In 2012 I started to work as a nomad. I traveled to Malaysia with laptop, Chili and Argentina with an iPad. Since about three years I have an outdoor office. I’m on the road for 3 or 4 months during winter to work as floor manager for the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation. Last summer I also started working as floor manager/mixed zone manager in Olympic Sailing.
Working nomad versus digital nomad
Is a working nomad something else then a digital nomad? For me it is. I’m not someone who does everything online, I used to though. But since I discovered a way of working which suits me even better, my new challenge is to combine the best of both worlds. I spend the first few years creating a pretty solid base of work which I can bring wherever I go. After 4 years I can leave in winter, be outside in the freezing cold working offline as floor manager for international sports events and talk to people in stead of my laptop!
Are you dreaming of a life as working nomad? Maybe these tips help!
- Think about the reason why you want to be a working nomad. Do you want to be free to work from anywhere you want? Home, your favourite coffee bar, a friends’ place or a hotel room? Or do you want to be a full time traveler? If it’s definitely the last one, you might be better taking unpaid leave for a few months.
- Fake it till you make it! This doesn’t mean that you need to lie about what you do. But you can tell the world what your dreams are and what you’re doing while you’re busy working on it.
- Be ready to invest time and maybe a little money just to see if the lifestyle fits you and the companies you work for.
- Start redefining the niche you work in and see what international possibilities this gives you.
- If the companies you already work for are okay with you working from home in stead of at their office, they might be also okay with you working somewhere else and call in for a Skype meeting or Google Hangout.
- If you can work from home, you can basically work from anywhere. Take a test week and book yourself a nice room in a hostel on a a relaxed island or a city. Maybe your company organises an international event, or has a foreign establishment. Just spend the week abroad and see if the lifestyle fits you and if they realise you’re actually not at home but abroad. It’s a good way to see if you still have the discipline to work at least 4-6 hours a day.
- Make sure you’ve got your shit sorted. All administration online, all contacts you need and a good working phone (maybe international data bundle) so everyone can reach you.
- An empty inbox helps. It gives you a lot of headspace and freedom to react instantly to requests from the companies you already work for.
- If you don’t have the money to take yourself abroad for a week, try to find friends to stay with. It might even be worth finding a sport event/festival that looks for volunteers and offer them your skills. They might even accommodatie you and sort out your food. But food and a local network are worth something as well! From my own experience I know that this works pretty well!