If you’re one of those that dream of the nomadic lifestyle, you’re not alone. But achieving the ability to set out a long-term trip in a far-off land while working as a digital nomad is no easy feat. Unless you’re financially free and are completely living off passive income right now, you’ll need to find a way to make ends meet. The good news? While becoming a digital nomad might seem out of reach to most, it’s actually a rather straightforward goal to accomplish.
How to Become a Digital Nomad
Traveling the globe over the past decade, I’ve become somewhat of a travel sleuth — a pure wanderlust, dead-set on experiencing life outside of my comfort zone, able and willing to travel, roaming free as a bird. But achieving the ability to do that was quite difficult. It meant that I had to experience a tremendous amount of pain if I was serious about living a life of leisure.
In order to achieve my travel dreams, I knew I had to live off of passive income. I didn’t quite know how I was going to do it; I just knew that I was going to do it. No matter what it took, that was the bigger picture for me. And it’s the bigger picture for many people out there.
Passive income, by far, is the most important financial tool that will afford you the freedom to not only receive income automatically, every single month, without fail, but it’ll also give you the means to have a flexible schedule to spend time with your family and children or wander the world as a digital nomad, choosing to work when you please, on your own schedule.
Still, passive income involves a lot of pain. No, I’m not talking about joining some get-rich-quick system by some raving internet marketer “who did it so you can do it too.” Don’t buy into the hype. If you’ve already had a fast one pulled on you, then I apologize. One bad apple certainly can spoil the bunch. And although some internet marketers aren’t entirely ethical, not all of them are like that.
No matter how you achieve your passive income goals, without it, you’ll have a far harder time traveling the world and becoming a digital nomad. If you’re just starting out in a career that enables you to telecommute or do work for clients virtually, then you’re one step ahead. You could potentially spend your time anywhere in the world that could accommodate your longed-after nomadic lifestyle.
However, it isn’t just about passive income. There are definitely digital nomads that live on an active income. If travel is what you’re after, and you’re interested in living, working and immersing yourself in another culture far away from home, you could do it on an active income. It involves jumping through more hoops and flying by the proverbial seat of your pants, but you can do it.
Considering that most destinations that are attractive to digital nomads offer a relatively inexpensive lifestyle with a low cost-of-living and overhead expenses, actually having enough money to spend as you travel isn’t too much of a burden as long as you visit the right places and you’re cautious about your expenses.
The Story Of Nomadic Matt
I knew that if I was going to write about the digital nomad lifestyle, that I needed to speak to the world’s most popular one, who’s garnered the attention of numerous mainstream media outlets and has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, flown hundreds of thousands of miles and discovered that he didn’t need to be rich to travel.
No, Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, wasn’t living off passive income when he set off on a one-year journey that morphed into an 18-month trek in faraway lands. However, upon his return in 2008, and two weeks after the warm glow of being back home in Boston had worn off, he realized that traveling was his passion and that being back home wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
Yet, like other people that are interested in becoming digital nomads, Kepnes knew that he couldn’t simply throw caution to the wind. He needed to find a way to make money while he traveled. He knew he needed to discover a way he could quit his cubicle job. But how would he do it?
Kepnes pondered on this question, tossing around ideas, trying to figure out how he could achieve his goal of constantly traveling the world. One day, the idea dawned on him that he could become a travel writer. That signaled the birth of his website. However, 8 months in of working long, long hours, he seemed to be getting nowhere fast.
What Kepnes realized, and what most others realize who attempt to start a blog, is that it’s monumentally difficult to build a significant following. It takes years and years of hard work. It takes knowledge of things like online marketing and search engine optimization, along with a real passion for writing and conveying value.
Yet, unlike most, Kepnes actually stuck it out. He kept at it. And slowly but surely, he built a following over time, and garnered enormous amounts of interest from people looking to engage in the budget travel and digital nomad lifestyle. He found his calling, created numerous best-selling guidebooks, and built a massive platform in the process. Not many people can claim that.