient way to put those puzzle pieces together to make as much money as we want.

How digital nomads make money online

That leads to the following question: how do digital nomads make money online?

There are thousands of online jobs, but we will break this section down into two parts: being a remote worker for a company and owning a location-independent business.

There is no better option here, as not everyone should be an entrepreneur, just as not everyone should have an employer. Digital nomads work in all industries and it is based on the individual and what they are looking for in life.

Remote working jobs

First, remote working jobs. This can be any company that allows you to work from home or anywhere in the world. The most common remote jobs are customer service, telemarketing, sales, data entry, and virtual assistant positions.

There are websites like We Work Remotely and FlexJobs that list all of the available remote positions for companies all over the world.

The best way to find a remote job is to start by looking at your skill set and finding a job that matches those skills.

Owning an online business

Second, owning an online business.

This can be anything from developing apps to selling products on Amazon to dropshipping physical goods. The sky is the limit when it comes to owning your own business.

The best way to find a business idea is to look at your hobbies and interests and see if there is a way to monetize those.

For example, if you love hiking, you could start a blog about hiking gear and review different products. Or, if you are into fashion, you could create an Instagram page and sell clothes through that.

The best online businesses are the ones that are related to your passions in life and that ideally create passive income. If you are familiar with my blog, then you know AI freelance writing is (in my opinion) the absolute best online business to start if you want to get started as a digital nomad.

Here are some of the top online businesses for digital nomads:

  • Freelance writer
  • Affiliate marketer
  • Dropshipper
  • Social media influencer
  • App Developer
  • Podcast host
  • Youtube channel owner

These are just a few of the many online businesses that digital nomads can start. Here is a list of 114 remote working jobs to help you become a digital nomad.

Where to find online jobs

If you decide to have a freelance business or are looking to have your own business online, there are many places you can find work.

  • Job boards – There are many online sites online that list remote jobs in all industries. The most popular ones are We Work Remotely, FlexJobs, and Upwork. Finding a job board that offers location independent workers jobs is one of the best ways to earn consistent income.
  • Personal websites – You can also find work by creating a personal website and reaching out to companies you want to work for. This is a great way to get started as a freelance or web developer.
  • Facebook groups

How much money do digital nomads make?

Digital nomads earn between $15,000 and $170,000 per year on average, and a report from FlexJobs shows that 40% of digital nomads earn more than $50,000 annually, and 18% earn more than $100,000.

However, I can’t express enough that these are averages. You have the potential to earn as much money as you want by being a digital nomad, and it all comes down to how creative and hardworking you are.

For example, a freelance writer could make anywhere from $50-$200 per article, depending on the length and subject matter. At the same time, an app developer could make thousands of dollars per month if their app is popular in the app store.

Many digital nomads decide to work for free food and accommodation, which is okay. If you want to make more money as a digital nomad, check out this article here: How nomads use AI to live their dream lives.

How much money do you need to become a digital nomad?

Another common misconception is that you need thousands of dollars in savings to become a digital nomad, which is not the case. You can live as a digital nomad on very little money if you are smart about it and are willing to work hard.

For example, let’s say you have $2000 in savings, and you could easily live off of that for several months if you found a place to live that was relatively cheap and got a job that paid around $1000 per month. Or, if you didn’t want to get a job, you could start an online business and make enough money to cover your living expenses while still having some left to save.

Kevin and I went to one of the most expensive places in Europe for three months, and we came home with more money than when we left. Again, this was all done through artificial intelligence writing, but the point is, if you are creative and resourceful, you can make a very comfortable living as a digital nomad on very little money.

How do digital nomads pay taxes?

Like all workers, business owners, and entrepreneurs, digital nomads are required to pay taxes. There are a few different ways that you can go about paying your taxes as a digital nomad.

  • Permanent establishment – The first way is to set up what is called a “permanent establishment” in your country. This means that you are registering your business in that country and are paying taxes there.
  • Basecamp – The second way is to set up a “basecamp” in another country, which is a place where you keep your belongings and pay taxes there. This option is only available to digital nomads who are citizens of the European Union.
  • Territorial system – The third way to pay taxes as a digital nomad is through the “territorial system.” This means that you only have to pay taxes on the income you make in the country where you live.

So, for example, if you make $100,000 from your online business, but only $1000 of it was made in your country, you would only have to pay taxes on that $1000. The territorial system is the most common way digital nomads pay taxes and is also the most beneficial.

Paying taxes as a digital nomad can be complicated, but many resources are available to help you figure it out. I recommend talking to an accountant or tax specialist before making any decisions.

Do you need a working visa to become a digital nomad?

Working visas are a common topic of discussion among digital nomads. The answer to this question depends on where you want to go and what type of work you want.

For example, if you are a United States citizen and want to work in Europe, you will need to get a working visa. However, you probably won’t need a working visa if you travel around and do some freelance work.

It is always best to check with the embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit before making plans. They will be able to tell you what type of visa (if any) you will need for your specific situation.

Here are some of the best countries with remote working visas:

How old are most digital nomads?

The average digital nomad is 32 years old, and 61% of digital nomads are married. So if you think you are too old to become a digital nomad, think again! There are many successful digital nomads who are over the age of 40 and some who are even over the age of 50.

The important thing is that you have a skill or knowledge that you can offer to clients or customers and that you are willing to work hard. If you have these two things, your age shouldn’t be a barrier to becoming a digital nomad.

Do all digital nomads own a business?

No, not all digital nomads own a business. In fact, only about 33% of digital nomads do. The truth is that most digital nomads are remote workers or consultants embracing the digital nomad life.

Owning a business is not a requirement of a digital nomad; it is simply having location independence and doing business online.

The Logistics Of Nomadic Life

The digital nomad journey is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage to sell all your belongings, quit your job, and travel the world. But it is worth it! The digital nomad lifestyle is an incredible way to see the world, meet new people, and learn new skills.

If you are thinking about becoming a digital nomad, you should know a few things about the logistics of nomadic life.

First of all, you will need to have a valid passport and travel insurance, and these are two essential items that you will need to travel internationally.

Second, you will need to figure out your living situation. Are you going to stay in hostels, apartments, or houses? How long are you going to stay in each place?

And third, you will need to have a plan for how you are going to make money. Remember, being nomadic doesn’t mean you don’t have to work! You will still need to make money to support your travels.

How do digital nomads have WIFI?

A widespread concern that digital nomads have when traveling to a foreign country is how they will have WIFI. First, I want to stress that certain countries do not have good WIFI. So if you depend on a stable internet connection, then make sure you choose a country with modern infrastructure supporting fast internet speeds.

Here are some of the best ways to find WIFI when abroad:

Use WIFI café or co-working spaces

Finding a café or co-working space with WIFI is an excellent option for digital nomads. This is because you can finish your work while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

There are often WIFI cafes in most major cities, so this should be your first stop when looking for a place to work.

Use your phone data

If you have a good data plan, you can use your phone as a hotspot for your laptop or tablet. This is an excellent option if you need to do some work on the go. Just make sure that you don’t go over your data limit!

Buy a local SIM card

If you are going to be in a country for an extended period, then it might be worth buying a local SIM card. This way, you can have a data plan specifically for WIFI use.

When using WIFI, it is essential to use a virtual private network (VPN). This will protect your data and ensure your information is safe from hackers.

Insurance For Digital Nomads

Before traveling, it is always a good idea to get travel insurance. This is especially true for digital nomads, as we often travel to countries with poor healthcare.

The two most important insurance types for digital nomads are travelers and health insurance.

Here are some of the best insurance policies for digital nomads

  • Safety Wing – Safety Wing provides primary health insurance coverage for remote workers. Their prices start at $40/month, and have plans for individuals and families.
  • World Nomads – This is best for adventurous travelers. World Nomads offers insurance for surfing, skiing, and scuba diving. Prices vary depending on age and lifestyle.
  • Cover America Gold – This is an excellent option for digital nomads visiting the United States.

There are many different types of insurance policies, so make sure you do your research and choose the one that is right for you. For example, some policies cover lost baggage, while others cover medical expenses. And finally, make sure you read the fine print of your policy before you buy it. You don’t want to be stuck with an unexpected bill because your insurance doesn’t cover what you thought it did!

Where do you stay when traveling?

Finding cheap accommodation is one of the essential skills for any traveler, but it is especially important for digital nomads. This is because we often travel to countries where the cost of living is high.

Here are some tips for finding cheap accommodation:

  • Co-living spaces – Co-living combines a co-working space and a hostel and is a fantastic way to meet new friends with similar lifestyles. Here is a great resource for co-living spaces: Find a place to live
  • Hostels – Hostels are an excellent option for solo travelers or those on a tight budget. They are often cheap, and you can meet other travelers from all over the world.
  • Couchsurfing – This is a great way to save money on accommodation, as you can stay with a local for free. It is also great to meet new people and get insider tips about your destination.
  • Airbnb – Airbnb is a popular option for digital nomads, as it offers a wide variety of accommodation options. You can often find apartments or rooms for rent at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.

Do some research and see what type of accommodation is right for you. And remember, you don’t always have to stay in a hotel! Sometimes the best way to save money is to get creative.

How do you connect with other digital nomads?

Finding a digital nomad community is one of the most important parts of working abroad. These communities can provide support, advice, and friendship. Here are some ways to connect with other digital nomads:

  • Facebook Groups – There are many different Facebook groups for digital nomads. This is a great way to meet people worldwide and get tips about your destination.
  • Nomad ListNomad List is a website that helps you connect with other digital nomads. You can search for people by location, and the site also has a forum where you can ask questions and get advice.
  • Adopt a backpackerAdopt a backpacker was created during the COVID pandemic to find nomads’ and backpackers’ accommodation. The website lists digital nomads and backpackers; you can contact them to offer a place to stay. It has since then grown into one of the top nomad communities for connection and provides all the resources you need to grow your network.
  • Local Events – Check out or Facebook to find local events for digital nomads. This is a great way to meet people already living in your destination. Digital nomads are a friendly and supportive community, so don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with others. We are all here to help each other!

What are the most popular digital nomad destinations?

There are many different digital nomad destinations, but some of the most popular include:

  • Bali, Indonesia – Bali is a beautiful island with great weather and a laid-back lifestyle. It is also very affordable, making it a popular choice for digital nomads.
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand – Chiang Mai is a city in northern Thailand that has become a hub for digital nomads. It offers a great quality of life at a low cost, as well as a vibrant expat community.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina – Buenos Aires is an exciting city with plenty to do. It is also very affordable, which makes it attractive to nomads.
  • Berlin, Germany – Berlin is a popular destination for digital nomads, as it is a vibrant city with a lively expat community. It is also very affordable.
  • Lisbon, Portugal – Lisbon is a beautiful city with great weather. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it offers a high quality of life at a reasonable cost.

These are just a few of the many popular digital nomad destinations. Do some research to find the place that is right for you. And remember, you don’t have to go far to find an amazing destination! There are plenty of great places to live and work right in your own backyard.

Digital nomads are a friendly and supportive community, so don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with others. We are all here to help each other! And finally, make sure you read the fine print of your policy before you buy it. You don’t want to be stuck with an unexpected bill because your insurance doesn’t cover you.

For a list of the top places for digital nomads in 2023, check out this article here: Top 9 places for digital nomads in 2023.

About Kevin & Josh

Josh and Kevin are the founders of, a company designed to bring independence and freedom to the lives of those who choose. The days of working 9-5 jobs and living for the weekends are things of the past. Kevin and Josh aim to lead the remote work, lifestyle first and digital nomad revolution that is about to sweep the earth.



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