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How I Learned to Work & Travel Anywhere

Digital Nomad Lifestyle. What, How and Why?

A lot of people keep asking me what I do for living, how and why I do it. In today’s post I’d like to discuss an idea of working and traveling at the same time. It may not be new for people who call themselves digital nomads or simply ones who can not live without traveling and exploring the world.

The most part of our lives is work, work, work and then once or twice a year vacation. When I was still working in London I’ve asked myself why I can not redesign my lifestyle to have more time, explore more and basically change the pattern of life to be work, vacation, work, vacation, work, vacation and you can guess how it continues.

Currently I am staying in Budapest, Hungary with plans to go to Asia later this year with one-way ticket. I am freelance designer and blogger running Despreneur and Refe from my laptop.

Right Mindset

It all starts with a right mindset. You have to understand that changing lifestyle will require sacrifices and determination to achieve your goals in order to live a nomadic lifestyle.

How to get started? First of all you need to realize that you need much less than you actually have (now thoughts that you have nothing come to your mind but you’re wrong). You don’t need three cups, seven favourite t-shirts or ten pairs of shoes that you never wear. For girls changing lifestyle and mindset might be harder as you take three suitcases full of clothes and other useless stuff for a two-day trip. Nonetheless, I’ve met a lot of girl travelers that have even less stuff than me, so it is realistic and achievable.

Another important thing to understand is that your life is made up of experiences, feelings and memories, not stupid physical things that clutter your mind, take place and block you from moving on as you find it hard to let go. Become a creator, learn, write, share, teach and try to experience everything in life so you don’t need things around you to be happy.

One day you will die, the things will die with you unless you create. Your work shared with others will live forever.

Create more, consume less. By adopting this mindset you will learn to save money, create more art, write, contribute to community and give yourself out instead of passively consuming mass production and spending money on the things you don’t need.

Things won’t make you happy. Maybe, but just for a short period of time (experienced it myself).

Last but not least, you are capable of becoming anything you can imagine, with the right mindset and attitude you can live any lifestyle you want and digital nomad lifestyle is no rocket science.

Money, Money, Money

So now I understand that I need to declutter my life and get rid of the things to travel and live nomadic lifestyle, but where do I get the money?

Sadly, it is vital asset in being a digital nomad, but there are tons of ways to make money.

So now you’ve got all the stuff you don’t need that was dragging you down and taking up space around you. Sell the stuff. If no one buys it, make it really cheap, if that doesn’t work either, give it all away fro free for the people in need. You’ll get some luck points in the future for doing good.

Next, figure out how you can make money. Saving up is one of the options, I usually save money on limiting eating out and partying, again, not buying shit that I don’t really need like new case for an iPhone, new t-shirt or pair of beautiful electric green Nike sneakers (if you buy them for me I don’t mind).

Sad to admit but you will NOT make enough money to support yourself on the road just saving up money. You need to find a way to make money and make it anywhere you go. Most digital nomads are freelancers, remote employees or run their own businesses.

One of the solutions is learning a skill. It can be copywriting, design, development, consulting, photography, sound engineering, video editing.

There are numerous of websites and communities that will help you acquiring a new skill that cost nothing or couple dollars a month. To name a few I would recommend checking Udemy, Coursera, Tuts+, Codecademy and Treehouse.

These organisations have leading teachers and highest-quality courses that lead to great career opportunities.

Taking up course and learning at your own pace will take 3–6 months to get to a level that you’ll be good enough for people to hire you. So this option is great if you are still stuck in your job and want to prepare for the life-changing experience.

Another, longer way to make money is to start your own business. Simply put, business is all about solving people’s problems. If you can identify a problem you have yourself or know who has, try to come up with a solution, validate your idea by talking to people with the same problem and try to sell it. Focus on building online based business so you won’t be dependent on physical location (opening a shoe store or cafe are not the best choices).

Most of the time business will take up 1–2 years to become profitable so you could quit your job and fully focus on it.

So once you got the skills you want to make money. How does that work?

Start Freelancing

Freelancing is basically running a one-person business. You will have to wear many hats to become a successful freelancer. If you are a designer, for example, you will need to learn marketing, accounting, selling and do the actual design work at the same time. At the very beginning it may be really hard and stressful so start small and work your ass off.

Getting clients when you are totally new might be really hard. To begin your career and land your first job ask your friends, acquaintances if they or anyone they know need your services. Word of mouth is very powerful and almost guarantees you a job.

If you don’t find anyone you can work with from your connections try online platforms that connect freelancers with clients. Following are the biggest freelance portals: Freelancer, Guru, oDesk and Elance. There are thousands of projects going on and millions of freelancers competing. it may be hard to get a job there but you have to start somewhere to build up your reputation, expand network and get needed experience.

To level up in freelancing you need to provide top-notch quality and most important be nice to people you are doing business with.

Be Nice and Connect With People

Don’t be an asshole, nobody likes them. You need to think about giving and only then taking. It may be hard to change your mindset and walk that extra mile for everyone you meet but that does wonders in the long term. Even if you give and help people that you will never meet, you once again get luck points.

All of the things and opportunities I have today I need to thank for my connections from school, academy, basketball mates, random people from the bar, friendly folks from the internet and many more.

How to be nice to people?

Most of the time it’s just a common sense but I need to remind myself that everyone is fighting a hard battle on this earth trying to live up their dreams. Here is a quote from one of my favorite books “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ― Dale Carnegie

When talking or connecting with people think about how you can provide them value instead of trying to use their status or network to achieve your goals.

What are the luck points?

I believe in karma and doing good. What you do to the world comes back to you. If you give away some stuff, help a random person, connect with someone online and do a favor, it will lead into unexpected luck.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

So once you hit the road and start living your dream you will experience the luck being on your side when you desperately need it. Some of the examples I’ve experienced: getting on the train that you’re not supposed to get on, finding your way without knowing where to go next, meeting people that help you with no particular reason, finding an apartment out of nowhere and so on.

What’s next?

Currently me and my buddy Justas are staying in Budapest, Hungary for the rest of August and then heading to Bulgaria. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates and pictures. If you have any questions or suggestions I’ll be happy to hear from you. I love making ideas happen.

Written in Budapest, Hungary.

This article was also published on Medium and appears here with the permission of the author

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Adventurous designer & entrepreneur from Lithuania. World traveler. Founder of Despreneur (http://despreneur.com), GetRefe.com (http://getrefe.com) and co-author of Mobile Design Book(http://mobiledesignbook.com).

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