4 Freedoms The Digital Nomad Lifestyle Provides

There are many things that drive people towards becoming a digital nomad.  Below are 4 freedoms you will love once you begin your trek.

Freedom of Time

Different people are more productive at different times of the day. Location independence often also means time independence. Maybe you are a morning person. You can choose to get up at the break of dawn and get your hardest work out of the way. Or maybe you prefer to work after the rest of the world has gone to bed. You have that option.

More importantly, you have flexibility. Maybe you have some very important task you need to do at 2:00 in the afternoon. Like a doctors appointment. Or, a surfing lesson. You can go ahead and do it. And then work later in the day if you want.

Freedom of Location

Doesn’t the thought of staring at the same office clock for the rest of your career make you ill? Often times, the office is actually the least creative place there is. Technology has made it feasible for many jobs that were traditionally done in a stuffy office to be done better elsewhere.

This article is living proof, it is being written beside a swimming pool. Overlooking the Bay of Panama and the ships lined up to enter the canal.

Freedom of Dress

I never quite got the idea of a job where you are stuck in an office all day and never deal with the public but you are still expected to dress in proper office wear. As a digital nomad, you can go to work in your robe. Actually, if you so desire, you can have an online meeting in your underwear. As long as you are wearing a shirt and tie above the waist where the webcam can see you.

Freedom from Lame Rules

Designing your life and work to be location independent frees you from your boss constantly looking over your shoulder. Stupid rules, aimed more at office politics, than doing your job, no longer apply to you. All that matters is you get results. The buck stops with you as a digital nomad.

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Being a Digital Nomad in Your Own City

Being a digital nomad does not mean you have to leave home and set up shop abroad in some far away land. Actually most digital nomads I know work from home. Becoming a digital nomad simply means that you have freedom of time and location. What you choose to do with this freedom is entirely up to you.

Personally, I like to get out of my house when I am home so I tend to work from coffee shops or co-working spaces. Something about the coffee shop vibe and being around other people who are working too gets me in the flow state.

When I have a project that needs my web cam or dual screens like when I am creating or editing videos then I will work from home. While working from home here are a few items that help me boost productivity and stay focused.

Standing Desks

We have all heard that sitting all day is slowly killing us so I don’t need to stress the importance of getting up out of your chair. Standing desks are a good solution.

We like ones that can fold down into sitting desks too because standing all day can be hard on the body as well (trust me I used to valet cars). That is why we like the Vivo adjustable standing desk converter.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Wheter at a coffee shop or working from home noise cancelling headphones help me focus while minimizing outside distractions. Bose is the leader in this space but Sony and Beats make quality active noise canceling headphones too.

Air Filter

You obviously want to breathe the best air possible for your health. When you work where you live and there are days you get so caught up in a project that you don’t see the outdoors you need to make sure you are still getting clean air.

We like the Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier because of its simple design and quiet operation. The last thing you want is an annoying loud humming noise in the background while you are trying to get stuff done.

Echo

If you don’t already have an Echo you are missing out big time. Alexa is a perfect personal assistant. I constantly use the set reminder feature to remind me of tasks I need to get done throughout the day.

Since the Echo can sync with Audible, it is my main method of listening to my audiobooks. Ironman has Jarvis and you can have Alexa.

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Top 5 Audiobooks For The Digital Nomad

We are always looking for ways to lighten our bags. Audiobooks are a great way for digital nomads to ingest knowledge without having to lug around physical books. If you do not already have Audible it is hands down the best audiobook app with the largest library in the world. Use the link below and receive two free audiobooks.

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Now that you have the app lets dig into the top 5 audiobooks for digital nomads.

Principles by Ray Dalio 

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. Now that he is at the phase of his life where he has made enough money to make big change, he has dedicated the last few years into passing along the knowledge that he has gained over the past 40 years. The nuggets of 24 karat wisdom in this book are plenty. Building your own set of principles will make your life more efficient and make decisions easier. Bill Gates and Tony Robins’s endorsed this book for a reason.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Since you are already on your way to building passive income and becoming a digital nomad you have probably already read this book. I first read this book at 19 and it changed the course of my life. Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book you should revisit if you haven’t in years. Recently I listened to Rich Dad Poor Dad and it was like listening to it for the first time again. Invest in assets not liabilities and exit the rat race.

How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It

Ever wonder how Mark Cuban made his billions? Mark Cuban lays out his journey on the entrepreneur roller coaster in this book. From sleeping on a couch in the living room of a house with 5 guys, having his employee still tens of thousands of dollars to IPOing a company at the peak of the dotcom boom. Mark Cuban has tremendous entrepreneur battle scars. Which is why he is where he is now. Gain some inspiration from Mark’s story.

The Everything Store

Jeff Bezos is now the richest person in the world. Maybe even throughout history excluding maybe Augustus Caesar. To make the journey from working in a small office in the shady part of town next to an adult store and needle exchange to making city governments bid to bring HQ2 to their town. What an absolutely incredible journey! Learn about Jeff Bezos, his story and unwavering work ethic.

The Millionaire Fastlane

The old knowledge of graduating from college, getting a good job, living below your means and hopefully make it to 65 so you can retire is outdated and downright offensive. This logic is steeped in the scarcity mindset. We now live in the most abundant time in history. Teenagers are becoming millionaires and completely breaking this old logic. Forget this slow lane and hop in the fast lane.

 

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Top 5 Cities In The World For Digital Nomads

Below are the Top 5 cities we believe are some of the best in the world for digital nomads. We took into consideration affordability, ease of assimilation, number of expats already there and feedback from fellow digital nomads. We put these factors into a matrix and here are the Top 5 countries for digital nomads that we came up with.

  1. Chang Mai ,Thailand

When it comes to bang for your buck it is hard to beat Chang Mai as a digital nomad destination. Chang Mai is the cheapest on the list but does not disappoint in quality of life either. You have probably come across YouTube videos or blogs from likeminded nomads who decide to call Chang Mai home. That is because over 40,000 expats now live in Chang Mai. You can live a very good digital nomad lifestyle here for $800-$1,200 per month and live like an absolute King for $2,500 per month. Access to wifi is widespread and you are bound to bump into fellow digital nomads at any of the cafes around town.

  1. Bali, Indonesia

Like Thailand, your money can go a long way in Bali. Bali has become a huge destination for expats in recent years due to its idyllic scenery, surfing spots, friendly locals and cheap cost of living. You can live very comfortable here for around $800-$1800 depending on the apartment and area you choose. This can be easily be covered by a few Amazon FBA products or well-monetized blogs. This makes Bali a great place to live as a digital nomad.

  1. San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose (specifically Escazu) is a well know expat hangout with great dining options, shopping and affordable but luxury housing options. Costa Rica is extremely easy to get around even if you do not speak Spanish. A peaceful nation with no standing military that runs off of 100% renewable energy make it the ideal location for the conscious digital nomad. After getting work done all day at a coffee shop while sipping on locally grown coffee and recharging your laptop with all that renewable energy you can get Zenned out at one of the many local yoga retreats or take up surfing at a surf school in Jaco.

  1. Medellin, Colombia

Do not be scared away by the hit Netflix series Narcos. Colombia is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. With a nearly perfect climate, good infrastructure, fun nightlife and high ranking on the affordability index Medellin makes an ideal location for the digital nomad. There is a vibrant expat community here, many of whom do not plan to go back home anytime soon.

  1. Singapore

Often referred to as Asia Lite, Singapore gets a very high ranking in ease of assimilation. You can expect all of the creature comforts of any top city in the world. Almost everyone here speaks English, it is very safe, it has some of the best international schools in the world and it is very easy to get around. The only reason Singapore didn’t make it higher on our list is because it is costly to live here.

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Top 3 Ways To Earn Income As A Digital Nomad

After years of trial and error combined with the experiences of people we have met over the years we have come up with the top 3 ways to earn income as a digital nomad

We are reluctant to use the word easy but we will say that these are definitely the most efficient ways to start earning passive income. You will still need to put in the hard work up front but once everything is in place you will be able to reap the benefits passively for years.

Amazon FBA

Amazon’s fulfillment by Amazon program takes all of the heavy lifting off of third party sellers. As a third party seller you can run an FBA business without ever touching the product. Amazon will store, pack and ship products on your behalf. Product research is key here. Finding the right product with high demand and low competition is very important and where we would suggest spending the most time. Once you decide on a product, buying inventory, setting up your listing and budgeting for marketing are the upfront cost. The process takes around 40 hours for your first product. Once your listing is up and running it takes about 1 hour a week to manage making FBA one of our top choices for making passive income.

We have found Jungle Scout to be the best resource in terms of free content with the Million Dollar Case Study Series. The Jungle Scout Tool is also what we use to find product niches with low competition and high demand. Check out their how to sell on Amazon beginners guide below.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is simply selling someone else’s products in exchange for a commission. Almost every large company has some sort of affiliate program. You can create content (videos, blogs, social media post) featuring the product you are interested in selling with a link to the product. Someone clicks on your link and buys the product and voila! you get paid.

The great things about affiliate marketing are;

  1. After the content is created the income is completely passive.
  2. You can choose any product you would like to sell or are passionate about.
  3. The startup cost are extremely low.

Consulting & Freelancing

Consulting and freelancing require you to be highly skilled in a specific area that has a demand. If you are a professional digital marketer you can offer your expertise to companies around the world as a consultant. If you are skilled in a certain program such as Photoshop, for example, you can freelance by selling your service on sites like Fiverr, UpWork or 99 designs.

We like these options if you are a highly skilled individual because as with affiliate marketing the startup cost are almost nothing. It will take time to build up a reputation but once the ball is rolling you may find yourself turning down more clients than you take on.

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Top 10 Digital Nomad Lifestyle Products

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are great for organizing clothing and maximizing space in your luggage. Many of us use them to separate our dirty laundry and clean clothes. PRO TIP: If you have a layover and want to catch some zzz take out your clean clothes packing cube and use it as a pillow. We especially like Shacke Pak as it comes in in a pack of 4 and has a lot of different color options to match your style.

Hydro Flask

The Hydro Flask double vacuum insulated water bottle will keep cold drinks cold and the hot drinks hot for hours. This bottle is especially handy in places were you do not want to drink the water. Just fill up your Hydro Flask whenever you find a clean water source and you will be good for hours. The Hydro Flask is extremely sturdy and leak proof so it will last for years making it a great investment. The last thing you want is water all over your backpack on on your laptop.

Bar Shampoo

Bar Shampoo is a must for the digital nomad lifestyle. Since you will traveling on airplanes you will be limited in the amount of liquid you can take with you. You are also never guaranteed that the accommodations you will be stying in will supply shampoo (at least shampoo you want to use). J.R. Liggett’s Old Fashioned Shampoo Bar is a great choice. It comes in 3 different fragrances and is all natural with no chemicals.

Universal Charger and Travel Adapter

Depending on where you are in the world you will always need to keep a universal charger and travel adapter with you. We especially like the NEWVANGA Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter as it has everything you need all in one small portable package. With two USB ports you can charge phones and tablets at the same time keeping you gadgets full of juice and keeping you ready to take on the days tasks. It doesn’t matter where you are you will alway have access to power.

Roost Stand

The Roost Stand will save your neck. Working long hours in front of a screen can place unnecessary strains on your body. With a lifted screen you will take some of the strain off of your upper back and shoulder area. The Roost Stand in particular is light weight and folds up small, perfect to throw in a backpack.

Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse

The Logic MX Master is Logitechs’ flagship mouse. The ergonomics of this mouse are are remarkable. Sometimes I want to hold it when I’m not even using my computer just because it feels so good in my hands. Once you use the thumb scroll you will wonder how you ever lived without it. What makes this mouse digital nomad certified is that it has an up to 40 hours battery life on a single charge!

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

When you are on a flight the last thing you want to hear is the screaming kid next to you. Drowned them out with a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones.  These headphones will also come in handy when working out of cafes and co-working spaces. These areas can be fairly noisy and with a set of these headphones you can turn any noise filled cafe into your own personal oasis. This pair is very can be folded and stored in a very compact case which will save room in your backpack.

Lacie Rugged 

The Lacie Rugged portable hard drive is a must. When you are creating massive amounts of content to upload to Youtube and your travel blog you need a secondary hard drive to allow you to free up RAM so your software still works. The Lacie Rugged is extremely sturdy and there are videos of people running these things over and burying them in sand. We don’t recommend trying that but it is comforting to know that it can withstand it if necessary.

Anti-Theft Laptop Backback

Travel in style with the Yorepek Slim Laptop Backpack. This backpack has a slot for everything you will be carrying. The USB connection on the side allows you to charge your phone while still using it. Having dual zippers and locks means you can protect yourself from thieves and pick pocketers when your WeWork space is on the shady side of town.

Logitech HD Webcam

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 will shoot crystal clear 1080p YouTube ready content. Will dual microphones you will also be heard loud and clear in your epic rants. If you don’t have a full rig set up this is a good tool for on the go content creation. We especially like this one as it is both small and compact making it ideal for travel.

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